Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jesus, Cleansing the Temple, and Crony Capitalism

"14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business." John 2:14

"The Law of Moses required that any animal offered in sacrifice be unblemished, and that every Jewish male over 19 years of age pay a temple tax (see Lev 1:3, Deut 17:1).  As a result, tax collectors and inspectors of sacrificial animals were present at the temple....So in order to accommodate visitors in need of animals and the right kinds of coins, animal merchants and money changers set up shop in the outer court of the temple.  These inspectors, collectors, and exchangers, however, charged high prices."  Nelson Study Bible, note on said verse.

Jesus' cleansing of the temple is often cited by progressives as evidence that Jesus is some sort of socialist.  Progressives will argue this story reveals Jesus' opposition to productive enterprise.  In reality, Jesus is opposed to insiders rigging the game.

As the note from the Nelson study Bible makes clear, the Temple was dominated by petty bureaucrats enforcing petty rules.  These petty rules created barriers to entry that protected the windfall profits of a few select merchants.  The Temple of the early first century was hardly a scene of robust competition.

Jesus' cleansing of the Temple is a rebuke of Crony Capitalism, not Free Enterprise.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Abortion Barbie Postpones Her Decision

Yesterday's Texas Tribune:
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democrats' best hope to run for Texas governor, said Wednesday she is postponing the announcement of her decision so she can help care for her sick father.

“I had hoped to make public my decision about that next week, but with everything that’s going on with my dad, I won’t be doing that,” Davis said. “It’s likely it will be late September before I do.”

Davis’ father, Jerry Russell, has been in critical condition at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth following complications from abdominal surgery. In a Facebook post, Davis said Russell, who has been battling pneumonia, was “continuing to show small but positive steps toward improvement” but was “not out of the woods” yet.
Cahnman's Musings wishes Abortion Barbie's father a complete recovery, his situation can't be fun.

That being said, Abortion Barbie is in trouble regardless of the race.  Whether her opponent is Konni Burton, Greg Abbott, or Tom Pauken, any one of them will give her fits.  Late term abortion isn't popular.

Bottom line: Texas Republicans have been gearing up campaigns for two months; meanwhile, Democrats won't start for at least two more weeks.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Special Prosecutor for Senator Tommy WIlliams?!?

A VERY interesting article from Big Jolly Politics:
 In a complaint received by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s Public Integrity Office on December 11th, 2012, it is alleged Texas State Sen. Tommy Williams exerted improper influence through the use of his office to ensure the Texas Attorney General reached a decision to file criminal charges against the complainant and others. In doing so, the complaint alleges Senator Williams violated state laws prohibiting public officials from using their office to influence the outcome of a proceeding on the basis of considerations other than those authorized by law.


Specifically included in the complaint was a series of emails; all obtained as official responses to a (n) open records request (s). Dated September 15, 2010 from Tommy Williams non-Senate email to or from members of The Woodlands RUD legal counsel, or their agents, representatives or related entities, one email summarizes the results of a conference call he (Williams) concluded with the (Texas) “Attorney General’s office on the voter fraud in the 23 June township election.”

The complaint further alleges Senator Williams violated the Texas Open Records Act in regards to an open records request made by the complainant to Patsy Spaw, Secretary of the Senate. Ms. Spaw claims to have made a search of Senator Williams email records relevant to the open records request and found that no responsive records existed. Yet when another entity made almost the exact same request, an email from Senator Williams was produced.
This is a very interesting development.  The Woodlands RUD case concerns a sinkhole of corruption north of Houston.  If Tommy Williams is caught up in this, we could see real change in the Texas Senate.

Stay tuned....

San Antonio: Recall Campaigns Commence....

Via the Recall Mayor Julian Castro Facebook page:

From the event description:
Block walk to Recall Diego Bernal and to Obtain statement of opposition signatures.
Tri-Point Parking lot @ US281
Aug 30,2013 (Sat) 9am meet!
We will be block walking to collect signatures on a petition to recall and remove Diego Bernal from City Council, and to go across SA to obtain signatures on statements of opposition to the "Non Discriminatory" ordinance .
This is bubbling up from the grassroots, which is extremely encouraging; to our knowledge, no statewide groups have discussed recalls yet.

 In other San Antonio Christian persecution ordinance news, there's an extremely one-sided write up of yesterday's city council hearing here.


Update: San Antonio resident Wayne Allard chimes in:
Left unclear was which problem such a draconian measure would solve. Long before the current controversy, the homosexual-rights blog stated that San Antonio already had the “highest percentage of gay and lesbian parents in the U.S.” If discrimination actually existed in San Antonio, then where was it?


The Chan lynching may have been just another skirmish in “Battleground Texas,” the well-heeled Democratic campaign to turn Texas from red to blue. Its strategic objective: building a permanent Democratic edge in presidential elections. However, skirmishes and battlegrounds can be unpredictable for Democrats and even for Texas Republicans, famous for exchanging greetings by asking, “What country club do y’all belong to?” Will Democratic overreach on issues like the nondiscrimination ordinance or the recent political fistfight over abortion spawn grass-roots opposition? Can stodgy Republican local parties close the deal with new voters finally in a mood to listen?

The high ground in Texas and maybe elsewhere is not gay versus straight or even sin versus grace. Instead, it involves a fundamental constitutional question: Have our basic civil liberties been eclipsed by social experiments with newer alternatives?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#Bro-Choicer speaks: How to Convince a Girl to Have an Abortion

Ahh, the latest in pro-Abortion dirtbaggery
Let’s face it: sexually active people have accidents. Shit happens, that’s life. But we know that men have no reproductive rights in opting out of a being a parent. With only two birth control options available to men (a condom and a vasectomy) [author's note: There's always abstinance.] the words you use to get your girl off the fence about having an abortion must be well thought out. If you are not ready to be a father, the following arguments may help you convince a girl to get an abortion. The first two methods I describe below have worked for me in separate instances for the two abortions I have paid for. I know other guys who simply did not say the right things or trusted her to “make the right decision.” Well, now they are stuck paying child support for children they barely see.


How The “Hail Mary” Works

You need to bring up the subject of abortion with every ounce of verbal finesse and situation-appropriate sensitivity. You should sound as sincere as possible and tell her that you want her to be the mother of your children one day, but that now is not the right time to start a family. Explain you want to wait until you are further along in your career/life goals and you can afford to give your future family all the comforts of life you cannot deliver today. Finally, explain if she has the abortion now, you will be able to plan your lives together so that everything is perfect. Then, after she agrees and has the abortion, dump her. It’s called a “hail mary” in part because of its difficulty to execute, so if you stay with her post-abortion and she becomes pregnant again you’re really fucked.


How The Asshole Method Works

You need to channel your inner cold, unforgiving, unapologetic asshole nature, as nothing less will suffice. You must not ask, but rather tell her to get an abortion because if she refuses this child will be a bastard. Explain to her in no uncertain terms that you will not be a father to this child. I would avoid personal shots of telling her she is unfit to be a mother because this could backfire on you, but make it clear that if she keeps the baby you will be opting out of fatherhood. Explain that while she may end up collecting the minimum in child support that the state can take from you, in no way will you participate in raising this kid or being a father to it. To instill the seriousness of your message, add that you will refuse any efforts in the future to include you in the child’s life.

Once you have laid out your position, get your car keys and tell her you will drive her to the abortion clinic, pay for it, and have her take care of it today so you both can move on with your lives. Explain that since it is early in the pregnancy she only needs to take a pill (different from the morning after pill) to trigger the abortion. The most important part in executing the asshole method is that you keep your emotions in check the whole time. If you budge on that, she could doubt your sincerity and be swayed to keep the kid.
Over to you, Ben Sherman.

 Update: Lifesitenews has more here.

Is Austin Ready for a Spiritual Revival?!?

A fantastic piece from KVUE on Exploring God:

 A remarkable 342 Central Texas churches are taking part in a program called Explore God. It started in Austin and is designed to start a healthy debate on religious topics.  The Explore God debate is open not only to all Christian denominations that wish to take part but to people of other faiths and non-believers.

Austin-based Explore God traveled worldwide asking theologians, pastors and communicators some of the most asked questions and often difficult questions about God.


"Anytime you can bring together 342 churches and 13 denominations, you've got to sit back and say, 'Wow! That's pretty impressive.'"

The Explore God Facebook page has reached more than 76,000 followers in just a few months. Aside from online discussions there will be seven community forums that will examine the questions. Beginning September 8, pastors will use their Sunday sermons to examine the Explore God questions in depth.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Leverage Miley Cyrus for Victory

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Genesis 50:20

There's been plenty of ink about Miley Cyrus' VMA performance.  It was disgraceful and sad reflection of the culture that re-elected Barack Obama.  Instead of a dissertation on the problem, however, Cahnman's Musings proposes a solution.

Now is the time to cut your cable (if you haven't already done so).

Cable television is in long term decline, but the industry remains profitable; if you want to respond effectively to Sunday's events, help accelerate that decline.

It's not news that the 'commissars' of culture despise decency, the only question is why so many people continue to give them money.

The cable TV industry is a corrupt oligarchy.  When they're not using your money to finance Miley Cyrus on MTV, they're forcing you to pay for Al Jazeera.  The only way anything will ever change is if decent people stop giving them money.

Monday, August 26, 2013

On Sexual Totalitarianism

A fantastic piece in the American Spectator on the totalitarianism of the sexual 'liberation' crowd:
But the movement to legally ban sexual orientation therapy illustrates the increasing authoritarian impulse to squelch dissent from the Sexual Revolution’s latest pressing demands. 
It also confirms the growing gnostic assumptions about human reality, enshrining feelings and impulses as sacred, while instrumentalizing the human body. Parents and minors who want help resisting what they believe are inappropriate temptations are to be villainized. But parents who facilitate pumping their children’s bodies full of hormones in preparation for sexually mutilating sex change procedures are to be affirmed. Sexual preference is protected but not physical sexual reality. 
Whatever the New Jersey law’s other problems, it is foremost an attack on private conscience and religious freedom, imposing a perceived. secular ideological orthodoxy upon traditionalists who dare to dissent 
More widely, there is also the law’s intrusion of government into the arena of inner desires. Traditionally the only sexual association government has legally recognized is male-female marriage, largely because of that union’s role in procreation and the rearing of children. But what of this new world in which the state legally affirms every range of sexual practice, desire and identity while anathematizing dissenters?
Read the whole thing here.

Stewardship: More Spending is NOT the Solution

Fantastic video from Concerned Women for America on how little we get for how much we spend:


  • That education chart was shocking.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thomas Ratliff compares Founders to Al Qaeda

Tonight's CSCOPE debate was dominated by inside baseball.  Our eyes glazed over on multiple occasions.  The most striking part of the 'debate' was when Thomas Ratliff got sloppy.

Ratliff's obvious strategy was to bore people with details.  It worked for 45 minutes.  Then Thomas Ratliff decided to speak about Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

Thomas Ratliff on Pearl Harbor:
Not everyone sees the world the same way we do.
Thomas Ratliff on 9/11:
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
 [Author's Note:  These two comments came between 7:20 and 7:35 pm CST; unfortunately, we didn't time stamp our notes.]

Ratliff, once he realized how badly he stepped in it, backtracked by claiming he didn't want Texas schoolchildren to insult potential foreign employers.  [Insert National Debt Joke Here]

Cahnman's Musings suspects no one will change their mind about CSCOPE based on tonight's debate.  Cahnman's Musings is friends with CSCOPE activists, but still found the debate painfully boring.  The most interesting moment came around the 45 minute mark, when Thomas Ratliff got sloppy.


Author's Note: Cahnman's Musings will post video of the debate as soon as it becomes available


Author's Note II: From StaceInTexas:
Thomas Ratliff just said it's ok to call the founders terrorists because "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." #CSCOPE

Author's Note III:

This badass devotional says it best:

Thou Hast Rejected Knowledge

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." (Hosea 4:6)
This lament over the ancient apostasy of Israel embodies an age-long principle which surely applies to those nations today which once professed Christianity but are now dominated by humanism. Our own nation is experiencing an awful scourge of moral anarchy among our children and young people, and the reason why is because their parents and grandparents have largely "forgotten the law of thy God."

America—particularly its intellectual leadership—has "rejected knowledge," so its people are being "destroyed for lack of knowledge." This ignorance exists despite an abundance of supposed actual knowledge (i.e., "science") in our educational institutions, for such facts are almost universally taught in a secular context. Our teachers have forgotten that "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7).

Even in evangelical and fundamentalist churches and schools today, there is often too little emphasis on knowledge and too much on experience. Christian faith is not "feeling"; it is volitional commitment to a true intellectual understanding of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," said Christ (Luke 13:5). The Greek word for "repent" means "change your mind!" One can only believe right if he first thinks right, and this requires true knowledge.

Listen again to Hosea's warning: "The LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy |i.e., 'kindness'|, nor knowledge of God in the land" (Hosea 4:1). "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7).


ANNOUNCEMENT: Cahnman's Musings doing Louisiana Radio Appearence

Cahnman's Musings will appear on the 3 Men and a Bible radio show out of Baton Rouge this Monday at 7pm CST:
Join the TGR Missionary Society each Monday evening for a variety of ministers and speakers and special monthly broadcasts such as "Three Men and A Bible", which features Jason Arnold, Barry Dodson and Mark Fonner, who also is the host of the RECON Ministries radio broadcast on WTVORadio.
Obviously, we'll be discussing the Hail Satan incident; we also anticipate talking about the spiritual battle present at the Capitol and Abortion politics as it relates to Texas in Election 2014.

Readers can listen here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ted Cruz...studmuffin?!?

Buried near the end of this recent Daily Beast profile of Senator Ted Cruz:
Debate weekends included Friday night parties that Cruz often attended, where he was remembered to be "sort of a stud" with girls on the debate circuit.
Congratulations to Senator Cruz for being the biggest stud on the debate circuit.  This is similar to his recent emergence as the most conservative member of the United States Senate.  In both cases, Cahnman's Musings wonders how stiff the competition really was....:P

Public Hearing on Julian Castro's Persecution Ordinance

A public hearing on Julian Castro's Christian Persecution ordinance next Wednesday; via Texas Values:
The San Antonio City Council, Mayor Castro, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) activists are now getting desperate in their effort to pass their so called “non-discrimination” ordinance – an ordinance that is better described as a direct attack on Christians and people of faith in San Antonio. With over 20,000 messages to the San Antonio City Council being sent by concerned Texans and local opposition in San Antonio among Churches and local citizens continuing to build, the more the ordinance and its true intentions are exposed, the more citizens are willing to stand up for their rights.
The San Antonio City Council has already been forced to recognize the blatant religious discrimination of this proposed ordinance and has attempted to change the ordinance and introduce new drafts to push back and mislead the growing opposition to the ordinance. But simply removing one discriminatory and unconstitutional section (Section 2-552(b) from previous draft) does not change the fact that there are still serious religious freedom, constitutional, and practical problems with the ordinance. In fact, the new draft still includes a section (2-252(b) in new draft) that attacks board members, appointed officials, and others that oppose (“demonstrated bias, by word or deed…”) homosexual conduct by requiring that action be taken to “remove the offending person from office.”
- See more at:
The San Antonio City Council, Mayor Castro, and LGBT activists are now getting desperate in their effort to pass their so called “non-discrimination” ordinance – an ordinance that is better described as a direct attack on Christians and people of faith in San Antonio. With over 22,000 messages to the San Antonio City Council being sent by concerned Texans and local opposition in San Antonio among Churches and local citizens continuing to build, the more the ordinance and its true intentions are exposed, the more citizens are willing to stand up for their rights.

The City Council has already been forced to recognize the blatant religious discrimination of this proposed ordinance and has attempted to change the ordinance and introduce new drafts to push back and mislead the growing opposition. But simply removing one discriminatory and unconstitutional section does not change the fact that there are still serious religious freedom, constitutional, and practical problems with the ordinance. Read our analysis of the 5 major problems of the ordinance.

Be Heard: The City Council is expected to take up the proposed ordinance for the first time next Wednesday, August 28. If you are in the San Antonio area, please make plans to be at City Hall. The City Council meeting starts at 2 pm, followed by your opportunity to have your voice heard at the Citizens to be Heard Session at 6 pm (you can sign up early for the Citizens to be Heard Session online on the 28th here). We encourage you to attend both meetings. [Emphasis Ours]
With the smear campaign against Councilwoman Chan in full force, Cahnman's Musings suspects the mob will show up; sane people should as well.
The San Antonio City Council, Mayor Castro, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) activists are now getting desperate in their effort to pass their so called “non-discrimination” ordinance – an ordinance that is better described as a direct attack on Christians and people of faith in San Antonio. With over 20,000 messages to the San Antonio City Council being sent by concerned Texans and local opposition in San Antonio among Churches and local citizens continuing to build, the more the ordinance and its true intentions are exposed, the more citizens are willing to stand up for their rights.
The San Antonio City Council has already been forced to recognize the blatant religious discrimination of this proposed ordinance and has attempted to change the ordinance and introduce new drafts to push back and mislead the growing opposition to the ordinance. But simply removing one discriminatory and unconstitutional section (Section 2-552(b) from previous draft) does not change the fact that there are still serious religious freedom, constitutional, and practical problems with the ordinance. In fact, the new draft still includes a section (2-252(b) in new draft) that attacks board members, appointed officials, and others that oppose (“demonstrated bias, by word or deed…”) homosexual conduct by requiring that action be taken to “remove the offending person from office.”
- See more at:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

#Stand4Life During #SXSW

SXSW Interactive has proposed a panel about social media during Texas' recent abortion debate.  This could be an awesome event that draws from both sides.  For this to go down, however, you need to click through the link and vote for the thumb's up button on the top left corner.

The Unruly Mob Would Like to Comment

When the Texas Legislature took up abortion legislation, planned and spontaneous social media filled the Capitol with thousands of activists and delivered a global participatory audience. Celebrities tweeted as an 11-hour filibuster approached a midnight deadline, joined by fake Twitter accounts, YouTube, viral memes, livestreaming, guerrilla wifi hotspots, Taiwan animation, secret Facebook groups, Google+ Hangouts, new songs, merchandise, competing Wikipedia edits, dueling commentators, inappropriate touching, women in chains, alleged terrorist sightings, tampon confiscation, Hail Satan chanting, attempted use of a smartphone as an official timepiece, humorous Amazon product reviews for the filibuster shoes, conflicting timestamps, suffragettes, pizza, and vomit. The Internet had it all. Did it make a difference? Hear battle-tested techniques you can use from those in opposing trenches and in between.

  • Dewhurst's tweet "ignited the opposition."
  • #STAND4LIFE got bigger than Dewhurst's staff anticipated.
  • "Use Twitter to push people to other platforms."
To see this panel, you first need to click through this link, then follow the instructions.

Again, click here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Freedomworks Packs the House Tonight in Austin!!!

Tonight, in Austin, at least 120 Patriots attended Freedomworks' Come and Take It event.  The event was held to introduce Freedomworks' plan to help counter Battleground Texas.  Fortunately, with no PA system [Freedomworks' Director of Grassroots] Whitney Neal's loud mouth came in handy....:)

Whitney (pictured above) opened her presentation by highlighting how Colorado went Blue.  She described how Colorado Republicans stopped doing their job.  She made the unfortunate point about how raiding the Rainy Day Fund in Texas is similar to the fiscal shenanigans Colorado Republicans pulled in the mid- 2000's.

Next up was an update on Battleground Texas' activities.  Two factoids of note is that they're training people to start at the local level and that they have a paid staffer on every major college campus in the state.  Also, 80% of their donations are in state.

Freedomworks is using Texas as the guinea pig for their national efforts.  They're intend to open offices around the state to grow leaders from the local level.  They're also developing data-analytics software that's supposed to be awesome!

The first major action is a community building weekend October 4 - 6.  It will include training sessions on Friday night and events on Saturday.  Already, there are block-walking events planned in El Paso and the Valley.

Travis county elections trains deputy voter registrars every month on the first Tuesday.  This is a step everyone needs to take.  The next one is the Tuesday after labor day; we'll be there.

The bottom line is that at least 120 people showed up tonight to make Texas a deeper shade of Red; that can only be good news!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On the Bible, Debt, and Financial Immorality

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America has a fantastic piece outlining what the Bible says about debt:
1. Repayment of debt is mandatory.
  • "Better not to vow than to vow and not pay." (Ecclesiastes 5:5)
2. Debt presumes upon the future.
  • "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:13-14)
3. Debt enslaves the debtor.
  • "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7)
4. Failure to repay is considered stealing.
  • "The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives." (Psalm 37:21)  "If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." (Numbers 30:2)
5. Debt symbolizes a lack of contentment.
  • "[A]s sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:10)
  • "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
  • "And He said to them, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in abound of things he possesses." (Luke 12:15)
6. Interest on debt: A waste of resources.
  • "So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." (John 6:12)
7. Ignoring debt is dangerous.
      • "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)

8. Debt prevents us from receiving God's full blessings.
  • "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own." (Luke 16:10-12)
9. We are to strive to leave our children a solid foundation on which to build.
  • "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous." (Proverbs 13:22)
  • "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8)
10. The end result, debtors bring on themselves their own demise.
  • "The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. Moreover, all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statues which He commanded you." (Deuteronomy 28: 43-45)
 Read the whole thing here.

Representative Steve Toth's CSCOPE Update

In last week's press conference, Rep. Toth called out Thomas Ratliff and the other edu-crats who are trying to preserve CSCOPE:

  •  We shouldn't have to have this press conference, CSCOPE should be gone.
  • School districts "are getting swamped" with calls about CSCOPE.
  • One member of the State Board of Education insists on keeping CSCOPE alive.
    • Microsoft and Common Core need CSCOPE to have a foothold in Texas

Matt McCall announces RINO hunting expedition 9/21 & 28

Matt McCall announced the first block-walking event of his primary race against the awful Lamar Smith; from the event's Facebook page:
We will be meeting early morning September 21 in the Alamo Heights area. We need to really focus on Alamo Heights because that is Lamar Smith's strong hold.

Chase Mitchell will be providing walk-list and assigning them. Matt will provide a training and script to be used for this walk. The software being used is the same one Ted Cruz used in his election last year.

We will be walking from 9 to around 1. We will have another round of walking in the evening of the 21st.
Last night, Matt McCall told Cahnman's Musings exclusively that he would knock on Joe Straus' door if we show up; that, by itself, is worth the trip to San Antonio!

To learn more about Matt McCall, check out his campaign website here.

To get the full picture of how Lamar Smith's awfulness, click here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ted Cruz DEMOLISHES Liberal Obama Judicial Nominee


  • "This was just an academic article."
    • Personal Note: What a load of crap.
  • "I find that to be an extraordinary position and if that's unconstitutional, it is hard to imagine what decisions are beyond the ambit of Federal Courts."
  • Cahnman's Musings isn't basing this off of anything except our sixth sense, but we personally think this woman was lying through her teeth.

    Representative Jonathan Stickland on Leadership's "Psychological Breakdown."

    Representative Jonathan Stickland recently gave a fascinating talk at the N.E. Tarrant Tea Party about the lobby's highly advanced techniques for breaking conservative members down; this video is a must watch for anyone who wants to change state government:

    • The lobbyists start calling you right after primary day.
    • At the GOP convention, they start to physically separate you from the folks who elected you.
      • Start inviting you to exclusive parties.
      • An atmosphere of 'you're different now.'
    • Being a state rep is 'psychologically different'; you can't prepare for the experience until you've lived it.
      • Instantly invited to more dinners and parties than you could possibly attend.
    • "The whole first month and a half is designed to suck you in; then you start dealing with legislation and that's when you REALLY meet the lobbyists." [Emphasis Ours]
    • Leadership brings you in to negotiate by yourself; the process is designed to isolate.

    Jerry Patterson: Conference Call and New Website

    This afternoon, Cahnman's Musings was privileged to join a conference call with Jerry Patterson, a candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor, and the current land commissioner.  The call focused on the launch of their redesigned website, with ample Q and A.  We liked what we heard and look forward to hearing more.

    We were impressed that Patternson is writing the copy on his 'Issues' section himself.  Patterson said he wants to give voters more "specificity and detail" on policy than typical candidates.  This is music to our ears; it's also what Ted Cruz did.

    He also said that while he didn't seek out controversy, he wouldn't be afraid of it if it appears.

    Patterson understanding of the inside baseball of the Texas Senate stood out.  He called Lt. Gov. Dewhurst's handling of Wendy Davis' filibuster "a failure of intel and execution," that "should have been taken care of during the General session."  Cahnman's Musings concurs without reservation.

    As a State Senator for three terms in the 90's, Patterson has learned that the legislative process "is designed to kill legislation."  That's due to provisions in the Texas Constitution that were adopted after Reconstruction.  As a result, getting bills passed "requires skill and finesse."

    One area of concern is that Patterson called Senate Finance Committee chairman Tommy Williams a fiscal conservative.  While that might have been true in the past, Williams certainly wasn't one during the 83rd General Session.  The Senate Finance Committee remains an area of concern.

    Overall, however, Patterson's philosophy is "you should always expand liberty unless there's a reason not too", that's good enough for us.

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Recall Julian Castro?!?

    Cahnman's Musings was just invited to join this facebook group:
    In that during the course of his term as mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro has chosen to follow an agenda which serves the special interest groups needed to further his own national political aspirations and ignore the will of the people in which he has been elected to serve and has continually put his own desires ahead of the people of San Antonio in a dictatorial manner and fashion, we feel the city and constituents would be served best if Mayor Castro were relieved of his duties by either resignation or special election of recall and a more fitting representative of the values and morals of the community be elected to serve in his place.
    In turn, we were inspired us to spend 30 seconds on Google.

    In Texas, the mayor may only be recalled in cities where the city charter specifically authorizes recall.
    San Antonio City Charter, Article IV Section 26:
    Sec. 26. Recall provisions.

    Any member of the council may be removed from office by recall. A petition stating the general grounds on which removal of a district or ward council member is sought shall be signed by qualified electors equal in number to ten (10) per cent of those electors who were qualified to vote in such ward or district at the time of the last regular municipal election, and shall be filed by any qualified elector of the district or ward with the city clerk.

    A petition stating the general grounds on which removal of the council member serving as mayor is sought shall be signed by qualified electors equal in number to ten (10) per cent of those electors who were qualified to vote at the time of the last regular municipal election, and shall be filed by any qualified elector of the city with the city clerk.

    A separate petition shall be circulated with respect to each member of council whose removal is sought. (Ord. No. 47304, § 1 (Prop. 1), 10-27-76)
     Article II Section 4:
    Candidates for and the person elected as member of the council in the remaining place, Place 11, may reside anywhere in the City and shall be elected by a majority of all qualified electors voting in said City election, with said Council Member to serve as Mayor as provided in Section 9 of this Charter.
    Article II Section 9:
    Sec. 9. Mayor and mayor pro tem.

    Par. 1. The person elected to the last place on the council shall serve as and be the mayor during his term of office.
    As a resident of Austin, Cahnman's Musings will let San Antonians manage their own affairs.  We will, however, point out that Julian Castro's re-election last May only had 7% turnout.  This is an achievable task, if folks in San Antonio are up for the challenge.

    Julian Castro is a corrupt dirtbag who persecutes Christians; grounds for recall are plentiful.

    On a related note, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Battleground Texas....

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    On SlutWalk Insanity....

    A fantastic piece in the American Spectator on the global Slutwalk Phenomenon:
    The SlutWalk movement is about rape in pretty much the same sense Nazism was about the Versailles Treaty — it’s the legitimate grievance that empowers a movement of irrational hatred. We may laugh at the carnival sideshow aspect of women stripping down to their underwear to march down the street in broad daylight, carrying deliberately provocative posters and shouting nonsensical slogans. But the leaders of the movement have a radical ideology they take very seriously, and that ideology is sufficiently influential that anyone who criticizes it risks condemnation as being anti-woman, or even pro-rape. If you doubt the seriousness of feminism, you need only contemplate the bizarre firestorm of controversy ignited last year when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut.”


    The absurdity of these denunciations in terms of basic logic should be obvious enough, and the uselessness of feminist ideology as a means of preventing rape ought to be equally obvious. As political demagoguery appealing to a lynch-mob mentality, however, the SlutWalk movement is pitch-perfect. Anyone who criticizes the radical tactics, rhetoric, and ideology of the movement is condemned as complicit in rape, enabling feminists to terrorize their critics in much the way the Ku Klux Klan terrorized its foes a century ago. Students of history need not be reminded how the mere rumor of sexual assault touched off the 1906 Atlanta riot or the 1921 Tulsa riot or any number of similar horrors. What the KKK was to racism, SlutWalk is to feminism. Turning rape into a political grievance has a remarkably similar intimidation effect.


    Dr. Rorschach’s inkblot tests never revealed such symptoms of madness as one might have witnessed at SlutWalk DC. Several of the signs carried by the marchers featured crude synonyms for penis, vagina and coitus. A few of their hand-letttered posters amounted to criminal affidavits, including one teenage girl whose sign told how she got drunk and lost her virginity to a 24-year-old. The guy told her she was being a “tease,” her best friend told her it was her fault, and kids at school called her a “drunk slut.” This kind of public testimonial seems intended to function as psychiatric therapy. As politics, however, it serves to empower ideologues who wield victimhood as a weapon, turning crimes committed by individuals into a collective grievance against a collective enemy — not just the criminal rapist, but what feminists call “rape culture,” a term vague and comprehensive enough to include just about anything any critic of feminism might say about sex.


    This is why it is an error to dismiss SlutWalk as a bunch of silly women whose slogans are as ridiculous as their costumes. Feminists have an ideology that is taken seriously by influential people, and this ideology has been the de facto philosophy of America’s leading educational institutions for at least two decades. Lunatic radicalism is now considered normal, and sanity is regarded as “hate,” so that any man who notices a woman’s beauty (or prefers beauty to ugliness) is denounced as anti-woman and pro-rape.


    Up is down, right is wrong, it’s perfectly normal for women to parade half-naked on city streets carrying posters with dirty words and chanting about rape, and anyone who says otherwise is crazy. Conservatives can laugh all they want at SlutWalk, but the joke is really on us, because only in a country where important people believe in radical feminist nonsense is it possible that Barack Obama could have been elected president twice. The real victim here is America, and only liberals say she was asking for it.
     One day, Cahnman's Musings might tell readers about the role of SlutWalk Austin in 2011 in our personal Christian testimony; for now, read the whole thing here.

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Meet Tori Burton, Konni's Daughter....

    An aspect of Konni Burton's pro-life story about which you might not be aware:

    • "The political battle we're seeing in Austin is not a War on Women; it is a battle for the lives of unborn children, whose voices can not yet be heard...."
    • Each life has value, and is worthy of love.
    • "When we diminish the value of unborn life, we diminish all life."

    Pro-Abortion Thugs Terrorize Austin Coffee Shop

    Recently, NARAL Texas attempted to solicit a contribution from Summermoon Coffee, a South Austin establishment; Summermoon declined in the following e-mail:
    To Whom It May Concern,
    Please take us off your list of contacts. We are Pro Life and do not believe in the killing of precious innocent babies. I would recommend watching this video to put it in perspective.
    Amanda Terry
    As you can see, Summermoon included a link to the short pro-life film 180.

    In response, NARAL posted to their Facebook page:
    Did you know that Summermoon Coffee Bar is an anti-choice coffee shop in south Austin? When asked to make a donation to our silent auction, they sent us a disturbing video comparing abortion to the Holocaust claiming to be "pro-life." We all might want to think twice before walking into this place.
    Then the Burnt Orange Report chimed in:
    Long story short: if you're looking for a caffeine fix in the South Austin area and you aren't interested in supporting a business that is fervently anti-choice and actively involved in spreading offensive propaganda, find another coffee shop.
    So far, so good; NARAL and Burnt Orange Report have a right to let politics intrude on their purchases.  Cahnman's Musings supports Chick-fil-a and attempts to avoid Starbucks for the same reason.  What happened next, however, was yet another revealing moment from the pro-abortion left.

    The totalitarians came out in force.  They attacked Summermoon's website to the point that it had to shut down.  The comments on Summermoon's Facebook page were equally threatening:

    Tressa Barron:
    It's one thing that they're anti-choice, but a whole extra layer of disgust that they'd compare abortion with the holocaust and send a video instead of simply declining to donate to NARAL. Shame shame shame. That's no way for an Austin establishment to behave...
     Nowanna Tellya:
     why get coffee from misogynists when there are so many other options?
    Derek Amarpreet Whitman:
    Anti-choice suckers.
    This is a longstanding technique of the left.  It's reputational terrorism.  It's designed to pummel you in the court of public opinion until you decide 'I don't want any trouble,' and shut up.

    It's the same thing they've done to advertisers for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh in the past; then again, what would you expect from people who chant 'Hail Satan' and 'Tampons are a woman's right'?!?

    On September 6th, pro-lifers will express their appreciation for Summermoon Coffee.  Cahnman's Musings will be there.  This act of reputational terrorism will not stand....

    (h/t Bryan Preston)


    Update: On a related note, it looks like the White House is also engaged in pro-abortion trolling.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Why does Texas "Freedom" Network silence Women?!?

    Yesterday, in response to Women on the Wall's CSCOPE press conference, the Texas "Freedom" Network posted the following nasty hit piece:
    The Austin-based news website Quorum Report (subscription required) today notes that the entity that helped organize Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s Monday press conference attacking the CSCOPE curriculum management system is a for-profit, “Tea-Party-for-hire group” that goes by the name Voices Empower. Run by North Texas political activist Alice Linahan, Voices Empower specializes in marketing and political consulting. 
    But where is the transparency when it comes to CSCOPE’s critics? Who, for example, is paying Voices Empower to go after CSCOPE (and Ratliff)? Linahan calls the debate over CSCOPE “a battle for the hearts and minds of our children.” But we think it’s a fair question now to ask: did she help manufacture this absurd “controversy” because she was concerned for “the hearts and minds of our children” or for profit?
    These questions are important. After all, killing CSCOPE could force school districts to spend considerably more money on similar products provided by for-profit companies. The taxpayers in those districts have a right to know who’s causing that to happen and why.
    This is silly.  Alice Linahan, a friend, is a politically engaged Texas mom.  She has only helped channel the grassroots discontent that emerged last year in a productive direction.

    Cahnman's Musings doesn't know the details of Voices Empower's finances, but those details aren't relevant.  We've been to enough of their events over the past two years to know they operate on a shoestring budget.  The notion the Alice is the one who's profiteering (as opposed to the CSCOPE Bureaucrats) doesn't pass the smell test.

    It appears the Texas "Freedom" Network would rather silence a woman's voice than address the concerns of Moms and Dads across the state of Texas.

    How Tom Pauken could REALLY Impress People

    Tom Pauken says he wants to end crony capitalism, and we have an idea how he can demonstrate this commitment before the primary.

    Tom Pauken should come out against this water boondoggle.  He should work to defeat it in November. Then he should introduce a plan to supply water responsibly.

    Helping defeat this water boondoggle is a concrete accomplishment that would verify Tom Pauken's pledge to end crony capitalism.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Travis County Taxpayers Union Moneybomb Today; Matching grant for first $2000 raised!!!

    Well, today is the day!

    The money bomb for the Austin ISD lawsuit we've discussed previously is going on right now.  In addition, the Travis County Taxpayers Union announced this morning that we've received a matching grant for the first $2000 raised.  That means that for every dollar YOU donate, TCTU will receive two.

    If successful, this lawsuit will save Austin taxpayers half a Billion dollars; in addition, if this case goes to the Texas Supreme Court, it could establish a precedent that would restrain financial shenanigans from Taxing entities across the state of Texas.

    As we wrote in June:
    Cahnman's Musings has never asked readers for money before, but this is a special circumstance where your small contribution could make an outsized impact

    Please donate here.


    Please share this information on Facebook and Twitter as well.

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Thomas Ratliff: A Documented Liar

    Today's Austin American-Statesman has dueling Op-Eds on CSCOPE.  Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity has a fantastic piece outlining the problems of CSCOPE.  State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff (R(ino) -- Microsoft) counters with a fraudulent and mendacious defense.

    Ratliff asserts:
    The allegations are also when extremists claim that CSCOPE is aligned with the Common Core curriculum promoted by the federal government. It’s simply not true. CSCOPE was developed by Texas educators for Texas educators to teach Texas standards to Texas kids. Period. Again, more fear-mongering.
    Except for the fact that Linda Darling-Hammond helped design both:
    CSCOPE documents also claim connection to Linda Hammond, a proponent of the nationalized Common Core movement that Texas has rejected in favor of its own standards.
     (Sidenote: Back in December, we broke a pretty big story on LDH's background).


    Ratliff also claims:
    The allegations are also when extremists talk about parents being denied access to what their children are being taught. If that’s the case, schools are breaking the law and should be held accountable. Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code provides for “Parental Rights and Responsibilities,” including the right to see what happens in their child’s classroom. The fact is many of these extremists are not parents of public school students. Don’t blame CSCOPE for following Texas law. In fact, CSCOPE lessons are now online for anyone to see. Yet the extremists still want it banned from the classrooms. Transparency obviously isn’t the issue. Censorship and winning a political battle is the issue.
     Cue Peggy Venable:
    Last year, it took State Board of Education Chairman Barbara Cargill six months before she was finally granted access to the lesson plans. Parents were denied access to CSCOPE material in violation of state law, which requires lesson plans be available to them. [Emphasis Ours]
     In other words, Ratliff's co-board member experienced what Ratliff claims never happened.


    In another whopper, Ratliff alleges:
    The allegations are when the extremists talk about the “Communist” “Marxist” “Socialist” “anti-American” “pro-Muslim” curriculum. First, they need to make up their mind if it’s Communist, Marxist or Socialist. In a state as “red” as Texas, do people really believe kids are being taught to hate America?...These allegations are simply fear-mongering designed to incite a mob.
     Funny, because you can see these lessons here, or here, or here, or here, or here.


    Thomas Ratliff is a smart guy.  He knows that what's he's saying isn't true, but he says it anyway.  That's why Thomas Ratliff is now a documented liar.

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Who is Save the Storks?!?

    Save the Storks is a fantastic ministry we learned about a few months back:

    • They originally saved three out of five babies.
    • "We're saving the mothers and as a result we're saving children."
    • In one day, they saved 9 babies!!!

    What the Culture of Promiscuity has Begotten....


    • Medically, they can't call it 'safe sex' anymore because of HPV
    • 49% of sexually active college girls have HPV
    • Even if you don't get an STD, you can still get your heart broken.
    • Depression often follows pre-marital sex in women.
    • The majority of pregnant HS girls were using Birth Control.
      • No one actually practices 'perfect use' in the real world.

    Friday, August 9, 2013

    Straus Lieutenants Heart Dan Branch

    No comment necessary:

    Majority of Texas House Republican Caucus Endorses Dan Branch

    AUSTIN – A majority of the Republican Caucus in the Texas House of Representatives has endorsed Dan Branch for Texas Attorney General.

    The 53 current legislators who stand with Texans for Dan Branch represent not only the majority of the Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives but also the backbone of the Texas House GOP.

    These members represent a wide geographic cross-section of Texas, from the Panhandle and West Texas to the Piney Woods of East Texas and the Gulf Coast, as well millions of Texans from rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the state. Texans for Dan Branch has support from some of the most senior members of the Texas House as well as members in their first and second terms.

    “For the past 10 years, the Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives have led the way in passing conservative legislation that has been a model for our nation,” Branch said. “I have been proud to work alongside so many strong conservatives to support an environment that has helped foster the Texas Miracle while protecting limited government and traditional values. I am grateful for and honored by the generous support of my peers, and I look forward to continuing to work with them as the next Attorney General of Texas.”

    The current list of Texas House Republicans who have endorsed Dan Branch for Attorney General is included in this release.

    1. Representative Jimmie Don Aycock (Killeen)
    2. Representative Cecil Bell (Magnolia)
    3. Representative Dwayne Bohac (Houston)
    4. Representative Greg Bonnen (League City)
    5. Representative Cindy Burkett (Garland)
    6. Representative Angie Chen Button (Richardson)
    7. Representative Bill Callegari (Houston)
    8. Representative Travis Clardy (Nacogdoches)
    9. Representative Byron Cook (Corsicana)
    10. Representative Drew Darby (San Angelo)
    11. Representative John Davis (Houston)
    12. Representative Sarah Davis (Houston)
    13. Representative Gary Elkins (Houston)
    14. Representative Marsha Farney (Georgetown)
    15. Representative Allen Fletcher (Cypress)
    16. Representative John Frullo (Lubbock)
    17. Representative Charlie Geren (River Oaks)
    18. Representative Lance Gooden (Athens)
    19. Representative Patricia Harless (Spring)
    20. Representative Linda Harper-Brown (Irving)
    21. Representative Dan Huberty (Kingwood)
    22. Representative Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi)
    23. Representative Jason Isaac (Dripping Springs)
    24. Representative Kyle Kacal (Bryan)
    25. Representative Jim Keffer (Granbury)
    26. Representative Ken King (Canadian)
    27. Representative Susan King (Abilene)
    28. Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (Lexington)
    29. Representative Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham)
    30. Representative John Kuempel (Seguin)
    31. Representative Lyle Larson (San Antonio)
    32. Representative George Lavender (Texarkana)
    33. Representative JM Lozano (Kingsville)
    34. Representative Doug Miller (New Braunfels)
    35. Representative Jim Murphy (Houston)
    36. Representative John Otto (Dayton)
    37. Representative Chris Paddie (Marshall)
    38. Representative Diane Patrick (Arlington)
    39. Representative Larry Phillips (Sherman)
    40. Representative Jim Pitts (Waxahachie)
    41. Representative Four Price (Amarillo)
    42. Representative John Raney (College Station)
    43. Representative Bennett Ratliff (Coppell)
    44. Representative Debbie Riddle (Tomball)
    45. Representative Allan Ritter (Nederland)
    46. Representative Kenneth Sheets (Dallas)
    47. Representative J.D. Sheffield (Gatesville)
    48. Representative Ralph Sheffield (Temple)
    49. Representative Wayne Smith (Baytown)
    50. Representative Phil Stephenson (Wharton)
    51. Representative Jason Villalba (Dallas)
    52. Representative Paul Workman (Austin)
    53. Representative John Zerwas (Simonton)
     If Dan Branch wants to base his AG campaign on the support of Charlie Geren, Bennett Ratliff, and (Mr. Medicaid Expansion himself!) Jason Villalba, he can be our guest; is Tommy Williams next?!?

    Captain Renault said it best:


    Update: Agendawise has more:
    This self-generated publicity is a good snapshot for primary voters who get to see the liberal Branch’s concept of “conservative” – a Republican endorsement list with a D+ average on the 2011 scorecards of Empower Texans and Young Conservatives of Texas.

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    BREAKING NEWS: Dan Patrick to Debate Thomas Ratliff over CSCOPE

    With the 83rd Texas Legislature sine done, the time has come for the much anticipated CSCOPE debate between Dan Patrick and Thomas Ratliff:

    Background: Ratliff had been trying to claim that Patrick was afraid to debate him because Patrick had been tied up with Legislative stuff.

    Get your popcorn; this'll be fun....

    Will the Texas Ethics Comission Stand for Justice or Joe Straus?!?

    The Republican "leadership" of the Texas House's Obamaesque persecution of Michael Quinn Sullivan comes to a head today:
    About 15 months ago two of House Speaker Joe Straus’ committee chairs filed unfounded “ethics complaints” against me and my organization, seeking to silence us from keeping you informed about state government. This week we learned that the complaints were actually concocted by a lead lobbyist for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association on behalf of Straus’ lieutenants.

    State Rep. Jim Keffer imposed the business tax on Texas
    The complaints filed against us by those committee chairs – moderate State Reps. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) and Vicki Truitt (R-“defeated by Tarrant County voters in May 2012”) – will finally get a preliminary review hearing today in front of the Ethics Commission. That’s a commission to which Speaker Straus makes appointments and for which the legislature sets the budget. How cozy…


    Depending on how this hearing goes, you can expect moderates to use the Ethics Commission to start prosecuting similarly frivolous against every Republican club president, tea party activist, blogger or social media user whose voice a legislator finds inconvenient. Unethical lawmakers will use Ethics Commission complaints like duct tape over the mouths of anyone who calls out their voting records.

    When Jim and Vicki filed their complaints, they swore that these were their complaints. So when the Ethics Commission finally set the hearing – more than a year after I asked for an expedited hearing! – my legal team did the unthinkable: they subpoenaed Jim and Vicki to appear and explain themselves under oath.

    Well, Vicki Truitt refused to accept the subpoena. The deposed former legislator told the process server that she wanted to have nothing to do with the complaint! (Funny how getting her hat handed to her by voters can have such an effect.) I say, good for Vicki; I guess she’s admitting her’s was a political stunt trying to mask the odor of an anti-taxpayer voting record.


    Jim Keffer, meanwhile, wrote a letter to the Commission basically admitting that he knew nothing about the allegations in his own complaint and attached a statement from trial lawyer lobbyist Steve Bresnen saying it was Steve who did it. (The folks at have a great write up about Mr. Bresnan’s crusade for bloated government, besides his work shilling for trial lawyers.)

    I’m sure attorneys will have other ways to say it, but it looks to me like Mr. Keffer’s admission highlights the abusiveness of his complaint and the process.

    Put another way: Straus’ committee chairs were abusing the state’s Ethics process to pursue a political vendetta against us – and doing so with the assistance of (or at the direction of?) a lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers Association!

    Read the whole thing here.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Texas Public Policy Foundation on Local Government Debt and Transparency

    This afternoon, we attended the Texas Public Policy Foundation's forum on Local Government Transparency and Debt; the following are from our notes.

    James Quintero, director of TPPF's Center for Local Governance, spoke first:

    • Texas currently has $192 BILLION in principle and 96 BILLION in interest in local government debt outstanding.
    • Living beyond our means only works for a limited period of time.
    • 83% of total public debt in Texas is local.
    • Local Government debt has risen approximately 40% faster than inflation plus population growth in the last decade.
    • Sources of Debt:
      • School Districts -- $63.6 BILLION
      • Cities -- $62.9 BILLION
      • Special Purpose Districts (eg. Hospital Districts or MUD's) -- $48.6 BILLION
      • Counties --$13.3 BILLION
      • Community Colleges -- $4.3 Billion
    • Texas currently has the 14th highest property taxes in the United States; to get a handle on that, we have to get a handle on local government debt.
    • Positive state policy decisions don't filter down to the local level.
    • How to fix it:
      • Public Awareness
      • Ballot Box Transparency
      • Online Transparency
      • Local Government Debt Limits
    • Led off by passing the buck to the state government.
    • Local governments get the bulk of their money from property taxes; State gets it from sales....
    • A big chunk of property taxes go to schools.
    • Taxpayers get a "good bang for their buck" from municipal governments
      • Keep in mind, school and special purpose districts AREN'T INCLUDED in these numbers; while this is a money-laundering shell game, Sandlin still makes a decent point regarding the expenditures of municipal governments narrowly defined.
    • Special Purpose districts are the biggest driver of debt growth.  They grew by 244% from 2007 to 2011.  Unfortunately, in 2011 the clowns in the Republican leadership of the Texas Legislature exempted special purpose taxing districts from tracking.
    • Sandlin argued that everything that happens in local governments (except schools) should be handled by cities, not special purpose districts; we tend to agree.
    Pam Waggoner, President Leander ISD:

    Leander ISD has one of the highest debt loads in the state, which Waggoner's only noted in passing.  Her presentation moved extremely quickly and involved a lot of complicated numbers that made our eyes glaze over.  Personally, we think this was her strategy.

    • Local government debt is as big a threat to our economy as debt at the Federal level
    • The permanent school fund has guaranteed more debt that cash on hand.
    • 20 school districts in Texas owe over $2 BILLION

    Kudos to TPPF for taking on this growing economic threat!!!


    Update: TPPF has pictures from the event here; TXTrendyChick was the photographer.