Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

LinkSwarm for August 31, 2015

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Welcome to the final week of traditional summer. Of course, it used to be that everything (school, football, the new TV year, etc.) started after Labor Day Weekend, but that’s not the case any more…

  • “it’s cute to pretend that Black Lives Matter is actually about making policing better when it’s really just another Democratic party constituency agitprop group.”
  • Texas mandates E-Verify for all state employees.
  • Ten questions about the Iran deal.
  • Indeed, the Iran deal stinks so badly that even Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to keep the stink of Eue De Failure off herself and the DNC. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Europe has begun to reform its welfare systems. (Hat tip Instpundit.)
  • Thanks to government efforts, heroin is now cheaper than cigarettes in New York City. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • McCarthy critic turns out to be a Soviet spy. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • UK Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn: Apologist for oppressive dictatorships.
  • Oh, and he wants to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Why, it’s almost as if the hard left yearns for nothing so much as undoing every conservative foreign policy triumph out of spite…
  • And he also called Osama Bin Laden’s death “a tragedy.”
  • Criticizing Muslim antisemitism? That’s a $750 fine in Denmark.
  • Widespread street protests in Kuala Lumpur over corruption and embezzlement by Malaysia’s Goldman-Sachs-underwritten Prime Minister.
  • Still another reason not to use Ashley-Madison: “For every 7750 men, there were 3 women.” “Sausage Fest” doesn’t even begin to cover it…
  • Speaking of sausage, San Antonio woman steals $3000 worth of sausage.
  • Conservatives push back on victimhood identity politics guidelines from the College Board and win.
  • Austin Bag Ban backfires. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • A look back at 1945 plans for the invasion of Japan. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Ten years of Tam.
  • Wallace Hall/Joe Straus Update

    Thursday, August 27th, 2015

    Got a bunch of links building up concerning Wallace Hall, Joe Straus and related topics that I’m just going to shotgun out here:

  • UT reforms admissions process so it can only admit unqualified, well-connected students if it really, really wants to.
  • Wallace Hall was not impressed with the reform. “This memorializes bad acts from a hidden admissions policy.”
  • Hall says that Joe Straus came after him to make an example of him.
  • Hall sues University of Texas chancellor McRaven for access to all of the Kroll report, not just the expurgated version.
  • Meanwhile, the UT system is sueing Attorney General Ken Paxton in turn, to keep their dirty laundry secret.
  • Former Texas Public Policy Foundation President Jeff Judson is running against Joe Straus for his state house seat. Here’s his website.
  • Let the Texas Racing Commission Die

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

    The Texas Racing Commission is tasked with overseeing and regulating horse and greyhound racing in Texas. In 2014, the commission decided to legalize “historical racing”.

    What’s historical racing, you ask? That’s where bettors use a machine to wager on already-run races whose distinguishing characteristics have been stripped out. In other words, betting real money on imaginary digitized horses, the horses on which they have are theoretically based being, in most likelihood, long dead.

    So what law passed by the legislature enabled them to legalize this entirely new form of gambling in Texas?

    None. They just made it up after the gambling lobby asked them to. Race tracks say that without historical racing they’ll have to close up shop.

    One tiny little problem: Not only has the legislature not approved historical racing machines, they say that the machines violate Texas laws against gambling machines. “‘These rules appear to be an attempt by the Racing Commission to circumvent the Legislature’s authority to decide what types of gambling are and are not legal,’ stated a letter sent at the time by [Texas Sen. Jane] Nelson, [Texas Sen. Craig] Estes and others in the Senate GOP Caucus. ‘This is not an appropriate decision for the Racing Commission.'”

    Indeed, they stripped funding from the Texas Racing Commission until such time as they were willing to obey the law.

    And the Legislative Budget Board is enforcing that decision.

    So how did the Texas Racing Commission respond to being told to obey the law? “Screw you, we’re legalizing historical racing anyway.”

    Personally, wearing my libertarian hat, I think more forms of gambling should be legal, regulated and taxed in Texas. However, at this point it’s become clear that the Texas Racing Commission has been captured by the very industry it was created to regulate. At this point it’s better for the LBB to let funding for the Texas Racing Commission lapse entirely. A short special session would be called creating a new agency to regulate horse racing and letting Governor Abbott choose commissioners who serve the interests of Texas citizens rather than the gambling lobby.

    And if Texas race tracks close (either temporarily or permanently), that’s acceptable collateral damage for a marginal industry that captured its own regulatory agency and pushed it into promulgating illegal regulations not authorized by the legislature.

    So focused has the Texas Racing Commission been on imposing historical racing, if I were Attorney General Ken Paxton, I’d take a serious look at investigating the possibility that current commissioners received payoffs from the gambling lobby to do so.

    But you know who would probably profit the most from letting historical racing and slots machines appear at Texas race tracks? Texas speaker Joe Straus, who stands to rake in millions due to his and his family’s connections to gambling interests.

    Edited to Add: Cahnman’s Musings notes that two of the commission members who voted for historical racing are holdovers that Gov. Abbott can replace at moment’s notice. Sounds like that should be the strategy going forward…

    Texas vs. California: Cali Goes Batshit Insane Edition

    Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

    California has long had a tenuous grasp of what the rest of us regard as consensus reality. But two new pieces of legislation suggest they’ve gone off the deep end into full Victimhood Identity Politics land:

  • First, they decided that police shootings wouldn’t be subject to the grand jury process, because what’s a little things like two centuries of due process and the fifth amendment to the Constitution when there are policemen to be railroaded to satisfy black protesters?
  • They also decided to purge the words “illegal alien” from state statutes, because what’s mere law when there’s political correctness to be pandered to?
  • Of course, that’s not all that’s new on the Texas vs. California front:

  • “California taxpayers paid out big bucks to state workers in 2014. How much? More than the Gross Domestic Product of 100 countries, according to new data published by the State Controller’s office. In 2014, more than 650,000 state employees earned a total of $32 billion in wages and benefits.” It gets better: “Nine hundred sixty-nine state employees earned more than the President of the United States.” Added irony:

    The lowest paid average workers represented agencies focused on the environment, women and people with disabilities. According to the state’s 2014 payroll data, the average salary for the 11 state employees at the California Commission on Disability Access was just $15,213 per year, slightly more than the $14,494 average salary paid to the four employees at the Commission on the Status of Women.

  • There is no California. Only Zuul…
  • Texas unemployment rate: 4.2%. California unemployment rate: 6.2%. (Hat tip: WILLism’s Twitter feed.)
  • Los Angeles’ new minimum wage has wrecked hotel employment. Or maybe just non-illegal alien employment… (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Why Public Services in California Decline Even As Revenues Rise. “Until California’s leaders address the three elephants – retirement, healthcare and corrections costs — that are crowding out public services and causing unproductive tax and fee increases, citizens will continue to suffer and inequality will continue to grow.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Chuck Devore on what makes Texas friendly to business: less red tape and lower taxes.
  • Voters to San Jose City Council: We want pension reform! San Jose City Council to voters: Get stuffed! (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • TV’s CHiPS never seemed to be involved in ethics scandals the way the current administration is, including no-bid contracts to European companies. (Bonus: it’s also suitable for Dwight’s Art Acevedo watch.)
  • California’s “Green Jobs Initiative” spent $297 million to create 1,700 jobs.
  • More on the same theme, and Tom Steyer wasting $29.6 million of his own money pushing it, from City Journal.
  • California’s SFX: from billion dollar company to bankruptcy.
  • About That Paxton Indictment

    Monday, August 17th, 2015

    Dwight covered the indictment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on “three felony counts of securities law violations” a while back, but I wanted to touch on a few unusual aspects to the indictment.

    Now I’m just a simple Hyper-Chicken from a backwoods asteroid blogger, so I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the security laws Paxton theoretically violated. But it does appear that something stinks about the Paxton indictment:

    The two charges of fraud against Paxton don’t involve misrepresentation on Paxton’s part, or any other violation of a clear principle. Rather, the prosecutors think Paxton should have volunteered more information about his own investments in the course of selling stock in a company, and that his not doing so amounts to fraud.

    Snip.

    Paxton isn’t being accused of telling a lie, which is a factual question. He’s being accused of the much more subjective charge of misleading investors by failing to state a material fact. Actually, the indictments just allege the failure to state a fact; they don’t explain how anyone was misled.

    Mateja told Texas Lawyer he had expected Paxton would be accused of making a fraudulent misrepresentation, and that he was surprised by the actual indictment.

    “They are saying that it was unlawful for him to fail to mention that he had not personally invested (in a tech company called Servergy) and he would be receiving compensation,” Mateja said.

    If that by itself were found to be a crime, securities traders across the state could be facing criminal exposure every time they make a sale, unless they take the unusual step of telling clients that they hadn’t purchased the stock for their own portfolios.

    Paxton did have stock in Servergy, though: 100,000 shares that he’s been reporting on his annual disclosure forms since 2011.

    The prosecutors are apparently unclear about whether Paxton already held those shares when he solicited investors, or whether he got them later, as they accuse him of failing to disclose to them that he “would be compensated, and had, in fact, received compensation from SERVERGY, INC., in the form of 100,000 shares.”

    So either he would be or he had been. What the newspapers miss is that this isn’t an explicit violation of any law. It’s the special prosecutors’ opinion that Paxton should have volunteered this information.

    The Paxton indictment becomes even more suspect when you see who’s really behind them, mainly Texas Speaker Joe Straus’ team.

    There is now little doubt that the coalition government of liberal Republicans and Democrats who control the Texas House are responsible for the politically motivated indictments against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    The leadership of that coalition, headed by Speaker Joe Straus, and Paxton have been political opponents for several years. In 2011, Paxton challenged Straus for the Speaker’s office and though he was unsuccessful, Paxton went on to win an open state senate seat in 2012. From there, he launched an underdog bid for Attorney General, defeating Straus’s boyhood friend, Rep. Dan Branch, in the process.

    The indictments against Paxton were unsealed on Monday to reveal that the complainants were none other than Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana) and a Florida businessman with connections to Cook, Joel Hochberg.

    Cook is chairman of the powerful House Committee on State Affairs. It was at Cook’s Austin home that Straus was chosen to be speaker in 2009. As one of Straus’s most powerful lieutenants, Cook used his committee this session to stop a major ethics reform package, to bury pro-life legislation and legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration, and to prevent a vote on legislation aimed at protecting paychecks from being raided by public employee unions.

    Hochberg was not well known to Texans before Monday, but research reveals connections to Cook spanning decades. Cook earned his millions at the helm of a videogame publishing company named TradeWest that was founded by his father. Joel Hochberg was the creator of the popular video game “Battletoads” and other games that were published by TradeWest in the 1990s.

    (I never played it, but Battletoads is widely described as the most difficult video game to beat of all time. )

    On Saturday, just before the indictments were leaked to the New York Times by one of the special prosecutors involved in the case, we ran a piece examining, amongst other things, a series of open records requests filed with the offices of several members of House leadership. The requests, which were filed with the offices of House Speaker Joe Straus (R–San Antonio), Rep. Jim Keffer (R–Eastland), and Rep. Charlie Geren (R–Fort Worth), sought records of communications and meetings with the Travis County DA’s office about Paxton’s case. It is unclear what records specifically were being sought, but it is clear that the person who filed the requests, Democratic operative Matt Angle, thought there had been communications between those offices and the DA about Paxton.

    Since then, a source has informed us that two other member’s of Straus’s leadership team, Rep. Drew Darby (R–San Angelo) and former Republican Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, were overheard discussing Paxton’s case at the 2014 Republican State Convention. According to the source, Darby and Hilderbran stated that they were waiting until after the 84th legislature commenced to renew their attacks on Paxton.

    In short: The Paxton indictment, like the Perry indictment, appears to be more about politics than crime.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    Texas vs. California Update for August 5, 2015

    Thursday, August 6th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Oakland’s monthly rent has doubled in the last five years, but the Oakland police are laying off people and no longer investigate property crimes. (As Zero Hedge notes, average rent is now more than it was in San Francisco in 2012.) How’s that Blue State model of high taxes, high public union salaries, and declining basic services working out for you California?
  • Controlling big budget government programs through ballot initiatives.
  • Only voters can stop California’s union pension crisis. “Government union bosses are desperate to protect their gravy train at taxpayers’ expense. That’s why they are spinning a web of lies about the [ballot initiative].”
  • “With CalPERS’ actuaries demanding a pension funding increase from $3.7 billion to $7.25 billion by 2020, the state must either cut payroll by 30 percent or find a massive new tax source, like overturning Prop. 13.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Visualizing California’s staggering pension hole. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Need to make up the funding shortfall for CalSTARS means cutting into actual teacher salaries.
  • Finally, California beats Texas in job creations. For one month. And by some 6,000 jobs.
  • The Green Behind California’s Greens: A handful of superrich donors have created the illusion of a grassroots environmental movement.”
  • Cloud Computer company LiveOps is moving from Redwood City, California to Cedar Park.

    “Thanks to our low-tax, low-regulation environment that allows all businesses to thrive, the State of Texas has become the national leader for technology job creation, and we continue to attract tech companies from around the country and around the world,” [Governor Greg] Abbott said. “On behalf of the State of Texas, I am pleased to welcome LiveOps to the Lone Star State as the company seeks to transform cloud-based customer service. With their help, the State of Texas can, and will, continue to lead the nation in job creation within the technology sector.”

  • Bra-maker Fashion Forms is relocating from Ventura, California to Austin.
  • California-based Relativity Media files for bankruptcy. Forbidden Kingdom was pretty good. Skyline was a pile of crap…
  • Add California to the list of Democratic Party controlled polises trying to kill Uber.
  • The War on Photography continues apace in Northern California.
  • Facebook is opening a $1 billion data center in Ft. Worth This means they’ll be able to ignore your “Most Recent” setting and tag you in sunglasses spam ten times faster…
  • Garland Jihadi Got Gun Through Fast and Furious

    Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

    Well, isn’t this special:

    A gunman killed during his attack on an Islamic prophet Muhammad art show in Garland, Texas, reportedly bought a pistol through a botched federal firearm sting.

    Nadir Soofi bought a 9-mm pistol at a Phoenix gun shop in 2010, one report said, that sold illegal firearms through ATF’s heavily criticized Operation Fast and Furious to track firearms back to Mexican drug cartels.

    See, that’s the problem with the Obama Administration. You can pick something out of The Crazy Rightwing Conspiracy Book of Madlibs and have it turn out to be true…

    Rio Grande Valley Corruption Watch

    Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

    Been a while since I took a look at the last region of Texas where Democrats still wield political power: the Rio Grande Valley. What’s going on down there these days?

    Would you believe…corruption?

    The Rio Grande Valley is considered the most corrupt area in the country, according to the latest statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The Valley has the highest number of federal public corruption convictions. In 2013, 83 cases received guilty verdicts or pleas. The FBI since launched their anti-corruption task force.

    Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?

  • A look at vote buying in the valley:

    They’re called politiqueras — a word unique to the border that means campaign worker. It’s a time-honored tradition down in the land of grapefruit orchards and Border Patrol checkpoints. If a local candidate needs dependable votes, he or she goes to a politiquera.

    In recent years, losing candidates in local elections began to challenge vote harvesting by politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley, and they shared their investigations with authorities. After the 2012 election cycle, the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general’s office filed charges.

    “Yes, there is a concern in which the politiqueras are being paid to then go and essentially round up voters and have them vote a certain way,” says James Sturgis, assistant U.S. attorney in McAllen.

    In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.

    Funny how much of that voter fraud Democrats claim doesn’t exist there is. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

  • From the same series: How the drug trade turns good cops bad, focusing on Jonathan Treviño, former head of a Hidalgo County narcotics squad who’s now doing 17 years in prison
  • Still another piece from the same series: “Jonathan Treviño’s father, Lupe, who was Hidalgo County’s powerful and popular sheriff, is serving a five-year prison term for a separate conviction. He admitted taking $10,000 in illegal campaign contributions from a drug trafficker known as The Rooster, with ties to the Gulf Cartel.” Plus an estimate that 20% of the border’s economy is based on drugs. NPR guesses this estimate is too high; I would guess it’s probably low.
  • Speaking of which: “The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office blocked auditors from investigating whether or not former Sheriff Lupe Treviño’s administration allowed county workers to fraudulently report they worked extra hours — and rack up so-called ‘comp time’ they could spend campaigning for him.”
  • And this was at the direction of former Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Jose Padilla, who “himself pleaded guilty to working with a Weslaco-based drug trafficker named Tomas ‘El Gallo’ Gonzalez, talked about the time card tampering allegations during a videotaped interview with anti-corruption activists.”
  • “Two former Hidalgo Housing Authority officials have plead guilty to bribery this afternoon. Sixty year-old Susana Mungia and 53-year-old Lubina Pedraza both admitted in Federal court to have engaged in a bribery scheme, after they had solicited and received money in exchange for allowing people to skip the waitlist and immediately obtain housing assistance.
  • “A Starr County justice of the peace facing bribery and cocaine charges has been forced off the bench until further notice, state officials ordered Monday. The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered Salvador Zarate suspended without pay until further notice, according to court documents. Zarate, 62, the Place 3, Place 1 justice of the peace, is accused of taking $500 to lower two defendants’ bond on Christmas Eve.”
  • “The Indian Lake Police Chief John Chambers was arrested [in February] on 14 counts of tampering with governmental records.”
  • These are only the stories that have caught my eye this year…

    LinkSwarm for July 20, 2015

    Monday, July 20th, 2015

    46 years ago today, America walked on the moon. Or perhaps I should say “Nixon walked on the moon” in the same sense that “Obama got Bin Laden.”

    Some links:

  • Rotherham councilors suppressed the Muslim child rape scandal because Muslims vote Labour. (Hat tip Jihad Watch.)
  • Islamic State sets up stronghold in Bosnia. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • One of the architects of ObamaCare is now a health insurance lobbyist.
  • Mark Steyn says the Iran deal is far worse than Munich.
  • Former Labour minister, newspaper founder fired for column defending free speech of columnist critical of Islam.
  • Judge Hanen is pissed at the Obama Administration illegally defying his ruling on their unconstitutional illegal alien amnesty.
  • Rick Perry proposes hitting sanctuary cities in their pocketbooks.
  • Pension payments to Chicago public union employees have become so high that today all the property taxes paid by the households of Chicago go exclusively to pensions.
  • Minimum wage goes up, prices go up by the same amount. What are the odds?
  • The Nine Rings of Climate Scientist Hell.
  • Keith Olbermann fired. Yet again. Maybe because ESPN is feeling the pinch.
  • “if you have permission from the property owner, it is art. If you don’t, it is vandalism.”
  • Speaking of walking on the moon, there’s a whole lot of spaceflight items up for auction.
  • The myth of the “Southern Strategy.”
  • “Political correctness is a euphemism for exclusivity and closed-mindedness.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Governor Greg Abbot raises $8.3 million, bringing his war chest up to $17.8 million. Keep in mind that Abbott is three years away from any election campaign…
  • Adultery website Ashley Madison hacked, and “37 million clients” could be blackmailed. (I’m guessing that’s more like 15 million male clients and 22 million fake female profiles.) Golly, who could have possibly seen that coming? Except, of course, everyone who’s ever worked in the computer industry…
  • There’s a Jack Kemp Foundation.
  • Here’s a blog devoted to news about Ted Cruz.
  • Maybe this headline from Buzzfeed is what caused Gawker to pull the trigger on detonating the entire bottom-of-the-barrel containment field…
  • The documentary Roar may be the most insane (and dangerous to the cast) movie ever filmed.
  • UT Admissions Scandal 10X Worse Than Previously Admitted

    Thursday, July 16th, 2015

    We’ve known, from the drips and dabs that slipped out, that the UT admissions scandal was worse than the Kroll report actually let on. But we didn’t know it was ten times worse:

    At least 764 applicants initially denied admission to the University of Texas were admitted thanks to a backdoor program for the wealthy and politically connected administered by former president Bill Powers.

    More than 200 of those applicants were admitted despite having their applications cancelled by the Admissions Office.

    The total is more than 10 times the 73 applicants widely reported from an investigation paid for by the university and conducted by Kroll Associates. Kroll withheld the full findings from its 107-page final report.

    More:

    The Kroll investigation confirmed what had been common knowledge in the wealthy Dallas-area community of Highland Park, which includes UT Regent Wallace Hall and House Education Committee chair Dan Branch: students were getting into UT at extraordinary rates, despite bad grades.

    UT admitted seven Highland Park students with grade point averages below 2.0 and SAT scores below 800.

    Also this:

    The very worst of the students UT admitted, the investigation showed, were clustered in the districts of Branch, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), and Sen. Kirk Watson, (D-Austin).

    Straus has gone to even greater lengths than UT to cover up the abuses. He authorized a special committee operating behind the scenes in an effort to impeach Hall for asking too many questions about the admissions process.

    A very cynical part of me wonders if this is the root of Straus’ stranglehold on the Speaker’s office: his power as the go-to fixer for getting unqualified students into UT.

    If you hadn’t heard, Wallace Hall, who uncovered the scandal, is suing UT chancellor William McRaven for access to the documents Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has already said he’s entitled to.

    Indeed, UT’s dishonest coverup may be a big factor in the Supreme Court in agreeing to hear an appeal on Fisher vs. University of Texas, “a 2008 lawsuit brought by a white student claiming the university’s diversity-seeking admissions system had unfairly deprived her of admission.”

    The Dallas Observer‘s Jim Schutze (who, unlike myself, favors affirmative action) explains:

    The court did receive a blistering friend-of-the-court brief (see copy below) from the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, in support of Fisher’s request to be heard again. The Cato brief called the court’s attention to an investigation of admissions at UT that grew out of the Hall disclosures. Cato told SCOTUS the investigation proved that UT’s “claimed diversity rationale is a sham.”

    That would be new evidence, maybe. But if it goes to the university’s core integrity – if the university has been lying to the courts about why it handles admissions the way it does – then maybe it’s not so new. Maybe it goes right to the heart of the existing case.

    We have talked here often before about revelations brought forward by Hall showing that the former president of the university and some of the regents were handing out undergraduate admissions to sons and daughters of influential state legislators the way favors of love are distributed in a bawdy house. But does that kind of corruption go to the affirmative action question?

    Nobody knows if the Cato amicus brief played any role at all in the high court’s eventual decision to rehear Fisher. But if it did, this would be why: When the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to send Fisher back down to the 5th Circuit, the court said the lower court needed to take a tougher look at the university’s admissions policies. The Supreme Court told the lower court not to just take the university at its word but to examine the university’s admissions closely under a doctrine called “strict scrutiny.”

    The 5th Circuit basically said yeah, yeah, OK, we strict scrutinied them, and we still trust them. So the 5th Circuit upheld the university. Fisher appealed back to the Supreme Court saying the 5th Circuit hadn’t really done the strict scrutiny strictly enough.

    Then along comes the Wallace Hall evidence of an under-the-table secret admissions program the university forgot to tell the courts about. In fact, Hall’s investigation found evidence of lying, destruction of documents, coercion – enough story lines for an entire season of The Sopranos, all having to do with UT admissions.

    A Supreme Court case is likely to bring national attention to a scandal the local mainstream media has tried to downplay or bury. And if it turns out UT actually lied to the courts, well, that sort of thing tends to make federal judges a mite testy…

    (Hat tip: Push junction.)