Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

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…

    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:

  • Why Black People Are Leaving Austin

    Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

    Austin’s population is growing, but its black population is actually shrinking. Orisons are sounded to the usual liberal shibboleths (“disparities in public education, a distrust of police”) before the piece starts to touch on the real issues:

    “Barriers to accessing jobs in the city’s booming technology and construction industries.” Nice job conflating two very dissimilar industries into one sentence:

  • High technology generally require high school or college degrees, something the black community notably lags behind whites and Asians.
  • Construction jobs are one of the areas where American workers (including African Americans) have been hit hardest by the influx of illegal alien labor. 30 years ago, roofers used to reflect more ethnic diversity; if Austin is any indication, 90+% of roofers today are Hispanic.
  • “The report also suggested that the city’s history of racial segregation followed by gentrification of Austin’s historically black neighborhoods contributed to the decline.”

    That word “gentrification” needs to be bolded in 24-point type.

    “East Austin’s proximity to downtown has driven up property values and taxes in the area, prompting some longtime residents to leave.”

    And how.

    For years East Austin (and by “East Austin,” generally people mean “East of 35, north of the river, west of Ed Bluestein, and south of 290″ (though the tiny subdivision just west of the old airport generally got excluded for demographic reasons), set as it was on the far side of “Apartheid 35,” was overwhelmingly poor, black and Hispanic. Apartment complexes or condos catering to students might have made a few blocks worth of inroads near campus, but that was about it. But as the city grew by leaps and bound, and every boom brought more skyscrapers downtown, canny developers and real estate agents couldn’t keep from eying all that land a literal stone’s throw across I-35, and gentrification was on.

    Now if you walk down, say, East 11th street, you’ll see far more white hipsters than black or Hispanic residents until you’re a good mile or more away from the freeway.

    Here’s historical data for all Austin housing. Notice the relentless upward trend for houses. Though I haven’t been able to find historical trending data for just East Central Austin, I believe the trend is far more pronounced there, since prices there used to be far below that of the suburbs and are now far above them.

    And as for rising taxes and property values, don’t forget this epic bit of cluelessness:

    “I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.

    “It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore.

    Yes, funny how voting for every liberal boondoggle to come down the turnpike raises one’s tax rates. But higher tax rates that may be a mild inconvenience for moneyed white liberals can be intolerable for poor black residents, who can find themselves priced and taxed out of their longtime neighborhoods.

    Those are the obvious, prosaic reasons black residents might be leaving Austin. There’s no reason to haul out the usual cast of Democratic politicians and critcal race theory grievance mongers to explain it…

    LinkSwarm for July 11, 2014

    Friday, July 11th, 2014

    More news from inside the handbasket, including the dust-up in Gaza and the illegal alien surge at the border:

  • Israel hits Gaza for a third day in retaliation for yet another round of rocket attacks. Is there really anything left to say about this that hasn’t been said before? Hamas is the elected government of Gaza, they fire rockets indiscriminately against Israeli civilians and fire them from their own civilian areas to maximize civilian damage at both ends, making them legitimate military targets under international law.
  • And speaking of rockets, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system racks up a 90% success rate. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ, who adds “Suck It 1980s Lefties”.)
  • And Hamas might be receiving taxpayer money.
  • Also speaking of rockets, in Iraq ISIS seizes control of one of Saddam’s chemical weapons sites, filled with rockets full of nerve gas agents. You know, the ones liberals swore didn’t exist in 2004…
  • Food inflation costs overwhlem wage growth.
  • Get ready for the next round of ObamaCare rate shock.
  • Scabies outbreak at the border. Well, that’s just lovely. Thanks, Obama!
  • Even Democrats think Obama should visit the border.
  • Are veterans being turned away from appointments because treating illegal aliens takes precedence? Caveat: Twitter is not a source.
  • But the Obama Administration seems to be going to great lengths to prevent lawmakers from inspecting illegal alien holding facilities.
  • “We can medically treat non-citizens in a few days, maybe even hours, but not our own veterans.”
  • Planes full of illegal aliens landing in El Paso.
  • They’re even trying to house illegal aliens in Virginia.
  • The scale of the problem:

  • Important reminder: Not all Hispanic immigrants are in favor of unlimited illegal aliens coming to the country.
  • Greg Abbott criticizes Obama. “Whether it’s on the broken VA system, or our porous border, he is all talk and no action. He’s all hat and no cattle.”
  • Airlines reduce flights to Venezuela due to cash trapped in the country by currency controls. How’s that socialism working out for ya?
  • Hillary Clinton and Adultery. Then again, maybe Hillary is one of Ashley Madison’s fake profiles.
  • Hillary’s book drops off the Amazon 100 list. Evidently there are tens of millions of Democrats who found that not buying Hard Choices was, in fact, an easy choice…
  • Public employees union AFSCME severs ties with the United negro College Fund because they took money from the Koch brothers. So it’s more important to display their hate than to help black people go to college…
  • 50 colleges now charge more than $60,000 a year to attend, and Harvard, Yale and MIT are not among them. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Evidently former Merrill Lynch chairman Stan O’Neal wants this to disappear.
  • Hope You Don’t Need to Drive Anywhere in Austin Today

    Thursday, July 10th, 2014

    Yes, it’s another Obama is fundraising in Austin day, so traffic will probably be screwed all day.

    Plan accordingly…

    Bill Powers to Step Down as UT President in June 2015

    Thursday, July 10th, 2014

    Evidently the Board of Regents accepted Bill Powers counteroffer, as he will stay on as UT President through June 2, 2015. (Previously.)

    If you’re still unclear on why Powers should go, here are ten reasons he should step down.

    UT Scandal May Pull Down President Bill Powers

    Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

    Evidently the slow-burning University of Texas admissions scandal will finally cost President Bill Powers his job. “UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has told Powers, 68, to resign before Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Regents or be fired during it.”

    I doubt Powers counteroffer to step down in 2015 will be accepted. (I do wonder what makes Houston Chronicle writer Benjamin Wermund proclaim that Powers is “widely supported by students”? Has he seen polls on Powers popularity on students? (Online petitions don’t count) I would think they would be more concerned with lowering tuition costs than support a President resisting calls to lower them.)

    Which is not to say that Powers backers are giving up. Instead, they’re lashing out at the board of regents:

    The more angry and indignant among the petition signers seem to think some organized debate about UT and its president is going forth, and that their champion is, unfairly, of course, getting the worst of it. It would be an odd thing to think. There isn’t anything like a public debate about Bill Powers going forward. There’s rancor and division — nearly all of it coming from the side that professes to despise rancor and division, the Powers side.

    The admissions scandal has been building for some time on Powers’ watch. (Nor is it the only problem under Powers.) Instead of investigating it and fixing the problem, Powers decided the best move was to have his political friends attempt to impeach regent Wallace Hall in order to quash his investigation while Powers’ supporters launched an Astroturf campaign on his behalf that’s included no end of MSM editorials praising Powers while attacking Hall and Governor Perry for daring to hold him accountable.

    The university academic complex evidently believe that they’re a special kind of hothouse flower that should be immune to all political pressure, with a right to public funding but not to public accountability. Powers has constantly resisted calls to make college more affordable, and to be more accountable to the Board of Regents who oversee his work and the state government that pays his bills.

    It seems that Powers will be the latest official to learn that pride goeth before a fall.

    I Missed Hillary’s Austin Book-Signing

    Friday, June 20th, 2014

    I couldn’t make Hillary Clinton’s signing at Bookpeople today because I have to work for a living. Plus tickets were “sold out.”

    Fortunately, someone else was able to make it to her D.C. stop: