Friday, September 18, 2020

#TXLEGE, #SD30 Special: Fallon's slight of hand

"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1

Pat Fallon speaking on behalf of Drew Springer:

First things Pat seems agitated.   Springer's polling must suuuuck.   Just a suspicion.

That being said, Fallon makes several claims about Springer's record that are worth addressing:
  • "Voted against the budget"/"Defeated Wendy Davis to pass a pro-life bill" - Fallon's not wrong.  But both of these things happened in 2013.  It's telling that Drew Springer's biggest accomplishments as a legislator are nearly a decade old.

    Speaking of budgets, it's certainly the case that Drew Springer voted against the budget in 2013.  But the budget in 2019 was every bit as bad as the budget in 2013.  And both Drew Springer AND Pat Fallon voted for the budget in 2019.

  • Sanctuary Cities - Springer voted for the bill.  But that bill didn't really do much.  It's also worth pointing out that, practically speaking, Austin gutted what little that bill actually did through clever lawyering.
Fallon also takes a dig at Shelley Luther for having not voted in primaries.   What a dumb, irrelevant, argument to make.  The whole reason why Shelley Luther became a thing in the first place didn't emerge until five months ago.

More of the same.

Bottom Line: Fallon wasn't necessarily 'lying,' but he was absolutely framing half-truths in the most self-serving way possible.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Paul Foster never stopped giving Abbott money

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

We were looking at Governor Abbott's recent campaign finance data this morning.  To be honest, we were looking for something else that might or might not be there.  Further investigation required.

However, in perusing Governor Abbbott's top donors for this cycle, we saw something that's very interesting if you know the history:

For those who don't know of him, Paul Foster is a former chairman of the UT Board of Regents. What makes this interesting, however, is that Greg Abbott forced Foster out as Chairman in 2017. At the time, we suspected it was due to steps Foster had been taking to undermine Abbott's legislative agenda.

Apparently, however, Abbott only holds a grudge until it's time to cash a check.

According to state records, Paul Foster has made the following donations to Greg Abbott since his board ouster:
  • 6/30/18 -- $250k to "Texans for Greg Abbott."
  • 6/29/19 -- $100k to "Texans for Greg Abbott."
  • 8/14/19 -- $41,861 to "Texans for Greg Abbott" for "plane expenses."

    • Note: Must be nice.
  • 6/30/20 -- $250k to "Texans for Greg Abbott."
Bottom Line: None of this is really surprising, but it's still a highly revealing window into Abbottworld.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

#TXLEGE: Miles/Murphy remain likely to get away with EVERYTHING

"It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness."
Proverbs 16:12

Back in February, we wrote the following:
#TXLEGE: Borris Miles, Jim Murphy and Bi-Partisan POLITICAL MALPRACTICE

The gist of the piece was that, in both parties, you had legislators enmeshed in serious scandals (financial in Murphy's case, sexual in Miles' case). Yet neither party was even attempting to make an issue out the other guy's stumbles. Gift horses, mouths, etc.

Well, here we are seven month later, and...nothing's changed.

Both Borris Miles and Jim Murphy are looking at a 95%(+) liklihood of being re-elected.

But the craziest part isn't they're both likely to be re-elected, it's that in neither case did anyone even attempt to embarrass them.

Bottom Line: If you want to understand the depressing reality of why government in this state is the way that it is, this is a pretty good place to start.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

#TX21: Word Games Notwithstanding, Davis Embraces SUBSTANCE of "Defund the Police"

"'The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’
And he opened the door and fled."
2 Kings 9:10

KXAN has an interesting write up about how the APD funding/council saga is playing out around the state. The whole thing is worth a read. But we want to focus on this quote from Wendy Davis:
Davis, who served in the Texas Senate for six years and was defeated in her campaign for governor against Abbott in 2014, said support for law enforcement and acknowledging needed changes in policing don’t have to lead to an and/or conclusion.

She would not second-guess the decision by the Austin City Council to reimagine public safety. Davis said she does not support defunding police.

“I don’t think we have to divide our support in either of these directions in order to accomplish the goals that we want to see,” Davis said.

Those goals — banning chokeholds, ending qualified immunity for officers, and improving training — don’t prevent a community from giving law enforcement the resources they need, according to Davis.

“I can tell you that living in the heart of Austin, literally a block away from downtown, this is a safe community,” Davis said.

“I feel safe here.”
Good grief.  She's certainly entitled to "feel" however she wants to feel.   But, well, if Wendy Davis "feels" safe downtown (it's own dubious suggestion)...she's certainly welcome to come to this author's neighborhood.

But beyond Wendy Davis subjectively perceiving Austin's public safety situation in the most politically self-serving way possible, there's the fact that "she would not second-guess the decision by the Austin city council."

If you're not "second guessing" council, you support the substance of Police defunding.

Any attempt to claim otherwise is the type of word games lawyers play.

Of course, Wendy Davis is a lawyer.

Bottom Line: Deeds > words.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Beth van Duyne opposed Jerry's taxpayer subsidies (back when they were popular)

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

Some national group is attacking Beth van Duyne in CD-24:

[Note: For purposes of this blog post, the first five seconds are the relevant clip.]

What an utterly, totally, and completely bizarre line of attack.

Obviously, Jerry's taxpayer subsidies have been a bugaboo of this website for awhile. We weren't expecting them to come up in this context. But...well...we can go with it.

Taxpayer subsidies for professional sports franchises have always been a ripoff.  This has been well documented since at least the 1990's.   The website "Field of Schemes" has more.

So...Beth van Duyne opposed Jerry's subsidies back when they were "just" an issue of fiscal policy.

Good for her.

But what makes going after Beth van Duyne over this subject truly strange is the timing.

It's not exactly a secret that the NFL has taken a popularity hit recently.  It's also not really a secret why.   Furthermore, the NFL's current unpopularity has a longer history in Texas.   Thus, to attack Beth van Duyne over this subject at this time is...tone deaf at best.

But you do you "House Majority PAC."

If we were advising Beth van Duyne, we would advise her to embrace this attack.

Something like this:
Hi, I'm Beth van Dunye, candidate for Congress in district 24.  Before I was a congressional candidate, I served two terms as the Mayor of Irving.   As mayor, I opposed taxpayer handouts to Jerry Jones [cut to picture at the top of this blog post].   Back then, I thought that public subsidies for misogynistic billionaires was 'just' a matter of prudent fiscal policy.   I had no idea the NFL would become the anti-American cesspool is is today [cut to picture of Jerry kneeling]. But, unfortunately, the last five years happened. What was a good decision then looks even better in hindsight. Doing what's right, even when it's unpopular in the short term, will always pay dividends over time.

Finally, to introduce this subject the day after a Cowboys loss is just...**CHEF'S KISS**.

Bottom Line: We wouldn't have expected this to become a campaign issue at this time. But, apparently, it is. Beth van Duyne should run with it.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Longhorns do everything you can reasonably expect

"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

Dude, it was awesome.

There really aren't enough superlatives to decribe what the Longhorns did tonight. It was the most dominant all-around team perfomance since before the late Mack Brown era. The only game we can kinda, sorta, compare it to is the Kansas game in 2015. But, even in that game, Kansas scored two touchdowns.

Obvously, it was just UTEP. Still, given some of the scrubs that beat other teams in the Big-12, it's noteworthy. Yeah, the spread was 44. But the Longhorns won by 56.

  • Given the level of the competition, the most important takeaway was that the Longhorns played a crisp, mentally sharp, game.  With this level talent disparity, there's always a temptation to coast.  Longhorns didn't do that.  They executed (which, let's not kid ourselves, has been an issue in recent years).
  • Five first half touchdowns for Sam Ehlinger speaks for itself.
  • The receiving corps is insanely loaded, if they get remotely decent offensive line play, they're going to score a lot of points.
  • Bijan Robinson is the real deal.
  • Keontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson ain't too shabby either.
  • Basically, the offense is loaded.
  • Casey Thompson looked solid, and had a couple touchdowns, in relief of Sam.\
  • Hudson Card even made it in during the fourth quarter.  His drives kinda stalled out.  But he had spunk.
  • On defense, Caden Sterns was all over the place.
  • So far, so good for the new coordinators.
  • Defense looked a lot more disciplined than we've seen in previous seasons.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

#atxcouncil: Casar goes full CoronaBro over today's UT Football Game

"His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity."
Psalm 10:7


Not much to say.

Not really surpising either.


(Don't you dare suggest it's about control).

Bottom Line: Homeless encampments are totally cool and pose no COVID risk...but heaven forbid you have an event in a large outdoor venue with abundant protocols.