Saturday, February 28, 2015

Austin City Council Rebukes Enviromentalists

"who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
Romans 1:25

If you were still skeptical about the new council being light years better than the old one:
Following about three hours of public testimony – which included neighborhood association in-fighting, a choked-up speech, appearances from environmental activists and Q&As about a “traffic impact analysis” – the Austin City Council began debating Thursday’s marquee zoning item.
The question before the council was whether to more than double the limit of car trips allowed on a 32.8-acre piece of the old Garza Ranch that is in the heart of the Barton Springs recharge zone.
The Garza family had asked for 16,204 car trips a day, or 13,906 net trips if other factors are considered, such as cars that stop by the site at William Cannon Drive and MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) on the way to another place.
The vacant tract currently has a limit of 6,000 car trips a day. For Pennsylvania-based Brandywine Realty Trust, the potential buyer of the land, that’s not enough for the offices, multifamily housing and retail it hopes to construct on the site.
In one of its closest votes to date, the council approved 13,000 net trips on “first reading,” meaning the council will take up the issue again, and could conceivably change the number again, before there is a final vote.
 Read the whole thing here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Abortion Barbie belatedly complains about this website

"and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “Here lies Jezebel."
2 Kings 9:37

This website didn't intend to ever write about Wendy Davis again.  That being said, she gave a speech at Princeton University earlier this week.  The best part:
“In my [gubernatorial] race, my opponent’s supporters derided me by using photoshopped sexual images of me in social media, with my face on a very sexy body, in order to invite responses from potential voters to view me as highly sexualized, rather than intelligent and confident potential state leader,” Davis said.

(h/t Pushjunction)
Cahnman's Musings is flattered to learn that, four and a half months after Election 2014, we're still living rent-free in Wendy Davis' head.



While we're on the topic, we also find Davis' thin skin amusing compared to other female politicians who've been through worse.

BOOK REVIEW: Game Plan, by Kevin Freeman

"So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe....Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
Genesis 41:31...36

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand."
Ezekiel 33:6

Financial terrorism is the greatest threat currently facing the U.S. economy and national security.

In 2012, Kevin Freeman published Secret Weapon, which detailed how the 2008 financial crisis was a foreign attack on the U.S. economy.  Unfortunately, since then, U.S. political leadership has chosen cronyism over preparing for another attack.  Given this reality, Freeman's 2013 follow up Game Plan is a guide for individuals to protect themselves during perilous economic times.

Since 2008, under George W. Bush and Barack Obama (and congresses of both parties), the United States government has spent itself into oblivion.  The Federal Reserve has degraded the value of the dollar.  Productive economic activity is stagnant.  With more attacks on the horizon, the U.S. economy is prostrate.  While the primary battlefield is financial, military weakness and border chaos don't help.

Financial terrorism takes many forms (p. 71).  Examples include: an EMP (72), cyber attacks on financial markets (78-9), Flash Crashes (83), Bear Raids (90), or interest rate shocks (91).  Any of these scenarios could devastate the U.S. and/or Global economy.  From Al Qaeda, to China, to ISIS, to North Korea, to Russia, many of America's enemies have experimented with these capabilities.  Threats come from a variety of sources.

Over the next few years, prepare for economic uncertainty without recent precedent along with major downside risk.  Freeman investigates how various asset classes will act in various scenarios.  The biggest question is whether we face deflation or inflation.  The next major question is whether the dollar loses its status as global reserve currency.  Depending on the scenario, various allocations between precious metals (ch. 5), stocks (ch. 6), cash (ch. 8), and commodities (ch. 10) make sense.  Unfortunately, Freeman doesn't discuss BITCOIN, another avenue for diversification.  Under most circumstances, bonds should be avoided for a few years.

One note on gold: it's a good idea, but it's not a panacea.  Freeman tracks the price of gold from 1263 to 1932 to illustrate how, "for hundreds of years, gold was relatively steady (97)."  The U.S. "constitution also explicitly addresses gold and silver coinage for the states" (100) in Article I, Section 10.  Unfortunately, gold is also subject to confiscation (102) and price manipulation (107).  Over the long run, stocks outperform gold.

Bailouts, government debt, and "quantitative easing" have hobbled the U.S. economy.  This weakened state leaves the U.S. economy perilously vulnerable to financial terrorism.  That terrorism can take a variety of forms and come from a variety of places.  That being said, if you stay calm and adapt with circumstances, you can survive and proper through the coming crises.  To prepare yourself, Game Plan, by Kevin Freeman, is a fantastic place to start.

Stickland Punks Straus

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

Last November, Jonathan Stickland filed his bill to repeal in-state tuition for illegals.  Three months later, Stickland's bill has yet to be referred to committee.  With Straus obviously trying to kill Stickland's bill, Stickland isn't having any of it:

Dallas Morning News has more:
A tea party-backed, northeast Tarrant County House lawmaker is demanding to know why GOP Speaker Joe Straus is sitting on his bill to repeal a law granting those in the country illegally a break on the cost of higher education.

Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, wants to eliminate the measure allowing unauthorized immigrants to pay lower, in-state resident tuition rates at state colleges and universities.

He complained Thursday that Straus, R-San Antonio, has not referred his in-state tuition repeal bill to a House committee, though more than three months have passed since he filed it.

Stickland, a foe of Straus’ bipartisan leadership coalition in the chamber, took to the back microphone to complain about the speaker’s inaction.

Straus, who wasn’t presiding at the time, came out of his office and relieved Collin County freshman Rep. Matt Sheehan, who was wielding the gavel temporarily, so he could answer Stickland directly.

“Mr. Stickland, I’d be happy to visit with you about your concerns,” Straus said.

Shortly thereafter, Stickland could be seen conferring off the floor with Jesse Ancira, Straus’ chief of staff.
Read the whole thing here; Austin American-Statesman has more here.

Speaker Joe Straus: (512) 463-1000

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Controversial U.T. Regent Nominees face the music

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

Betty King Room -- Earlier today, the Texas Senate nominations committee held a confirmation hearing for Governor Abbott's controversial U.T. regent nominees.  The nominees faced a number of difficult questions from Committee Chairman Brian Birdwell, along with fellow committee members Konni Burton and Van Taylor.  Senator Charles Schwertner, who has taken an interest in higher ed issues this session, spent more time at the hearing than several committee members.

Regent nominee Steve Hicks was the first to testify, A known defender of Bill Powers, Hicks is the only current nominee being re-appointed.  While Hicks confessed that undue influence in the admissions process is undesirable, he nonetheless made the excuse that Powers was "the only one who sees the whole field of battle."  Hicks also denied the obvious similarities between the current issues at U.T. and the 2009 scandal at the University of Illinois.  Under questioning from Senator Burton, Hicks defended his vote against investigating the law school's secret "forgivable loan" program.  Hicks also made the absurd claim that while regents are supposed to "ask tough questions," they are subsequently expected to accept whatever answer the administration gives them.  Hicks could not provide answers to Senator Schwertner's questions about accounting gimmicks used to keep tuition "artificially low."

Nominee Sarah Martinez Tucker, who has come under fire for supporting Common Core, was up next.  Asked about the forgivable loan program, she explained "I don't have a lot of specifics," which makes one wonder how she will perform her duties if she can't prepare for an obvious question in a confirmation hearing.  Asked about her support for the controversial educational program, Tucker explained "I APPLAUD COMMON CORE."  Pressed to explain, Tucker made vague claims about Common Core being bad for Texas but o.k. for other states.  Asked by Senator Schwertner about the role of the student loan bailout she helped engineer in 2008 in higher education cost explosions, Tucker unconvincingly attempted to shift blame to the Obama administration.  To her credit, Tucker spoke favorably about zero-based budgeting for the U.T. system.

David Beck faced the most intense questioning.  Beck was a key player in creating the afore-mentioned forgivable loan program, and was mentioned by name in a scathing Attorney General's report released last year.  Pressed by lawmakers, Beck claimed "we can't compete" in retaining faculty with public compensation.  At issue was an undisclosed "deferred compensation" agreement with lame-duck university president Bill Powers during Powers' previous tenure as law school dean.  Beck told Senator Burton he had assumed that off-book compensation agreements had made their way up the chain of command.  As Senator Schwertner told Beck, seven years is a long time to not know the details of a compensation agreement not going up the chain of command.  Beck was also unable to answer questions about cutting university costs, although he did oppose a tuition increase "at this time."

Tony McDonald testified against all three nominees.  McDonald, who was a law student at U.T. during the height of the forgivable loan scandal, discussed professors of his who were visibly distracted by it.  Regarding Hicks, McDonald objected that he could not clean up a mess he helped create.  McDonald also explained that off-book compensation was not subject to open-record's laws.  Finally, McDonald chided Beck for "a shocking refusal to take responsibility" for his role in creating the mess.

The committee adjourned following testimony; no vote on the nominees has been scheduled.

Today's hearing asked difficult questions of these controversial nominees.  The committee maximized this point of leverage.  The nominees answers left much to be desired, but at least they were asked to the questions.  Kudos especially to Senators Burton and Schwertner for their question.  It's a start....

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Russell Brand's Monologue about Pornography

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
John 3:17

This author isn't usually a fan of Russell Brand, but Amen on this:

(h/t Fight the new drug)


  • Our attitude towards sex has become warped.
  • Pornography reduces the spectacle of sex to some sort of "extracted physical act."
  • Consequences: Exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society, diminished trust between intimate partners, abandonment of hope for sexual monogamy, belief that promiscuity is the natural state....
  • His own relationship with pornography: "Is kind of the hub of my feelings of inner conflict and doubt."
  • "There's a general feeling, in your core, if you look at pornography that it isn't the best thing for me.
  • "I feel like if I had total dominion over myself that I would never look at porn again."
  • 50 shades of Grey is softcore porn.

Texas doesn't need California style "local control"

"But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men."
Acts 5:29

TPPF's James Quintero elaborates upon Governor Abbott's call to curtail local governments' ability to infringe citizens' property rights:
Abbott continued: “Some cities are telling citizens you don’t own some of the things on your property that you have purchased and owned for a long time, things like trees. This is a form of collectivism.”

And, of course, he’s right.

More and more municipalities are passing nanny state restrictions and regulations that infringe upon Texans’ personal freedoms, property rights, and livelihood. Indeed, there seems to be no nook or cranny too small to escape the growing regulatory reach of Texas’ local governments.

The glut of new rules and restraints run the gamut from the types of businesses allowed within city limits to the kind of bags a person can use at the grocery store to the things a person can and cannot do in the privacy of their own vehicle.

More often than not, the justification given for these intrusions hinges on “local control,” or the state-afforded authority granted to communities to govern certain policy areas. Local governments know best how to solve their problems, or so the thinking goes.

But where this rationale frequently goes off the rails is in its emphasis of local control over other, more important governing principles, such as liberty.

Liberty, not local control, is the overriding principle that should inform and direct our public policy makers. For without liberty, local control simply becomes a means toward the end of local tyranny.


Some might balk at the idea of Legislature tamping down on local overregulation, but it’s important to remember that municipalities are creatures of the state and they derive their authority from state government. As such, putting the kibosh on local government overreach is a perfectly legitimate exercise for state officials to undertake, especially when it’s done in defense of liberty.

The mishmash of restrictive regulations that ought to come under scrutiny from the new Legislature include those mentioned by Abbott — Denton’s fracking ban, San Antonio’s tree-cutting ban, and the many, likely illegal plastic bag ban and fee ordinances that have been enacted around Texas — as well as onerous ride- sharing regulations that have made it difficult for companies like Uber and Lyft to operate.

Undoubtedly, local governments and the numerous associations that represent them at the Capitol will not take kindly to the idea that local control is secondary to liberty.
 Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Faith and Family Day: Jonathan Saenz (Religious Liberty Amendment)

"The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him."
Proverbs 18:17

Texas State Capitol -- Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values spoke about religious liberty and marriage:


  • Started to see this local stuff a couple years ago.
  • Other side is trying to wear us down.
  • "What happens at the local level is really important."
  • The case that got him involved in this work is one of the ones that inspired God's Not Dead.
  • "Religious freedom is under attack like never before."
  • SJR 10 - Religious Liberty Amendment.
  • "I'm not sure what we have in statute is enough."
    • Constitutional amendment = More protection.
  • Beat the old Austin C.C. to defend crisis pregnancy centers.
    • But it took two years.
  • "The time is now to do something lasting."
  • Redefining marriage is a threat to religious liberty.
  • Why should we wait another year and a half to address religious liberty?!?

Faith and Family Day: Dave Welch (Abusive Local Governments)

A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor,
But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.
Proverbs 28:16

Texas State Capitol -- Dave Welch of the Texas Pastor Council spoke about the need to curtail tyrannical local ordinances:

  • We need state legislation that specifically codifies the definition of male and female.
  • Transgender "marriage" case in front of Texas Supreme Court.
  • "Gender expression" depends on how you "feel" about your gender on any given day.
  • Most Christians don't have solid apologetics on which to stand.
  • The backlash against the Houston case helped the GOP in last fall's election.
  • Bill filed to define Male and Female.
  • "Not accepting any excuses" in this session.

Faith and Family Day: Allan Parker (Parental Educational Choice)

"Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life."
Proverbs 4:13

Texas State Capitol -- Allan Parker of the Justice foundation spoke about school choice:


  • "We don't need to make our kindergarteners missionaries in a godless system, we need to educate them in a God-filled system."
  • 85% of Republican primary voters supported school choice in 2012.
  • "If you like your current school, you can keep it."
  • 100,000 child waiting list for charter schools.
  • Government creates scarcity, choice creates abundance.
  • Bill specifically states "no new regulation" of private schools.
  • Program run by Comptroller, not T.E.A

Faith and Family Day: Ann Hettinger (Am. Law Am. Courts)

"How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood."
Jeremiah 8:8

Texas State Capitol -- Ann Hettinger discussed American Laws for American Courts:

  • Doesn't allow foreign law to be used in family proceedings.
  • Foreign provisions are void in divorce and custody cases.
  • Upholds Texas and U.S. constitutions.

Faith and Family Day: John Seago (Life)

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb."
Psalm 139:13

Texas State Capitol -- John Seago of Texas Right to Life discussed judicial bypass reform:


  • TxRTL scholarships.
  • Judicial Bypass reform.
  • Current law allows abortionists to completely wall-off parents.
  • Abortion industry knows the loopholes in current law.
  • Bill would require cases to be heard by judge in the minor's county of residence.
  • Judicial bypass has "automatic granting" if you don't hear back in two days.

Faith and Family Day: Cathie Adams (Marriage)

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Genesis 2:24

Texas State Capitol -- Cathie Adams discussed traditional marriage this morning:


  • Praises Abbott re: Marriage.
  • Texas needs to prepare for SCOTUS ruling.
  • Bell/Perry marriage bills.
  • Founders thought judicial branch would be the weakest.

Faith and Family Day: Governor Greg Abbott

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

Texas State Capitol -- This morning, Governor Abbott spoke to Faith and Family Day; he recounted his victories for religious liberty as Governor (several of which, if we're being honest, we had forgotten about) and spoke about the polices on life and marriage his administration will pursue:


  • Will of the people being ignored: "We must respond with typical Texas tenacity."
  • "This is an assault we see year after year after year...."
  • Recalls religious liberty victories the past few years.
  • "The core of strong families begins with marriage and that marriage should be one man and one woman."
  • "The constitution gives states the authority to define marriage."
  • Pitches school choice.
  • "For children to have a better chance in life, they must first have a chance AT life."
  • Protecting the unborn will "always" be a priority.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Patrick outlines strategy for dealing with House

"Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant."
Matthew 20:26

Speaking earlier tonight at Concerned Women for America's Faith and Family dinner, Dan Patrick outlined his strategy for dealing with the Texas House in more detail than we've ever heard previously:


  • "I have never seen the presence of God at the Capitol" like this session.
  • Our new statewides all "put God first."
  • Focus on "His will for us, not our will for Him."
  • Changed 2/3rds rule.
  • Not going to let a budget come to the floor without significant business and property tax relief.
  • Once we hit day 60, they're going to bombard the House with conservative legislation.
    • "I've never understood this idea of holding our bills till the last 6 or 7 weeks" of session.
    • "I want the House" to have plenty of time to pass conservative legislation.

Your Pro-Life Video Update week #6

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5

Texas Right to Life continues to follow the budget process:


  • 2 priority bills filed
  • Monitoring the budget process.
    • Sub cmte. on Article II: See our post from last week.
    • Sarah Davis acting all butt hurt.
  • Faith and Family day tomorrow.

UT Law Admissions: Worse than you think

"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
2 Timothy 3:2

The University of La Verne College of Law in California, for example, came in dead last in the peer reputation survey on the 2013 US News rankings of accredited law schools, yet three-quarters of its students scored a 150 or better.
Kroll’s findings suggest some of the worst abuses of trust are in the (recent) past, when UT Law admitted students not just with LSATs in the 140s, but with scores as low as 138, 137, 136 and even 128.
A 128 is down at the very bottom 1 percent of test-takers nationwide. It means the person got less than a quarter of the answers correct.
Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Constitutional Carry: Grassroots Texans Speak

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

Update: Breitbart Texas has more here.

Texas State Capitol -- This afternoon, representatives from every credible pro-Second Amendment organization in Texas spoke at the Capitol on Constitutional carry and the second amendment.  The speakers discussed bills in front of the currently convened legislature and worthwhile primary challenges (cough*Straus* cough) heading into the 2016 cycle.  Speakers featured below:

Melanie Davis (Love Your Vets; One Million Rounds):

  • Veterans standing beside us in this fight.
  • They need our support as much as we need freedom.
  • Recycling spend brass shell casings into Art
  • Donate shell casings.
  • Crowd sourced project.

  • "Our enemies are domestic right now."
  • "Just because I took my uniform off, I didn't take my oath off."
  • "We need to talk about politics more than football."

  • We have a lot of "Facebook rangers," not enough people putting "skin in the game."
  • We're begging for a right that 44 (licensed open) and 31 (no license) already recognize.
  • Under current law: "If I pick up my pant leg, I'd be a criminal."
  • "A thin piece of cloth is what separates you from being a law-abiding citizen and a criminal."
  •  Mom's Demand Action (but totally not in a pornographic way) Assaults: "At least one we know of."
  • "Joe Straus doesn't want to offend his Democratic [sic] supporters.
  • "Joe Straus needs to be primaried next election."
  • "We need Patriots to step up and run for office."
    • Even if you lose, you change behavior.
    • Case in point: Lamar Smith.
  • Show up face to face.

  • Running against John Otto.
  • It only takes 3% of the country to change the country.
  • Brings up people who have been illegally arrested.
  • Gun rights is the foundation of liberty.
  • "We need Texas to start leading."
  • MDA not welcome in Texas.
  • People are going to intentionally try to sabotage this bill.
  • Ask that SB 342 get a fair hearing.
  • "The primaries start in September."
  • Feds are talking about banning rifle rounds.
  • TSRA protects members, never leads
    • Didn't do squat to pass open carry.
    • Like Joe Pojman.

  • It's exhausting watching everyone every second.
  • A right does not belong to the government.
  • Constitutional carry is a vindication for every crime victim.
  • The people are not the property of the state.
  • "The progressive era of the 20th century is coming to a close."
  • Put permitted carry in the "trashcan of history."

  • Delivered 70,000 constitutional carry petitions.
  • "What can't Texas trust Texans?!?"
  • "A restraining order is just a piece of paper."
  • "No proof that openly carrying creates crime; it's been proven otherwise, to deter a crime."
  • 80-90% support unlicensed open carry.

  • "This issue doesn't have a bunch of special interest $$$ behind it."
  • They want to protect members from "bad votes."
  • "When I read the Second Amendment, I don't see any room for compromise on this issue."
  • "We are going to vote on Constitutional carry."
  • "Most legislators will give you just what you're willing to take (and nothing more)."
  • "Open Carry with a license is not enough in the Republican primary."
  • "We are going to put elected officials on the record."


  • "Here we go again...."
  • "If we truly believe in Texas independence, we will pass constitutional carry."
  • Criminals already carry.
  • Keep legislators on their toes.
  • "More guns equals less crime, go out and buy yourself a gun."

Friday, February 20, 2015

How Straus stacks committees AGAINST Pro-Lifers

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
Ephesians 5:11

[Author's Note: This post is inside baseball, but if you want to understand the games the Republican leadership of the Texas House plays with legislation, this is the type of stuff you need to understand.]

Two of the most important Texas House committees for pro-lifers are the Public Health Committee, and the Appropriations sub-committee on Article II (of the Texas Constitution).  The former deals with abortion and end-of-life legislation, while the latter oversees state funding for "health care."  How pro-life are those committees?!?

Not very.  While each committee has two token pro-life champions, both have super-majorities comprised of Democrats and weak-on-life Republicans.  Based on Texas Right to Life's legislative ratings, both committees have failing scores.

Average Committee Rating:

Public Health: 25.9
Approps Art II sub cmte: 32.8

Bottom line: Pro-life legislation is not a priority in the Straus-led Texas House; it only becomes a priority when you combine overwhelming public pressure with extraordinary actions from the Governor.

Contact Governor Abbott: (512) 463-2000.




Texas Right to Life has more about the Public Health committee here and the Appropriations subcommittee here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Straus continues to show fear

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

[Author's Note: We were at the TAB event yesterday, but arrived after Straus spoke.  It's a shame; we wish we could have observed his body language.  That being said, his words speak for themselves.]

Following his laughable attempt to appear tough last week, yesterday Joe Straus spoke at TAB's legislative conference.  He hysterically warned about "emotional" and "divisive" issues.  San Antonio Express News reports:
AUSTIN - House Speaker Joe Straus urged business interests Wednesday to make an aggressive push at the Texas Capitol for improving education and transportation, warning that core legislation could otherwise be eclipsed by "emotional and divisive issues."
Straus, R-San Antonio, lauded the Texas Association of Business for its focus on fundamentals 
But with other issues already taking the spotlight this session, Straus said a disciplined focus is necessary: “If the business community doesn’t speak up, I assure you that someone else will fill that void.”
Straus, while not naming the issues he considers divisive, made reference to Capitol protests, which notably have involved people pushing for open carry of handguns and a contingent upset about Texas Muslim Capitol Day.
“In a political system that often promotes only the loudest and the most outrageous voices, keeping the focus on issues like education and roads is not always easy,” Straus said. “We’ve seen it already in this young session. The media can’t resist writing about the most outrageous protests, or the so-called wedge issues that divide Republicans from Democrats and even Republicans from Republicans, but our state is growing too fast and our economy is too big for us to be consumed by the most emotional and divisive issues.”
 Read the whole thing here.

Translation: I'm losing control of the caucus and I'm going to need a lot of help from the legacy GOP donor class if we're gonna pass crony legislation this session.

Schwertner Launches "Texas Tuition Freeze"

"If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."
John 11:48

Charles Schwertner refuses to back down following the cold shoulder from Bill McRaven:
A Central Texas senator is launching an online petition to "put a face on" his effort to freeze tuition at state colleges and universities.
Sen. Charles Schwertner, a Georgetown Republican who is one of several lawmakers seeking to put tuition back in the hands of lawmakers, announced the launch of the website Wednesday.
"I'm launching to put a face on this effort and give a voice to the thousands of parents and students who continue to struggle with the skyrocketing cost of college tuition and fees," Schwertner said in a statement. "I know this will be an uphill battle, but I'm confident we can be successful if Texans from across the state join together and make their voices heard."
Tuition at Texas universities has more than doubled in the 12 years since state lawmakers authorized colleges to set their own rates. In this session several lawmakers, including Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat,have filed bills to put control back in the hands of the state Legislature to some degree.
That's a proposition that university officials, including the Chancellor of the University of Texas System, oppose.
Read the whole thing here; sign Schwertner's petition here.

Incest now "Genetic Sexual Attraction" (WARNING: Graphic)

"But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:13

There were a lot of red flags over the course of those two years, moments I'm only now able to recognize as such. But being the daughter of a let's-look-at-our-vaginas-together feminist who is also a sex historian with a specialization in pedophilia and sex offenders—topics that were often openly discussed around me as a kid—I found that the boundaries that existed in other families simply did not exist in mine. So when my dad started talking to me openly about his past sexual encounters, it felt fairly normal. When he told me he was cheating on his current girlfriend, I was not bothered by it. I was 19, and my mother had always spoken to me like an adult. I felt he was speaking to me the same way. I felt included in his club, and I was flattered.

On my second trip to Jamaica, I started sleeping in my dad's bed. It was, in retrospect, yet another thing that might seem inappropriate to other kids. But I came from a kiss-on-the-lips relationship with both my mother and grandmother, and growing up, it was normal for us to cuddle and be affectionate together. I enjoyed it. I also had no idea what was normal in a father-daughter relationship. We held each other and I felt safe. When I started feeling sexually attracted to him—as well as shocked and horrified to realize it—I spoke of it to no one, least of all him. I hoped I would go home and the feeling would go away. But it didn't. Instead, it grew.

During that final visit to Jamaica, I discovered our sexual attraction to be mutual. It was August 2009, and one day, my dad did something that deeply upset me. The heat outside was deadly, and we stayed cooped up in his bedroom, where there was air conditioning. We were watching TV to pass the time when he put on a porn channel. Sex workers were being interviewed and he told me which of them he would most like to fuck.

I fled from the room in anger and confusion. I shut myself up in the other bedroom, which was oppressively hot, until he coaxed me to come out, apologizing repeatedly. I wanted to love him. I felt I needed him in my otherwise broken life. But things were starting to feel wrong between us. He was crossing boundaries; I was doing my best to suppress my sexual attraction to him. But despite my sense of impending doom, it was there. And then, we became sexually involved.

I imagine that, unless you have experienced genetic sexual attraction yourself, this is going to sound entirely unbelievable. But trust me: it is as real and intense as anything. The sexual feelings I had for my father felt like a dark spell that had been cast over me—a description that a therapist told me had been used almost verbatim by another client who had experienced father-daughter GSA. In general, my guiding principle in life is being in control. But in that moment I had absolutely none. It was like those nightmares in which you scream and no one hears you: you are powerless and you know it. I was not only a victim of my father's two-year seduction; I also felt a victim of my own sexual feelings. I didn't know then what GSA was, or how common it is. (The incidence rate of GSA is unquantified due to the difficulty involved in reporting or researching it; a commonly cited, if disputed, figure puts it at 50% of relatives who meet as adults.) I felt ashamed of myself, and I had no one to talk to about it. I wasn't equipped to understand or handle my feelings.


So here's a new story to throw into the mix: genetic sexual attraction is normal, and very real. If it is a parent-child relationship, the parent, whether male or female, is always responsible for establishing and maintaining boundaries. Failing that, they are sexual abusers. And to the victims of their abuse, I want to say what I have finally been able to understand myself: that my attraction, and what it led to, was not my fault.
The rest of the article details the author's (obvious and predictable) emotional trauma this decision produced while castigating normal father/daughter relationships; read the whole depressing thing here.

Come quickly Jesus....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ken Paxton rebukes Judicial Tyranny

"And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
Matthew 19:4-5

Following yesterday's usurpation of authority by a Travis County probate judge, Ken Paxton acted:

Attorney General Paxton Intervenes In Travis County Marriage Case; Requests Stay from Texas Supreme Court

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced his office has intervened in a Travis County probate case following a judge’s declaration that Texas’ marriage law is unconstitutional. The State has sought a stay by the Texas Supreme Court and has also asked the court to overturn the judge’s ruling. General Paxton issued the following statement:
“Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage, and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman. The probate judge’s misguided ruling does not change Texas law or allow the issuance of a marriage license to anyone other than one man and one woman.”
Texas Values has more:
“We are grateful for today’s actions by Attorney General Ken Paxton who is standing up for the citizens of Texas after they clearly and constitutionally recognized marriage as being between one man and one woman. The actions of the Attorney General are imperative to eliminate any confusion concerning state law as well as ensuring the continued enforcement of Texas marriage laws. Judge Herman and those that seek to abuse their judicial responsibilities to redefine marriage must be held accountable. We must continue to send a strong message to every judge in Texas that the people of Texas expect our marriage laws and state constitution to be respected.”
Whatever your thoughts on the underlying merits of the marriage issue, probate courts do NOT have constitutional authority; kudos to Ken for recognizing this distinction.

History Lesson: Ted Cruz castigates Ex-Im "Bank"

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

The federal Export-Import 'bank' is one of the most noxious pieces of corporate welfare in existence today.  Little more than a taxpayer-financed slush fund for Boeing, the bank nevertheless draws support from both Democrats and legacy R's.  After an attempt to abolish it fell short last year, it's once again up for re-authorization in June.

This afternoon, on a hunch, we decided to check Ted Cruz's position on the issue:
The Export-Import Bank is big businesses' big-government bank backed by U.S. taxpayers. It sends huge amounts of assistance toforeign corporations, buyers, and companies that are hostile to our economic and security interests, but can afford armies of lobbyists to access easy financing backed by American taxpayers.
Contrary to the values that keep America strong, safe and free, the Export-Import Bank has facilitated lending to governments in Congo and Sudan, countries with horrifichuman rights records. It has financed Chinese power plants and backed Russian billionaires buying luxury planes. And, it has provided lots and lots of financing to oil companies in Russia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that compete directly with America's energy companies.
Americans shouldn't be forced to finance those who are actively working against them, as a basic matter of prudence. The Export-Import Bank operates outside of commonsense.
There's nothing inherently wrong with big business — and President Obama is wrong to constantly demagogue them — but they don't need special handouts from government. Especially when the government favors hurt other U.S. businesses and jeopardize American jobs.
For example, last year the Export-Import Bank was rebuked by a federal court for failing to fully consider that the support it sent to a state-owned Indian airline wasundercutting Delta, putting up to 7,500 American jobs at risk.
Kudos to Senator Cruz for leading the charge against this Franklin Roosevelt era slush fund for Boeing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Laura Pressley discusses Election Challenge

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong."
1 Corinthians 16:13

Tres Amigos Restaurant -- Last Sunday, Laura Pressley held a public event to explain the details of her challenge to last December's election "results."  There were several strange elements about the results.  Pressley's event below:


  • Never printed out nightly election results.
  • More ballots than voters in every precinct.
  • Over 100 votes that shouldn't be there.
  • Recount was "really interesting."
    • Couldn't print ballots.
    • Disconnect between mail-in (ie. Paper) and electronic ballots.
  • Polling locations were closed.
  • Checks and balances that were designed to be there weren't followed.
  • State requires a NON-TRAVIS COUNTY JUDGE!!!
    • Author's note: Cue happy dance.
Bottom Line: By itself, the fact that the mail-in ballots came out exactly even while there was a 2 to 1 difference in the electronic totals, STINKS.  Even if the election stands, this will help clean up Travis County elections in the Future.  Kudos to Laura for taking up this fight....

First Amendment Tuesday: Week 5

"and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,"
Ephesians 6:12

Life, Liberty, and Property coalition held this fifth "First Amendment Tuesday" this morning:

Michael Quinn Sullivan (Empower Texans):

  • Abbott's transportation plan.
  • Significant Tax Relief.
  • Constitutional spending limits.
  • Whole section on the border.

  • Committees will post hearings 5 days in advance.
  • Guests in the gallery must maintain decorum.
  • Friday is the deadline to file bills if you want them to have a realistic chance of passing.
  • Don't buy stuff for state employees.
  • Began to discuss amendment process.

  • Online registration for or against bills.
  • You only get a few minutes to testify, plan in advance.

  • Faith and Family day next Tuesday.
  • CWA has a dinner Monday night.
  • Briefing in Capitol auditorium with Abbott.
  • Rally w/ Patrick.
  • Legislative Guide is almost ready.
  • HB 623 (Bell) -- Would defund rogue county clerks from issuing homosexual "marriage" licenses.
    • Current laws don't have teeth.

  • Tim Tebow bill designed for rural areas.
  • Aycock killed the bill last session.
  • Expect bills to sail through Senate.
  • Homeschool leagues frequently don't offer access to the same scholarship opportunities.
  • Parental Rights Restoration Act
    • Amends "Grandparents access statute." re: Single Parents
    • Single parents are frequently targeted when there's bad blood.
      • The goal is to make them go bankrupt fighting.
    • "Family law" groups are primary opposition.
    • Last session, parents testified on good bill; lawyers testified on bad bills.

  • Abbott endorsed Patrick's position re: DPS on border.
  • Straus refused to fund border operations past March last year.

Greg Abbott's Speech: The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY!!!

"The wicked man does deceptive work,
But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward."
Proverbs 11:18

Texas State Capitol -- Earlier today, Governor Abbott gave his State of the State address.  It was a VERY mixed bag.  While it started out badly, it got substantially better in the second half.  Governor Abbott designated 5 emergency legislative items: Pre-K, pork for University "research," transportation, border security, and bolstering ethical standards.  Of these items, 3 are good, 1 is bad but basically harmless, and one is AWFUL.  Abbott's speech below:


The Good:
  • School Choice - Speaks about it favorably (and more openly than Perry ever did), but doesn't make it emergency legislation.
  • Transportation - Dedicate half of the motor vehicle sales tax to construction.
    • While we would prefer to have heard about reform of TxDOT, but this was a completely reasonable proposal.
  • Border Security - Expand DPS at the border; keep National Guard in place until DPS is ready.
    • Clear rebuke of Straus.
  • "Permanently Reduce" (NOT eliminate) margins tax.
  • Property Taxes -- Must be LASTING.
    • Cannot rise with valuations.
  • CONSTITUTIONAL SPENDING LIMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Author's Note: But will he fight for this any harder than Perry did?!?
    • Assuming you hold all the R's (not a given on something like this), you still need two D's in each the House and Senate to place it on the ballot.
  • Requiring state agencies to reduce "general revenue" spending by at least 3%
    • Exempts Public & Higher Ed, which is 60% of the budget by itself.
  • Ethics Reform -- Disclosing contracts with state agencies.
    • Not letting legislators vote on bills they can personally benfit from.
    • Geren's carrying it.
The Bad:
  • Half billion for Higher Education "Research"
    • Translation: Pork for University Administrators.
  • "Supporting Community Colleges."
  • More funding for "women's health programs."
Bottom Line: For the most part, this was a solid speech from Abbott.  Good ideas outnumbered questionable ones 7 to 4 (3 to 2 among emergency items).  That being said, pre-K as AN EMERGENCY ITEM...WTF?!?


Update: We largely concur with Jonathan Stickland....