Looking at Campaign finance, and the origin of the contributions can speak volumes about how well a candidate is faring in the Presidential race. The candidates' information will be presented in no particular order. The data will be broken up into multiple posts, so the material is easier to read and understand.
It is important to note if the majority of a candidate's money is in large individual contributions, that lobbyists and special interest groups are attempting to buy a Presidency. This is a big concern.
Individual Contributions $10,598,542
Small Individual Contributions. $ 7,208,908 (68%)
Large Individual Contributions $ 3,401,485 (32%)
PAC Contributions $ 857 (0%)
Candidate self financing $ 25,000 (0%)
Federal Funds $0 (0%) Other $0 (0%)
Individual Contributions $10,983,577 (96%)
Small Individual Contributions $ 368,023 (3%) Large Individual Contributions $10,615,554 (93%)
PAC Contributions $ 57,600 (1%) Candidate self-financing $ 388,720 (3%) Federal Funds $0 (0%) Other $0 (0%)
Individual Contributions $46,443,507 (99%)
Small Individual Contributions $ 8,098,546 (17%)
Large Individual Contributions $38,840,036 (83%)
PAC Contributions $ 331,396 ( 1%)
Candidate self-financing $ 278,821 ( 1%)
Federal Funds $0 ( 0%)
Other $0 ( 0%)
Over the next few weeks, we will look at various maps and statistics of the candidates. The primary candidates will be compared to financial coverage by Former Secretary Clinton.
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2016 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on Tuesday, July 21, 2015.
Summaries are provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Please note this data is not available yet for Governor Walker or Governor Kasich.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The race for Lt. Governor is somewhat unique this year. We have a man who has the experience of serving Texas as a leader challenged by a bit of a lightweight.
Let’s explore positives that Lt. Governor Dewhurst brings to the table. He represents all of Texas, not just the Republicans. I appreciate that he permitted the Wendy Davis filibuster go to a more civilized natural closure. There are people who share Wendy’s beliefs and voted her into office. Should we silence the elected representatives of the minority? Isn’t the exact same situation currently transpiring in the United States Senate? The minority (Republicans) are being denied the right to debate on many issues. The approach by the Lt. governor shows a gracious fair-minded person who appreciates all Texans should have representation.
The Lt. Governor has shown he can work effectively with all groups of people. He wants the best results for the entire state. The use of effective collaboration is essential in a state as large as Texas. The challenges for such a large state are complex in nature.
Under the leadership of the Lt. Governor, we have seen a hard working Senate perform admirably. The budget is not all that gets done. This job requires a lot of attention to detail and a massive amount of planning. Bills are prioritized, committees meet, debate occurs, etc. There are thousands of bills put forward in the legislature each year. Under his leadership, it all runs smoothly, session after session. This doesn’t begin to cover his hundreds of meetings throughout the year outside the legislature when he sifts through issues and information.
David Dewhurst has put funding and hearings in place consistently regarding our border issues. I recently listened to a public hearing regarding the border. Good people of Texas testified and proposed ideas. Why didn’t you know about it? There are a great many efforts by this leader that go unnoticed. Why is that? He puts Texas first and does not use the position to promote himself.
This race is not about consistent votes in the Senate. It is about strong leadership, pure and simple. Year after year, the Lt. Governor has been an exemplary President of the Texas Senate.
The bottom line for me is that David Dewhurst puts Texas first. That matters, and hopefully will matter to all of you.
A vote for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is a vote for Texas values!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
We have seen and heard a lot of advertising through the years in Texas, that the Texans for Lawsuit Reform Group is a conservative organization. There are certain new developments that raise questions among the most trusting of individuals in Texas.
A bill is pending in the Texas House (HB 912) that would prohibit the use of drones to take pictures of individuals’ property without their consent. HB912 is an important piece of legislation to protect the privacy rights of Texans and has over 100 co-authors. Unfortunately, the special interest group “Texans For Lawsuit Reform” is actively lobbying against this bill because it includes necessary civil penalties.
When laws are made, they serve two purposes. The laws provide boundaries for appropriate actions in society, and civil and criminal consequences if one disobeys those laws. For something as serious as a drone being used without consent to surveil innocent property owners, I would think the public would want as many deterrants to that activity as possible. A child will not hesitate to tempt his boundaries if there are no penalties or consequences. Do we simply trust everyone has good intentions and hope for the best?
TLR hired an Austin Law Firm to give testimony to the legislative committee arguing against the bill which will protect property owners. This is yet another item to add to the list of: Is this a Conservative action?
Below, there is a letter from the President of TLR “explaining” why they believe the property owners should not have protection under the law
Please reach out and speak with your legislator today. Don’t let this special interest group override the rights of Texans for remedies under the law.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Is there any doubt that America’s Constitution is under attack? For decades, the power and intent of the Constitution have been whittled away by liberals and others who do not value the foundation of this country. For that reason, we must send constitutional conservatives to Washington. This is not the time to send people who do not have the experience defending the constitution. It is not the time to send a person who needs to use this as a learning experience for the first couple of years.
Ted Cruz, does not just talk the talk. He has exhibited a willingness to defend the constitution and liberty for all Americans on multiple occasions. He is the freedom fighter we must send to Washington. I’ve listed my reasons below, why my vote will be cast for Ted Cruz.
1. Defended US Sovereignty
Successfully represented Texas before the U.S. Supreme Court in Medellin v. Texas, which upheld U.S. sovereignty and held that the World Court cannot bind the United States justice system and the President cannot order the state courts to obey the World Court.
2. He has defended our second amendment right to bear arms
Ted authored a brief on behalf of 31 states supporting the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. The ban on firearms was struck down in a 5-4 landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court?
3. Ted Cruz fought to defend our religious freedom.
Successfully defended the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument, winning in a 5-4 landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court, setting an important national precedent for the right to display similar monuments.
4. The Tenth Amendment is one of the keys to preserving the balance and vision for our countr
y by the founding fathers. For years, Ted has defended this key amendment.
Tenth Amendment language: The Tenth Amendment states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the States or the people.
Ted Cruz has consistently championed the 10th amendment, speaking and writing nationally on the virtues of federalism and why excessive regulation and federal government intrusion threaten to destroy America’s free-market economy and the American Dream.
5. Ted opposed the TSA groping at airports
This is an invasion of privacy, that Mr. Cruz’s opponent was afraid to tackle. Cruz said that we should look to Israel and follow their example. “Instead of looking for terrorists, we’re looking for weapons. It’s an ill-advised approach that hurts citizens.”
6. He was unafraid and stood up to protect our efforts for energy independence in America, at a time when the administration was fiercely undermining America’s efforts.
Authored an amicus brief on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a diverse coalition of 29 Gulf Coast chambers of commerce and industry groups in Hornbeck Offshore Services v. Salazar, in opposition to the Obama Interior Department’s moratorium on offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. One week later, the Fifth Circuit agreed, and ruled against the moratorium.
7. Reinforced the words: “All men are created equal” as written in the Declaration of Independence. There is no place for hate or bigotry in America.
Ted authored a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of 10 states in Rahn v. Robb, urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and reverse a decision of the Eight Circuit allowing the Ku Klux Klan to participate in Kansas’s “Adopt-A-Highway” program.
8. Ted Cruz signed the Contract from America.
The Contract from America, clause 4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words–the length of the original Constitution.
9. Mr. Cruz took a definite stand on Border Security.
He has worked on efforts to increase penalties for felons who enter the country illegally. Ted authored a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of 10 states in Lopez v. Gonzales, urging the strictest enforcement of laws punishing those with prior felony convictions who entered the country illegally.
Having met and spoken with Mr. Cruz on multiple occasions, prior to his campaign, I can assure you of one thing. No one is more passionate or driven to defend America’s constitution. There are many more illustrations of his commitment and efforts on behalf of our constitution and liberty. In fact, there were too many for one article.
What can you do to help?
If you are in Texas: I urge each of you to vote. Early voting begins July 23. Election Day is on July 31.
If you are in other states: Fight to take back the Senate. Go to www.tedcruz.org and help to call and get out the vote!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
A man is defined by his actions and ability to move forward after setbacks. Greg Abbott is that man of strength, and courage. The Texas Attorney General did not go quietly after the Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare. It appears the court decision has inspired him to fight harder for America, liberty, and the constitution. This week was a whirlwind tour of speaking engagements with different groups of Americans to explain the latest decision by the Supreme Court regarding Obamacare.
In Plano Texas, there was a Rally for Freedom sponsored by the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute. The crowd was anxious to hear what crumbs of hope the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott could give to them.
There were several states involved in the Supreme Court Case. Per usual, on high profile cases, they asked the Attorney General of Texas to be one of the key legal minds involved. We now have one option left to the American People. It is critical to vote in a new President, a conservative controlled Senate, and a conservative controlled House in November. This is the choice remaining, to protect America from this overreaching action by the Federal Government. It was clearly stated this was a disasterous Supreme Court decision that took everyone by surprise.
People in the courtroom were fairly comfortable when the decision began talking about commerce and how this argument was not a constitutional premise for the law. As the reading continued, a 180 was done, and the weaker reasoning on taxation privilege was introduced. The gallery was stunned and mouths were agape per others who were actually in the courtroom. The entire opinion document can be read here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/29/us/29healthcare-scotus-docs.html
The decision cannot be overturned, as this was the last stop on the judicial ladder. Arguing about whether the additional outlay of cash is a penalty or a tax is a waste of time. One option is left, America must work fervently, tirelessly, and focus on domination of all branches of government.
On the Americans for Prosperity call, there was a stunning moment of clarity for the thousands who crowded onto the call. One of the audience asked a question, using examples. “Could the government charge a penalty if people choose not to buy a smart car?”, stated the caller. Attorney General Abbott, said “yes, that is our problem now.” The Supreme Court has ruled the Congress has unlimited power to levy taxes on activity and inactivity. A pin drop could have been heard after that dash of cold water on the audience.
Liberty suffered greatly because of this decision. To overturn Obamacare, and get real solutions for Americans, we must not let a moment go wasted between now and November.
In 1775, Americans said enough and made their voices heard around the world. In 2012, we must do the same.
God bless America on this fourth of July. Give Americans courage for the fight ahead.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
People across Texas and the United States know the Straus family enterprises are focused on gambling. There are as many people for gambling in Texas as there are against it. The pros and cons of gambling are for another time and place. There are far more important aspects to the role of this particular Speaker of the House in the Texas 82nd legislature. Some of you are familiar with this information, while others are not. Over the coming months, information will be shared that shine a light on the manipulations and machinations which occurred during this legislative session.
The Speaker of the House position is one of two key leadership positions in active legislative sessions of Texas. This year was particularly challenging due to unfunded Federal Mandates, Redistricting Maps and a budget to balance for the biennium. There was a shortfall in the revenue looming large. The question of the hour was whether there had been a miraculous move toward a more conservative leadership since the last session led by Speaker Straus in 2009. Sadly, this was not to be.
The battle to be “crowned” Speaker again, was contentious at best. There was a challenge to his leadership by two strong conservatives. They could not get enough votes challenge Mr. Straus. Why? Joe Straus had people sign “pledge cards” to indicate their vote of support for him in the elections. His group of confidantes assisted by cajoling and coercing people to the inevitable conclusions of a pledge of support. Why is this important now? The story of this session and this Speaker begins with a brave Representative named Bryan Hughes who came forward with information about the whole intimidation process. Did you hear the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey was so fond of saying in his broadcasts.
A June 2nd article by John Alaniz, revealed Speaker Straus and his crew made good on the redistricting threats to those who would not pledge their vote for the his re-election as Speaker. In November of 2010, several months before the 2011 Texas Legislative Session began; Texas State Rep. Bryan Hughes issued a press release stating that he had withdrawn his support from Rep. Joe Straus as Speaker (Bryan Hughes Press Release, 11/2010). Rep. Hughes explained a member of Straus’ leadership team had called and had “ brought up the subject of redistricting and explained to me how that process would be used to punish those members not on Speaker Straus’s list of supporters.” There was an ethics investigation, which raises more alarm bells than brings resolution to the matter. The chairman of the ethics committee gave Representative Hughes and Representative Phillips the option of whether to provide testimony under oath! Representative Hughes voluntarily took the oath and gave his testimony. Representative Phillips who allegedly made these veiled threats on behalf of Straus, did not testify under oath. This raises an important point. Perjury under oath could cause the loss of a license to practice law.
The Texas Tribune provided this golden nugget of testimony from Representative Phillips: “Representative Hughes statement is unequivocally false,” Phillips said in response. ”I did not tell Representative Hughes that maps were already being drawn to get rid of Representative-elect [Erwin] Cain or Representative Flynn. I also did not tell Representative Hughes that there was a plan to use redistricting to punish those who were not on Speaker Straus’ support list.”
The House map was finalized and signed into law. The new map was exactly what Representative Hughes had indicated was in “the warning”. The facts now vindicate the elected officials who earnestly tried to warn the people and the legislators of the power that was being wielded to re-elect Joe Straus.
The House Redistricting map was a carefully orchestrated event, utilizing powerful lobbyists, legal resources, and some expert negotiation with various legislators. The map that emerged as the winner, punished the strongest conservatives who had stood together to vote for an alternative leader of this session. Somehow, it was voted through by the House legislators, despite what had been done to their colleagues. Read what actually happened beginning with a point of order by Calendars Chairman Todd Hunter which was specific to this bill (this timetable forced work on Good Friday and the Easter Weekend): http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY60FINAL.PDF#page=4
This map was expedited much like the notorious Obamacare, presenting many obstacles to people who would like to have a voice for their constituents. Speaker Joe Straus presided over final proceedings for the House Bill. Representative Hunter and Solomans indicated this was an “emergency” that must be finalized and moved to the Senate. Who uses the same strategy in Washington that everything is a crisis and must be rushed through prior to people having input? In the above link, please read through a few pages, when Representative Hunter (Calendars Chair), and Representative Solomons (Redistricting Chair) explain their rule which would cause Christians to be working on Good Friday and Easter Weekend to accommodate the point of order.
Redistricting maps are always difficult, is the mantra of every person in the House and Senate. There is difficult, and there is contrived. I draw your attention to a speech given by Representative Cain in the House Journal when this map (which punished those who opposed Straus) was coming up for the final vote: http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=37
The people of Texas got exactly what they feared with the re-election of Joe Straus. This session reflected a liberal leadership from day one. Speaker Straus had a far reach and was able to “convince” many people to overlook things that were glaring throughout the session. A conservative majority was elected, and great hopes were pinned on this session. There were a limited number of conservative bills that were passed which kept the public from noticing many of the appalling decisions/actions in this session. Think for a moment about what is being said by the politicians. Over 10,000 bills were filed. More than 1400 were passed, including resolutions. Yet, the representatives boast about the same 5-6 bills in speeches across the state. Odd. Not to worry, over the coming months, many of the passed bills will be discussed with the public. You may find it illuminating. Texas may have a spooky dude…Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
The past few days in Texas have been enlightening as far as patriot groups and news outlets are concerned. Granted, the frustration of Texans with this legislative session is at an all time high. The most disturbing part of all is the number of patriot leaders seeking moments of “limelight” in the press, without having the facts. Assuredly, most of these people mean well. However, there is a sacred honor that should be evident, when trusted sources report to the people.
Let’s begin by talking about the time between the election and the legislative session. There were no doubts about Speaker Joe Straus, due to his track record previously in the state as speaker and representative. The man is liberal, and makes decisions based upon his own needs. Yet, there was a primary teaparty leader of a group in Houston Texas who wrote an article that it didn’t matter if Joe was elected Speaker of the House. Per this leader, the people could “control” the legislature. After all, we were awake. This tea party leader has a fair amount of reach and knowledge. Today, I might say to her followers, you believe in her credibility – WHY?
Having spent hours and weeks in Austin, studying the legislature and bills, it is astounding to see the number of misinformed people in Texas. Well-known patriot groups, patriot members, bloggers, and media have been actively circulating incomplete and wrong information to suit their political preferences. How dare any of us exploit the everyday working Texans? What happened to accurate reporting for all the right reasons? It is egregious for people to use social media outlets to misguide the people. How is it the informed people speaking to the masses don’t know the Texas constitution or the procedures for a bill to pass the legislature? How is it they do not know who has the power in Texas during legislative sessions? How is it they don’t know exactly what happened to a bill, yet they continue to circulate inaccurate information to the masses?
In a legislative session, the Lt. Governor of Texas has the most power, closely followed by the Speaker of the House. The Governor may make suggestions on what is slated as an emergency item for the legislature. He has zero power to force the Speaker of the House or the Lt. Governor on the how and when they take actions. If a person studied the legislature this year, a pattern would emerge.
When Straus and Dewhurst named committee chairs and worked with them to determine the members, these actions determined ownership of the power. There were a handful of people controlling the personal agenda for Straus and Dewhurst. It had nothing to do with the people of Texas.
In May, Straus and Dewhurst openly defied the Governor with their choice on the formation of the committee to look at Higher Education. The Governor had focused on Higher Education reform for quite a while. He mentioned some of his ideas in speeches to the public and the legislature. Take a look at the press release and the names of people who have been appointed to the group. None of the conservative legislators heavily involved in reform ideas were included. The people on the list are the ones who will support the status quo in higher education. Why do you believe the Governor has the power to dictate actions to the Speaker and Lt. Governor? Where is the basis of those “facts”?
Yes, we got some good bills out. Those bills did not interfere with the agenda at hand (of Speaker Straus or Lt. Gov. Dewhurst), and distracted the public while other things were being discussed in the legislature. What was the agenda? If one looks at the overall number of bills and content, it appears to be a power play that will be completed in 2012 and 2013. Redistricting maps ensured the strongest conservatives in the state, who are against gambling will likely lose their seat. Deals were made to get a lot of people in a position to agree with these measures. Undue amounts of money were spent in the budget, regardless of the enormous bills facing Texas in 2013. Special interest groups ruled. This weakened Texas, but guaranteed the number of votes needed to pass legislation wanted by Straus and Dewhurst. Some might say this is politics. It is the selling out of Texas.
Specific actions by people in the press, placed the blame for this year’s debacle at the Governor’s door. Of course, the liberal press is counting on no one in Texas knowing how the legislature works! Liberals have wanted to topple Texas conservatives for a very long time. Has anyone stopped to ask who that would benefit and why?
The politic gameplaying this season, was a textbook study in deception, blocks, and innuendo to achieve goals of the people in charge. Over the next few months, I will publish specific examples proving the allegations made in this article. In fact, go look for the facts yourself. You will be surprised at the amount of public data that can be found on this session, fully supporting these points.
What will happen in 2013, when we do not have the money to pay the bills? Would it be a state income tax that is suggested as a solution, or will it be gambling? Formula One Racing was passed this session. It has already been approved by the City of Austin. This will be a large complex, that is surrounded by more open land for more vendors and projects. Think about this. Even if you are not against gambling, statistics show the crime rate will rise 3 to 1. Can we afford more of a crime issue, given the open border and immigration problems? People from dozens of terrorist countries come and use the Mexican border as the gateway to America. Currently there is a war on crime in our state, do we need more?
Seven people controlled the legislative agenda for the most part. Without these gatekeepers, good legislation would have gone to the floor in a timely manner, and been passed. There were choices on what went to the floor. On the House side, the most powerful gatekeepers appointed by Straus were Jim Pitts (Appropriations), Burt Solomans (Redistricting), and Todd Hunter (Calendars). None of the key legislation could get to the floor without touching one of these chairmen. On the Dewhurst side of the house, we had Ken Seliger (Redistricting), and Steve Ogden (Finance). By looking at the impact of those chairs, and the people on those committees, you will see the whole picture.
A closing comment to patriot groups. The majority of the groups are thoughtful people, trying to get to the truth, so it may be shared with others. What is the purpose of this article? It is time to warn people they need to be careful when getting information from so-called leaders. Whether it is me, or someone else in the patriot world, it is time to question everything. A multitude of people with conflicting agendas have infiltrated these groups. They want third parties. They want a bit of the spotlight.
Thank you to the groups who continue to strive for the truth, when educating the masses. It isn’t important who gets the recognition with the masses or the media. It is important we get it right, and remove the people from office that sold us out. As for the misguided people spreading vicious gossip without substance, more credibility would be gained by telling the truth. Think about it.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )
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 )
The next candidate to speak at the Rightonline conference in Minnesota was Former Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty. His speech was given as one might speak with a good friend. The beginning of his talk was filled with a bit of background about his family and some humorous stories illustrating specific challenges such as the rising gas prices.
His opening was a very clear, quiet statement that we live in the most free and prosperous nation in the world. This is a place where each person can follow their own American dream.
The issue defined by Mr. Pawlenty boils down to one specific thing. Government crowds into our lives in spaces that were previously filled with families, individuals, and businesses.
Spending should not be the only focus. We must also plan for prosperity. Every hour 144M is spent that our government simply does not have.
What is his plan to improve our situation?
- People must stand up to Washington and have the conviction to say: No More!
- Phase out all ethanol subsidies
- Put reasonable solutions on the table
- Tell Wallstreet to get their “snout” out of the government
His concern is that time be invested to identify a candidate with fortitude, and strength to get the job done, despite all pressures. Governor Pawlenty gave the example of when he had to deal with a problem associated with the bus drivers. He had discovered that if a bus driver worked 15 years, they would earn healthcare free for life. He said no, and thus began a combative discussion with the bus drivers. The job was tough, and many times he had to face down a rather loud opposition when making the tough decisions.
His plan for economic growth has been outlined and published. The plan calls for 5% growth targeted each year. Governor Pawlenty acknowledged the media and economists criticized the document and said it was impossible. “If China, India, and Brazil can do it, the United States of America can do it”, stated Pawlenty.
The Pawlenty plan for prosperity includes solutions for current challenges:
- Reduce the Corporate Tax from 35% to 15%
- Eliminate all loopholes in the taxcode
- Energy must be derived from the vast stores of resources in America (not from other countries)
- Collapse the tax brackets so there are only two; the key being simplification for everyone
- Take the time to listen to the job creators in America, and find out what they need to grow jobs
Governor Pawlenty freely admitted he had made choices that were not good for Minnesota at times. When he realized they were not the best solution for Minnesotans, he would reverse his earlier decisions and explain this to the people. Authors’ note: Everyone makes mistakes, and admitting those errors in judgment is good. However, we must also scrutinize all candidates to see if the majority of their decisions and judgements have been sound. Doing research on all of the candidates’ background has never been more important!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None 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 )
Texas has moved into the special session now, primarily to focus on the budget completion. So many emails, blogs, articles have appeared with partial information and misinformation, an overview of the special session was in order. I’ve put together a few facts to help all of us as we monitor/engage with our state reps and state senators on specific bills.
The Governor of Texas issued a proclamation which announces the special session timeframe, and also defines the primary focus of this session. To add other bills outside of this focus, will require the agreement of the Governor. The legislature may ask for particular bills to be added that are outside the original scope of the proclamation. It is important to reach out to your state representatives and state senators to let them know if there is a specific bill of importance to you. The legislature (specifically Straus and Dewhurst as management) can make a request to the Governor for new agenda items for the special session. Further to this point, you can see the letter request from Dewhurst to the Governor here: http://americansforprosperity.org/053011-lt-gov-sends-letter-gov-perry-regarding-special-session-issues . The text of the proclamation can be found here: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/govdocs/Rick%20Perry/2011/proc053011.pdf The Governor outlined the specifics he wanted dealt with in this session. The primary focus must be on the budget and budget related items. The schools, in particular, must see the approved budget as soon as possible, to prepare for the coming year.
The majority of the proposed bills fall within the purvue of the proclamation, or have been approved additions by the Governor. Other than fiscal related bills, the Healthcare Compact has been added to the tasklist, per the Governor’s request. Another one which is not yet approved for this session, but is filed, pertains to sanctuary cities. There are many great bills which could be added, but the time constraints and efficient use of taxpayer dollars is of utmost importance.
Several groups/individuals have urged Texans to barrage the governor and ask for specific bills to be filed. After reading some of these published lists, it was clear that many of the listed bills in the emails/articles were already filed for the special session. Because the bill offerings for consideration are growing, it is best to run the report yourself for the most accurate data. To view the filings to date, please go to the Texas State Legislative website http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx . Select Bill Search. Be sure to select this session: 82 (1) -2011 from the drop down choices. On the right hand side of the page you will see a large box that says select action criteria. Click on this. Choose Filed (H001) . Click on the arrow pointing to the blank box directly opposite the list of actions. Repeat this process and choose Filed (S001). Now go to the bottom of the page and input a beginning date of 5/30/2011 (do this by clicking on the small calendar icon). Choose an end date of the current date. Go back to the top righthand side of the page and click search. This will give you a current list of proposed bills. It does not tell you which ones are approved by the Governor, but actions are posted immediately as they occur.
For further information about special sessions, go to this link: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/whatsNew/client/index.cfm/2011/5/31/Special-Session-FAQs
What is clear about these massive efforts, is that many well meaning people are spinning cycles without complete information. If conservatives want to succeed, the time should be spent on solid research prior to “firing from the hip”. A plan with inadequate data will likely yield inadequate results. -Just an opinion.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
We are in the time of final selection of redistricting maps! This year, the Texas legislature must determine new maps for the Schoolboard of Education, the Texas House, the Texas Senate, and the US Congress. We have the fate of the Congressional maps now in our hands. Texas will gain 4 Congressional seats.
During the past two years, we have witnessed two things in the Congress:
1) Democrats do not cross over and vote against the Democrat caucus
2) Democrats do not vote for fiscal responsibility
So, what does this mean to Texas and America? We must do everything possible to get more conservatives to Washington. How do we do this? Selection of a map that is fair and gives good representation of conservative values in Texas, will achieve our goal of taking the country back from a far left agenda.
Here are some reasons why the GRIT map (C116) is the better choice for Texas constitutional conservatives, instead of the offering from a legislator in the Dallas area:
In C116, the GOP would have a good chance to win 30 of the 36 seats. Only one of them is in a district with less than 55% GOP voting strength.
C116 DOES increase the number of likely Republican congressional seats: 30 of the 36 total seats have the likelihood of going Republican and yet meet the federal requirements of population, ethnicity, etc. The other map does not achieve this possibility.
C116 does NOT hand over half the state’s new seats to the Democrats.
C116 does NOT protect incumbent Democrats. C117 does. Under C116, potential Republican challengers would be at a distinct disadvantage.
C116 does NOT involve retrogression of any minority districts. C117 does. [This is the idea that a district cannot be redrawn in such a way that a protected minority is reduced in numbers (%, actually) from its numbers (%) in the current district. For instance, a minority district with 53 % cannot be lowered to the 49 % level of minority representation if other conditions are met.]
C116 DOES recognize the population changes in fast-growing areas of the state. The other map did not recognize the high growth areas.
C/116 DOES reflect conservative political philosophy which grassroots Texans expressed state-wide in the Nov. 2010 election.
C116 is NOT the work of just a few “incumbent protectionists”; rather, it had input from more than 100 people, including many grassroots activists and legislators.
There is no need to hand the Democrats the probability of winning half of the seats in our state. The liberals would not do this for the conservatives.
The Nov. 2010 vote in Texas clearly showed a rejection of Liberal principles by the voters.
Will the fair C116 map be challenged in court? Probably, as will any other map. Lawsuits are typically filed in every census year when new redistricting maps are chosen. However, to try and “appease” the Democrats by protecting their incumbents and giving them half the new seats is not a smart policy. Remember how “helpful” Mr. Lloyd Doggett has been to his home state.
Having conservatives in Congress, from whatever part of the state, helps all of Texas. Furthermore, having conservatives in Congress, from whatever state, will help save America!
Please call your state representatives today and say, “We want C116, for the Congressional Redistricting Map Choice! State legislative websiteRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
There were 5 Presidential candidates who responded to the first debate in South Carolina. It was not the usual suspects as the perceived current leaders in the polls, did not participate. This may not bode well for the ones who didn’t show, with the South Carolina voters, as heard in the focus group after the debate.
For clarity, I had decided to evaluate each candidate on several attributes throughout the evening. The list of attributes and definitions is below, followed by my rankings of the entire debate and each candidate.
Lucity (Expression of thought; eloquence)
Knowledge of the topic: Because each candidate was asked a different question, I weighed their answers with regard to depth, and ability to articulate a complete knowledge of the topic they were questioned about.
Original Ideas: Do they have original ideas or are they simply picking apart the current administration?
Exhibited Leadership skills: Leadership is something critical to the next President elect, therefore in all debates we should look for signs of leadership skills.
Charisma as a speaker: Can he relate to the people?
Presidential Bearing: Can we envision this person as a total package that would have the credibility when sitting across the table from heads of state?
Closing pitch: Did they have a good argument as to why they would be President?
The ratings are from 1-5 with 5 being the best, and 1 being very poor.
|Ron Paul||Rick Santorum||Gary Johnson||Tim Pawlenty||Herman Cain|
|Leadership Skills Exhibited||
Results: Ron Paul 12 points
Rick Santorum 19 points
Gary Johnson 11 points
Tim Pawlenty 24 points
Herman Cain 28 points
There were distinct differences in the candidates. Tim Pawlenty had a great answer on Healthcare. He showed a lot of indepth thinking on the topic. However, Mr. Cain proved repeatedly he functioned more from a position of solutions. His approach of analysis first which defined the problem, reflected strong leadership skills. Both Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Cain exhibited an ability to articulate thoughts succinctly. Mr. Paul had a few challenges with his presentation. Mr. Santorum shared his straightforward sense of values, however he came across as very intense and almost combative with the interviewers on each question.
There was much more depth than expected in this first debate, therefore I will be producing articles on the primary candidates which focus on the belief systems and solutions offered to the voters.
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. – Thomas PaineRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
The ISD’s throughout Texas and across the country have worked hard to grow their empires. Sources of Education funding ( State, Federal, and local funding) comes to the ISD administration. The small committee of people are tasked with the creation and management of budgets for the respective district. What has occurred through the years is the administration has grown, along with the budget required by the ISD. One could argue there are so many students representing a diverse population both economically and cultually, it is a direct impact on the needs of the community. This point of view is not standing up to scrutiny in the majority of the ISD’s in Texas nor in other states.
We have gone toward an education system where people from prestigious colleges and posessing high visibility in community organizations rule. These people determine how taxpayer dollars will be used in the district. I am not disparaging their qualifications, only to say that the qualifications do not inherently mean they have common sense nor the experience required for a job managing millions of dollars and thousands of students. People in those school districts pay exorbitant amounts of money in school taxes. There is a duty to provide good stewardship of funds and programs to the entire community.
Money does not guarantee a person will excel beyond their wildest dreams. There have been a lot of studies that show when students have it too easy, they don’t necessarily become good citizens. These people continue to expect everyone in society to contribute to their quality of life. A good case in point, is the highly educated people of privilege who brought down Enron. The people making the trade decisions and influencing poor accounting policies were from elite households and had the finest educations. One might also point out without relevant experience, people easily get into trouble on big projects. A good example of the result of lack of experience is the President of the United States.
What are the ISD’s doing to build character within the school community? Is it building character to squander money in the ISD? Are we teaching the children all things are possible with other people’s money? There is no way anyone can convince me that schools should cost in the tens of millions of dollars and be “architectural gem” to provide good educations. Are you getting bids? Are you making smart choices on bond money?
Sadly, the school administrations are not doing a good job. I would suggest the school boards need to be made up of people with varying backgrounds and expertise to counter balance each other and provide well-rounded solutions based on a total approach. There should be a person who truly understands budgets and school financing, a teacher who understands political trickery at schoolboard level, a person who is able to see both sides of an issue and bring good solutions to the table, a person who has experience in IT inclusive of emerging technologies, a person well-versed in state textbook curriculem, a person who possesses knowledge of buildings and structure, and a leader who can facilitate.
The school superintendent should look over the management of teachers and receive the guidance from the School Board. This should be his only job. Simple is better for all concerned, rather than a manifestation of grandiose ideas at the expense of everyone in the community.
Looking into the expenditures of the various school systems in our state, has been eye opening, frustrating, and points to something that has evolved over years of the community not paying attention. The evolution of a corrupt, power hungry, expensive school system in Texas did not happen over night. It will take several cycles to strip away the problems, beginning with school board replacements at local and state level.
What can we do? Please send messages on facebook, email, and twitter to remind everyone of the importance of voting. If you have data on the local candidates, share it! The quality or lack thereof in the education system will directly impact future leaders in our country. It is up to the communities to change current school system challenges.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
How many times have we seen environmentalists and the affiliated entourage “spin facts” to reflect their personal views? The same liberal tactics are being used to unnecessarily create fear among Texans. Thus far, several versions of scare mongering prose has been used by the motley crew.
We have witnessed articles featuring quotes from the Sierra Club, Mother Jones, SEED, and others. When the first version of “facts” was discredited, different environmental groups were brought in for a “press conference of sorts.
The most recent statements attack the free market system that is resolving the costly chore of waste management for Texas and other states involved in an interstate compact. Disposal of low-level hazardous waste is a high cost proposition for states. Many states have tried to manage the whole process and failed. Thankfully, the states were able to partner with a high quality private enterprise company for solutions. This company is Waste Control Specialists (WCS).
Innuendo and rhetoric about private enterprise and associated profits indicate an aversion by the leftists to the way business is conducted in the United States. Mutually beneficial business agreements not only survive, but thrive in America’s free market system. To insinuate inequitable profit margins and fees is baseless and proof can be found in the state code as to the review of all fees on a regular basis. Perhaps a review of economics 101 or supply and demand would benefit the naysayers.
Quote directly from the Health and Safety Code Section 401.245
(b) The commission by rule shall adopt and periodically revise compact waste disposal fees according to a schedule that is based on the projected annual volume of low-level radioactive waste received, the relative hazard presented by each type of low-level radioactive waste that is generated by the users of radioactive materials, and the costs identified in Section 401.246.
Again, the rabble-rousers have elected to mislead the readers. At any point in the business relationship, there is legislation ensuring regular reviews of fees.
As stated in my earlier article, https://texasfor56.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/texas-propaganda-on-hazardous-waste-bill/ , liability bonds are posted by the company prior to each delivery to Texas. The environmentalists seemed to be shocked that Texas would take control of the facility after deliveries are completed. A review of other states and their practices indicated this is business as usual for a state to assume oversight of the facility. It is the choice of the state.
In a thinly veiled final attempt to discredit the company and the state for the transactions, moral hazard terminology was introduced to the hypotheses.
What Does Moral Hazard Mean?
The risk that a party to a transaction has not entered into the contract in good faith, has provided misleading information about its assets, liabilities or credit capacity, or has an incentive to take unusual risks in a desperate attempt to earn a profit before the contract settles.
The Moral Hazard definition simply does not apply to these circumstances.
There are interstate compacts involved, Federal oversight, State Agency oversight, and a multitude of additional checks and balances. The best practices have evolved over the years out of necessity by the states and the Federal Government. Moral Hazard would imply a situation that is not present in this transaction. Nothing is done prior to the contract being settled. There are no advantages to risk taking, and no incentives to alter schedules.
My hope is environmentalists and their minions will begin to focus on areas that could use their help. They clearly got this situation wrong, and need to give up the repeated desperate attempts to form scandalous pieces of fiction. The biggest question for Texas, is who is funding these lame publicity stunts by environmentalists and liberals, and why?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 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 )
Where does the budget process in Texas stand at this time? The Texas House passed a budget with various cuts, and identified a need for using 3.1B of the Rainy Day Fund. This proposal then went to the Senate. The Senate has their own budget proposal. It spends 12B more than the House Proposal. This budget process is going to end up in conference.
When the House and Senate offer two different solutions to the same bill, the legislation then moves to a committee made up of some members of the House and Senate. Their job is to negotiate a solution which satisfies the legislature as a final solution. In this instance, there will be debates about where to cut money and how much.
Mr. Talmadge Heflin, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation identified 3 priorities for the legislature with regard to the budget for the next biennium. Go to this site for more info on the House and Senate budgets: http://www.texaspolicy.com/legislativeupdates_single.php?report_id=3719
There are 3 things that lead to logical solutions on the budget.
- Make the necessary cuts
- Don’t raise taxes
- Don’t use the Rainy Day Fund
The Senate chose to disregard the advice of economists, experts, the Governor and the people of Texas. They have elected to spend more money when they are fully aware of the unfunded mandates the state is facing in 2013. New sources of money were used by the Senate to help pay for some of their programs, but it does not solve the future problem.
Before Texas gets into dire straits, there must be austerity measures taken in the state. In the past year, Americans have witnessed many states teetering on the verge of bankruptcy trying to make quick fixes. Several states have bond ratings now in jeopardy of a downgrade, due to excessive spending. Is this what we want for Texas?
Please call your legislators and state clearly the need for fiscal restraint prior to the emergency! Let’s show the rest of the country how it’s done.
As a final thought of what to say to the legislators: We pay you to be smart and do the very best for the citizens that elected you to office. Show you have the integrity and character to do what is best for Texans.
- Get rid of duplicity across departments
- Freeze all discretionary spending for two years
- Freeze hiring in all departments of the state for two years.
Herman Cain spoke this evening at the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC in Woodlands, Texas. There was much to learn about the man at the press conference and during the event. Passion and knowledge prevailed in his insightful views on the state of the country and the possibilities.
Recently, Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve declared we don’t really have much inflation and that the economy is recovering. I asked Mr. Cain if he would share his views on the Federal Reserve. His answer was succinct and on point. He does not think we need to do away with the Federal Reserve. Mr. Cain served on the Board of the Federal Reserve in the 90s. His opinion is the Federal Reserve has changed significantly since he served, and needs to be fixed. Quote Mr. Cain: “I respectfully disagree with Chairman Bernanke regarding inflation. There is inflation when I go to pump gas and the price has gone up a dollar a gallon.” Mr. Cain also stated he respectfully disagreed with Chairman Bernanke on the recovery in America. “How could we be in economic recovery when 15M people are unemployed? This month’s numbers on unemployment have gone back up over 400,000! This is not recovery.” In his view, the Federal Reserve has become overly politicized.
Mr. Cain observed we had become a nation of crises. America has a crisis of morality, economics, immigration, spending, energy, national security, and a lack of leadership. It is important in leadership to identify the right problem, surround yourself with the right people, and provide common sense solutions. In his view, the lack of leadership is permitting the crises to continue growing in the country.
He expressed amazement regarding the President;s decision on loaning money to Brazil for drilling oil. The President stated the United States would be Brazil’s customer. Mr. Cain was passionate in his argument we should be our own customer. It is important to drill here, and drill now! If he runs for President, this is a priority.
When asked why he should be President, the answer was insightful. He is a problem solver. The career experience reflects a gift at problem solving. The job of President, particularly in these difficult times in America, requires a problem solver.
Over the past 7 days, he had traveled to 9 states and had 16 engagements. Why? He is talking to conservatives and determining if he will run for President. In his mind, he had set 4 criteria for his decision. Three of the four criteria had exceeded expectations. The fourth criteria had met expectations. He is a few weeks away from making a decision. It was not his intention to ever run for President. He felt compelled to consider it, after the President signed Obamacare into law. This law is unconstitutional and tramples on the rights of Americans. Mr. Cain takes liberty very seriously.
During his speech, there were several specific examples given of economic changes he would make in the country. Stimulating the economy requires putting more money in the hands of individuals and businesses. He proposed a 6.2% tax holiday for one year for the employers and employees. There were several ideas proposed to promote business in the United States rather than allowing the business to go overseas.
It was clear by the end of the speech, Mr. Cain is a leader. He has a vision of how to solve the nation’s problems. His advice to the audience: “Stay Informed, Stay Involved, and Stay Inspired. Everyone will need to participate in efforts countering the plethora of misinformation that is being circulated. There is 50% of the country that doesn’t have a clue. Doing research and getting educated on the issues will be a critical component of the plan to win in 2012.
I would be remiss if the highlight of the evening was not included. For the finale, speakers and Teaparty volunteers gathered on stage for a song. They were singing God Bless America and Mr. Cain led the audience in singing with them. This was one of those “Kodak” moments you know will not be forgotten for a very long time.
So, is he the “one” to run for President and win it for conservatives in 2012? At this point, he is probably one of only a handful of people who could adequately address the challenges facing our country. His expertise and wisdom clearly outshines the Administration in Washington today. The love he exhibits for God, family, and country is evident. Clearly he would be a formidable candidate against President Obama. We will know shortly!
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald ReaganRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 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 )
The Bay Area Republican Club sponsored an event recently, that stood out as a most exceptional evening. The gala was the annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner for the bay area. The speakers were outstanding. The food, and camaderie was equally enjoyable. This shall be one of my most memorable events of the year.
Where to begin? Mr. Ted Cruz began the evening, by telling us what he stood for as a US Senatorial Candidate. He had previously served as the Solicitor General of Texas. On several occasions, Mr. Cruz has successfully argued cases before the US Supreme Court. This is quite the accomplishment. Ted Cruz gave a very apropo piece of advice for all Americans. Look at each candidate’s accomplishments to date. Don’t be misled by campaign rhetoric with no substantive experience to be seen. The depth of experience by Mr. Cruz more than qualifies him for the job of the US Senate. The challenge will be that there are so many highly qualified, strong conservatives competing for the job.
Herman Cain, was a delight, as always. Mr. Cain has formed an exploratory commmittee and is considering a run for President of the United States. His experience and competence are well known in many circles. Herman Cain is an author, speaker, radio talk show host, and former CEO in business. He speaks from the heart, and has a gift for “connecting” to the audience. More than that, he reflects the positive attitude of Americans that have worked hard and achieved the American Dream.
It never crossed his mind to run for President, until he experienced this administration’s lack of leadership. He is not a professional politician. His background includes being a CEO faced with turning a company around, when it was near bankruptcy. Pillsbury employed Mr. Cain. Because he was good at his job, they asked him to take on the task of the Godfather Pizza Division. It was common knowledge the division was near the end, due to fiscal issues. Mr. Cain’s leadership and hard choices put the division in the black, improved morale, and made a profit. He understands fiscal responsibility at all levels.
The personal story he shared of the birth of his granddaughter was moving. This is why he wants to run for President. He has been married for 40 years, has two adult children, and three grandchildren. All people should have the ability to chase whatever their personal American dream, whatever it may be. America is an exceptional place. Of that, Mr. Cain was absolutely certain. It is up to us to maintain that exceptionalism for all future generations.
He gave a brochure with his positions on the various issues. The information is in depth and will be covered in my upcoming review of potential Presidential candidates. Trust me when I say, he included more information and insights on current challenges facing our government, than the majority of the candidates! The most important thing to me personally, was a statement in the booklet that reflects his personal beliefs and ideals. Too many times, we have seen politicians having no moral foundation, that are similar to a rudderless boat. They go nowhere.
The final statement in his information booklet: We are free because “In God Is our Trust”
Thanks to the Bay Area Republicans for a fine evening. You can find out more about their group here: http://www.barw.org/
There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Ronald ReaganRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
An article that implied there was an irresponsible bill specific to Hazardous Waste activity in Texas was circulated this week by a local Houston talk show host. While reading the piece, a lot of alarm bells started going off. I saw the same article on a website called wetexans. The latter site belongs to Debra Medina, former gubernatorial candidate. My concern was triggered by a mention of a compact with Vermont. Those of you who know me, realize much of the past two years, my focus has been on usage of interstate compacts in strengthening state powers and protection on the healthcare issue. The article did not reflect indepth knowledge of how interstate compacts work, particularly this one. I decided this was a strong accusation about the bill in question and I wanted to learn more. More troublesome is the fact the Sierra Club was quoted in the article as raising the initial doubts about the power of this bill. Fear mongering for any reason, is not appropriate as an action. The Sierra Club is an extremist leftist organization which puzzled me more, as the two sources for the article claim to be conservatives. In Dallas, an article was written by a liberal blogger who quoted Mother Jones (yet another leftist organization).
Here is the link to the first opinion piece that was circulated with false accusations and inaccurate information: http://community.icontact.com/p/thecivilright/newsletters/thecivilright/posts/the-patriots-digest
Here is the link to the second opinion piece on Hazardous Waste: http://www.wetexans.com/dumping-on-texas/ Originally this second article was identical to the first one. It was changed one day after news of my investigation n Austin was brought to the attention of the ladies. Although “facts” of this news article are cleaned up a little, the inaccuracies are still there.
The opinion piece was regarding Texas House Bill 2184. Click on the following link to go the Texas State Legislature site for the complete information on the bill: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/billlookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=78R&Bill=HB2184#
Sierra Club had issues with the vagueness of the article and were worried about the implications of “any kind of waste could be dumped in Texas” by taking away part of the necessary process. The two ladies perpetuated blogs that took this bit of information, coupled it with the fact a private company is involved and developed a story of political favors, taxpayers that would suffer, and the overall horrors of Hazardous Materials and Texas. A piece of journalism that capitalizes on fear, doubt, and uncertainty at the expense of Texans. Who were the two women attempting to “help”?
I went to two sources for fact checking. First, I read all the published materials on the Texas legislative website to discern what we are talking about. Most importantly, I went to Austin yesterday, to speak directly with the legislator who sponsored the bill. Texas State Representative, Tryon D. Lewis spoke with me at length about the initial state compact previously developed around the disposal of hazardous waste and the why of it. The states simply cannot afford to develop their own solutions, so the usage of private companies is not unusual. Representative Tryon does not know Mr. Simmons, the head of the private company used in Texas(note the accusation of political favors in the article) . The facts I found to refute the premise and the focus of the article are abundant. The “compact” mentioned previously is actually an interstate compact. Texas agreed several years ago, that low level hazardous materials could be disposed of in remote Texas locations. It was the most cost effective way to dispose of Texas Waste and provide help for disposal of waste from Vermont. As with any Interstate Compact (especially involving hazardous materials), there are a lot of reporting checkpoints and safeguards on this process.
Here are the facts for Texans: Texas taxpayers are not in jeopardy on these projects. There are bonds and securities put up by the private company prior to any project. Another fact is low level radiation waste becomes benign after a relatively short time. The amount of waste and type of waste is fully regulated and this bill does not change the substance of the interstate compact. Texas does receive some revenue on these projects.
The current bill does not change anything, but the mechanics of an existing state compact.
The blogs by the two ladies mentioned, indicated there was a lot of room for latitude and misuse of the law with regard to the type of hazardous waste, etc. This simply is not the case. A Sierra Club quote was used to support their theory. Other blogs that are all fired up about the possible misuse of this law, have appeared in other parts of the state use quotes from Mother Jones, another leftist article.
What is clear is these are not the works of conservatives, nor was the articles accurate. The biggest question in all of this: “what are writers hoping to achieve by circulating these articles”.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 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 )
The President had his two cabinet secretaries out on the media circuit this weekend, trying to give a positive spin on military action he decided to take in Libya. The result was more than underwhelming. It was a moment of clarity as the two people, Secretary Clinton, and Secretary Gates became a bit rattled under pressure.
What did we learn? The US will not engage unless a lot of other people say we need to do it. Secretary Clinton’s answer says it all. The spin from the President that we cannot stand by while innocent people are killed is a complete farce. In Secretary Clinton’s answer below, she explains how the US “picks” who to save on humanitarian grounds.
On March 1, the Senate passed a resolution on the no-fly zone. In Secretary Clinton’s answer she refuses to state that Speaker Boehner was against it. Odd, that they had over two weeks, and couldn’t get it heard and voted on by the House. It was clear from her answers that she was unable to say Congress supported this effort. Look at the choice of words.
So, the President’s own people have some difficulty explaining what is happening…
Quotes from Face the Nation transcript:
Bill Scheiffer: Madam Secretary, let me start with you. Tens of thousands of people have turned out protesting in Syria, which has been under the iron grip of the– the Assad for so many years now. One of the most repressive regimes in the world, I suppose. And when the demonstrators turned out, the regime opened fire and killed a number of civilians. Can we expect the United States to enter that conflict in the way we have entered the conflict in Libya?
HILLARY CLINTON (Secretary of State): No. Each of these situations is unique, Bob. Certainly, we deplore the violence in Syria. We call, as we have on all of these governments during this period of the Arab awakening, as some have called it, to be responding to their people’s needs, not to engage in violence, permit peaceful protest and begin a process of economic and political reform. The situation in Libya, which engendered so much concern from around the international community had a leader who used military force against the protestors from one end of his country to the other, who publicly said things like, we’ll show no mercy. We’ll go house to house. And the international community moved with great speed in part because there’s a history here. This is someone who has behaved in a way that caused grave concern in the past forty-plus years in the Arab world, the African world, Europe and the United States.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But I mean– how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Assad’s father killed twenty-five thousand people at– at a lick. I mean, they opened fire with live ammunition on these civilians. Why is that different from Libya? This is a friend of Iran, an enemy of Israel.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of a Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal but that is not going to happen because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold. There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is– is deeply concerning. But there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities, then police actions, which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.
End of the transcript from Face the Nation.
So, we are now acting in concert with many countries because of what we “think” someone may do. After the military efforts began, and the President asked Gadhaffi to go, the Arab League said this is a legitimate government and to not interfere. This was a byline on the BBC one night after the military exercise began by the various countries.
On Meet the Press, more troubling statements were made by both Secretaries, that indicate the US has been heavily involved in conversations with rebels in most of the middle eastern countries.
Quotes from Meet the Press Transcript:
SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: I think that the no-fly zone aspect of the mission has been accomplished. We have not seen any of his planes fly since the mission started. We have suppressed his air defenses. I think we’ve also been successful on the humanitarian side. We have prevented his forces from going to Benghazi , and we have taken out a good bit of his armor. So I think we have, to a very large extent, completed the military mission in terms of getting it set up. Now, the no-fly zone and even the humanitarian side will have to be sustained for some period of time.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s perfectly legitimate for members of Congress and the public to ask questions. The president’s going to address the nation Monday night. A lot of these questions will be answered. But, but I would just make a couple of points. First, on March 1 the United States Senate passed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone. That was a bipartisan resolution. There were a number of people in the House , including leadership in both the Republican and Democratic Parties , who were demanding that action be taken. The international community came together; and, in an unprecedented action, the Arab League called on the Security Council to do exactly what the Security Council ended up doing. Now, the United States and other countries were in a position to be able to act to enforce it. If you look at the coverage on Al Jazeera , if you listen to the statements that are being put out by the opposition in Libya , there is a great deal of appreciation for what we and others have done in order to stop Gadhafi on his mission of merciless oppression. So this was an international effort that the United States was a part of. I certainly believe it was within the president’s constitutional authority to do so. It is going according to the plan that the president laid out. The United States will be transitioning to a NATO command and control .
MR. GREGORY: Did Speaker Boehner raise any objections when he was briefed prior to the mission ?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I know that there was a constant flow of information, both to members and staff. And, of course , the president had a, a conference with some members in person , others, many others, including the speaker on the phone. But we have no objection to anybody asking questions. But I think it’s important to look at the context in which this is occurring. And the fact that we have moved so rapidly to have this kind of international action taken answers in great measure the legitimate concerns of the people of Libya . And now, of course, we’re going to take it day by day . That’s what you do in a situation like this.
End of Quotes from Meet the Press Transcript
America has never witnessed so much unrest in the Middle East. Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates have acknowledged in many press briefings that our country has been engaged in a lot of conversation with rebels throughout the Middle East. Now we have unrest in almost all of the middle eastern nations as rebels protest against their governments. In the press briefings previously at the White House, it was stated that we are encouraging economic and political reform. Our country is broke. We have people at the highest levels involved in redistribution of wealth on a grand scale. Government processes are ignored on a regular basis. It is time for creative thought as to how to impede the progress of the liberals until 2012. These riots in the Middle East are occuring because the flames of discontent have been fanned by people with agendas.
“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation” James MadisonRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Texas Tea Party Patriots Pac provided an opportunity to hear Mr. John Fund recently. Having read many of Mr. Fund’s opinion pieces in the WSJ (Wall Street Journal), and listened to him on various FOX programs, I was looking forward to a discourse between a patriot group and Mr. Fund. He had been mentored by the late Robert Novak, who was in a class by himself.
His last trip took him to Berlin. To be a candidate overseas, one must be “approved” by the party leaders. In America, it is a more interesting process. The Democrats use a “Blind date” method of selecting the Presidential candidate. Who is popular? Who has the charisma? They look at everyone, find someone interesting, and decide to “try them out”. After they are elected, everyone gets to know who they are and what they stand for as a President. There were a lot of chuckles when this theory was disclosed. Mr. Fund went on to prove his point by a brief review of some candidates in the last century. There did seem to be a preponderance of evidence to prove the point.
What about the Republicans? Who is next in line? There is a definite pattern of behavior from 1948 through 2008. They tend to nominate whoever has been around a while. This was true with the exception of one candidate. The candidate was Ronald Reagan.
The 2012 role is critical to America’s future. It is of paramount importance the two parties have a different process to select the candidates. He encouraged everyone to not make hasty decisions about who to support as a Presidential candidate. The campaign trail wears on people, and in many cases the people change somewhat under the pressure. Politics are too important to be left to the politicians. Most notably in the 2012 race, is that the wide variety of competition will be good for the process.
After his short talk, there were a lot of questions from the audience. The first one had to do with the powers of the Supreme Court. He pointed out the powers of the Supreme Court were largely defined by John Marshall in the 1820’s. Congress has the right to limit the powers of the Supreme Court. At one point in history, Thomas Jefferson abolished many of the judiciary, who he felt were out of control. Is it the most intelligent view, to be governed by 9 people in black robes?
One question that seemed to resonant was “how do we get back to the Constitution, given the overuse of Executive Orders to circumvent the process”? Mr. Fund pointed out we have executive orders left over from the Truman administration! The way we get back to that point, is by continuing to apply pressure to all the elected officials. He found it shocking that the President spent hours convincing the UN to launch the no-fly zone tactic, and then got on a conference call with a few of the Congressional leaders to state the decision he had already made.
One of the poplular questions at every patriot event, was posited near the end of the session. The query was on what his views about compromise between the House and the Senate. He said we need to be realistic. There is no need to compromise on principles, but there may be times when negotiation on points is necessary to arrive at the best solution for America. The people elected to office have the difficult task of translating principle into policy.
When asked why there doesn’t seem to be any passion coming out of the new people in Washington, now that they have been elected…well the answer was very insightful. Mr. Fund said passion is not always what you want from politicians in Washington. These people need to learn how to write legislation, how to take in all the facts, and develop theories, etc. There is a lot to learn when one goes to Congress. They need to buckle down to learn the job, and get the job done. The campaign is over.
He was supportive of the conservatives in Congress. He said people need to realize the 100B cut in spending was promised in September. October 1 begins the new fiscal year. By the time they took office, many months of the budget had already gone by. The 61B was a prorated figure. The majority of the spending is in the entitlement programs. These programs must be reformed for any substantial budget cuts to be accomplished. The conservatives do not control the Senate and will need to negotiate everything to get it passed. That is the reality.
He did say there is some concern about patriots involved in the tea parties, who want to use it for their personal agenda. Many people are maneuvering for their 15 minutes of fame. These people could be somewhat dangerous to the movement. It is important that everyone question issues and people. The goal is to take back the country.
He did not think the Balanced budget amendment will actually achieve what the people are seeking for fiscal responsibility. His example was an amendment in Colorado. Their law limits government spending and growth to a combination of population plus inflation. A mechanism such as this needs to be in place. Otherwise, the government will simply raise taxes to accommodate their spending habits.
My favorite part of the evening, was his idea about foreign policy. At what point do we change from policemen of the world to night watchmen? In Clinton’s administration, Hillary had become known as the “mad bomber” because she wanted to bomb everything. Well, now she has that power.
On taxes he said there is a very simple solution. When a person is elected to office, they should sign a pledge under oath and penalty of perjury that they will prepare their tax returns with no outside help. The Congress receives $3,000 to get someone to do their taxes. The crowd gasped after this remark. Perhaps then they would realize the complexity of the tax laws.
Driving home, one felt energized there are people out there who do get it. He understood so much of the process, the history, and the nuances. In other words, he had knowledge and common sense. Perhaps we need to list the characteristics we want in a potential candidate for the Presidency.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Tea parties and other patriot groups are the same as the GOP, Democrats, and Libertarians. These groups are all diverse. All groups are human beings inclusive of those with passions, fears, good people, bad people, fringe people, mainstream people, and those who lust for power and glory.
Full credit is given to groups that have awakened the country. My belief is the GOP, Democrats, Libertarians, and patriots groups all have contributed to the awakening of a nation. It has become an interesting drama unfolding as various patriot groups have fallen into the same traps as our National and Local Politicians. Many groups have grown out of the new kid on the block who is working hard to make a difference. What have they become?
People can be easily seduced by power and greed. Patriot groups are no different. Bullies have emerged who, much like 3 year olds, are demanding their 15 minutes of glory in the media. These people typically stomp their feet, and take adversarial positions rather than attempting to get the facts and articulate possible solutions. They are rapidly losing credibility by the inability to remain objective and focus on results. Other groups will gladly circulate innuendo without factual basis, just to become known.
My belief is the job will get done, if we remain, cool, calm, and collected. Gather the facts. Just like a lawyer is trained, know all the answers prior to asking a question. Most of these rather loud, pretentious voices are just background noise and easy fodder for the liberals. Preparation is key. Look at the superior results by the Liberals due to their meticulous planning.
A good example of quality that yields results is a local tea party in Texas. The group is very positive, and does extensive fact gathering, before approaching politicians. They have achieved credibility and are effectively getting people to listen. Being well educated about facts prior to attending meetings, is their trademark. These patriots do not bully, or work to get any limelight for their efforts. Quietly, and patiently the group works hand in hand with elected officials to help identify solutions in a very difficult environment. People listen to reason. The group is growing. The result has been amazing as local Houston radio stations have invited them to share insights and engage in further dialogue. Their range of influence is a result of good preparation and execution.
Other patriot groups actively worked every waking moment to gain media visibility. They call into radio shows frequently just to be heard. Chasing the media at every turn is their modus operandi. It has become somewhat of a joke by people who don’t currently belong to patriot groups. These people fail to get the point. Their immediate goal is to spew vitriol and gain notoriety by having their name in lights. Patriot groups such as these are not growing bigger, but actually deterring the public from becoming a part of the solution for America. These patriots have allowed this type of behavior to define their group/mission. In fact, the “mission” appears to be missing in action!
Many will say I have drunk the Kool-Aid. No, in fact, I am applying a lifetime of business experience to a challenging situation in our country. The strategy should be: How do we get the country back on track before it is completely lost? Instead I see a lot of small power plays to bully the Congress! Has any of you bothered to talk and find out what is going on, before stamping feet, getting in front of a camera, and pretending to know how to get the job done? IF people behaved this way in business environments, they would be fired. A person is either part of the effort or considered counterproductive to the task at hand.
1. Conservatives only have the House.
2. Conservatives do not have the Senate.
3. Conservatives do not have the Presidency.
4. Conservatives do not have the Department of Justice.
5. Most of the higher court judges now have Obama appointees that legislate new law from the bench with zero conscience about it.
Given the above situation, whether 500B is proposed as a cut or 50B, is immaterial. The Senate will stop anything that interferes with their goal. We need to think of how to use the law to advantage and work with people currently in Washington to prepare for coming elections. This means some items can be done now, to ready legislation and subpoenas for the upcoming event, when we do have the majority. However, make no mistake. There is zero chance of gaining a majority if we continue to be in the spotlight for attacking conservatives. Other people listen to the news who are not currently involved in conservative groups. Major networks delight in covering negative events initiated by patriot groups. Tens of thousands of people will be influenced by these events.
If you truly want to take the country back, be smart. Don’t waste efforts further empowering the liberals. The conservatives cannot do much, because we the people did not get the job done by taking control of the Senate. Function with facts and knowledge of how things were done and why. There is plenty of blame to go around for everyone. Let’s put a period on it and move on.
It is time to get down to business with people who can help us as we put together a strategy and tactics to ensure winning in 2012. NONE of us know everything that is happening in Washington. My suggestion is either we stop whining, bullying, cajoling, and step up to working as a group to get the job done or give up now.
United we stand, divided we fall…..Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted another stop gap bill to fund the government for 3 more weeks. They cut a few more billion of spending, and thought this would pass the Senate as well. This is a time when the government needs several things from Congress. They need to fund the government through September. This situation has occurred because Democrats were unwilling to pass a budget last year when it should have been done.
The second thing the Government wants, is to raise the debt ceiling. A lot of chat shows have focused on liberal angst including that of the President. The President and liberals were speaking about “dire” consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised. EWWW, I am shaking in my boots that the commander in chief is trying to scare us again. Remember how they tried to convince us of the “emergency” on healthcare?? Nothing has happened. The world didn’t come to an end because it is not implemented yet. Neither the President nor Harry Reid are willing to “negotiate” per the Republican leadership. For some reason the refusal by those two parties to negotiate has disturbed the Conservatives.
Do we care? I say we should not care when people who have shown little regard for the Constitution or the people can’t play well with others. We have known from childhood that leopards do not change their spots.
Realizing the Conservatives can’t negotiate with themselves, as that would be foolish….what about a completely different approach? What if we decided the people’s demands in exchange for extending the government funding? Think of 3-4 major spending cuts and attach it to the bill. If they vote against it, the liberals must not really have a fear of the government shutting down. At that point, the Conservatives need to loudly talk about this, everywhere possible. Use a page from the liberal book! I am certain there have been more serious threats to Congress than we have been privy to in the public. However, we must stand strong, if we have any hope of preventing the further takeover by the government.
Now is the time to use what the liberals want, and get some conservative tactics accomplished. Conservatives have leverage now and appear to be unwilling to “tangle” with the President or the Liberals.
What was most amazing today during the vote, is that 54 Conservatives stood strong and voted no to a bill that satisfies the whims of the liberals and doesn’t do much for the people. Please see the list below of conservatives that stood strong and voted against extending government funding for 3 weeks with no real cuts!
Now we have a plan, my fellow patriots. First we need to call our Representatives and Senators in Washington. The people who are unwilling to make the hard choices, have become an achilles heel to the effort. Make it clear, they better band together and use leverage while they have it. ALL non-critical funding must be cut, as the country is broke. As a taxpayer, I am offended we are giving money to a multitude of United Nations efforts when we are unable to care for our own people. I am offended that we continue to give foreign aide by the billions to countries that hate us. No union, or community action group should get any money. I, the taxpayer refuse to give hundreds of thousands to study frogs. They will definitely get the idea.
The second part of the plan involves reaching out to the 54 courageous people who voted no yesterday in the House. We should ask them what we can do to help. Do they have ideas? At a minimum. we need to thank them for standing up for what is right and for the American People. The list of 54 is below.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 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 )
For over two years now, I have watched every session of the House and Senate. It should probably be entitled: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. However, a new day has come. Although America did not win the Senate, we did win the House by some of the most significant numbers since the Great Depression.
I have watched and waited. Each moment of frustration, anger, determination, and valor was exhibited by Conservatives for the world to see on the floor of the Congress. How many people in America would never be aware of how these remarkable individuals were brow beaten, taunted, and excluded by the Majority (Liberal) party? The media certainly didn’t cover it. I’ve tried my best to reach out on numerous blogs to make people aware of the literal transformation on the floor of the House. It was clear to see the “light bulb” was going off for many of them, just as it had for the Tea Party. They recognized how close we were to changing our country forever.
Stepping up the pace, I began to give speeches about what was being witnessed, so that others might know about the positive changes that were occurring. As the frequency of speeches requested increased, the hecklers and infiltrators at these gatherings increased as well. People were making fun of Speaker Boehner and stating clearly Congress was doing nothing. I knew this to be lies, because of the dedicated time for over two years to the research effort.
Did you know that George Washington wept when contemplating the battle facing he and his men in surviving the harsh wintry weather at Valley Forge? We have had many leaders who had greatness thrust upon them, and they were overcome with momentary emotion as they began their journey. Is there doubt in any patriot’s mind at the magnitude of the task and the importance of getting our country back, before it’s too late? I might have shed a tear or two as well, had this quest been placed upon my shoulders. Speaker Boehner, like so many leaders in our past, is humbled by the whole experience. Some of the finest leaders our country has ever known, have exhibited the same emotion over the honor. He does not deserve the wrath of the conservatives in this country, but rather our support.
If you go to the majority leader’s website, the entire list of programs they have terminated, and the summary of all budget cuts is there: http://www.majorityleader.gov/YouCut/ The first pass at cuts was to focus on elimination of any job killing programs, or obvious waste. It is not an easy task. I challenged myself recently to try and unravel very complicated Federal Budgets. The fact that they are this complicated is an instant red flag to me.
The budgets are not all the House accomplished. There is much more. Go to the Republican Study Commitee website to get a better view of what they have done to date: http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/default.aspx
In conclusion, perhaps we should all consider the tasks of the American people. To prevent the further transformation of our beloved country, it is imperative to take the Senate back and the White House. These need to be filled with as many conservatives as possible. The unfortunate part of the next two years is all the good work of the House will likely be minimized due to the blocking of everything by the Senate with the liberal majority.
As good conservatives, what do you think the impact will be if we continue to slam the conservatives in the blogs and speeches for every move they make? Do you think these actions could possibly persuade voters (or new people in the patriot movement) to change their vote? If we whine and moan, without giving any facts….we the people are sabotaging our possibility of winning in 2012. Think about it. Do you want to be part of the effort to save the country? OR, would you rather help the liberals completely rob us of our liberty? The choice is up to each of us.
President Barack Obama continues to hurt oil and gas industry by eliminating oil & gas incentives and preferences with a fiscal 2012 federal budget request increasing direct taxes on industry by an estimated $3.472 billion next year and $43.612 billion over 10 years. US producers and refineries operating internationally would pay an additional $532 million in fiscal 2012 and $10.758 billion during 2012-21 under modified rules for dual-capacity taxpayers under the foreign tax credit.
There is a wave of instability engulfing the Middle Eastern Countries. America buys much of their oil and gas from these countries. So, let me get this straight…. We have a President crippling the oil and gas production in our country at a time when our other sources may be soon “off-limit”?
There is no other way to interpret the increasing anti-American methods used by this President to dismantle America and “transform” it to a leftist third world country. He and all of his henchmen should be found guilty of treason on many counts. For one thing, each time Congress stops them, they turn to the EPA and the Department of Justice to ignore the Congressional mandates. These two government groups have become the henchmen for this Administration. The second reason they are guilty of treason is that they are picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which laws they declare unconstitutional without any verdict by the courts. The third and most important reason is that the President involves himself on a regular basis in matters that are not the purvue of the President of the United States. We have seen everything from a beer summit which interfered with local authorities, to many secret meetings with union officials.
And lest we forget, for whatever reason, this President has refused to show a birth certificate. In my mind, the most significant part of this action, is that he has defied what has been required for every President – proof of natural citizenshp. Why should he be allowed to defy the Constitutional laws of this country?
If anyone doubts the peril this country is in, please have a look at a few of the headlines in the Wall Street Journal or the Telegraph News Paper in London. There have been hundreds of reports about this President and his administration ignoring the laws of the land and blazing new leftist trails using their own people such as the EPA, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice. These people have picked up the pace and it is increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the regulations and stripping away of laws that they are doing. There are over 157,000 regulations in this country now. The Departments, like EPA, have been given authority by the President to make regulations that are binding for the public. These are non-elected officials who are making law. Congress makes laws. This is a direct violation of our American system of law.
What to do? It is imperative we place more conservatives in the House, the Senate, and in the White House in 2012. By this, I mean no Marxists, no Socialists, and no experimental third party. The left is moving fast. Conservatives need to unite and stay focused. Watch for divisive efforts by the left. Question everything. America’s future is in our hands.
Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.
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 )
Today a Federal Judge in Florida ruled Obamacare is unconstitutional due to the individual mandate. Because the mandate is so integral to all of the Obamacare law, he suggested the entire document is not valid. Unfortunately, we have a few years more before this will likely reach the Supreme Court. Until that time, many other dictates will be handed down to insurance companies, the people, and the Corporations that provide healthcare insurance to employees.
All of this does not change the fact, the system is broken. The states who are loudly protesting the intrusion of the federal government into healthcare, must continue finding solutions at state level to avoid this overreach by the Federal government. Below you will find a summation of various state options that I have been researching over the past months. To protect state rights and the rights of individuals, one must strengthen the ability of the states to provide the appropriate solutions for their citizens.
Today, I am sharing an idea posited by the Honorable Ted Cruz, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and Mario Loyola. Mr. Cruz was a featured speaker at the yearly conference of the TPPF in Austin, and a lot of education on state rights/powers was gained from this remarkable statesman.
The latest policy paper focuses on the Interstate Compacts in Our Constitution. An interstate compact is the agreement between two or more states of the United States of America. Many interstate compacts have been created through the years. Our Constitution dictates specific “behaviors” if you will, of the Compacts. Interstate Compacts can regulate matters within the enumerated powers of the federal government that require congressional consent. In prior instances of Interstate Compacts, it was accomplished by a bill or resolution that was subsequently presented to the President for his signature. Yet, in other cases it has been an “implied” consent.
The following links are just a few examples to familiarize my readers with the numerous ways the Interstate Compacts have been used in America. Here are just a few examples of current Interstate Compacts that are successfully working today:
Operating agencies created by interstate compact
- Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_States_Marine_Fisheries_Commission
- Colorado River Compact (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and California) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Compact
- Driver License Compact (all States except Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver_License_Compact
- Education Commission of the States (all States (except Washington), three territories, and Washington, D.C.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Commission_of_the_States
- Great Lakes Commission (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Commission
- Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_States_Marine_Fisheries_Commission
- Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Power_and_Conservation_Council
- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (New Jersey and New York) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Authority_of_New_York_and_New_Jersey
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Metropolitan_Area_Transportation_Authority
Looking at the links above, it is apparent there can be any number of reasons to institute an interstate compact. Could they be used for common sense health exchanges? Could they be used for specific healthcare options that are supported at state level? The potential for this solution is vast, as many applications can be used within this framework.
Refer to the policy perspective from the Honorable Ted Cruz and Mario Loyola for more detail on the use of interstate compacts:
The use of state compacts has been used primarily when a group of states have something in common that needs regulation at a state level. We now have multiple approaches to take back the power of the state. The biggest question arises because there doesn’t appear to be any definition of how deeply a compact can intrude on the federal law.
When the federal government is all powerful, citizenry lose the ability to hold them accountable. Policies should reflect the values of those citizens. The interstate compact is a tool for states to fight back against Federal overreach and more specifically Obamacare. It is the right of a state to determine their course.
Here are the links to my prior work on the Tenth Amendment and Nullification as well:
Tenth Amendment Rights Townhall (Part 3)
Tenth Amendment Rights Townhall (Part 2)
We are Americans, and perseverance is one of our finest traits. The Constitution and our laws have provided us with solutions that protect the states and it’s people. Now is the time to stop the erosion of those state rights by utilizing the tools given in our rule of law.
“I consider the foundation of the Federal Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States of to the people.” (Tenth Amendment) To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” Thomas JeffersonRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Recently, I attended two days of conferences in Austin, Texas. This was the annual conference for the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). The non-partisan organization examines each issue facing Texas with a keen eye for the pros and cons. Thousands of hours are invested in research each year, yielding an overview of suggested optimum solutions. The Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute have long been a part of their efforts and participated this year. This conference, like the other events sponsored by the TPPF throughout the year was very well-attended by legislators and writers from across Texas.
What I found in this conference, was a multitude of ideas that could be used by many states in efforts to combat fiscal problems and Federal Overreach. The topics covered, represented a wide range of known challenges confronting the Texas Legislature and people of Texas this year. This author chose to attend healthcare, state budget, and energy sessions as a focus.
The first session of note revolved around Healthcare Exchanges: Good Deal or Raw Deal? Distinguished panelists for this discussion included several persons of note, including Senior Research Fellow Edmund Haislmaier. For those of you who are unaware, Mr. Haislmaier has been leading the way in his research for the Heritage Foundation in the area of Healthcare. I might add this session was moderated by the Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth, Executive Director and Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the TPPF. Ms. Wohlgemuth, has long been recognized as an expert on Healthcare policy.
What we learned is Healthcare exchanges are a necessary component of a complete healthcare policy. My conclusion after hearing the various opinions, is that a Healthcare exchange is a must. All panelists agreed Healthcare exchanges are needed, and Texas and other states should proactively create what is in the best interest of it’s citizens. Texas State Representative, Dr. John Zerwas had already filed legislation in January 2011 to establish a state Healthcare Exchange. In theory, an exchange will enable individuals and small businesses to access the competitive rates enjoyed by large corporations simply by banding together. The interesting point in this discussion is what is created for Rhode Island may not be suitable for Texas or any other state. One size/type does not fit all with Healthcare exchanges, or general Healthcare. This is the importance of each state creating the most applicable solution for their circumstance. Demographic components of the respective state plays a large part in the definition of unique qualities of a state. Whether a state’s population are primarily in urban or rural locations is also a primary consideration as the requirements are defined by a state.
Continuing with the healthcare theme, there was an excellent panel discussion on whether Texas should opt out of Medicaid. It isn’t possible to “opt out” for many reasons. However, there needs to be new definitions considered for Medicaid. The choice is clear. Something must be done this year to address the exploding Medicaid costs. In Texas, Medicaid costs have increased dramatically since 2000. This is without the consideration of Obamacare. In 2000, Medicaid costs for the state of Texas were $11 Billion dollars. In 2011, the costs for Medicaid will exceed $30 Billion dollars. Clearly hard decisions and a new approach needs to be adopted to get the spending under control in Texas. At this time, the state contributes 30% on Medicaid costs and the Federal Government contributes 70%. Everyone voiced concern that the massive Federal deficit is likely to reduce the amount of support from the Federal Government. The state must develop some sort of “safety-net” for the people. The conversation on Medicaid and overall healthcare needs to be redefined. In Texas, State Representative Charlie Howard filed legislation to prevent Obamacare from coming to Texas. The majority of the conservative states are actively fighting to block this travesty of Federal overreach. This is a key component of the state solutions.
I strongly encourage everyone to read available research papers on healthcare policy by the experts. For your convenience, links are included below to the available research. Medicaid is but one troubling aspect of America’s healthcare dilemma. With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare), the Medicaid recipient base will be enlarged dramatically. This will likely collapse the Medicaid system, and bankrupt the majority of the states, if action isn’t taken immediaetly. The time to address healthcare and Medicaid is now, prior to the enactment of the Obamacare law in 2014. Bear in mind much of the challenge for satisfactory solutions is due to constraints placed upon Texas (and the other states) by specific Federal Regulations. The conclusion is the entitlement program of Medicaid is in trouble, and the enactment of the Obamacare law could topple budgets and Medicaid programs across the country.
Honorable Arlene Wohlegemuth at the Texas Public Policy Foundation:
Senior Research Fellow Edmund Haislmaier at the Heritage Foundation:
Senior Fellow, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Cato Institute
Texas State Legislative Information:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
The 2010 elections saw many changes in the political landscape of Texas. Liberals moved en masse to Texas. This was a dedicated effort to make inroads for the Democrat party in a large conservative state. Liberal blogs sprang up by the dozens. Social groups were formed in an effort to influence people to be angry toward their state government. There was a lot of deception used to change conservatives to a rabble rousing crowd. Speakers appeared all over the state working to convince the public, the liberal choices were the best for them. Disgruntled losers in the primaries became useful tools for the left. People in Texas had become both scared and angry by the disregard for fiscal responsibility in Washington and these people and groups played upon those emotions for their own gain.
So, what were some of the most egregious symptoms, and how do we combat these groups?
The tactics first became apparent during the 2010 elections. Washington was in disarray, there was economic uncertainty, high unemployment, and what did the liberals in Texas say was the priority? Property taxes! The Titanic is going down and the liberals managed to get tens of thousands in Texas to believe this was the priority. Yes, let’s argue about the price of the stateroom as the ship is sinking. This was far from a joke. Dozens of articles sprang up all over the state, gatherings were held to ratchet up the people’s passion and to distract them from the work at hand. Don’t I believe property taxes are horrible? Yes. Do I believe they are out of control? Yes. However, none of this will matter if the Federal Government takes away all of my rights and I am taxed at a Federal Level which causes an inability to pay for the basics such as food.
After the elections, the subterfuge continued by the liberal left. There were some interesting additions to the propaganda around the state in the late fall. The next addition of innuendo indicated Texas was not truthful about their unemployment numbers. The latest diatribe makes allegations that the debt of Texas is much greater than has been reported to the public.
In an effort to put the latest smear campaign to rest, I have spent time investigating the rumor about the debt. The time had come to discredit these unworthy assaults on our Texas government. I found an article that perfectly describes how the numbers were obtained for the correct number and gives more information on our budget. You can access this information at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. This is a non-partisan foundation that focuses on research created by some of the best minds in the country. The link is here: http://www.texaspolicy.com/legislativeupdates_single.php?report_id=3460
The leftist bloggers and organizations have tried to tar the reputations of our State Comptroller and others who are instrumental in the operations of our state government. We must boldly question all efforts by the few to destroy the integrity of our state. What are they after? The answer is clearly the Texas voter!
“Truth lives on in the midst of deception” Friedrich Von Schiller
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The American people were watching every move made by Congress last week. It definitely was a rewarding activity, for once. The Conservatives were prepared and set the tone for what could be expected this year. Most Republicans are aware this may be a short lived career due to hard decisions that must be made over the next two years. This did not deter them from hitting the ground running with the business of the people.
What was the most unusual moment? Having the House members participate in saying the various components of the Constitution was long overdue. For several years, members of Congress have proposed legislation and deals that would have made the founding fathers shudder with remorse.
What was the best educational moment? Prior to the reading of the Constitution which was instigated by the Conservatives, the liberals wanted to know exactly what would be read on the House Floor. The Conservatives explained that many words of the original Constitution were redacted by the Library of Congress when they were in essence, nullified by various amendments. Most people in the country believe the original Constitution stands as is, and have not factored in the alterations that have occurred via the amendments and precedents set by the Supreme Court. It was an inspiring event to watch, and most Americans were fervently hoping the participants recognized this event was a sacred honor.
Were the Republicans prepared? Yes. On the second day the rules committee hearings began the discussions and testimonies about Obamacare. Majority Leader Cantor immediately proposed rule changes on the floor and shared the schedule with the Minority Leader, Steny Hoyer. The organization and planning was evident.
Did the Liberals make any missteps? Yes. Ms. Louise Slaughter, former chair of the Rules Committee, suffered a great embarrassment in the public hearing. Ms. Slaughter’s new position is senior ranking member of the minority on the Rules Committee. She began by chastising and shouting at the Conservative Committee Chairs that were seated before her. Her exact words were, “ I am astonished that the three of you sit there, and say the Republicans had not input or activity in the Healthcare Bill.” Ms. Slaughter quoted many hours and meetings that went into the Healthcare Bill. Further, she said the Democrat Caucus had logged about twice as many hours in the effort. It appeared Ms. Slaughter was truly upset by the Republicans for having these hearings so soon, much less, at all. The media was crowded into the room, and everyone was riveted to her words. The three men tried to answer her questions and make comments, but Ms. Slaughter continued to badger and speak over the top of everyone’s voices. It was at that moment that something truly remarkable occurred. Mrs. Virginia Foxx asked for the floor. She pointed out the statistics cited by Ms. Slaughter pertained to the bill passed by the house. Ms. Slaughter was misleading people about the facts. One could hear a pin drop in the room. Mrs. Foxx went on to say that the Conservatives were not permitted amendments or discussion on the Senate Bill that was passed, and it was very different from the House Bill. Mrs. Foxx had facts and figures at her fingertips, and quite frankly. Ms. Slaughter was made to look a fool. A round of applause should be given for Mrs. Foxx who can always be counted upon to tell the truth and be prepared.
After all of the proceedings, we also learned the Republicans have a plan to take care of the everpresent Czar problem. They will be putting legislation forward to fix the problem of non-approved people who bypassed the Senate evaluation process. One of the concerns about this administration is the number of Czars, their radical views, their power, and the massive amount of money to pay their salaries. The bill will address the problem.
The Republicans outlined key areas they believe are broken in the Healthcare system. Their committees are already putting together simple documents proposing each solution. The legislation from the Conservatives is likely to be brief as the document to repeal Obamacare was only two pages and very easy to understand. Easy to understand legislation, with no trickery shall be a breath of fresh air.
For the first week, they earned kudos on organization and focus. It was clear from the tone of the speeches and the content, that these people know the economic fate of the land is in their hands. I look forward to the coming weeks of legislation as the 112th The country will be watching as the people’s House is restored to a place of honor and truth. There are no illusions that many of the people in the House have been duplicit and corrupt in past years. However, this is a new beginning and if their activities continue with the high standard of the first week, the American people will be well served.
A government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves. Grover ClevelandRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
My wish for all of us as we move forward, is that everything is questioned without accepting anything.
Here are some of the questions I had lately:
1. What was the origin of the Omnibus Spending Bill and when was it put together?
Answer: The primary 12 committees gave their recommendations for spending with regard to that specific area, early 2010 before the “Omnibus Bill” was pulled together.
2. Why didn’t the individual appropriation requests go through as individual bills?
Answer: This was a strategic decision by the current House and Senate Leadership (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid respectively) to put them all together as one bill at the end of the year. This begs the question of what advantage would this be to the progressives who have actively sought to transform America.
3. Why was all the obvious “pork” added to the Omnibus Bill in spite of the recent election which spoke to the mandate of the American People? WHO benefited?
Answer: The media focused on Republicans even though they had less than 1% of the pork in the bill. The majority of the media was focused on “hypocritical Republicans”.
4. Did anyone notice the reactions of the liberals when the Omnibus Spending BIll was dropped by Harry Reid?
Answer: Very little was said by the Progressives as they moved back quickly to the treaty and appropriation discussions.
It is as if they never intended to pass this bill……as if it never happened.
5. What result did the Republicans get with the introduction of this bill and the focus from the media?
Answer: Teaparties didn’t ask any questions about the why, how, or when of the earmarks. The Teaparties and patriots quickly jumped to conclusions that the Conservatives had added billions in earmarks after saying they would no longer use earmarks. The media fanned the flames of hypocritical Conservatives and the Tea Parties turned on the Conservatives.
6. Did any network ask when the earmarks were requested for things like Defense?
Answer: No. These requests were prior(by many months) to the agreed upon moratorium on earmarks and prior to the release of the Debt Commission Report by many months.
7. Did anyone ask why the Congressional leadership chose to ignore the critical funding requests until the end of the year when the government was almost out of money?
8. Who controlled the majority in the 2010 Congress?
9. When 70% of the people were against the proposed Healthcare bill for moral and/or economic reasons, did Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi EVER cave due to pressure from the constituents or the Tea Party pressure?
10. Did Harry Reid and the liberals gain anything by dismissing the Omnibus Spending Bill?
1) Republicans threatened to demand the reading of the bill. This would cause a lot of parliamentary delay (up to 80 hours if requested twice) and put passage of other bills at risk in this session. The Democrats gained time on the floor by dismissing the bill.
2) There was plenty of time to ensure passage of the Arms Treaty (which weakens the US defense), and the temporary funding bill for the government.
These latter two bills will assist the Progressives on their agenda for 2012.
11. What did the President gain by this “compromise” on the tax situation?
Answer: Some Independents, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and media began to say he is moving more toward the center, just like Bill Clinton. It softened opposition to his Presidency to some degree.
12. Did the President “care” about compromise when he refused to meet with any conservatives for about 18 months?
Answer. No. He continued to use his Congressional majority to ram the agenda down the throats of Americans.
13. Did the President “lose” anything on the tax compromise?
Answer: A bit of grumbling from the left and saber rattling. Nancy and Harry are still in place and they were able to get the liberals under control in under two weeks.
What is the moral of this story? Liberals have proven repeatedly over the past two years that they are ruthless, and will do anything to achieve their agenda. The Senate is still controlled by a Master Puppetmaster named Senator Harry Reid. Leopards don’t change their spots, and patriots need to beware of trickery in the coming two years.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Recently Governor Rick Perry was in Houston, Texas for a round of book signing. He had written a book called “Fed UP!” and it was released the week of the election. Some may say it sounds somewhat self-centered to have a book tour on the heels of a successful election campaign. This could not be further from the truth.
Prior to his book signing event in Houston, I was fortunate to have time privately speaking/listening with Governor Perry and another area blogger, Mark Robinson. What we encountered was a man who wants to get state rights back in line with what was written by the Founding Fathers. The intent of the book was clear. Governor Perry hopes to “wake up” more of the people about how we can resolve our current difficulties with the powers in Washington. This book gives him a “ticket” so to speak, to share his vision for state solutions with the media, conservatives, and others of influence. Indeed, this is a very clever idea
Having been released from the shackles of campaign fervor, he appeared renewed and refreshed. His demeanor could best be described as inspired. Clearly Governor Perry is on a mission to protect Texas and ensure it thrives in the midst of the Federal Government power grab. What I witnessed was an amazing thinker, who is striving to share a vision that could literally help to save our republic and save Texas.
The Governor began travel the day after the election. There was no rest for the weary. He has been busy articulating the importance of state rights and the tenth amendment at all the stops. Amidst the many interviews, the Governor was also a part of an important meeting with the new Majority Leader in the House. A group of Governors were contacted by Majority Leader, John Boehner for a meeting. The Governor indicated Mr. Boehner was pragmatic and aware innovative ideas would be the answer for a stronger future in America.
Governor Perry is known for being a solutions oriented individual. He articulated a strong belief in the power of allowing ideas to incubate in the states. Competition between the states benefits all Americans. Another key idea is a strong state healthcare solution in Texas which could save both Texas and the Federal Government billions of dollars. It was evident from the tone of conversation many months have been spent on surveying the landscape, and deriving potential hypotheses/solutions from the data. It is important to note here that the Texas Public Policy Foundation has engaged in research with the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and the state of Utah Healthcare Solution among other sources to assist the Governor and Texas on the subject of healthcare. The Governor has been on a mission to find viable alternatives resulting in a better quality of the life for Texans and also assist the Federal Government in resolution of some of the debt.
Several observations were made during our time with the Governor. The burden of state debt on each Texas citizen is $520. In contrast, the burden of Federal debt on each Texas citizen is approximately $42,000! The difference is staggering. For many years the Federal Government has continued to expand it’s power. One of the worst examples of overreach is Social Security. Per the Governor, this is a Ponzi Scheme. This author finds it refreshing to hear a political leader acknowledge what many of us have known for decades. The Federal Government has tricked and swindled millions of Americans in an effort to grow their power. It is time to stop the madness.
The President’s debt commission is releasing a report this week suggesting the answer is to make the American taxpayer pay higher taxes with less benefits. Therein lies the problem. We have a delusional group in power in the Federal Government who assume they have the right to all the monies earned by the citizens. Governor Perry recognizes this is but a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is the Federal Government has overstepped it’s authority into the lives of Americans. Less Government is the solution which results in more liberty for every patriot.
This article is not a rah-rah about the Governor of Texas. I had just finished reading his new book, “Fed UP!”, and was looking forward to hearing more about his vision to return to a more prosperous, quality way of life. It is important we take note of strong leadership when it is found, in this day and age of challenges for our country. Leaving the meeting, I must admit to being energized and looking forward to the next chapter of history for our country. With leaders emerging in the midst of chaos, there is hope for a better tomorrow.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
What a victory in Texas!
There is zero doubt about the inclinations of the good people of Texas. A very memorable beginning was the introduction of Jerry Patterson, The Commissioner of the General Land Office. The campaign commercial that advertised him was playing the song by Tom Petty “I won’t back down”. This appeared to reflect the sentiment of the crowd as everyone was singing along!
Jerry Patterson set the tone at the beginning of this Texas sized gathering. “People here are fiscally responsible, God-loving, small government, low tax, gun-toting, pro-life people.” Forgive the author if this is not exact, nor in perfect order, but this is what was said. The crowd went wild.
On the Congressional Front, it appears Texas will be replacing a few democrats in Congress. Here are the new Republican Congressional Representatives: Bill Flores, Francisco Canseco, and Blake Farennthold. People who will not be returning to Congress are Chet Edwards, Ciro Rodriguez, and Soloman Ortiz.
Attorney Greg Abbott scored an easy victory for another term in the state. He has done so much to fight the overreach of the Federal Government and Texans definitely appreciated the effort and the vote reflected their support. Attorney General Greg Abbott is a key component of the winning team in the Texas Government.
The Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs garnered an impressive 84.05% of the vote. Likewise Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst commanded a trimphant decisive lead.
The Republicans in the state house retained all their seats and picked up 21 more. This was far more than anticipated by the state conservatives.
What can be gleaned from this overwhelming endorsement for the leadership of Texas Texas? Governor Rick Perry is a leader. He loves Texas and has been driven to continue to find solutions which benefit Texans. We have all been blessed to be from a state which has excelled when others are struggling. After his acceptance, the Governor invited the team on the stage and the mutual respect was palpable. It is a strong conservative team.
What does this mean for the country? Texas has found what works. This state can definitely show the way to the other states. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. It is the spirit of patriotism and giving that lives in the hearts of Americans. Tonight those Americans took the first step in taking back the country.
In God we Trust and United we Stand!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Our Nation is uniting as never seen in many decades. People are making a clear choice of what America stands for, and what the people will do to protect her. Over the past two years, a concerted effort has been made by the liberals to dismantle the republic and it’s foundation. The liberals have shown the people of America, they will strive to achieve the socialist agenda regardless of what Americans may think.
I ask you to consider the choice of socialism versus liberty as we go to the polls today. The liberal left is who needs to be replaced this election. We must do this to stop the quickstep to become a fully socialistic society. In the next season of elections, we will be able to replace any elected officials who choose not to listen to the people. It is imperative we all vote a straight conservative ticket in this particular election. We are so near the “edge of the cliff”, that without a conservative majority……they will be able to complete their agenda.
Many of you have already voted. If you have voted, please continue calling people to get out the vote. We have all endured indignities at the hands of these people. They have called us liars, cheaters, 4 letter words, and even accused us of wanting to hurt minorities! They have no shame. It is not possible to for these liberal politicians to stand on their issues, as those principles are not what America embraces as a nation.
Finally, I would like to reiterate two critical things that need to happen on this historical day. Be vigilant. Pay attention at the polls and in the surrounds outside. If you witness evidence of voter intimidation, report it. And most importantly, I’d like to reach out to all the Christians in this great nation. We all need to pray for this country and for those people that would choose to tear it apart.
In God we Trust!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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