Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Ted Cruz’s Speech At The Iowa Freedom Summit

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Why yes, I am feeling a bit lazy today. Why do you ask?

Sorry for the audio buzz, but it seems to be from the event itself rather than a video artifact.

Annie’s List of Fail

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Via PushJunction comes word that Amber Mostyn (wife of rich trial lawyer Steve Mostyn) is stepping down as chair of Annie’s List. What’s Annie’s List, you ask? Essentially an attempt to do Emily’s List for Texas, i.e. elect liberal female Democrats to office.

So how did Annie’s List do in 2014? By one measure they were quite successful: They raised 18th largest amount of money of any statewide political entity in 2014, raising $1,422,009.16 and spending $1,601,945.83.

But by another, more important measure, namely winning elections…not so hot. Let’s look at the results for the candidates they endorsed

  • Wendy Davis – Candidate for Governor: Lost to Greg Abbott 2,790,227 votes (59.3%) to 1,832,254 votes (38.9%).
  • Leticia Van de Putte – Candidate for Lieutenant Governor: Lost to Dan Patrick 2,718,406 votes (58.1%), to 1,810,720 votes (38.7%).
  • Libby Willis – Candidate for Senate District 10 (Wendy Davis’s old seat): Lost to Konni Burton, 95,484 votes (52.8%) to 80,806 votes (44.7%).
  • Susan Criss – Candidate for House District 23 (Galveston Island, La Marque and Texas City): Lost to Wayne Faircloth 17,702 votes (54.6%) to 14,716 votes (45.4%).
  • Kim Gonzalez – Candidate for House District 43 (San Patricio, Jim Wells, Kleberg and Bee Counties): Lost to Jose Manuel Lozano 17,273 votes (61.4%) to 10,847 votes (38.6%).
  • Susan Motley – Candidate for House District 105 (Irving and Grand Prairie): Lost to Rodney Anderson 13,587 votes (55.4%) to 10,469 votes (42.7%).
  • Carol Donovan – Candidate for House District 107 (Dallas, Garland and Mesquite): Lost to Kenneth Sheets 16,879 votes (55%) to 13,803 votes (45%).
  • Leigh Bailey – Candidate for House District 108 (Dan Branch’s old district): Lost to Morgan Meyer, 24,953 votes (60.7%) to 16,170 votes (39.3%).
  • Celia Israel – Candidate for House District 50 (Austin, Pflugerville and Wells Branch): The lone bright spot among their endorsed candidates, she Won, beating Mike VanDeWalle 22,651 votes (58.7%) to 14,339 votes (37.1%). This is the district Democratic incumbent Mark Strama left to run Google Fiber Austin.
  • So Annie’s List racked up a winning percentage of .111 for the races they publicly supported, which is pretty far below the Mendoza Line, and their lone win came for a seat Democrats already held. Going through Annie’s List campaign reports for 2013-2014 (more about which anon) shows two other campaigns they backed at some point in the cycle:

  • Incumbent Mary Ann Perez’s campaign to retain House District 144 (Southeast suburban Houston area near the chip channel). She Lost to Gilbert Pena, 6,009 votes (50.7%) to 5,854 votes (49.3%). Maybe because it wasn’t a “new” endorsement, they didn’t do as much for Perez, but at just over 150 vote difference between the two candidates, this is one of the few races where additional support could have made a difference.
  • Incumbent Toni Rose’s successful attempt to win the Democratic Primary for House District 110, a 90% black southeast Dallas district that drew no Republican candidate in the 2014 general election.
  • One wonders how long Annie’s pale, middle-aged, female leadership can keep raising money with such poor results.

    For the sake of completeness, and providing a “one stop shop” for information about Annie’s List, here’s their official filing information via the Texas State Ethics Commission:

    POLITICAL COMMITTEE INFORMATION
    Annie’s List
    Account: 00053715
    Committee Type: General Purpose
    Files Reports: Semi-Annually
    8146-A Ceberry Drive
    Austin, TX 78759

    TREASURER INFORMATION
    Pinnelli, Janis W.
    P.O. Box 50038
    Austin, TX 78763
    (512) 478-4487

    And here are their electronic filings covering the 2013 to 2014 fundraising period:

  • October 27th, 2014
  • October 6th, 2014
  • July 15th, 2014 (semiannual)
  • May 19th, 2014 (runoff report; see how many times “The Mostyn Law Firm” appears in that list…)
  • February 25th, 2014 (very brief)
  • February 3rd, 2014
  • January 15th, 2014 (corrected semiannual report; uncorrected version omitted)
  • July 15th, 2013 (semiannual; another report where “The Mostyn Law Firm” makes many an appearance)
  • January 15th, 2013
  • Beyond Mostyn and Lisa Blue Baron, some of the names who gave significant amounts to Annie’s List include Obama bundler Naomi Aberly, Lee and Amy Fikes, and Serena Connelly, the daughter of late billionaire businessman Harold Simmons. So your usual batch of rich left-wing pro-abortion feminists. Fortunately for Texas, the state’s voters seem actively hostile to precisely the message they seek to push…

    More Inside Dirt on Battleground Texas’ Spectacular Failure

    Friday, January 2nd, 2015

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Liberal elitists confidently sweep into a new situation, arrogantly tell everyone they’re in charge, refuse to listen to advice, alienate all those around them, and make a gigantic hash of everything, worsening the problem they sought to “solve.”

    That could be a description of, well, just about everything the Obama Administration has done in the last six years, but in this case it’s a description of Battleground Texas’s spectacular failure in the 2014 elections from the left-wing Texas Observer.

    “Battleground was opaque in its dealings, shied from making firm commitments, negotiated with a heavy hand and was coy about its long-term goals.” Hmm, that sounds strangely familiar…

    Like a plane crash or an industrial accident, many things small and large had to go wrong to produce the dismal results on Nov. 4. The Davis campaign’s effort was bungled from the get-go, and it was certainly a bad year for Democrats nationally. But neither of these fully explain the scale of 2014’s loss. The most serious failing of the Democratic coalition this year was its inability to mobilize and turn out voters, a responsibility that fell largely to Battleground.

    As dozens of conversations with individuals associated with the party, local Democratic groups, campaigns and other progressive organizations make clear, Battleground Texas had a major part—though definitely not the only one—in contributing to Democrats’ terrible showing in November. The group, they argue, made critical and avoidable mistakes that cost candidates up and down the ticket.

    Snip.

    The models, the party staffers say, seemed to treat Bill White’s performance in 2010 as a floor, beyond which Davis could improve—failing to recognize that it had taken a lot of money and effort to reach White’s level.

    So in some parts of the state, Battleground volunteers spent time combing white suburban neighborhoods for “crossover” voters—soft Republicans and independents—while neighborhoods rich with potential Democratic votes went underworked.

    Snip.

    Battleground had a peculiarly fraught relationship with many county parties around the state. A huge number of Democratic voters live in the state’s 15 largest counties, so local parties are major footsoldiers of the Democratic effort, representing the permanent party infrastructure in Texas’ largest cities. Forging close cooperative relationships with them should have been a no-brainer, but Battleground wanted to dictate the terms of the relationship.

    Battleground tried to get county parties to sign formal working agreements, according to four individuals familiar with the negotiations, which included policies regarding data and sharing of volunteer resources. The common perception was that Battleground asked for far too much, and didn’t offer enough in return.

    The Travis County Democratic Party signed a contract, which worked more or less acceptably, according to both sides. It’s unknown how many others did. The fact that Travis County had signed such an agreement with Battleground was well known in other parts of the state, according to three local party officials, but Battleground refused to share details of the agreement with other county parties—presumably under the belief that it would weaken their negotiating position. One county party leader describes it as a “divide-and-conquer” approach: another, as an attempt to “annex” local party groups.

    Snip.

    In largely Hispanic Nueces County, home to Corpus Christi, Republicans swept every contested race in an area that should be fertile ground for Democrats. One of the problems, local organizers say, was that the coalition didn’t spend enough time mobilizing Democratic base voters early on.

    The Nueces County Democratic Party struggled to build a relationship with Battleground, which didn’t know how to talk to Hispanic voters and was reluctant to use volunteers to support Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Leticia Van de Putte, says former Corpus Christi state Rep. Solomon “Solly” Ortiz Jr. When Battleground and the state party tried to compensate late in the game by running their own voter canvasses, they ended up unnecessarily duplicating each other’s efforts. “It was just a clusterfuck, man,” Ortiz says.

    Snip.

    Another ongoing dispute involves what may be Battleground’s greatest asset: the 34,000 Texans who have volunteered for the group since its inception. Even critics acknowledge that the scale of Battleground’s volunteer operation was impressive, and could prove helpful to future Democratic campaigns. Many who critique the group emphasize their appreciation and respect for the volunteers.

    But some Texas Democrats were operating under the belief that the list of volunteers would be shared with the party after the election. Their thinking is that the volunteer base should be a sort of communal property. Volunteers are the lifeblood of campaigns: Money can make campaigns viable, and data can inform strategy, but it’s volunteers who go out to walk blocks, make calls and keep people excited.

    Senior staffers with Battleground say that was never in the cards, that it would be virtually unprecedented to give away that kind of asset. The volunteers help give Battleground continued influence in the state—they are the group’s future.

    For all the talk of Hispanics being the key to turning Texas blue, Battleground Texas seemed distinctly uncomfortable reaching out to them.

    All in all, the piece offers a rich buffet of failure, and I’ve only skimmed some of the highlights here.

    So given the obvious and extensive dysfunction evident in 2014′s spectacular flameout, you’d think Battleground Texas’ backers would try something else.

    You’d be wrong.

    In the end, whether the group stays or folds comes down to one factor: money. Battleground’s operation, when in full gear, is extraordinarily expensive to run. The group’s most important financial backer is Steve Mostyn, the Houston lawyer. He has, according to those who know him, a great antipathy toward the Democratic Party itself. After the election, he pledged that he’d stick with Battleground.

    “I’m the guy who’s got the most money in it and I’m the one writing the checks,” Mostyn told the Houston Chronicle, “and I’m telling you I think it’s working.”

    He who calls the piper pays the tune. Presumably Battleground Texas will do precisely what one wealthy trial lawyer wants them to do, no matter what other Texas Democrats think.

    A growing number of Texas Democrats are worried that Battleground is getting ready to use its Texas volunteer base to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign nationally. Top Texas Democrats say Jenn Brown, Battleground’s executive director, has privately admitted that she sees Texas as an “export” state in 2016—meaning that the state’s money and volunteers would be best put to work elsewhere. Attempts to contact Brown through the group were unsuccessful. Sackin, Battleground’s spokesperson, told the Observer that “Battleground Texas was created specifically to keep resources in Texas—so that people didn’t feel like they have to leave Texas to volunteer or donate to make a difference. We’ve been saying that since we were founded, that’s why we were founded, and that hasn’t changed.”

    Bird, the group’s founder, and wealthy Houston attorney Steve Mostyn, the group’s most important financial backer, are prominent members of the leadership team of the Ready for Hillary Super PAC. If Battleground involves itself in a contested Democratic presidential primary, it could arouse indignation here, where not everyone has jumped on the Clinton bandwagon.

    But if Battleground Texas uses its volunteers to support Clinton’s campaign in other states during the general election, lot of Texas Democrats would be downright furious.

    So Battleground Texas is going to treat Texas Democrats the way Democrats treat taxpayers: As a pinata to bash and extract the goodies from.

    I wonder if Texas Democrats have other plans…

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    Wendy Davis Admits She Was Lying About Open Carry

    Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

    Granted, that’s not what the headline says. But we all know that’s what she means.

    Sen. Wendy Davis said in a Monday interview with the Express-News that she opposes allowing the open carry of handguns and that she wishes she had a do-over on the support she expressed for the idea in her ill-fated run for governor.

    Everyone who saw Davis embrace open carry knew she was lying. Everyone, supporters and opponents alike, saw her clumsy, ham-handed lie for exactly what it was: blatant political pandering, and a left-wing media darling’s laughable attempt to move to the center to run statewide in Texas. Indeed, it was so blatant that it probably did more harm than good, helping reaffirm Davis’ reputation for dishonesty.

    So transparent was the lie you wonder why she even bothered. It’s also a mystery why she’s offering up a mea culpa for it just now. I suspect she may be trying to snag a job with a Democratic Party house organ like Media Matters or MSNBC.

    Davis admission reaffirms a basic political truth: there’s no such thing as a pro-gun Democrat. When push comes to shove, they’ll betray gun owners whenever the Party demands them to…

    LinkSwarm for December 19, 2014

    Friday, December 19th, 2014

    I trust everyone reading this has already heard about Sony Picture’s spinelessness in cancelling their release of The Interview, and Paramount’s even more-spineless refusal to allow theaters to show Team America: World Police in its place. This would be good reason to avoid paying for any Sony or Paramount products any time in the near future. And Cuba is a topic for another time. So here’s a quick look at the rest of what’s been happening the week before Christmas:

  • Obama’s taunting political opponents over how impossible it will be to overturn his illegal alien amnesty actually increases the chances it will be overturned.
  • Vermont can’t afford to pay for its socialist health care system.
  • Voters “prefer dysfunction to the alternative scenario of Democrats running both the White House and Congress.”
  • Democrats accept bribes to oppose Voter ID laws. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • It may be too late for investor’s to move money out of Russia in the wake of the ruble’s collapse, mainly because they already have.
  • Here are eight campus rape hoaxes that bear remarkable similarities to the Rolling Stone UVA rape hoax.
  • Was the entire hoax fabricated because one of “Jackie”‘s friends rebuffed her romantic overtures?
  • And the entire sad affair seems to have moved into farce now that it appears “Jackie” actually copied a Dawson’s Creek script for some of her catfishing.
  • The “campus rape epidemic” is “a male demonizing Gothic fantasy nurtured by several decades of hardline feminist theory”:

  • Meanwhile, in the real rape culture, the Islamic State hands out brochures on how jihadists are allowed to rape prepubescent girls.
  • The ex-wife of the Sydney gunman sought refugee in the U.S. right before she was murdered. “He was abusing her, having her wear the hijab, did not want her to talk with anybody.”
  • Executive director out at Texas Democratic Party.” Really? After such a swell job? (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Amongst the Wikipedia editors.

    I am not exaggerating when I say it is the closest thing to Kafka’s The Trial I have ever witnessed, with editors and administrators giving conflicting and confusing advice, complaints getting “boomeranged” onto complainants who then face disciplinary action for complaining, and very little consistency in the standards applied. In my short time there, I repeatedly observed editors lawyering an issue with acronyms, only to turn around and declare “Ignore all rules!” when faced with the same rules used against them.

  • Pro-gun control Austin City Council candidate defeated.
  • Wonder why so many UT insiders went after Wallace Hall when it was obvious Hall was right? Maybe it’s because they’re involved in the scandal up to their eyeballs. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle has suffered a strike. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • Democrats Hate the South, And The South Hates Them Right Back

    Monday, December 8th, 2014

    With the defeat of Mary Landrieu, the Democratic Party no longer has a single national office holder anywhere in the South. In fact, with South Carolina re-electing Tim Scott, “there are now more black Republicans than white Democrats from the Deep South.”

    Moe Lane says we shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events:

    It’s not demographics, and it’s certainly not gerrymandering, and shoot, it’s not even Barack Obama. It’s that the people who run the Democratic party [expletive deleted] hate the South.

    And Southerners have noticed. It really does astound me that the national Democratic apparatus apparently thought that they could defecate on an entire section of the country for fifty years and still get that section to vote for them at the end of it.

    And least you think that Lane is exaggerating liberal contempt for the South, along comes Michael Tomasky to provide an outstanding example of what Lane was talking about.

    Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)

    With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise.

    And there’s your window into the Democratic Party’s id. The most economically dynamic part of the country is a “Fetid Free Market Jesus Paradise.” Tomasky has some advice for the Democratic Party: “At the congressional level, and from there on down, the Democrats should just forget about the place. They should make no effort, except under extraordinary circumstances, to field competitive candidates. The national committees shouldn’t spend a red cent down there.”

    I heartily endorse this strategy for the Democratic Party (with the exception that they should continue to pour money down the rathole that is Battleground Texas). Because what could possibly go wrong with that strategy? Besides Republicans making significant inroads among Hispanic and black voters in those states?

    It’s also revealing that Tomasky quotes (approvingly) that Democrats are “not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.” Well, good thing only 73% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. And unremitting hostility to gun ownership hasn’t exactly been a surefire electoral winner for Democrats…

    It’s not just national-level Democrats either. The Statesman notes that there will be only seven “non-Hispanic white Democrats in the Texas House and Senate when the 84th session of the Legislature convenes in January.” That piece also notes that “In 1983, white Democrats held 21 of the 31 state Senate seats and 85 of the 150 House seats.”

    In this really interesting interview with former Texas GOP chair Wayne Thorburn about his book Red State: An Insider’s Story of How the GOP Came to Dominate Texas Politics (which I’m going to have to pick up), he talks about how liberal Democrats actively drove conservatives out of their own party so they could take control of it:

    Q The most ironic part about “Red State” for me is how Democratic liberals actually encouraged their followers to vote Republican as a way of driving conservatives out of their own party. That doesn’t appear to have been too smart in the long run.

    A For many years beginning in the 1940s Texas politics consisted of contests between conservatives and liberals in the Democratic primary. The more ideologically committed liberals saw themselves as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” meaning that they were more in line with the northern wing in control of the national party. To gain control of the Texas party they needed to drive conservatives out of the Democratic primary, something that could be done only if the Republicans were a viable alternative. Thus, some prominent liberals endorsed a GOP candidate when the Democrats had nominated a conservative. This pattern began with John Tower in 1961 and continued on to include George H.W. Bush when he ran against Lloyd Bentsen for the U.S. Senate in 1970. Two old sayings come to mind: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and “Be careful what you wish for.” The liberals succeeded in gaining control of the Democratic Party by 1976 when the contest between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford drew nearly a half-million voters into the GOP primary. Two years later in 1978 their candidate knocked off Gov. Dolph Briscoe in the Democratic primary. The result of that, however, was the election of William P. Clements as the first Republican governor in 104 years. What the liberals failed to recognize was that most Texans were conservatives and to them ideology trumped party tradition and loyalty. As the Texas Democratic Party became more clearly liberal, the Republican Party was seen as the only conservative alternative in the state.

    In short, it was the intolerance of liberal Democrats that drove voters away and turned Democrats into what Instapundit has dubbed “a dying regional party”…

    Postscript: Actually, that first link says there are no more white Democrats holding office in the Deep South, however they define that. But there are still two white Democrats in the U.S. House from Texas: Lloyd Doggett and Beto O’Rourke, both of whom (I think) represent majority minority districts.

    LinkSwarm for December 5, 2014

    Friday, December 5th, 2014

    Let’s jump into it:

  • IRS cites taxpayer confidentiality in defying a federal judge by refusing to hand over documents showing it violated taxpayer confidentiality by sharing that information with the White House.
  • By 2020, some 90% of Americans will be forced onto ObamaCare exchanges.
  • So left-wing stalwart magazine The New Republic just let several long-time editors go, reduced their publishing schedule from 20 issues a year to 10, and put a former Gawker-person in charge as editor, which is just short of putting up a sign reading “Dead Magazine Walking.” John Podhoretz traces their decline to the age of Obama:

    I think the answer is that there never was any Obamaism to champion; there was no serious vision of America and the world being laid out by the administration that provided fertile ground out for intellectual cultivation, for voices on the outside to make sense of that serious vision and help it cohere into an argument. (In the 1980s, ironically, it was the New Republic‘s own Charles Krauthammer who did just that in explicating the “Reagan Doctrine,” though even more ironically, he did it in the pages of Time Magazine rather than in TNR.)

    What there was, instead, was the increasing reliance on the cheap-shottery of the Internet era—in which TNR and others were driven more by a kind of grinding loathing of the Right than by an effort to create a more effective and serious Center-Left. The magazine foundered because liberals foundered, because Obamaism was a cult of personality that demanded fealty rather than a philosophy that demanded explication.

    Also: I was unaware that The Weekly Standard had twice the circulation of The New Republic. And you should check out the rest of that piece, not least for the perfect title…

  • And speaking of Podhoretz, his New York Post piece on why Hillary’s supposed cakewalk to the Democratic nomination is a sign of party weakness is well worth reading: “Hillary Clinton has no natural claim to her party’s nomination. She’s not even an especially gifted politician. Aside from the spectacular incompetence of her 2008 campaign, she is as gaffe-prone as Dan Quayle and as awkward as Bob Dole.”
  • For the left, the truth no longer matters. “For the Left, this is all tribal, white hats vs. black hats. Fraternity members and police officers are, in their view, by definition on the wrong side of every dispute.”
  • Mary Landrieu isn’t just going to get beat in Saturday’s runoff, she’s primed to get slaughtered, trailing in the latest polls by 24 points.
  • European “austerity” isn’t.
  • The European economic crisis has gotten so bad that traditional left-wing and right-wing parties are thinking of teaming up to thwart newly ascendent Euroskeptic parties.
  • Fracking is kicking Putin’s ass. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Battles with jihadists kill 20 in Chechan capital of Grozny. I guess December is rerun season in Russia as well…
  • Wisconsin might be getting ready to pass right-to-work legislation. Hey Wisconsin unions: How’d that whole “recall” thing work out for you? “You come at the king, you best not miss.”
  • Evidently teenage boys have too many cooties to be taken in at the Salvation Army. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How PBS lied about Ferguson.
  • The Rolling Stone story of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity continues to unravel. If there was an actual gang rape, the perpetrators should be arrested and tried. If not, Rolling Stone has some editorial house-cleaning to perform…
  • Breitbart demolishes Lena Dunham’s “raped by a Republican” story. Plus this nugget from a liberal college administrator “‘Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant,’ Ms. Hess proclaimed. ‘It’s just not important if they are telling the truth.’”
  • On the same theme:

  • Andrew Klavan on #GamerGate and the immense gozangas on display in Soul Caliber. Nice shirt! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • The UK announced they’re finally going to pay off their World War I debt. Governments come and go, but sovereign debt is almost immortal…
  • Another day, another 36 people killed by jihadists in Kenya.
  • In Denmark, “27 percent of male descendant of immigrants from non-Western countries aged 20-24 years were convicted of an offense in 2013.”
  • Shakespeare First Folio found.
  • Newly discovered Ayn Rand novel to be published.
  • And speaking of Rand, her longtime disciple/lover Nathaniel Branden died at age 84. I’m sure he would be deeply offended at the suggestion he’s gone on to the afterlife…
  • Detroit man steals ambulance to go to a topless bar.
  • I have no joke here, I just like typing Vegan Strip Club Riot.
  • LinkSwarm for November 28, 2014

    Friday, November 28th, 2014

    Here’s a small LinkSwarm to tide you over for Black Friday:

  • 62% of voters oppose Obama’s illegal alien amnesty.
  • Barack Obama: Troll in Chief.
  • “If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.”

    The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

  • “The group toward whom [Obama]‘s shown the greatest contempt, however, is low-skilled American workers, particularly blacks.”
  • “At what point do we stop enabling the grievance industry to override our core constitutional protections?”
  • Did Obama prevent Missouri from deploying the National Guard to prevent Ferguson rioting?
  • Communist agitators stirring up a civil rights protest sounds like a bad ‘60s flashback, but that’s just what happened last week in Ferguson.”
  • Jim Webb’s career show’s how badly Democrats have been hollowed-up in the Obama era:

    Consider: There will be only five red-state Senate Democrats left in the next Congress if, as expected, Sen. Mary Landrieu is defeated in next month’s runoff. Even more striking, there will be only five House Democrats left representing districts that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. The once-influential Blue Dog Caucus of fiscally hawkish Democrats is all but extinct. Republicans now boast twice as many blue-state senators (10) and five times as many blue-district representatives (25) than their Democratic counterparts in red territory.

    While lots of ink has been spilled charting the GOP’s drift rightward, the Democratic Party’s move toward ideological homogeneity has been shorter and swifter.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit, who notes “The Democratic Party has become an aging, regional party with a diversity problem.”)

  • It’s not that the Vietnamese communist leadership is good, it’s just less bad than all the other communist leaderships.
  • Ann Althouse is right: They really did choose a superbly illustrative picture for this Chuck Hagel resignation piece.
  • Only 50% of climate scientists think climate change is human induced.
  • Who should be Secretary of Defense? “America needs Dick Cheney. Now more than ever.”
  • You could read this Penny Arcade as a parable about Islam. Or trusting Obama.
  • 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.
  • 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…