Monday, July 27, 2015
"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.
SB 53, by Jane Nelson, was a bill captioned: "relating to strategic fiscal reviews of state agencies and programs."
The purpose of the bill was to collect more information for legislators about state agencies going through the sunset process; among other things, it would require identifying statutory authority for each activity in which the relevant agency engages.
The bill passed the Texas Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Notably, every Democrat voted for the measure. Kelly Hancock was the lone dissenting vote.
On May 4th, Joe Straus referred SB 53 to the House Appropriations committee. Under chairman John Otto, the bill stalled. Strategic Fiscal Reviews were dead in committee.
No one denies that the 84th #TXLEGE produced a "reasonably not crappy" two year budget, but the fate of SB 53 illustrates (again) how Team Straus went out of their way to kill any sort of structural fiscal reform.
Read the full bill below:
Saturday, July 25, 2015
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
SB 24, aka. the "Brainwash University Regents" bill:
Bottom Line: On a practical level, this law probably won't have much impact, but it's still VERY revealing that they're so afraid of transparency that they're going to force future regents to sit through mandatory brainwashing sessions.
Friday, July 24, 2015
"Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly."
Fantastic news, from Texas Values:
Texas Supreme Court Stops Houston LGBT Ordinance, Must be Repealed or Placed on November Ballot
Today, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Houston City Council must stop enforcement of a controversial anti-religious freedom LGBT ordinance, and the City must either repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot for vote by the people for the November 2015 election. Earlier this year, a state court held a trial on these issues of basic voting rights of one million Houston registered voters, including the 55,000 citizens who signed the No UNequal Rights referendum. The trial court decision resulted in a ruling that only 16,684 signatures were valid, 600 signatures short of the needed 17,269 for the law to be repealed or placed on the ballot. Jared Woodfill is the lead plaintiff, and a board member for Texas Values Action, and he sought to overturn this trial court ruling by filing a request directly with the Texas Supreme Court.
Texas Values Action President Jonathan Saenz released the following statement:
“This is a total victory for the people of Houston, for free speech, and a major loss for Mayor Parker and LGBT advocates who fought so hard to silence the people’s voice. We are thrilled that the rogue and dictator style tactics of lesbian Mayor Annise Parker and her crew have been stopped by the rule of law and the persistence of faith-based leaders in Houston. The Texas Supreme Court got it right on this one."
Last year, Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston City Council passed this radical anti-religious freedom LGBT ordinance, despite overwhelming opposition. The ordinance allows men to go into women’s restrooms, forces business owners to violate their religious convictions, and increases government interference in the private sector. The city secretary reported there were more than enough signatures collected to put the ordinance to a referendum, but Mayor Parker and the City Attorney refused to recognize the signatures. Read more.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
Among Republican Presidential candidates, several have respectable records when it comes to taking on Democrats and the radical left; when it comes to taking on legacy Republicans and the crony right, Ted Cruz stands alone.
This morning, United States Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell used a sleazy parliamentary trick to bind the U.S. Senate into supporting renewal of the Export-Import bank. In so doing, Senator McConnell reneged on an explicit promise he made to the Republican caucus earlier this spring. Senator Cruz was having none of it:
- "What we just witnessed this morning is profoundly disappointing."
- Ex-Im deal way originally cut on trade bill.
- Cruz asked McConnell at GOP lunch: "What was the deal that was just cut?!?"
- "The majority leader was visibly angry with me."
- McConnell: "There is no deal."
- Staff said McConnell was lying; Cruz gave McConnell the benefit of doubt.
- "I had no choice but to assume that when the majority leader spoke to 54 Republican Senators, and made an explicit promise, that he wasn't lying to us."
- "The same procedural abuse that Harry Reid did over an over again...now the Republican leader is behaving like the senior Senator from Nevada."
- Obamacare amendment cynical: "Of course it is."
- "Meaningless political theater."
- Ex-Im: "Classic example of cronyism and corporate welfare."
- Single largest recipient is Boeing, who admits they'll be fine.
- "It is wrong and it is corrupt."
- "This institution should not operate at the beck and call of lobbyists in Washington."
- "We now know that when the Majority leader looks us in the eyes, and makes an explicit commitment, that he is willing to say things he knows are false."
- "Sadly today, we have a government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists."
On that note, we have made our first political donation of the 2016 cycle. In the spirit of full disclosure, we are informing readers. Ted Cruz's Presidential campaign is $25 richer:
As we said in the comments on the Facebook post, once we realized Cruz's campaign would have more than enough money, we'd held back from donating. Today was different. Senator Cruz's revelation this morning marks a level of honesty we've never seen in a quarter-century watching politics. That type of honesty deserves a reward, regardless of the campaign's financial position. We hope Senator Cruz raises an eye-popping sum off of this incident.
Cronyism on the right gravely threatens liberty. You cannot limit government when Republican "leadership" prefers to channel big government towards their donors. That's just as true in D.C. as it is in Austin.
Corporate welfare produces deadweight loss, which means less consumer choice at higher prices while protected industries reap a windfall. That Republican "leadership" would go to extreme lengths to preserve corporate welfare speaks volumes. And, finally, someone called B.S. on it.
And that's why we donated $25 to Ted Cruz's Presidential campaign; make your own donation here.
Rush Limbaugh has a lot more here.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
We'd forgotten about this case, but Jana Duty's chutzpah amazes:
Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty wants Judge Rick Kennon off her case — literally.The original article contains a timeline of important moments in the case, read the whole thing here.
The state district judge is seeking to hold Duty in contempt of court for what he says was a violation of a gag order, when Duty called reporters in May to defend herself against accusations of unethical behavior in the capital murder trial of Crispin Harmel.
In response to Kennon, Duty is expected to ask an administrative judge on Thursday to remove Kennon from presiding over her upcoming hearing on the matter, arguing that their strained relationship has more to do with their past dueling campaigns than it does with her actions.
Kennon has refused to recuse himself voluntarily and has declined comment because of the pending litigation.
Harmel is charged with strangling Jessika Kalaher in 2009 after following her out of a Wal-Mart in Cedar Park. His trial ended in a mistrial last year, and he was set to go before a jury a second time this spring until his counsel accused the district attorney’s office — mainly Duty — of withholding evidence.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
"He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit."
If anyone believes this, we have some mineral rights in South Texas we would LOVE to sell you:
Letters of support from influential community leaders do not decide whether a student is admitted into the University of Texas, UT Chancellor William H. McRaven said Tuesday in response to this story.Read the whole thing here.
“It is inaccurate to draw a correlation between a single letter of recommendation and the admission of a student,” McRaven said.
The News story pointed out that former UT President Bill Powers pushed through 73 under-qualified students after high university officials received recommendation letters from big donors, elected officials and former regents.
The 73 students were highlighted in an external study of UT admission policies, called the Kroll report, that looked at the years 2009 through 2014. While not identified, the Kroll report noted that the students had below a C+ high school grade average and 1100 SAT scores and were unlikely candidates for admission based on academics.
They were admitted based on a decision of the UT president and not through the regular admissions process. The slots they were given were added to the freshman class and did not displace other candidates, UT said.
Receiving letters of recommendation is a “reasonable and widely accepted practice” nationally and is only one aspect of many taken into consideration, McRaven said in his statement.
“The university makes a determination regarding whether or not a student is qualified based on an extensive review of many factors,” he said.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
Earlier, we noticed John Cornyn bragging about something on Facebook:
Out of curiosity, we checked the link:
But at least they're good financial stewards:
The amounts that consulting firms can earn for work on public school policy can be eye-popping. In Philadelphia, the Boston Consulting Group was reportedly paid $230,000 per week for its work pushing for privatized education services and closures of up to 88 schools in the city. The firm’s work was also kept secret from the public, until a parents group filed a successful lawsuit forcing the school district to release the firm’s final report and recommendations. In that case, the money to pay the Boston Consulting Group came from a private foundation, but the new Senate legislation could open up a federal funding stream for such work.But at least they're not working with far-left activists with ties to Common Core:
Read the whole thing here.
Bottom Line: Instead of using their majority in the United States Senate to reduce the Federal role in educations, Republicans led by John Cornyn are creating new carve-outs for Wall St. within that education budget...because, of course, Republicans have to "show they can govern."