Friday, October 31, 2014

Proof the Texas Libertarian Party is retarded

"Understand, you senseless among the people; And you fools, when will you be wise?"
Psalm 94:8

San Antonio -- Did you know Joe Straus has a Libertarian opponent?!?

Neither did we.

The Libertarian 'party' loves to (justifiably) complain about the two party system, but never does anything to become a credible alternative.  While they run spoiler candidates in U.S. Senate races, they are woefully ignorant of the down ballot races that can serve as a foundation for future victories.  State rep races are a perfect example of said down ballot races.

HD-121 would have been a fantastic place to start.

It's not a secret that the Tea Party can't stand the Republican incumbent.  Almost 40% of Republican primary voters voted for the other guy.  Yet what has the Libertarian party done to reach out to disaffected Republicans in a district that is clearly full of them?!?

[Sidenote: Ditto Byron Cook's race.]

Obviously, it's too late to do anything about it this cycle, but a credible Libertarian challenge to Straus could have captured interest around the state.  It would have been a mutually beneficial outcome: the Tea Party would fet Straus out of the picture, the LP would have gotten their first state rep.  But why take tangible steps toward an achievable goal when you can yammer on about Kathie Glass?!?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kay Bailout: Latest UT Crony String Puller

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

Gee, wonder how she got to chair the alumni association?!?

Hutchison pulled strings for friends’ kids and grandkids at UT

Former U.S. senator Kay Bailey Hutchison sits on a committee tasked with finding the next president of the University of Texas, after Bill Powers submitted his resignation in July amid a scandal over favoritism shown to lawmakers in the admissions process.

If the university is seeking a president less susceptible to political influence than Powers, Hutchison makes an unlikely figure to consult, as she has been an avid string-puller for years.

A public records request turned up a dozen letters Hutchison sent directly to Powers in recent years, asking that he admit the children and grandchildren of her friends.


Two of the applicants had already been rejected, and Hutchison sought to have the decision reversed. All but one of the letters were written on U.S. Senate letterhead.


Hutchison remains influential in other ways, of course. She is president of UT’s alumni association, Texas Exes, which has waged a vigorous campaign in defense of Powers. As president of Texas Exes, she was one of eight people named to the search committee automatically, under the regents’ rules. There are seven others who were chosen by the board.

The dozen letters from Hutchison puts her in first place among others known to have interceded with Powers. Runners up include state House Speaker Joe Straus and two of his lieutenants, Reps. Dan Branch and Jim Pitts, each of whom has sent at least seven letters.


Or, as Hutchison added in a personal note to one of her “Dear Bill” letters, “I don’t know her personally, but she comes highly recommended by my friends.”

[Emphasis added]
 Bush cronies unite!!!  Read the whole thing here.  Read Hutchinson's letters here.

Texas "Ethics" Commission invents donor intimidation rules

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:8

Nothing like quietly acting while folks are concentrating on early voting to bolster public confidence in your case:
Earlier today the Texas Ethics Commission gave itself broad new powers to dig into the finances of organizations critical of elected officials and to unconstitutionally expose donors to intimidation and harassment. And they are doing so in direct violation of Supreme Court rulings.

Despite a gubernatorial veto last year, the opposition of two-thirds of the state senate and the majority of the House Republican caucus, the Texas Ethics Commission has moved forward with unconstitutional rules that they were specifically warned against implementing by six incoming state senators.

At today’s hearing, commissioners were warned by David Keating, a constitutional law expert who heads the Center for Competitive Politics, that this action defies current Supreme Court precedent.


Relying on their redefinition of the word “a,” the TEC is putting itself and the state on a collision course with costly lawsuits. That the TEC is now claiming this power was theirs all along should be enough to raise eyebrows. Legislation was introduced last legislative session to do what commissioners now say they had the power to do all along.

Put simply, the right of every Texan to support causes they believe in is under attack. Their privacy is being invaded, exposing them to harassment. The TEC is giving itself the power to silence voices of dissent through threat of legal intimidation at the hands of a state agency where citizens must prove themselves innocent.
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Becoming Belle Knox (Part 3): From Student to Porn Star (WARNING: GRAPHIC)

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19

[Author's Note: View Part 1 here; Part 2 here.]

Episode 3 of Miriam Weeks' saga.  In this installment, we learn more more about her background, coupled with her unconvincing 'no regrets' storyline.  Before watching this video, understand that this is BY FAR the most graphic one in the series so far.

  • "I have no idea who I'm going to be working with yet, I don't even know if it's a girl or guy."
  • "When I was in 8th grade, I cut myself; I had a hand mirror and I punched it and took one of the shards and wrote 'FAT' in my thigh."
  • "I'm a Porn Star, ex-Cutter, rape victim; that's a lot of baggage for one person to carry."
  • "Now that I've done Porn, it's so much easier to detach emotions from sex...which I think is a good skill to have in life."
    • Author's Note: NO, it's NOT.
  • Spiritual but not religious.

Travis County Voter Turnout: Meh....

"He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans."
Job 5:12

Today's Statesman details the failure of Battleground Texas:
Despite talk of it being a historic election, Austinites are, so far, showing about the same interest in this year’s round of politics as they usually do. Early voting for the November election ends Friday. Twelve percent of Travis County voters had cast ballots by the end of Monday, almost exactly the same turnout as at this point in 2010, and within the range typically seen for a ballot headlined by a governor’s race, according to county election officials.

The lower-than-expected turnout is happening in this deep-blue city despite a Democratic gubernatorial challenger who has energized the party base and an overhaul of the city government intended to engage a greater swath of Austin — not to mention nearly $1.4 billion worth of bonds to build an urban rail line and expand Austin Community College’s offerings.

Yet at this pace, only a modest 40 percent of voters will cast a ballot by the time the polls close on Election Day, according to election officials.

“It’s remarkable how closely (this year) has been tracking” with other gubernatorial elections, said Bruce Elfant, who oversees voter registration as Travis County’s tax assessor-collector. “I didn’t expect that. I thought turnout would be higher.”

Despite a first-day surge in statewide early voting across the state, reports have turnout flagging and now at about 10 percent, where it was at this point four years ago. (The early vote totals, in Travis County and statewide, don’t include absentee ballots.)

Early voting is an important benchmark because, if recent history is any guide, more than half the votes in Travis County will be cast by the time early voting ends. Elfant and other politicos had expected more people at the ballot box because Travis County signed up 4,000 deputy voter registrars and registered 65,000 new voters this election cycle, both unusually high for an election year not headlined by a presidential contest.
It gets better:
But the city moved its election this year to November. This was partly to expand the pool of people participating in city elections. That change was combined with a new, district-based election system that is supposed to empower whole areas of town where residents have felt disenfranchised.

Supporters of the switch argued it could draw new voters to the governor’s race, even people with virtually no record of civic engagement.

This has apparently not happened. As City Council candidates have campaigned, though, some have encountered voters who weren’t aware of the change. Some knocked the city for not conducting a more aggressive informational campaign, possibly with TV and radio advertisements.
Heh, heh; our voters know!

Read the whole thing here.

Pro-Rail PAC attributes magical powers to Austin Tea Party

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

With hundreds of thousands of dollars at its disposal, Let's Go Austin's number one target to denounce seems to be, the Austin Tea Party. Let's Go Austin has run expensive newspaper ads, distributed massive amounts of mailers and even circulated a high dollar video telling Austinites, the Austin Tea Party is 1.) misleading them and 2.) is behind the campaign against Prop. 1. They even hired U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett to smear the Austin Tea Party, telling Austinites we were misleading them on the issue of light rail.

This multithousand dollar PAC is spreading lies and deception and using the Austin Tea Party as their fall guy. They claim we are misleading the public on the light rail issue. Not true. But we have referred Austinites to to get the facts. By the way, Citizens Against Rail Taxes uses the same numbers as Let's Go Austin, just without the deception. Secondly, they claim that we are "behind" the campaign against Prop. 1. Not true. The Austin Tea Party is not involved with the planning and financing of the campaign against Prop. 1. We have spent ZERO dollars supporting the campaign and we have in no way been involved in planning or strategizing [sic] for the campaign.

So why is this almost half a million dollar PAC taking aim at the Austin Tea Party? Pure and simple, it's an act of desperation. They can't even justify their own facts so they have to deceive the public and demonize anyone who seeks the truth. Just think, with the half a million dollars Let's Go Austin is spending on deception (SEE VIDEO), we could have started to implemented "smart signal lights". Now there's a smart investment and common sense solution to traffic congestion.
Read the whole thing here.

Former rival endorses Laura Pressley!!!

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2


  • Austin was affordable 26 years ago; it isn't now.
  • A single mother should be able to afford to live here.
  • Laura has "the drive, that spirit, to represent this district in the right, correct way it needs to be."
  • District 4 has been "left behind" in infrastructure for 20 years.
  • District 4 vulnerable to gentrification.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ted Cruz Roasts Phil Gramm

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."
Acts 2:42

Earlier this month, the Travis County Republican Party held their annual Reagan Day dinner.  Former Senator Phil Gramm won this year's Reagan courage award.  He was introduced by last year's winner, Senator Ted Cruz:

  • "You know, it's amazing how many people in Washington are terrified of what the New York Times says."
  • What the media said about Phil Gramm at the time:
    • "So abrasive even his friends don't like him."
    • "He has an untempered negative attitude towards government."
    • "Compared to Gramm, Dick Nixon seemed warm and cuddly."
  •  "If you are afraid of what the media will say about you, you can't and won't do anything of substance in this world."

Rosemary Lehmberg's priorities beget murder in Indiana

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg on Monday defended how her office handled a sexual assault case against a man who is now a suspect in a multiple homicide investigation in Indiana, saying that the plea deal a prosecutor recommended seemed “reasonable” given what was known about him at the time.

Darren Vann, 43, who authorities say confessed this month to killing seven women in Indiana, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2009 for raping a woman in Austin two years earlier.


He left the Texas prison system in July 2013 and went to Indiana, officials have said.

It was there that authorities discovered the bodies of seven women. Austin police have started reviewing missing-persons and cold cases for any ties to Vann.


Vann’s criminal history at the time didn’t reflect other sexual assaults or any convictions, she said.

However, Indiana court records from 2004 describe him grabbing a woman in a chokehold, dousing her with gasoline and threatening to set her on fire.

In that case, Vann served a year in prison
 Because who cares about the murders and rapists when you can pursue bogus political "investigations" against Republicans?!?

Libby Willis: Worshipping at the Obama "altar"

"Therefore they came back and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel"
2 Kings 9:31

But at least she has the support of the pro-Abortion, pro-Obamacare Texas Medical Association!!!

Help Konni keep the ad on the air here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Colt McCoy's first touchdown in three years

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,"
Colossians 3:23

We could watch this all night:

Mack Brown weighed in:


Bill Powers' Legacy: "Beyonce Feminism, Rhianna Womanism."

"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
2 Timothy 3:2

We first noticed this story a couple days ago, but we didn't put two and two together about where it was happening until we saw the article in today's Daily Texan:
In one of the best surprises since Beyoncé’s album dropped, UT students next semester can take “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism,” a class focusing on the queen herself in addition to Rihanna, pop culture’s favorite bad girl.

“Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” is cross-listed as an African and African diaspora studies and a women’s and gender studies course, with the expectation that students are able to conduct scholarly analyses on these pop-culture figures.

But on a campus like UT, there are still many opportunities to engage with these topics for students who are unable to enroll in the course. UT has been offering discussions about Beyoncé’s brand of feminism since before Beyoncé herself.

“An issue that we have with courses like this is that people don’t think they’re very rigorous and don’t regard pop culture as critical,” said Nia Crosley, undergraduate adviser for the African and African diaspora studies department. “Part of black studies in general is justifying that this is a legitimate field of study.”

Crosley said professors and advisers for both departments make it a priority to fuel discussions regarding feminism, black feminism and black queer theory so students are pushed to think about the topics in their daily lives.

“I think one of the special things about the [African and African diaspora studies] department is that we have so many faculty that are clued in to this vibrant community of activist scholars who are interested in this very critical field of study — which is race, gender and sexuality theory, which includes feminist theory, black feminist theory [and] queer theory,” Crosley said.

Other courses that contain similar content, according to Crosley, are “Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies,” “Black Queer Literature and Film” and “Black Women, Struggle and the Transnational State.” For a more informal setting, Crosley recommends the Malcolm X Lounge, Gender and Sexuality Center and even Tumblr as platforms for students to educate themselves at their own pace.
Tuition is up well over 20% since Powers took over.  This is what students are getting for it.  No wonder UT students aren't learning history.

Read the whole thing here.

Straus recycles John Carona staffers

"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly."
Proverbs 26:11

This is two months old, but telling:
Erika Akpan will be Senior Business and Regulatory Affairs Advisor to the Speaker. She is a longtime aide to Sen. John Carona, serving most recently as his Legislative Director. She also worked as a Policy Analyst for the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, where she specialized in energy and telecommunications issues, and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, where she specialized in public safety and homeland security. She is a graduate of Texas State University and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

“Erika is a great fit to work on issues that are directly related to job creation and the success of the private sector,” Speaker Straus said. “Her knowledge and expertise will benefit the entire House at a very important time."
Remember, John Carona is one of the biggest gas tax hike proponents in Texas.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why you should vote for Laura Pressley

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

The Statesman gave City Council candidates on minute to make a closing argument; here's Laura Pressley from District 4:

  • Lived in Austin 26 years.
  • Affordability plans:
    • Reduce utility rates by eliminating fees not based on useage.
    • 20% homestead exemption.
  • Pay for Homestead exemption by cutting corporate subsidies.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Project Connect 'earns' dubious Government Waste 'award'

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

A friend in Senator Cruz's Austin office passed this along.

Every year, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn puts out a 'waste book' that details the most egrigious examples of government waste at the Federal level; guess who made the cut this year?!?

[Author's note: The piece on Project Connect is on page 61 of the report linked above.]

From the article:
WASTEBOOK 2014 61 An extensive, and expensive, rail project for the City of Austin, Texas, is getting some fiscal assistance from Washington. Project Connect, the program management group spearheading transit for the Central Corridor Advisory Group in central Texas, has spent $157,000 on an ad campaign to prop up public support to approve floating a billion dollar bond to help pay for the rail line.

The catch? Approximately 80% of the ad campaign is being financed with federal grant money, essentially using taxpayer money to encourage taxpayers to pay more taxes. Critics have voiced concerns over the media campaign’s funding sources and questioned want to know how it can be considered appropriate when “Taxpayers are paying money to the federal government, which is then turning around and lobbying Austinites to support more taxpayer spending.” The advertisements ended just before being subjected to provisions on election laws regarding ballot measures.

In addition to questions about how public funds have been used to shape public opinion, Project Connect changed the line route, invalidating public comments collected regarding the original plan. The change in route and need for a new round of public comments is required for Project Connect to seek additional funds from the Federal Transit Administration to finance the rail line.

Project Connect also spent time and money canvassing Austin with flyers that local groups claim provide misleading propaganda regarding the actual route and benefits of the line. Instead, they claim, the fliers are intended to gauge locals knowledge of Project Connect and encourage people to attend their open houses.

The potential bond could put Austinites on the hook for over $500 million.
 Congratulations Project Connect!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Becoming Belle Knox (Part 2): #PornstarProblems

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19

The saga of Miriam Weeks continues; once again, though she claims to be a-ok about what's going on in her life, the truth about the life of performers in the industry is impossible to ignore:

  • People online encouraging her to commit suicide.
  • The night she admitted to a male friend that she was doing porn, "he got super wasted and tried to make out with me."
    • "Within days the entire campus had found out."
    • "I remember thinking to myself: My life is over, I can never go to Duke again."
  • Mother bought her "panties, for when I strip."
  • "I like the assertive, passionate, person I'm becoming because of porn."
    • "Sexually in control, empowered, porn star."
    • Author's Note: She says that at 18, we'll she if she's singing the same tune at 25 or 30.
  • "Every two weeks, you have to get tested for the full panel of STD's."
    • Author's Note: Seriously, think about that one.

Glenn Beck, Peter Thiel, and Disruptive Innovation

"No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins."
Mark 2:21-22

Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, early player in several other well known technology companies, and author of the new book: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or how to build a future sat down with Glenn Beck the other day to discuss several topics:

  • Out of the box thinking in a world plagued by conformity.
  • If there's another terrorist attack on the U.S., our civil liberties will go out the window.
  • The government is much more abusive than Google.
    • "Google doesn't have guns."
  • "It feels like the system is on Autopilot."
  • Tech, as an industry, has been lightly regulated.
  • The culture of D.C. and Silicon Valley are radically different.
  • Most members of Congress "are in the middle ages" re: Science and Technology.

  • Silicon Valley -- Generally "politically quite naive."
    •  Instincts libertarian, but become liberal because it's cool.
  • As soon as the establishment says "don't read that," it's cool again.
  • The Hippies took over the country at Woodstock; 3 weeks after moon landing.
  • Believing a better world is possible is radically countercultural these days.

  • Reforming systems from within hasn't worked.
    • Create empowering pathways
  • Most people are scared and when you're scared, you retrench.
  • If you're a slacker with low expectations, you will meet them.
  • We're going to get to Mars in 20 years.
  • Computers haven't been regulated while everything else has been.
  • Eventually, the old crony system falls apart
    • But when?!?
  • "What FDR did in the New Deal, I don't think you could do that today."

  • "You want to do one thing where, if you didn't do it, it wouldn't get done."
  • Apple had "an incredible run of innovation under Jobs."
  • "It's hard to maintain innovation once you get past a certain size."
  • Innovation frequently dies with the Founding generation.
  • Monopolies are bad when they're protected by government, in technology they go away over time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TPPF Poverty/Prosperity Summit: Poverty and it's Causes (Luncheon Keynote)

"Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:9

 Stephen F. Austin Hotel -- TPPF's summit on Prosperity and Poverty continues; Father Robert Siricio is the Luncheon Keynote speaker:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

  • Prosperity is the most important tool to alleviate poverty.
    • Charity good, prosperity more important.
    • The mundane, work-a-day, world of work.
  • Giving stuff away hurts local entrepreneurs
    • At a minimum, means test.
  • We have to respect the dignity of the poor and govt. welfare doesn't do that.
  • Move from aid to enterprise, poverty alleviation to wealth creation, dependency to productivity.
  • At some point, we're gonna hit a critical mass.

TPPF Poverty/Prosperity Summit: Poverty and it's Causes (Panel 2)

"Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:9

Stephen F. Austin Hotel -- TPPF's is Prosperity and Poverty summit continues; the second panel is on public policies than help move people from poverty to prosperity:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

  • Chuck Devore (TPPF):
    • Poverty rate is based on cost of food, which has come down over 50 years.
    • Factored for cost of living, California has the highest poverty rate in country.
      • Texas lowest among big states.
    •  Texas has more jobs and lowest poverty among big states
      • Go figure.
  •  Jeff Rowes (Institute for Justice):
    • 30% of Americans need permission from the government to work.
    • In the real world, special interests with time and money bend the rules to their advantage
      • eg. African hair braiders and Steel Tariffs
    • State of Louisiana shutting down monks making caskets.
    • Public action for private profit is illegitimate, and it's not judicial activism for courts to strike it down.
      • Appoint judges who understand this and change the culture of judges.
      • The reason courts allow this is to avoid the government embarrassment.
    • The free-market and economic liberty is the greatest anti-poverty program ever known.
  • Marvin Olasky:
    • The Sharing economy is template for connecting those with needs and those with means
      • Breaks down professional/amateur divide.
      • Charitable equivalent of Air B'N'B
  • 84th #TXLEGE:
    • School choice for all children
    • Eliminate Margins Tax
    • Economic Liberty legislation
    • Give people the economic means to free up time for volunteer activity.

TPPF Poverty/Prosperity Summit: Poverty and it's Causes (Panel 1)

"Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:9

Stephen F. Austin Hotel -- TPPF is hosting a summit on Prosperity and Poverty; the first panel is on poverty and its causes:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

  • Richard Alm; SMU:
    • The rich have capital, the poor don't.
    • Freedom Capital Stock -- Free Enterprise over Time
  • Sandy Schultz; Work/Faith Connections:
    • Poverty is poverty of relationships.
    • Spiritual poverty is the root cause.
    • Under the surface is a feeling of inferiority, shame, and voicelessness.
    • Start out by helping them return to work.
      • We give people incentives to spend long periods of time out of work, which ultimately makes employers suspicious.
    • Coaxing people into becoming productive citizens is a multi-year process.
  •  Alan Graham; Mobile Loaves:
    • #1 Cause of poverty is a "profound loss of family"
    • Smell of poverty = bouquet of Christ.
    • Policy without relationships = More poverty.
    • Modest Living Income - You can get people off the streets where they're earning sufficient income to covert the basics for $500/month.
    • It's legal to panhandle, but you can't sell drinks on street corners to earn income.
      • "Our guys already know how to fish, how do we get them a license to fish?!?"
  •  Bob Woodson:
    • The principles that apply in our market economy should apply in our social economy.
    • 4 types of poor folks.
      • Broke and down on luck
      • Disincentives
      • Genuine mental and physical disabilities.
      • Bad decisions
    •  The issue isn't private vs. public; it's competent vs. incompetent.
    • Don't 'design' remedies for people you don't know, build on what already exists in a community.
    • Make the poor agents of their own transformation instead of delivering them from themselves.
    • In our social economy, we honor credentials, in our market economy, we reward results.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Strange" Bedfellows: Robert Thomas and Austin ISD

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves..."
Matthew 7:15

Robert Thomas is running for Austin City Council on a platform of alleged fiscal conservatism.  Unfortunately, his record indicates an unsettling closeness with the government school bureaucracies, most notably Austin ISD.  He seems to have a soft spot for school district debt.

In 2013, while this website was working to defeat the Austin ISD bond, Robert Thomas made the following comment:
Robert Thomas is on the Community Bond Oversight Committee and is a board member for the Northwest Austin Civic Association. Speaking as a Northwest Austin resident and not a representative of either organization, he said he wants what is best for the community.

“I’m very supportive of the bonds, but I am unsure how I will vote on each individual proposition,” Thomas said.

He said many residents would like to see the district address overcrowding in Northwest Austin schools such as Murchison Middle School and Anderson High School. That might persuade them to vote for Proposition 2, which includes eliminating portable classrooms and building new infrastructure on existing campuses to aid with overcrowding.
 But it gets better, from his website:

Which begs the real question: How does an alleged 'fiscal conservative' get a seat on the bond 'oversight' committee and get endorsed by the outgoing President of the Board of Trustees?!?

Bottom Line: A City Council candidate who supported the largest bond initiative in Austin ISD history and enjoys the support of the local education establishment can call himself many things; a fiscal conservative ain't one of 'em.

Vote Bill Worsham!!!

Scott Turner speaks in Marsha Farney's district

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

Sun City, TX -- Yesterday, Scott Turner spoke twice in Northern Williamson County.  He laid out his agenda and heart for the future of Texas.  We attended the afternoon session:

Free Music - Play Audio - 10/20/2014 -- Scott Turner G...

  • When complacency sets in, it'll rob you.
    • We need Texas to be #1 in all areas.
  • "We have the opportunity in Texas to do monumental things; but right now, with 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats, it is a monumental struggle to get conservative, free-enterprise minded, legislation on the floor." 
  • 3 Factions in the Texas House: Conservative R's, Liberal R's, D's.
  • Pro-Life legislation should not take two special sessions to pass.
  • #NerdAlert: Move from strategies based budgeting to program based budgeting.
    • Less room for shenanigans.
  • "The speaker sets the chairmanships; the speaker sets the legislative agenda and priorities."
  • Under current leadership, good legislation is dying in committee "because of special interests."
  • "That celebrity thing, ask my wife, it's fleeting....we're servants!!!"
  • Some members are more concerned with the position they hold than being courageous.
  • Praying for us is most helpful.
  • "That vote on the floor is going to be very liberating because now, you see, there's no more smoke and mirrors, no more 'I would vote for him but...'."
  • Reps can no longer hide under the radar.
  • Q&A:
    • Gives a civics lesson on how speaker is elected: "We are going to have a vote on the floor."
    • "No more backroom deals, no more smoke and mirrors."
    • "Both sides want a vote on the floor for different reasons."
    • Supports ending in-state tuition for illegals.
    • There's a lot of inefficiencies in TxDOT but no accountability.
    • Regarding backroom deal-making: "As the sixth most conservative member of the Texas House, I was not a party to those discussions."
    • "We have a lot of members who are willing to call for a record vote."
    • "They can't put me on a bad committee, because whatever committee they put me on, I'm going to make it better."
Cahnman's Musings has contacted Rep. Farney's office to ask about her choice for speaker and will update this post if she responds.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Glenn Beck meets Steve Riggle

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Ephesians 6:11-12 (kjv)

We first met Steve Riggle this past June in Houston.  Last week, he was one of the Houston pastors subpeonaed.  This morning, Glenn Beck got to speak with this impressive man of God:

  • Gender 'expression' -- Based on who you 'think' you are.
    • Sexual predators could claim female 'gender expression'
  • "We are for equal rights, but the gay community already has all the rights the rest of us have."
  • They commissioned a poll that said 82% of Houstonians opposed the ordinance.
  • 55,000 signatures collected of which at least 31,000 were good.
    • City secretary stopped counting at 19,000
  • "The mayor and the city attorney have taken away the voting rights of the fourth largest city in the country."

Texas Medical Association Monopoly draws new threat

"For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
John 3:20

Not a good day for the pro-Abortion, pro-Obamacare Texas Medical Association:
Now that TMA has endorsed Democrat Libby Willis in the Senate District 10 race over her Republican opponent Konni Burton, the AA has said they want doctors to take a stand against TMA by asking that membership in TMA no longer be legally required for doctors to use a unique system for their liability insurance (Texas Medical Liability Trust). TMLT is a not-for-profit healthcare liability claim trust owned by its 17,000 physician policyholders. It is now the largest medical liability provider in the state. TMA membership is required.

“No physician should be required to join a group like the TMA that raises money for Leftist candidates,” the AAPS said in a statement and encouraged doctors to sign this petition.

Says AAPS, “This is no surprise to us, because behind the scenes the TMA has repeatedly opposed and even blocked conservative legislation in Austin, such as a common-sense bill to end confidential complaints against physicians.”


Conservatives seek to separate membership from access to TMLT potentially undermining physician legislative advocacy

A political standoff is brewing between two doctors’ groups that have the potential to cause serious implications for the way thousands of physicians in Texas cover their liability insurance needs. The already existing tension between the Texas Medical Association and the more conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has reached a boiling point over the last few weeks following TMA’s endorsement of a Democrat to succeed Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft Worth, in the Texas Senate.

The two groups have not seen eye-to-eye on a number of political races this year. The AAPS said the Willis endorsement by TMA “is not an isolated example.” The group pointed to a right-wing blogger who the Texas Medical Association is becoming a “liberal-only special interest.”

For some on the right to make that argument, of course, is not news. But the AAPS is harnessing that rhetoric to try to drum up support for a policy shift that could have significant implications for TMA’s membership. But that’s only if the smaller group can gain traction with no real lobby presence in Austin. AAPS does not publicize how many members it has but the Wikipedia page about them says they have 3,000 members nationwide. The TMA has about 47,000 members in Texas.

Now that TMA has endorsed Democrat Libby Willis in the Senate District 10 race over her Republican opponent Konni Burton, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has said they want doctors to take a stand against TMA by asking that membership in TMA no longer be legally required for doctors to use a unique system for their liability insurance. “No physician should be required to join a group like the TMA that raises money for Leftist candidates,” the AAPS said in a statement and encouraged doctors to sign this petition.

The Texas Medical Liability Trust, or TMLT, was created in 1979 during what was described as the state’s first medical liability crisis. It’s a unique, not-for-profit health care liability claim trust owned by its physician policyholders. It is now the largest medical liability provider in the state, protecting more than 17,000 Texas physicians.


“Abortion-supporting EMILY’s List endorsed both Wendy Davis and Libby Willis earlier this year, as did a “Who’s Who” of hard-Left groups,” the AAPS said. “This is no surprise to us, because behind the scenes the TMA has repeatedly opposed and even blocked conservative legislation in Austin, such as a common-sense bill to end confidential complaints against physicians.”
Read the whole thing here.

Austin City Council: Conservative/Libertarian Voter Guide

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

Author's Note: Readers can find their Austin City Council District here; readers can find TCRP's endorsement spreadsheet here.

With early voting set to commence in Austin's historic 10-1 election, the 78 candidates currently running can be intimidating.  Here at Cahnman's Musings, we've been studying these races for months.  We endorse the following candidates:

District 1 -- (Far Northeast Austin): Michael Cargill

Texas Firearms Celebrity Michael Cargill was the first federally licensed firearms dealer to accept BITCOIN in his store.  That, by itself, should tell you everything you need to know about him.  In a city where entrenched special interests are abusing the political process to preserve their status, Cargill's actions illustrate his commitment to genuine innovation.

Cargill has been a fixture in local politics for some time.  In 2012, he ran against an incumbent Travis County constable who had previously accepted money from drug cartels.  Unfortunately, a la Rosemary Lehmberg, the Democrat machine rallied around their incumbent.  In 2013, Cargill was a critical presence in the successful campaign against the Austin ISD bond.  He has a documented history of taking on petty tyrants.

Cargill is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility and reducing traffic.  He has signed the Citizens for Tax Relif NOW pledge.  He has also been endorsed by Texans for Accountable Government (TAG). Specifically, he has proposed widening 183 as a free road and relocating City of Austin offices from downtown to the outskirts of the city.   Cargill will also protect our second amendment rights from gun grabbing politicians at the local level.

Avoid: DeWayne Lofton -- Supports the rail bond.

District 2 -- (Southeast Austin): They All Suck.

District 3 -- (Central East Austin): Kent Philips

A former regional coordinator for Debra Medina, Kent Phillips is running to lower Austin's cost of living by eliminating wasteful spending and burdensome regulations.  Kent intends to audit the city budget, implement zero-based budgeting, and pass budgets at the effective tax rate.  Kent understands that the root cause of Austin's current affordability challenges is a City Council (and County and School District) that regulates too much, spends too much, and taxes too much.

Endorsed by TAG, Kent is a regular attendee at Liberty on the Rocks and other liberty themed events around Austin.

As a rapidly gentrifying part of town, affordability challenges are especially poignant in District 3.  We should know, this is our home district.  We intend to vote for Kent Philips and you should as well.

Avoid: Susana Almanza -- Supports $15 hr minimum wage; remember, this one's personal.

District 4 -- (North Central Austin): Laura Pressley

The best prepared and most knowledgeable candidate in this district, Laura Pressley is the clear choice in District 4.  A 26 year Austin resident, Laura was instrumental in passing 10-1.  She has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Laura ran against Mike Martinez in 2012.  She supports a 20% homestead exemption and reduction (Author's note: preferably elimination) of corporate subsidies.  She has spoken previously about cost saving measures at Austin Energy.

Laura has previously supported Ron Paul and has earned the endorsement of TAG.  She intends to curb the "we're rich" culture of spending at City Hall. Pressley is the candidate in district 4 most clearly committed to the fiscal pruning City Hall desperately needs.

Avoid: Gregorio Casar -- A Leftist Demagogue in the mold of Julian Castro and Hugo Chavez who has raised serious money.

District 5 (South Central Austin): Mike Rodriguez

Another longtime 10-1 advocate, Mike Rodriguez knows the City of Austin's budget in more detail than anyone this author has ever met.  He's been studying the City of Austin's culture of overspending for decades.  And it shows.

Mike wants lower cost of living by reducing burdensome regulations.  He specifically cites Project Connect, Code Next, and Imagine Austin.  He has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) and has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Mike says it best on his website: "Rather than always thinking of what more government can do, Mike will stay focused on the need to limit any added burden on our taxpayers and renters."

District 6 (Far Northwest Austin): Jay Wiley

Jay Wiley got in this race over a year ago.  He's raised more money than all the other candidates combined.  He's been endorsed by TFR and was the first candidate in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  While there are other fantastic candidates in this district, this isn't their time or race.  Don't try to get cute.  If conservative voters are smart, this can be an easy win.  Vote with your head, not your heart.

District 7 (North Austin): Ed English

In a race full of career bureaucrats, Ed English is the only candidate in District 7 to have worked in the real world.  A successful businessman, Ed led the fight to pass 10-1.  As a leader of Austinites for Geographic Representation, he donated "several thousand hours" over a "two year period".

Ed is running to eliminate wasteful spending and give hard working taxpayers "real relief."  He understand that excessive regulation, excessive spending, and excessive taxation are the root cause of Austin's affordability challenges.  He also opposed boondoggles like water treatment plant #4 and the biomass plant.

Finally, Ed is the only district 7 candidate who lives north of 183.  This is an important advantage, considering that two thirds of the district is north of 183.  He has also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

District 8 (Southwest Austin): Ellen Troxclair

Ellen Troxclair has been called "a spending hawk."  She's also been called "a suburban pit bull."  We have another title for the list: Ellen Troxclair is a femme fatale for bloated government.

Considering the demographics of the district and her issue positions relative to the other candidates, supporting Ellen is the easiest decision in the city.  District 8 is a 50/50 district, and Ellen is the only conservative candidate in the race.  In addition to working as a realtor, Ellen is a former chief of staff to State Rep Jason Isaac and has been endorsed by TFR and has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Traffic congestion is, easily and by far, the biggest problem in district 8.  Ellen has pledged to start with "with improving our road system....Money spent on transportation solutions should focus on getting the greatest number of people to the most in-demand locations. To help with the congestion, we must increase our road capacity, improve our bus service to the region, and allow for innovate transportation options such as Lyft and Uber."

District 9 (Central Austin): Erin McGann

Erin McGann is the only candidate running in district 9 who isn't an incumbent.  That should tell you everything you need to know.  She's been endorsed by TFR and has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Erin is the only candidate in district 9 to oppose the current rail boondoggle.  Erin supports cost effective traffic solutions like traffic-light synchronization and expanded bus service.  She also opposes corporate-welfare masquerading as "business incentives."

Regarding affordability and the central premise of her campaign, Erin writes: "Current City Council doesn’t seem to understand the correlation between increased taxes and affordability. When Council approves more spending, higher utilities or taxes, the level of affordability decreases, and yet Council continues to pay lip service to affordability while increasing spending.  We need prioritize the basic needs of Austin – fix our roads and sidewalks, encourage and improve middle-income apartments and condos, the increase the number of multi-bedroom units for families, keep utility rates low, fund our first responders and end corporate subsidies."

Avoid: Riley and Tovo are both AWFUL!!!

District 10 (West Austin): Bill Worsham

While there are several candidates with a Republican voting history in district 10, Bill is the most solidly conservative.  He's been endorsed by TFR and TAG and was the first candidate in district 10 to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  As a civil engineer, Bill's professional background leaves him uniquely suited to understand the technical details of Austin's transportation challenges.

On transportation, Bill supports expanding our road and highway network.  He supports ridesharing and cost effective solutions like traffic light synchronization.  He does not support the current rail proposal.

Bill understands how regulation and taxation indirectly inflates housing costs.  He is specifically committed to reducing red tape for restaurant owners.  He's the candidate best positioned to give the Austin City Council the radical course correction it needs next January.

Avoid: Robert Thomas -- Claims to be a fiscal conservative but brags about sitting on the Austin ISD bond committee on his campaign website.

Mayor (Citywide): Todd Phelps

With Adler virtually guaranteed to make the runoff, there's no reason not to swing for the fences in the first round of the mayoral race.  Unlike the "big three," Todd Phelps opposes the current urban rail boondoggle.  He was the first mayoral candidate to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Avoid: Mike Martinez -- The worst member of the current council.

Bond Initiatives -- Vote AGAINST all:
  • Prop. 1 City of Austin (Urban Rail)
  • Prop. 1 ACC
  • Prop. 2 ACC
  • Prop. 1 State of Texas ("Transportation")

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ted Cruz Stands With Pastors

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:13-16

At a press conference Thursday, Ted Cruz stood with the Pastors of Houston against the unprecedented attack on religious liberty coming from Mayor Annise Parker:

  • Today, we all stand united in defense of religious liberty.
  • We've seen, in recent years, an indefensible assault on religious liberty.
  • The IRS has no business asking any American the content of our prayers.
  • We've seen the religious liberty of men and women of our military under assault, as soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines are told if you share your faith with another soldier you risk discipline.
  • The city of Houston has no power, no legal authority, to silence the Church.
  • "Caeser has no jurisdiction over the pulpit!!!"
  • "When you subpoena one Pastor, you subpoena every pastor."
  • "Part of me is very, very glad...that the city of Houston is interested in reading sermons."
  • Encourage Houstonians to "lift up our city in prayer."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Square, Dallas

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalm 100:4

Downtown Dallas -- This morning, we were walking around Downtown Dallas when we discovered Thanks-giving square:
Thanks-Giving Square is a beautiful three-acre park, chapel and museum in the heart of downtown Dallas with a setting to inspire gratitude. The park is an oasis for our city’s growing residential life, as well as a daily spot to hear rushing water and a respite for professionals who work in the nearby high-rise office buildings. Our chapel has a unique spiral exterior designed by world-famous architect Philip Johnson and an interior spiral of 73 stained-glass panels created by French artist Gabriel Loire. The museum is a rare compilation of historical documentation around Thanksgiving, as it takes place all over the world, but especially in the United States, dating back to the Continental Congress.
The plaza begins with a prayer wall, and continues with displays of previous thanksgiving displays throughout American History:

In 1964, four Dallas businessmen started to fill a void in the city. They thought back to the great centers of the Ancient World with its squares, hubs of community, gathering places devoted to spirit and worship, and to all that takes humans beyond themselves.

They modified this ancient idea into one that fit our society, one with much greater tolerance and diversity: thanksgiving, the act of giving thanks to the Creator for the gift of life while recognizing the gift of consciousness and care for others. They wanted this city to be known not for its grandeur or its economic prowess, which can change so quickly, but for its heart, which is much more constant. What started as a simple park turned into a center of value, thought, and spirituality that has had an impact not only in this community but in the country and the world.

Those who worked on what is now known as Thanks-Giving Square, emphasizing “giving and living thanks,” helped make Dallas one of the few cities to witness the unification of races without violence. At the same time, they discovered thanksgiving was a ‘human universal’ found in all cultures and faiths throughout the planet. As they learned and gathered knowledge, the park they had first envisioned grew to encompass this uplifting concept. When they found an architect, the famous Philip Johnson, to build the space, they were able to tell him the chapel he initially proposed, a square, did not quite convey the idea. Their words inspired Johnson to construct the distinctive spiral Chapel of Thanksgiving this city holds so dear.

Before the Square was completed, Anne Armstrong, who later became the first female ambassador to the Court of St. James, was enlisted to present a book of all the Presidential Thanksgiving and Prayer Proclamations to President Gerald Ford. As a result, Thanks-Giving Square started being asked to provide a draft for the annual Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving. In a letter from the White House, President Ford called the rising physical Thanks-Giving Square “a great national shrine.”