Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Once again, Texas has strongest economy in America!!!

The Houston Chronicle, quoting Forbes:
As the country's economy continues to gather momentum, three Texas cities - including Houston - stand out as strong economies for Americans in 2014.

Forbes, along with the Praxis Strategy Group, looked at the United States' top 52 metropolitan areas to see how each ranked in its economic strength for the New Year. Factors included job growth, median household income growth and the current unemployment rate.

Houston found its place at No. 4, with Austin grabbing the No. 1 spot and San Antonio at No. 2. Austin has the lowest unemployment rate of the three (5.4 percent), and rose just above Houston's job growth and GDP growth. All cities show promise for families and workers in 2014.
The original Forbes piece had formatting issues that make it impossible to quote on this blog, but you can read the whole thing here.


On a related note, imagine how much more we could supercharge our economy if we were to elect a legislature committed to structural fiscal reforms next year!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The most-important end-of-year political contribution Texans can make

Matt Beebe sends out his end of year fundraising appeal (reprinted in full):
I hope your Christmas season has been a blessed time of rest and fellowship with friends and family.  Our family spent time visiting our extended family in Michigan for an extended weekend where the kids got to play in the snow, so their holiday was complete! We made it back to San Antonio prior to Christmas and enjoyed the Christmas Eve candlelight worship service at Church.

The campaign is gearing back up, and the encouragement continues to come in as voters are hungry for more conservative leadership in District 121. I've particularly appreciated the Christmas time with my family since I know the firestorm of campaign events and voter outreach over the next 64(!) days will make it hard to spend enough time with the most important people in my life.

But the modest sacrifice is worth it, as we are in this race to win it and we won't settle for 2nd place. We need your help to spread our conservative message across San Antonio and District 121

With just two short days left till our first fundraising deadline (Midnight, December 31st) I would like to ask each of you to conside making a financial contribution before the end of the year.

ANY amount helps - it really does! Joe Straus will receive $50,000 and $100,000 checks from his top donors, but no amount of money will keep us from telling the voters the truth about where Texas is, and where it can go if we restore conservative leadership to the Texas House. Please donate $25, $50 or $500 today!

 This is the most important legislative primary in Texas.  We will NEVER implement the fiscal reforms Texas needs to super-charge our economy as long as Joe Straus runs the Texas House.  Donate here.

Jesus was Middle Class

A fantastic piece in the American Thinker concerning one of the more pernicious myths about Jesus:
Over the centuries, church thinking has turned poverty into nearly a sacrament. So it becomes impossible to refer to people in the Bible without exaggerating how poor they were. Holiness demands proof of poverty to establish legitimacy.

Glamorizing poverty encourages more suffering and the spread of poverty by depriving the poor of opportunities for practical help. The best thing we can do for the poor is help them no longer be poor, not laud them in song and story. The poor would rather have a new business to give them a job than hear poems and toasts romanticizing their poverty.
Jesus was a skilled craftsman, a carpenter, in a region where wood was more of a premium material than we think of today. Americans are used to vast forests. Then, carpentry was more of an art. Modern tools, fittings, stains, glues, and measurement were not available. One could not buy a bag of standardized ten-penny nails at Home Depot, but painstakingly fashioned wooden pins one at a time. One could not afford to waste wood. In Galilee, valuable cedar was imported from Lebanon.

The Bible reports that Jesus was referred to as "the carpenter's son." His father Joseph would have trained his first-born. Children worked. Apprenticeship in a trade was their education, along with study of the scriptures. One would have to view Jesus as a totally irresponsible son not to faithfully and diligently continue the family carpentry shop -- at least before His ministry for His other Father. In fact, Jesus preached on a son's responsibility to his parents.

Joseph lived among Jews but had rich Greeks among his clientele. Across the valley from Nazareth was the huge Greek luxury city of Sepphoris where wealthy ruling-class households offered a steady demand for upscale, high-priced furniture. Rich communities in the Eastern Roman Empire demanded luxury on a scale that even our decadent ruling class today can scarcely imagine. A carpentry business in the vicinity of Sepphoris would attract high-paying clients with great quantities of business.

So Jesus was middle class, probably upper middle-class, on a level comparable to an accountant or an architect in today's society. O'Reilly allows that Jesus probably worked in the Sepphoris building boom in its later years, yet thinks Jesus rarely ate fish or meat. If Jesus worked on-site building houses, he spent a lot of time around wealthy Greeks. He could afford to eat hearty, would dress suitably for a worker visiting an upscale community, and would maintain good relations in business with rich people.
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

History Lesson: John Cornyn Endorses NSA Surveillance

Following today's court ruling, it's worth recalling this 2006 quote from John Cornyn:
People in my state believe very strongly that it is the government's primary responsibility to protect us and keep us secure. And they're willing to make some concessions in terms of their personal privacy in order to have that happen.
Really Senator?!?


Read the whole thing here.

History Lesson: On Joe Straus and Obamacare

From San Antonio Express-News, last March:
Straus touts Medicaid action 
AUSTIN — Seeking to light a fire under fellow Republicans on providing health care to uninsured people, House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday it's time to “get our heads out of the sand” and find an alternative to Medicaid expansion that would bring billions of federal dollars to Texas.
“We need to move beyond the word 'no' to something that the administration might entertain,” Straus said. “There are no winners if nothing is agreed to. We have a very large state, a significant population of uninsured people ... and I think it could be an opportune time to put some proposals on the table that could be supported by Texas leadership.
While other Republican governors have found expansion doable, Gov. Rick Perry hasn't followed suit. Perry has said he'd like the flexibility that a block grant would bring, but state lawmakers have acknowledged that could be difficult for the feds to bless.
Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Planned Parenthood Retracts True Colors

Cahnman's Musings intended to write about the Planned Parenthood "12 Days of Contraception" video, unfortunately, we discovered it's no longer online:
A video posted by a Planned Parenthood affiliate on YouTube celebrating the "12 Days of Contraceptives" is no longer available for viewing online. 
The controversial 5-minute advertisement video, posted Monday by Planned Parenthood Arizona, was recently made into a private video, so it cannot be viewed by the general public. 
The video is not listed on the YouTube Account for Planned Parenthood Arizona, with the most recent upload as of Thursday evening being a video from October titled "Simple Facts about Health Insurance and Obamacare." 
Posted earlier this week, the "12 Days of Contraceptives" video was an ad for the Arizona affiliate that involved a song expressing the benefits of contraception. 
Items mentioned in the so-called "contraceptive version" of the carol that one was to be thankful for included a box of Plan B, condoms, Depo-Provera shots, NuvaRings, birth control pills, dental dams, and diaphragms.
Good to know that Planned Parenthood lacks the courage of their convictions.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Twisted Sister: O Come All Ye Faithful!!!

From the 2006 album: A Twisted Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from Cahnman's Musings!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ten similarities between Julian Castro and Obama

From the Restore SA Facebook page:
  • Neither had father figures but both had radical childhood influences (Obama had William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Castro’s mother was a member of the radical Raza Unida party and influenced by Saul Alinsky’s teaching.)
  • Neither share family values (Both bent on destroying traditional families)
  • Both rose quickly through the political ranks with little experience and fewer accomplishments
  • Both use race or ethnicity as basis for being in office
  • Both are charismatic member of minority groups loved by the media and liberal establishment 
  • Diehard socialist
  • Both ignore obvious facts and propagate "new truths"
  • Both men believe in big government
  • Both men believe they are above the law (Obama and the Constitution Castro and the municipal charter of San Antonio)
  • Both are big on “Green Energy" (Both claim that jobs and energy will be created from green energy projects while ignoring the fact that the free market does not support their ideas.)
Read the whole thing here.

In Memoriam: Ned Vizzini

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Two obituaries in a week isn't fun.  This one's personal.  Ned Vizzini was our best friend in nursery school.  We've known him since we were two years old.  He died by his own hand last Thursday in Brooklyn.

To most people, Ned was a celebrated author.  He wrote four critically acclaimed novels.  His largely autobiographical 2006 release, It's Kind of a Funny Story, was the basis for the 2010 film by the same name.  For those who've seen the movie, the character Craig was Ned's self-portrait:

Cahnman's Musings last saw Ned in March 2011.  He visited Austin to speak during SxSW.  He stayed at our house for three days.  We had no idea that would be the last time we saw him.  We last spoke by telephone during the 2012 presidential election.

Describing Ned as an adult, we concur with this description from Kyle Buchanan:
It hit me like an electric shock last night to find out that my friend, the writer Ned Vizzini, took his own life in New York yesterday at age 32. He was one of the most enthusiastic, vibrant people I knew; his classic YA novel It's Kind of a Funny Story (which was adapted into a film in 2010) was based on Ned's own stay in a psychiatric hospital after he was gripped by suicidal thoughts in his early twenties, but that still doesn't make it any easier to believe that those feelings bested him now, because when I think of Ned, I think of that happy, crooked smile that you barely had to coax out of him.
Where Kyle knew Ned as an adult, we knew him primarily as a young child.  We attended the same New York City pre-school.  As five year olds, we used to play a game: who could sit in a running clothes' dryer the longest.  Cahnman's Musings always won.  This probably does not surprise regular readers.

That's our best Ned Vizzini story.  We also remember Ned's infections love of maps.  As a four year old, Ned gave us a lesson on the geography of Texas, which is pretty ironic in hindsight.

In the late 1980's, Ned moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn.  We lost touch for the next decade and a half.  We resumed contact in the early to mid 2000's.  As a closet conservative in the publishing industry (and later Hollywood), sometimes Ned needed a place to vent.  We filled that role.


Unfortunately, all of the above is vanity.  To our knowledge, Ned wasn't a believer.  Readers who understand the Bible know what that means.

Here's the real tragedy: whatever pain Ned was suffering, Jesus already bore it.  That's the whole point of the Cross.  Because Ned committed suicide, we can't help dwelling on Lacey Sturm's testimony:

The scripture quoted above is the most important for anyone in Ned's position to consider, but the Psalmist also writes:
"Cast your burden on the Lord, 
And He shall sustain you; 
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22
 And the Apostle Peter:
[C]asting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you....But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 
1 Peter 5:7...10
Suffering in this world is temporary.  If there's one lesson from Ned's death, it's the transience of this world, compared to the permanence of eternity.  Entering eternity, absent a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, is a really bad way to 'relieve' temporal pain.


Cahnman's Musings hasn't spoken to Ned's family in a quarter-century.  We've never met his wife or son.  We ask readers to keep them in your prayers.

Ned Vizzini, 1981-2013, Rest in Peace.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Danny Forshee Classics: Why You Can Trust the Bible

Pastor Danny on the veracity of scripture:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

  • All scripture is, literally, "God-breathed."
  • Psalm 119 - The longest chapter in the Bible deals with the veracity of scripture.
  • 3 reactions to scripture:
    • Apathy - Never read it.
    • Adoration - Begin every day with scripture
      • If your Bible is worn out, you're probably not.
    • Antipathy - Nothing new here
      • Voltaire and Thomas Paine are obvious historical examples.
  • The reason the 'secret gospels' aren't in the Bible is because they contradict everything we know about Jesus as a historical figure.
    • Author's note: Pastor Danny doesn't mention this in the sermon, but it's also worth pointing out that the 'secret gospels' were written HUNDREDS of years later!
  • The church included the cannon as scripture because it was ALREADY considered divinely inspired.
  • Old Testament cannon was widely agreed upon by 300 B.C.
  • The cannon is closed because the apostles and close associates are dead.
  • Prophecy: 450 OT scriptures that point to Jesus as Messiah written hundreds of years before He walked the earth.
  • Archaeology: 20,000+ finds.
You can read Pastor Danny's sermon notes here.

How Feminist Sexuality Harms Women

Mona Charen on the sexual revolution and its negative impact on women:
When modern feminism debuted in the 1960s, it didn’t just urge women to be like men. It encouraged them to be like the worst men — carelessly promiscuous, vulgar, and selfish. Some men treated women as disposable pleasure vessels. Feminists regarded this not as a disgrace but as a challenge. Women who behaved the same way toward men were hailed as feminist pioneers.
Both men and women express regret about casual sexual hookups, but women more. And the premise that women want exactly the same things as men in just the same way has created a booming industry of campus rape accusations, miscarriages of justice, “Take Back the Night” marches, and mutual suspicion between the sexes. Why are there no men marching against female sexual harassment and vanishingly few charges? Did dramatically more men become rapists after the sexual revolution encouraged drunken bed hopping, or have the looser standards confused more young men about the (brace yourselves) greater vulnerability of women? And who taught men that women didn’t need special consideration of any kind?
Most women don’t want what the worst men have always wanted — sex with no strings attached. Women are all about strings. They want intimacy, tenderness, and commitment — all of which have been placed further out of reach by feminism’s conquest of the culture.
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Pornographer Dies

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

Cahnman's Musings wasn't planning to comment on the death of Al Goldstein, but this piece from the American Spectator sums up his pathetic, wasted existence:
In addition to his wives and son, he lost his business. Screw magazine ceased to exist in 2003 after 35 years and nearly 2,000 issues. What print had done to peep shows, the internet exacted upon print. “There is a pattern to American life that what is avant-garde becomes commonplace,” Goldstein, out-smutted by the competitors he had inspired, observed in 1981. “The mass market eventually assimilates that which is innovative or revolutionary.”
Goldstein soon lost his home along with his business. Whereas he once split time between his Upper West Side townhouse and Pompano Beach manse, in the new millennium he alternated between sleeping at a local homeless shelter and in his car parked behind a Boston Market. He spent days behind bars. In 2004, police arrested him for stealing books at Barnes & Noble. Publishers not named Al Goldstein maintained no rights Al Goldstein felt obligated to respect. A man enslaved to his own appetites becomes a tyrant to those around him.
Wives, sons, and secretaries could quit Al Goldstein. The tragedy for Al Goldstein is that he could never quite elude Al Goldstein.
Al Goldstein never repented, the jokes' on him now.

Putting the Homosexuality 'Debate' in proper context

The Gospel Coalition discusses homosexuality within the broader context of sexual morality:
Pastor: (smiling) If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.

Host: But Jesus didn’t condemn homosexuality outright, did He?

Pastor: He didn’t have to. He went to the heart issue and intensified the commands against immoral behavior in the Old Testament. So Jesus doesn’t just condemn adultery, for example, as does one of the Ten Commandments. Jesus condemns even the lust that leads to adultery, all with the purpose of offering us transformed hearts that begin beating in step with His radical demands.
Good stuff, read the whole thing here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stockman wins CTRA Straw Poll

"Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth."
1 Samuel 17:49

[Full Disclosure: Cahnman's Musings is a dues-paying member of the Central Texas Republican Assembly; we voted in tonight's straw poll.]

In the contest over the 2014 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Texas one candidate has supported Wall St. Bailouts, the PATRIOT Act, and Obamacare; tonight, the Central Texas Republican Assembly chose the alternative.

In the contest to hold John Cornyn under 50%, Steve Stockman won a clear plurality.  Like Dewhurst in 2012, Cornyn finished second.  Among alternative candidates, Reid Reasor out-polled Dwayne Stovall.

The message was obvious: grassroots conservative Texans (aka. the Tea Party) don't like Wall St. bailouts, the PATRIOT ACT, or Obamacare.  One candidate has voted for all three.  Sorry John Cornyn, you had your chance.

Steve Stockman isn't Jesus.  He doesn't pretend to be.  Steve Stockman might have skeletons in his closet.  So what?!?  Steve Stockman has never voted to support Wall St. Bailouts, the PATRIOT Act or Obamacare.

The 2014 race for the Republican U.S. Senate race in Texas is about substance.  Only one candidate has voted to endorse Wall St. Bailouts, the PATRIOT Act, and Obamacare.  Tonight, Steve Stockman emerged as the clear alternative.

Matt Beebe: Why I'm Running

Matt Beebe explains why, despite the sleaze that was thrown out at him in 2012, he's giving it a second shot:
Thank you for the encouragement that so many of you have given through your words, financial contributions and prayers. For most of the past two years every time I have attended a public event, I have been encouraged by HD 121 voters to run again.  Since the formal announcement last week, the outpouring of support has continued. I am honored and encouraged -- together we can bring conservative leadership to Bexar County and District 121.

That being said, I still receive the "why are you running?" question from some people.  This doesn't surprise me since I've asked myself that same question many times over the past several months. When your opponent promises a "positive campaign" and then spends $1,500,000 distorting his own record and gets his lobbyist friends to lie about you it's not a lot of fun. Frankly, those "dirty games" are exactly the kinds of things we all wish didn't happen in politics today, and they are the primary reason many good people seek to avoid politics altogether.

But the answer really is simple. I'm concerned about where Texas will be 10, 20, or 30 years from now.  The conservative values we hold dear are under attack daily and Joe Straus continues to enable those who would seek to dismantle the very pillars of what makes Texas so great. The evidence is plenty -- this past session my opponent has ignored serious issues like out-of-control spending, refused to end ever-increasing taxpayer subsidies to illegal immigrants, failed to protect our small businesses from excessive regulations and burdensome taxes, and enabled a "money is the only answer" edu-crat establishment that refuses to prioritize dollars into our classrooms.

I've often said that I don't believe we should settle for simply being "better than California."  The irony in that statement should not be overlooked -- there is no comfort in being better when we appear to be moving closer and closer each day!

Ultimately I'm running because when I go door to door I hear citizens concerned about Texas and they want passionate leadership willing to stand on principle. As Speaker of the House, Joe Straus rarely casts votes, and therefore you have to look deeper into the mechanics of the "sausage making" to see the imprint he has made and the conservative reforms he has derailed.  But this past session, we got a very clear window into his priorities -- he only cast two votes last session and both were to spending billions of your taxpayer dollars. His philosophy of "money solves all problems" does not align with the priorities of District 121.
Read the whole thing here.


Read our endorsement here.

In Memoriam: Pastor Ken Hutcherson

"Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted."
Matthew 5:4

How does one write an obituary for someone they never met face to face?!?

Cahnman's Musings heard Pastor Hutch speak one time, at the Under God: Indivisible conference in July 2012.  We knew he had performed Rush Limbaugh's wedding and we knew him from Rush's annual Super Bowl interview.  Otherwise, he was a blank slate.

For someone we never met, Pastor Hutch had a profound impact on our life.  With the (possible) exception of our own Pastor, no one better modeled how to speak the Truth with boldness and love.  The Truth might be uncomfortable and unpopular, but the lies will kill you.

Born in the Jim Crow South, Pastor Hutch knew strife.  A former NFL star, Pastor Hutch became a football player because it was the one place he could legally beat up white people.  He became a Christian his senior year in high school and, over time, God's Holy Spirit burned off his hatred of white people.  After he retired from the NFL, Pastor Hutch planted the Antioch Bible Church outside Seattle.  He even married a white woman!

Pastor Hutch was the antidote to the watered down preaching that is killing American Christianity.  Pastor Hutch understood the difference between meekness and prideful masochism.  Cahnman's Musings has been blessed by his guidance in discipleship.

But he's with Jesus now, and we doubt there's anywhere else he'd rather be.

Pastor Ken Hutcherson, 1952 - 2013; Rest in Peace.


Update: Caffinated Thoughts has more here.

Austin Church Honors Pastor Martyred in Benghazi

From the Southern Baptist Texan:
AUSTIN—Ronnie Smith and his family moved to Benghazi, Libya, 18 months ago so he could teach chemistry at the International School Benghazi, sensing God's call to be a light in a war-weary land. But on Dec. 5 while jogging, Smith was shot multiple times by perpetrators yet to be captured or claim responsibility for the attack. 
Friends, students and fellow teachers in Libya and the U.S. were stunned by the sudden loss. Some despaired at the apparent meaninglessness of the murder while others voiced hope in God's providence. 
Ahmed @Criminimed posted on Twitter following the shooting: "He left his wife, his son and his country to come to Libya and help our kids get better education and we rewarded him with [sic] bullet." 
The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin in a prepared statement, however, noted: "Although we grieve because we have lost a friend, a husband, and a father, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has a greater purpose than we can imagine right now." Smith was an Austin Stone member as is his wife Anita. 
The church held a private memorial service for Smith on Monday (Dec. 9). Smith served as an associate pastor at Austin Stone for four years prior to the family's move to Libya. But his desire to serve others drew the 33-year-old to share the gospel with an unpredictable yet lovable people.
So why would a young father and husband move his family to such a place? Barrett sent The TEXAN a link to Smith's video response. He had obviously given the question plenty of consideration before leaving. 
"If there is any single person in the entire universe that you can take a chance on, it's God," Smith said. 
Yielding to God's call to go to unfamiliar and potentially dangerous places goes hand-in-hand with a commitment to follow Christ, several Austin pastors told the TEXAN. Though they did not know him, they said his faith was evident in his obedience and his death a cause for reflection. 
"God may be calling us to go some places—not places we'd pick to live," said Rod Minor, pastor of Anderson Mills Baptist Church in Austin. 
Minor was preparing a sermon on circumstances of Jesus' upbringing as he considered the Smith family's call to Libya. Nazareth was not a pretty place to live, Minor said, noting that Jesus was derided for being from a "less than desirable" town.
Christians may be at odds with the cultural milieu of an uber-liberal city whose motto is "Keep Austin Weird," Rush said, but churches like Austin Stone are proactively engaging the community, seeking to bless others as a means to an end—sharing the uncompromising Gospel of Christ.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Obama Bankrolls Austin Yoga Studio

A nauseating discovery from the Austin Post:
Practice Yoga, 1103 E. Sixth St., is a beneficiary of the federally-funded Family Business Loan Program, city officials touted during a Dec. 16 news conference.
“Without the support of a program like the Family Business Loan Program, this property may not have been renovated back to the community as a donation-based yoga studio, increasing access to the community of affordable-based yoga,” said Kevin Johns, director of the City's Economic Development Department.
Practice Yoga co-owner Rey Cardenas, a former professional online poker player, said he "grossly underestimated" how much opening the donation-based yoga studio would cost. Through the loan, Santis helped pay for facility improvements such as new floors and mirrors.
"I couldn't imagine it working out as well as it has," Cardenas said.
The Family Business Loan Program is a public-private partnership between the Economic Development Department, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and ABC Bank. The program has a $40 million loan pool at its disposal and offers lower interest rates and smaller equity investment than traditional loans.
 Because any business worth pursuing has to put taxpayers on the hook....

UT Chancellor Admits Wallace Hall inquiry Legitimate

[Full Disclosure: Cahnman's Musings assisted Agendawise with their livestream of the Wallace Hall impeachment hearing today; views expressed in this forum are ours and ours alone.]

At 1:38 pm, University of Texas chancellor Francisco Cigarroa admitted that regent Wallace Hall "raised valid concerns" in his inquiry; the Texas House committee on Transparency in state agency operations spent the remaining seven hours and fifty nine minutes of today's eight hour hearing creating a rhetorical haystack under which to bury that needle.

[Author's Note: Trust me, we understand the irony of a 'transparency' committee spending eight hours attempting to obfuscate the truth.]

This exchange happened during questioning from Texas Rep. Charles Perry (R - Lubbock).  Cigarroa admitted that "some good things have come out of" Hall's inquiry.  Cigarroa specifically listed technology transfer, transparency, and questions surrounding admissions/fundraising at the University law school.  Cigarroa further admitted that the University has implemented several of Hall's recommendations.  Representative Perry thanked Cigarroa for his forthrightness.

The hearing began with Chairman Dan Flynn (R - Canton) and co-chair Carol Alvarado (D - Houston) throwing a temper-tantrum.  Hall declined to testify unless the committee subpoenaed him.  Hall's reason for doing so was that, absent a subpoena, he could have opened himself up to a civil lawsuit.  Flynn called Hall's valid concern "a slap in the face of this committee."  Alvarado explained "invited guests don't get to set the terms on which they appear."

Next up, two former regents testified about standard practices for University regents.  Their complaint about Hall stemmed from the fact that he went outside the chain of command.  Going behind the board and the UT President is 'inappropriate.'

After lunch, following the interaction between Chancellor Cigarroa and Rep. Perry detailed above, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D - San Antonio) exposed his inner buffoon.  Fischer browbeat Cigarroa for an hour over a variety of petty topics, including details of preferential treatment for retiring Rep. Jim Pitts' son at UT Law School.  Fischer's attempt to set Governor Perry up as the bad guy fell flat.

The other noteworthy clown from today's hearing was (Joe Straus lieutenant) Rep. Lyle Larson (R - San Antonio).  Larson was upset because Hall's inquiry "created a lot of disruption" at UT.  Larson also took multiple cheap shots at Governor Perry.

Bill Powers' testimony was surprisingly anticlimatic.  He wasn't sworn in until after Cigarroa, six hours into the hearing.  Powers detailed his concern that Hall's inquiry has hurt recruiting and retention.  Powers also feels that Hall's inquiry poses "significant harm to our academic reputation."  Powers explained that, in his opinion, the $200 million software donation scandal was a case where reasonable people could disagree.

Wallace Hall is the Ted Cruz of Higher Education in Texas.  Because he's a threat to business as usual, he rubs a lot of people the wrong way.  But the University of Texas Chancellor has admitted his inquiry is legit, and that's the only major takeaway from today's hearing.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cornyn's first attack backfires spectacularly!!!

Conservative Texans might have noticed the following new entry on Facebook:

Shady Stockman · 12 like this
4 hours ago · 
 The Shady Stockman website contains gems like the following:

"He has been jailed more than once, and was charged with a Felony after one such incident when authorities found Valium in his pants" 

Washington Post

So he was arrested and charged?!?  Was he convicted?!?  It's also good to know that Team Cornyn holds the Washington post in such high regard.

Fortunately, Facebook wasn't having any of it:
  • Kevin Myers I'm sending Stockman more money to counter this crap. Cornyn is a douchebag of first order. I guess the cowboy hat in his ads still can't covince Texans that he is "one of us".
    Unlike · Reply · 11 · 2 hours ago 
Sid Bednar Looks like the Cornyn delegation are getting desperate. . . . he is a RINO like McCain.
Like · Reply · 12 · 

  • Mark Phillips How about the truth about Cornyn? Bailouts, spying, warmonger, Medicare Part D(socialize medicine), etc..
    Like · Reply · 8 · 3 hours ago
  • Gypsey Lu Seems like a smear tactic to me got to see more before I will believe. People got taken by Ryan and Boehner I was not.
    Like · Reply · 7 · 3 hours ago
  • Jonathan Clark Hahahaha what a joke! Cornyn is getting desperate!
    Like · Reply · 7 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Ray Stone get a life and find some facts Stockman is my man we need some one who will fight
    Like · Reply · 8 · 3 hours ago
  • Shawn Williams This is what happens when the "system" aka John Cornyn gets scared..case in point..look how Dewhurst tried throwing Ted Cruz under a bus only to be run over himself! I was proud to vote for Cruz and will be proud to vote for Stockman. Take note Cornyn. ..the people bus is coming!
    Like · Reply · 5 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Arthur Ford Brought to you by John Cornyn. Desperation is so unbecoming John, don't you think?
    Like · Reply · 11 · 3 hours ago
  • Katrina Lim Cornyn is coming out with the LONG KNIVES. Wow. These types of ads just push me closer to Stockman.
    Like · Reply · 3 · about an hour ago
  • JL Narvaiz Funny how he's shady now when running against the establishment.
    Like · Reply · 4 · 2 hours ago
  • Robert Vreugde Okay I went to the site and found a quote from a Houston Chronicle article, some anonymous tweets and the accusation that he was a felon because he had been charged with a felony because the cops found some valium in his pants. No attribution to any verifiable source, no date given for the Chron or WAPost quotes, no source for accusations given in the tweets. Also a mention that Steve had been in jail twice - but for what? and when?
    Then the accusation that he had not filled out a financial disclosure - okay that is some meat - could you please give more details? 
    And BTW being charged with a felony is not the same as being a felon. 
    I think Steve Stockman should stay in Congress and not get involved in this demolition derby with John Cornyn. But if this is the best the Cornyn campaign can do via a back door attack, then maybe Senator Cornyn's re-election campaign really is in trouble.
    Like · Reply · 8 · 3 hours ago · Edited
  • Mike Urich And obummer hasn't disclosed a legal birth certificate or his college transcripts either.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hours ago
  • Mark Kjellander I smell alot of bull shit here
    Like · Reply · 2 · about an hour ago
  • Carroll Oliver I don't yet know anything about Stockman but my dog would be a better senator than two-faced lying RINO John Cornflake
    Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hours ago via mobile
The quotes go on, but you get the picture.

Governor Perry says it best: