Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has dropped out of the 2016 Presidential race. While Jindal is much more qualified to be President than Donald Trump or Carly Fiorina, he was always a longshot, He exceeded expectations in that he outlasted Scott Walker and Rick Perry, but he never managed to gain any traction.
Posts Tagged ‘Elections’
“Longtime Rio Grande Valley Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D-Mercedes) is not seeking re-election in 2016.”
Rio Grande Valley is the Democratic Party’s last stronghold outside a few urban cores. The Texas 15th Congressional District runs in a strip from the valley up to near San Antonio. The district was formerly held by John Nance Garner and Lloyd Bentsen, and has never elected a Republican. It’s an 80% Hispanic district.
A 2016 pickup target for Republicans? I think they’ll take a run at it, but it’s a tough nut to crack. Hinojosa won in 2014 with a solid, but not overwhelming, 54% of the vote, but garnered 61% in 2012’s Presidential election year. I could see Republicans sneaking a win if everything broke just right (having Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio on top of the ticket wouldn’t hurt), but this probably only takes it from Solid D to Leans D.
One of the more surprising results from last week’s election was Austin voters defeated a courthouse bond package.
Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman, who led the opposition to the courthouse project, said the last-minute defeat of the bonds was an “absolute stunning result.”
“The corporate downtown special interest lobby spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this,” he said. His anti-courthouse campaign through the Travis County Taxpayers Union barely spent anything, he said. “I think a lot of people heard that and said, ‘Well why are hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent if it’s such a good idea?’”
He said part of the reason the bonds were rejected is that Austin-area voters are increasingly concerned about affordability and increasingly loathe to support tax increases.
Because I live outside the city limits and in Williamson County, I was only vaguely aware of the Courthouse bond issue. As long as I’ve been in the Austin area, I can’t recall another bond issue going down in flames like this one. Could the People’s Republic of Austin finally have had enough of tax increases?
“It is not that complicated,” said local attorney Mark Pulliam. “Travis County homeowners are sick of property tax increases.”
“Only pompous, out-of-touch downtown lawyers — like those who belong to the Austin Bar Association — would think that a 14-story high-rise costing more than The Austonian, and almost as much as the just-completed JW Marriott, the largest in the North America, made sense,” he told Watchdog.org.
The Watchdog piece suggests that the long overdue move to single City Council districts may have been a factor in defeating the bond issue.
Also, Travis County suburbs may finally have become populous enough to balance out the liberal central city for county elections like this one. Indeed, that’s what this map suggests.
Here’s my breakdown of the Constitutional Amendments on the ballot. Plus possible local races, like Houston’s tranny bathrooms ordinance.
Ted Cruz hits one out of the park at the latest GOP debate by slamming the MSM’s promotion of trivia over substance:
Frank Luntz (insert grain of salt caution here) says the line received the biggest positive response of any debate line since he started polling focus groups in 1996…
This seems to be a week for cracks in the EU’s facade of democratic unity to start appearing all over the place. First Portugal finds out that they’re not allowed to have democracy when it conflicts with EU mandates, and now Polish elections have thrown a spanner into the works.
The Law and Justice Party has won 38% of the vote, and looks to have won enough seats (232 seats out of 460) to form a parliamentary majority without including any other party, marking the first time since Democracy was restored in 1989 that no left-wing party will have a role in the ruling government. Law and Justice is described as “Euroskeptic” and “Right Wing” because it opposes the EU’s current pro-Muslim immigration policies and seeks closer ties to the U.S. (among other reasons), but is also “promising to raise the minimum wage and increase welfare spending,” which is hardly a “right wing” (or smart) policy.
But the area where Law and Justice could have the biggest influence is in wrecking the EU’s global warming policies. “Law & Justice generally opposes wind and solar energy and favors an energy policy that emphasizes tariffs targeted at Russian natural gas.” Poland also generates 90% of their electricity from coal, which bodes ill for meeting the EU target of 27% “green” energy by 2030.
Law and Justice is also markedly more wary of Germany, and less willing to appease Russia, than their centrist Civic Platform predecessors, almost as if they had some sorts of historical reasons for their views.
One wonders where the next EU crack will appear…
Portugal has decided that EU economic mandates trump that pesky Democracy:
Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.
He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.
I’m not entirely unsympathetic to Silva’s plight. As in Greece, the anti-austerity movement is an economically illiterate coalition of looters who insist that the welfare state gravy train can never come to an end, ever, even when the country is dead broke. (Though note that author Ambrose Evans-Pritchard never once mentions “welfare state” in his piece.) Remember that Portugal has never practiced real austerity (cutting budget outlays to match receipts), never once having balanced its budget in the last decade. And if the commies (who are, thankfully, only a minority coalition partner) had actually promised to set up a dictatorship of the proletariat, I’d be cheering Silva’s intransigence.
But Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. If Portugal thinks they can take cues from Greece’s anti-austerity tantrum and somehow not get slapped down just as hard, let them try. And in fact the leftwing’s coalition’s promises “to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro” are entirely rational and in Portugal’s self-interest.
The EU has always been an explicitly antidemocratic union, one designed to prevent mere voters from overruling their bureaucratic betters. The fact that this time they’re opposed by idiots who think they can keep voting themselves goodies from other people’s wallets doesn’t change the problem of the EU’s deficit of democracy.
Two of modern Europe’s central foundations (a monetary union and a cradle-to-grave welfare state) are not only unsustainable, they are incompatible with each other, and corrosive to both stability and democracy. And the EU leaders have no idea what to do about it.