Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Texas vs. California Update for December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • California’s unfunded health care obligations for retired employees hits $72 billion. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Meanwhile, the state comptroller says that California’s unfunded pension liabilities has hit $198 billion. (Ditto.)
  • California may extend benefits to illegal aliens taking advantage of Obama’s amnesty.
  • Speaking of which, both California and Texas are on the hook for providing education for illegal alien children. “Today, those figures are $14.4 billion for California and $8.5 billion for the Lone Star state.”
  • California will go broke if it doesn’t adopt pension reform.
  • Lessons for California from Texas’ boom.
  • Costa Mesa police union tries to pin false DUI charge on City Councilman. Hilarity ensues. (Hat tip: Dwight.) And what caused the police union to go after him? Pension reform.
  • Pension spiking widespread in Cosa Contra County. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s high speed rail boondoggle won’t work with the current tracks.
  • Health industry software company vitaTrackr announces relocation of its headquarters from Baltimore to Austin.
  • Builders FirstSource announces expansion in San Antonio and Conroe.
  • What a “Sober” South Texas Democratic Judge Looks Like

    Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

    For all the justified talk of Republican gains in the Rio Grande Valley, it’s still overwhelmingly Democratic at the county level. So it’s no surprise that when a Democratic 13th Court of Appeals Justice Nora Longoria got arrested for DWI, the charges were dismissed by Democratic Judge Rolando Cantu.

    You can take a look at what a “sober” South Texas Democratic judge looks like below.

    Texas Democrats: The Party of Drunk Drivers.

    Democrats Hate the South, And The South Hates Them Right Back

    Monday, December 8th, 2014

    With the defeat of Mary Landrieu, the Democratic Party no longer has a single national office holder anywhere in the South. In fact, with South Carolina re-electing Tim Scott, “there are now more black Republicans than white Democrats from the Deep South.”

    Moe Lane says we shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events:

    It’s not demographics, and it’s certainly not gerrymandering, and shoot, it’s not even Barack Obama. It’s that the people who run the Democratic party [expletive deleted] hate the South.

    And Southerners have noticed. It really does astound me that the national Democratic apparatus apparently thought that they could defecate on an entire section of the country for fifty years and still get that section to vote for them at the end of it.

    And least you think that Lane is exaggerating liberal contempt for the South, along comes Michael Tomasky to provide an outstanding example of what Lane was talking about.

    Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)

    With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise.

    And there’s your window into the Democratic Party’s id. The most economically dynamic part of the country is a “Fetid Free Market Jesus Paradise.” Tomasky has some advice for the Democratic Party: “At the congressional level, and from there on down, the Democrats should just forget about the place. They should make no effort, except under extraordinary circumstances, to field competitive candidates. The national committees shouldn’t spend a red cent down there.”

    I heartily endorse this strategy for the Democratic Party (with the exception that they should continue to pour money down the rathole that is Battleground Texas). Because what could possibly go wrong with that strategy? Besides Republicans making significant inroads among Hispanic and black voters in those states?

    It’s also revealing that Tomasky quotes (approvingly) that Democrats are “not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.” Well, good thing only 73% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. And unremitting hostility to gun ownership hasn’t exactly been a surefire electoral winner for Democrats…

    It’s not just national-level Democrats either. The Statesman notes that there will be only seven “non-Hispanic white Democrats in the Texas House and Senate when the 84th session of the Legislature convenes in January.” That piece also notes that “In 1983, white Democrats held 21 of the 31 state Senate seats and 85 of the 150 House seats.”

    In this really interesting interview with former Texas GOP chair Wayne Thorburn about his book Red State: An Insider’s Story of How the GOP Came to Dominate Texas Politics (which I’m going to have to pick up), he talks about how liberal Democrats actively drove conservatives out of their own party so they could take control of it:

    Q The most ironic part about “Red State” for me is how Democratic liberals actually encouraged their followers to vote Republican as a way of driving conservatives out of their own party. That doesn’t appear to have been too smart in the long run.

    A For many years beginning in the 1940s Texas politics consisted of contests between conservatives and liberals in the Democratic primary. The more ideologically committed liberals saw themselves as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” meaning that they were more in line with the northern wing in control of the national party. To gain control of the Texas party they needed to drive conservatives out of the Democratic primary, something that could be done only if the Republicans were a viable alternative. Thus, some prominent liberals endorsed a GOP candidate when the Democrats had nominated a conservative. This pattern began with John Tower in 1961 and continued on to include George H.W. Bush when he ran against Lloyd Bentsen for the U.S. Senate in 1970. Two old sayings come to mind: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and “Be careful what you wish for.” The liberals succeeded in gaining control of the Democratic Party by 1976 when the contest between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford drew nearly a half-million voters into the GOP primary. Two years later in 1978 their candidate knocked off Gov. Dolph Briscoe in the Democratic primary. The result of that, however, was the election of William P. Clements as the first Republican governor in 104 years. What the liberals failed to recognize was that most Texans were conservatives and to them ideology trumped party tradition and loyalty. As the Texas Democratic Party became more clearly liberal, the Republican Party was seen as the only conservative alternative in the state.

    In short, it was the intolerance of liberal Democrats that drove voters away and turned Democrats into what Instapundit has dubbed “a dying regional party”…

    Postscript: Actually, that first link says there are no more white Democrats holding office in the Deep South, however they define that. But there are still two white Democrats in the U.S. House from Texas: Lloyd Doggett and Beto O’Rourke, both of whom (I think) represent majority minority districts.

    Texas vs. California Update for December 4, 2014

    Thursday, December 4th, 2014

    It’s another Texas vs. California update!

  • The real reason the University of California system is raising taxes: “The real driving force behind the tuition hike is the university’s woefully underfunded pension system, which currently serves 56,000 retired employees. It’s a generous system, despite some reductions the university made for new hires in recent years. An Associated Press analysis found 2,129 retired UC employees collect pensions of more than $100,000 a year; 57 receive more than $200,000; and three receive more than $300,000.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Here’s the rare Texas vs. California item where both Texas and California get dinged: “Calpers holds about 75% of its portfolio in stocks and other risky assets, such as real estate, private equity and, until recently, hedge funds, despite offering benefits that, unlike IRAs or 401(k)s, it guarantees against market risk. Most other states are little different: Illinois holds 75% in risky assets; the Texas teachers’ plan holds 81%.”
  • A look at the relative pension costs of three bankrupt California cities: San Bernardino, Stockton and Vallejo. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Magpul, is moving its headquarters from newly gun-hostile Colorado to Austin. This is on top of moving its manufacturing facilities to Wyoming.
  • “Something is happening in California. An unstoppable movement for reform is building, attracting support from conscientious Californians.” Much as I’d like to believe it, I remain skeptical that real education and pension reform can happen in California as long as it remains a one-party Democratic state… (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • How California’s three-decades old Proposition 65 is threatening to bankrupt small businesses and enrich trial lawyers.
  • California: Roads? We don’t need no stinking roads. 57% of San Diego County’s projected infrastructure spending is on mass transportation…and critics are saying that’s not enough.
  • I’m surprised that I stumbled on this piece on the Newport Beach Police Department before Dwight did:

    In recent years, daily examples of faithful public service inside the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) have been overshadowed by alarming corruption. City officials ignore or downplay the misconduct, but NBPD bosses turned the agency into a darker, stupider version of Animal House. Court records and internal documents show the city’s boys in blue have accepted gratuities in exchange for favors, gotten frat-boy drunk at work, lied under oath, passed out confidential information to pals, encouraged oral sex from female job applicants, committed wild adultery on duty, doctored official reports, hurled feces, dished out horrific domestic violence against wives and girlfriends, engaged in intoxicated bar fights, issued criminal threats, vandalized property, converted powerful agency spy equipment to personal use, and rigged promotion systems to ensure mostly see-no-evil, management-loyal employees rise–and let the hijinks continue.

    Plus open war against whistle-blowers.

  • Speaking of public employees behaving badly, from Dwight comes this story of LA firemen being investigated for faking certifications.
  • Texas home sales reach their highest level in five years.
  • The headquarters of national buyer’s co-op NATM Buying Corp. is moving from Long island, New York to Irving, Texas.
  • Finally, in case you missed it a few days ago, three Texas budget links from the Texas Public Policy Foundation:

  • A detailed call for greater transparency in the Texas budget
  • A look at what an actual conservative Texas budget would look like; and
  • A real Texas Budget Worksheet, with historical budget data.
  • Imagine a Highly Insightful Post on the Texas Budget Process Here

    Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

    The folks at the Texas Public Policy Foundation are cranking up the analysis in advance of next year’s budget fight. So this would be the perfect time to offer up a deep, insightful delve into the labyrinth structure of the Texas state budget process, from the roles of the Legislative Budget Board and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts all the way to the Governor’s desk, to the intricate details of the biannual and supplemental budget processes. Such a piece would also break down the various revenue streams, from oil and gasses leases, property tax, sales tax and federal grants.

    Too damn bad I’m not doing that.

    It’s not for lack of material. Just in the last few days, TPPF has produced:

  • A detailed call for greater transparency in the Texas budget (funny how government always seems to spend more (never less) than the legislature actually authorized)
  • A look at what an actual conservative Texas budget would look like; and
  • A real Texas Budget Worksheet, with lots of tiny little rows of historical budget data.
  • But frankly, I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving and have fallen behind on a ton of stuff I need to do (raking leaves, vacuuming, cooking and book cataloging, to name but four), so I’m going to pass on the heavy analytical lifting today, thank you.

    But don’t let me stop you…

    Texas vs. California Roundup for November 26, 2014

    Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

    Who knows how many people will read this in the rush of Thanksgiving travel:

  • Texas’ economy continues to kick ass.
  • In fact, Texas set a record for new jobs for the third month in a row. (Hat tip: The Twitter feed of Texas’ incoming governor.)
  • Texas also leads the nation in oil and gas jobs created. (Hat tip: Texas’ incoming Comptroller.)
  • CalPERS retirees will soon soon outnumber active workers. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s death by pensions.
  • Bankrupt San Bernardino caves in to CalPERS.
  • Still, court rulings make it possible that bankrupt cities may shed pension obligations in the future.
  • You know how California’s Prop 30 tax hikes in 2012 were supposed to prevent university pension hikes? Guess what? “Despite the massive tax hikes ostensibly to keep higher education affordable, the University of California Board of Regents just announced a sizable increase in tuition.” Let’s hope that students at California universities learn the proper lesson: tax hikes are never temporary.
  • Indeed, tuition will increase around $15,000 by 2019.
  • The underfunded liabilities across all California pension systems adds up to $130 billion.
  • Pension crisis divides California Democrats on UC tuition hikes.
  • Demands from union-backed environmental group torpedo plans for a Japanese-owned factory in Palmdale, California.
  • Education reform loses in California.
  • California is spending $33 million to get rid of 800 non-endangered birds.
  • Costa Mesa motel residents sue over a law requiring them to move every 30 days.
  • Some Tweets:

  • LinkSwarm for November 21, 2014

    Friday, November 21st, 2014

    Here in Austin, we’re enjoying a temporary respite from Winter in November, but I don’t expect it to last long.

    Links!

    All the lies of ObamCare:

    The growing impression that politicians don’t play straight with their constituents is completely toxic, particularly to Democrats, who actually want to use government to improve people’s lives. It’s one thing to downplay unpalatable choices made in the law; it’s another to never disclose the consequences of legislation until it’s too late for anyone to react. Combine that with the moustache-twirling of a Jonathan Gruber, saying that the idiots should be happy for what they got, and you have basically every conservative stereotype about liberal elites confirmed.

    Also: ObamaCare is designed for people buying insurance through it to get a nasty sticker shock in year two. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • House Republicans file suit over Obama’s unilateral actions on ObamaCare.
  • The administration is lying about ObamaCare signup numbers. Again.
  • “Why Texas Could Remain a Republican Stronghold for Another Generation.”
  • “The president’s promises have been proven to be worthless…How many illegal immigrants want to come out of the shadows and identify themselves to law enforcement based upon this promise?”
  • Jay Carney admits that with his illegal alien amnesty, Obama is doing something he previously called unconstitutional.
  • Mickey Kaus thinks the courts could very well act quickly to squash Obama’s illegal amnesty, much as they did with Harry Truman’s steel mill seizures.
  • Aaron Worthing thinks illegals will pass on Obama’s amnesty as a bad deal.
  • “These illegal aliens are willing to do the work that Americans will no longer do — namely, vote Democrat.”
  • How desperate are the Democrats? They’re saying Republican opposition to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty will lead to ethnic cleansing. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Top Obama bundler arrested on child rape charges.
  • Lefty lawyer Alan Derschowitz on Harvard’s kangaroo court sexual assault rules: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”
  • How come Bill Cosby gets convicted in the media for rape allegations by Bill Clinton gets a pass? “There is more sympathy for a white southerner like Clinton than a black comic like Cosby.”
  • A giant leap backward for woman-kind.
  • Price of ground beef hits record highs.
  • Oh lovely: Microsoft is deploying Daleks.
  • Guns and Crime Roundup

    Thursday, November 20th, 2014

    Another roundup of gun and crime news:

  • Washington state’s I-594 evidently makes it illegal to touch a gun you don’t own. Bloomberg’s long-term plan is to destroy gun culture by preventing new recruits. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned, which sees massive non-compliance in Washington state’s future…)
  • All about civil forfeiture abuse.
  • California gun control provision struck down. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • Despite repeated legal rulings otherwise, it is still almost impossible to get a gun permit in Washington, D.C.
  • Girls just wanna have guns. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Oregon Democrats push for gun control. (Hat tip: Shall not Be Questioned.)
  • How can Milwaukee prosecute felons for illegal possession of firearms when there are so many Republican office-holders to investigate?
  • Texas State Senator Charles Perry files a bill to reduce the minimum CHL requirement caliber down to .22.
  • Facebook bans ads for gun safes. Because gun safes are such a gateway drug to buying guns…
  • Jay Leno folds like a cheap card table.
  • Armed citizens foils an attempted purse-snatching in Houston:

  • Man tries to rob veteran. Grounding and pounding ensues:

  • Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties visits the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Gun Show.
  • Breaking into an armed homeowner’s house high on ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol is no way to go through life, son.
  • I’m thinking I may need to delink Sipsy Street if they’re going to call other gun bloggers “Judenrats”
  • Democratic Failure In Texas: Even Worse Than You Thought

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

    I wanted to put up a link to this Wayne Thorburn Politico Piece on the Democratic Party’s 2014 failure in Texas. The piece focuses on the many missteps made by Battleground Texas, such as the decision to send out-of-state Obama activists rather than hire within, the decision to go all-in on Wendy Davis rather than build an organization from the bottom up, and failure to share information with the Texas Democratic Party.

    But the part I found most striking was the description of just how badly Democrats did in lower-level races:

    This lack of a bottom-up strategy was particularly glaring on Dec. 9, 2013, the filing deadline for 2014 candidates. Far from attracting a number of qualified and vigorous candidates to the Democratic banner, Battleground and the party ended up ceding much of the field to the Republicans without even a whimper. In fact, Democrats failed to recruit anyone to run on their ticket for more than 40 percent of all state legislative positions on the ballot. The end result would be almost a two-to-one Republican majority in both the Texas Senate and the House. Even more depressing was the party’s showing at the county level. Democrats could not find anyone willing to run for County Judge (chief elected official in the county) in 165 of Texas’ 254 counties, ceding almost two-thirds of all counties to the Republicans without an election. Thus, by 2015, while the Democrats will retain the county judge in four of the six largest counties, the GOP will hold all 29 suburban county judge positions, 18 of 21 in the other metropolitan counties scattered around the state, and 150 of the 198 small town county courthouses. Of all the major counties in Texas, only Dallas, Bexar, El Paso, Jefferson and Travis, along with the border counties of Webb and Hidalgo, will have a Democratic county judge.

    And even more depressing than that was the fact that not a single Democratic candidate could be found who was willing to run for any county office in 86 counties—more than one-third of the total. These 86 included the heavily populated suburban counties of Denton, Johnson and Parker (outside Dallas-Fort Worth), Montgomery (suburban Houston) and Comal (north of San Antonio) as well as the other urban counties of Bell (Temple), Randall (Amarillo) and Grayson (Sherman). As the saying goes, you can’t win a game if you don’t field a team.

    LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

    Friday, November 14th, 2014

    There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

    In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.