Friday, May 31, 2013

Moody's DOWNGRADES SH 130 by FOUR Notches!!!

Well, the good news is that if it fails completely, at least there's an asset a new owner can purchase:

The company that operates the southern leg of the SH 130 toll road may not have enough money to make loan payments next year. That's the assessment from a major financial group which lowered the company's credit rating.
The 41 mile stretch between south Austin and Seguin opened last fall. Analysts with Moody's Investors Service say that traffic is only half of what was originally projected.
Officials with the sh130 concession company raised more than a billion dollars to build the toll way, with about $400 million coming from a federal loan. A spokesperson for the group says they are working to increase traffic, by lower toll rates for big rigs and working with local economic development groups to attract businesses to the corridor.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz: Abolish the IRS NOW!!!

Here, here, Senator:

Special Session Politics and Rick Perry's Future

There's been speculation about the politics of this special session(s) of the Texas legislature.  The potential musical chairs of officeholders means people are already angling for future races.  One fact, however, deserves special mention.

No one needs this special session(s) more than the man who controls the agenda.

To call the general session of the 83rd Texas Legislature disappointing is an understatement.  Legislative leadership ran roughshod over Conservatives.  It wasn't the Governor's fault, but he did little to stop it.

Between his botched Presidential campaign and his support of Lt. Gov. Dewhurst in the U.S. Senate race, Governor Perry suffered public setbacks in 2012.  None of those will hurt his future.  The disastrous general session of the 83rd Legislature is different.

The general session of the 83rd Legislature revealed a Governor who is either unable or unwilling to control the Austin insider crowd in his own party.  While it's true that the Texas Constitution grants the Governor little control over the legislature during general session, the Constitution does grant the Governor the power of emergency legislation and his office comes with a bully pulpit.  During the 83rd General Session, Governor Perry used neither.

The good news is that that same Texas Constitution grants the Governor substantially more power during a special session (in addition to his power to veto legislation passed during the General session).  If Governor Perry laid out an ambitions, conservative, agenda for the special session(s), then went on a statewide barnstorming tour to promote that agenda, the public would respond.  The Austin insider crowd is a horse that needs to be broken every two years.  Massive public engagement is how you break said horse.  Cahnman's Musings recommends Governor Perry use every tool the Texas constitution grants him (ie. Vetoes and Special Sessions) and the bully pulpit of his current office to drive a conservative governing agenda for Texas over the next 18 months.

Bottom Line: Unless and until Governor Perry demonstrates the ability to break Joe Straus, there's no reason for Iowa caucus voters to trust him against Harry Reid.....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Separated at Birth?!?

Texas State Senator Tommy Williams or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie?!?








Williams: 1,2,5
Christie: 3,4,6,7

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dannah Gresh: Common Sexual Myths

This was really, really good:

  • I didn't suffer any of the physical consequences (of having sex young), but my spirit was impacted; I was depressed.
  • Sex is worthy of more than a casual hook up.
  • Myth #1: You can hook up without committment
    • During sex, your brain releases dopamine and oxytocin, which bonds you to your partner.
    • Friends w/ Benefits might just be physically impossible.
  • Myth #2: You can have great sex without being in love
  • Myth #3: Sexual Pleasure is greatest when you're young and hot.

Come to Austin: An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Mr. Beck,

In case you missed it, last night Governor Perry called a special session of the Texas Legislature.  This could be really good, but it could also be a disaster.  We could use your help.

The reason Texas Legislators ignore the will of voters is because they assume voters won't find out.  The Capital press corps LOVES big government, because it increases their own power.  That's where you come in.

If you were to PUBLICLY let the Legislature know that you're watching them, it could stop a lot of mischief before it gets started.  The facts are damning, they just need wider exposure.  Plus, it will drive the Austin insider crowd nuts, and that alone is worth it!

In addition, you ought to consider seriously taking a day trip to Austin to personally lobby your legislator.  If you lead by example, then thousands (if not tens) of Texans will follow.  Logistically, you could do radio from the South Steps of the Capitol and television from the Capitol Auditorium.

This special session will have a major impact on the long-term economic future of this state.  It can go either way.  We could sure use your help.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX
May 28, 2013


Readers can contact Glenn Beck via Twitter:

Monday, May 27, 2013

How Handsome is Governor Perry?!?

Well, well, well, the Governor has already called a special session:
"By lowering taxes on job creators, opening the door to more higher education opportunities in South Texas, investing in a skilled workforce and keeping our state government efficient and accountable, hardworking taxpayers have freedom, opportunity and peace of mind. However, there is still work to be done on behalf of the citizens of Texas."

The special session will consider the following issue:

• Legislation which ratifies and adopts the interim redistricting plans ordered by the federal district court as the permanent plans for districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate and United States House of Representatives.

Cahnman's Musings urges readers to contact the Governor:

Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Recent Texas History: Rick Perry's 2001 "Father's Day Massacre"

The 83rd Texas Legislature is (mercifully) over.  Legislators have done their part.  All eyes now turn to Governor Rick Perry.

There is a lot of bad legislation floating around.  Cahnman's Musings will detail some of it in the coming days.  For today, however, we want to remind readers about a recent piece of Texas' political history.

In June 2001, following his first legislative session as George W. Bush's successor, Governor Rick Perry vetoed 79 bills in one day.  At the time, it was dubbed the "Father's Day Massacre."  This so-called "Father's Day Massacre" established Rick Perry as the dominant player at the Capitol.

The best part of the Father's Day Massacre is that it gave the usual suspects around Austin a conniption fit; as Lou DuBose reported a decade later:
Perry's vetoes came from out of nowhere. The governor's legislative staff didn't attempt to get in the way of the bills. Legislators didn't get courtesy calls.

"This was mean-spirited," a lobbyist told me. "This was the governor getting even."

"There was no playbook that he was working from," said a state employee who had been chief of staff for a legislator at the time.
(Author's Note: Did you notice that the lobbyist and the state employee didn't allow themselves to be quoted by name?!?)

 During Rick Perry's Presidential campaign, NRO's Katrina Trinko observed:
The dramatic gesture paid off.

The Austin American-Statesman analyzed over 500 e-mails and letters that were sent to Perry’s office in the aftermath of the vetoes, and found the response overwhelmingly positive. Perry, the American-Statesman reported, “appears to have energized people who support the death penalty, oppose abortion, are wary of more government — and whose turnout at the polls is necessary for him to win a full term in the 2002 election.” Winning the trust of conservatives was important for Perry. Before the vetoes, he had signed a hate-crimes bill that was opposed by many conservatives — his office was inundated with calls the days before the bill hit his desk — and was the Democrats’ “top priority” that session, according to Texas political analyst William Lutz.
 The 83rd Texas Legislature was EXTREMELY disappointing, but Rick Perry remains Governor.  That office has a lot of power, including sole discretion over vetoes.  Cahnman's Musings encourages Governor Perry to use it extensively.


Contact the Governor:
Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sex Trafficking: How it Works

This video discusses trafficking in Moldova, but similar operations exist across Texas:

  •  Three types of girls are most likely to fall prey:
    • Victimized @ Home
    • Abused by BF
    • Single Mom
  • Girls are usually recruited by someone they know
  • The "Breaking Period;" initial few weeks
    • Systematically gang-raped, beaten, and threatened until she loses her will to escape.
    • Demoralizing Brainwashing.
  • Girls are traded amongst traffickers.
  • Girls are sold for as little as $1 per minute.
Brandon Darby has more on Sex Trafficking in Texas here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

ACTION ALERT: Stop Texas' 26% Spending Increase

The disastrous 83rd Legislature comes down to this, from the Tea Party Advisory Caucus:
Fellow Patriots:
Spending Up 26%! Texas Legislature Takes Wild Left Turn & Spends like there’s No Tomorrow
Alert from: JoAnn Fleming, Chairman, TX Legislature's TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee; Executive Director, Grassroots America
The news is bad – very bad. A majority in the Texas House and Senate (yes, a majority of Republicans) have gone on a wild spending spree! We have one last chance to stop it. Please help us kill HB 1025 and SB 1 to force a special session. We believe we can get a more conservative budget when all the focus is on spending.
It is time for YOU to come to the aid of Texas! Call, e-mail, text, FaceBook, and Tweet your state representative as soon as possible! Melt the phone lines starting at 8 AM Friday and call all day! Call your representative’s district offices and Capitol office. Tell him/her you do not support the budget and you support a special session to get it right. Ask them to vote down HB 1025 & SB 1.  Be firm and employ the Golden Rule.  Yelling and cursing doesn't make them hear you, in fact, it can have the opposite effect.
To find your state representative click here.
For good measure, call your state senator & declare you don’t support the budget, click here.
Call Governor Perry’s office & ask him to veto the budget if it passes!(512) 463-2000
Special thanks to Texas Public Policy Foundation for its help in putting together the numbers that follow...
The bad news - if HB 1025 (supplemental spending bill) and SB 1 (budget) pass, this happens:
·        The $1.8 billion in tax relief called for by the Governor is slashed because a majority of the legislature went on a spending spree. The Legislature includes about half of the Governor’s request (about $900 million) and wants to count $631 million in a one-time electrical ratepayer fee rebate for about 80% of Texans as a tax cut—which it isn’t.
·        The budget will exceed the state’s constitutional spending limit. They will bust the spending cap! The big spenders seek to circumvent the spending limit through SJR 1, the constitutional amendment to be approved by voters in November. They are changing the definition of “busting the cap” so they can say they didn’t…sounds just like Washington, DC!
·        Though they had more than $13 billion in new general revenue (GR) on hand for the 2014-15 budget, House & Senate budget appropriators did not include money in the budget for “pay as you go” highway funding or provide taxpayers with a meaningful tax cut. Instead, they spent it all and want to raid the Rainy Day Fund too!
·        The Legislature has decided to raid the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) for almost $4 billion. The ESF was intended to protect against the pressure for a tax increase during an economic downturn. Instead, this budget uses the Rainy Day Fund to explode spending during a time of plenty, cutting the fund balance in half—from $8 billion to $4 billion. This leaves Texas vulnerable if the national economy continues to falter or we have a natural or manmade disaster.
·        The Legislature will appropriate approximately $106 billion in General Revenue and Rainy Day funds. This is an increase of $22 billion, or 26%, over last session! (This is a session to session, not a budget to budget, comparison.)
·        The total of all funds (including federal funds) in the new budget looks to be about $214 billion, an increase of about $38 billion, or 21%, over what was appropriated in 2011. (This is a session to session, not a budget to budget, comparison.)
·        This level of spending is proof most legislators are tone deaf (94% of 2012 Republican primary voters signaled they wanted spending cut). They willingly ignore the unstable national and global economies. This is a threat to a strong Texas and should be treated as an assault on liberty.
·        This spending repeats the mistake of the 79th TX Legislature (2005). After the 78th Legislature (2003) held the line on spending, the 79thLegislature went on a spending spree that led to the 2011 $15 billion budget shortfall. It could happen again. Are the big spenders setting the stage for gambling and/or and income tax next session?
·        This spending rejects principles of fiscal conservatism in exchange for a big-gov’t approach like those of the other big-five states: CA, NY, IL, FL.
·       This budget is a threat to the economic prosperity of Texas citizens, families, and communities. It is a threat to Texas – the best hope for enduring freedom in these United States. 
 The Legislature appears determined to spend the State of Texas into becoming the next California, and the Governor is sucking his thumb.  The situation is dire.  Call and Tweet your legislators AND the Governor.


Contact Info:

Governor Rick Perry:
Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst:
Phone: (512) 463-0001
Twitter: @DavidHDewhurst

House Speaker Joe Straus
Phone: (512) 463-1000
Twitter: @SpeakerStraus

Find your own legislator here.


Update: Continuing the pattern of this bizarre session, Lt. Governor Dewhurst NAILS it!!!

Update II: Empower Texans has more here; money quote: 
There is $13 billion of additional general revenue sitting in the state treasury than two years prior. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy the Legislature’s appetite for more spending. They say they need $4 billion more from a fund constitutionally created to backfill budget shortfalls.

There are many aspects of the current version of the budget that should be of serious concern to voters (like throwing $4 billion extra into public education to appease Democrats, the lack of substantial tax relief, a pension increase for legislators… etc.). Arguably the biggest though is the reckless disregard for the original purpose of the Rainy Day Fund.

Legislators should hit the reset button and pass a better budget in a special session. Getting it right is far more important than just getting it done.
 Update III: Chuck DeVore Tweets this diagram:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

VETO SB 346: An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry

Dear Mr. Governor,

As the national IRS scandal grows, the Texas Legislature has sent an equally disturbing bill to you.

SB 346 is a threat to political free association in the state of Texas, as the Wall St. Journal details:
The bill requires that all social-welfare and nonprofit groups that spend more than $25,000 a year on politics report the details of their spending. The groups, which file under sections 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the tax code, would also have to disclose their donors, providing a new opportunity for advocacy groups to intimidate businesses and others from participating in elections.
This poorly-written, wide-ranging, bill is certain to produce unintended consequences no one will like.

 ConservativeHQ has more:
Even if you are not based in Texas, if you donate to or lead an organization that publishes and distributes a non-partisan voter guide on state races or a newsletter on what is happening on your issues in State Houses around the country -- that includes coverage of Texas politics -- you could very well find yourself subject to this law....Even if they live in another state, anyone who supports an organization that helped Tea Party backed Senator Ted Cruz or that might report on the goings-on in the Texas legislature on issues such as the right to life, home schooling or traditional marriage might suddenly find their name and how much they gave to a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 in another state disclosed in filings to the State of Texas and published in newspapers across the country. 
 Cahnman's Musings respectfully requests you VETO SB 346.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX
May, 23 2013

P.S. Readers can contact Governor Perry via. Telephone or Twitter:

Telephone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Americans for Prosperity and Texas "Freedom" Network Clash over CSCOPE

The audio is a little difficult to pick up at first, but this video speaks for itself:


  • When Dan Quinn says no one was pressured over CSCOPE, he's either lying or he's disqualifyingly misinformed.
  • Ditto on Parents being informed.


In a sleazy, end-of-session, move, the Texas House is scheduled to take up HB 2836 today.

This bill would gut the elected State Board of Education and replace it with a 'select committee' much friendlier to Big Education:
If adopted, the committee substitute to HB 2836 would create an interim study of the TEKS; but out of the 14 members on the study committee, only 2 would be SBOE members who really have a grasp of curriculum standards, testing, and instructional materials. 
The rest of the 12 members of the TEKS study committee would be 4 appointed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst from the Senate Public Ed. Comm. (politicians) and 2 from the general public.  House Speaker Joe Straus would appoint 4 from the House Public Ed. Comm. (politicians) and 2 from the general public. 
This means that at least 8 would be politicians from the Texas Legislature, and we have already seen how vulnerable they are to being manipulated by the education bureaucracy.
The four added people from the public could easily come from the education bureaucracy.
The end result is that the 2 SBOE members could find themselves in a lonely corner while the other 12 who are tied to vendors and/or lobbyists could control the curriculum standards (TEKS) put into our public school classrooms!
 (Author's Note: TEKS are Texas' State curriculum standards.)

Find your legislator here.

The Original, Biblical, Tea Party

From 2 Chronicles 10:

The Revolt Against Rehoboam

10 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt. Then they sent for him and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”
So he said to them, “Come back to me after three days.” And the people departed.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, saying, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”
And they spoke to him, saying, “If you are kind to these people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever.”
But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. And he said to them, “What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?”
10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to the people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them: ‘My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! 11 And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’”[a]
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, “Come back to me the third day.” 13 Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father[b] made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!”[c] 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from God, that the Lord might fulfill His word, which He had spoken by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying:
“What share have we in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Every man to your tents, O Israel!
Now see to your own house, O David!”
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah.
18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of revenue; but the children of Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
 See also 1 Kings 12:1-20.

 Background: This section follows the death of King Solomon.  While Solomon had been a godly King in his early years (when he built the temple), in his later years he was swept with the temptations of Earthly power.  Where he originally raised taxes to build the temple (which the people supported), he moved on build palaces and country estates for himself.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Texas House Committee's $22,000 dinner

In case you're wondering why the 83rd Texas Legislature has accomplished so little, this must-read from the Texas Tribune will answer your questions; money quote:
A remarkably expensive meeting of a key legislative committee took place this week: a $22,000-plus affair at an upscale downtown Austin steakhouse for the 15-member House Calendars Committee.

That panel, which sets the daily lineup of bills for consideration in the House and thus holds life-or-death power over legislation, held its end-of-session dinner at Austin’s III Forks restaurant this past Sunday.

It cost $22,241.03 and required the use of 34 American Express cards, 11 MasterCards, and 20 Visa cards. The committee chairman, state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, said there were about 140 people there, and most of them stayed for dinner.


It was an expensive celebration, but the legislators and staffers who attended didn’t pay for it. The supporters and lobbyists who have been trying to influence legislative outcomes since the session began in January covered the tab. And it’s completely legal, as Hunter pointed out, so long as the lobbyists paying the bills report their expenses where everybody can go see them. Ethics rules limit lobbyists from spending more than $500 on entertainment on a particular legislator, but that limit doesn’t apply to food and drink.


 “I’ve had committee dinners since I’ve been here for seven terms,” Hunter said, speaking in characteristically clipped phrases. “Lobby pays. They follow rules. Everybody knows up front. And we even post it, so we are all in compliance.”

You can view the receipt for the dinner here.

Jesus vs. Muhammad

The latest from Steven Crowder is amazing:

  • While Jesus raised adolescent girls from the dead, Muhammad....
  • Jesus never owned slaves or killed people.

New CDC Reports document American STD rates

Gross, but this stuff has to be documented; money quote:
CDC’s new estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate
of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total
number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data
suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and
women across the nation.


Because some STIs – especially HIV – require lifelong treatment and care, they are by far the costliest. In addition, HPV
is particularly costly due to the expense of treating HPV-related cancers. However, the annual cost of curable STIs is also
significant ($742 million). Among these, chlamydia is most common and therefore the most costly.

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Americans for Prosperity pitches in for Oklahoma

Those dang evil Koch Brothers are at it again; from AFP's Oklahoma director:
The devastation in Oklahoma is tremendous.  Yesterday, a massive tornado hit the suburbs of Oklahoma City, destroying thousands of homes, a hospital and even two elementary schools.  The death toll stands at 24 souls and may yet rise, with so many in hospitals and others still unaccounted for.  Many of the victims were children, attending school yesterday.

As the state director of AFP-Oklahoma, I’m grateful that my family and all Oklahoma AFP staff are safe; but many of our friends and neighbors cannot say the same.  Our state chapter has at least a hundred residents living in the two worst affected cities, Moore and Newcastle.

To aid in disaster relief, I’ve asked AFP activists statewide to donate much needed items to the Salvation Army. The outpouring of support already given to our community is overwhelming.  If you would like to donate please consider giving directly tothe Salvation Army Disaster Relief here, by phone at (800)725-2769, or by text messaging “storm” to 80888 to donate $10 to relief and recovery efforts.

Keep Oklahoma in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days and weeks.  You can get real-time updates by following #PrayForOklahoma on Twitter.

I know the people of Moore and Newcastle and I know we will rebuild.  But today is very difficult for us all.

That is what America is all about, coming together to overcome, to help each other. The AFP family of activists has been through a lot and accomplished many things, and we’ll get through this together.

Thank you again for your prayers and concern.


Matt Ball
AFP-Oklahoma State Director

CSCOPE Fight is NOT Over

Via Texas CSCOPE Review; reposted in full:

Teachers Instructed to Save CSCOPE Lessons

Silhouette of person burying CSCOPE with marker saying CSCOPE RIP. Banner in background says CSCOPE Gone and Soon Forgotten. The CSCOPE ESC directors announced that they will gut the CSCOPE curriculum by removing every CSCOPE lesson K-12. YEA!
Was this done because these Education Service Center directors decided that the CSCOPE lessons are not of a quality that they would want taught to our Texas children? I wish. Instead, this decision was made with the intent of killing a legislative bill that would provide control over curriculum created by the ESCs. Seems the ESC directors will do anything to remain in control of their kingdom.
In a last ditch effort to keep CSCOPE lessons in our Texas Schools, the CSCOPE ESC directors are encouraging teachers to download the CSCOPE lessons.  Yes, teachers are encouraged to copy the poorly written, incorrect, Anti-American, pro-Islamic, Anti-Christian CSCOPE lessons before Aug. 2013 when they will be forever gone. (Not if the CSCOPE ESC directors have anything to do with it. Wait and you will see these lessons for sale somewhere. Maybe in another form they will sell them to Texas School superintendents who confess that they must have CSCOPE.]
Now that the CSCOPE lessons may legally be copied, there is no need for school districts to rent CSCOPE. Every CSCOPE lesson has the number of suggested days and every IFD (Information Focus Document) for the lesson has the clarification for the TEKS. Done Deal! Teachers have the coveted scope and sequence that superintendents have used textbook funds to rent. Now all they have to do is open up the book room and dust off those textbooks. YES!!! Any textbook is useful. The ESCs who sell CSCOPE are the same ESCs who received more than $180+ million dollars to compare the TAKS state standards with the new TEKS. All superintendent have to do is request the Rider 42 K-12 TEKS Professional Development turnaround academy materials for Science, ELAR, Social Studies and Math. It is time for the public to evaluate this material that they paid $180+ million dollars for.
How fast things can change. Only yesterday teachers faced legal action for even making paper copies of the CSCOPE lessons. Following is one of several statements in the legal contract that teachers were forced to sign if they wanted to work. Yes, this contract was suppose to have been null and void according to Senator Patrick, but superintendents did not confirm this with their teachers.
“You are prohibited from copying, saving to a disk or hard drive, redistributing, using or publishing any portion of the Site, except as allowed by Section 3. (Which allows sharing only with others who have signed the CSCOPE gag-order.)”
What ever the reason, I send my thanks to each ESC director for making the right decision. Since there is no need for the ESCs to sell the CSCOPE scope and sequence, as of August, the entire CSCOPE website can be taken off line and the ESC directors and staff can return to actually providing a service to schools in their district.
Since my original intent for viewing the CSCOPE lessons was to help elementary kids with science, I volunteered my tutoring services. I am now volunteering my services to help elementary teachers with science. First order of business is to request science text books. If they are outdated–no problem. I am sure that the ESCs have not spent all of the $180+ million Rider 42 grant money and will be happy to use it to hire someone to post science information on the project share website. Without the CSCOPE micromanaging program, teachers can again be creative and actually align science lessons with the science process standards. I will be more than happy to provide complimentary materials to guide this process. My heart for the first time since I discovered the mind controlling CSCOPE program is light and happy. Thanks to everyone who has helped.

Texas It is Not Over

While the CSCOPE lessons have been offered up by the CSCOPE ESC directors, they want superintendents to continue to purchase supplies from companies that pay the ESCs a fee so that their products are purchased by Texas School Districts. Yes, companies are charged a yearly fee of $25,000 to $100,000 or maybe more for the honor of advertising that they are aligned with CSCOPE. I wonder how this is working out for them? But, on the sly, these companies could still sell to Texas schools with superintendents who continue to use the CSCOPE lessons. Teachers can help stop this by notifying CSCOPE Review that they are being pressured to copy the CSCOPE lessons. This can be done anonymously . Send the info to or snail mail it to:
Tx CSCOPE Review
PO Box 145
Riesel, Texas 76682
Don’t stop now.  We still have the superintendents and other administrators who shoved CSCOPE down the throats of our teachers. We still have the school board members who sold out to CSCOPE and never evaluated the lessons. We still have TASA and TASB who are stealing school taxes from our school districts and have rings in the noses of most of the Texas school administrators. These administrators have no concern for our children. They have in their own minds established themselves as kings and queens. But, they need to be dethroned and people who love our children enough to listen to the concerns of parents. We want administrators who do not think they know what is best for our children and want parents and the community to not be involved in education. Yes, there is still much work to be done.
The ESCs need to explain what they have been doing with the millions and millions of grant money they have received over the past few years. They certainly do not need to be given anymore.
How To Download CSCOPE Information

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Monday, May 20, 2013


We've got one last chance to pass transparency legislation in the Texas House.

From Americans for Prosperity -- Texas:
The goal of SB 14 is to empower Texas voters with easily accessible knowledge of their current local government debt levels while also limiting debt issued without taxpayer approval. SB 14 would also require that special-purpose taxing entities demonstrate that they are serving the purpose for which they were created.
From Texas Watchdog:
Senate bills 14 and 13 and their identical House counterparts establish, at the request of state Comptroller Susan Combs, new requirements for the posting of public debt, unfunded liabilities, borrowing and project costs on websites maintained by state and local agencies.

“People need to know what their government is doing, and how it spends their money,” Combs said in a statement she issued after a press conference announcing the filing of the bills. “We need to implement common-sense changes that put vital information about government spending and debt in front of the public.”

The state’s Bond Finance Office would post on a website a list of all outstanding local securities and schedules for their repayment. In turn, the issuers of local securities would submit reports of their activities to the state.

Under SB 14, the public would get more detailed information about the issuing of bonds, the rationale for their issuance and a tally of outstanding debt incurred by the bonds.

Local political bodies would be expected to file annual reports detailing all of their funds and their outstanding debt obligations. These reports would be posted on websites maintained by all cities, school districts and special taxing districts.
Susan CombsSusan Combs

Once every three years each special taxing district in the state would be expected to prepare a report defending its existence and hold a public hearing to discuss the assessment.

The bill would also require school districts to create or to include on their websites detailed information about school facilities, enrollment, estimates of projected costs for new school projects and the current annual financial report.

Contact you legislator here.

Why did Progress Texas Belittle American Deaths?!?

Progress Texas just shared the following cartoon on their Facebook page:

Because Pat Smith is just some crazy right winger, right guys?!?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Will Progress Texas Apologize for (at best) mischaracterizing the IRS Scandal?!?

The other day, we called out Progress Texas for claiming they received similar treatment from the IRS as Tea Party groups.  We linked to their IRS application and the application of the Waco Tea party along with highlights from other Tea Party-type applications.  In response, Progress Texas retreated into semantics.

We were going to drop the matter, but that was before Friday's bombshell U.S. House hearing.

Details that emerged in that hearing (and other news reports we've seen the past 24 hours) belie Progress Texas' claim that they received similar scrutiny:
At best, Progress Texas mischaracterized the scrutiny they received relative to Tea Party groups.

The honorable thing would be for Progress Texas to apologize and admit they were (at best) premature in claiming similar treatment; we'll see what happens.


Facebook: Progress Texas
Twitter: @ProgressTX 

Update: Seriously, Progress Texas, similar treatment?!?

Update II:
In response to reading this post on my Facebook page, Toby Marie Walker wrote: "The answer is "no" however you can pass along to them that I gave all their info to Oversight since they too were asked illegal questions."

Friday, May 17, 2013

OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT: Konni Burton for Texas Senate!!!

Cahnman's Musings wasn't planning to jump into Election 2014 before sine die.  Legislative outcomes during final week of the General session and the upcoming Special session(s) remain our top state level priority.  But it's Friday and this one's a no-brainer.

Konni Burton has worked behind the scenes the past few election cycles.  She helped lead the revolution that swept the Tarrant County GOP during 2012.  She also supported Ted Cruz in 2011, back when doing so was (to put it mildly!) controversial.

Konni Burton has been an advocate of school choice and an opponent of educrats for a long time.  In post CSCOPE Texas, with the school finance lawsuit expected to come to a head in 2014, an irreconcilable clash of visions is brewing.  Cahnman's Musings encourages Konni Burton to focus on the moral case FOR school choice while simultaneously mocking educrats and their financial enablers.

That being said, another aspect of Konni Burton's platform holds special appeal:
Work to reduce the state’s dependence on federal dollars.
 This is VERY important, and it highlights a concern that drives everything Cahnman's Musings does at the state level.  40% of Texas' Budget comes from Washington.  This is dangerous.  Washington is not a reliable business partner.  Cahnman's Musings is pleased to see Konni Burton make this issue a priority.

While the case FOR Konni Burton is strong enough on it's own, Cahnman's Musings must also comment about her opponent, incumbent State Senator Wendy Davis (D - Educrats).  In 2011, Wendy Davis held taxpayers hostage to flush more money down the rat-hole of public education.  In addition, the relationship between Wendy Davis' law practice and her votes in the Texas Senate are questionable at best.  Wendy Davis uses a self-righteous mask to cover crony corporatist double dealing.  It's just as easy to oppose Wendy Davis as it is to support Konni Burton.

An irreconcilable clash of visions over education is brewing in Texas.  In one corner are parents, children, and taxpayers who want options and a reasonable rate of return on their investment.  In the other are a group of self-serving bureaucrats protecting their boondoggle.  Konni Burton is the former; Wendy Davis is the latter.  For this reason, Cahnman's Musings unapologetically and unconditionally endorses Konni Burton for Texas Senate!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Veto SB 15: An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry

Dear Mr. Governor,

I am writing to request you veto the University bureaucrats protection act (aka. SB. 15), which passed the Texas Legislature on Wednesday.

University regents are currently hired by an elected Governor.  SB 15 would place this authority in the hands of University bureaucrats who are not accountable to the public.  While the current system is not perfect, keeping these decisions in the hand of a Governor who has to face voters every four years is the least bad alternative.

SB 15 would decrease accountability for a University of Texas system that is already failing to educate students.  The status quo is preferable to this outcome.  For that reason, Cahnman's Musings respectfully requests you veto SB 15.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX
May, 16 2013

Did Progress Texas fib about the IRS scandal?!?

Yesterday, Progress Texas claimed that they received identical treatment to Tea Party groups when they applied for tax-exempts status; Progress Texas made the following three claims:
  • While the IRS was screening Tea Party groups, the agency was headed by Doug Shulman - a George W. Bush appointee
  • Many Tea Party groups operate like political PACs or political parties - which is not allowed under law
  • It took us at Progress Texas 479 days to have our tax-exempt status approved, and we support the due diligence
Today, Robbie Cooper of Urban Grounds points out that Progress Texas received a standard set of IRS follow-up questions (*), not the detailed inquisitions sent to Tea Party Groups.

You can read the request sent to Progress Texas here.

You can read the request sent to Waco Tea Party here.

Bottom Line: Progress Texas was asked standard follow-up questions by the IRS (*) and had their application approved in a little over a year; Tea Party groups were given a proctology exam and many are still awaiting approval 3+ years later.

* which, in the opinion of Cahnman's Musings, are already waaay too intrusive.

Update: Fox 7 Austin has a great piece on the Waco Tea Party Case here:

Update II: Progress Texas has updated their original post to use the word 'similar' instead of 'the same;' without getting into semantics, a little over a year compared to 3+ years AND the two questionnaires speak for themselves.

Update III: An earlier version of this post contained a link to this account from the American Center for Law and Justice; with Progress Texas playing word games, we recommend you compare those questions with the Progress Texas request linked above and judge for yourself.


After yet another abdication of responsibility by the Texas House over CSCOPE yesterday, conservatives justifiably feel like Charlie Brown with the football; nevertheless, a major school choice bill is scheduled to see the floor today.

From Americans for Prosperity -- Texas:
In Texas today, we have 315,000 students in over 500 failing schools.  Kids’ futures ride on one five-digit code which they have no control over:  their zip code.

Public schools assign kids to schools based on their zip codes.  We believe these students should have choices.  Charter schools provide choices.  Charter schools are public schools and have around 150,000 students enrolled.

Unfortunately, there are over 100,000 students on charter school waiting lists in Texas.  More would likely sign up but know that they have little chance of getting into a charter school.


Here are the highlights of SB 2:
  • lifts the cap on charter schools
  • the parent trigger provides an opportunity for schools to convert to home rule charter schools
  • underutilized or unused schools would be available for charter schools; and
  • limited funding would be provided to charter schools for facilities.
 From the Texas Public Policy Foundation:
With more than 100,000 students currently waiting to attend public open-enrollment charter schools in Texas, the need to allow more of these schools to operate in Texas is obvious. By elevating the cap on open-enrollment charter schools from the current 215 to 305 in 2019, SB 2 creates opportunities for students to choose an education that best suits their needs, and empowers parents by making the Texas education system more competitive.
 You can contact your legislator here.

Open Letter from Conservatives to the #TXLEGE

To triage this ongoing disaster of a legislative session, fourteen conservative groups have released the following open letter to individual members of the Texas Legislature:
May 10, 2013
Honorable Members of the Texas Legislature: 
The Lone Star State has become a model of economic growth through careful adherence to
thoughtful fiscal discipline.However, there are some trying to push the state in the directionof more government, more spending, and more taxes.

We strongly urge the Legislature not to deviate from what has been a highly successful path.

Put simply: the Legislature should neither exceed the state's spending limit—by any amount—nor should dollars be removed from the state's Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) to pay for ongoing government expenses or new programs.
California stands as an example for us. In the 1980s, California's economy was thriving and tax receipts robust. Over the course of several decades, however, California lawmakers spent everything they had and ran up debt to boot. Today, the lusterless Golden State is no longer thought of as the nation’s economic powerhouse, and its finances are in notoriously poor shape.
Texas must avoid becoming like California.

Ensuring that Texas does not suffer this fate begins with prudent decision-making on the Economic Stabilization Fund. The ESF was established to address shortfalls in the budget arising from economic downturns. By allowing that fund to go untapped in recent years and maintaining a high level of liquidity, the state now enjoys the strongest possible bond rating— a tangible benefit to taxpayers.

Drawing out dollars for expenses that could (and should) otherwise be budgeted from General Revenues not only reduces liquidity and signals irresponsibility, but sets a dangerous precedent.

Similarly, in a time when revenues have increased more than 30 percent, lawmakers voting to exceed the state's spending limit put the Lone Star State on a collision course with future economic turbulence.
With the current administration in Washington doubling down on high taxes, increased debt, and downgraded credit ratings, it is more important than ever that Texas not downgrade itself.
Conservatives recognize that Texas has set a high standard and must continue to follow a
higher path. Legislators should reject calls to raid the ESF, and stand firm against “busting the
60 Plus Association
Americans for Prosperity—Texas
Americans for Tax Reform
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Grassroots America We the People
Institute for Policy Innovation
National Taxpayers Union
Texas Eagle Forum
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
Texas Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee
Texas Public Policy Action
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Young Conservatives of Texas
 Cahnman's Musings endorses this letter.