Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

LinkSwarm for November 21, 2014

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Here in Austin, we’re enjoying a temporary respite from Winter in November, but I don’t expect it to last long.

Links!

All the lies of ObamCare:

The growing impression that politicians don’t play straight with their constituents is completely toxic, particularly to Democrats, who actually want to use government to improve people’s lives. It’s one thing to downplay unpalatable choices made in the law; it’s another to never disclose the consequences of legislation until it’s too late for anyone to react. Combine that with the moustache-twirling of a Jonathan Gruber, saying that the idiots should be happy for what they got, and you have basically every conservative stereotype about liberal elites confirmed.

Also: ObamaCare is designed for people buying insurance through it to get a nasty sticker shock in year two. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • House Republicans file suit over Obama’s unilateral actions on ObamaCare.
  • The administration is lying about ObamaCare signup numbers. Again.
  • “Why Texas Could Remain a Republican Stronghold for Another Generation.”
  • “The president’s promises have been proven to be worthless…How many illegal immigrants want to come out of the shadows and identify themselves to law enforcement based upon this promise?”
  • Jay Carney admits that with his illegal alien amnesty, Obama is doing something he previously called unconstitutional.
  • Mickey Kaus thinks the courts could very well act quickly to squash Obama’s illegal amnesty, much as they did with Harry Truman’s steel mill seizures.
  • Aaron Worthing thinks illegals will pass on Obama’s amnesty as a bad deal.
  • “These illegal aliens are willing to do the work that Americans will no longer do — namely, vote Democrat.”
  • How desperate are the Democrats? They’re saying Republican opposition to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty will lead to ethnic cleansing. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Top Obama bundler arrested on child rape charges.
  • Lefty lawyer Alan Derschowitz on Harvard’s kangaroo court sexual assault rules: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”
  • How come Bill Cosby gets convicted in the media for rape allegations by Bill Clinton gets a pass? “There is more sympathy for a white southerner like Clinton than a black comic like Cosby.”
  • A giant leap backward for woman-kind.
  • Price of ground beef hits record highs.
  • Oh lovely: Microsoft is deploying Daleks.
  • Guns and Crime Roundup

    Thursday, November 20th, 2014

    Another roundup of gun and crime news:

  • Washington state’s I-594 evidently makes it illegal to touch a gun you don’t own. Bloomberg’s long-term plan is to destroy gun culture by preventing new recruits. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned, which sees massive non-compliance in Washington state’s future…)
  • All about civil forfeiture abuse.
  • California gun control provision struck down. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • Despite repeated legal rulings otherwise, it is still almost impossible to get a gun permit in Washington, D.C.
  • Girls just wanna have guns. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Oregon Democrats push for gun control. (Hat tip: Shall not Be Questioned.)
  • How can Milwaukee prosecute felons for illegal possession of firearms when there are so many Republican office-holders to investigate?
  • Texas State Senator Charles Perry files a bill to reduce the minimum CHL requirement caliber down to .22.
  • Facebook bans ads for gun safes. Because gun safes are such a gateway drug to buying guns…
  • Jay Leno folds like a cheap card table.
  • Armed citizens foils an attempted purse-snatching in Houston:

  • Man tries to rob veteran. Grounding and pounding ensues:

  • Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties visits the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Gun Show.
  • Breaking into an armed homeowner’s house high on ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol is no way to go through life, son.
  • I’m thinking I may need to delink Sipsy Street if they’re going to call other gun bloggers “Judenrats”
  • A Real Texas Speaker’s Race? Don’t Count on It

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

    Despite a broad consensus that he’s too moderate and holding up important conservative legislation, conservatives in the Texas House failed to unseat Speaker Joe Straus in both 2010 and 2012. Since then, one Straus ally after another has fallen to more conservative challengers in the primaries. Will this session finally be the one where Straus is replaced?

    Well, conservative are certainly going to try to oust Straus from the speaker’s chair. “Scott Turner, the freshman state representative challenging Joe Straus for House speaker, affirmed on Tuesday that he will insist on a floor vote on Jan. 13, the first day of session, come what may.”

    Michael Quinn Sullivan makes the case for ousting Straus. (One would think that if Sullivan was as powerful as liberal reporters make him out to be, Straus would have been out of a job in 2011. But for all Sullivan’s considerable influence, Straus has managed to survive repeated attempts to kick him oust him.)

    And Texas Tea Party groups are threatening to hold Reps accountable if they vote for Straus as Speaker again. Indeed, the North Texas Tea Party said as much on their website. Unfortunately, they decided to do so in an overheated and poorly-formatted screed interspersed with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR EMPHASIS. Guys, you’re not posting on a BBS in 1984. Things like this make it entirely too easy for the opposition (in this case Straus-backing RINOs and their media enablers) to dismiss you out of hand.

    However, as much as it pains me to report it, the more I read the tea leaves, the more I think Straus survives the challenge this time as well.

    Conservatives were less than thrilled when Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who owes his seat in large measure to running against Straus and beating Straus ally Vicki Truitt in 2012, announced he was supporting Straus for speaker.

    Then Sarah Rumpf wrote that still more Republicans announced they were backing Straus:

    Joining Capriglione are Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas), James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), and Drew Springer (R-Muenster), who emailed the release to Breitbart Texas with a short message that it was “from leading North Texas conservatives on our position on the 84th session.” Straus was first elected Speaker in 2009, largely on the votes of the Democrats and moderate Republicans in the House. Since first taking up the Speaker’s gavel, Straus has faced criticism from various conservative groups and grassroots activists who view him as more of a moderate.

    Now comes news that Straus theoretically has enough votes in the bag to stay speaker:

    The list of House Republicans who have publicly backed Straus in the past week include Trent Ashby of Lukfin, Cecil Bell of Magnolia, Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake, Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, Myra Crownover of Denton, Tony Dale of Cedar Park, Marsha Farney of Georgetown, James Frank of Wichita Falls, Larry Gonzales of Round Rock, Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs, Kyle Kacal of Pearland, Phil King of Weatherford, Tim Kleinschmidt of Lexington, J.M. Lozano of Kingsville, Doug Miller of New Braunfels, Morrison, John Otto of Dayton, Chris Paddie of Marshall, Tan Parker of Flower Mound, John Raney of Bryan, Ron Simmons of Carrollton, Drew Springer of Muenster and Paul Workman of Austin. Three newly elected Republicans who will join the Legislature in January — Dade Phelan of Beaumont, Gary VanDeaver of Clarksville and Rick Galindo of San Antonio — have also pledged support to Straus.

    Et tu, Tony Dale? It’s disappointing that all three Williamson County Representatives (Dale, Larry Gonzalez and Marsha Farney) are backing Straus.

    At this point, it’s beginning to look like conservatives will need to knock off Straus in the 2016 Republican primary to get rid of him…

    LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

    Friday, November 14th, 2014

    There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

    In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.
  • Battleground Texas Pledges We’ll Be Able To Kick Them Around Some More in 2016

    Thursday, November 13th, 2014

    Battleground Texas says we’ll have it to kick around in 2016:

    The head of Battleground Texas is telling supporters that despite an Election Day-shellacking, the group plans to stay put for the next round of elections in 2016. In a memo posted on the group’s website, executive director Jenn Brown says Battleground Texas is analyzing what went wrong. “I know that the losses last week were tough, and there has been a lot of negativity in the aftermath of the election. But I want you to look forward with me. Because we have work to do,” said Brown.

    Funny how pouring tens of millions of dollars into a state, only for Democrats lose even more badly than they did four years ago, might be perceived as “negative.”

    Also: “[Wendy] Davis raised money for her campaign field operation and Battleground Texas spent it. According to campaign finance reports, nearly $400,000 went to a Chicago consulting firm, 270 Strategies, headed by Jeremy Bird, who helped create Battleground Texas.”

    So no matter how badly Davis did, I guess the campaign was a rousing success for Bird.

    That piece also says that Battleground Texas can work with millionaire lawyer Steve Mostyn’s Ready for Hillary super-PAC. I’m having trouble thinking of scenarios where Hillary could win Texas that don’t involve the phases “complete breakdown of civilization” and “widespread cannibalism”…

    More Post-Election Tidbits

    Monday, November 10th, 2014

    A few more bits of 2014 election analysis:

  • Instapundit offers up six bills a Republican congress should pass. Can’t disagree with any of them.
  • How the Obama years have hollowed out the Democratic Party. “The more serious problem for Democrats is the drubbing they’ve taken in the states, the breeding ground for future national talent and for policy experimentation. Republicans have unified control—the governorship and the legislature—in 23 states.”
  • “The core tenets of the blue model as a basic governing philosophy are in much deeper trouble than many of the operatives and thinkers of the Democratic Party are prepared to admit.”
  • Wendy Davis was the face of the Democrat’s “War On Women” narrative, and she got slaughtered like a fat heifer.
  • Indeed, it’s been a rough week for all the Democrat’s “War on Women” mascots.
  • Democrats also got nothing from their incessant attacks on the Koch brothers. I just can’t imagine why their “your billionaires are evil but our billionaires are above reproach” strategy wasn’t a hit with voters…
  • Speaking of which: “There are many reasons to celebrate the Republican party surge in the US mid-term elections but for me they boil down to two words: ‘Tom’ and ‘Steyer.’
  • And wondering on Twitter why there wasn’t a Tom Steyer Downfall parody, I found out there were two:

  • LinkSwarm for November 7, 2014

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…

  • So exactly when was it that the UK became the child rape capital of the Western world? First Rotherham, now Manchester.

  • Government of Burkina Faso falls. Evidently people there thought that 27 years of rule for President Blaise Compaore was more than enough…
  • Russia sends more tanks into Ukraine. Looks like we’ll dealing with the fallout of Obama’s “flexibility” for decades… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty).
  • The Pakistani version of Axe Cop sounds a whole lot less entertaining than the American version.
  • DSCC head blames Obama for Senate loss.
  • The DSCC decides that they’ll stop pouring money down the rathole that is Mary Landrieu.
  • “Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist.” Or how Jonathan Chait ruthlessly used his Mansplaining Male Math Privilege to oppress Jenny Kutner.
  • Because their attacks on Koch were so successful, Democrats double-down on stupid.
  • U.S. hits targets in Syria. Not ISIS, but “the Khorasan group.” For such a reportedly “small” group, we seem to be bombing them a lot…
  • Fatah and Hamas thoughtfully take a break from trying to kill Jews in order to blow each other up.
  • I’m shocked, shocked that there’s abuse and fraud in the “Obamaphone” program.
  • In addition to national and statewide outbreaks of sanity, there was even an outbreak in Austin, where voters defeated a proposal to expand Capitol Metro’s toy trains.

  • Two Dissections of Democrats’ Failure to Turn Texas Blue

    Thursday, November 6th, 2014

    Enjoy these two moderately lengthy dissections of liberal failures to turn Texas blue:

    First, here’s this Jay Root/Texas Tribune piece by way of the Washington Post on why Wendy Davis lost the election. The piece soft-peddles Davis’ incompetence as a campaigner, and fails to mention her comparative unpopularity with Hispanics and the overall failure of the Democratic Party’s “War on Women” campaign strategy, of which Davis was a central piece, but is otherwise reasonably accurate.

    Second, here’s a piece on just how comprehensive Battleground Texas’ failure was. It also goes into down-ballot failures for Battleground Texas that I haven’t had time to look at yet:

    In House District 23, which even Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri had described as “neck-and-neck,” Democrat Susan Criss lost to Republican Wayne Faircloth by nearly 10 points. Rodney Anderson, the Republican candidate, bested Democrat Susan Motley by more than 12 points in House District 105. And incumbent state Rep. Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio, was toppled by Republican Rick Galindo, who lost by nearly 6 points.

    The piece also notes that, for all the money Battleground Texas put into the Wendy Davis campaign, she finished a whopping two points above Democratic Agriculture Commissioner nominee Jim Hogan, who didn’t campaign at all.

    Hat tip: Erick Erickson, who notes “bring down a bunch of liberal yankees who hate the ROTC, traditional values, the Alamo, and Texas itself and you’re setting the stage for disaster.” Also “Battleground Texas claims they are not going away. Thank goodness. They should stick around and serve as a money sink for guys like Tom Steyer lest that money go to other states.”

    Erickson touches on something I want to expand upon, namely the obvious distaste in-state liberal elites show for all manner of Texas traditions. Even when they embrace “moderate” positions on, say, gun control or energy regulation, they give off the reek of patronizing condescension. You always get the impression that these people would rather be living in New York City or San Francisco than anyplace in Texas. No matter how much they proclaim a love of football, cowboy boots or country music, they always give the impression of going through the motions as a sop for those gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand. (Bob Bullock was probably the last major Texas Democrat who seemed like he wasn’t faking it, and Anne Richards was the last one who was able to fake it convincingly.) Their real constituents are not Texans, but the left-wing politicians, trial lawyers, national media and urban elites who make up the liberal overclass.

    Texas Statewide Race Oddities

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

    With all the votes in, we can start analyzing some of odder aspects of the Texas statewide race results.

    For those watching the race, it’s no surprise that (discounting 2006′s strange four-way race) Wendy Davis was the worst-performing Democratic gubernatorial candidate this century. The surprising thing is that, as bad as she was, Davis was the Democrat’s best statewide candidate this year. Her 38.9% was the highest statewide vote percentage by any Texas Democrat in 2014. Leticia Van de Putte’s 38.7% was the second highest. Otherwise statewide Democratic candidates ranged from a low of 34.3% for invisible Senate candidate David Alameel to a high of 38% for Attorney General candidate Sam Houston.

    Possible explanations:

  • Perhaps Wendy Davis’ antics didn’t cause people to switch so much as it caused Democrats to stay home entirely.
  • Perhaps in lower-pofile races people felt free to vote for third party candidates.
  • Perhaps there is indeed a staunchly “pro-abortion Republican” segment of the Texas electorate, but evidence suggests that, if so, it ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total…
  • And those who said Abbott would outpoll Dan Patrick were right…but only by 1.2%.

    Abbott took ten counties that Bill White won in 2010: Harris, Bexar, Brooks, Culberson, Falls, Foard, Kleberg, La Salle, Reeves and Trinity. Harris (Houston) and Bexar (San Antonio) are the 800-pound gorillas on that list. In 2012, Ted Cruz won Harris by 2% (while Romney was edged there by a thousand votes) while losing Bexar by 4%. For a while Democrats were able to stay competitive statewide by racking up big margins in those urban counties even while they were losing rural and suburban counties. If Republicans can now win those counties outright, it may be a long, long time before a Democrat can win statewide again.

    Two statewide Republican candidates got more votes than Abbott’s 2,790,227: Senator John Cornyn and Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush. The rest of the country may suffer from Bush-fatigue (though I imagine that it’s now dwarfed by Obama-fatigue), but you’d be hard-pressed to find signs of it in Texas…

    Since Democrats failed to contest three statewide court races, both the Libertarian and Green parties reached the minimum 5% threshold to maintain ballot access in 2016.

    Shockingly, David Weigel actually brings the wood when discussing Battleground Texas:

    “These are the greatest geniuses of data in the f**king world and they can’t figure out that less people voted?” asked Carney. “Every publicly pronounced goal of Battleground, every one, has been an abject failure.”

    (snip)

    Davis only out-performed the 2010 ticket in her home base of Tarrant County (Ft. Worth).

    Oh, and it got worse. Abbott’s campaign said throughout the campaign that it would poach Latino voters, especially in the Rio Grande valley. A quick look at a Texas map might tell you that Abbott failed. Not quite true. Perry had lost Hidalgo County (McAllen) by 34 points; Abbott kept the margin down to 28 points. Perry had lost Webb County by 53 points; Abbott lost it by 39. In exit polling, Perry ended up pulling only 38 percent of the Latino vote. Abbott won 44 percent of it, about what was expected in a Texas Tribune poll that Davis allies tried to debunk. Abbott actually won Latino men, 50-49 over Davis. The Democratic wane and Republican outreach helped oust Rep. Pete Gallego, elected in 2012 in a district that sprawled across most of the border. He won 96,477 votes that year; he won only 55,436 this year, allowing black Republican Will Hurd to win, despite being out-fundraised 2-1.

    Weigel may be a partisan, but at least he can read a spreadsheet…

    Brief Blurbs on a Brilliant Bloodbath

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

    Democrats didn’t just lose last night, they got slaughtered up and down the ballot:

  • Republicans took control of the Senate, flipping seven Senate seats in North Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, Iowa, giving them 52 and control of the Senate. There’s a good chance that will be 54 after runoffs in Louisiana and Alaska.
  • Republicans added at least 12 House seats to their majority, a margin that is likely to grow as late seats finish counting.
  • Republicans picked up at least three governorships.
  • Republicans continued to make massive gains at the state legislative level. “The Republican wave that swept over the states left Democrats at their weakest point in state legislatures since the 1920s.”
  • Here in Texas, not only did Republicans win all statewide races (again), but Abbott beat Wendy Davis not only worse than Rick Perry beat Bill White in 2010, but worse than Perry beat Tony Sanchez in 2002: Sanchez came in at 39.96% of the vote; right now Wendy Davis is at 38.9%. Davis even lost white women by a 2-1 ratio. Battleground Texas bragged about how they were going to turn Texas blue; instead, it got still redder.
  • More later.