Wednesday, September 30, 2020

#TXLEGE/#SD 30: Springer Likely to move LEFT in runoff

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

That answers that question:

Overall, solid showing for Luther. Weak performance for Springer. When you're an incumbent state rep, you should at least score in the mid-40's.

Moving forward, however, Springer's strategy is obvious: Pick up the 21% who voted for the Democrat. Springer's 32% + The Democrat's 21% = 53%. Given that there's basically zero chance Democrats will vote for Luther, it's basic arithmatic.

The runoff will probably look a lot like the 2014 U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi.

If you're Shelley Luther...buckle up...cuz' you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Bottom Line: Democrats are the largest free agent block of voters in the runoff, and they only have one place to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


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

Obviously, much ado yesterday about the ballot harvesting allegations in Harris County. A lot remains to be seen, and until that happens we don't have much to add. But this detail made us lol:
During my investigation, a core group of names continued to surface regarding the organization and operation of the voter fraud scheme. Witnesses have stated to me that Precinct 1 Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and District 13 Texas State Senator Borris Miles are leading the illegal ballot harvesting operation in Harris County, Texas.
You don't say.

Borris Miles, for those of you who don't remember, is this guy. He's also this guy. He's also this guy.

Obviously, yesterday's disclosures were allegations. They will get a response. So don't jump to conclusions.

Still, for Borris Miles' name to be featured so prominently among the allegation is both a) Not surprising, and b) Kinda funny.

Bottom Line: Smoke, fire, etc....

Monday, September 28, 2020

LOL Wendy Davis Defending "Women's Health Centers"

"You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch,
And the star of your god Remphan,
Images which you made to worship;
And I will carry you away beyond Babylon."
Acts 7:43

We came across this piece of silliness over the weekend:

The relevant part is at the 0:16 mark: "I stood for thirteen hours straight to fight the shutdown of women's health centers."

Is...this a joke?!?   Cuz that's not how we remember that night.   Davis' actions in June 2013 might have had a thing or two to do with a thing or two beyond "women's health."

But, of course, late term abortion doesn't play well in the suburbs.

Obviously, Davis' strategy is to obscure that reality behind euphemistic, fuzzy, language. There's no way that would have worked five or six years ago. At this point, however, that history is far enough in the past that the average voter might have forgotten. It's the responsiblity of those who oppose Davis' candidacy to remind them.

Bottom Line: For those who remember the history, that claim is quite the act of chutzpah...but the real question is how many remember.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

#HookEm: Today's Victory Illustrates Just How Far Texas Has Come (and thank you Sam)!!!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

Let's state the first obvious point up front: Texas should have NEVER been in this position in the first place.

Let's state the second obvious point: Sports, and especially College Football, have been goofy in this COVID era. Weirder stuff has happened. No matter how you got there, What really matters what what happened once you were down.

With those two points made, let's state the third obvious point: Once they were in that hole, Texas figured out a way to come back and won.

For those who might not have been watching, the Longhorns were down by fifteen points with 3:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. That's when Sam Ehlinger picked this team up, put it on his shoulders, and willed them to victory. Somehow, someway, Sam Ehlinger found a way to lead the Longhorns to three touchdowns. In so doing, he turned what was looking like an UGLY 41-56 loss into an improbable 63-56 victory.


But here's the thing: This game had all the markings of the stinkers to which Longhorn with which Longhorn Nation has become infuriatingly familiar over the past decade.

You know the list: Oklahoma State in '13, '15, and '17. OU in '14 and '17. Baylor in '13 and '19. Iowa State in '15 and '19. Tech in '15 and '17. Notre Dame in '15. West Virginia in '16. TCU in '14, '15, '16, and '19. Kansas in '16 (Shudder). And, of course, let's not forget Maryland.

Beacuse what happened in those games was well on its way to happening in this one.

But it didn't.

And that, in and of itself, is a testimony to how far this team has come.

Kudos to Coach Herman, for shutting all the idiots on Twitter up for a week.

Kudos to Sam, who has to be considered the early season Heisman frontrunner.

Defense obviously needs work. But that'll happen. What matters for today is that they got the stops they needed in overtime.

1 and 0 every week, starting with this one.



Bottom Line: Considering where they were with 3:45 to go, getting out of Lubbock with and kind of "W" tells you a LOT about the makeup of this team. Today's win, combined with OU's loss, puts Texas in a strong position. Now go 1 and 0 against TCU.

#TXLEGE/#SD30 Special: Springer's smear campaign is actually good preparation for Luther

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Exodus 20:16

In case you thought Drew Springer's campaign couldn't go any lower, this is what they did yesterday:

Who posts a picture of a woman with her father and then writes “Who is she sleeping with this month?” I hope that every...

Posted by Tim Georgeff on Friday, September 25, 2020

Obviously, the words "disgraceful" and "revolting" come to mind. We could use stronger language. But we don't want to get the Facebook messages from some of y'all Baptist types.

That being said, the more we think about it, the more we're drawn to another conculsion. It's probably good for Shelley Luther to be subjected to this level of negativity this early in the process. Because this is who the powers that be in this state are, and this is what they do.

If you're Shelley Luther, please understand: The campaign is the easy part. If you think it's bad now, just wait until session. It's this level of abusiveness, except that you're in close physical proximity to your abusers. It really is that sleazy.

We've always thought that Shelley Luther was a (very) good candidate. Our biggest concern was whether or not she's prepared for just how toxic the capital culture actually is in reality. In that vein, this past week is a pretty good sample. But it's only going to get worse if she wins.

Bottom Line: For as grotesque as it might be, it's actually a really good sample of what she's up against.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Crenshaw's another Abbott

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
Matthew 24:24

Soo...this happened:

We're not gonna lie.  The first time through, Crenshaw's video has a certain...emotional appeal.   The more we think about it, however, the more its utter, total, and complete lack of substance stands out.  Textbook political psuedo-event.

Which got us thinking.

Can you name another prominent Texas politician who:
  • Has a compelling life story at least the first 7 zillion times you hear it?!?
  • Is reasonably well spoken?!?
  • Prefers psuedo-events to substance?!?

  • Rarely does anything (at least anything good)?!?
Obviously, the title of this blog post gives that answer away.

Greg Abbott spent years cultivating an image.  In that effort, he was successful for a long time.  Eventually, however, Greg Abbott actually had to do his actual job in a public setting.  When that happened, Abbott's image melted away.

Dan Crenshaw today is in the same place Greg Abbott was five or six years ago.

He's going to follow the same trajectory.

It's a matter of time.  We don't know how much.  But, eventually....

We just hope he doesn't get promoted too far too quickly before then.

Bottom Line: We don't care which metaphor you choose.  Hat and cattle works.  Likewise, sizzle and steak.  But the similarities are obvious.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

#TXLEGE: Abbott's latest "anti-Riot" proposal has...quite the catch

"And when they say to you, 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?"
Isaiah 8:19

Sounds great:
Gov. Greg Abbott proposed legislation Thursday that, if approved, could make certain actions during protests a felony, including destroying property and aiding or abetting an organization that takes part in a riot.

Abbott made the proposals after a volatile summer in many cities across the country and in Texas which led to major demonstrations and destruction of businesses, including in Downtown Dallas, following the death of George Floyd.

Bottom Line: When local DA's aren't enforcing laws that are already on the books, new laws for them to not enforce doesn't accomplish anything.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

#TXLEGE/#SD30: Stickland sets record straight re: Springer's #2A history

"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

With Drew Springer now claiming to support Constitutional Carry, it's worth reviewing the history:

  • Despite Stickland filing the bill each of the past three sessions, Springer never once co-authored.
  • RPT legislative priority for most of the past decade.
  • Over the years, Stickland asked Springer to sign onto the bill at least a dozen times.
  • Thousands of Springer's constituents in HD-68 signed the ConCarry petition.
  • In 2015, before he wanted a promotion, Springer publicly declined to support ConCarry.
  • "When Representative Springer had the chance, he let you down."

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

#TXLEGE/#SD30: Springer really MUST be losing

"Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God."
Romans 15:7

[UPDATE: Apparently Springer posted this to twitter after this blog post went live.]

Well...this is silly:

 Shelley Luther sang a different tune about forced COVID-19 shutdowns before she realized she could use it for her...

Posted by Drew Springer on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Take a look at the date on that Facebook post: March 16th.

Of course, Shelley Luther didn't reopen her salon until April 24.

Which almost suggests that, Shelly Luther went along with the shutdowns for several weeks (over a month). Futhermore, just maybe, she **MIGHT** have conculded during that time that the costs of the lockdowns far exceeded the alleged benefits of reducing COVID. Imagine that.

But all of the above is obvious. What's less obvious is why Springer would launch such an easily disproveable attack. It's impossible to know for sure, but history and logic suggest that Springer's polling must be TERRIBLE. Like, not even making the runoff terrible.

Bottom Line: Only in the mind of establishment politicians and their assorted sycophants could this have POSSIBLY been considered a good idea.

Monday, September 21, 2020

#TXLEGE/#SD30 Special: Fallon's Tantrum Against Luther

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."
Matthew 7:15

We're not sure when this happened, but at some point in the past few days Pat Fallon got up in Shelley Luther's grill:

  • Clearly, Fallon's rattled.
  • Fallon's body language, and constant interruptions, is never a good look for a man when talking with a woman.
    • It's called browbeating.
    • Even if that wasn't Fallon's intent, that's sure as heck what it looks like.
  • That being said, the degree to which Luther maintains her poise is impressive.
  • Fallon: "So you need to go to jail to be elected, that's your standard."
    • No, Pat, that's not what she said.
  • Fallon: "I'm 5% in on your race, do you want me to go all in?!?"
    • OK, jock boy.
    • If Fallon is acting like this much a buffoon at 5%, we'd love to see 100% buffonery.
  • Fallon: "Do you understand what sarcasm is?!?"
    • Translation: My attempt at gaslighting failed, so now I'm going to retreat by claiming I was never serious to begin with.
    • Dear Dudes: We don't know who needs to hear this (besides Pat Fallon), but mansplaining your alleged use of "sarcasm" to a woman is bad.

Bottom Line: Sometimes reactions tell you more than the initial action.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Greg Abbott's COVID Response in four tweets

"So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."
Revelation 3:16

Happy Saturday, we'll keep this brief:

To which we will add: This is a VERY real sentiment at this author's Baptist Church.

[Note: Speaking of Baptists, language warning on this next series.]

Friday, September 18, 2020

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

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

Pat Fallon speaking on behalf of Drew Springer:

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

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

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

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

More of the same.

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

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Paul Foster never stopped giving Abbott money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, Wendy Davis is a lawyer.

Bottom Line: Deeds > words.

Monday, September 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good for her.

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

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

But you do you "House Majority PAC."

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Longhorns do everything you can reasonably expect

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

Dude, it was awesome.

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

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

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

Saturday, September 12, 2020

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

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


Not much to say.

Not really surpising either.


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

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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Longhorn Band's 9/11 Tribute

"Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,"
Isaiah 46:9

From 2011:

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Abbott's "Back the Blue" Initiative...can't hurt

"To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

UPDATE: Apparently, the Democrats response is this.  LOL.  Basic pattern over the last year holds.

Sure, why not:
Gov. Greg Abbott made his latest political move to fight efforts to cut police funding Wednesday, calling on all Texas candidates in the November election to sign a pledge “backing the blue.”

“Some cities in Texas want to defund and dismantle police departments in our state,” the Republican governor said in a YouTube video promoting his pledge. “This reckless action invites crime into our communities and threatens the safety of all Texans including our law enforcement officers and their families.”

This summer, as unrest and sometimes violent protests against police brutality and racial injustice rocked Texas and the nation, a revived movement for social justice called for the community and policymakers to rethink the role of police. Alongside proposed reforms to policing practices and accountability — like requiring officers to intervene in other officers’ bad actions — some have also sought to shift local funding away from policing and direct the funds toward other social services.
We're not really doing cartwheels over this.  Buuut...we can see a modest amount of good coming from it.   One and a half cheers.

PushJunction says it well:
This is a red meat issue that obviously polls well, or Abbott would not be pursuing it less than 54 days from the general election.
Of course it's political.  But so what?!?   Falling crime rates are the biggest public policy success of the past 25 years.   If the Democrats want to hand Abbott this opportunity, you can't blame him for taking it.

Bottom Line: Keep your expectations low, but there's no reason to not give it a shot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

#TXLEGE: Springer gaslights voters with half-truths

"The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment."
Proverbs 12:19

Drew Springer just released quite the doozy of an ad:

Obviously, this is the type of lame ad that can only come from a Murphy-Nasica focus group (ooh look...a fire truck!!!).   Nevertheless, it contains claims that sound good.  When you look closer, however, the facts quickly reveal that Springer's occupying that grey area between chutzpah and outright lying.

Specifically, Springer says two things:
  1. He voted to ban taxpayer funded lobbying.

  2. He voted for the (try not to laugh) Chick-fil-a bill (LOL).

Let's take these in order.

On the taxpayer funded lobbying ban, Texas Scorecard explained the full story last week:
After watering SB 29 out via the complete substitute, Springer supported efforts to remove public schools, community colleges, and other entities from the legislation. Then he broke from the majority of his own party and voted in favor of the Democrat-Ashby amendment to exempt the vast majority of Texas counties out of the bill by population—a move that would have prevented the hollowed-out ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying from applying to the entirety of his current Texas House District and 12 of SD 30’s 14 counties.

Only after the legislation was successfully gutted did he vote for the bill to pass.

Springer may have voted for the husk of a bill on final passage, but a review of the tape shows him to be one of its most active saboteurs. Drew Springer worked to water down a ban on taxpayer funded lobbying, ensuring his own constituents wouldn’t benefit from it.
We had actually forgotten, prior to writing this blog post, that Springer carved his own constituents out of the original bill.

Then there's the (LOL) Chick-fil-a bill (LOLOLOL).

We covered this one at the time:
"No significant legal harm the the LGBTQ community" is lawyer-speak for "does nothing."

This is the substantive equivalent of the SCOTUS Colorado cake-baker case: The legislature addressed the specific actions of the San Antonio city council, but did nothing to address any other sort of abuse that falls outside of that narrow set of circumstances.

Good luck trying to live out your Faith in all the other areas of life.

But at least they were able to convince Fox News they accomplished something (and that's all that really matters).

Bottom Line: Nothing of substance was accomplished, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either a liar or a chump....
It's not really a secret that, since then, the so-called "Chick-fil-a bill" has become a subject of widespread ridicule.

Thus, for Drew Springer to brag about it as one of his primary legislative accomplishments is quite revealing.

Bottom Line: Technically, Springer's "correct."   He voted for both bills.  But neither of those bills did anything.  This is the game Texas legislators love to play, and it'll be interesting to see if Drew Springer gets away with it this time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

#TXLEGE: Luther's first Senate candidate, in AGES, to endorse Constitutional Carry

"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

This is certainly interesting:
Luther also said she’d work to uphold Texans’ right to bear arms. Texas Gun Rights, which is the “largest ‘No Compromise’ gun rights group,” according to its website, endorsed her candidacy on Thursday.

“I definitely agree that Texans have the Second Amendment right to protect themselves; I agree with Constitutional carry,” Luther said. “If Texans have the legal authority to purchase a gun, then they should have the legal authority to carry it wherever they go.”
Of course, what makes this notable is that nobody has even **FILED** this bill the past two sessions. To say nothing of trying to pass it. We're just talking about filing.

Rumor has always been that about half of the Republican caucus in the Texas Senate doesn't support it (*). Thus, they really, really don't want to vote on it. We can't prove it, but that rumor is certainly consistent with their behavior.

For Shelley Luther to take this poisition, especialy when her primary opponent is this guy, is HIGHLY noteworthy.

Bottom Line: It's impossible to know how this will play out in advance, but these comments have to be considered a good sign.


* - FWIW, we were told that 8 Republican Senators were no votes in 2017.

Monday, September 7, 2020

New York Times' Ignorance about Lake Travis is kinda funny

"He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision."
Psalm 2:4

Apparently, there was some pro-Trump boat rally on Lake Travis this past weekend. Doesn't sound like our idea of a good time, but whatever. Free country, etc.

Nevertheless, by Saturday afternoon, the New York Times thought it had found a "MAJOR" story:

Looks bad, doesn't it?!?

Until you read the story:
The Sheriff’s Office in Travis County received “multiple” calls of boats in distress starting at 12:15 p.m. local time, a spokeswoman, Kristen Dark, said.

Christa Stedman, a spokeswoman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, said no injuries had been reported.

Firefighters pulled “numerous” people out of the water, said Braden Frame, president of the Lake Travis Fire Fighters Association. It was not clear how many had needed rescuing, he said.

The number of boats participating in the gathering was not immediately clear. Ms. Dark said there were “too many variables” to say for sure what exactly happened.
Soo...nobody can "say for sure what exactly happened. Yet they published the story with the most sensationalistic, narrative-driven, headline possible. Got it.

Except that our friends at Travis Tracker decided to do actual journalism:
But according to eye-witnesses and Austin-Travis County EMS, one confirmed sinking this afternoon was not associated with the parade and with no serious injuries reported.


An Austin American-Statesman photographer reported at least three vessels appearing to have been "swamped" in the somewhat choppy waters following rainfall in the area over the week, but these incidents appear to have been at the onset of the event and not en route and easily mitigated.
So, the only "sinking" on Lake Travis last saturday had nothing to do with the Trump event. Meanwhile, three boats associated with the Trump event had very minor mechanical challenges. All this at an event 1200+ boats.

In other words, nothingburger.

That being said, here's what's really funny: This is Lake Travis. Sketchy stuff happenes there every single weekend. It's background noise.

Try running the phrase "Alcohol related accidents lake travis" though any search engine:
The reason you have over 500,000 hits on that search is because people get drunk and stupid on Lake Travis EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND.

Bottom Line: What makes this story so funny isn't just that the New York Times was wrong. Although that's certainly true. No, what makes this REALLY funny is that the activity in question was completely normal for Lake Travis at this time of year.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

#atxcouncil: Hospital CEO pushed back on Adler's COVID narrative in real time

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight."
Proverbs 12:22

Remember, a couple months back, when the approved narrative was that Austin was going to be overwhelmed by COVID?!?

Yeah, about that:

We actually had some health care industry sources telling us the same thing at the time. of course, that didn't fit the narrative. So nobody listened.

But it's nevertheless interesting that one of the top health care executives in town concurred.

Of course, none of this is surprising.

Bottom Line: While things got tighter for a few weeks, hospital capacity has been fine this entire time.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Williams' ad tells you everything about how #atxcouncil's "Police Defunding" must poll

"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time."
Colossians 4:5


Before we comment, we must make on thing **VERY** clear: Congress has NO jurisdiction here. However much Roger Williams might disapprove of council's decision, he can't actually do anything. Still.

For this ad to run at all speaks VOLUMES about how police defunding polls.

Hint: It ain't popular.

Bottom Line: While the tenth amendment reigns supreme on the policy side, you can infer a lot about the politics of the issue based on this ad.

Butt's Extraordinarily RISKY Letter

"But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.' "
Matthew 25:26


On corporate letterhead, no less.

Obviously, Charles Butts has been one of the most prolific political donors in this state for a long time.   Equally obvious, Butts' donations have tended to be left-leaning.  Nevertheless, this letter is quite the escalation.

It's one thing to donate to vaguely "pro-public education" candidates.  So long as you don't look too deeply into things, so-called "public education" tends to be popular.  Also, the paper trail between HEB and Parent PAC is long enough that political junkies are the only ones who can follow it.

This is different.

Harris County's action this week is an overtly partisan political power grab. It's not vague. You can't hide undermining election integrity behind gauzy, focus-grouped, rhetoric.

If Charles Butt really wants to take HEB down this path, in five years they'll be the NBA.

Bottom Line: His company has a great reputation, it'd be a shame if anything happened to it.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

WillCo #TXLEGE: Flannigan's a known liability...but GOL-LY James Talarico

"They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one."
Psalm 14:3

James Talarico is a Democrat state rep from Round Rock who got swept in during the 2018 wave.  He's best known as a chump who took promises from Dennis Bonnen at face value.   Nevertheless, to this point, we've expected Talarico would win re-election fairly easily.

But this is insane:
Talarico disclosed the $2,500 donation in a June 3 post on Facebook, in which he also called on others to donate to Austin Justice Coalition and included a link to its website. Valdez commented, “It’s obvious that Rep. Talarico stands on the far left and opposes anything law enforcement does to protect the citizens of Williamson County and the citizens of our district.”

Asked his views on defunding the police, Talarico told Honest Austin, “Our system of policing is deeply broken. We must replace it with something new and something better.”

“As they have throughout our history, the voices in the street—particularly Black voices—are calling us to imagine a different world. We expect protestors to be nonviolent. But what if we expected our government to be nonviolent? What if we stopped bringing a gun to every emergency?”

Talarico continued, “What if we called a three-digit number to summon highly-trained crisis interventionists to address a problem in our neighborhood? What if we made rehabilitation, reconciliation, and restoration our operating principles?”

“We need to invest in community-based solutions that cure the societal ills that we ask the police to treat: poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, mental health disorders… We must empower our communities, not police them. Only then will we have true public safety.”

Besides donating to the Austin Justice Coalition, Rep. Talarico also made a $50 personal donation to the reelection campaign of Jimmy Flannigan, an Austin City Council member who helped lead the charge to slash $150 million from the city’s police budget.

Talarico explained that Flannigan, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee, was “a long-time friend of mine and a selfless public servant,” noting that he supported Flannigan’s positions on transportation, affordable housing, and government transparency.
That's just such an astounding thing to read: A sitting state rep, in Williamson frickin' County, just endorsed the Austin city council's "send a social worker" approach to public safety.

Understand something: People move to Round Rock is to escape the jurisdiction of the Austin city council.   That's the only reason why Round Rock is a thing.  Pledging to bring the worst aspects of Austin's approach to public safety hardly seems promising in WillCo.

It's...quite something.

Furthermore, let's not overlook the whole Flanngan connection. We get it: They're friends (although that, in and of itself, is revealing). And James Talarico wants to support his friend. Still.

Like it or not, James Talarico's friend was a primary ringleader of Austin's policies related to police defunding and (let's not kid ourselves) homelessness.

Like Austin's homeless encampments?!? Vote James Talarico!!!

Bottom Line: This race just moved from "Leans D" to "Tossup."

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

#TXLEGE: Luther starts running, Abbott starts caving

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption,
but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:8

These two events are linked.

Bottom Line: It's amazing how quickly policy starts changing when someone emerges who's better at your core political strategy than you are.