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Monday, September 29, 2014

Konni Burton Burns Democrat Opponent

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well."
Psalm 139:13-14

Konni Burton debated her Democrat opponent Sunday.  The debate was a nondescript discussion of issues.  Then, Konni was asked about rape exceptions for abortion; watch....

  •  Libby attacked Konni for opposing special interest boondoggles.
  • Konni: Include water and transportation in regular budget, not slush funds.
  • Konni, re: rape exemptions: "This is about life.  This is about a right.  A right is different than a law....It is our God given right: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  We are talking about a life and what government is supposed to do is to protect the rights of citizens.  That is their first right.  I will always protect the right to life.  Always."
Read our endorsement of Konni here; donate to her campaign here.

Texas Medical Association protects Abortionists (and Obamacare)

"For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
John 3:20

This is a topic we've been meaning to address for awhile, but kudos to Texas Right to Life for beating us to the punch:
After multiple humiliating defeats at the polls, TEXPAC (the political arm of Texas Medical Association) penned an article on the recent elections, citing their obvious need to "squash medicine’s enemies" and the "anti-medicine opponents." During this recent primary election cycle, one of TMA’s lobbyists was overheard at the state capitol, "We are going to spend a lot of money to make sure that Texas Right to Life doesn’t have any influence next session." Good luck with that -- Pro-Life legislators have told us the same about TMA.

Who are these enemies and opponents of TMA?

Referenced by name in their article -- Texas Right to Life and Empower Texans, of course.

Instead of being daunted, Texas Right to Life is proud to rebuke the worldview of TMA/TEXPAC. We are doubly proud that almost all our candidates (and Empower Texans’) have beat the TMA big government, RINO (Republican In Name Only) establishment candidates in the recent Republican primary, runoff, and special elections for the last four election cycles.

But who is TMA, what do they do, and why should voters, let alone physicians who prioritize patient care, ever follow the lead of TMA?**

  • TMA refused to support a ban on secret Do-Not-Resuscitate orders. (Senate Health & Human Services Witness List -- SB 303 -- March 19, 2013). In other words, TMA lobbied against patient/surrogate consent to DNR orders. 
  • TMA opposed a law requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their abortion practice. (TMA Article -- Nov. 1, 2013). Click here to read document
  • In 2013, TMA again supported Texas hospital panels’ unchecked authority to withdraw all treatment from patients, against the wishes of a patient, even if the patient is conscious! (Senate Health & Human Services Witness List -- SB 303 -- March 19, 2013). 
  • In 2012, TMA complained to the Department of State Health Services that doctors receiving state tax dollars for preventative care should also be allowed to discuss elective abortions with their patients. What exactly does abortion prevent? (TMA Press Release -- August 6, 2012). Click here to read document
  • In 2011, TMA supported physicians’ abilities to withdraw artificial water and food from sick patients without patient or family consent. (House Human Services Witness List -- HB 3520 -- April 12, 2011). TMA opposed full disclosure by physicians to women regarding abortion procedures, specifically information related to development of the preborn child. (TMA Letter to then-Senator Duncan –Feb. 8, 2011). Click here to read document.
  • In 2011, after Pro-Life legislators had successfully implemented Texas Right to Life’s strategy of redirecting family planning dollars to clean health care programs, TMA told legislators that they disagreed with this move, a move that would eventually result in the closure of 12 abortion clinics. In 2003, a known TMA lobbyist testified against enacting a Texas version of the Laci and Connor Peterson Law (Senate State Affairs Witness List – Feb. 24, 2003). Click here to read document.
Read the whole thing here.

Learn about TMA's support for Obamacare here.

Agendawise details TMA's endorsements of Democrats here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Texas: Future Headquarters Of Bitcoin

"The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil."
Joel 2:24

Astonishing and exciting news about the convergence of BITCOIN and good economic policy in Texas:
When it comes to creating jobs, don’t mess with Texas. The state has had stronger job growth over the last 13 years than any of the other 49 states, and even though the state will soon have a new governor, Texas will continue to be poised as a leader in job growth, while other states stifle innovation with regulation.

Here’s why:
Texas has embraced companies with a clear regulatory environment and that is not just for big oil. Texas is home to a large aerospace industry and a booming technology sector that could take bitcoin to the moon. You may think California is the bitcoin capital of the world and it is in terms of investment and innovation, but bitcoin companies are considering moving from Silicon Valley to the Silicon Prairie and Silicon Hills for the lower costs of doing business and tax incentives. Texas is ranked 11th on the State Business Tax Climate Index for 2014, while California is 48th and New York is dead last.

Dustin Trammell, Bitcoin Venture Capitalist and entrepreneur, says that “Given the contradictory guidance regarding Bitcoin regulation that’s been provided by U.S. Federal agencies, and no desire by the Fed to settle the differences, how to handle Bitcoin is being worked out by some states.”

This is where the opportunity lies. While some states have said that virtual currency regulation already falls within the scope of existing regulations, others have suggested the need for new virtual currency specific regulations such as New York Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) BitLicense.

Many prominent figures and businesses in the Bitcoin community have already come out against Ben Lawsky, the unelected superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, for his proposed BitLicense. These industry leaders and companies include Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Coinbase and Max Keiser, among more.

While New York seems to be pushing away bitcoin business, others states, like Texas, are seeing this as an opportunity to bring more jobs to their state.

Texas offers $19 billion in tax incentives to businesses, the highest of any state, and has low taxes. Last year, Texas recorded a 5.5 billion dollar budget surplus.

Greg Abbott, Texas’ Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, who is positioned to be the next governor, is accepting bitcoins for his campaign and will likely be one of the first governors to win an election accepting bitcoin.

“I made the decision to accept Bitcoin because I believe that it represents the free-market economic principles that make Texas a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. As Governor, I will keep taxes low, government small and reduce regulations so Texas’ booming technology sector will continue to flourish,” said Abbott.

Abbott is leading in the polls by a 12.6 percent margin, a sizable lead considering there is only one debate left on September 30. Abbott has served Texas as Attorney General since 2002 and knows the potential bitcoin can bring to his state.

Texas has a strong technology friendly history. Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in Dallas in 1958. Texas played a large part in the dot com era, and it hosts large technology companies like Dell and Texas Instruments. Texas can also support these businesses with a highly skilled workforce with the roughly 578,000 students enrolled in Texas’s 36 largest universities. These veterans from the dot com era along with a growing educated workforce will play a major role in Texas’s Bitcoin future.

US Representative Steve Stockman (TX-36) is also a public supporter of bitcoin. Rep. Stockman was the first Member of Congress to introduce a piece of Bitcoin legislation back in May 2014. The Virtual Currency Tax Reform Act aimed to treat virtual currencies as currency instead of property for federal tax purposes.

“It’s good to see Attorney General Abbott embrace virtual currencies like Bitcoin. It’s an emerging technology, and one that opens the doors for small businesses to sell globally. Texans have always embraced innovation. We created the modern economy by giving birth to the petroleum revolution, we led the world into the space age and now Texans are at the cutting edge of economic evolution,” said Rep. Stockman.

Regardless of political affiliations, most bitcoiners would like to see the advancement of Bitcoin technology and the values Bitcoin represents. The fact that many political figures are taking their stances on Bitcoin by accepting seems promising.

“As a Bitcoin enthusiast living in Texas, I am encouraged when our leaders and representatives support Bitcoin and encourage the development of technologies based on the blockchain. Keeping regulations reasonable will insure Texas will be at the center of developing this new technology,” according to Paul Snow, President of the Texas Bitcoin Association.

While accepting bitcoin for political contributions is a great first step, what the Bitcoin community really wants and needs is smart regulation that promotes the acceptance and use of digital currencies. After all, actions speak louder than words.

“If a politician wants to be serious about promoting and normalizing using Bitcoin, he or she will introduce legislation which allows me to pay for my property taxes and parking tickets with it. That would be much more beneficial to me, the citizen taxpayer, instead of merely benefiting a candidate’s campaign,” said Tod Beardsley, Engineering Manager at Rapid7, Dogecoin Shibe.

Being able to pay taxes in bitcoin would certainly be a game-changer, but is not anywhere on the US government’s agenda. However, the Isle of Man’s chief executive of economic development said that residents of the Isle could soon be able to do just that.

Texas vs. New York
One thing is for sure: New York’s proposed BitLicense companies will look at Texas’ regulatory environment and lower cost of living, and set up business because of the reduced barriers to entry.

“In some cases, the contrast between these various laboratories of economics are becoming quite stark, such as between economically conservative and even libertarian leaning states like Texas versus states like the New-York-nanny-staters and their proposed BitLicense,” said Dustin Trammell, Bitcoin Venture Capitalist & entrepreneur.


There are a lot of applications bitcoin can be used for and Texas’s bitcoin community will surely take advantage of them. From financial services to solving problems associated with The Internet of Things, entrepreneurs are finding use cases for bitcoin wherever they can.

“Austin is home to quite a number of Bitcoin startups, and even one of the few established regional Bitcoin conferences, the Texas Bitcoin Conference held every March in Austin, Texas. We have the momentum here in Texas, and we want to build on that, not suppress it with counterproductive regulation,” according to Paul Snow.

One problem bitcoin can solve in Texas is to help the vast amount of the population that is unbanked. Texas is ranked fifth in the country for having the largest percentage of unbanked and underbanked residents: 11.7% of Texas’s population is unbanked and 24.1% is underbanked.
 Read the whole thing here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Did Greg Abbott just take a shot at Joe Straus?!?

"So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward."
Luke 16:2

Very, very interesting ad from Greg Abbott:

Which begs the real question: When Greg Abbott talks about "no more taking highway funds by the Legislature to pay for their pet projects" who is he talking about?!?

To be fair, Straus isn't the only member of the legislature who's played games with transportation funding, but he is the most powerful.

Even if the line wasn't aimed specifically at Straus, it's clearly at attack on business as usual in the Legislature; also, Abbott didn't need to include the line for the ad to be effective, so the fact that it's in there in the first place is revealing.

Either way: Great job by Abbott on a subject he didn't have to address!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Derek Jeter was temporary; Jesus is Eternal!!!

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."
Matthew 6:19-20

#FarewellCaptain; "Well, the script is there, the last page is in Derek's Hands":

Michael Kay said it best: "Where fantasy becomes reality."

It's impossible to do justice to my love for Derek Jeter.  He's my favorite.  He always has been and he always will be.  Unfortunately, there's a dirty secret.  Jeter's baseball success was always temporary.

And isn't that just the dirty little secret of life: Success on this side of Heaven, even if you're Derek Jeter, is always temporary.

I never expected Derek Jeter's retirement to put "worldly treasures" in perspective, yet here we are.  I'm stuck with the fact that five world championships out of 19 years eventually came to an end.  Suffice to say, if you'd offered me the deal "Derek Jeter will play 19 seasons and win championships in 1 out of 4 of them" in 1994 I would have taken it.

But still...those 19 years came to an end.

Yet the resurrection is eternal.

Every one of us is separated from God.  Every one of us needs a savior.  Derek Jeter's heroism tonight proves nothing except the fact that the good guys eventually retire.  Yet, eternity continues to concern everyone.  Yankee fans, like all Americans, would be well served to trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior....

Straus Lieutenants Continue to Attempt Witness Intimidation

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

First, Lyle Larson:

Next, Frank Ferdinand Fischer:

(h/t Watchdog)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#HookemDoh: Democrat Canvasser recruiting fails at U.T.

"He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans."
Job 5:12

University of Texas -- Three days ago, this author was walking across the University of Texas campus when we noticed that the #HailSatanTX Democrats had flyered the campus hoping to add to their paid campaign staff.  They were the type of flyers where interested potential counterparties are supposed to tear off a tag on the bottom.  Typically, on a popular item, the tiny little squares are gone within a day.  Tonight, we attended an event on campus and decided to scout the flyers while killing time.  The three day progress report speaks for itself:

Each picture is a separate flyer; political consultants have a word for this: Metrics.