Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Update on Certain Hidalgo County Democrats

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

You may remember back in 2012 when I reported on Democratic Party candidate for Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable Robert “Bobby” Maldonado being caught with over $1 million cash in his car’s trunk. Well, I now have a Hidalgo County guilty plea update.

But not on Maldonado. Last time I checked, he was out on a $200,000 bond.

No, I have an update on a completely different Hidalgo County Democratic Party law enforcement officer charged with money laundering.

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño, a nine-year veteran of the office and a fixture of the region’s Democratic Party, pleaded guilty on Monday to federal charges of money laundering. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas said the former lawman “received cash contributions for his election campaign from alleged drug trafficker Tomas ‘El Gallo’ Gonzalez.”

Trevino’s former chief of staff, Maria P. Medina, also plead guilty.

Also keep in mind that this was after Trevino prepared termination papers for his second in command, Jose Padilla after the feds arrested him for “marijuana smuggling and money laundering,” also reportedly in the pay of Gonzalez.

I wonder how many other shoes might drop.

Texas Attorney General (and 2014 Gubernatorial favorite) Greg Abbott penned this editorial on the topic, containing this great quote (albeit it one only tangentially related to the question of border corruption):

Conservative is not a color, it is not a race, it is not an ethnicity. It is a commitment to the idea that every American has a chance to succeed; that faith and family are foremost; that jobs and education are the best pathway to a better future; and that secure communities are a part of all that.

Gun and Crme Roundup for April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Bundy Ranch story is part of the Second Amendment story (and the Tenth Amendment story), but is too big and sprawling to unpack here. So here are some of the other things that have been happening:

  • Gun grabber Michael Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to defeat the NRA. Since every time Bloomberg opens has wallet, it seems like more Republicans win, we’ll see how long that commitment lasts…
  • But Bloomberg is sure that his Big Gulp and gun banning antics have earned him entry into the kingdom of heaven. “It’s not even close,” says he. Well, when you’re so exalted that you know the mind of God, why bother with the opinions of puny mortals?

  • “We gun owners have been utterly unreasonable and lacking in common sense for roughly 20 years. And by golly, look where it’s got us! We’ve whomped the enemies of gun rights into quivering submission.” (Hat tip: Borepatch, who offers further thoughts.)
  • Fast and Furious helped supply arms to gun trafficking rings in the U.S.
  • Connecticut: Massive non-compliance with new gun registration rules.
  • East Texas citizen terminates meth freak with gun.
  • Eric Holder wants to waste more money on smart guns.
  • A Harvard Law roundup on recent gun cases I haven’t had time to read yet. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • Beaver County, PA Sheriff has around 700 guns seized from his home for violating a court order. Guess what party he’s from? Hint: The media decline to name the party when reporting the story. (Hat tip: Ditto.)
  • Two men rape and murder four women in California while wearing GPS tracking bracelets.
  • Detroit homeowners kill seven intruders in seven weeks.
  • Dumbass in Tuscaloosa finds out once again that gun beats machete.
  • Four pro gun bills (including a preemption bill) make their way through the Arizona legislature. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • Dan Patrick Debates Julian Castro Tonight

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

    Dan Patrick will debate Julian Castro on immigration and border controls in San Antonio tonight at 6 PM. Those who wish to watch can find the livestream here.

    Texas vs. California Update for April 15, 2014

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

    Today sucks if you still have to finish your taxes. It sucks more in California than Texas, since you have to pay state income taxes as well. That includes a marginal tax rate of 9.3% for all those millionaires making more than $49,774 a year. As opposed to Texas’ marginal rate of 0.0% for all…

  • Rich Californians don’t seem to mind that their green fantasies are screwing the poor.
  • California Democrats are trying to write racial quotas into the state Constitution. Oddly enough, Asian Americans are actually objecting to their children getting screwed out of college admissions. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “A combination of unfriendly tax policies, military budget cuts and cutthroat competition is wreaking havoc on California’s storied aerospace industry, a new study cautions.” ​​More here, which notes that:

    Texas and Washington offer low corporate income tax and no personal income tax, while providing a stable business climate and skilled work force. Many high-profile corporations have relocated their operations to new states. Recent examples include Northrop Grumman, which moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia; Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, which moved its headquarters to McKinney, Texas; and Boeing, which moved two aircraft modernization programs, for the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and the B-1 bomber, from Long Beach to Oklahoma City.

  • CalPERS latest report proves conclusively that the fund spontaneously generates unicorns, rainbows and jobs. The Wall Street Journal examines the claims, wipes the vaguely yellow liquid off their legs and concludes “This political report offers one more reason why taxpayers and public workers shouldn’t trust Calpers with their money and would be better served by defined-contribution retirement plans that employees own and control.”
  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System announced it faces $73.7 billion in long-term liabilities. “CalSTRS has a $71 billion unfunded pension liability.”
  • Both CalPERS and CalSTARS are desperately in need of reform.

    The state teacher pension fund, CalSTRS, needs an extra $4.5 billion each year for 30 years to pay off its unfunded liabilities. CalPERS’ local government members will see costs increase by 50 percent during the next six years. And the state needs to contribute $1 billion more per year for retiree health care benefits.

    These obligations for benefits already earned must be paid, and over the next decade, they will continue to drain funding from essential services such as education, public safety, transportation and health care.

    Yet, powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations.

  • Why California has an affordable housing crisis.
  • Is there a way out of Taxifornia? As such a solution would require liberals to stop acting like liberals, the answer is: probably not.
  • Bell’s corrupt officials agree to plea bargain deal. Bonus: Robert “Ratso” Rizzo gets 33 months on federal tax evasion charges. (Hat tip: Dwight, who has been all over the Bell story.)
  • At least 60 companies have relocated from California to Texas. But Elk Grove, California is striking back, trying to lure Texas companies to California. “The slogan: ‘Don’t wait for high taxes and stifling regulation to come to you, end the suspense and move to California’ just doesn’t seem too appealing to me.”
  • Continuing troubles with California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Sports equipment maker MonkeySports is relocating from Corona, California to Allen, Texas, adding up to some 225 Texas jobs over two years.
  • A closer look at relocations to the Austin area.
  • Hope You Didn’t Want To Do Anything in Downtown Austin This Week

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    This week, UT’s LBJ Presidential Library is having a three-day Civil Rights Summit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For this they’ve managed to snag four different past and present U.S. Presidents:

    President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at a Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, April 10, 2014….President Obama will be joined by three former Presidents who will also deliver remarks at the Civil Rights Summit: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on April 10.

    That’s a real feather in the cap for the LBJ Library and whoever arranged the summit, but it’s likely going to mean a huge pain in the ass to anyone who wants to do something in Austin when Obama comes to town. Obama’s over-protective security detail usually bring traffic to a complete standstill wherever he goes. I don’t know his schedule, but if he comes in and leaves Thursday, expect everyplace from the airport up to about 35th street to be all bit impassable for much of the day.

    Better pack a lunch…

    Texas Statewide Race Updates for April 4, 2014

    Friday, April 4th, 2014

    My taxes and family health issues have curtailed blogging somewhat, so here are some statewide race updates, some of which stretch back to just after the primary:

  • The Weekly Standard covers the Abbott campaign.

    One Abbott supporter in Edinburg, former state representative Aaron Peña, is a Democrat-turned-Republican with strong ties to the valley. He says his fellow Hispanic Texans may vote Democratic, but they are traditionalists on cultural issues, including abortion. Davis may be popular with the liberal set in Austin, but she doesn’t offer much to Peña’s constituents, he says.

    Also this:

    Davis herself doesn’t appear to be making much effort to court the Valley vote, or any vote for that matter. She’s noticeably inconspicuous on the trail, and even friendly media have a hard time finding her.

  • Davis gives a speech in Midland to sparse attendance. “Davis showed up to an almost empty room but despite the crickets, she told me she felt comfortable.” Ouch!
  • How Davis benefited from her law firm doing government bond work while she was a state senator.
  • At least she’s changed her logo from the sinking ship, even if the new logo looks a little familiar…

  • Two Dewhurst aides quit amid campaign feuding about tactics.” This is not exactly the sign of a well-oiled campaign machine…
  • Paul Burka even goes so far as to say that Dewhurst is toast: “The reality is that Dewhurst has been politically dead since the night of the Wendy Davis filibuster, and he has no hope to retain his office. Unless something very strange happens, Dan Patrick is a lock to be the state’s next lieutenant governor.” I’d say he’s been politically dead since losing to Ted Cruz in 2012…
  • Rick Casey not only thinks Dan Patrick will win, he thinks “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be more powerful than Gov. Greg Abbott.” Agree on the first, disagree on the second, mainly because Greg Abbott is a lot more formidable than Dewhurst. It’s an interesting piece, despite making (I believe) some subtly wrong assumptions about Tea Party politics.
  • State of play piece by Ross Ramsey.

    Movement conservatives in Texas — a label that includes fiscal and social conservatives, Tea Partyers and the religious right — seem to be forming up behind Dan Patrick, a state senator running for lieutenant governor; Ken Paxton, a state senator running for attorney general; and Wayne Christian, a former state representative running for railroad commissioner. Each finished ahead of the establishment candidate in his race — in Patrick’s case, the incumbent lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst.

    Ramsey also notes money switching to conservative challengers. Plus this: “Every Republican senator has probably given some private thought to state Sen. John Carona’s loss to Donald Huffines, and that kind of private thinking often leads to changed voting patterns.”

  • Dan Patrick endorsed by Buc-ees. If they throw in free fudge, this race is so over…
  • Mike Huckabee endorses Ken Paxton. That probably means more to Huckabee than Paxton…

  • 14 Texas state house republicans ask Dan Branch to withdraw.
  • Democratic Agricultural Commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman calls marijuana farms the future of Texas.
  • Ft. Hood Shooting Followups

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    A few random followups on the Fort Hood shooting:

  • Three people remain in critical condition.
  • More on Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez, who was apparently Puerto Rican, not Mexican American as some sources erroneously asserted.
  • Lopez saw no combat in Iraq.
  • Lopez was evidently on Ambien. There’s long been persistent anecdotal evidence that several spree shooters were on similar drugs (some sources for which are more reliable than others). I’m not a chemist, pharmacist or psychiatrist, so I’m not in a position to evaluate such claims, nor to answer the chicken and egg “were they crazy before or after taking such drugs” question. But maybe it’s time for people who do know to take a closer look at the question.
  • Time to allow soldiers to carry their weapons stateside? (Warning: Autoplay.) I think you know my position…
  • U.S. Congressman Mike McCaul agrees.
  • Another Ft. Hood Shooting

    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

    Another active shooter at Fort Hood. One confirmed dead. 14 reportedly injured. (Some reports have the shooter dead of self-inflicted wounds; let’s hope so.) Early reports of two shooters are most likely erroneous (as is fairly common in these situations).

    Now is also a good time to go over Karl Rehn’s advice for what to do when faced with an active shooter.

    Update: Shooter identified as one Ivan Lopez, reportedly a soldier. (And remember folks, there’s probably more than one Ivan Lopez in Texas. Don’t break out the Jump to Conclusions mat just yet…)

    Hearing reports that now have four confirmed dead on Twitter, but haven’t seen media confirmation.

    Update 2: Blithely ignoring my own advice one paragraph up, this would seem to be Ivan Lopez’s Google+ page (“Works at 2-8 CAV/Lives in texas”) and his connected YouTube channel. What little this says about the shooter could be measured in a very small thimble.

    Update 3:

    Update 4: Four now confirmed dead, including the shooter.

    Update 5: 11 wounded, two in “extremely grave” condition.

    Update 6: Lopez evidently served four months in Iraq in 2011. “They said the gunman was taking medication and seeking help for depression and anxiety and was undergoing a diagnosis process for PTSD but hadn’t yet been diagnosed.”

    I’m far from an expert, but if it’s been two plus years since Lopez saw combat, I would think that would be ample time to make a PTSD determination or not.

    Update 7: “I don’t endorse carrying concealed weapons on base,” [Lt. Gen. Mark] Milley told reporters. “We have military police officers on base.”

    You know, general, I think we now have enough data points to conclusively prove that that policy isn’t working.

    Red States Produce Jobs, Blue States Produce the Homeless

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    Will Franklin has a detailed piece up correlating homelessness with Democratic Party rule.

    “It turns out that when it comes to mitigating homelessness, the blue state model is just as deeply flawed as the failed blue state model for job creation and economic growth.”

    Substance abuse, broken families, or mental illness– tragedies all– often drive people to homelessness, but long-term unemployment and a general lack of economic vitality play a critical role in pushing people out of their homes (and keeping them out). Indeed, when it comes to reducing homelessness caused by economic hardship, we can chalk up another win for Texas and the red state model.

    Snip.

    California, with just under 12% of the nation’s population, has 22.43% of the nation’s homeless population, giving it a homelessness quotient of 0.88. Quite high, in other words. Almost double the number of homeless people one would predict, given its population.

    Texas, which has roughly 8.2% of the nation’s population, only has 4.85% of the nation’s homeless population (meaning: Texas has a quite low homelessness quotient of -0.41).

    Read the whole thing.

    Ethnic Grievance Lobby Tries To Get Its Hooks Into SBOE

    Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

    Here’s one of those stories that buries the real news under bright, shiny affirmations of political correctness:

    Texas State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez says he’ll propose a vote to decide whether to create a statewide Mexican-American studies course at the agency’s meeting next month.

    If passed, the measure would mark a major victory for Latino education activists who have pressed for a public school curriculum more reflective of their state’s majority-Hispanic student body.

    “This is it — we’ve been inching our way to a vote,” Cortez told The Huffington Post. “Just the mere fact that we’re going to have a vote is historic.”

    The group Librotraficante, formed in 2012 to protest the banning of the Tucson Mexican-American studies program, started calling last year for the Texas SBOE to include a dual-credit Mexican-American studies course when the state agency took up the question of new course design.

    The idea appealed to Cortez, a Democrat from the Rio Grande Valley who says too many Mexican-Americans go through their public school educations without learning about the achievements of Hispanic heroes.

    Even before we start digging into the issue, there are a few problems here. First of course is the unspoken assumption that students should only identify with great Americans if they have similar skin-tones or ethnic makeups. Americans should look up to and admire George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King for their towering achievements, not because of ethnic solidarity; they’re heroes for the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

    Second, if any Texas students “go through their public school educations without learning about the achievements of Hispanic heroes,” then it’s only because Texas teachers aren’t doing their jobs. Are students no longer taught that many defenders of the Alamo (Juan Abamillo, Juan Antonio Badillo, Carlos Espalier, José María (Gregorio) Esparza, Antonio Fuentes, Andrés Nava) were ethically Hispanic, or about the career of Juan Seguín? Are they not taught that Texans were initially fighting for restoration of the more liberal Mexican Constitution of 1824?

    If so, these are indeed problems, but not ones a “statewide Mexican-American studies course” would be designed to address.

    No, the real reason Democrats want such a course can be deduced from mention of that Tucson Mexican-American studies program whose cancellation has them so upset. Just what did that course consist of?

    What is left out of traditional syllabi, of course, is the grievance and distortion. When Horne finally acquired the program materials he requested, they included texts with titles such as Occupied America and The Pedagogy of Oppression. And according to John Ward, a Tucson teacher who saw his U.S. history course coopted by the Raza Studies department, the Raza curriculum’s focus is “that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.”

    When Ward raised concerns about Raza Studies (which is part of TUSD’s larger Ethnic Studies department) he was, despite being Hispanic himself, called a racist and eventually reassigned to another course. Ward told a reporter from the Arizona Republic that by the time he left the Raza Studies class, he had observed a definite change in the students: “An angry tone. They taught them not to trust their teachers, not to trust the system. They taught them the system wasn’t worth trusting.”

    How bad was it? “Che Guevara was openly displayed on the walls and schoolchildren were taught that Benjamin Franklin was a racist.”

    “’It’s propagandizing and brainwashing that’s going on there,’ Tom Horne, Arizona’s newly elected attorney general, said this week as he officially declared the program in violation of a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1.”

    And here we see the real reason for the course: Another chance for the far-left ethnic grievance lobby to get their hooks into students and indoctrinate them in Critical Race Theory’s victimhood identity politics.

    It’s a bad idea that should be quashed. If you agree, write your state board of education representative and tell them so.