Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Breaking: John Wiley Price Arrested

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Dallas County Commissioner and longtime influential Dallas black politician John Wiley Price has been arrested:

Price was under arrest, charged with eleven counts of bribery, mail fraud, and tax fraud.

His life, and his image, had permanently changed.

“All told, Commissioner Price took in more than $1.1 million that he did not report to the proper authorities,” said Sarah Saldana, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

“Mr. Price allegedly defrauded the citizens of Dallas County, the state of Texas, and the federal government,” said Diego Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Dallas.

Kathy Nealy, a Dallas political consultant and long-time associate of Price, was prominent in the indictment. The charges allege she paid Price to sway votes before the Dallas County Commissioners.

“At the same time, Ms. Nealy was paying bribes to Commissioner Price, she actively evaded nearly $600,000 in income tax, which she admittedly owes,” Saldana said.

Between them, Price and Nealy face 16 counts of bribery, mail and tax fraud.

The FBI has been investigating Price for more than three years.

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…

    Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

    First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

    Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

    Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

    Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

    Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

    One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

    The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

    Also this:

    It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

    That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

    And the general election is four months away…

    Texas vs. California Update for July 16, 2014

    Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

    Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:

  • Former Calpers CEO Pleads Guilty to Corruption Conspiracy.
  • As part of his plea, Fred Buenrostro also agreed to testify to testify against his friend and former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos. Sing, canary, sing!
  • How CalPERs corrupts California politics.
  • Jobs are leaving California and coming to Texas.
  • Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation approach favors job creation.
  • How Texas compares to both California and New York.
  • Why California’s high speed rail boondoggle is still doomed.
  • Stockton’s bankruptcy judge may declare that CalPERS is just another creditor.
  • Bell City Councilman sentenced.
  • “Greg Abbott Shatters Record, Reports $35.59 Million Cash on Hand for Campaign”

    Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

    That’s the title of the press release the Abbott campaign just sent out. Details from that release:

  • $35.59 million cash on hand for the fundraising period ending on June 30th – the highest cash on hand amount ever reported by a Texas candidate.
  • Since January 1st of this year, Texans for Greg Abbott has raised $16.6 million.
  • For the current reporting period running from February 23rd-June 30th, Abbott reported raising $11.1 million.
  • Greg Abbott’s fundraising is coming from Texas: 95 percent of Abbott’s contributions came from within the state.
  • That last line is a direct jab at Wendy Davis’ Hollywood fundraising trips. The farther she goes from Texas, the more they like her…

    The fat lady isn’t just warming up, she’s already striding out on stage in full Valkyrie gear…

    Gun Roundup for July 15, 2014

    Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

    Been a while since I did a roundup on gun news, so here’s the latest, including an epic mugshot:

  • Home Invasion ProTip: Don’t try exchanging fire with deputies if all you have is a BB gun. And why would you assault a homeowner rather than the criminal who did your hair and makeup?

    What is that, some incompetent Wolverine/Rocket Raccoon combination cosplay?

    Evidently toy guns are something of a thing with him

  • Legal, schmegal: FDA arrest legal Washington State pot user for owning legal guns. “California and Washington, where medical marijuana has been legal for years, have the highest number of federal raids and prosecutions among the 23 states that allow use of medical marijuana.” Caveat toker… (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • What really happens when trained civilians use guns in self-defense. (Hat tip: KR Training.)
  • Nurse Bloomberg says those redneck freaks of Jesusland in Colorado who recalled two of his gun-control pushing darling are so poor and rural “I don’t think there’s roads.” This is no doubt a great surprise to the residents of Colorado Springs and Pueblo… (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • “The lesson here is that there are no Anti-Gun “Groups.” There is only one group. They are all the same people. No matter what name they have in their electronic letterhead, it’s the same very few people.”
  • It takes a pretty bold criminal to flag down police while carrying an AK-47. (Hat tip: Tam.)
  • Would-be robber flees naked gun owner in Georgetown. The jokes write themselves…
  • An example of situational awareness.
  • Rolling Stone does does piece on the rise of women’s shooting culture, and it’s actually not half bad. (Hat tip: KR Training.)
  • On the lamentably cancelled Fox postcyberpunk police procedural drama Almost Human, there was an episode about a rifle that fired tracking bullets. That show was set in 2048, but we might get it a lot sooner, as this video of in-flight guidance of a .50 BMG round shows.

    (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)

  • More Smith & Wesson gun porn from Dwight. Namely a revolver chambered in .45 ACP, which is not something you see every day…
  • Scenes From The Illegal Alien Flood

    Monday, July 14th, 2014

    You’ve got to hand it to the Obama Administration: They’ve taken an issue (a flood of illegal aliens) that was most heavily impacting the border states, and found a way to piss off pretty much the entire nation.

    As Senator Jeff Sessions noted: “The crisis on our border is the direct and predictable result of President Obama’s sustained effort to undermine America’s immigration laws. As the president’s previous director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Sandweg recently acknowledged: “if you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.” Enforcement has collapsed.” Sessions further notes that Obama’s $3.7 billion request does not ask for enhanced deportation authority.

    The leftist ideologues who form the core of the administration evidently never gave up their love of forced busing, since they seem to want to forcibly bus illegal aliens into every state (or perhaps fly them to Alaska and Hawaii).

    They’re certainly pissing off people in Arizona, as well as elsewhere. “Federal officials have been dumping illegal immigrants in places like Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Illinois without telling state and local officials beforehand and then demanding the states use their limited resources to care for the illegal immigrants.”

    Even Obama’s fellow Democrats in Texas are saying he should visit the border. Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke “added that he has been surprised by the anger he has heard toward the immigrants from many of his El Paso constituents, who “feel like we can’t take care of everyone, and these children and their families are gaming the system.’”

    And if Hispanic constituents in heavily Democratic El Paso are pissed off, how do you think people in other parts of the country feel about illegal aliens being force bused into their neighborhoods?

    And Obama has done absolutely nothing to complete the construction of the already authorized 700 miles of border fence. Despite the fact that where border fences have been completed, illegal alien crossings are down 95%.

    But doing that might keep out the illegal alien felons Obama so seems to love. Like the Mexican national who had already been deported four times being charged with molesting a 9-year old. Evidently molesting our children is one of those jobs Americans won’t do…

    And Americans know who is to blame for the problem: “Nearly half of U.S. voters believe the Obama administration has prompted the flood of illegal immigrant children at the border, and most want them sent back home right away.”

    If this is a scheme to panic Republicans into passing illegal alien amnesty, it seems to have backfired spectacularly.

    No wonder Democrats are nervous. 2014 is shaping up an awful lot like 2010, if not worse…

    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.