Posts Tagged ‘Erica Grieder’

That “Cruz Adultery” Story is Ludicrous

Friday, March 25th, 2016

It looks like someone in Donald Trump’s orbit fed the National Enquirer a Ted Cruz adultery story originally peddled by Marco Rubio allies.

The story is pretty much laughable, not only for the fact that it’s deeply out of character, but also that it strikes me as logistically impossible.

Has no one ever seen Ted Cruz work on the campaign trail? The man’s a campaigning machine with a grueling schedule that would kill lesser mortals. When the hell is Cruz supposed to find time to have an affair? When on earth is he supposed to find time for one mistress, let alone five?

It’s almost as ludicrous a theory as Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls never being shot dead and secretly collaborating on a comeback album with Joe Biden.

Edited to add: Texas Monthly editor Erica Grieder finds the story as ludicrous as I do.

More Analysis of the Iowa Caucuses

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

here are a few of the more interesting pieces pieces of Iowa analysis, along with a dollop of general Presidential Race news):

  • How Ted Cruz won Iowa.
  • Texas Monthly‘s Erica Grieder offers up a field guide to Ted Cruz for her fellow reporters. Including such nuggets as “Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist” (this is true; I’ve never once seen him breath fire) and “Cruz is smarter than us” (which is undoubtedly true for the vast majority of reporters covering him). While I have some quibbles here and there, the piece is well worth reading, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Cruz. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • More: “What they’re failing to perceive is that such an effort reinforced Cruz’s claim that he will work for the people. Trump has been making the same claim, and a lot of people believe him. But in Iowa, at least, Cruz had a chance to show the people that he meant it. That’s what clinched the caucus.”
  • “Cruz won Iowa the old-fashioned way: He earned it.”
  • 13 Quick Takeaways From The Iowa Caucuses. Including the fact that Hillary is a horrible candidate, and the media is far more obsessed with a Republican populist candidate that got 25% of the vote than the Democratic populist candidate that got 50%.
  • Cruz’s 51,000 votes were the most ever for a Republican in the Iowa caucus.
  • “The reason why we were reluctant to tip Cruz as the likely winner, however, was because we were all suckered by The Donald’s hype.”
  • Cruz 1, Ethanol Lobby 0.
  • Hillary Did Not Win Last Night.”
  • How Sanders caught fire in Iowa.
  • “Between the turnout and the result, Iowa’s caucuses provide an early indicator that Republicans are more excited and Democrats less enthusiastic than usual about 2016.”
  • Ace asks where were all those new voters Trump was supposed to bring in?
  • Frank Luntz says that Jeb Bush’s $100 million worth of anti-Rubio ads hurt Bush more than Rubio.
  • Rand Paul drops out.
  • Cruz gets endorsed by South Carolina congressman Jeff Duncan.
  • Grappling With the Texas State Budget

    Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

    There seems to be some confusion over Texas Public Policy Foundation numbers for Texas budget estimates. Take, for example, this post by Erica Grieder. (She seems to be sharing space on Burkablog with the titular liberal fossil; I’m going to assume it’s a Sith-apprentice sort of thing…) She accuses TPPF of walking back their estimate of a 26% increase back to a more modest 9% increase.

    The problem is she’s comparing apples to oranges by comparing their numbers for the amount appropriated by the legislature, which increased by some 26% between biennium, as opposed to the total amount spent, which increased by a far more modest 9%.

    Here’s a chart:

    Here’s an in-depth report by Talmadge Heflin, Vance Ginn, and Bill Peacock that explains it in more detail, including such budget arcana as “backfilling” and “patient income funds.”

    Here’s a table containing the actual numbers. Remember that there are multiple line items that don’t get included in the “official” legislative budget document.

    Here’s an editorial by Heflin and Arlene Wohlgemuth explaining it further.

    Now, I do have one criticism of TPPF: All those documents I linked separately above should be boiled down into a single document. Flannery O’Conner once said “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind, you draw large and startling figures.” To which I add “For members of the press, you put key information in the front of the document is visual form so even the skimmers can comprehend it.” Asking some members of the press to look in four places for key information is simply asking too much of them. Especially if there’s drinking to be done, or interviewing another liberal interest group for pull quotes about the perfidious evil of Republicans.

    Ideally there should be a spreadsheet or table near the front of that document with columns showing information just the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 Bienniums and the % change between them with the following rows of information:

  • Amount appropriated by the legislature
  • Amount actually spent by Texas government for same period
  • Difference between the two
  • Backfilling
  • Patient Income
  • Rainy-Day Fund drawdown (if any)
  • Any other off-budget spending
  • State Revenue
  • Federal Revenue
  • That sort of thing would go a long way toward clarifying state budget expenditures for people who would otherwise protest that they told there would be no math.