Tuesday, November 21, 2017

LAWLESS FARCE masquerading as Paxton "Prosecution" grows ever more DISGRACEFUL


"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."
2 Corinthians 2:14

Direct Action Texas recently obtained a court document related to the Paxton case that George Gallagher (the second corrupt judge in the case) tried to seal.  In it, we learn several new pieces of the information about the depths to which the special prosecutors and Chris Oldner (the first corrupt judge) plumed to create their "indictment."  Lowlights include:
  • The special Prosecutors lied about the date one of their alleged "offenses" occurred because the statute of limitations had expired.
  • Lying about the definition of the term "investment advisor representative"
  • Allowing Chris Oldner to bully grand jurors during a time when their deliberations are supposed to be secret.
It's worth the 15 minutes it will take you to read the whole thing:



Bottom Line: This case needs to be dismissed...yesterday.

Monday, November 20, 2017

UT politburo moves forward on the tuition hike we predicted....


"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:24

This happened a week ago, but is still worth noting:
The University is collecting student input on a possible 2 percent tuition increase until Thursday.

The preliminary recommendations to increase tuition for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years were announced by UT’s Tuition Policy Advisory Committee last Wednesday in an email that included an online feedback survey.

Under the recommendations, tuition would increase in both the 2018 and 2019 fall semesters by about $100 for in-state undergraduates and by about $370 for non-resident undergraduates. In-state graduate students would pay about $90 more both years, while tuition for out-of-state graduate students would increase by about $180 both years.

Executive Vice President Maurie McInnis, who co-chairs UT’s tuition committee, said the tuition increases are necessary because the University is implementing a $20 million budget cut due to decreased state funding.

“Even with a tuition increase, we are behind the amount needed just to keep doing everything that we are doing,” McInnis said. “It’s not new money and it doesn’t even make up for everything that we were cut. It just makes that cut less intense.”

The tuition increases are projected to bring an additional $10 million to the University, according to UT’s tuition webpage. Funding from the increases would go towards financial aid as well as operational and inflation costs, McInnis said.

....

After the survey closes Thursday, the committee will help UT President Gregory Fenves draft an official tuition proposal to be approved by the UT System Board of Regents (*) in February.

[Author's note: Emphasis added.]
* -- This is an extraordinary statement.  Note that they said "to be approved" not "subject to approval.  NEWSFLASH: Greg Fenves works for the Board of Regents, NOT the other way around.

 A few thoughts:

  • That it took us a week to address this story points to why there's a very good chance UT gets away with this: There are so many major stories constantly breaking that it's going to be difficult for any outside groups to put sustained pressure on the university.
  • That being said, there are signs this proposal is wildly unpopular on campus.  We suspect that if on-campus groups were to fight the tuition hike, they could win.  At a minimum, they could make it very embarrassing politically.
  • Dan Patrick has been remarkably silent on this subject compared to the last time UT pulled this stunt two years ago.
  • Political correctness on college campuses is the natural result of them having more money than they know what to do with; step 1 is to eliminate their ability to raise tuition at will.
Bottom Line: This was so predicable (which is why we predicted it).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Longhorns Snag Upset they've needed ALL SEASON!!!


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

Say what you will about this season...but we're going to a bowl game!!!

Reasonably healthy for the first time in a month, the Longhorns went into West Virgina this afternoon and snagged their first upset of the season after near-misses against USC, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.  With the win, the Longhorns clinched a bowl appearance for the first time in three years.  An eight win season is now in the realm of the possible.

On offense, Sam Ehlinger, Toneil Carter, and Connor Williams all returned from injuries.  The result was an offense that finally came off of life support against a halfway decent team [Note: Baylor and Kansas don't count].  We'll take it.

The defense looked phenomenal.  They only gave up one touchdown all game (W. Va's first touchdown was a pick 6).  If the seniors return and they stay healthy (admittedly, two BIG "if's"), this unit could be scary good next year.

That being said, there was an ABSURD "targeting" call against Breckyn Hegar that led to his ejection.  The replay clearly showed that Hegar's momentum carried him into the quarterback (to say nothing of the fact that Hegar's facemask was grabbed on the same play).  Making matters that much more insulting, Hegar won't be eligible to play during the first half next week.

But today was good.

Bottom Line: Tom Herman has officially shown progress in his first season.  Injuries and the second toughest schedule in the country are now explanations, not excuses.  We'll see what happens in the final two games.

Friday, November 17, 2017

#TXLEGE: STRAUS DONOR launches challenge to Donna Campbell from Left



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

Sometimes, you just happen to be on Twitter at the right time:



You can view McClendon's website for yourself here, but it's nothing more than generic Republican rhetoric.

But, we wonder, who is this "Shannon Mcclendon" lady?!?

SHOT (Courtesy of 30 Seconds on Google):

Chaser (Courtesy of 2 minutes on the Texas "Ethics" commission's website):


[Note: Jeff Wentworth was the pro-Abortion Senator Donna Campbell replaced in 2012.]

Furthermore, you'll notice on the Straus donation, that it came on June 30th OF THIS YEAR; that means she supports Straus after his actions this past session.

Honestly, it took longer to capture and format the screenshots than it did to find this information.

Bottom Line: Donna Campbell might not be perfect, but she's light years better than this hack.

Cornyn's "Background Check" Bill is dumbest Federal Overreaction since post-9/11 "Intelligence reform"


"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

By now, we're sure you've heard about John Cornyn's latest anti-Second Amendment gambit.  We had originally intended to write a political post about how this was the final nail in his 2020 coffin.  But that point is obvious by now.

Instead, let's consider the stupidity of Cornyn's proposal:
The Texas Republican’s bill, known as the Fix NICS Act, tries to ensure federal and state authorities accurately report relevant information, including criminal history, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

“For years, agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in a statement.

The NICS database is maintained by the FBI and used to determine if a prospective gun buyer has a criminal record or is ineligible to purchase a firearm. The database became the focus of national attention earlier this month after a man fired an assault rifle at a small church during Sunday morning services, killing 26 people and injuring scores others. After the shooting, the U.S. Air Force disclosed that it failed to report the gunman’s history of domestic assault to the database, which should have prohibited him from purchasing a firearm.

Cornyn’s bill requires federal agencies and states to draft plans for how to better report background information to NICS thoroughly and accurately. It also includes a provision to allocate resources to states to help them report felony and domestic abuse charges.

....

To hold agencies accountable, Cornyn's office said the bill sets up a system of incentives for agencies that comply and penalties for those that fail to.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
Translation:
  • "Draft plans"= hiring bureaucrats.
  • "Allocate Resources" = spending money.
  • "Sets up a system of incentives" = hiring bureaucrats AND spending money.
In other words, Cornyn proposes to reward bureaucratic failure by giving the bureaucrats that just failed more employees and a bigger budget.




In 2004, George W. Bush signed the "Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act."  The law's stated purpose was to get U.S. intelligence agencies "to share intelliegence" after 9/11.  Specifically, the law created the new Office of National Intelligence.

You can learn more about the Office of National Intelligence's subsequent performance here and here.

Just like Dubya in 2004, John Cornyn in 2017 claims to "solve" a problem that was caused by too much bureaucracy by creating yet another bureaucracy.

Bottom Line: Cornyn's proposal is stupid.  When government bureaucracies fail, they should be eliminated, not expanded.  But at least politicians can go on TV and grandstand about how they're "doing something" (with other people's money)....

------

Senator John Cornyn: (512) 469-6034

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#TXLEGE: Sports Welfare Bill explains recent past; points way forward....


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

[Note: We didn't realize this until we sat down to write this blog post, but apparently the Governor's office has three separate programs related to "major events."  We had originally thought there was only one.  That just makes everything else we have to say that much more important.]

The Texas Association of Crony Capitalism "Business" released their 2017 legislative rankings this week.  Empower Texans has a good summary of that farce here.  But one details stands out.

The Major Events "Reimbursement" Program is a politically driven enterprise that allows the State of Texas to "reimburse" alleged "costs" for public spectacles such as the Super Bowl [note: LOL, more NFL subsidies], various NBA/NHL/MLS activities [note: LOL, guess who wants to move to Austin], and the not at all corrupt annual Formula 1 race outside Austin.

This past legislative session, HB 3294 would have expanded the Major Events "Reimbursement" Program to include NASCAR races.  You can read the bill for yourself here.  Empower Texans created a good summary earlier this year:



Here's what's fascinating: The Texas Association of Crony Capitalism "Business" scored a vote for HB 3294 POSITIVELY.  By contrast, Empower Texans scored the same vote NEGATIVELY.  And that fact tells you everything you need to know about those respective organizations.

But, beyond this immediate insight, the various "Major Event" slush funds controlled by the Governor's office points to a deeper truth.

Yesterday's "economic competitiveness" fiasco made clear that several professional sports teams are wedded to crony capitalism and left wing social policy.  The Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars BOTH testified in favor of thinly disguised cultural marxism.  Shortly thereafter, the Mayor of Frisco bragged about how the Dallas Cowboys are ripping off his own taxpayers.  Given this development...why give them subsidies?!?

One of the most godawful euphemisms around the Capitol is to "have a conversation."  Maybe the time has come to "have a conversation" about the three 'Major Event' slush funds.  Do we need it?!?  Taxing average Texans to subsidize billionaire team owners is never good economic policy.  But when those same billionaire team owners grow so entitled that they demand cultural marxism and taxpayer rip-offs in the name of "economic competitiveness," it raises the profile of the issue.  Texas' professional sports teams have a nice, little, crony capitalist operation going on there.  It'd be a shame if anything happened to it.

Bottom Line: LOL, let's "have a conversation"....

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#TXLEGE: Straus' loathsome "economic competitiveness" dog and pony show: Lawlessness, Crony Capitalism, and Spending....


"Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame."
1 Corinthians 15:34

[Note: You can view the hearing yourself here.]

Team Straus' disgraceful effort to grandstand over "economic competitiveness" held it's first (of two) hearings today.  It began with a textbook example of the lawlessness that has plagued the House the past couple sessions.  Check out what happened to Matt Rinaldi:
The House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness, chaired by retiring State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), told State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) that he was not allowed to ask any questions or testify during today’s committee hearing.

“Clearly they aren’t confident in their ability to defend their position,” Rinaldi said in response.
“Being told by a committee that my district would not be extended the basic courtesy of a voice in this process is disappointing, but not unexpected, given the past practices of House leadership. I tried to give this committee the benefit of the doubt, but it is clear that they already know what their findings will be, and there is no intention of deliberation or a pursuit of the facts.

“I wish we had a real opportunity to discuss all perspectives on important economic drivers for our state, but this committee has made it clear that a diversity of views is not welcome. They have the result planned, now it’s just a matter of putting on a show to publish those results.”
-------

As to the hearing itself, it was a mix of the usual cliches and rent-seeking that you hear at these types of events.  Lots of talk about crony capitalism ("incentives!") and spending ("education!").  And, of course, plenty of fraudulent fear mongering over the Texas privacy act.

The most astounding aspect of the whole thing was the number of representatives they had bragging about the alleged economic benefit of professional sports.  This in spite of the fact that the national NFL protests have re-ignited a national discussion of the various subsidies the industry receives.  This seems slightly...tone deaf at best.

Dallas ?!? owner Mark Cuban proclaimed the need to spend prodigious sums on the education status quo.  Cuban would include pre-K "without question."  Cuban also spouted the usual cliches about economic doom and gloom from the Texas Privacy act.

The CEO of the Dallas Stars, a lifelong sports executive, tried to claim that "over 500 million" people have attended events at arenas he has managed without a bathroom assault. In the next sentence, he admitted that major public events at large arenas have above average security on hand. He also claimed "sports plays an oversized role" in how a community is percieved for economic purposes. Actually, it doesn't, but that was still a very revealing statement about ego.  At this point, we simply need to ask: how's pushing left-wing social policies working out for the NFL?!?

The mayor of Frisco bragged about having 6 sports team having office or practice space in the city.  He explained "you can't put a dollar figure" on having the Dallas Cowboys practice facility.  Actually, you can:
The site features a unique partnership among the Cowboys, the city of Frisco and Frisco ISD. They are sharing the costs on 20 acres for The Ford Center at The Star. The 12,000-seat indoor stadium will hold team practices as well as high school football games and other city and school events.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that the city and the school district "bought into our vision of joining at the hip."

The stadium -- along with two outdoor practice fields for the Cowboys and an underground parking garage -- make up the city-owned portion of the development. And while the city retains ownership, the Cowboys will handle all the maintenance and operations at the site.

On Tuesday, the price tag for that city-owned portion climbed to $261.6 million with approval by the Frisco City Council. The city's contribution in The Star is capped at $60 million while the school district put in $30 million.
Beyond the fixation on the exaggerated economic impact of professional sports, the most notable discussion surrounded incentives.  Committee chairman Byron Cook, the soon-to-be-former state representative [Note: Doesn't that feel good to type.], seemed determined to prove that "incentive" packages aren't corporate welfare.  Several witnesses claimed incentives would be unnecessary in a perfect world, but "in the real world" we've got to have them or else other states will take away all of Texas' rent-seeking crony capitalists.

That being said, Ross Perot Jr. (who is apparently a big deal in Dallas crony capitalist circles) unintentionally made a strong case against the policy.  Perot spoke of the need for "flexibility" in incentive packages because "these industries are changing so fast."  That's actually a fantastic reason for the government not engage this activity in the first place.

A few more observations:
  • Apparently, the Republican Governor's Association is meeting in town today. Obviously, that means today's hearing was deliberately timed to embarrass Governor Abbott while the Vice President is in town.  This website's issues with Governor Abbott aren't a secret, but we appreciate his response:

  • Lots of cliches about "education" and "workforce development" which is code for dramatic increases in spending.
Bottom Line: Barf bag.