Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Harris County GOP Candidates In Contested Primary Races: Endorsement Process Has Begun

Are you a Republican candidate in a contested primary race in Harris County for the 2016 election cycle?  It's time to sign up for an interview with United Republicans of Harris County.  The Board of Directors is reaching out to candidates as the filing deadline has passed.

The process has recently been streamlined and online registration is available.  Just go to http://unitedrepublicansharriscounty.com/Endorsement-Process-2016 and choose a convenient date and time from those listed.  Easy, peasy.

Are you a first time candidate?  Here's a little background from the website:

United Republicans has been a much recognized part of the Republican Primary with our extensive endorsement process.  In the hope of providing ethical and well qualified nominees for our Party, our endorsements are much sought after by candidates running for office.  Our hands on process of interviewing candidates in person and providing them with questionnaires regarding their qualifications makes us unique to the political process.  We are the ONLY such organization in Harris County that has continually and consistently provided a venue for candidates to be considered fairly based on merit, qualifications, and participation in the Republican Party.  We are the ONLY organization in Harris County to interview candidates in person as part of our selection process.  Our Board Members literally spend hours researching candidates before endorsements are issued in order to provide you the voter with the best possible recommendations.  We are proud of our accomplishment of being the only endorsing entity in Harris County to have chosen the Winning Congressional Candidate in all of the open Congressional seats in our greater Houston region.

The process is fair, with extensive research and a huge commitment of time by the members of the Board of Directors.  The slate of endorsements produced by United Republicans is well established as a well respected source of information for GOP primary voters.

Interview dates and times are available as soon as January 7, 2015 through the website: http://unitedrepublicansharriscounty.com/Endorsement-Process-2016

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Alan Bernstein Calls Bill King Voters "Anti-Gay Taliban"

Hella race, Bill King.  It was a nail biter watching the vote tallies come in Saturday night.  My chocolate stash took a serious hit along the way.

As always, I was checking out Twitter after the final results were reported and the speeches were made by Mr King and Mayor-Elect Turner.  Lo and behold, I come across a tweet from former political reporter and political editor of the Houston Chronicle, Alan Bernstein.  Look what he had to say about you, Houston King supporters:

Obama backed Turner. The local anti-gay Taliban backed King. Turner won the ‪#‎houstonmayorrunoff‬. Goodnight.

He's a classy guy, right?  Not only does he paint King voters with a broad brush, he describes us as terrorists!  Not particularly clever or original.  I suppose we should be used to that sort of accusation after hearing it so often from the Democrats.  Most recently Hillary Clinton said that Republicans were her enemy, like Iran.  So, there you go.

And if Barack Obama butting into Houston's mayoral race had any decent outcome, it sure didn't show up in the final numbers.  This was the closest mayoral race in thirty years.  

Wait til next time.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Can Republicans Take Charge in Houston?

Now is the time, conservative voters in Houston, to get out there and take the city back.  Saturday, December 12, 2015 is the date of the Joint Runoff Election.  If you didn't take advantage of the most convenient way of voting - Early Voting - HERE is where you can find all the information you could possibly need to vote Saturday. The weather should cooperate and there is no excuse for not doing what you know you should do.

Republican leaning voters are fired up that the polling data shows a very close race.  Think of that - the real possibility of a Republican surge into Houston's governance.  City elections, most often described as non-partisan (though actual voters know better) are the ground floor of the policy decisions that affect our lives.  Local elections are also how candidates begin to establish political careers.  Look at Mayor Parker, for example.  She left the private sector, went on to elected offices in city government and is now considered to be a future state wide or national level candidate.  Don't you want to encourage conservative candidates to get into and stay in the arena?

The Mayoral race is important.  United Republicans of Harris County held a very successful,standing room only,candidate forum before the primary election was held.  If you weren't able to attend a forum to check out the candidates, I suggest you go HERE for my recommended choice. *** FULL DISCLOSURE*** I am an officer on the Board of Directors of United Republicans of Harris County.  The PAC didn't endorse in this race, or any of the races on the ballot. I speak only for myself.

Just as important for consideration are the down ballot races - those for Houston City Council and Houston City Controller.  Please consider voting for both Roy Morales, for Houston City Council, At Large 4 and Bill Frazer, for Houston City Controller.  Both of these men are solid, consistent Republicans.

There is hope for the beginning of some real change, Houstonians.  Don't just complain about potholes, an uptick in crime and rising taxes. Let's get it done!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Today is Election Day - Let Your Voice Be Heard

Today is Election Day, Texans!  The weather is beautiful in Houston and there is no more time left to make excuses about not being able to go vote.  On a selfish note, I am delivering a call to action for voters of my city.

It's important. Maybe you don't think it's important to vote in a primary election but nothing could be further from the truth, especially in Texas.  A primary election, as a general rule, has a lower voter turnout than the general election.  Your vote will carry much more weight today than in November.  It is important to exercise your right to vote at both times.

Politics begins at the local level.  Republicans, in particular, believe in government control at the closest level to the people as possible.  The further out the government control gets from the people, the more ineffective government becomes.  Today Houston elects a new mayor, city council members, and also decides the passage of some propositions and amendments.  There are important decisions to be made at both the local and state level.

Go HERE to find your polling place and a sample ballot. All of the information is there.

Friday, October 16, 2015

United Republicans' Fundraiser October 29, 2015

You won't want to miss this program!  

Reserve your seat now!  Deadline to RSVP: October 19, 2015

This is a rare event with United Republicans of Harris County - the very first fundraiser!  This is your opportunity to support a truly independent PAC striving to put solid Republicans into office. Your support is a vital part of getting the information out to Harris County voters.

Table sponsorship includes program recognition and announcement at the event.  Cash bar available during registration and social.  

For more information, go to  www.urhc.net

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"In This Together" by Ann Romney - A Book Review

I love a personal story.  Everyone has a story to tell and Ann Romney has a great one.  In her recently released book, In This Together, Ann Romney focuses on the life altering event of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease without a cure. Far from being a sad story, Romney's book left me feeling inspired and impressed with her personal strength and determination to carry on with her life. She described this book as "a love letter to those people who are suffering" not just from MS but with any difficulty.

Ann Romney writes about her upbringing, her family, her courtship with Mitt, her children and friends. The lion's share of the book, however, concentrates on her journey with MS. She shares her journey from the time she was diagnosed in 1998 through today.  Her future plans include the opening of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, scheduled for October, 2016, for which she is the Global Ambassador.

I had the privilege to be on a conference call with Mrs Romney during her book tour.  Let me share some of that conversation.

Along with a treatment of cortisone infustions, she learned about non-traditional treatment options from a friend of a friend also living with MS.  Once a skeptic, she soon became a believer. After almost three years of seeing a Reflexologist three times a week and riding horses five days a week, she began to feel like she was doing a little better with the most devastating of her symptoms, fatigue. She never needed a walker or wheelchair but she said she did lean on Mitt for balance when she was at times unstable as she walked.  The steroids reduced the numbness in her leg enough to be able to walk.  She is still unsteady on her right leg.

Her greatest disappointment in the loss of the national election for President in 2012 with Mitt, other than America being denied the talents of her husband's leadership, was the loss of using her megaphone as First Lady to make MS research her choice of initiative while serving in the White House.  She has channeled that energy into the Center for Neurologic Diseases.  Research and scientists conducting studies will all be under one roof, searching for cures for five different challenges - MS, Parkinson's Disease, Altzheimer's, ALS and brain tumors. Proceeds from this book go to Center.

Why did Ann Romney write this book?  Here are her own words, from the transcript of the conference call:

Mrs. Romney:
"When I decided to write this, I meant this to be a book that would really help others. And I thought the way to do
that was to be as honest as I possibly could, to hold nothing back. And to really share how depressed I was,
how difficult it was, how it affected my life in every single way.  And to do that, I had to be completely honest.  I
just felt that that was really important, and yes, it was hard to share some of those things, and yes it was hard
to write some of those things. But, I decided to do it so that people would really know that it’s a complete
window to my soul, and there is nothing left, and it’s completely honest."

This is a compelling human story of being knocked down with a devastating, life altering illness and finding the strength to carry on.  Mrs. Romney is not only moving on in her life, she is thriving.

I was approached by a representative of St Martin's Press and offered the book for review.  Thanks to Karlyn Hixson for making it such a pleasant experience.

Are you interested in a copy of this book to read for yourself?  I can help with that!  Thanks to St. Martin's Press and a very generous offer, I have three (3) books to give away!  Just put your name and email address in the comments section and I will contact you.  Easy, peasy.  You won't regret reading this story.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Houston City Council, District G Forum

Please join Memorial West Republican Women and Houston West Chamber of Commerce for a candidate forum featuring the candidates running to fill the Houston City Council, District G position.  The current officeholder, Oliver Pennington, is term limited out, so it is an important race.  This is one of the few opportunities to hear from these candidates in a forum style setting.

Come have a cup of coffee and connect with fellow Houstonians working to support Republicans running for office in a very Democrat run city!

Memorial West Republican Women PAC's
Candidates Forum - City Council, District G
Thursday, October 8, 2015
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
6:30 PM  - Refreshments & Conversation    |    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM  - Forum
Trini Mendenhall Community Center - 1414 Wirt Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Join the Memorial West Republican Women PAC
for a Candidates Forum, featuring:

Sandie Mullins MogerGregory Travis
Free  & Open to the Public

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Wish Comes True for Speaker Boehner as He Resigns

For twenty years, John Boehner (R-OH) has sought to extend an invitation to the Pope and give him the opportunity to address Congress.  Thursday that dream came true.  In a historic moment, Pope Francis spoke to the members of Congress and guests about a host of topics. 

The political side of this Pope - he considered a career in politics before entering the priesthood - shined as he lectured on everything from climate change and social justice to the sanctity of life and charity.  All parts of the political spectrum could cherry pick a bit here and there to claim the Pope is in agreement of the listener's political agenda.

Many in the audience, and surely many listening elsewhere, were moved to tears at the spirit of the moment.  As is his nature, Speaker Boehner used his handkerchief more than once.

Friday morning brought the news that Speaker Boehner will resign at the end of October.  After a rocky tenure and recent years of bomb throwers coming into elected office, herding cats has been quite a challenge.  He is known for his respect of the institution and it's place in the political process. 

An honorable man and longtime public servant will no doubt receive cheers from his detractors wishing him a speedy exit.  That's too bad.  He came into office at the time of Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution in the early 1990's.  That was an historic time as Republicans took control of the branches of the federal government for the first time in 40 years. 

Let's hope for a smooth transition as we enter a very important national election year.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Memorial West Republican Women Now Using Pinterest

Memorial West Republican Women PAC is now using Pinterest.  Taking full advantage of the capabilities of social media, Memorial West RW is reaching out to audiences across the spectrum. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. 

Think of it as a virtual bulletin board.  

From Wikipedia:

Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use.[5] Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images—known as pins—and other media content (e.g., videos and images) through collections known as pinboards.[6] Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform. Users can browse the content of others on the main page. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the "Pin It" button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme. Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members. By doing so, the users "pin feed" displays unique, personalized results.

It is a fun way to keep organized, in this instance, the club photos from meetings, field trips, community engagement and projects.  

Check it out!


Friday, May 22, 2015

American Phoenix Foundation Stalks Texas Legislators in Austin

Sarah Davis, State Rep District 134 and Debbie Riddle, State Rep District 150 are being stalked at the State Capitol in Austin.  It is uncomfortable for them as the video Rep Davis' put on her Facebook page shows. Rep Riddle shared the video on her Facebook page and learned of those behind the project from a commenter.  This is some eye-opening creepy gotcha stuff.  As women, it is no wonder they are uncomfortable as a guy dressed in all black follows - too closely, I might add - a woman legislator around the Capitol.  Any woman would feel a violation of personal space and on edge with concern for her personal safety.

From Sarah Davis' Facebook page:


What you are witnessing in this video is what I have experienced four to six times a day for the last three weeks. If you want to know what it is like to be in politics today, watch this.
Posted by Sarah Davis for State Representative 134 on Thursday, May 21, 2015

From Debbie Riddle's Facebook page:

"What Representative Sarah Davis has been experiencing with this creepy guy is what many of us have been dealing with at the Capitol. As I leave the House Chamber or go into a committee meeting, or even head down the hall to the underground parking, even getting on an elevator these creepy guys are stalking with their hidden cameras. It will be interesting to see who is financing their creepiness."

Riddle notes that it is not just female politicians, but males, too, being closely followed by silent stalkers.

What you notice in the video is the guy dressed in black looks at the camera and smirks after Rep Davis confronts him. Clearly he is enjoying her irritation.

So, I wondered, who is financing this stalking?  It turns out to be a "conservative" group, working to sabotage Republicans on video. The group is called American Phoenix Foundation. The Texas Tribune has a piece on this:

The activist group employing people who have been secretly recording lawmakers has talked about having a bipartisan mission to root out misdeeds of lawmakers no matter the political stripe.But four large donors to the American Phoenix Foundation — the Strake Foundation, the State Policy Network, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, and Jeff Sandefer's Ed Foundation — are well-known backers of conservative causes. The donations show what many had suspected  — that money was coming in from institutional organizations active in other conservative causes.

Then a spokesperson made the following statement:

The four groups "did not donate to this project or to this year's budget at all," a man who identified himself as John Beria, a spokesman for American Phoenix, said in an email Thursday. He added that American Phoenix remains committed to targeting misdeeds by lawmakers from any party. 
Going further:

American Phoenix is headed by Joseph Basel, who in 2010 was among four people who were arrested and charged with entering federal property under false pretenses in Louisiana. The group, pretending to be telephone repairmen, entered then-U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans. Basel later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, serve two years' probation and perform 75 hours of community service. One of his co-defendants in that case, Stan Dai, is also an officer with American Phoenix.
 George Strake, who served as former Texas secretary of state under Gov. Bill Clements, told the Tribune that his foundation contributed to American Phoenix because he's a fan of the group's vice president, Hannah Giles. Strake added that his donations were made years ago and didn't have anything to do with the group's recent videotaping project. But he didn't rule out donating to them in the future.
Giles, who is now married to Basel, drew national headlines in 2009 when she and fellow conservative activist James O'Keefe entered the offices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN — an activist group known for its voter registration drives — to ask for a housing loan to fund a brothel.  
The article includes a chart of the major donors to this group.  Included is Empower Texans and Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Full disclosure: As stated in the article, "Franklin Center funds Watchdog.org, a journalism network operating in nearly 20 states, including Texas."  I have been a contributor to Watchdog.org - Texas in the past.  Also, I have a history with Texas Public Policy Foundation, including attending and blogging during the Annual Policy Orientations and other special events to which I have been invited.

While transparency is important, common decency is expected from anyone approaching an elected official.  Video taping every move and word uttered from an elected official in order to play gotcha may be acceptable to some but hardly worthy of professionals.  Conservatives turning on other conservatives has become commonplace and that is unfortunate. All of this latest bad behavior on display seems to be a tactic utilized by those who oppose the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus.  

Use the link above - copy and paste if needed and watch the brief video of Rep Sarah Davis and one of the stalkers.  

What a sad chapter in politics.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Facts on Jade Helm 15 - Tin Foil Hats Not Included

If, like me, you are concerned by the way the media is betraying the good people of Texas by the reporting of a military operation that will happen this summer, I can help.  You can find the facts about Jade Helm 15 here: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/258605525?access_key=key-dS1ZhJJ4ZgCH6XXhBqWp&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll

Do not let the conspiracy theory believers suck you into the world of tin foil hats. This is a drill run by the U.S. Army.  How insulting is it to the military that they are being treated as though they are a part of a plot to take over the State of Texas?  I don't think this silliness shows the military members the respect they deserve. And gratitude. 

Last I looked, the State of Texas is a part of the United States of America.  The federal government already has certain controls over Texas.  And all states.  

Why was Texas chosen to be one of the states used in this Special Ops training? Texas has, in the past, proven to be a state supportive of the U.S. military.  This state has several large military facilities. Texas has the land and areas of low population needed by the operation. This is a state that military veterans come to or stay in to retire.  New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and Colorado are also part of this exercise.  

Texas will benefit financially from this training exercise.  Supplies, fuel, food, lodging, etc. will all be purchased locally.  

Unfortunately, some politicians are using this unrest by some in our state for political gain.  The governor has committed National Guard troops to supervise the exercises. This is a waste of taxpayer money and resources. What exactly would the National Guard do, anyway, if all this conspiracy theory that it is a scheme to enforce martial law on the state was true? 

GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have been asked about the near hysteria of some in the state.  Cruz rightly said he has no reason to question the military motives or stated intent.  Then, unfortunately, he launched into claiming he understood why some would be concerned, given the record of less than truthfulness from the president. Supporting the military was all that needed to be said.  Rand Paul claimed he knew nothing about Jade Helm 15 but would have staff look into it. 

Support the military.  America needs the honed skills of trained warriors, now more than ever.  The Special Ops members are the top of the skilled warriors. Show gratitude, not contempt.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

TFRW Hosts Benghazi Security Force Survivors as Speakers

Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) held its quarterly General Board meeting Friday in Austin. The featured lunch speakers were two men who bravely fought and survived the horrific attacks in Benghazi which led to the deaths of the American Ambassador and three other Americans. Their story is compelling, dramatic, emotional and one that must not soon be forgotten.

You will remember that this attack on an American embassy and outpost in Benghazi marked the death by terrorists of American Ambassador Chris Stevens, the first such murder in decades.  An American security detail was called upon to fight off the attackers.  They were not State Department employees.  They were Special Operative contractors. They were members of the American security force.

You will remember that the American response to the cry for help from those on the ground in Benghazi was slow, to be generous in description.  That help wasn't seen until sixteen (16) hours later, long past the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three American colleagues.  Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to answer the call and then failed to successfully deal with the immediacy of the attacks.  When questioned by Congress, she famously replied, "What difference does it make?"

Just move on, people.  Nothing to see here.  The Democrats will soon enough nominate Hillary Clinton as their candidate for president in 2016 and her willing cohorts, the media and American press, are more than happy to oblige.  The claim is that the Republicans on The Hill are taking advantage of that horrible day and playing politics, simply because committees have asked questions. Never mind that oversight is one of the responsibilities of Congress. It's their job.

The two men who were the speakers for the TFRW lunch have co-authored a book about their experiences that day and the aftermath.  The men graciously added time to the visit with the TFRW board and guests to sign the books for sale.  Proceeds from the book will go to the project founded by one of the men and his wife.

The project is named Shadow Warriors Project. Mark and Krystal Geist founded the project.  Geist served as a Marine for twelve years and was badly wounded in the battle in Benghazi as a member of the American security force. This is a very worthy endeavor to help and support wounded Special Operative contractors and their families, as they are not supported by government programs, as they would be as employees of the State Department.  These men told their audience that they had to make their own travel arrangements home for Libya and pay for it all, too.  They were left to fend for themselves.  This is inexcusable.

Theirs is a haunting story of American heroes working in dangerous places in the world to protect and serve America.  They all deserve our support and gratitude.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

United Republicans of Harris County Hear Timely Scoops from Congressman Culberson

U.S. Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) was the guest speaker for the March 9, 2015 general meeting of United Republicans of Harris County.  Despite some truly dreadful weather, a room full of interested citizens gathered to hear a Washington update from the congressman.  

No one left disappointed.

Congressman Culberson is an engaging, enthusiastic, humble, and knowledgeable politician.  He works a room, shaking every hand and speaking will all.  He is a happy warrior, as Ronald Reagan encouraged us all to be. He was prepared to speak about any topic and took lots of questions from the audience.

During his talk to the group, the congressman delivered two special tidbits.  He spoke about how he has figured out a very useful tactic to get desired results for conservatives in Congress, using the budgeting process.  As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, he has a strong voice in the allocation of budget dollars.  

He is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, or CJS. The CJS Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and other related agencies; Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee; and he serves on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee.

Congressman Culberson told us about using his recently discovered process of working with government officials to promote common sense, conservative distribution of monies. How does he do it?  He talks to them and persuades them.  Imagine that.  For instance, today the congressman delivered on a tidbit he mentioned during the meeting - giving the group in attendance the first knowledge of the upcoming win for Second Amendment loyal supporters - when the ATF dropped moving ahead with banning some ammunition for firearms.  Culberson met with the necessary person at AFT and provided a "come to Jesus" moment for him. He told us that after the time allotted for public comment of the bill expired, he was certain an announcement would come.  And it did.

United Republicans and supporters were the first ones to have a behind the scene glimpse into making that happen, thanks to the leadership of John Culberson.

Here is the press release I received in an email today:

Washington, D.C.—Congressman John Culberson (TX-07) today released the following statement regarding a decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to drop a proposed ban on  the manufacture and sale of 5.56 mm/.223 caliber M855 “green tip” ammunition widely used by sportsman:
“The ATF made the right call today by reversing course on a misguided plan that would have trampled on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.“In the meeting I had with ATF officials last Thursday, I brought up the serious concerns I had  with the proposed framework – all things I had heard from my constituents.  By the end of our discussion, we had come to a consensus on how to best move forward. “This is an example of how regulators and Congress should work together.    “All of us in Texas love law enforcement and want to help ATF officers stop gun smugglers, drug smugglers and other criminals – not law-abiding American sportsman who use this ammo every day for target practice, shooting competitions and hunting.“The slippery slope of federal overreach impacts every aspect of our daily lives, and this issue is just another example of how we must be constantly vigilant in protecting the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.“I truly appreciate the ATF for hearing us out and commend the agency for making the right decision.”Congressman Culberson is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science which oversees ATF funding.  In addition to meeting with ATF leadership, Culberson also signed a March 4 letter to ATF Director B. Todd Jones expressing serious concerns about the proposed ban, explaining that it would “establish an unduly restrictive standard, does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law, and will interfere with Second Amendment rights..."

The crowd was diverse in Republican political philosophy, as was shown during the reading of the presidential straw poll results.  The potential candidate who came in First Place was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  A more distant Second Place produced a tie between former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz.  

Friday, March 06, 2015

United Republicans of Harris County To Host Congressman Culberson

The March 9, 2015 general meeting of United Republicans of Harris County features guest speaker Congressman John Culberson.  Culberson represents the Seventh Congressional District of Texas.

Congressman Culberson was elected in 2000 to serve Texans living in the Seventh Congressional District and is now the Chairman, the former seat  of  President George H.W. Bush and Bill Archer.

He chairs the CJS Subcommittee, which oversees the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, and other related agencies.  As Chairman, John is committed to ensuring that the Attorney General respects the rule of law and providing America’s law enforcement officers with the resources they need to protect our lives and property. 
He serves on the all-important House Appropriations Committee, which funds the federal government.  He also serves on subcommittees - including the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee, Homeland Security Subcommittee and the Transportation Housing & Urban Development Subcommittee.

The public is welcome and parking is free, as is attendance.  Come and hear the Washington Update from Congressman Culberson and bring your questions for him.

The meeting, held at the Sosa Center on Wirt Road, begins at 7:00 pm. Come at 6:30 pm for coffee and conversation before the meeting begins. Bring a friend.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Netanyahu Receives Strong Support In Congress For Speech

Some Democrats in Congress and all of the Obama administration, including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, decided to politicize the speech that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu  delivered to Congress at the invitation of Speaker John Boehner. They did not attend as a means of showing disapproval. 

Alan Dershowitz wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the Democrats' decision to boycott the speech from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is a breech of protocal and an indecent way to act:
Congress has every right to invite, even over the president’s strong objection, any world leader or international expert who can assist its members in formulating appropriate responses to the current deal being considered with Iran regarding its nuclear-weapons program. Indeed, it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who probably knows more about this issue than any world leader, because it threatens the very existence of the nation state of the Jewish people.Congress has the right to disagree with the prime minister, but the idea that some members of Congress will not give him the courtesy of listening violates protocol and basic decency to a far greater extent than anything Mr. Netanyahu is accused of doing for having accepted an invitation from Congress.

He also reminds the reader that President Obama sent British Prime Minister Cameron to lobby members of Congress in dealing with the Iranian negotiations.  That move was clearly an intrusion into the separation of powers.  Separate but equal powers, according to the Constitution.  The man touted as a Constitutional Scholar conveniently ignores the document when it works to his advantage. It is the duty of both parties to listen to opposing views.

Before the speech, Speaker John Boehner released a video about the occasion and the details. Despite what the Democrats would have us believe, interest in attending the event was huge:
  Prime Minister Netanyahu’s audience will include members of Congress from both parties, as well as guests in the gallery.  Speaker Boehner’s guests include former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Elie Wiesel, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal.·       Given the ties between America and Israel, it’s no surprise that interest in attending the speech is high.  We’ve had 10 times the number of requests for tickets than there are seats available in the gallery.  In fact, demand is so overwhelming that both the House and Senate have set up separate viewing locations, which are also ticketed events.
A list of those declaring their boycott of the speech beforehand was released.  It included the usual suspects - far left Democrats, Muslim American politicians, Black Caucus members - who are not normally aligned with Israel anyway.  How embarrassing for them that it all turned out so well. The speech was well received - rivaling any State of the Union address for the number of standing ovations and cheers from the audience - and Prime Minister Netanyahu made his case against an Iranian nuke deal in the first five minutes.  The rest of the time he reinforced his conclusions and rallied support for Israel, which was his purpose in the first place.

President Obama was for a no nukes policy with Iran before he was against it.  As noted in this brief history, Obama is unable, or unwilling, to show leadership against an ever increasing threat to Israel:

In June 2010 the administration pushed, and the U.N. Security Council adopted, Resolution 1929, which “demands” that “Iran halt all enrichment activities.” But now the administration will endorse Iran’s “right” to an industrial-scale enrichment capability—a right, incidentally, that the administration denies to South Korea.Resolution 1929 also states that Iran is “prohibited from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles.” But Iran continues to manufacture and test ballistic missiles, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demands they be mass produced, and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator is adamant that “we are not ready to discuss this matter with any foreigner.” All of which gives the lie to weak State Department protestations that a deal will halt the ballistic missile program.In December 2013, Mr. Obama personally assured a pro-Israel audience in Washington that, when it came to diplomacy, “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Now unnamed administration officials are selling the line that “the alternative to not having a deal is losing inspections, and an Iran ever-closer to having the fissile material to manufacture a weapon.” In other words, virtually any deal is better than no deal.In March 2012, Mr. Obama insisted “my policy is not containment, my policy is to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.” He has said as much on some 20 other occasions. But the deal being contemplated now, with a sunset provision that will ultimately give Iran the right to enrich in whatever quantities and to whatever levels it wants, is neither prevention nor containment.
Despite what the doubting Democrats proclaimed, the speech was not about politics for Netanyahu, it was to state his opposition to a bad deal reported to be crafted together by Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration with Iran. Netanyahu is protecting his country when challenged.

“I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention,” he said. “I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade. I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.” 
Overall, Netanyahu avoided making his controversial speech more controversial, demonstrated that most of Congress is on his side, and left town without giving his U.S. critics inside and outside the administration new ammunition. It was a speech devoid of real news, but that was the Israeli prime minister's plan.
Most of all, Netanyahu accomplished what Obama has been unable to do - explain in very plain terms the dangers of a nuclear Iran and the threats to the survival of Israel.  Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Obama Vetoes Keystone Pipeline XL Project

As promised in the run up to a Republican majority in Congress, the House and Senate passed a Keystone Pipeline XL bill to authorize its approval and sent the bill to the president.  Tuesday afternoon, he vetoed that bill.  He, too, lived up to his pledge.

"[B]ecause this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment -- it has earned my veto," Obama wrote in his veto message to the Senate. 
It's not over, though.  

Mr. Obama’s veto did not reject the pipeline outright; rather, it allows the president to retain decisionmaking authority over the $8 billion project, which requires a green light from the State Department because it crosses the US-Canada border.
The studies have been made over and over again.  This decision making process has been ongoing for  six long years. The State Department has ok'd the project.  There is nothing else to be decided upon. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State enjoyed the postponements of the project to appease the ultra left environmentalists, as Obama does, but even she came around to saying she was inclined to say yes to its approval.  The longer Obama stalls on the final decision - as the State Department now does a "final" analysis, the closer the issue comes to Hillary's expected run for president in 2016, when she will once again be appeasing the far left electorate.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gov Scott Walker Should Listen to Sen Rubio

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has managed to get himself into another public relations mess. The first one, you may recall, was his response to a question about his belief in evolution presented by an English interviewer in London.  He tried to duck the question when all he had to say was, "yes." It would have been over and done with. He didn't do that, however, and the story was cable news fodder for days.

George Will said on Fox News Sunday, "There are certain questions for which you answer "Yes!". "Do you believe in evolution? "Yep." "Do you think President Obama is patriotic? "Yes". No further explanation needed. These are simple questions asked of only Republican candidates by liberal media types who want to portray the Republican Party as the party of Neanderthals. We all know it. We all expect it. The candidates themselves should be the most aware of the questions that will come their way and be prepared.

"There are trap doors every day when you are running for President", said Robert Gibbs, former Obama spokesman on Meet the Press. We know that, too. We must be diligent and choose candidates who can maneuver around in the mind field of questioning from reporters. Candidates have to be on guard in even the most friendly of interviews and certainly should not weigh in on a subject if not asked about it. We have seen time and time again a Republican candidate vilified for an off the cuff answer while Democrats are consistently given a free pass. That is the reality of today's journalism.

This response from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) when he was asked about the remark was perfectly delivered:

"I don’t feel like I’m in a position to have to answer for everyone in my party who makes a claim. Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing. So I don’t know why I should answer every time a Republican does. I will suffice it to say, I believe the president loves America. His ideas are bad.”

The response is perfect because it stops the conversation and it is truthful. No one Republican has to respond or justify or explain in any way what another has to say.  The demands for response come from a media who do not want Republicans to win.  Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) is in an uncomfortable place again because he made the mistake of saying he didn't know if President Obama was a Christian or not.  This was an unforced error. Walker is doing well in early polls as a potential presidential candidate and it was just dumb of him to go there. He is the son of a preacher so maybe it was an honest mistake but it shows he still has a way to go before he is ready to be in a presidential race.  He has been a successful governor and a proven fighter so I hope he gets it together soon.

There are plenty of policy differences that Republicans can focus on against Democrats, especially Obama, who will not be running again, so our candidates must just stay out of the fringe nonsense.  We all have our opinions of President Obama. Some have read his own accounting of his life story. There is plenty to be concerned about but it is water under the bridge now.  The man is in his second and last term. We just have to get through two more years.

Let's make sure it is a Republican who replaces Barack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Houston Mayor Parker Attacks Guiliani on Twitter

Houston Mayor Annise Parker weighed in on the headline grabbing quote from former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani Saturday evening on Twitter.  Imagine that. The sitting mayor of the nation's fourth largest city decided to jump into political hack territory on social media against a private citizen, making a remark at a private gathering.

Guiliani stated that President Obama doesn't love America, due to his upbringing. This was in response to some less than reality based remarks made by Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.  A potential presidential candidate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, was at the private group dinner.

Republican Giuliani made the remarks late last night at a private group dinner that included Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is considering a 2016 presidential run."I do not believe -- and I know this is a horrible thing to say -- but I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani said at the New York dinner, according to Politico."He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

Here is the Tweet:

There've been Presidents I've disliked. I've disagreed with each at times. But they all loved America. Giuliani's an embarrassment.-A
The "A" at the end of the Tweet is her way of saying the Tweet was made by her, not a staffer. Some elected officials Tweet themselves, some have a staffer do it. For example, Sen John Cornyn does his own tweets on his account @JohnCornyn. Parker does both - her own Tweets and those from a staffer. 
From the City of Houston website, here is a paragraph taken from her official description:
" Mayor Annise D. Parker serves as the Executive Officer of the City. As the City's chief administrator and official representative, the Mayor is responsible for the general management of the City and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. Administrative duties include the appointments, with Council approval, of department heads and persons serving on advisory boards."

She serves as the city's official representative. That responsibility includes serving all of the people of Houston, not just Democrats.

So, since the mayor follows me on Twitter, I responded:

mayor tweets Rudy is "an embarrassment". I think Houston roads fit that description. Elected official vs private citizen.Disgusted.

Silly me. I think the mayor of Houston should be more embarrassed by the failures of her maintenance of our city than something said by a private citizen who doesn't even live in Houston. Funny, I don't remember any Tweets from her when former President Bush was being vilified - even when then candidate Barack Obama called Bush unpatriotic.
On July 3, 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama said this:
The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.
This kerfuffle has become a multi-day story. Cable news outlets are talking about the remark with panels of pundits as though there is nothing else going on in the world. Guiliani is a private citizen. He was speaking to an audience at a private gathering. Period.
You may remember Mayor Parker signed on to a controversial campaign waged by former NYC Mayor Bloomberg against gun violence, calling for a ban on some types of guns. Parker joined in.
Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced in a New York Times article published today that he plans to spend at least $50 million this year to reduce gun violence through Everytown’s educational and advocacy efforts and through personal expenditures.The organization also announced today the formation of Everytown’s advisory board – a distinguished and diverse group of leaders and gun violence survivors: Art Acevedo, Tom Barrett, Stephen Barton, Michael Bloomberg, David Boren, Eli Broad, Warren Buffett, Gloria Chavez, David Chipman, Michael Coleman, Carlos Giménez, Roxanna Green, Nick Hanauer, Geoffrey Henry, Danny Jones, Ken Lerer, John Mack, Thomas Menino, Marc Morial, Mike Mullen, Michael Nutter, Annise Parker, Cleopatra Pendleton, Nathaniel Pendleton, Tom Ridge, Gilles Rousseau, Christy Salters Martin and Shannon Watts.“This is the beginning of a major new campaign to reduce the gun violence that plagues communities across the country,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, chair of Everytown for Gun Safety. “There is no question that more needs to be done to tackle this deadly problem, and that's why more than 1.5 million Americans, nearly 1000 mayors and moms in all 50 states have already come together to fight for common-sense reform that will respect rights and save lives. This new organization will bring more people into the fight against gun violence, which affects every town in America.”
I  think some Texas gun owners were "embarrassed" by that stance.  If banning guns eliminated gun violence, the former city of Barack Obama, Chicago, wouldn't have the most gun deaths in America.

From potholes to a broken pension system, I think the City of Houston has enough problems to keep Mayor Parker busy without her having to go on Twitter and weigh in on bashing a former Republican mayor, especially one who is a partner in a flourishing Houston business.
Mayor Parker is term limited and cannot run for another term as Houston's mayor. Perhaps she should use a bit more prudence in her remarks going forward if she wishes to continue on in politics, either state or national.