Monday, February 27, 2017
"So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth."
At the beginning of the current legislative session, Empower Texans reported that Calendars Committee chair Todd Hunter was laying the groundwork for a speaker run, which makes his most recent campaign finance report very interesting....
Read the full CFR here.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
From yesterday's newsletter, "listening to local educators":
Two important meetings were with leaders of our local school districts. First, I met with school board trustees and Superintendent Brian Gottardy of North East ISD. Later that afternoon, I visited with Alamo Heights ISD Superintendent Kevin Brown and school board trustees Lisa Krenger and Lynn Thompson.Of course, as we reported in January, that same Kevin Brown is the current president of the Texas Association of School Administrators:
[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
Bottom Line: It's not surprising, although it is revealing and (in a weird way) pretty funny...
Saturday, February 25, 2017
"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd of course:
Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will headline a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in North Texas on Wednesday.Read the whole thing here.
She will be the keynote speaker at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas' annual Fort Worth luncheon, helping to raise money for an organization that provides an array of reproductive and sexual health services, including abortions.
But it's not entirely unexpected. Bush's mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, has expressed support for the legality of abortion on a handful of occasions. The younger Bush, the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, called Planned Parenthood an "exceptional organization" in a June New York Times interview, and attended a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Paris in October.
The family history:
Jeb Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was an active supporter of Planned Parenthood, which was founded by Margaret Sanger in 1921 as the American Birth Control League. In 1947, Bush served as treasurer of the group's first national fundraising campaign—a move he would soon come to regret. In 1950, Prescott Bush narrowly lost an election for a US Senate seat in Connecticut after a columnist revealed his connection to the "Birth Control Society."Bottom Line: Never ever, ever forget that the Bush crime family helped turn Planned Parenthood into the genocidal force it is to day; any pro-life pretenses any of them make are politically convenient lies.
Friday, February 24, 2017
"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Fun times: Two months into the 85th Texas legislature, the Texas House's tax writing committee is finally going to hold their first hearing this coming Wednesday; you'll never guess who Chairman Dennis Bonnen invited to testify (actually, you'll totally guess):
Notice who's NOT on the list: The Texas Public Policy Foundation.
What this means: Lots of special-interest carve out bills along with a staged fight to "prevent tax increases."
Bottom Line: With Dennis Bonnen chairing the Ways and Means committee again this session, this isn't even remotely surprising though it is both revealing and (in it's own weird way) pretty funny.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
The Daily Texan has a curious way of choosing its editor-in-chief each year.Read the whole thing here.
Candidates write editorials laying out their vision, and then UT-Austin students vote online to “weigh in” on who gets the position (it’s not clear what effect this vote has).
The two candidates for the term starting June 1 are Janhavi Nemawarkar and Laura Hallas, and while they have contrasting visions for the job, both fundamentally misunderstand what role the public university can legally play in regulating offensive speech.
In her editorial, Nemawarkar expressed worry about the rise of white nationalist Richard Spencer and anti-feminist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. (Both editorials were published Friday, before unearthed comments by Yiannopoulos on age-of-consent laws blew up CPAC and his book deal.)
What should be our response to the protests and violence in reaction to these two? According to Nemawarkar, “we must learn to balance the protection of free speech with the fight against the normalization of these racist ideologies”:
There is a distinct difference between engaging in a contentious dialogue and the type of hate speech that emboldens racists. It is the role of students, organizations, student-run media and professors to ensure that open, wide-ranging discussions continue on campus. But in the interest of supporting students of color, students and university administrators must draw a line and ensure that individuals who espouse specifically hostile views are not validated by receiving a platform to speak here.What she’s saying is UT administrators should be allowed to prevent (or threatened into preventing) student groups and faculty from inviting the speakers of their choice to campus, based on their views:
Speech can’t be taken in a vacuum — Donald Trump’s presidential election victory was accompanied by an outbreak of hate crimes around the country, including on college campuses.....
Hallas makes a better argument in her editorial, but just barely....Yet Hallas also makes an unconstitutional proposal, that the university has the right to compel speech by members of its community:
And if Yiannopoulos wanted to come to campus? Let him show his ignorance, but with preconditions. … Yiannopoulos may come if he likes, but he should submit to some fact checking in order to speak. Universities can protect free speech and host controversial speakers without compromising their informative missions.
Granting someone an open stage can feel uncomfortably close to an endorsement. The University should allow civil rights leaders and immigration lawyers to speak alongside such a speaker to prevent false equivalency. If this option doesn’t exist, students should fight for such a policy or review process.
Bottom Line: As long as Governor FoxNews continues to nominate, and as long as the Texas Senate continues to confirm, pro-status quo regents...nothing will change.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
"The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom.
We attended appropriations chairman John Zerwas' trib event this morning. It was the finest form in which we'd seen a Straus lieutenant in some time. Our question about medicaid (to which the headline refers) is the final question in the video:
- Something, something "new sources of revenue."
- Calls Senate budget "austere."
- Note: LOLOLOL....
- "Reasonable" medicaid growth.
- "I don't think anyone wants to go back" to 2011 education budget 'cuts.'
- Personally, we'd like to eliminate socialized education in it's entirety; failing that, we'd love to cut it a LOT further than they went in '11.
- Wants appropriations committee budget vote to be unanimous.
- School finance requires: "undistracted period of time."
- Tacit endorsement of special session.
- Backtracks when he realizes he just endorsed a special session and calls for yet another 'study' during the interim.
- Endorses continued funding of state level border operations.
- Offers qualified praise of Obamacare.
- Repeal must be "very carefully thought out."
- Something, something people who obtained insurance under Obamacare need to be taken care of.
- Tax relief: "Going to be a challenge."
- "We need to fund our schools adequately...meet our responsibilities in Health Care" before tax relief.
- Rainy day fund: "We have to have a conversation" on a raid.
- Supplemental: "Will be out in the near future."
- Calls it a "one time expense" re: RDF.
- On what planet is medicaid not an ongoing expense?!?
- Parental Educational Choice: "I have to support my public school system."
- No "at this time."
- Throws privacy act under the bus.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
Dear Chairman Seliger,
I had to work during today's hearing on SB 18. Had I been able to attend the hearing, I would have testified on the bill without taking a position. Consider this note the equivalent of written testimony.
First things first, thank you for your attention to the tuition issue. As we discussed at TPPF's policy orientation, I think a wide range of options should be on the table for the tuition issue. Furthermore, I want to state publicly that considering the degree to which we haven't always seen eye to eye on higher education policy, for you to consider this bill with the promptness that you have is a tangible action I notice and appreciate.
That being said, SB 18 makes me nervous.
Specifically, SB 18 only ends mandatory tuition set asides. The Universities are still free to engage in the practice, it's just no longer required. Thus, I'm afraid SB 18 will produce a lot of sound and fury (and inflame the identity politics crowd) without changing much on the ground.
SB 19 is a much stronger approach. A hard tuition freeze would be a tangible step over which the
Thus, I encourage you hold a hearing on SB 19 at the earliest practical date.
But again, thank you for making this issue a priority. Indeed, I'm pleased that you've already voted it out of committee before I'd even sat down to write this note. I look forward to seeing similar action on SB 19 shortly.
February 22, 2017