Friday, October 20, 2017

On whose behalf, pray tell, did the Chamber submit "Austin's" Amazon bid?!?

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

Soo...this happened:

The natural follow up:

Umm, excuse us?!?

The Chamber of Commerce is submitting an a "Region" bid for the Amazon project, but the public isn't allowed to see any details?!?

To this point, we've been relatively agnostic on Amazon.  We feel similarly to the way we feel as a Yankee fan about signing Bryce Harper.  It might be a mutually beneficial partnership, but only up to a certain price tag.

Instead, we're given a top-secret "process" where the public isn't even permitted to know the price tag; if things don't change soon, this will rapidly become the hellest of no's.

Questions off the top of our head:
  • What political subdivisions are involved in this "region" bid?!?
    • eg. City of Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, Various other ISD's and Cities.
  • Are the provisions of this bid legally binding on the afore mentioned political subdivisions?!?
  • Is the State of Texas involved in this bid?!?
  • Will the public be allowed to see the terms of this bid before the relevant political subdivisions commit?!?
  • What happens to this "region" bid if some of the political subdivisions want to move forward while others don't?!?
  • Are any sort of wage/benefit mandates contained in this bid?!?
Like we said, that's off the top of our head; we're sure we could come up with another 50 to 100 questions if we thought about it for awhile.

This secretive process needs to stop.  Say what you will about some of the stranger proposals other cities have made, at least they're being open with their citizens and taxpayers.  But, apparently, Austin's "civic leaders" think they can write a proposal in secret and who cares what the public thinks.

Good luck with that.

[Note: We've already sent the relevant open records requests.]

Bottom Line: Six months ago, this website helped lead a coalition that defeated Warren Buffett; if things don't change, soon, we can do the same with Jeff Bezos.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cruz explains the connection between Robin Hood and Confiscatory Taxation

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15



  • "In his opening, Bernie invoked Robin Hood."
  • "Robin Hood was 'robbing' the tax collectors, who were collecting too much [sic] taxes from the working men and women, and taking it for the rich."
  • "In Bernie's analogy, it is the Democrats who are King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham."
  • "Robin Hood is saying: 'Tax collectors, stop hammering the people who are struggling, who are laboring in the fields, who are working; stop taking it to the castle, to give out to your buddies'."
  • "The Democrats love corporate welfare."
  • "When you have Washington giving out goodies, the big guys do great; it's the little people who hurt."
  • "Bernie didn't disagree with what I said...."
    • Note: Goes on to make point about big government fueling 'economic inequality.'

#TXLEGE: Tinderholt to monitor Straus' Loathsome little "Economic Competitiveness" dog and pony show....

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

Good for him:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Central Health, UT Med School, get the lawsuit they so RICHLY deserve....

"Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy."
Psalm 82:3

It's about time, via the Austin Bulldog:
Three Travis County taxpayers filed a lawsuit this morning against the Travis County Healthcare District, dba Central Heath, and its president and CEO Mike Geeslin, complaining that property tax funds are being used for purposes not authorized by the Texas Constitution and state statutes.

If successful the litigation’s biggest impact would be to force Central Health, through its nonprofit Community Care Collaborative, to stop giving $35 million a year to the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. That would make vastly more funds available to provide direct healthcare services available for indigent, uninsured, and underinsured residents of Travis County.

Under an Affiliation Agreement, that yearly allocation has already yielded $105 million for the medical school through FY 2017 and the $35 million annual payments are scheduled continue in perpetuity. Stopping that flow of money would undermine the financial foundation upon which the medical school was built. In June 2012 the UT Board of Regents committed $25 million a year to operate the medical school and $5 million a year for eight years to equip laboratories, but made those funds contingent upon the community providing $35 million a year. Otherwise there would be no medical school.

The lawsuit petition tackles that premise head on: “The issue in this case is not whether it would be cool or wonderful to have a medical school in Austin (or whether defendants consider other goals cool or wonderful). This suit is necessary because defendants are not complying with Texas law and are expending funds on items unrelated to its statutory authorization of providing health care to our poor and vulnerable residents.”
Read the whole thing here.

#TXLEGE: Lower profile issue illustrates Straus doesn't give rat's rear end about "economic competitiveness"....

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

As Straus pursues this loathsome little "economic competitiveness" stunt, it's worth reflecting on an issue from the special session that didn't get a lot of press at the time: PERMITTING REFORM.

Low housing costs are routinely cited as a major reason why both businesses and individuals move to Texas.  Unfortunately, as the number of people moving here this past decade has driven up demand, supply has failed to keep pace.  The natural result is higher prices.

There are a number of reasons why this is happening.  But one of the biggest is that the permitting process is a bottleneck that adds costs and delays construction projects.  Obviously, Austin is the worst offender, but they're not alone.

This summer, Governor Abbott partnered with Konni Burton on SB 13: "Relating to the issuance of a permit by a political subdivision."  The bill would have eliminated bureaucratic slow walking by making the permitting issuance mandatory after a certain period.  It also would have eliminated a number of the excuses political subdivisions use when denying permits.

You can see what happened:

Bottom Line: If you aren't serious about abusive municipal permitting, you aren't serious about housing costs.  If you aren't serious about housing costs, you aren't serious about "economic competitiveness."  Case closed Joe.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Construction Interests Bankrolling the Austin ISD Bond....

"Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people."
Proverbs 28:15

From Travis County Taxpayers Union:
Corporate Cronies, Special Interest Unions Contribute $81,500 to Sell AISD $Billion Tax Increase


Austin, TX -- The Travis County Taxpayer’s Union (TCTU) has analyzed and released their findings regarding the 30-day financial disclosures of the Austin ISD pro-bond campaign, and the results are alarming.

Among the biggest campaign contributors is a host of corporations, architects, contractors, lawyers, and service providers to AISD, further evidence as to who is the true beneficiary of the bond: not the students, nor the teachers, but the bureaucrats and crony capitalists who directly and monetarily benefit from the extravagant spending in the taxpayer-funded bond tax increase.  Some of the corporate donors:

ABC Home & Commercial Services - $10,000.00
Greater Austin Economic Development Corp. - $10,000.00
Education Austin PAC - $10,000.00
Heritage Title Company of Austin, Inc. - $5,000.00
Pfluger Associates, L.P. - $5,000.00
Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle, P.C - $5,000.00
American Constructors - $5,000.00
Bartlett Cocke General Contractors - $3,500.00
DLR Group - $3,500.00
O'Connell Robertson - $3,500.00
PBK, Inc. - $3,000.00
Encotech Engineering - $2,500.00
Ranger Excavating, L.P - $2,500.00
BLGY Architecture, Inc. - $2,500.00
Flintco, LLC - $2,500.00
Joeris General Contractors - $2,500.00
D'Amato Conversano, Inc. DBA DCI Engineers - $2,500.00
Husch Blackwell LLP - $2,500.00
JE Dunn Construction - $2,500.00
Ranger Excavating, L.P - $2,500.00
Square One Consultants - $2,000.00
Journeyman Construction, Inc. - $1,000.00
Studio 8 Architects, Inc. - $1,000.00
MWM Design Group, Inc. - $500.00

“Don’t be deceived, Austin ISD taxpayers - this is a corporate contractor’s bond,” says Don Zimmerman of TCTU. “The school district is shrinking, and no bond money is going towards our teachers. Our kids - and our educators - deserve better.”

“What this amounts to is that Austin ISD has severely mismanaged their maintenance budget - a whopping $54,000.00 per month, and is now being bankrolled by opportunistic contractors and construction companies to try and trick taxpayers into bellying up. Austin voters should not stand for this.”

Meanwhile, the district continues to claim the bond will not increase tax “rates” - a rhetorical device being used to deceive voters that borders on a lie, and perhaps even an ethics violation according to the rules set by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). The ballot language itself reads that, if the bond passes, Austin ISD will be authorized to increase taxes “without limit.”

Ballot Language:
The issuance of $1,050,984,000 school building bonds for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, improvement, modernization and equipment of school buildings in the district, including (i) technology systems and equipment, (ii) safety and security systems and equipment, (iii) improvements to address overcrowding and safety concerns, (iv) improvements for students with special needs, and (v) reinvention programs for twenty-first century learning;  the purchase of the necessary sites for school buildings;  and the purchase of new school buses, and the levy, pledge, assessment and collection of ad valorem taxes on all taxable property in the district, sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the costs of credit agreements executed in connection with the bonds.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fox News suddenly interested in chaos at Texas' public universities....

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

Briscoe Cain on Fox Business this morning:

During the appearance, Briscoe discusses last week's incident at Texas Southern.  Readers are welcome to watch it themselves.  But we're primarily interested in the fact this happened in the first place.

As we explained in June:
But, for as awful as this fall portends to be, it also makes us weirdly optimistic over the longer term. The reason why is that, as these events unfold, we suspect Fox News will cover them. And we all understand the degree to which a certain Governor cares what Fox News thinks.
And, all of a sudden, here's Fox News covering shenanigans on a public university campus in Texas.  The only thing about which we were wrong is that the incident that produced Fox News' interest didn't occur at UT-Austin.  Instead, it was the failure of UT-Austin to address the incidents on their own campus three weeks ago that allowed this to occur at Texas Southern.

And, eventually, Fox News is going to figure out that (at least in Texas) public universities fall within the jurisdiction of the Governor's office.  And we suspect you'll get whiplash at how quickly Greg Abbott acts once that happens. Whiplash.

Bottom Line:  This morning's appearance was a necessary step in the process.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

#TROXROX: Austin Chronicle throws tantrum after Troxclair qualifies for "Best of Austin"

"rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;"
Romans 12:12

[Note: For all Austin-resident readers who click forward and vote in the Chronicle Awards, we request that in addition to voting for Troxclair for "Best City Official,"  you also vote for Caleb Pritchard for "Best non-Chronicle journalist" and Austin Monitor for "Best non-Chronicle publication."]

Dat's gotta sting.

Check out who made the finals of the Austin Chronicle's annual "Best of Austin" awards:

Readers are encouraged to vote for Troxclair (and Caleb and the Austin Monitor) here. [Note: Austin residents only]

On that news, we're not surprised by the Chronicle's petulant and snotty write up of Troxclair's TPPF speech last week:
Though personal responsibility and resiliency are hallmarks of TPPF's brand, and Troxclair herself said several times that she wanted to be positive, it appeared the council member couldn't help herself: With its taxes, bag bans, composting, and burdensome water restrictions, Austin has quickly become even more of a liberal hellscape than it had been in years past. "Until last year you weren't even allowed to wash your own car in your own driveway," she lamented. "I mean, what is more American than spending a Saturday afternoon washing your own car in your own driveway?"
But it gets worse. Council meetings are too frequent and too long, she said. The makeup of Council doesn't match the overall political views of the city at-large, which she described as roughly 30% Republican (in accordance with 2016 voting totals). Since the last election, when Troxclair lost the comradery of Don Zimmer­man and Sheri Gallo, she can no longer get an easy second on her motions. Zimmerman, in the audience for Troxclair's speech, had spent the hour before her keynote regaling the foundation's crowd with tales of his bureaucrat-busting days.
Now that Zimmerman and Gallo are gone, Council is an even less friendly place for Trox­clair. "A lot of times I feel like I'm going to Council to bang my head against a wall," she admitted. "I get a lot of headaches." But the CM didn't hint at any newfound strategy moving forward. And she defended her decision to testify at the Capitol earlier this year against several of the city's positions, telling an appreciative crowd, "I'm sorry, I did not remember giving up my right to free speech when I ran for office."
And yes, we are aware of the irony that we're doing more to promote Ellen's candidacy this year than we did to promote our own when we were nominated last year.

Read the full chronicle piece on the speech here, read our write-up of the speech here, VOTE FOR ELLEN (and Caleb and the Monitor) here.

Bottom Line: Austin Chronicle...u mad bro?!?

Friday, October 13, 2017

#TXLEGE: Some suggestions for Straus' loathsome little "economic competitiveness" dog and pony show....

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

Speaking of Straus' "economic competitiveness" stunt, some additional thoughts:
  • State spending limits.
  • Local Spending limits.
  • Ending taxpayer subsidies for partisan political activity via union dues.
  • Permitting reform.
  • Eliminating anti-property rights municipal ordinances related to tree removal.
  • Eliminating municipal ordinances prohibiting short term rentals.
  • Parental education choice.
We could go on, but we think you get the picture.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

#TXLEGE: Guy who killed property tax reform to study "Economic Competitiveness"....

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8

This is rich:
In the wake of the "bathroom bill" fight that generated strong business backlash, House Speaker Joe Straus is putting together a committee to make sure Texas can continue to chase new companies.

On Thursday, the San Antonio Republican unveiled the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness, saying it will look at the factors that draw businesses to Texas, including education and infrastructure. He said he wanted the panel to "work quickly and aggressively," giving it a Dec. 12 deadline to report its findings.

"It’s time that we re-assert that Texas is fully committed to private-sector growth," Straus said in a speech to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, where he announced the committee. "There should be no ambiguity that the Texas House will focus on the big and consequential instead of the petty and the polarizing."
LOL, this is literally the guy who killed property tax reform.  Texas has the highest property tax burden of any no-income tax state and the second highest local government debt in the country.  That'd be a pretty good place to start.

And we can already tell you what the committee will report back: More Spending!!!  Spend more on education, spend more on health care, spend, spend, spend!!!  It also appears they've adopted tiresome virtue-signaling cliches.

Bottom Line: Maybe he really is about to switch parties.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Left wing Thuggery spreading to ANOTHER Public University in Texas (Abbott still doing nothing)....

"He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Proverbs 28:13

By now, we're sure you've heard about Briscoe Cain's speech at Texas Southern being shouted down by protesters:

We've seen plenty of ink spilled over the "meaning" of all this, but allow us to discuss a more practical aspect: this nonsense has now spread out from the University of Texas to infect other public universities...and the Boards of Regents (that have been appointed by Governor Abbott) continue to do NOTHING.

Remember, two weeks ago, when the communist vandals at the University of Texas went after a widely respected 40 year old right of center political organization?!?  As we discussed at the time, the chain of command goes "University President" -> "Board of Regents" -> "Governor."  Unfortunately, none of the above did anything about the UT incident, so we shouldn't be surprised that it's moved to Texas Southern.

[Note: While we're on the subject, we also predicted Abbott's strange appeasement of the higher ed status quo would lead to this back in June and in January, although even we thought it would be contained to UT-Austin.]

[Note II: Dishonorable mention should also go to Joe Straus for killing the campus free speech bill; but even if that bill had passed, this would have been on the Board of Regents, which means it's on Abbott.]

Bottom Line: In Texas' public universities, the Office of the Governor controls the respective Boards of Regents.  Greg Abbott could shut down this nonsense in five minutes if he were so inclined.  Apparently, he's not....

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Astonishingly inept Austin ISD bond draws remarkably diverse opposition coalition

"You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning."
Leviticus 19:13

[Note: There was a lot of ambient noise in the background and the sound wasn't amplified on site, so the audio quality on the videos we shot turned out terribly.  Unfortunately, because we were filming, we didn't take notes during the press conference.  We've included the videos below, but hope readers will cut us some slack over the fact that we're writing up today's events from memory without the aid of notes or good video.]

It takes a special act of chutzpah to push a tax hike so big that you piss off every Republican in town, while structuring said tax increase so that the burden falls disproportionately on the Black and Hispanic communities in East Austin to subsidize affluent white people on the west side of town, which pisses off half the Democrats; with this current bond, somehow Austin ISD somehow accomplishes that feat.

This afternoon, a broad trans-partisan coalition of grassroots Austinites held a press conference in East Austin to highlight a number of flaws with the current Austin ISD bond proposal.  Objections ranged from the sheer size of the package, to the deceptive marketing of a tax increase that could easily surpass $600/year for median Austinites, to the fact that the district is holding East Austin schools hostage to the bond while structuring the bond so most of it's 'benefits' are seen elsewhere.

Obviously, this website has been opposed to the bond ever since we learned of it's magnitude (combined with the fact that they've never completed the process of selling off other real estate holdings they assured us they would complete before attempting another bond).  It's just a gigantic ask when their recent record of financial stewardship doesn't inspire confidence.  What have they done with the maintenance budget they already have?!?

Taxpayer advocate John Goldstone explained how the district is using deceptive language to minimize the tax impact.  The district is claiming the bond won't change the tax rate.  But you don't pay a tax rate, you pay a tax bill.  And more debt service means higher taxes.  In this case, Goldstone estimates the tax hike at over $600 per year (we will deflect all questions over how he came up with that number to Goldstone himself).

A number of other community advocates, including former #atxcouncil candidate Pete Salazar (ran against Greg Casar in 2014), LULAC head Gavino Fernandez, and Grey Panthers head Richard Franklin, discussed how the bond places a disproportionately large tax burden on the black and Hispanic communities on the East side to disproportionately benefit affluent white folks in the West side.  To be honest, we hadn't thought about that aspect prior to hearing it today.  But it's completely true.

And that's what's interesting: We've been fighting poorly conceived bonds for several years in Austin.  And it seems like there's more opposition on "the left" this time than we've seen previously (or that they're at least more engaged).  And the district has no one to blame but itself and its own arrogance.

Bottom Line: Early voting begins in two weeks; Election day is November 7.


Monday, October 9, 2017

#TXLEGE: Burkett secures endorsement from anti-Innovation, anti-startup, anti-taxpayer protection racket....

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:33

LOL, of course:
AUSTIN -- A key business group in Texas politics is throwing its weight behind State Rep. Cindy Burkett in her bid to defeat State Sen. Bob Hall, a Tea Party activist elected three years ago to represent a district that stretches from Dallas to the Red River.

The Texas Association of Business PAC announced Thursday that they would back Burkett, a Republican from Sunnyvale, in the District 2 Senate race in 2018.

The race is one of a growing list of simmering GOP primaries that could put some of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's top allies in the Senate on the defensive.

Burkett, a commercial real estate agent, has been in the Texas House since 2010 and was once an aide to former State Sen. Bob Deuell, a Republican Hall defeated in 2014 to win District 2 in the Texas Senate.
Learn about all the various misdeeds of the Texas Association of Business here.

Bottom Line: If Cindy Burkett wants to run for the Texas Senate based on how much left-wing crony capitalists love her she is welcome to do so, although...has she seen what's just happened to the NFL for doing the same thing?!?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Longhorn results (finally) beginning to match potential!!!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

We'll get to the kicking game, but otherwise we were very content with what we saw in last night's double overtime victory over an always difficult Kansas State team.

While neither was perfect, both the offense and the defense turned in solid performances against a challenging opponent.  The defense gave up a few big plays, but also stepped up and made several other plays when they had to.  On offense, Sam Ehlinger and a multi-faceted running game continue to impress.

But, unfortunately, there's the kicking game.  Junior Kicker Joshua Rowland missed two fourth quarter field goals.  Had Rowland hit either, overtime would have been avoided.  While the rest of the team stepped up during overtime, this was an unnecessary risk to an otherwise encouraging performance.

And it's not like this is a new issue.  Rowland is now 4 for 9 kicking field goals this season.  And this follows on the debacles we've seen recently with Trent Domingue and Nick Rose.  This has been a problem for several seasons and we have no idea why it hasn't been addressed.

That being said, it's also worth noting that the mistakes never spiraled out of control.  When they were made, they were acknowledged and contained.  That, right there, is the difference between Tom Herman and Charlie Strong.

Finally, we don't have time to go into detail, but props to the following: Chris Warren, Kyle Porter, Toneil Carter, Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Jerrod Heard, Malik Jefferson, Breckyn Hegar, while punter Michael Dickson remain a freak of nature!!!

Bottom Line: If they can get the kicking issues resolved, this team can be dangerous!!!



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Kevin Brady gets the challenger he Deserves....

"So Saul eyed David from that day forward."
1 Samuel 18:9

From the inbox:
The Woodlands, TX - National conservative policy expert and media commentator Autry Pruitt today launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for Congress in Texas’s 8th Congressional District saying he shares the frustration of Texas voters who are disappointed with the Republican Congress.

“Watching Congress makes me sick to my stomach,” said Pruitt, an author, broadcaster and Donald Trump campaign surrogate. “For years the smartest Republicans in the room (a.k.a. Republican Congressional leadership) told us that if we gave them the House and the Senate, they would repeal Obamacare, give us real tax-reform, and take control of our massive debt. We delivered, they did not. Much like the people of the 8th Congressional District, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and other good Texans, my family and I share the frustration of voters and we grow more frustrated everyday at their lack of resolve.”

“Many people worked incredibly hard to give the Republicans a majority. But, Obamacare is still law of the land, the government still steals your money, and America is in crisis debt territory,” said Pruitt. “The inaction of the current Republican Congressional leadership is standing in the way our pro-America agenda and that’s just all sorts of wrong.”
Read the whole thing here.


Good.  Kevin Brady has been an abject failure as Ways and Means chairman.  We're certainly in the market for an upgrade.

Bottom Line: We've never met Mr. Pruitt or even been aware of his work, but based upon ten minutes on Google it seems that his credentials check out.  Furthermore, we suspect we share a number of mutual friends with Mr. Pruitt.  It remains to be seen how strong of a campaign Mr. Pruitt runs, but on first inspection it looks like a significant step in the right direction.

Friday, October 6, 2017

#atxcouncil: #TROXROX TPPF!!!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatains 6:9

In a wide-ranging address to the Texas Public Policy Foundation this afternoon, council member Ellen Troxclair explained the role that local elected officials can play in protecting individual liberty.  While national politics receives significant attention, local jurisdictions are often forgotten.  That's a mistake, because on issues ranging from predatory property taxes, to absurd permitting regimes, to zoning restrictions that artificially suppress the supply of housing, many of the worst assaults on individual liberty occur at the local level.

Troxclair called local government the "first frontier" in defending liberty.  That's because local officials love to devise mandates and taxes that favor the politically privileged at the expense of average citizens.  Of course, enforcing those mandates and taxes requires a large municipal workforce, which is why the city of Austin employs over 13,000 bureaucrats.

All of this costs money, which is why Austin has the largest municipal budget in the state.  This despite the fact that several other cities have larger populations.  While apologists for the status quo will use Austin's municipal utilities as an excuse, Troxclair pointed out that San Antonio's budget is a fraction of Austin's despite also owning municipal utilities and having a larger population.

Speaking of Austin Energy and Austin Water, Troxclair correctly noted the money laundering nature of those entities.  Austin's municipal utilities rip us off on our electric and water bills, then provide "fund transfers" that allow the city to lie to us about the tax rates.  Austin's municipal utilities are indirect taxation designed to hide the true cost of government.

On housing, Troxclair explained that we're never going to be able to subsidize our way out of the current mess.  It's economically impossible to generate the amount of money it would take to meet the demand.  The only alternative is to eliminate supply restrictions to allow market rate prices to fall.  As it relates specifically to Code Next, she expressed support for any tangible steps to reduce supply restrictions, while remaining justifiably concerned that the current draft falls woefully short of that goal.  She also expressed sympathy with this author's longstanding frustration that all to often the people who are upset about housing costs and the people who are upset about property taxes so often seem to be talking past each other.

As it relates to the relationship between the state of Texas and its cities, Troxclair made a point we hadn't previously considered: there's a difference between the state mandating a policy on its political subdivisions vs. the legislature explicitly prohibiting a bad behavior (eg. The City of Austin regulating Uber out of commercial viability).  She also plugged a new national organization with which she's recently become involved called the American County/City Exchange that enables pro-liberty local officials to network and share ideas.  In an environment when pro-big government officials have numerous organizations, it's important for pro-liberty officials to build competing organizations.

Bottom Line: #TROXROX

Thursday, October 5, 2017

One interesting tidbit about Texas Republican Congressmen pushing Gun Control....

"Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me."
Nehemiah 4:18

We had our post about Cornyn yesterday; check out today's statement from Bill Flores:
“I think they should be banned. There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic,” Flores told The Hill newspaper. “Based on the videos I heard and saw, and now that I’ve studied up on what a bump stock is — I didn’t know there was such a thing — there’s no reason for it." Flores issued a statement Wednesday evening saying: "As a gun owner and a staunch supporter and defender of the Second Amendment, I believe that the recent tragedy in Las Vegas prompts a congressional review of bump stocks and similar devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to behave like automatic weapons, which are currently subject to tight federal licensing requirements.”
Obviously, this is an unworkable, non-sensical, idea that would have had no impact on the Vegas shooting.

And yet...Flores' district does include a chunk of Travis County.  And not just Travis County, but even a decent piece of the City of Austin.  And that puts Bill Flores well within the jurisdiction of this website.

[Note: Flores' district literally extends to one block North of this author's Church.]

It's not a secret that we want to take out a congressman this cycle.  Historically, Flores hasn't been as bad as some of the other yutz's we have locally [Note: In 5 years and over 2800 posts this is literally the first time this website has discussed him].  But if Bill Flores really wants to go down this anti-Second Amendment path, this author knows several conservative business owners in the Southwestern part of his district and Austin has a VERY dedicated Second Amendment community.

The biggest problem is that there's no obvious challenger.  The list of state legislators whose districts overlap Flores' isn't exactly inspiring.  But if Bill Flores wants to continue down this anti-Second Amendment path we're confident a challenger will emerge.

Bottom Line: If Bill Flores wants to make himself a priority of this website, he is welcome to do so.