Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TPPF Hosted At the Crossroads Energy and Climate Policy Summit

The recent summit held by Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) in Houston, titled At the Crossroads Energy and Climate Policy Summit, has proven to be a very timely event given recent headlines.  The event was well attended and everyone came away with an arsenal of new information and factual arguments against the onset of the liberal climate change agenda. Those promoting more and more regulations and public policy to curtail the effects of carbon production are true believers that the science has long been settled.  Most of the presenters at this event were of a different mindset.  

There was even a strong presentation on the moral argument for fossil fuels.  The most effective way to lift the poor out of dire circumstances and into stable, productive lives is with the production of electricity.  Electricity, of course, most reliably comes from fossil fuels. 

From a press release concerning the intrusion of EPA regulations on Texas electricity market: 

Texas Public Policy Foundation Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment Director Kathleen Hartnett White testified Tuesday before the Environmental Regulation Committee of the Texas House of Representatives on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP).
“EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule would usurp long-upheld state authority over electric utilities and impose federally centralized low-carbon operation of the nation’s electric power system,” said White. “Yet, EPA admits that the intended reduction of carbon dioxide from electric power plants would not have any meaningful impact on assumed global warming.
“The CPP would have a disproportionately large impact on Texas – more than any other state. The regulatory mandate imposed on Texas is almost two times that of the next two states combined. Full state implementation would involve violation of Texas law to comply with EPA regulation that violates federal law.
“The U.S. Congress alone can restrain EPA’s ever expanding regulatory regime. The time is nigh for Congress to establish clear limits on EPA’s authority so that federal courts can meaningfully restrain an agency which now knows no bounds.”

And this article Tuesday from Institute for Energy Research on the consequences experienced in Germany from arbitrary renewable energy mandates:

Germany now has the second highest residential rates for electricity in Europe, second only to Denmark; just a decade ago, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy had higher rates than Germany. Between 2005 and 2010, the annual increase in residential electricity rates in Germany was 4.3 percent. Since the tsunami hit Japan in 2011, the annual increase was 7 percent because Germany increased its solar and wind subsidies to spur their development so it could close down eight of its nuclear reactors. Germany’s 40 million households and other taxed consumers paid 106 billion Euros between 2000 and 2013 to renewable energy producers. The government estimates it could cost as much as 1 trillion Euros by 2040. Due to the higher prices, household electricity consumption has declined by about 1 percent per year since 2005. The economic toll on the country and its residents has made the government recently cut renewable subsidies by 29 percent on average to 120 Euros a megawatt-hour.Germany is also taking an economic toll for the energy transition when job-creating investment leaves Germany for countries with lower power costs. For example, earlier this year chemical company BASF said it would reduce its investments in Germany from one-third to one-quarter of its global total.[iii]

Government mandates are jobs killers.  

Last week at the U.N. climate summit, California Governor Jerry Brown pleaded for cap and trade legislation and regulations.  Maybe he doesn't realize what a poor state of affairs California is for the ordinary resident.  Already overtaxed and watching jobs leave the state for more business friendly states - like Texas - Californians must have been shaking their heads. As noted in a Wall Street Journal piece this week:

The truth is that the glut of oil being produced from U.S. shale—in part via fracking—has helped reduce gas prices. Luckily for Mr. Brown and his environmentalist friends, the oil boom will also mitigate a gas price spike in California next year. Although Californians may ultimately pay more for gas because of the carbon regulations, they might not feel it.Consider the state's divestment from coal and renewable mandate. The average retail price of electricity in California has increased by 2.37 cents per kWh in the last three years—or about 15%—compared to about 1.42 cents nationwide. Yet electricity prices would be a lot higher in California (and nationwide) were it not for the natural-gas surfeit from fracking. The price of natural gas, which provides about 50% of California's electricity, has fallen by more than half since 2008.Mr. Brown is smart enough to appreciates how the fossil fuels are in effect subsidizing his expensive anti-carbon agenda, even if it's an inconvenient truth that the Al Gore crowd would rather ignore.
And, who else is jumping on the bandwagon? Your doctor. Thanks, Obamacare!

Among the more than 310,000 demonstrators marching through Manhattan in last week’s People’s Climate March were contingents of physicians. And now the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the voice of the nation’s powerful medical establishment, has issued a call-to-arms to doctors,urging those in health and health-related fields to throw their weight behind climate change prevention efforts.“Is climate change similar to poverty and war, best left to other scientists and politicians, or is it of such fundamental importance—like clean water, clean air, and adequate sanitation—that physicians should strive to further clarify the effects of climate change on health, educate themselves and the public, and mount a campaign to ensure that climate change does not lead to an epidemic of eroding health?” wrote Howard Bauchner, JAMA editor-in-chief, and executive editor Phil Fontanarosa.Yes, they concluded.“Understanding and characterizing this threat and educating the medical community, public, and policy makers are crucial if the health of the world’s population is to continue to improve during the latter half of the 21st century,” according to Bauchner and Fontanarosa.  
 Those are three articles from just the first of this week that crossed my path with no effort at all.  Imagine what awaits us as this administration remains in office for two more years.  We should all be alarmed by those thoughts.

If you are interested in the presentations delivered by some excellent speakers at the TPPF summit, keep an eye on their website.  We were told that the panels would be up on the website soon.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

HCRP's Westside Victory Center Holds Grand Opening

The Westside Victory Headquarters held a Grand Opening event Wednesday night featuring a 20 year old young man from Illinois as the guest speaker.  He spoke truth to power and held the attention of the entire audience of Republicans with his candid opinions and his experience as told in the stories he recited.

Charlie Kirk is the Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point, USA. One very good prediction made by Kirk is that in the 2016 election campaign, look for the Democrat candidate to entice young voters with a promise of legislation to eliminate student debt.  I see the Wall Street Journal editorial page is thinking along the same lines with this story:

"Last week we told you  about the$20 billion annual rise in Department of Education outlays, due to an increase in student-loan borrowers using income-based repayment programs. Today the Journal reports the disturbing details for taxpayers.

"Enrollment in the plans has surged, thanks in part to a continuing administration publicity campaign. As of June, the number had swelled to 1.91 million Americans holding more than $101 billion in student loans—nearly a 10th of all outstanding federal student debt. The number of borrowers and debt covered roughly has doubled in the past year," reports the Journal.
These plans allow borrowers to reduce monthly payments to just 10% of discretionary income. The loans can then be forgiven after ten years if borrowers work in government or for a non-profit—basically any job as long as it doesn't involve a profit-seeking business.
So the government is spending taxpayer dollars to encourage young people to avoid repaying loans to taxpayers, while at the same time encouraging these young people to work for outfits that don't pay taxes. Margaret Thatcher might have called it a perfect formula for eventually running out of other people's money."
The Obama White House is currently running a publicity campaign to encourage young people to go into public service by offering the goodie of reduced payments on student loans.  As Charlie Kirk mentioned, the typical graduating college student leaves school $33,000 in debt.  Unfortunately, free money is more of an incentive to support a candidate than the logic of a private sector job that Republican business economics can produce.
The Westside Victory Center is a part of the Harris County Republican Party network in the get out the vote effort.  There are now several centers open throughout Harris County.  Phone banking for candidates and campaign literature distribution are two of the ways these centers are helping out this election season.
Thanks to Republican Women, the Westside Victory Center is up and running.  The Grand Opening was hosted by Village Republican Women and Magic Circle Republican Women.  Also credited with support was Memorial West Republican Women. Many candidates and elected officials stopped by, as well as Paul Simpson, chairman of Harris County Republican Party and Tracy Hobson, HCRP Political Director.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

POTUS Salutes Marine With Coffee Cup In Hand

President Obama saluted a Marine while holding a coffee cup in his right hand.  I've never seen that done before, by a Commander in Chief.  In case you have never seen this either, take a look:


That tidbit was not originally in the report from the White House press pool.  The White House, though, included it in its Instagram account.  Social media strikes again.  See how this works?

Also, on the subject of basic manners, you will also see on the little video clip that he comes down the steps from Marine One and walks on down the tarmac without looking back at First Lady Michelle Obama disembarking behind him. He just keeps walking with his sunglasses on and coffee cup in hand.  What a swell guy.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Republicans Must Embrace Social Media to Win Elections

Where are you, fellow Republicans, as the political debates and discussions are waged on social media? In the beginning of the world of Twitter, a real effort was made for conservative leaning people - especially among those identifying with the Tea Party - to grow a real presence.  It is an undeniably useful tool in getting a message out.  Campaigns not embracing the full use of Twitter are missing a large block of politically engaged people.  The same can be said of Facebook.  Every candidate for political office in the year 2014 should have a presence on Facebook.  Every campaign should have a Facebook page that can be "liked" by supporters.  Each time a new supporter hits the "Like" button, the candidate's page is opened up to more eyes.  The candidate's information moves into more time lines and more exposure.

How many times have you heard, especially in Republican circles populated by older members, that all this social media stuff is silly?  How about the canard that social media is just for the younger people and doesn't really amount to much?  Generally speaking, Facebook attracts more older people and Twitter is more popular among younger people.  Embrace both outlets for a successful campaign.  A campaign wants everyone to hear the message.  Grassroots volunteers are a ready source of social media activism.  

Journalists,bloggers,television and radio people are on social media all day long. There is no easier way to have a message attract the attention of those who write about candidates and campaigns. Get the Republican message in print and on air, not just that of the Democrats! 

A key to growing the Republican Party - essential to remaining a viable political party - is to bring in younger voters, as well as those newly awakened to the world of politics.  Just as the original Tea Party movement did, before it became a vehicle for paid, professional dividers, using activists and grassroots supporters is the key to political success.  There is no easier way for an activist to engage in politics than through social media.

Friday night brought the first debate between Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis.  These two candidates running for the office of Governor of Texas debated for one hour in the Rio Grande Valley and it was televised statewide.  It was also live streamed on the Internet from various sources.  I am sorry to say that the Republican Party of Texas did not live stream the debate on its website.  Battleground Texas did. There is no daylight between Battleground Texas and the Democratic Party of Texas.  

I was dismayed that I saw so little engagement on Twitter during the debate.  While I was sending off thoughts in 140 characters, I noticed all the tweets coming from Wendy Davis supporters.  From Jaoquin Castro to Annie's List and everyone in between elected officials and special interest groups, the thoughts flew.  The opportunity was lost to reach a broader audience with Abbott's messages and directing traffic to his campaign website.

Let's recognize that the Communication Director for Wendy Davis' campaign is the former Communication Director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. There are few that are nastier in their speech and quotes than Harry Reid.  The Davis campaign is organized in social media efforts using the Obama campaign model.  

In an email that went out overnight from Amber Mostyn, the woman and money behind Annie's List, her pitch included playing up the "anti-woman rhetoric" of some on social media during the Texas governor candidate debate.

"I can't believe the words I have seen directed at me, Wendy Davis and all other women tonight, but I know Annie's List will be there to call out the politicians who think that behavior is acceptable." 
"Annie's List is there to fight back against all of the vitriole that is being spewed. We need you to fight with us!"

This is right in line with the obvious theme that Team Wendy decided upon before Friday evening's debate.  Mostyn used a few ugly remarks made on Twitter as examples in the email.  

All Wendy Davis really offered to viewers and listeners Friday night, in my readily acknowledged partisan opinion, was the standard Democrat talking points of the war on women, pay inequality, and victimhood.  She was lacking in solutions and used an overabundance of personal attacks on Attorney General Abbott.  She came off looking robotic and disengaged.  It was not difficult to push back on her in social media.  I wish more on the GOP side had done that.  

Here is an article about the efforts in social media and voter tracking data base research coordination being done at the RNC.  It is a fact-filled article and should be read by Republican voters and those encouraging others to vote Republican in the mid-term elections.  I hope the Republican Party will be able to take back the technical advantages we had at one time, in the pre-Obama days.  I think it is fair to say we can't win without it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Houston Columnist Bill King Sparks Lively Discussion with United Republicans of Harris County

Despite a very stormy night, United Republicans of Harris County hosted a full room of interested guests Tuesday evening. The featured speaker was Bill King, columnist for the Houston Chronicle. The audience was treated to a very candid talk about the current environment for Republicans in Harris County and Texas, as well as the national picture.

Mr. King frequently noted that the audience may not appreciate what he was saying, but it is important to understand the conclusions derived from polling, as well as census numbers.  The truth is, often those who attend political events live in a bit of a bubble.  It is normal to gravitate to events that will feature a speaker with views we also hold but it is essential to allow the whole picture on an issue to filter through.

Bill King began the speech by stating that, though he tends to vote Republican, he no longer considers himself a Republican.  He is an Independent voter.  Before he was introduced, a person addressing the crowd on behalf of a Republican candidate spoke to those in attendance about the importance of voting a straight Republican ticket.  Mr. King said he would not be voting a straight ticket and wasn't there to encourage anyone else to do so.

Clearly, this was going to get interesting.

King spoke about the growing numbers of Latino voters in Harris county and in the State of Texas. Republicans must find a way to speak to this demographic with compassion and intelligence in order to remain a viable political party.  This isn't random criticism, it is a real necessity.  He used the example of George W. Bush and his ability to garner 40% of the Latino vote in Texas and then carried a good amount of their support when he ran for President.  Since then, Republicans have failed miserably to grow that vote, instead falling backwards.

Mr. King noted that though the Latino community in general would be a natural for joining with the Republican Party in elections, candidates and party leaders unable to shed harsh rhetoric during campaigns, especially on social issues, send those voters to other candidates.  He used the example of abortion and gay marriage.  One topic already law, the other topic going that way across the country.
On immigration reform, King supports the U.S. Senate's bill as written.  He used the Romney campaign example of the unintended error of Romney's "they will self-deport" remark that sealed his fate on election day.  King does not believe that voter fraud plays a real role in the outcome of elections.  In the case of Mitt Romney, he noted that Romney lost by 5 million votes in November 2012. Who could believe that number was the fault of voter fraud, he asked.

I keep reading polls that show voters are not so concerned about immigration reform.  While it is important, it is not at the top of the issues driving voters to get out on election day.  This is also cited as a reason the President Obama has put it on the back burner until after the mid-term elections in November 2014 - why stir up the voters who might be angered against any executive action he may take on the subject?  Yet, during the question and answer portion of the program, the first question was about immigration reform.  Perhaps because Texans are quite in tune with the subject, as a border state which feels the impact of illegal immigration, the first questioner took King to task for what was perceived as his acceptance of those already here.  King said that, as a Christian, he thought it was morally wrong to have a policy that would send someone back to another country when that person had been raised in America.  He also stated that Evangelical voters were turning away from the Republican Party over this issue.

The question and answer portion of the program was spirited, to say the least.  This, to me, was the best part of the evening.  It is crucial that people come together and debate important issues while remaining civil to each other. That is what our nation was built upon - ideas, not tribes or geographical lines. As Mr. King pointed out, that is what makes America truly unique in the world. The United States of America is the only country built on the ideas of our founders.

It was apparent that the audience enjoyed the program and discussions.  The best part?  Everyone left energized and with a smile on their face.  That's a winning ending any day of the week.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Texas Public Policy Action Announces Texas Government Waste Contest

Using the example of Senator Tom Coburn's Wastebook, Texas Public Policy Action is offering cash prizes to citizens turning in examples of Texas state government waste.  Prizes are available in two categories: video submissions and written submissions.  First, Second and Third place will be awarded in both categories.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in doing?  You can accept the challenge and expose wasteful spending in Texas state government which may result in a cash prize for your efforts. Any unit of government in Texas is eligible, if waste is found.  This doesn't have to be the Texas state budget - it can be your local government. Just remember the excess has to be in the State of Texas.  Write a story or make a video, it's your choice.

HERE is the website.  I am passing along the press release with all the details.

Texas Public Policy Action Announces

Contest to Expose Government Waste

Competition allows public to highlight examples of egregious government waste in Texas

AUSTIN - Texas Public Policy Action today announced the Texas Government Waste Contest, an open competition to allow members of the public to identify and describe examples of egregious and frivolous government waste at all levels of government in Texas.  The contest runs from September 3 to October 24, 2014, with winners announced by November 14, 2014.

"Even in Texas there is an incredible amount of wasteful spending, political favoritism, and crony capitalism.  This contest will help to expose waste and cronyism," said TPPA Executive Director Nathanael Ferguson. "By creating a compendium of government waste we will arm taxpayers with the information they need to focus elected officials on solving problems and working to affect change."

Contestants will submit stories of a wasteful spending item or program in either a written essay or in an original creative video.  Winners in each of the two categories will be awarded cash prizes, $4,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. All entries will be included in the Compendium of Texas Government Waste, copies of which will be furnished to every legislative office in advance of the 84th Legislative Session.

Entries can be submitted here: www.TexWaste.com

"Our aim is to inform, engage, and empower citizens to help promote pro-growth policies of limited government and fiscal restraint," said Ferguson.

All entries must be limited to wasteful spending in Texas state or local government and will be vetted for accuracy.  Citations must be included with submissions. The contest will be judged by a panel of well-respected policy experts representing multiple think tanks and activist groups in Texas, including Americans for Prosperity Policy and Legislative Director Peggy Venable, True the Vote Founder and President Catherine Engelbrecht, and Grassroots America Executive Director JoAnn Fleming.   

Texas Public Policy Action is a non-profit 501c4 organization based in Austin.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Obama Addresses the Nation About ISIS

America is expected to be the leader of the free world, the torchbearer of freedom.  In this case, with this president, America is slow to defend those being overrun by the brutal forces of ISIS.  President Obama is only now reluctantly coming before the American people and stating his plan of action against ISIS.  He is performing half heartedly at best.

President Obama appears to think that a congressional vote is not necessary for a war carried out by air strikes, only if boots are on the ground.  He is so quick to say there will be no boots are on the ground. That's not the truth, however, as there are the boots of Special Forces and intelligence gatherers on the ground, just maybe not what regular people think of as military boots. War is war, as far as the Constitution is concerned.  One would think that a man who ran as a self-proclaimed constitutional scholar would not make that distinction.

George W. Bush's coalition of 37 countries was called "unilateralism" by anti-war Americans and others but Obama touts a "broad coalition" now of 9 countries - all a part of NATO, except Australia.

President Obama said "This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist. This strategy is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years."  Think about that. Those two places are a mess.  Maybe he hasn't gotten the news from the media where he has stated he gets information in the past.  Is he asleep during presidential briefings?

There is no way that the Iraqi army and the Kurds can protect themselves and defeat ISIS without the help of the U.S. military. Despite all the time wasted as Obama insisted the war on terror was over and that the war in Iraq had ceased and Iraq was now stable, ISIS continued to grow.  This president has been unable to muster the courage to admit he was dangerously wrong about foreign policy and his ideas have been failures.  We are not safe as ISIS grows wealthier and gains more land mass.  Make no mistake, ISIS is truly a threat to our homeland.

THIS ARTICLE sums up the curious inability of President Obama to grasp reality. A mere 34 days ago, he said that ISIS was like a "JV" team.

Americans want to join together and support our president.  Though he said,"we will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL", he  does not inspire confidence. Other countries no longer trust or respect us. It seems that he is being pulled into action - that the American people are out in front of him, war weary though we are.

This president is seeing the lowest numbers in the polls that his presidency has seen.  This whole revision of his previous stances, now that other nations and the clear majority of American people demand action, smacks of poll watching.  That is no way to protect America. Our president has a 9/10/01 mind set instead of a post 9/11/01 mind set.

HERE is the speech transcript. You can decide if you find clear thought and strategy.  All I really got out of it is more air strikes, no land combat, and he'll ask Congress for money to provide equipment to those fighting the war on the ground. This speech should have been made more than a year ago.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

True the Vote Holds National Call

True the Vote President and Founder Catherine Engelbrecht and Logan Churchwell, Communications Director, held a National Call Tuesday night for a maximum crowd of 500 interested listeners.  Held online and also available via telephone call-in, Engelbrecht began with, "It's been a while since we hosted a national call."  Then she set the agenda for the call.  The call was to bring interested listeners up to speed on ongoing litigation and recent litigation as well as to share the tools and programs from the True the Vote "laboratory".  She made it clear that even though the organization was dealing with litigation, the building and growing of tools and programs continued.  It continues today.

Logan Churchwell spoke to the lawsuits.  First on the Mississippi "loss", it was lost on a summary judgement but True the Vote believes it was handed good news in the fine print.  They believe that third party groups trying to enforce voting laws won by forcing recognition of their message, as the court admitted that True the Vote is unique and not normally seen.  The judge admitted that Congress hasn't made it easy to know what information under the law is available and wants Congress to do its job in that area. The federal judge said that True the Vote brought their lawsuit before waiting long enough to file.

Engelbrecht said that True the Vote is moving on from that lawsuit now and considers it closed.  She also wanted to be clear about True the Vote not being a part of the Chris McDaniels campaign challenge.  True the Vote was there to validate irregularity reports.

The federal lawsuit against the I.R.S. is ongoing.  True the Vote filed a brief to expedite the discovery process as reports that emails are disappearing brought about a sense of urgency.  The judge said no to that request but a decision on regular discovery is due any time, as it was to be within 60 days from a July date.

The same day Engelbrecht last testified before Congress, a complaint was filed against Rep Elijah Cumming, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee.  This is brought about by rumors of coordination between DOJ and Cumming's office and Lois Lerner (I.R.S.).

This story broke just Tuesday: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/09/Letter-Holder-Aide-Accidentally-Calls-Issa-For-Help-Spinning-IRS-Scandal

A Senior Communications Aide for Department of Justice's Attorney General Eric Holder called the office of the House Chairman of the Oversight Committee, handling the IRS scandals, thinking it was the office of Democrat Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of that committee. It was made clear that the call was to discuss coordination between Cummings' office and DOJ about the IRS scandal investigations, which includes True the Vote. Founder and President of True the Vote Catherine Engelbrecht has testified several times before the committee.

The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming's staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.”“At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a 'change in plans' and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early.Fallon “proceeded to pitch the idea that the Department and the Committee should 'help one another' while simultaneously saying that 'you need to say what you need to say.'”

So, it sure sounds like the rumors were well founded.

Engelbrecht then spoke about the present concentration on the November 2014 elections and three (3) new tools in the toolkit for those interested in integrity of elections.
1.  Poll Watcher training.  This has been re-tooled from the original launch in 2012.  True the Vote doesn't place poll watchers but trains those who are interested in this.  It is up to the volunteer to get placed at a polling place, "a place to serve", usually through a political party.

2.  True the Vote Research Database.  The original version went live on the website in 2011 and has been modified since.  Recently the database was taken down from the website and rebuilt.  A more stable data platform is being tested and it will go live again soon.

3.  Vote Stand.  This is a new to the marketplace online app.  It is a Voter Fraud Android & iOS App re-release.  It will be found at www.votestand.com when it goes live.  It will definitely be ready for the November 2014 elections.  Volunteers and voters are encouraged to say something if they see something at voting polls, such as fraud or suppression.  This app is a way of reporting it to True the Vote in real time.

Engelbrecht noted that polling shows that over 80% of voters agree with Voter ID laws.

The Texas Voter ID lawsuit is in court now.  For the first time ever, DOJ kept this lawsuit at the district level, not at the federal level.

There is more waiting in the wings, we were told.  Immediately after the November 2014 elections, True the Vote vows to go into full mode for 2016 elections.  There is the promise of a 2015 True the Vote Summit.  "Believe me when I say we are very focused" , said Engelbrecht.

Engelbrecht ended with "Hang on.  There is a lot of work to do and it is going to take all of us."  "We believe we really can True the Vote."

Chris Carmona, Candidate for Texas House District 148, Makes National GOP List

Two Texas races have appeared on an important list, distributed in press release form Tuesday by the Republican State Leadership Committee's Future Majority Project (RSLC) and "Right Women, Right Now" initiative.  The list was made during a regional meeting focusing on the midterm elections.
From their website:
"The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders and the only national organization whose mission is to elect down ballot, state-level Republican office-holders."
Today the Republican State Leadership Committee’s (RSLC) Future Majority Project and “Right Women, Right Now” initiative announced “14 in ’14 Races to Watch” during the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC) Northeast Regional Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. The meeting focused on Republicans’ opportunities to gain ground in the Northeast in the upcoming midterm elections.

Christine Toretti, RSLC Board Member and advisor to the Future Majority Project’s “Right Women, Right Now” initiative, issued the following statement announcing the “Races to Watch:”
“It is critical we ensure our Party reflects the full diversity of America and the RSLC’s Future Majority Project and “‘Right Women, Right Now” initiative has been instrumental in guaranteeing that female and diverse Republican candidates are a part of the political conversation, both nationwide and at the state level,” said Toretti.  “I applaud the candidates recognized today in these ‘Races to Watch’ and thank them for leading the way to help us grow the Republican Party in their respective states.”  

Toretti concluded by announcing the races to watch. 
Darius Foster – Alabama House 56
Anand Dubey – Alaska House 21
Rene Plasencia – Florida House 49
Bob Cortes – Florida House 30
Krishna Bansal – Illinois House 84
Tony Barton – Kansas House 41
Shamed Dogan – Missouri House 98
Victoria Seaman – Nevada Assembly 34
Herman Joubert – North Carolina Senate 22
Ervin Yen – Oklahoma Senate 40
Bryan Terry – Tennessee House 48
Sabi Kumar – Tennessee House 66
Rick Galindo – Texas House 117
Chris Carmona – Texas House 148

Tijuanna Adetunji – Alabama House 78
Michele Reagan – Arizona Secretary of State
Shawnna Bolick - Arizona House 28
Irene Littleton – Arizona Senate 8
Candice Benge – Colorado House 3
Terri Bryant – Illinois House 115
Erin Davis – Kansas House 15
Karyn Polito – Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor
Carol Ann Fausone – Michigan House 21
Jill Dickman – Nevada Assembly 31
Sharon Gamba – Rhode Island House 32
Patsy Hazlewood – Tennessee House 27
Sophia DiCaro- Utah House 31
Tracie Happel – Wisconsin Assembly 94
 Also included were these "Fast Facts":
Fast Facts on the Future Majority Project and Future Majority Caucus
  • For the 2013-2014 cycle, FMP announced a goal to identify 200 new diverse candidates as well as 300 new female candidates through its “Right Women, Right Now” initiative, with the goal of electing at least 75 diverse candidates and 150 women candidates.  Earlier this summer FMP announced 244 diverse candidates identified across the nation and 558 women through “Right Women, Right Now.”
  • In 2011, the RSLC launched the Future Majority Project – a forward-thinking outreach initiative intended to proactively grow the Republican Party. FMP named goals in 2011 of identifying 100 new candidates of Hispanic descent. Successes last cycle include exceeding initial goals by identifying 126 candidates of Hispanic descent in 26 states and increasing the number of Hispanic Republicans in office.
  • In February 2013, FMP announced the Future Majority Caucus, chaired by Governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, its leadership is comprised of current elected officials from the first class of last cycle’s FMP candidates – to work to expand the scope of recruitment by the RSLC to include not only candidates of Hispanic descent, but other candidates reflecting the breadth of ethnic diversity across the nation as well. In February of 2014, the FMC added 15 additional state-level legislators representing diverse backgrounds and recently added New Mexico House Conference Chairman Alonzo Baldonado to the caucus.
  • As part of FMP, RSLC also launched ‘Right Women, Right Now’ (RWRN), a sustained effort to identify and support Republican women candidates at the state level.  The goal for 2012 was to identify 150 new Republican female candidates with the goal of electing 75 to office.  RWRN successes included exceeding goals by identifying 191 new candidates and electing 84 new Republican women to state-level office in 36 states.
Down ballot races are crucial.  We know that "all politics is local" quote is true.  Future benches for state wide and national races begin at the local level.  

Monday, September 08, 2014

Did Wendy Davis' Abortion Revelations Jump the Shark?

Monday marked the full court press of a media campaign for Wendy Davis, the Democrat nominee running for Governor of the State of Texas. I happened to watch a fluff interview of her on Good Morning America. Pink sneakers! Raised by a single mom! Mom suffered from depression! She herself a single mom! Davis has written a book and quite deftly released it just less than two months before election day. The headline grabbing portion of this book is that Davis writes of two different abortions she had in the 1990's. Her campaign, after all, was launched due to her nationally noticed filibuster during the last session of the Texas legislature.  She gained national exposure as a Texas State Senator for her objection to the legislation before that body setting new demands on abortion clinics in Texas.  Democrats claimed these restrictions would cause women to be unable to obtain an abortion while Republicans insisted that these restrictions would bring accountability and safety measures for the sake of the women and their unborn babies.

She must have been saving her own abortion stories for the book because she didn't mention it as the primary reason she was vaulting herself unto the national political stage. Never once did she mention her own personal experiences.

Here is the irony - by making her campaign largely dependent on her new celebrity as an advocate for unrestricted abortion law, she has to make herself a sympathetic figure to women and has chosen this path.  She probably didn't forecast that voters can now draw a parallel between her and that of former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum and his wife Karen and how each were treated by national media.  During the very same year, in 1996, as Wendy Davis and her husband were having to make a very personal and difficult decision about abortion, the same decision faced Rick and Karen Santorum.  Both women were told that the developing fetuses they carried would be born with severe physical disabilities.  In the case of the Santorums, they were told that their baby would certainly die at birth.

In Forgetting to Be Afraid, Davis describes how she learned in the second trimester that the fetus developing in her womb had a severe brain abnormality. The brain of the fetus had essentially divided—developing without connections between the right and left sides. Doctors told Davis and her former husband Jeff, already parents of two young girls, that if the child survived birth it would be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state.

She went on to explain that she felt the baby wouldn't want to live with disabilities so she terminated the pregnancy.  She explained that the heart beat of the baby was "quieted" by drugs and she delivered via a Cesarean section.  She and her husband named the baby, took photos of the baby and introduced the baby to her two living daughters.  She said she had the baby baptized.

Let's think back to the 2012 Presidential Campaign of Rick Santorum.  The story was told of the tragic death of their newborn baby and the grief process the couple and their living children took to deal with that death.  At the time, the media took great sport in opining that the Santorums were some kind of kooks.  They were appalled that Rick and Karen took the baby home for the other children to see and understand the baby's death.  I will say that I was a bit taken aback by their actions, but who am I to say how a family should cope with such a tragedy?  Abiding by the candidate Santorum's fight against partial birth abortion, the birth of the baby without "quieting" the heart first seems reasonable.  

Karen Santorum was in the 19th week of pregnancy when a routine sonogram revealed that the child had a fatal defect and was going to die. Gabriel Michael Santorum, the unborn son of the Santorums, suffered from an obstruction of the urinary tract called posterior urethral valve syndrome. The Santorums consulted with specialists who offered several options—among them abortion.Rather than ending the life of their child, however, the Santorums elected to attempt a long-shot intrauterine surgery to correct the obstruction. Despite a high risk of infection through an incision in the womb, Karen underwent rare “bladder shunt” surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. The surgery did, in fact, lead to infection; and two days later, with a 105 degree fever, Karen was rushed to the high-risk pregnancy unit in Pittsburgh’s Magee-Women’s Hospital. Unless the source of the infection (the fetus) was removed from Karen’s body, they were told, she would likely die.Agonizing over the decision whether to hasten delivery for the developing but not-yet-viable child, thus saving Karen’s life, the Santorums had their answer when the antibiotics which fought Karen’s infection also caused her to go into labor. Doctors delivered tiny Gabriel Michael, and Rick Santorum baptized his newborn son. Rick and Karen held his tiny body in their arms, rocking him and singing to him, for two hours until he died. Then they did something rarely seen: They took his small body home so that their two older children could see their brother, could hold him and pray for God to welcome him into his heavenly kingdom.

One of the abortions of Wendy Davis was due to an ectopic pregnancy. I find it a bit odd that she lumps that in with the other abortion.  Ectopic pregnancy is life threatening to the mother if the pregnancy does not end.  The mother will bleed to death.  She claims this is how the state of Texas labels ectopic pregnancies. I am not the only one to notice that bit of oddness:

So OB/GYNs don’t consider ectopic pregnancies abortions, but what about Texas?  (By the way, I take Ms. Davis to mean induced abortion when we writes about “abortion” and her ectopic pregnancy). While I don’t practice in Texas I was able to find that state’s reporting form for induced abortions and there is no mention of ectopic pregnancy. The way the form is written doesn’t lead me to believe it is meant to include ectopic pregnancies. If there is another form that I’ve missed, please leave a link below.

Was it another play for sympathy in her campaign? I have no way of knowing.  That OB-GYN, though not a Texas practitioner, was puzzled by her terminology.

So, this is where we are.  Abortion continues to be a political volleyball, used by both parties.  Some people are single issue voters.  All of this is one of the reasons we have such personal discord among ordinary people when it comes to voting and social issues. 

Wendy Davis, a Democrat woman running for Governor of the State of Texas, may have jumped the shark on this story.  She is down considerably with likely voters when put up against her Republican opponent. Real Clear Politics has her down 12+ points.  We will soon know if her polling numbers move or not. Republican candidate Greg Abbott issued the following statement:

"The unspeakable pain of losing a child is beyond tragic for any parent. As a father, I grieve for the Davis family and for the loss of life," Abbott said Saturday of the disclosure in her memoir, which also revisited her termination of an ectopic pregnancy, for which there was no other option.

Carl Pittman Addresses Memorial West Republican Women

The featured speaker for Memorial West Republican Women's September meeting was Carl Pittman, author and candidate for Harris County Sheriff in 2016.  He spoke about character building implemented by his mother and of the importance for Republicans to reach out and spread the word of the Republican Party to those who may have never heard the truth of our principles and philosophy.

It is important to spread the word of the Republican Party in a more gentle way than the in your face style used by some.  Pittman used the example of speaking with a 72 year old gentleman several years ago who thought that President Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat because he freed the slaves.  Pittman corrected him tactfully and the man called him a couple of days later to say his grandson looked it up on the Internet for him and Lincoln was indeed a Republican.

Pittman's story is a truly American story - born in a two room home with the help of a midwife, the home had no running water until he was 15 years old, a tin roof and an outhouse.  Born in Fulshear, Texas, his father died when he was 5 years old.  His mother picked and chopped cotton, picked pecans and other local crops as the primary source of income for the family.  His mother had a 3rd grade education.

From his biography I used to introduce him at the meeting:

"Immediately after high school Carl joined the United States Marines, serving with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton, California as an infantry Marine serving under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan.

After being honorably discharged from the Marines in 1985, Carl joined the San Diego Police Department and then served the National City Police Department approximately 17 miles north of the Mexican/U.S. border at Tijuana.  His duty assignments were as a patrol officer, gang and narcotics officer and Patrol Sergeant.  During the early 1990's as a Detective, he was assigned to the J.U.D.G.E. unit, a federally funded task force.  He was a State of California Superior Court qualified expert in narcotics and gangs such as the Mexican Mafia known as La Eme and Hell's Angels.

Carl  left law enforcement in 1993 for the private sector becoming a real estate broker and subsequently founding  The Pittman Company Real Estate and Mortgage Services in 1997 serving as the managing broker.

Carl returned home to Texas in 2001 and joined the Harris County Sheriff's Office where assignments have included detentions, background investigations, internal affairs and currently serving since 2007 as a Criminal Investigator.

Carl is the author of the recently released book titled, The Personal Journey of a Black Common Sense Conservative.  Carl is a member of Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for nearly two decades, which is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research.  Carl will be seeking the Republican nomination for Harris County Sheriff in 2016."

Saturday, September 06, 2014

White House Announces Immigration Action Will Wait Until November

Early on a Saturday morning, ripe with the possibility of the least amount of Americans noticing, President Obama's White House announced that his next actions on immigration reform will not be known until after the November 2014 mid-term elections.

A quick sentence from the AP declared the latest blatantly political decision from this President:

"White House officials: Obama to delay immigration action until after November election."
Apparently the ruse that Obama had to fly back to Washington from Martha's Vineyard at further taxpayer expense for a two day round of meetings with his administration officials was just that - a smokescreen used for him to travel to his former chef's wedding.

This comes on the heels of reports that even Obama's fellow elected Democrats don't want the political firestorm of continued Execution Order action from him as it relates to illegal immigrants.

Founder and Executive Director of America's Voice sent out this tweet upon learning of the announcement:

 We are bitterly disappointed in the President and Democrats. We didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it.

Sharry stated recently during a discussion with the a group of conservatives and liberals assembled by a Huffington Post writer :

"I think it's going to be 5 to 6 million [people affected by deferred detention]," said Sharry. "And Obama is going to, he's going to go for it. He's going to go for it. And he's going to be rolling a hand grenade in the middle of American politics that is going to explode."
"I think he is playing to history more than the immediate politics," he added. 

The group was discussing the possibilities of Obama's actions last month, as liberals were chomping at the bit that he go big with something so as to rally the base of the party to get out the vote in the mid-term elections.  The other side of that coin is that big actions taken with Congressional approval via votes will also rally conservative voters.  As usual, Obama took the safest path to save his own skin.

In August, as all the liberal pundits, writers and pollsters were encouraging the president to act and act big, this quote from Democrat pollster Celinda Lake sums it up:

Democratic Pollster Celinda Lake to The Hill — “It would help with Latino voters and we’re in desperate need of higher turnout among Latino voters. Right now they could say, ‘Nobody cares about us, nobody is doing anything for us – either party.”

It cannot be any more clear that President Obama and the Democrats care about little more than the politics of such an important policy.  

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Obama Shows Weakness - Admits No Strategy on ISIS/ISIL

Recently President Obama put in an appearance in the White House briefing room for the press corps and said essentially nothing.  He is quite good at that.  He probably didn't count on one particular answer to a question on the U.S. response to the brutality of ISIL in which he said we have no plan of action yet.

Not only was this astounding to the average viewer of this press briefing, it must have rocked our allies in Europe and delighted our enemies abroad.  I can well imagine the leadership of ISIL and other bad actors high fiving each other as they gathered around their electronic devices to hear what the leader of the free world had to say about them.  This sent an unimaginably bad message to everyone, most importantly the American people.  Once again, our president proves he is incapable of making a decision to protect the security of our country and to reassure our allies that America will step up to do the right thing.

ISIS/ISIL has been well known to us for the past four years, with each year bringing them closer to gaining momentum. Since last January, ISIS has made considerable progress in taking over Iraqi provinces. Finally, after months of begging for help, the Kurds are receiving a bit of support from this administration.  This president was unable to complete an agreement for leaving some troops for support in Iraq - a deliberate move, in my opinion - and now we see that this president has snatched defeat from victory in Iraq.  Obama ran on being the anti- Iraq war candidate and has ruled as such. Hillary Clinton recently admitted her votes on Iraq were solely politically motivated, not what she thought was really best for that country.  This is why Democrats are not to be trusted in foreign policy.

Joe Biden ran as the guy to bring heft to the ticket in 2008, as Obama had no foreign policy experience.  He essentially had no experience for the job of president but Americans fell in love with the idea of the first black president and even solid Republicans felt justified in voting for that ticket in 2008.  Sadly, Obama has proven to be an affirmative action kind of president - one who would certainly have never survived the initial Democratic primary races had he not been a black man. This is some hard truth that has been unspoken for too long and now our country is the laughingstock of free nations.

British Prime Minister Cameron interrupted his summer vacation to go back to 10 Downing Street and the British Parliament when the American journalist was beheaded by ISIL to send a message to President Obama and the West to not continue air strikes meant to diminish ISIL advances.  What did President Obama do? He finally issued a weak statement of sympathy over the journalist's death and a quick trip back to Washington, D.C. while contending that he had made no decision or put in place policy to attend to these fresh threats. Today we learn that the second American journalist held as hostage has met the same fate as his colleague.

Obama seems to believe that if he wishes away the brutal actions of ISIL or of Russian President Putin, then atrocities in Iraq and Syria and Ukraine will just not exist.  The evidence is that Team Obama is incapable of leading the free world.  Who can believe that we are where we are as America?

In recent editorials and op-eds, this has been addressed.  Former chess champion Garry Kasparov has written about the situation with President Putin, most recently HERE. Ukraine is falling into going to war with Russia over their sovereignty as a nation. Where is America?  Ukraine doesn't want our American boots on the ground there but are asking for equipment and training to fight Putin's army.

The world changed a bit last Friday as Putin delivered a blusterous speech boasting of Russia's nuclear power and might.  Clearly he intends to continue his march to take land which no longer belongs to Russia. He was allowed to take Crimea without outside opposition and was emboldened by that. What is after Ukraine? Estonia? Latvia?

"What we’re seeing around the world is a revolt of the weak. There are certain weak movements and nations, beset by internal contradictions, that can’t compete if they play by the normal rules of civilization. Therefore, they are conspiring to blow up the rule book."
That is from a piece written by David Brooks in the New York Times. He continues:

"The first example is Russia. Putin is poor in legitimacy. He is poor in his ability to deliver goods and dignity for his people. But he is rich in brazenness. He is rich in his ability to play by the lawlessness of the jungle, so he wants the whole world to operate by jungle rules.
There has been a norm, generally operating over the past few decades, or even centuries, that big, powerful nations don’t gobble up everything around them just because they can. But this is precisely the norm that Putin is brazenly crushing under foot. If Putinism can effectively tear down this norm, more and more we’ll live in a world in which brazenness is rewarded and self-restraint is punished.
Then there are the Islamist movements like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. This movement is poor in offering a lifestyle that most people find attractive. But it is strong in spiritual purity, so it wants to set off a series of religious wars and have the world organized by religious categories.
There has been a norm, developed gradually over the centuries, that politics is not a totalistic spiritual enterprise. Governments try to deliver order and economic benefits to people, but they do not organize their inner spiritual lives.
This is precisely the norm that ISIS and other jihadi groups are trying to destroy. If they succeed, then the Middle East will devolve into a 30 years war of faith against faith. Zealotry will be rewarded, and restraint will be punished.
Putin and ISIS are not threats to American national security, narrowly defined. They are threats to our civilizational order."

Unfortunately, President Obama and his team are looking to be the weakest of all.