Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Texas vs. California Update for August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Another look at how Texas stacks up to the no-longer-so-Golden state:

  • Problem: Those lousy taxpayers get pension reform passed. Solution: CalPERS uses “99 categories of ‘special pay’” to go on a pension spiking orgy.
  • What are some of those 99 categories? “Clerks who type well. Cops who shoot straight. Librarians who are “assigned to provide direction or resources to library patrons.” I’m too scared to check if “Teachers who don’t rape their students” is an actual category or not…
  • Governor Jerry Brown is sending mixed signals on the pension spiking issue.
  • Who actually owns the CalPERS gap between actual funding and what they’ll need to pay out? “CalPERS can be risky (and it has been) with no consequences. The taxpayers have all the responsibility, but none of the control.”
  • So how much payroll and pension did Stockton trim in their bankruptcy? Zero.
  • There is no California comeback. “Personal income-tax revenues fell by 11 percent in the first quarter of this year and more than 6 percent through June.”
  • California cities are among the slowest to recover from the recession.
  • The only way California can get pensions under control is through a constitutional amendment.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is asking for more money. They’re also asking Angelinos to overlook their high salaries and lack of accountability.

    City leaders are battling with DWP’s union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, to release financial records of a nonprofit trust, run jointly by labor- and management-appointed trustees, that has run through $40 million in ratepayer money. Brian D’Arcy, IBEW Local 18’s business manager, has refused to turn over the trust’s financial records, and DWP executives have said they don’t know how the money was spent.

  • California voters get to weigh in on a 7.5 billion water bill in November, which seems to have considerably less pork than a previously delayed $11 billion bill.
  • So how does bankrupt San Bernardino plan to climb into the black? Cutting back on outrageous pensions? Ha, you must be high! “Help us, weed, you’re our only hope!”
  • I know this is a shock, but California’s High Speed Rail Authority is behind schedule on buying land for it’s doomed boondoggle.
  • Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz opposes ride share programs like Uber and Lyft. Strangely enough, he’s also received $11,000 in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Quid pro, meet quo.
  • YTexas helps companies relocating to Texas connect with local businesses.
  • LinkSwarm for August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22nd, 2014

    Just making it to Friday coming back from vacation to Texas in the middle of August seems like it’s own victory condition…

  • The Great Obama Meltdown.
  • Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever.”
  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming Democrats for their personal failures. This week: Obama:

    His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”

    (snip)

    The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.

    (snip)

    The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.

  • Russia is very upset street artists are turning Bulgarian monuments to the Soviet Union into American superheroes.
  • Enlightened, peaceful members of Temple University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine call a Jewish student a “kike” and punch him in the face.
  • Convicted felon Brett Kimberlin bitchslapped by the court to the tune of $600 a week.
  • “Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.”
  • Washington Post: “Libertarians silent on Mo. shooting.” Except for all the ones who weren’t.
  • Rick Perry grand juror was an active Democratic Party delegate during indictment proceedings.
  • Mike Ditka stands up to the PC police.
  • Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died.
  • A tiny bit about Robin Williams.
  • Morning Tweet Roundup

    Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

    I’m back from vacation. Have some Low Calorie Content Substitute:

    Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

    Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

    I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

    Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

    That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

    Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…

    Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

    Monday, August 18th, 2014

    More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Rick Perry Indicted for Acting Like a Governor

    Saturday, August 16th, 2014

    Friday Rick Perry was indicted for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers, namely carrying through on his threat to veto $7.5 million funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit last year unless Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned over her DWI.

    To call it weak sauce is to give the false impression that there’s any sauce there whatsoever. This is pure political hackery by a Democratic prosecutor looking to “get Perry,” since Democrats have been completely unable to do so at the ballot box. As Powerline notes:

    The Travis County district attorney’s office has long been a cesspool of corruption. It was that office, controlled by the Democratic Party machine, that infamously indicted Tom DeLay for nothing. It took years before DeLay could finally clear his name, and his career was ruined.

    Conservatives should respond to this indictment by rallying around Perry. The indictment is a bad joke, intended simply to generate negative publicity. As with the bogus DeLay indictment from the same source, years may go by before it is finally proved baseless. In the meantime, conservatives should stand behind Perry and denounce the politically-motivated machinations of Texas Democrats.

    Eugene Volokh notes that in a previous case (Wurtz vs. Risley) the court ruled that “Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free expression.”

    Even Think Progress think the Perry indictment is weak. Another sign of that weakness is the fact they released the indictment late Friday, the traditional “bury the story” dumping ground.

    I suspect Rick Perry will come out of this just fine. The real loser will be Lehmberg, when a whole new national audience gets to see her drunkenly scream “Call Greg!” all over again…

    Texas Election News Update for August 14, 2014

    Thursday, August 14th, 2014

    With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.

  • Even liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says that the governor’s race is over and Wendy Davis has already lost. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her national liberal donors! Let them keep tossing dollars down the hole…
  • Abbott wants to reform Texas occupational licensing schemes, noting that an EMT only requires 33 days of training, but cosmetologists and barbers require 350 days of training.
  • Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte will be having debate in September.
  • Brandon Creighton wins special election for state senate.
  • In the Texas House District 136 race (my district), Democratic challenger John Bucy claims to have raised more money than Republican incumbent Tony Dale. But that’s only true by counting Bucy’ spersonal political expenditures as contributions, contrary to state law, counting his volunteer campaign manager’s non-existent $22,018.70 “salary” as a contribution, and counting a bunch of other in-kind contributions.
  • TABC Rule Change Could Torpedo Some NRA Events

    Monday, August 11th, 2014

    NRA-ILA just sent out an alert stating that a proposed TABC rule change, ostensibly to liberalize rules regarding the presence of lawful firearms in venues that sell alcohol, could ironically have the opposite effect:

    Under the proposed changes in regulations, FONRA dinners and similar events with firearms displayed for auction or raffle could no longer be held in private venues such as hotel ballrooms if the property owner has been issued a TABC license – even if the events were dry! And if event organizers wanted to sell or serve alcohol and display firearms as prizes, they would be limited to locations “owned or leased by a governmental entity or non-profit civic, religious, charitable, fraternal, or veterans’ organization.” Governmental entities such as Travis County have recently considered banning gun shows from public facilities entirely. It’s not hard to imagine local officials using their authority or terms of contracts to limit the ability of pro-Second Amendment or pro-sportsmen’s organizations to hold fundraising events where alcohol and firearms are present – even if the event organizers signed written agreements to adhere to the new conditions and limitations being proposed by TABC.

    NRA_ILA further notes:

    even though, as mentioned earlier, these new regulations were ostensibly drafted to allow alcohol sales at gun shows, they could actually end these events as we know them – even if the promoter had NO plans to sell alcohol on-premises. In the proposed rule language, the mere fact that the event is taking place at TABC-licensed premises triggers the new restrictions, NOT whether alcohol would be sold and served during the show. Gun shows could no longer be held in a private venue that has a TABC license, period.

    Insert the usual I Am Not A Lawyer disclaimer here, but the NRA can certainly afford some of the best lawyers focused exclusively on gun rights issues, so I would take their warnings seriously. It’s probably a good time to contact your state representatives to make them aware of the issue…

    LinkSwarm for August 8, 2014

    Friday, August 8th, 2014

    Another roundup of news, a disproportionate amount from the Middle East, disproportionately bad.

  • Old and Busted: “Never again!” The New Hotness: “Genocide? Meh. Case-by-case basis.”
  • More on the ISIS campaign to wipe out the Yazidi and other religious minorities.
  • Obama says he’s authorizing air strikes “if necessary.” Even when threatening military action, Obama manages to sound wishy-washy.
  • There are conflicting reports as to weather ISIS or the Kurdish Pesh Merga hold the Mosul dam.
  • Hamas demands that Israel kick their ass some more.
  • Rick Perry: “Since September of ’08, we have seen 203,000 individuals who have illegally come into the United States — into Texas — booked in to Texas county jails…These individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.”
  • Quiz: Real Salon or Parody Salon? Difficulty: Impossible.
  • Leland Yee pleads not guilty to racketeering charges. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Won’t someone think of the poor federal employee who have nothing to do all day but spank their monkey to online porn?
  • Why did Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaim a day in honor of convicted Louisiana felon Ed Edwards?
  • It has to be said: Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fashion sense God gave a turtle. Two words: Lane Bryant.
  • Soldiers’ military kits from 1066 to 2014.
  • There’s a website dedicated to the world’s tallest men.
  • Gun and Crime Roundup for July 31, 2014

    Thursday, July 31st, 2014

    Time for another gun and crime roundup, and oh boy, is there a lot of stupid to go around this week:

  • DC Gun ruling put on hold. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • The “Everytown for Gun Safety” head of the Bloomberg hydra just made the strongest case for women owning a gun I’ve ever seen on TV. Even the women on The View said as much, which is saying something. It’s like an ad for Taco Bell promising “Rectal bleeding and serious diarrhea, guaranteed!”
  • And the inevitable video recut:

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

  • Did gun owners kill Operation Choke Point? Great news if true, but bad ideas in the Obama Administration just never seem to entirely go away… (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Doctor ignores hospitals anti-gun policy and prevents a massacre.
  • The “Moms Demand Action” head of the Bloomberg hydra protests topless in Austin. Sadly, they seem to be made up of exactly the women you don’t want to see topless. “Put it on! Put it all on!”
  • Restaurant owner puts up sign welcoming gun owners. Result? Business explodes.
  • Beretta says goodbye to Maryland and hello to Tennessee.
  • Is New York DHS offering $500 rewards to snitch on preppers? (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • DHS seize Land Rover:

    (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)

  • Police in La Joya, Texas (West of McAllen and Mission) kill gang member in shootout a mile from the Mexican border.
  • ProTip: If you break into a restaurant, don’t try to order something from that same restaurant later the same day wearing the same clotehs captured on the security camera.

  • ProTip: If you’re trying to rip off a convenience story, don’t pick the one where an MMA fighter works: