Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Hooking Up is Letting You Down

A fantastic piece on the destructiveness of our culture of promiscuity:
Speaking of exhaustion, let me tell you about my students. In the ’80s, if I suggested in class that there might be any problem with sexual liberation, they said that everything was fine—what was I talking about? Now if I raise questions, many of them speak differently. They still live like libertines, sometimes they still talk like libertines, but it’s getting old. They are beginning to sound like the children of third-generation Maoists. My generation may have ordered the sexual revolution, but theirs is paying the price. I am not speaking only of the medical price. To be sure, that price is ruinous: At the beginning of the revolution, most physicians had to worry about only two or three sexually transmitted diseases, and now it is more like two or three dozen. But I am not speaking only of broken bodies. Consider, for example, broken childhoods. What is it like for your family to break up because dad has found someone new, then to break up again because mom has? What is it like to be passed from stepparent to stepparent to stepparent? What is it like to grow up knowing that you would have had a sister, but she was aborted?
But let there be no mistake: When I say we aren’t designed for this sort of thing, I’m not just speaking for females. A woman may be more likely to cry the next morning; it’s not so easy to sleep with a man who won’t even call you back. But a man pays a price, too. He probably thinks he can instrumentalize his relationships with women in general yet remain capable of romantic intimacy when the right woman comes along. Sorry, fellow. That’s not how it works. Sex is like applying adhesive tape; promiscuity is like ripping the tape off again. If you rip it off, rip it off, rip it off, eventually the tape can’t stick anymore. The ruin of the adhesive probably contributes to an even wider social problem that might be called the Peter Pan syndrome. Men in their forties with children in their twenties talk like boys in their teens. “I still don’t feel like a grown up,” they say. They don’t even call themselves men—just “guys.” 
The problem with twenty-first-century Western sexuality is that it flouts the embedded principles and the inbuilt meanings of the human sexual design. What, then, are the meanings and purposes embedded in the human sexual design, and how do they harmonize? Put more simply, what are the sexual powers for? One of the natural meanings and purposes of the sexual powers is procreation—the bringing about and nurture of new life, the formation of families in which children have moms and dads. The other is union—the mutual and total self-giving and accepting of two polar, complementary selves in their entirety, soul and body. These two meanings are so tightly stitched that we can start with either one and follow the threads to the other. 
These meanings, purposes, and principles are the real reason for the commands and prohibitions contained in traditional sexual morality. Honor your parents. Care for your children. Save sex for marriage. Make marriage fruitful. Be faithful to your spouse. Let the sexual revolution bury the sexual revolution. Having finished revolving, we arrive back where we started. What your mother—no, what your grandmother—no, what your great grandmother—told you was right all along. These are the natural laws of sex.
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"as if they were wiser than God."

"Consider the work of God;
for who can make straight what He has made crooked?!?"
Ecclesiastes 7:13

The first Governor of the Pilgrims, William Bradford, nails the unbiblical conceit of socialism:
William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 120--21
All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression. 
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men's corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
 Amen; Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On January 2014: An Open Letter to Rick Perry

Dear Mr. Governor,

I'm writing to discuss your first economic development trip of 2014: You need to go to New York City.

On November 5, 2013, New York City elected an open communist.  He gets inaugurated on January 1st.  You need to show up on the second.

Bill DeBlasio will inspire major capital flight.  That capital will seek a haven where it can earn a decent rate of return.  Why not Texas?!?

Having grown up in New York, Mr. Governor, I know multiple small/medium entrepreneurs who are ready to jump ship.  They're already tired of the bullshit taxes and regulations, they're not interested in serving as cannon fodder for some Daniel Ortega wannabe.  They're looking to risk their capital and earn a decent rate of return; they only need an invitation.

You understand why hard working entrepreneurs deserve thanks, not derision; it's your favorite topic:

The contrast couldn't be more obvious:

The coming capital flight from New York City is a once in a generation opportunity for Texas.  Billions of dollars are going to flee Bill DeBlasio's utopian fantasies.  Invite them to Texas, starting January 2nd.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX (formerly of NYC)
November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

John Cornyn's slimy interview with Glenn Beck

Kudos to John Cornyn for taking some tough questions, but his answers aren't particularly satisfying:


  • "Republican on Republican violence."
    • Cornyn changed the subject.
  • Is Ted Cruz or Lindsey Graham and John McCain causing division?!?
    • Again, Cornyn changed the subject.
  • What exactly is the plan to get rid of Obamacare?!?
    • Election 2014...don't get me started.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Abortion Barbie Supports Obama's "Green Energy" Agenda

From the "Strong Economy" section of Wendy Davis' campaign website:
As Governor, Wendy will work to make Texas the national leader … in renewable energy like wind and solar.
[Author's Note: In fairness, plenty of Republicans support this disastrous policy; one of them is running for Attorney General.]

Because if there's one thing Texas' economy needs, it's more Solyndra's!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Stupidity of Texas' Constitutional Education Mandate

"Sec. 1. SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS.  A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools."

Texas Constitution; Article 7, Section 1. (Emphasis added)

The SBOE textbook debate got us thinking about the Texas Constitutional Education mandate quoted above; what an asinine way  to make public policy.

Nothing "free" is ever "efficient;" that's economics 101.

In Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (1981), Milton Friedman wrote:
A simple classification of spending shows why that process leads to undesirable results.  When you spend, you may spend your own money or someone else's; and you may spend for the benefit of yourself or someone else....Category IV refers to your spending someone else's money on yet another person.  You are paying for someone else's lunch out of an expense account.  You have little incentive either to economize or to try to get your guest the lunch that he will value most highly....The bureaucrats spend someone else's money on someone else.  Only human kindness, not the much stronger and more dependable spur of self interest, assures that they will spend the money in the was most beneficial to the recipients.  Hence the wastefulness and ineffectiveness of the spending.  (116-7)
Conflicting, contradictory mandates from the Texas constitution are a root cause of many problems in Texas government schools; its half-witted.

Austin Media Ignoring Project Veritas' HD-50 Bombshell

On Wednesday, Project Veritas released this third video from the recent Texas investigation.  It revealed an Obamacare operative conspiring to use government data to help elect Celia Israel.  This has major implications for Travis County.

And the response from local Austin media is...nothing:

  • KVUE (Local ABC Affiliate) - Nothing.
  • KXAN (Local NBC Affiliate) - Nothing.
  • KEYE (Local CBS Affiliate) - Nothing.
  • Austin-American Statesman - Nothing.

[Author's Note: Some of these outlets covered the first video, but the third (with the local angle) has gotten nothing.]

Local Austin media often does good work, but their silence (so far) on this HD-50 bombshell is disappointing.


Readers are free to contact these outlets via the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: @KVUE.
Facebook: The KVUE Insider.

Twitter: @KXAN_News.
Facebook: KXAN Austin News.

Twitter: @KEYETV.
Facebook: KEYE CBS News, Austin.

Austin Post
Twitter: @AustinPost.
Facebook: N/A

Austin Chronicle:
Twitter: @AustinChronicle.
Facebook: Austin Chronicle

Austin American-Statesman:
Twitter: @statesman.
Facebook: Austin American-Statesman

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Wedge Issue Greg Abbott Should Exploit

If there were an issue where you could stand for liberty, provoke a constitutional fight with the Federal Government, and drive a big fat wedge between Wendy Davis and her core supporters, would you take it?!?

Greg Abbott should support lowering the drinking age.

This issue is a winner on multiple levels.

It's good policy that advances the cause of liberty.  Whether or not you support drinking alcohol, it's hard to deny that nanny-state laws regulating alcohol consumption create more problems than they solve.  The 21 drinking age promotes 'pre-gaming,' a dangerous practice that correlates with negative consequences (including death).

On a constitutional level, it forces the Federal Government to defend an unconstitutional practice.  The Federal Government currently enforces the drinking age by holding state highway funding hostage.  This is unconstitutional.  Picking a fight on these grounds could possibly undermine Medicaid.  Personally, Cahnman's Musings would love to see Barack Obama forced to defend the constitutionality of the 21 drinking age.

Where this gets interesting, however, is the politics.  College students are Wendy Davis' core constituency, and the drinking age is their primary interaction with Big Government.  Unfortunately, the other day, Wendy Davis was named a 'legislative' champion' by MADD.  This past legislative session, Senator Davis authored a bill to legalize mandatory sobriety checkpoints in Texas.  Forcing Wendy Davis to reveal her inner authoritarian on a issue near and dear to millennialls is fantastic politics.

Lowering the drinking age would be good for Texas, bad for Washington D.C., and fantastic for Greg Abbott's campaign.

Demolishing the "Safe Sex" Propoganda

Responding to a question from a teenage reader, Matt Walsh tears into the reigning sexual dogma:
Our culture tells a lot of lies about sex. Your teacher is one of the liars.

There’s plenty of ignorance on the subject. Plenty of confusion. But it’s the lies I hate. The lies that come from people who know better. The people who have made mistakes and now encourage others to make them, too.

You could ask any married person who slept with other people before meeting their spouse (I wouldn’t recommend actually asking this, I’m just trying to illustrate a point here): are you happy about it? Are you glad that you gave yourself to someone other than the person you now love eternally? If you could go back to those times, would you stop yourself?


It’s a tragedy, really. It’s a shame. You deal with it and you move on, but “casual sex” has taken its chunk and you’ll never get it back.

Yet few will speak against the predators and perverts in media, Hollywood, and Academia who promote this “casual sex” deception. There should be armies of people opposing it, but instead there is only a small, fringe group of cultural insurgents; the ones we point and laugh at and accuse of having a “boring” and “outdated” view of sexuality.

This is another lie. Casual sex proponents are the ones who have turned sex into something trivial, banal, utilitarian, pointless, joyless, one-dimensional, lifeless, lonely, and disappointing. How could the ones who hold it as sacred also be the ones who make it “boring”? No, it’s mainstream culture that’s made sex boring. It’s mainstream culture that is, in fact, afraid of sex. That’s why we spend so much energy shielding ourselves from every natural aspect of it, other than the physical sensation itself.

And the ones who believe it to be so much more than that are the ones who make it “boring”? THEY are the ones who are afraid of it? They embrace all of it, every part of it, and they are the ones who “hate sex”?

Ridiculous. Casual sex is a lie. It’s a lie that rests on lies and breeds lies and turns people into liars.


Casual sex has liberated us, yet casual sex produces so many regrets. The landscape is rife with people who have felt the sting of our “hook-up culture.” But where are the people who regret abstinence and monogamy? Sure, some people, while married, think they regret having not “played the field.” Then they play it. And then they learn what regret really feels like.

Even the term “casual sex” is insane. It’s an oxymoron. Denim is casual. Restaurants can be casual. Casual: without serious intention, careless or offhand, informal. A high-five is casual. Sex can only be viewed in this same vein once we have dehumanized ourselves enough to see human sexuality as something no more significant than a pair of jean shorts.
 AMEN; read the whole thing here.


New readers can read our 2012 manifesto on this topic here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Will Obamacare Fraud Assist Travis County Democrats?!?

Project Veritas BURNS Travis County Democrats in the HD-50 runoff:


  • Using Obamacare sign-up data to assist Celia Israel in the HD-50 special election for the Texas State House.
  • Enroll America 'cross-pollinating' data with Battleground Texas.
  • BGTX Happy Hour 9/14: Chris Turango admitted that he was working with Enroll America and HD-50 at the same time.
    • "That's as partisan as it gets."
    • "We're all Obama people."
  • All grassroots oriented, all operate the same way, all Obama 2012 people.
  • Turango was working with Rico Reyes, who lost in the first round; by default, he now supports Celia Israel.
  • "Testing" the data in the HD-50 runoff.
  • "The same data" that won the election for Barack Obama in 2012.
  • "This conversation never happened."
  • How does a 501 (c) (3) get away with sharing
  • "If we can do it we're going to get the list."
  • "I will talk to one person who I think might be open to having this conversation behind closed doors."
  • "This guy has access to that he willing to play ball, I don't know.  I'm willing to have that conversation."
  • "Rule number 17, and I told you, is do whatever it fucking takes."
  • "I know him well enough to know that, if he had a few beers, this wouldn't be the strangest conversation he's ever heard."
  • "If you can show me that it works, then I'd be open to it."
  • "I like where your head's at, I just want to you be smart."

CDC warns of "Super-Gonhorrea" that could "dwarf" AIDS

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23

YIKES; looks like we retired from chasing women just in time:
Most of the 18 microbes included in this report are common.  We rank them in three groups: urgent, concerning, and important.  And for the urgent group, there are three that we look at in particular.  What's called CRE, or carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, C. difficile, and drug-resistant gonorrhea.  The reason each of those are urgent, is that CRE is the nightmare bacteria we reported on in March, bacteria that can resist essentially all antibiotics, kill a high number of people who get it in their blood and spread resistance capabilities widely to various other strains of bacteria.  For C. diff this is a life-threatening infection associated with 14,000 deaths and a quarter of a million hospitalizations per year.  For gonorrhea, more than 800,000 infections in the U.S. each year, and a growing proportion are resistant to even the last line of medications that we have.  If resistance to cephalosporins becomes widespread, this could cause tens of thousands of additional cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and significant rise in healthcare costs.
Joesph Sciambra has more:
This “super gonorrhea” tends to spread through oral sex. The microbes sit in the throat, multiply, and can enter the bloodstream, infecting the skin, heart valves — and even the brain.
Yet another reason we desperately need a sexual counterrevolution....

Did Matt McCall force Lamar Smith to do his job?!?

Congressman Lamar Smith is chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  During the seven weeks since the Obamacare roll-out debacle, the SST committee has done nothing.  All of a sudden, this morning, Congressman Smith unveils the following piece in Breitbart News:


Many Americans have experienced the ill effects of Obamacare. That’s because the President’s broken promises are piling up. He promised that if you like your health care plan you can keep it. But for millions of Americans, that’s not true.

He said that the law would make health insurance more affordable. But across the country, Americans are seeing their premiums go up, not down. And when launching, the Obama administration said that the website was safe, secure and open for business. We now know that isn’t true, either.
The data obtained by is one of the largest collections of personal information ever assembled. It links information between seven different federal agencies and state agencies and government contractors.
The website requires users to provide personal information like birth dates, social security numbers, and household incomes in order to obtain information about potential health coverage. But security experts have expressed concern about flaws in the site that put this personal data at risk and subject users to the threat of identity theft.
This week, the Science Committee, which I chair, held a hearing to examine security and privacy concerns about the Obamacare website. We heard from witnesses outside the government who are experts in cybersecurity and hacking websites. They provided a convincing evidence of the vulnerabilities that underlie
The rest of the piece is a commendable explanation of security failures in the Obamacare website.  Kudos to Lamar Smith for belatedly getting his committee up to speed.  But, when the SST committee has been silent for seven weeks, why now?!?

That's where Matt McCall enters the picture.

Last week, Matt McCall (Smith's GOP Primary challenger) embarrassed Lamar Smith back in the district.  Following 2 cancellations at events where they were both scheduled to appear, McCall called out Smith.  Less than a week later, a U.S. House committee Smith chairs is holding hearings into Obamacare.  The timing is, to put it mildly, suspicious.  But better late than never.

Cahnman's Musings has reached out to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology committee for comment and will update this post if they respond.

Update: We spoke to a staffer on the Science committee about an hour ago.  The staffer informed us that plans for this hearing began about ten days after the Obamacare roll-out.  It takes 4 -6 weeks for a hearing to happen after staffers begin planning.  That's Standard Operating Procedure in Congress.  While this is a condemnation of how Congress operates, it looks like Lamar Smith's story checks out on this one.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why people move to Texas

Fresh off of Governor Perry's presentation yesterday, the BBC backs him up; from the article "10 reasons why so many people are moving to Texas":
1. Jobs
"I don't think people go for the weather or topography," says Joel Kotkin, professor of urban development at Chapman University in Orange, California. "The main reason people go is for employment. It's pretty simple.

"The unconventional oil and gas boom has helped turn Texas into an economic juggernaut, particularly world energy capital Houston, but growth has also been strong in tech, manufacturing and business services."
Critics have questioned whether the "Texas miracle" is a myth, based on cheap labour and poor regulation.
But Kotkin says Texas has plenty of high-wage, blue-collar jobs and jobs for university graduates, although people looking for very high-wage jobs would probably head to Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
Four of the top 10 metropolitan areas for job growth in 2013 are in Texas, according to Kotkin's website, New Geography.
Texas also has a huge military presence, which grew as defence spending increased in the decade after 9/11. Many retired Texans first came to the state as service personnel.
2. It's cheaperOnce employed, it's hugely important that your pay cheque goes as far as possible, says Kotkin.
"New York, LA and the [San Francisco] Bay Area are too expensive for most people to live, but Houston has the highest 'effective' pay cheque in the country." 
Kotkin came to this conclusion after looking at the average incomes in the country's 51 largest metro areas, and adjusting them for the cost of living. His results put three Texan areas in the top 10. 
Houston is top because of the region's relatively low cost of living, including consumer prices, utilities and transport costs and, most importantly, housing prices, he says. 
"The ratio of the median home price to median annual household income in Houston is only 2.9. In San Francisco, it's 6.7.
"In New York, San Francisco and LA, if you're blue-collar you will be renting forever and struggling to make ends meet. But people in Texas have a better shot at getting some of the things associated with middle-class life." 
3. HomesLand is cheaper than elsewhere and the process of land acquisition very efficient, says Dr Ali Anari, research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. 
"From the time of getting a building permit right through to the construction of homes, Texas is much quicker than other states. 
"There is an abundant supply of land and fewer regulations and more friendly government, generally a much better business attitude here than other states."
This flexibility, plus strict lending rules, helped to shield the state from the recent housing market crash. 
4. Low tax
Texas is one of only seven states where residents pay no personal state income tax, says Kay Bell, contributing tax editor at Bankrate and Texan native. 
The state has a disproportionate take from property taxes, which has become a big complaint among homeowners, she adds. But overall, only five states had a lower individual tax burden than Texas, according to Tax Foundation research.
There are also tax incentives for businesses and this week legislators cut more than $1bn off proposed business taxes. 
 8. Fewer rules
"Texas is liberal in the classic sense, it's laissez-faire, so there's a lack of regulations," says Grieder, and this can apply to the obvious (business regulations) or the less obvious (city rules). 
"The classic social contract is - we're not going to do a ton to help you but we're not going to get in your way. That's not 100% true of the state but there's that strand in the state." 
Mortgage lending is an obvious exception. But there has been strong opposition to banning texting while driving and a proposed tax on soda.
And Governor Rick Perry is poised to sign off the strongest email privacy laws in the US, which would require state law enforcement agencies to get a warrant before accessing emails.
 Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Texas vs. California: Case Closed

The economic contrast between Texas and California is an old theme at Cahnman's Musings.  This afternoon, we were pleased to attend the Texas Public Policy Foundation's "Competition and the States: Texas vs. California" which unveiled their new paper "How Big Government Hurts the Economy: Texas vs. California."  Former Reagan Economic Adviser Art Laffer and Governor Perry Spoke.

Going first, Art Laffer rattled off an astonishing list of statistics from the TPPF paper (which he co-authored):

  • One fifth of all Americans live in Texas or California.
  • California has the highest REAL poverty rate in America.
    • Adjusted for cost of living and government benefits.
  • California's tax rate on marginal economic activity is approximately 65% higher than Texas, but tax revenue is only 25% higher.
  • Just the fees (without building a thing) for a single family home are between $75,000 and $100,000 in California.
  • One mile of highway construction costs $265,000 in California compared to $88,000 in Texas; despite this, Texas ranks 23rd nationally in road conditions, while California is dead last.
  • Of the 5 "mega-states" (CA, NY, TX, IL, and FL), California has the lowest test scores, Texas is (by far) the highest.
  • California has 74% more welfare case workers than Texas.
Speaking next, Governor Perry had the best in-person performance we've seen from him in at least a year.  Governor Perry spoke with moving passion about economic growth and the "two competing visions in America."  9 of the 10 states that lead in job creation have Republican governors.  That economic growth enables people to live the lives they see fit.  In the competition with California: "The discussion is over.  The debate is over.  The proof is in.  Texas wins!!!"

In reading the paper, a number of other statistics stand out:
  • "California has swung from being one of the biggest net in-migration destination states in the nation to being one of the biggest exodus states." (4)
  • "Texas has the fourth lowest percent of population on welfare....while California has the highest percentage of its population on welfare" (4) [Emphasis ours]
  • "Texas ranks third fastest in employment growth in the nation while California ranks 42nd." (4)
  • "Public welfare employees in California make over $56,000 per year to Texas' $37,000 per anum -- a 52 percent premium." (5)
Another major contrast is the attitude towards energy development and resource recovery.  California has similar amounts of oil and gas reserves as Texas.  The difference is that Texas uses our God-given resources, while California lets the crony-capitalists in the "green energy" racket set their energy policy.


The most amusing part of the afternoon was an intense men's room conversation on local government debt we witnessed between Texas State Reps Steve Toth and Bill Zedler.  Speaking from the urinal, Representative Toth told Cahnman's Musings, on the subject of local government debt:

"Size matters...and you can quote me on that!"

Consider it done Steve Toth.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How James O'Keefe #F**K**D Texas Republican "Leadership"

The indefatigable Michael Quinn Sullivan catches one we missed:
Democrats in the Texas Senate successfully codified ObamaCare into state law with the aid of the GOP, expanding the power of the Texas Department of Insurance and legitimatizing the illegitimate healthcare “navigator” profession Texans now know is being used by liberals as a political tool.
Actively opposing the legislation during the legislative session was the Texas Conservative Coalition, a caucus of conservative House and Senate members. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility negatively rated the legislation on our Fiscal Responsibility Index because we saw it for what it was: an attempt to give state cover to a very bad idea.
Republicans who supported the legislation were led to believe SB 1795 would “regulate” the navigator profession and prevent them from being political operatives. Right… Never mind that the “navigators” are an illegitimate profession obviously designed by the Obama Administration to function as political operatives!
 Joe Straus could have made James O'Keefe irrelevant, but instead he chose to appease Barack Obama and Abortion Barbie

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wait for Rosemary: An Open Letter to (Toronto Mayor) Rob Ford

Dear Mayor Ford,

Greeting from Austin Texas; I have a polite suggestion for how you should deal with the lynch mob calling for your resignation.

Announce that you will resign when Rosemary Lehmberg does.

Your drunken conduct was in poor taste and ill-advised, but you never attempted to abuse your office the way Rosemary Lehmberg did.  You never endangered anyone but yourself, and you never told Police officers to call another public official to get you out of jail.  That's a major difference.

Austin was pleased to welcome you last month; you can repay Austin by putting your conduct in proper context, compared to Rosemary Lehmberg.

What you did was bad, and you probably should resign.  But Rosemary Lehmberg, who endangered innocent people then attempted to abuse her office to cover up her actions, did something much worse.  I encourage you to use your unique position to hammer this point.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX
November, 15 2013

James O'Keefe on What's Yet to Come....


(h/t Ramparts360)


  • 100+ hours of footage.
  • We have someone in leadership conspiring to give out private medical information for political purposes.
  • The quotes and attitudes "are very similar" to ACORN

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Protecting "God's Gift of Oil and Gas"

Wayne Christian releases his first campaign ad:


  • The Railroad Commission is responsible for "the Gift of Oil and Gas God has Given us."
  • Started pumping Gas at "Daddy's fillin' Station": "I literally started at the bottom of the industry!"
  • Vote for "the only Christian on the ballot!"

Punking Battleground Texas AND Obamacare (Part 2)....



  • Encouraging people not to report income.
  • Obamacare Navigator can't get on the website to sign himself up!!!

University of Texas Corruption: History and Future

Two must read articles about the Wallace Hall fiasco; first up, the American Spectator:
IN HIS 1951 book God and Man at Yale, the document that, to simplify only a little, launched the conservative movement, William F. Buckley, Jr. lamented what he later called “the phenomenon of the somnolent college trustee.” Looking back in 2007, Buckley concluded that little had changed in the intervening 56 years. “Mostly, the college establishment is regnant,” he wrote. “Trustees are expected to be affable creatures, preferably rich and generous. They are not expected to weigh in on college affairs, which are adequately handled by presidents, provosts, deans, and lesser administrative folk.”  
This was not always the case. Decades previous, boards of trustees (for private universities) or regents (for public universities) had real power, since they were composed of donors and alumni on whose good opinion the university depended for financial support. By Buckley’s day, their influence had waned, but the final act that cast regents and trustees off the seat of power came, along with much other mischief, in the 1960s. The federal government got into the higher-ed game with loans and grants. This opened college to students who otherwise couldn’t have afforded to attend—and that’s a good thing. But it also permitted schools to increase tuition and declare financial independence from private donors. 
WALLACE HALL, HOWEVER, means business—and it has landed him in the middle of a you-know-what-storm. The University of Texas regent, appointed by Rick Perry in 2011, faces potential impeachment in the state legislature for, primarily, filing too many requests for public records. State Rep. Jim Pitts, the man who has arguably led the charge to impeach, has accused Hall of conducting a “witch hunt” aimed at ousting Bill Powers, the president of the system’s flagship institution, the University of Texas at Austin.  
Hall has filed requests under the Texas Public Information Act for large amounts of information, including correspondence among UT Austin administrators and emails between Powers and state politicians. But he contends the method has achieved results. In a letter to state legislators, Hall’s lawyer pointed out three substantive findings from the regent’s efforts. 
The first relates to a now-defunct program, intended to help the UT Austin law school retain talent, under which a private foundation gave “forgivable loans” (an oxymoron if there ever was one) to faculty as off-books compensation. The dean of the school, Lawrence Sager, received a $500,000 such loan but was forced to resign when the affair became public in 2011. Hall’s attorney wrote that, based on documents he has reviewed, Hall now believes President Powers knew of Sager’s loan as early as 2009. 
Second, the lawyer wrote, Hall has corrected the university’s method of reporting donations. In one case, the letter states, UT Austin had included temporary grants of software licenses in its fundraising tally, which inflated the number by $224 million. 
Third, Hall has evidence, according to the letter, that state legislators have contacted university officials and used their clout to influence the school’s admissions process. For instance, Hall’s attorney wrote that one senator, lobbying for a favored applicant who previously had been rejected, “reminded the UT Austin official of recent legislative action taken to benefit The University.” 
ONE THEORY IS that legislators are practicing politics through different means. Higher-education circles in the state have been roiled over the past several years by a set of proposals backed by Governor Rick Perry and the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, some of which seem to have percolated into the UT chancellor’s Framework for Advancing Excellence. The plan aimed to increase learning and keep tuition and administrative costs in check by, among other things, ranking faculty on the number of students taught per unit of salary, putting more emphasis on student evaluations, and instituting bonus pay for particularly effective professors. 
UT Austin certainly does have room to improve. The school is ranked by U.S. News as no. 52 in the nation, though its $2.3 billion budget is about the same size as two schools ranked much higher, the University of Virginia (no. 23) and the University of Michigan (no. 28). 
BUT OTHERS SAY the situation is much more simple: Hall, on his march to reform, walked straight into a tangled web of powerful interests. UT Austin wields tremendous influence within the state in its own right. With its independent government relations office, PR shop, newsletters, magazines, and Texas Exes alumni association, the university can move public opinion. The school doles out prestigious alumni awards and gives prominent politicians free football tickets, or seats in the president’s box during home games. 
Personal and familial connections abound. Hall continues to push investigation into the “forgivable loans,” and the man under whom the program probably started, according to a university investigation, was none other than…president Bill Powers, who served as dean of the law school prior to the ousted Lawrence Sager. Hall claims to have evidence to prove legislators interceded in the admissions process, and one state representative has now admitted that he wrote a recommendation letter on behalf of his son. That politican’s name? Jim Pitts, the appropriations committee chairman gunning for Hall’s impeachment. (Pitts contends the letter for his son was a “form letter” no different than any other recommendation he sends, though one suspects UT Austin officials noted the applicant’s surname.) 
There’s a whole lot of circular backscratching that Hall has the potential to disrupt. Witness how, when the temperature began to rise, those in politics and academia began to circle the wagons. Just weeks ago, the Association of American Universities elected Powers its leader. “He has been explaining to his state and the country the vital role these extraordinary institutions play in solving the nation’s most serious problems,” Hunter Rawlings said. In February, after a particularly contentious meeting between Powers and the regents, the Texas Senate passed a resolution in support of the UT president. For 40 minutes, senators sang Powers’ praise in what one Austin-American Statesman columnist called a well-choreographed performance. “So flowery were the comments,” the columnist wrote, “that Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, assured Powers, ‘This is not a eulogy.’” 
Legislators, clearly, would prefer the potted plants. The committee investigating Hall, which meets again this week, has not allowed the besieged regent to cross-examine those giving testimony against him. Nor has it notified Hall when—or whether—it will call him to tell his side of the story. Impeachment in Texas does not require any finding of criminality, leaving Hall’s fate to the personal opinions of members of the statehouse. “I think the standard for impeachment,” an attorney for the committee told the Texas Tribune, “is pretty much what the majority of 150 people are going to say.” 
The message from the whole affair is that any board member who raises his head above the foxhole can expect to take fire from all sides—from politicians, from faculty, from students, from the press. Already the lesson seems to have been internalized. Three current regents phoned about Hall’s case did not answer or return calls. 
But Hall himself seems ready to take on all comers
 Meanwhile, Tony McDonald of Empower Texans was at yesterday's 'proceedings':
Tuesday the Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations met again to continue their tribunal against University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall.
First, the Committee alleged that Hall failed to properly fill out his regent application. That claim was blown up by committee member Rep. Charles Perry, amongst others during the Committee’s previous meeting.
The committee also claimed that the open records requests sent to UT by Regent Hall were “abusive.” But testimony yesterday from UT System attorneys revealed that all Hall did was ask that the University comply with the legally required deadline to respond to Hall’s requests as a citizen under the Public Information Act. Those requests required UT and UT System to work over a weekend in June to complete the review required in order for Regent Hall’s requests to be released. Essentially, the complaint was that Regent Hall made some government employees work over the weekend.
The major theme of the day, however, was a complaint that the committee and the committee’s self-appointed leader, Democratic State Representative Trey Fischer, pushed. Fischer alleged that Hall violated FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, by giving some important documents to his attorneys. The complaint was that Hall inadvertently received documents that were protected under FERPA (after asking the University not to release FERPA-protected documents to him) and then revealed those documents to his attorneys after members of the legislature began impeachment proceedings against him. The committee seems to expect that Hall would be aware (and would legally respect) a 2008 Department of Education “Guidance Letter” which suggests that FERPA-protected information can’t be shared with a person’s independent legal counsel. Fischer even went so far as making the legally dubious claim that Hall had violated state law by sharing the documents with his lawyers as part of his impeachment defense. 
The documents in question — I am led to infer — are emails between soon-to-be-retired Texas House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts and UT President Bill Powers’ staff in which he attempted (successfully) to get his adult son into UT Law despite being previously denied. The take-away of Holthaus’s testimony was that if that document was released to Regent Hall before the younger Mr. Pitts began attending the law school then the documents weren’t protected under FERPA at all. I also am led to ponder how a communication between an elected official and a university president can possibly be an “education record,” but I have yet to investigate FERPA in enough detail to make that determination. 
The testimony of lawyers from UT System’s Office of General Counsel was also enlightening. It was revealed, for the first time, that Regent Hall discovered documents in his search that, when put together, revealed that a crime may have occurred. The System’s lawyers said that Hall wanted to take the materials to the authorities but that he was hamstrung by FERPA. UT System General Counsel Dan Sharphorn also poured water on a sob story told by UT CFO Kevin Hegarty at the last meeting of the Select Committee. Hegarty had complained that he was denied legal counsel other than Sharphorn, who he had a conflict with. Sharphorn explained that, in reality, Hegarty had never made a request for outside counsel and that he actually has four of five attorneys at his disposal in UT’s Office of Vice President for Legal Affairs. This was just another revelation that the case against Hall isn’t what his persecutors pretend it to be.
 Read the whole thing here and here.