The closing session of the Rightonline Conference in Minnesota was graced by the presence of Herman Cain. He is not a politician. Mr. Cain has been a highly successful businessman (former CEO, author, and speaker). More information about his background can be found here: http://www.hermancain.com/about
My inclination on coverage of this candidate is slightly different than previously published articles on the others who attended the Minnesota Conference. The mainstream media are simply refusing to acknowledge there is an accomplished businessman who understands the meaning of the word conservative. To that end, he can make his case better than anyone else.
Here are the two links for Part 1 and Part 2 of his speech at the Rightonline conference in Minnesota.
“Our dreams and the dreams of our grandchildren are under attack, and that is what this is all about”, stated Cain. The good news is we can take the country back.
All of the candidates have strengths and weaknesses. After all, they are human beings. However, one very important criteria must be added to the job description for the President of the United States of America – they must love this land and what it stands for! No more “pretenders in chief” in the White House!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Three of the strongest Presidential contenders spoke at the Rightonline conference in Minnesota sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. The crowd was not disappointed. Clearly the candidates have moved from the novice stage of campaigning to serious speeches. The speakers were Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Former Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Former CEO Herman Cain. The crowd was not disappointed by the quality offering of information by each candidate. The differences between the three are becoming more pronounced as they provide detail on their economic growth plans and ideas to get the economic engine pumping again.
In this first article, the focus is on Congresswoman Bachmann.
Here are a few highlights of the speech:
- 1.7 Trillion dollars is the estimated burden on Americans due to government regulations primarily from the EPA
- The President promised African Americans and Hispanics hope and change. Instead, they are the hardest hit groups by unemployment. The numbers of people without jobs are 40% for the African Americans and 27% for the Hispanics.
- Obama policies have resulted in the loss of 2.5M jobs.
- An estimated 800,000 jobs will be lost due to Obamacare
- When Barrack Obama took office, the average price of gas was $1.79 a gallon
- Ten Days after Obama took office, gold was priced at $940.00. The price of gold is currently hovering at $1500.00.
- Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, successor to Mr. Putin in Russia made a speech on the economy. Mrs. Bachmann noted even the President of Russia understands free markets. Here is the quote mentioned in her speech:
- “My choice is different. The Russian economy ought to be dominated by private businesses and private investors. The government must protect the choice and property of those who willingly risk their money and reputation.”
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11169/1154650-82.stm#ixzz1Pz6D8HLL
- There was a promise made that she would not rest until Obamacare is repealed.
- Congresswoman Bachmann recently introduced the Freedom of Choice Lightbulb Act to the House for consideration
One of the most memorable parts of her talk was a recollection of a private meeting with a few Republican leaders and the President. The Republicans commented on the poor unemployment numbers. President Obama stated it was just a bump in the road. Michele Bachman said, “No Mr. President, it is not a bump in the road, it is the Grand Canyon”.
Mrs. Bachmann had facts and figures at her fingertipsas which one would expect of a former tax litigation attorney. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and at one point she led the crowd in a chant: One term President!
Toward the close of her speech, there was a lot of emphasis on her ability to vote her principles even when it conflicted with her political party. Author’s note: This is a double edged sword. As President one also has to have the gift of unifying all parties for the good of the country.
After speaking, she came down from the stage to shake hands with the crowd. A gay rights activist lunged toward her and threw glitter on Mrs. Bachmann. The Congresswoman handled it all with dignity, and kept moving forward shaking hands with the audience. This was definitely a grace under pressure moment.
What is my take on the Congresswoman? She is doing well in the early days of the campaign. It will be interesting to see how she fares after several months of a grueling schedule and a tough media. This kind of stress will eliminate many, and give impetus to others. Only time will tell.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Some fantastic news was announced yesterday by the Texas Public Policy Foundation! Several conservative organizations have banded together to launch a broadcast campaign reaching out to Texans on important fiscal matters. We all appreciate our way of life here in Texas, and need to take a moment to listen to these messages. They are short and to the point. Fiscal responsibility matters in our state. Let’s keep our state strong, and independent. To continue, we must be willing to make the tough decisions now on the budget.
The founding members of Texans for a Conservative Budget include the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Americans for Prosperity-Texas, Americans for Tax Reform, Empower Texans, Heartland Institute, Liberty Institute, and the National Federation for Independent Business-Texas.
Tonight in the Austin area, the first television commercial will air during one of my favorite conservative shows – NCIS. I am including the links to the three commercials, which can be circulated to others. It is timely and critical that we bring pressure to bear on the Texas State Senate. The House budget was done with a great deal of thought as to how the tough decisions today, would ensure our security in future. As stated in my earlier article, the Texas Senate will add 12 Billion in spending.
Call/write/fax/visit your senators! Tell them we do not have the money to spend! Remind them of the coming Medicaid debt and other unfunded liabilities.
Here are the links for all of you to forward to friends and family:
Texans for a Conservative Budget – First spot
Texans for a Conservative Budget – Second spot
Texans for a Conservative Budget – third spot
A big thank you goes out to these conservative organizations that continue to bless Texas with their hardwork!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
This week, Katy Texas was the scene of unprecedented power plays by the School Superintendent. Texas has a budget shortfall due to many contributing factors, but primarily from unfunded Federal mandates. Mr. Frailey, Katy ISD Superintendent, decided to leverage teachers against the legislature for his own purposes. For the past couple of days, he authorized the immediate firing of dozens of teachers due to the shortfall. Here is a few links to the local news media that had several stories on the events: http://instantnewskaty.com/ , http://katytimes.com/news/article_c3a35ab6-66c6-11e0-9b79-001cc4c002e0.html
The official story is an administrator would call the teacher out of the classroom to inform them. They would also inform them of all “their options” and then the teacher could either return to the classroom or go home. Several teachers were too devastated and tearful to continue working, and the school already had substitute teachers waiting to help.
Students were upset and staged protests at several schools. Tomorrow in Katy, there are a minimum of 7 staged school protests that have been planned. There is also a major protest rally at 11:30 in front of the school administration building. Parents are upset, students were disrupted and upset, teachers were traumatized, and for what?
Tonight at a town hall in Katy, the teachers, students, and community gathered to try and make sense out of this week’s dramatic actions by the administration. Tearful teachers spoke about the event, and wondered what can be done. Everyone was looking for answers. The community united and determined it will remedy this situation. People will gather tomorrow at 11:30 in front of the administration building in Katy. They are demanding answers and deserve them on so many levels.
Why is this so ridiculous? The Texas House passed a budget which cut education, and other departments across the board. It has not passed the Senate. The Senate is introducing their own bill with fewer budget cuts. It is likely to pass. At that point, the Senate and House bill will go to conference. In this process, 5 members of the House and 5 members from the Senate will compromise on a final bill. The budget battle is far from over, and the Superintendent begins firing teachers and blaming the legislature. This begs the question of why this Chief Administrator of Education for Katy ISD would arbitrarily elect to fire large numbers of teachers before the budget is settled.
What is the truth of the matter? Local ISD’s have built up mini empires of administration. In Texas, there is a one to one ratio of non teaching individuals to teachers. The Superintendents command enormous salaries and perks for themselves and an abundance of non-teaching personnel. Specific ISD information was published recently on a website sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Texas Chapter. For the highlights of statistics onState Education Spending: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/021511-grassroots-resource-talking-points-education-spending-texas Americans for Prosperity took it one step further and have invested the time and resources to make ISD information readily accessible to the public. It is called the Red Apple Project. You can access all the financial details here: http://www.redappleproject.com/ Katy ISD, in particular only spends 49.7% of each dollar on the classroom. The Administration makes a lot more money than the teachers. Add this to the fact, that over 80M is sitting in a bank account in the district, and you see just how ludicrous the actions were of this administrator. There is zero requirement for 80M to be in the reserve funds of the ISD. Yet, he still wanted to make political points.
To add insult to injury, Mr. Frailey sent out a letter to the students with his spin on why he had to take the actions this week. You can read his letter here: http://instantnewskaty.com/2011/04/14/20699
I urge all parents and teachers to investigate the money being spent in this ISD and the decisions made by the Superintendent. Students deserve quality teachers that are paid appropriately. Bureaucratic overhead is destroying the budget. Good solutions to the budget dilemma can be had without firing teachers. Perhaps the Superintendent didn’t do his homework?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Today was spent in Austin speaking with legislators. It was most discouraging to realize what is about to happen with the budget and rainy day (Economic Stabilization) fund. As many of you know, I originally thought we had a reasonable solution with deep cuts and a small portion of the rainy day fund to be used. This was based on the House making every available cut prior to using the rainy day fund. I am completely reversing my original view, based on the new data gained by speaking with numerous legislators and staff.
The House has passed the budget bill. Early next week they will vote on using 3.1B of the Rainy Day Fund (Economic Stabilization Fund) to facilitate a balanced budget. The House did not make enough cuts and want to use part of the Rainy Day Fund to achieve a balanced budget as required by Texas law. The next stop is the Senate.
Today we discovered the Senate will unveil a budget proposal of their own that makes fewer cuts to the budget. Why?
This is not a comfort to taxpayers who supply the revenue to the state . If legislators are unable to make difficult choices, perhaps they should not be on the finance committee. We have a 30B dollar price tag coming in the next session for Medicaid predicated on new federal rules increasing the number of eligible participants. The current bill for Medicaid is approximately 16B. It is imperative to cut discretionary spending and preserve the Rainy Day Fund. The next Biennium there will not be a safety net to help us, other than increasing state revenue possibly with additional taxation.
The hallways were crowded today with special interest groups including a lot of unions and community action groups. The throngs of people were inside the legislative offices and spilling out by the dozens into the hallways. Numerous buses were parked outside. It appeared there are many special interest groups who are definitely making their “votes” heard in the capitol, which will likely result in future burdens to Texans. Is this why the House and Senate are reluctant to make necessary budget cuts? WHY are we funding an arts commission when there is a large shortfall? Why do we still have dozens of other discretionary programs being funded? The Economic Stabilization Fund should not be used when there is so much waste remaining in the budget.
If the Senate passes their proposal, the bill will go to conference as a final step. This means Senate and House committee members will negotiate and arrive at a final budget. This changes everything. The current budget passed by the House, was not the strongest possible budget, but is better than what will be offered by the Senate.
What can we do, to ensure the Senate understands our expectations of making all the necessary budget cuts? The list of individuals below are the members of the finance committee. Call them and say you expect deeper budget cuts than the House bill and that we do not want them to touch the Rainy Day Fund. Ask them to remember Texans are on tight budgets due to rising prices of fuel and food. Texans are making necessary budget cuts in their finances, and we expect the legislature to reflect the same level of fiscal responsibility. There isn’t a good reason to risk the future of Texans by continuing to fund programs not critical to the running of the State. Let’s ensure we have a voice in the Senate plan.
Please call the following people from the Senate Finance Committee and say you want deeper cuts in the Senate Bill and not to touch the Economic Stabilization Fund:
Chairman: Steve Ogden 512-463-0105
Vice-Chair: Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa 512-463-0120
Bob Deuell 512-463-0102
Robert Duncan 512-463-0128
Kevin Eltife 512-463-0101
Craig Estes 512-463-0130
Eddie Lucio, Jr. 512-463-0127
Jane Nelson 512-463-0112
Dan Patrick 512-463-0107
Kel Seliger 512-463-0131
Florence Shapiro 512-463-0108
John Whitmire 512-463-0115
Tommy Williams 512-463-0104
Judith Zaffirini 512-463-0121Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Wrong information on the education situation in Texas and in America is being circulated by leftists who continue the exercise of attempting to divide conservatives. This week the focus is on clarification of misinformation circulating about education and teaching professionals. Americans for Prosperity sponsored a teleconference featuring Senator Florence Shapiro. Senator Shapiro was a former educator and small business woman who truly understands budget challenges facing Texans. Currently the Senator is chairman for the Education Committee in Texas. Her ability to paint the picture for listeners was useful, and showed a great depth of caring for children and the education system. The Education budget will necessarily need to make cuts, just as many other state government departments will need to do in this biennium. What does this mean to children, teachers, and everyone concerned about quality education in Texas?
- Many people have received fliers in their children’s weekly take home information, stating Texas wants to cut teachers and are going to hurt the children. This simply is not true.
Fact: The education budget is bloated and necessary cuts will need to be made, just as all the other departments in the Texas budget are facing cuts. The budget cuts for education will be left up to the local School Districts as to how it is handled.
- What is causing the “bloat” in the education budget? We know the teachers must supply schoolroom materials from their own money in a lot of cases.
Fact: The current ratio of non-teachers in the education systems in Texas is 1 to 1. This means for every teacher there is another person! Why? The non-teachers on the education payroll account for billions of dollars in salaries and benefits. In a recent call with Governor Rick Perry, it was pointed out that the non-teaching staff in Texas has grown 300%! This is the same kind of outrageous growth across the country.
- The teachers deserve more money. This isn’t fair.
Fact: The state will have to make significant decreases to the overall Texas general budget at all levels. No one is mandating teachers be taking pay cuts or be let go. The decisions are being left up to the local ISD as to where they cut the budget. Studies have shown there are many duplicate efforts that should be eliminated, “perks” that should never have happened, and services that can be shared among multiple ISD administrations. All Texas citizens will need to share in the sacrifices being made due to the strain of the unfunded mandates. Budgets can be cut, without cutting teachers.
- Why are the teacher unions protesting in other states, if teachers are not being hurt? It looks like the government is out to “get” the teachers!
Fact: When the union negotiates with the government for pensions and raises, it is the taxpayer that must pay for additional benefits and monies. A good example is the state of California. Example: There are currently over 9,800 people who retired from a public job and are receiving over 6 figures for the rest of their lives. These people did not contribute anything to the pensions and many are under the age of 50. Economic hard times prevail currently in the country, and the pensions and spending levels are unsustainable.
Closer to home in Texas, data is offered on the Local ISD. Please take the time to read the charts. There are dozens of bureaucratic positions that make no sense, look redundant in functionality, and also…….they are not teachers in the classroom!
Go to this website, to gather the data on your local ISD and hold them accountable: http://www.redappleproject.com/
Want to know what cuts are being made in education and other departments? Look at the following legislature passed this week in the Texas State Senate on budget: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB4
The quarrel is not with the teachers. In fact, the teachers should be up in arms over the money being wasted by the bureaucrats in the ISD. The money stops at local administration level, and does not reach the classroom. Less than half of each dollar intended for education, actually reaches the classrooms.
What is the answer? The state is leaving the power and decision on how to change the system at local level. This plan on budget cuts and how to achieve them is sponsored by the state legislature. These are bi-partisan members that came up with the plan. The children deserve benefits afforded by a system focused on education. Instead, the children and the teachers are currently getting the crumbs left over by the ISD bureaucracy. It is not the Governor, nor the legislature causing the problem for the local schools. It is time for the parents, grandparents, and taxpayers in general to stand up and say ENOUGH!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
February 2009, the budget was delivered to Congress by the Administration. Democrats rammed it through without time for either party to read or think about much of any of it. There wasn’t a budget passed at all in 2010 for the 2011 expenditures. The Democrats and the President hung together on budget issues as they did on everything else, passing individual spending bills for funding of various departments and programs, so the public would be less aware of the exorbitant spending.
The Federal Budget year ends at the end of September. The “budget” proposals for 2012 were not delivered until recently after the passing of Healthcare legislation, and a horrendous Lame Duck Session. The new Congress was sworn in, and the House proceeded to repeal Obamacare after a lot of committee hearings to hear all sides from both Democrats and Republicans. It was transparent, and provided a lot more information about the parts of the bill likely to kill jobs, companies, and people. They moved on quickly to the task of spending cuts for 2011. A budget was not proposed at all for 2011, Congress has simply continued to spend by passing individual spending bills. This is a first step in cuts. If you want more cuts, it will take a lot longer to peruse the complicated thousands of pages with a lot of entries already partially spent. Because time was of the essence due to this fiscal year being half over, they focused on programs that killed jobs or were causing companies problems creating jobs. This resulted in a significant list of terminated programs. Bear in mind, they must move rapidly to cuts on the 2012 proposed budget.
Okay, so now the House has cut 61 Billion of current spending. A lot of people thought it should be more. The House stated this is the first step, and no one seems to want to hear it. It has been two weeks since that passed, and Senator Harry Reid is adamant that this bill will not be passed in the Senate in the current form. For those of you who are unaware, there is a heated battle going on between Senator Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner regarding the budget and cuts to spending. The House is choosing to move forward with more cuts and repeals. The House is ignoring the tireades of Senator Reid for the most part.
It is already March, and almost too late to stop the massive amounts of money already “distributed” to worldwide sources as well as domestic sources this year. The Senate adopted a stance of doing almost anything rather than addressing the current proposed cuts by the House. The House has moved on to the next set of cost cutting measures. They passed the repeal of the 1099 requirement for small businesses buried in the Healthcare Reform bill. A good point to make at this juncture is that funding for the Healthcare Reform Law was a line item inside that bill and was approved when the bill was signed into law by the President. A report was issued by the Congressional Research Service in October 2010 that itemized the “pre-approved” appropriations that were inside the Obamacare bill.
To further keep the public off balance, the Administration released the proposed 2012 budget for the Congress to study, make modifications and pass quickly prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, 2011. This is a compilation of committee recommendations, Presidential recommendations, and thousands of pages of supporting documentation.
The President chose now to make a big issue out of the Defense of Marriage Act. This is a red herring folks. He knew the Conservatives would be upset and it would be hard for them to ignore the screams of anxious Conservative constituents. While there were a few speeches on the House floor about it, Speaker Boehner, and the Majority Leader Eric Cantor kept the house focused on the repeal of the additional 1099 requirements for small businesses. In blogs across the country, rhetoric and venom aimed at the GOP reached a deafening crescendo as people wanted them to drop everything and take action on the latest debacle by the Administration.
While the red herrings continue at a brisk pace, the Secretary of State has given testimoney to several Congressional Committees. Most of these recorded hearings were televised in the middle of the night. She has requested money be sent for aide to the Libyan refugees that escaped to Tunisia. Senator Reid has already stated they are working on it. The House has stated it is not going to happen.
The bulk of my point is the progressives are still held together by Senator Reid and the Administration. They do not break rank unless he says ok. Senator Reid has the ability to prevent anything being heard on the floor. In the House, there are some Democrats beginning to vote more moderately. No matter what the House passes, there is very little chance Senator Reid will permit the Senate to pass anything completed by the House. If a bill is permitted to the floor, thus far the Senator has ensured all progressives vote against the bill in question.
What can we do to take back control? Let’s take a page out of the Liberal playbook for a change. These people have a goal of completely changing the country. IF you will notice, liberal bloggers have not criticized one action or timeline of events with their representatives in Congress. They didn’t demonize any of the Progressive leaders during the Healthcare debates even though some of them were against it. Most of them are promoting what a great job they are doing, and how the evil Republicans are causing trouble. The progressives know how to stick together for a common goal. Note that the progressive constituents continue to “influence” the people via rallies, blogs, facebook, and twitter with positive messaging about their social agenda. Perhaps the conservatives should examine what they want as a goal. My personal goal is fiscal responsibility and a more limited government. Because these are my goals, I blog, twitter, and communicate my ideas and questions on a regular basis with regard to furthering “my agenda”. It has taken the progressives years to put everything into place and will take us several years and all of us working together to put things right in our country.
I don’t wine, dine, or personally hobnob with anyone in Washington. However, over the past few years I have called with suggestions and questions to various offices. They now know who I am and take my calls and letters on a regular basis. A dialogue needs to be encouraged that doesn’t bash, or cajole, but reaches out to see if we can better understand decisions, and help wherever possible. Several of my friends have made suggestions on the America speaks website that was put up prior to the elections by John Boehner, who was a representative at that time, and not a speaker. Two of my friends got callbacks with further questions. Here is that website: http://www.americaspeakingout.com/
Watch for my next blog. I will be outlining some suggested things we can proactively do to help with the economic problem and ensure we win in 2012. Our work has just begun!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Today was the annual State of the State speech given by Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Throughout the year people have seen the lists declaring Texas is rated great for business, jobs, and quality of life. The speech given earlier today in the State Legislature was indicative of the why. Texas, like so many of the states is facing challenges primarily due to unfunded Federal Mandates and a flagging national economy. Listeners heard dozens of ideas on how Texas will effectively manage the challenges in tough times. The core of Texas is strong, and the following ideas were offered as evidence that the state government is working hard to insulate Texans as much as possible from the deficit battles at national level.
Rather than bore my readers with rhetoric, I will attempt to list the ideas given today by the Governor that will ensure Texas remains high on the list of desirable places to live.
- Each group/division that receives monies, will need to justify their fiscal viability.
- Duplicity in different departments will be either eliminated or merged functionally.
- Non-Critical groups that receive monies will be suspended for two years (no monies given).
- Push Washington to have a balanced budget amendment added to the Constitution.
- Begin using “Outcomes-based funding” for undergraduate institutions. The funding would no longer be based on the number of students, but be based instead on the number of degrees awarded to students.
- Tie high school diplomas and GED’s to the Driver license. A person would need to be enrolled in a high school or obtain a GED to get their license.
- Encourage a sharing of services between school districts to lessen the overhead costs.
- All school districts need to lessen their expenditures.
- Challenge the institutions of higher education to develop bachelor degrees that cost no more than $10,000, including textbooks.
- Leverage web-based instruction for high schools and others across the state.
- Congressman Doggett’s legislation is taking $830M from Texas School Children and we should encourage our Congressman to repeal this legislation.
- Continue to lobby for businesses to come to Texas and increase the number of jobs in the state.
- Veterans are an untapped source of expertise that will be a great addition to the workforce – don’t forget them!
- Other state governors are now actively adopting the Texas model of making regulations that are good for business.
- Sanctuary cities must be abolished so the law enforcement can do their work
- Law enforcement should be able to ask for documentation for anyone who has been detained on criminal charges
- It is critical we work closely with Mexico to fight the violence of the drug cartels
- Human Trafficking is a big problem in Texas and we have two legislators who are continuing to lead the charge in this area. They are Representatives Senfronia Thompson and Randy Weber. Stronger sentencing needs to be available for these offenses. Proposed is 25 years minimum for first offenders and life without parole for repeat offenders.
- Washington continues to neglect their responsibility for the border. Numerous efforts have been made to communicate the urgent need of help on the border to get the drug cartels under control. Texas continues to need 1,000 National Guard Troops on the border as well as drone planes to aide our efforts.
The Obamacare legislation will cripple Texan’s healthcare, and the end result will devastate the state budget. Attorney General Greg Abbott is using every tool at his disposal to fight this example of government overreach. We have several pieces of legislation proposed which will help to protect the citizens of Texas in this area. One bill that is proposed by Texas representative Creighton states it is unconstitutional to mandate a citizen purchase health insurance. There are several other bills filed which propose innovative healthcare solutions for Texans.
Texas is being punished for doing a good job. The proactive efforts to improve air quality yielded good results and still created more jobs in the process. The EPA has continued to try and penalize Texas for doing a good job. This is a political ploy to usurp state rights. Note from author: Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed legislation against the EPA.
There were positive ideas in this speech, and credit was given to several legislators in the state for their progressive ideas and strong bill proposals. It was clear that Texas has an A team fighting on all fronts to maintain quality of life, increase jobs, and protect citizens as much as humanly possible.
God bless Texas.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )