Democratic Rep. Dawnna Dukes To Become More Officially Absent

September 29th, 2016

Austin Democratic state Rep. Dawnna Dukes announced she’s stepping down from the legislature.

Her ostensible reason for leaving is health issues, stemming from a serious car crash she suffered in 2013. (“State Rep. Ruth McClendon-Jones, D-San Antonio, said Dukes is resting at home now after being hospitalized for several hours after the incident. She said Dukes’ vehicle was rear-ended by a large truck while stuck in traffic.” While it does sound serious, I do note that “serious injuries” from a car crash usually require more than “a few hours” in the hospital.)

But her “health-related” retirement “comes as the Travis County District Attorney’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into her alleged misuse of staff and government funds”:

Former staff members accused Dukes of seeking reimbursement from the state for travel payments she was not entitled to. In February, The Texas Tribune reported that the state auditor’s office was investigating her use of state workers on a personal project Dukes oversaw, the African American Heritage Festival. The auditors referred the case to Travis County prosecutors.

Then, in April, state officials said the Texas Rangers had joined the Travis County District Attorney’s office criminal probe. A spokesman for the Rangers, Tom Vinger, said Monday their investigation is complete and has been presented to the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

“In her resignation statement, [Dukes] said she was ‘content that two signature community programs I initiated enriched my beloved District 46 and Austin community.’ It does sound like there was some sort of enrichment going on.

Chanman’s Musings has some thoughts on her resignation pay bump.

While Dukes is stepping down and has been absent from the legislature for more than a year, her name will still be on the ballot in November, which means that Gov. Greg Abbott will have to call a special election next year unless Republican challenger Gabriel Nila beats her in November. Which may be difficult, as the district is so heavily Democratic. If he loses, at least three Democrats (Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, Joe Deshotel (son of state Rep. Joe Deshotel), and Travis County Democratic Party Chairman Vincent Harding) have said they’re considering running.

This Week in Clinton Corruption for September 28, 2016

September 28th, 2016

FBI immunity for Clinton aides that aren’t testifying against her, David Brock laundering money and taking a cut, Hillary’s mysterious ailment: Welcome to another week in Clinton Corruption!

  • Behind the Clinton staffer immunity deals. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • FBI Used Agents As Pawns To Insulate Hillary, Aides and Clinton Foundation From Prosecutions. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • FBI Director James Comey’s ties to the Clinton Foundation. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Five unanswered questions for Comey on EmailGate. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Obama lied about not knowing Hillary was using an illegal server, sent classified messages to it using a pseudonym.
  • 40% of Hillary Clinton State Department board appointees were Clinton Foundation donors. What are the odds?
  • Clinton toady and Media Matters head David Brock is a one-man money laundering machine. He has 14 pro-Clinton groups, and every time he moves money between them, he rakes off a cut for himself. It’s like his own little mini-Clinton Foundation.
  • More on the same theme, in the form of the “Luca Strategy Group.”
  • More: How Allida Mae Black works illegally for both the Clinton Foundation and Brock’s Priorities USA Action.
  • House votes contempt charge for Clinton’s IT guy. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • How one Twitter user found proof of Hillary’s criminal intent where the FBI couldn’t.
  • Forget Trump’s taxes: Audit the Clinton Foundation.
  • You know that deadline the State Department had to turn over Clinton documents? Oopsie! (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Indeed, many of Hillary’s recovered emails won’t be released before the election.
  • Mirthless invalid appears between two ferns.
  • Liberals scream at Jimmy Fallon for acting like Jimmy Fallon with Donald Trump. But you know who originally dared Jimmy Fallon to touch Trump’s hair? Hillary Clinton. “Watch the old video. You may be startled at how vibrant and energetic she was back then.”
  • Scott Adams:

    Clinton looked (to my eyes) as if she was drugged, tired, sick, or generally unhealthy, even though she was mentally alert and spoke well. But her eyes were telling a different story. She had the look of someone whose doctors had engineered 90 minutes of alertness for her just for the event. If she continues with a light campaign schedule, you should assume my observation is valid, and she wasn’t at 100%.

    Some will say Clinton outperformed expectations because she didn’t cough, collapse, or die right on stage. That would be true if she also looked healthy in general, and her campaign schedule from here on out is full. We’ll know more this week, based on her schedule.

    Clinton’s smile seemed forced, artificial, and frankly creepy. I’m already hearing on Twitter that mentioning a woman’s smile is sexist. I understand the point. But when someone goes full Joker-face and tests the uncanny valley hypothesis at the same time, that’s a bit different from telling a woman to “smile more.” My neighbor Kristina hypothesized that Botox was making her smile look unnatural. Science tells us that when a person’s mouth smiles, but their eyes don’t match the smile, they look disingenuous if not creepy. Botox on your crow’s feet lines around your eyes can give that effect. But whatever the reason, something looked off to me.

  • Remember how Trump’s unpopularity was going to sink GOP Senate candidates? Yeah, not so much.
  • Reactions to First Clinton-Trump Debate

    September 27th, 2016

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debated last night. I watched about as much as I could stand, which was about ten minutes. So instead of my reactions, here are those of people who watched it all he way through:

  • Trump wins over Democrats and independents in a Youngstown bar. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Clinton says that everyone is racist. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.) Racism has the same role in liberal dogma that original sin has for Catholics.
  • James E. Robbins thought Trump looked Presidential.
  • Lester Holt: Not so impartial. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Interesting: Most conservative pundits were down on Trump’s performance, but most polls show he won the debate. “It isn’t just Drudge and Breitbart; Trump also got more votes than Clinton in instant polls at Time, Slate, Variety and other liberal outlets.”
  • Althouse: “Hillary Clinton’s unchallenged, illogical statement about private prisons.” Also on the debate itself: “Overall, I’ll just say that was very unpleasant and I’m glad it’s over.”
  • Now from the Twitters:

    Edited to add: More more hot take:

    Trump-Clinton Debate Tonight

    September 26th, 2016

    The first Trump-Clinton debate happens tonight at 8 PM CDT.

    Viewers are eager to hear the two candidates debate substantive policy issues on—

    Yeah, right. People are tuning in to see if Hillary collapses on stage or if Trump manages to say something stupidly outrageous (our outrageously stupid) even by Trump standards.

    Ted Cruz Endorses Donald Trump for President

    September 23rd, 2016

    Today Texas Senator Ted Cruz endorsed former rival Donald Trump for President. Here’s the test of the email message Cruz sent out:

    This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

    In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

    After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

    I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

    Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

    Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

    For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

    Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

    Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

    Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

    Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

    Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

    These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

    If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

    My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

    We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

    Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

    The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

    Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

    A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

    Everyone reading this blog know that Trump is not a perfect candidate, a truly conservative candidate, or logical, consistent, principled, etc. But when Cruz says that Trump is objectively better Clinton in the six categories listed above, he is correct. (And there are many more of those we could list.) In endorsing Trump. he’s putting the good of the country over his own feelings of Trump attacking and insulting himself and his family.

    Lot’s of #NeverTrump cadres are going crazy on Twitter denouncing Cruz for his apostasy, but I have yet to see one make the logical argument that Cruz is incorrect on any of his six points.

    William F. Buckley, Jr. often endorsed voting for the rightward most viable candidate. Sadly, in this year’s Presidential race, that happens to be Trump.

    LinkSwarm for September 23, 2016

    September 23rd, 2016

    Yesterday I had to go through a “spite password reset” for Twitter in the wake of the Instapundit banning and unbanning. I’m sure it had something to do with Twitter’s ongoing attempt to drive all non-liberal thought off the platform. This may have been the Tweet that did the trick:

    This may be why so many conservatives are talking about moving to Gab.

    Believe it or not, there is just a tiny bit of non-Twitter news going on:

  • So many people are talking about this angry, shrill, shouty Hillary Clinton video that I’m not going to put it off to the next Clinton Corruption Update:

    When Donald Trump gets angry, he seems to get angry about things happening to America. When Clinton gets angry, she gets angry about what’s happening to her personally, because of the things she believes she’s entitled to (popularity, the presidency) being denied her. She comes off as shrill and unhinged.

  • Federal Judges gives State Department five days to cough up Hillary’s records.
  • Scott Adams. “There is still some mystery about how large the margin will be, but Trump is already the President of the United States unless something big happens in the next few weeks.”
  • Trump 44%, Clinton 39%, Johnson 8%, Stein 2%.
  • “Swedish police are losing the battle against increasing levels crime and violence in the country as now 55 areas have been labelled as ‘no-go’ zones.” Also, three police officers a day quit and 90% are considering changing professions. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Missed this from last week: Deutsch Bank fined $14 billion for financial shenanigans in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • This just in: Anthony Weiner is a pervert. “The disgraced former congressman sexted a 15-year-old high school girl for months, allegedly writing her lewd messages and sending her shirtless pics of himself, according to a report Wednesday…Weiner tried to get her engaging in ‘rape fantasies.'”
  • Illegal alien who complained about Trump’s comments on Mexican rapists arrested for rape. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Crazy feminist publically shames her suicidal son for having non-feminist thoughts about “rape culture.” You know, the largely imaginary, non-Anthony Weiner, non-illegal alien rapist kind…
  • Speaking of Twitter, did you know they were blocking people from posting links to Vox Day’s blog? I confirmed this by trying to Tweet a link and having it fail.
  • Hillary Health Watch: What’s the deal with her eyes? “Her eyes did not always move in the same direction at the same time. It appears that she has a problem with her left sixth cranial nerve. That nerve serves only one function and that is to make the lateral rectus muscle contract. That muscle turns the eye in the direction away from the midline.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instpundit.)
  • Who has Clinton lined up to headline a fundraiser? Think No Talent Ass-Clown. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Twitter Suspends Instapundit

    September 22nd, 2016

    Now Twitter, as part of it’s campaign to drive all conservatives off it’s platform, has suspended Instapundit.

    Just as I was about to put this up, Zero hedge posted about it.

    Time to contact all Twitter board members (and advertisers) and get this reversed…

    Updated to Add: Unblocked now:

    Better, but it never should have been blocked in the first place. Evidently Black Lives Matter is so sacred that their representatives can get away with any threats on Twitter, but suggesting people defend themselves if surrounded by a violent mob is beyond the pale.

    How much shareholder value has Jack Dorsey destroyed by letting Anita Sarkeesian run his asylum?

    This Week in Clinton Corruption for September 21, 2016

    September 21st, 2016

    Today officially begins autumn, when leaves should be falling just like Hillary Clinton’s feeble body and poll numbers:

  • Hillary Clinton is stealing money from her poorest donors. “You made a one-time donation to Hillary? We’re pulling that much out every month, whether you like it or not! That’s what we mean by ‘Stronger Together.'”
  • And remember, 100+% of the Clintons’ “charity” donations went to themselves. (The plus comes donating $42,000 to a charity that then turned around and donated $700,000 to the Clinton Foundation.)
  • “Former President Bill Clinton and his Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) distributed ‘watered-down’ HIV/AIDs drugs to patients in sub-Saharan Africa, and ‘likely increased’ the risks of morbidity and mortality.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Hillary’s IT guy went on Reddit two years ago to ask how to strip out VIP email addresses from an email archive. Bonus cover-up: “Holy shit they actually deleted all their comments from a 2 year old reddit post.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • More on the same subject, including a timeline. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “A recent NBC News poll found that just 11 percent of Americans say Clinton is honest and trustworthy. To put that in perspective, 14 percent of American voters believe in Bigfoot. In other words, more Americans believe that a large, hairy, hominoid creature inhabits the forest of North America than believe that Hillary Clinton tells the truth.” (Hat tip: Real Clear Politics.)
  • “It’s another piece that follows on from yesterday’s story-of-the-day, Trump’s wrangling the media to hear his announcement of Obama’s birthplace and deflection of blame onto Hillary. Sullivan explains how the press got played, but not why. The why is, I think, eagerness to help Hillary: They’ve made themselves stupid — stupid for Hillary. What’s the cure? I would think: serious, professional journalism. But Sullivan just tells them to stop it.”
  • Scott Adams: “The main targets of Trump’s rhetoric are the nations that compete against us. In stark contrast, Clinton turned her hate on American citizens. That’s the real kind of hate. Trump is more about keeping America safe and competing effectively in the world.”
  • The former president of Haiti’s senate said Bill Clinton tried to bribe him.
  • The more voters hear of either Trump or Hillary, the less they like them. Which means Hillary spending more money on advertising may be counter-productive.
  • Flashback: William Safire pegged Clinton as a congenital liar in 1996. (Hat tip: the Observer via Austin Bay at Instapundit.)
  • Dem media mouthpieces panic. “The mainstream press is in a state of utter panic at the prospect that Trump, a person they’ve decided should never be president, is within an eyelash of Clinton in the polls.”
  • Hillary Clinton hates you.” (Hat tip: Instaundit.)
  • Huffington Post publishes: Why Hillary Lost: A Premature Obit. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Vodka Pundit wargames the election again: “Clinton collapsed on video nine days ago in New York, but her collapse in the polls might be just beginning.”
  • Random Observations from the Round Rock Gun Show

    September 20th, 2016

    I attended the Austin Gun Show-Round Rock (to use the full appellation) on Sunday, and here are a few random observations:

  • The venue, the Round Rock Sports Center, is much bigger and better suited to a gun show than the Austin and Cedar Park venues. There’s room for more vendors in the central space, there’s none of that inner ring/outer ring/multilevel nonsense, and it’s a nice modern building.
  • You had the weird Russian guy selling the one Nazi flag, WWII stuff…and bedsheets.
  • He wasn’t the only bedsheet dealer.
  • There was also a Tupperware dealer. Evidently non-gun vendors have figure out that gun shows get lots of foot traffic.
  • When it comes to guns, prices seemed up roughly 10% over the show I attended last year.
  • Some manufacturers (including Kimber) are going into custom colored grips and such in a big way. I understand the reasoning (more money from the growing female shooter demographic), but they don’t do much for me.
  • Ditto what I call Ruger’s “Logan’s Run .22”:

  • One dealer did make a strong pitch for us to buy the Barrett .50 BMG we were ogling, but it was a tad out of our price range.
  • I’m looking for an AR-pattern rifle in 5.56 NATO/.223, probably a Smith & Wesson M&P, but they’re still a little more than I want to spend.
  • There was a Trump swag guy at the show. He didn’t seem to be as busy as the people selling “Hillary for Prison” shirts.
  • Speaking of Hillary, actual announcement at the show: “Building management has asked that you refrain from putting Hillary Clinton pictures in the urinals.”
  • More Signs of Hillary’s Enthusiasm Gap

    September 19th, 2016

    Going into this Presidential race, we already knew Hillary Clinton was possibly the least popular Democratic Presidential candidate in modern history. (Say what you want about George McGovern, but he had a huge cadres of young volunteers, not a graying army of paid toadies.) Now we’re seeing yet more signs of just how little enthusiasm there is for Granny Lich outside the demographic of rich millionaires who need political favors:

  • There’s an enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats this year. “A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 46 percent of Trump backers were “very enthusiastic,” compared with only 33 percent of Clinton supporters. And a New York Times/CBS News poll saw Trump outperforming Clinton by the same metric, 45 percent to 36 percent.”
  • While Republicans are seeing a surge in voting registration, Democrats are not. (Note: That’s from August, so ignore the stale poll data.)
  • The Clinton/Kaine campaign book Stronger Together is bombing. “After a week on the shelves, the book has sold fewer than 3,000 copies.” Those are pretty good numbers for a first-time novelist; they’re a disaster for a formerly “inevitable” Presidential favorite.
  • Trump is even making inroads into Clinton’s key demographic of black voters. “Trump saw a 16.5 percentage-point increase in backing from African-American voters in a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California tracking poll, up from 3.1 percent on Sept. 10 to 19.6 percent through Friday. Meanwhile, the same poll showed Clinton’s support among that group plummeting from 90.4 percent on Sept. 10 to 71.4 percent.” Hillary’s campaign path to victory was always predicated on getting near-Obama level black voting participation, something that was already going to be difficult; now it looks impossible. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Expect to hear more about some of these topics Real Soon Now…