Currently viewing the tag: “Texas”

It’s time once again for a trip into the very special mind of Congressman Louie Gohmert, who spoke on the House floor last night about the Libyan situation:

It’s a bad bill. And then when you find out that the prior Congress not only passed that 2,800 page bill with all kinds of things in it, including a new president’s commissioned officer corps and non-commissioned officer corps. Do we really need that? I wondered when I read that in the bill. But then when you find out we’re being sent to Libya to use our treasure and American lives there, maybe there’s intention to so deplete the military that we’re going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned corps that the president can call up on a moment’s notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill.

The “corps” that Gohmert refers to is the new Ready Reserve Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, something that had been proposed back during the Bush Administration as a way to ensure that the Federal Government could organize immediate medical care in the event of a mass casualty disaster.

Outside the Beltway

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While faith-based “crisis pregnancy centers,” or CPCs, continue to receive state and federal taxpayer dollars through the state’s Alternatives to Abortion Services Program, a Texas Independent investigation of an Austin CPC supports critics’ assertions that the nonprofits routinely blur the line between counseling and religious proselytizing.

Violations by Texas CPCs are well-documented in reports to the state by Texas Pregnancy Care Network, the nonprofit contractor charged with running the program — though lax oversight rules have ensured that offending CPCs are in no real danger of forfeiting government funds.

For example, according to reports obtained by the Texas Independent through public information requests, during two out of three site visits by TPCN inspectors, Travis County-based CPC Austin LifeCare (ALC) was found to have failed to label and separate its spiritual materials from its education materials. Plus, during a recent informational training session — attended by a Texas Independent reporter who identified herself beforehand as a journalist — ALC instructors inundated potential volunteers with overt religious references.

TPCN representatives did not respond to the Texas Independent’s request for comment.

In addition to its CPC, which received more than $ 27,500 from the state program in fiscal year 2009-2010, ALC also operates an abstinence education program called Austin LifeGuard, which has received more than $ 1.1 million in federal grants, as well as a Bible study and counseling program for women who have had an abortion, men whose partners had an abortion, victims of sexual abuse and those who “need healing from sexual sin,” according to ALC’s website.

ALC Executive Director Pam Cobern said Austin LifeGuard no longer receives government grants, and is now funded entirely through private donations, as is the Bible study program.

During a June 2009 visit to ALC’s primary CPC location in north-central Austin, a TPCN “evaluation coordinator” noted several violations requiring corrective actions, including failure to post a client non-discrimination policy, lack of contact information on its client grievance policy, insecure storage of client files and failure to label and separate educational and spiritual materials. TPCN’s official report, dated in late September 2009, indicates that the problems had been rectified.

A followup visit to ALC in June 2010 by the TPCN inspector showed ALC to have corrected its earlier problems, though there were a handful of minor paperwork errors that resulted in loss of some reimbursement to ALC. As is the case in a large number of reports on CPC visits, the TPCN inspector writes that ALC “is a valuable and much needed resource” for the community.

In September 2010, a TPCN inspector visited ALC’s second location, this one in east Austin, in the community outreach center for Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church. As in the first site visit to ALC, the TPCN inspector cited ALC for failing to label and separate educational and spiritual materials. The report, dated October 2010, indicates that the problem was later corrected.

During an ALC training session in mid-February 2011, ALC leaders repeatedly injected religion into their instructions to volunteers.

For example, when a volunteer asked what to do if a client wants an abortion, an ALC leader responded: “That is against what we are about here…Prenatal care is very big for us…If they do decide to make that choice…tell them to trust God, he’s got a bigger plan.”

The ALC leader then told the volunteer to suggest that the client read the state’s “A Woman’s Right to Know” pamphlet. The booklet, issued by the Department of State Health Services, includes graphics depicting the different stages of a pregnancy, in addition to other information on pregnancy and abortion — including the scientifically dubious assertion of a possible link between abortion and breast cancer.

According to the booklet, “There is agreement that this issue needs further study.” That conclusion does not exactly mesh with information from the National Cancer Institute, whose website states that evidence compiled through studies over the past decade “still does not support early termination of pregnancy as a cause of breast cancer.”

While “God” was mentioned to the point of excess in the ALC training session, Christian-specific references were included also. Leaders told volunteers to “handle people as Christ would,” and show clients they could be “set free” from the ‘shame of abortion’ through the “healing of Jesus Christ.” When referencing a statistic about evangelicals who have had abortions, an ALC Bible study leader said, “There are lots of us Christians that go through it too.”

Created by the state Legislature in 2005, Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion Services Program has spent $ 11.7 million — diverted from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and state general revenue — with nearly $ 7 million going to 33 nonprofits, 32 of which have Christian affiliations, as the Texas Independent has previously reported.

Most CPCs provide free counseling and sonograms for pregnant women, with the intent to dissuade them from having an abortion. Several reports, including annual studies by pro-abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, criticize some CPCs for using deception or intimidation to prevent women from accessing the full range of reproductive health options. A 2006 report commissioned by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) showed that federally funded CPCs intentionally misled teenage clients and dispensed medically inaccurate information in an effort to prevent their right to choose.

In January 2011, the San Antonio Express-News reported that local CPC A Woman’s Haven — which has received more than $ 33,300 from the state program — was showing clients “a video that relayed inaccurate information about abortion along with a religious message.”

According to the Express-News, the reporter’s visit to the CPC “raised questions about whether it abides by federal funding rules that prohibit the inappropriate promotion of religion as well as its own monitoring agency’s rules against the spreading of false information about abortion.”

Michigan Messenger

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NPR's Wade Goodwyn noticeably minimized the presence of anti-illegal immigration conservatives from Texas on Tuesday's All Things Considered. Goodwyn tilted towards so-called "welcoming" and "tolerant" Republicans in the state by a three to one margin, and gushed over the "thousands of illegal immigrants building neighborhoods" during the "Hispanic-friendly" term of then-Governor George W. Bush.

Host Michelle Norris set the biased tone in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "In Texas, the Republican Party is changing tack on illegal immigration. The relatively welcoming, tolerant attitude embraced by George W. Bush when he was governor is waning. It's been overtaken by a flood of Arizona-style get-tough measures. Nearly 100 immigration bills have been written or filed in the current legislative session."

Goodwyn trumpeted how "Texas is now more than ever in the nation's conservative vanguard, and among its most conservative leaders is House Representative Leo Berman from northeast Texas, around Tyler." He continued by acting as if distance from the border mattered in the illegal immigration debate: "Though Berman's district is about as far from the Mexican border as you can get and still be in Texas, he's leading the charge on immigration."

After playing two sound bites from Rep. Berman and noting some of the other anti-illegal immigration proposals in the Texas state legislature, the NPR reporter gave his positive spin about Bush's years as governor:

GOODWYN: This is a significant change in strategy for the Texas GOP. In the mid-'90s, Texas Republicans watched as their party in California went on an anti-illegal immigration crusade and lost control of the state. But in Texas, the economy was booming; the suburbs of Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio were exploding; and thousands of illegal immigrants sat astride 2-by-4s, nail guns in hand, building those neighborhoods. (audio clip of radio ad in Spanish) So, Governor Bush and his man Karl Rove crafted a different strategy from their California colleagues: Hispanic-friendly.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1 (from political ad for then-Governor George W. Bush): Used to be, I just pulled the lever Democrats. These days, I look for the person with a good record who believes what I believe: hard work, family, responsibility: George Bush.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I appreciate that and I agree. That's why I'm working hard to make sure all our children can succeed, and I need your vote to continue.

GOODWYN: The result? In 1998, George W. Bush crushed his Democratic opponent, getting nearly half the Hispanic vote, a triumph that placed him on the path to the presidency one year later. The young governors of Texas and Florida learned their early political style at their father's knee. Not only was he a former president of the United States, he was a Texas oilman, and for generations, those independent oil producers, along with farmers and Texas ranchers, have employed inexpensive, hard-working Mexican laborers.

Goodwyn followed this turn to the past with three sound bites from one of the current advocates for illegal immigration in Texas, playing up his Republican credentials, all the while hinting that much of the state GOP has become extreme:

GOODWYN: …In the halls of the Texas Capitol in 2011, Bush's approach is considered insufficiently conservative by most Republicans. The one powerful interest group that still thinks Bush had it right is the Texas Association of Business.

BILL HAMMOND, TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS: In Texas, if suddenly, all of the undocumented workers were simply to go back to their home of origin, it would be disastrous for the Texas economy.

GOODWYN: Bill Hammond is the president of the Texas Association of Business. It is no exaggeration to say his membership supplies the Texas Republican Party a large measure of its fiscal lifeblood. He has lots of friends here. On behalf of his clients, the thousands of big and small-business owners in Texas, Hammond is roaming the Capitol, trying to impart a bit of reality about the Lone Star State's economy.

HAMMOND: The impact on this Texas state economy of immigrant labor is about $ 17 billion a year. That's an enormous segment of our economy, and we simply would not be able to function without these people.

GOODWYN: Until this year, Hammond and his Republican allies in the Texas legislature have been able to kill most immigration bills in committee. Hammond would like to expand the immigration pipeline, to allow more workers to legally enter the state. That proposal currently has zero chance.

HAMMOND: Today, 56 percent of Texans under the age of 25 are minorities. The growth in the population has been largely Hispanic over the last 10 years. I believe the Republican Party is throwing away their future.

As if these three clips weren't enough, the correspondent turned to one of Rep. Berman's pro-illegal immigration colleagues in the Texas House, a Latino Republican whose district borders Mexico:

TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE AARON PENA: The tone of the debate is basically saying, we don't want you. This is a war over our culture. These people bring diseases into our country.

GOODWYN: House Representative Aaron Pena is a Republican who represents Hidalgo, on the border. There are six Hispanic Republicans in the Texas House, and Pena says they've been trying to convince some of their colleagues to tone down the anti-Hispanic rhetoric.

PENA: Many times, you won't see our handiwork out in public. It's done behind the scenes.

GOODWYN: Pena says there are plenty of Texas Republicans who quietly share his concerns about the tone of the debate and its long-term effect on Hispanic voters.

At the end of his report, Goodwyn played one more sound bite from Rep. Berman, and all but suggested that the issue of illegal immigration was just a side issue:

BERMAN: Most Hispanics right now do vote Democrat. There's no question about it. So, what vote are we going after? We're going after a vote that doesn't vote Republican anyway.

GOODWYN: It's too early to tell how many of the 100 bills will become law. If the Texas House is hot for immigration bills, the Texas Senate seems less so. It's distracted by a $ 27 billion budget deficit that's threatening to gut the state.

On March 18, NPR's Mara Liasson completely omitted conservatives who are opposed to "comprehensive" immigration reform" during her report on Utah's "milder" immigration measures. While one might credit Goodwyn for at least finding one anti-illegal immigration conservative for his report, both his and Liasson's report perpetuate their taxpayer-funded network's reputation for liberal bias.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here. – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

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USA Today
Texas A&M triumphs for first Final Four
ESPN (blog)
DALLAS — It all began in this city for Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, literally. He was born and raised in Dallas, graduating from high school in 1963, the year JFK was assassinated here. He served time in the Marines, then went to Texas Tech and played
Griner and Baylor Stymied by Texas A&MNew York Times (blog)
Fourth time's a charm: Texas A&M beats Baylor to reach Final FourUSA Today
NCAA Women's Final Four: Baylor Lady Bears Fall To Texas A&MSB Nation Dallas
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Fourth time's the charm for Texas A&M vs. Griner, Baylor
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AP DALLAS — Sydney Carter scored 22 points as Texas A&M finally beat Baylor — when it counted the most. The Aggies are going to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history after a 58-46 victory over the top-seeded Lady Bears on Tuesday
NCAA Women's Final Four: Baylor Lady Bears Fall To Texas A&MSB Nation Dallas
Griner and Baylor Stymied by Texas A&MNew York Times (blog)
Texas A&M triumphs for first Final FourESPN (blog)
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NCAA Women's Final Four: Baylor Lady Bears Fall To Texas A&M
SB Nation Dallas
Unfortunately for Baylor fans, the Lady Bears will not be advancing to this year'rs NCAA Women's Final Four. The Lady Bears were knocked off by Texas A&M on Tuesday night, stunning Baylor by beating them 58-46.
Texas A&M Women's Basketball Advances to First Ever Final FourSMU Daily Mustang
Schaefer proves big for AggiesAmerican Chronicle
Fourth time's a charm: Texas A&M beats Baylor to reach Final FourUSA Today
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Texas A&M Women's Basketball Advances to First Ever Final Four
SMU Daily Mustang
After their unlikely 58-46 win over top seeded Baylor in the NCAAW Dallas Regional Tuesday night, the Texas A&M Women's Basketball Team advances to their very first Final Four in school history. Coming into the game A&M (31-5) had lost
Women's Final: Dallas RegionSportsrageous
Fourth time's a charm: Texas A&M beats Baylor to reach Final FourUSA Today
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Kansas City Star
Texas A&M 58, Baylor 46
Sydney Carter scored 22 points and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor, winning Tuesday night in Dallas to send the Aggies to their first Final Four in school history. Texas A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight games against its Big 12 rival, including the
Texas A&M ousts Griner and BaylorBellingham Herald
Sydney Carter's 22 points lift Texas A&M past BaylorLos Angeles Times
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Texas A&M ousts Griner and Baylor
Bellingham Herald
DALLAS Sydney Colson hit the brakes to let Baylor defender Odyssey Sims sail past her and calmly sank a fast-break layup as the ref whistled the foul. Then the senior Texas A&M guard turned in jubilation just
We're In The Final Four!!!!I Am the 12th Man
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Texas A&M rolls to first Final Four with surprise win over Baylor
Bellingham Herald
DALLAS The teams' fourth meeting, the Final Four, that pesky number four in the maroon uniform – it was too many fours, an avalanche of fours, that buried Baylor's chances Tuesday night. Texas A&M finally beat Baylor
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Sydney Carter's 22 points lift Texas A&M past Baylor
Los Angeles Times
The Aggies reach the Final Four for the first time with a 58-46 victory over Baylor. Associated Press Sydney Carter scored 22 points and Texas A&M defeated Baylor, 58-46, Tuesday night in Dallas to reach the Final Four for the first time.
Texas A&M stuns Baylor in regional finalKansas City Star
NCAA women's tournament: Texas A&M stuns Baylor; faces Stanford nextSan Jose Mercury News
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Texas Budget Could Cost 600,000 Jobs.”

Wow! Red Alert! Red Alert! If you pull up CNN you will be treated to this sky-is-falling bullet point headline of doom regarding the $ 83.8 billion budget that will go before the Lone Star State’s legislature next week. The article goes on to describe the spending cuts in the budget as “harsh” and bases this decidedly partial adjective on the estimates released by the bi-partisan Legislative Budget Board. Finally, it deems the projected “loss” of 263,500 private sector jobs and 343,000 government positions by 2013 as counter to the pro-jobs platform of Republican governor Rick Perry.

Naturally, liberal Democrats who never met a government program they didn’t deem absolutely essential (or under-funded) pounced on this story. “The voters did not elect us to eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal (D). “We can’t grow the Texas economy with a budget that destroys jobs, hurts neighborhood schools and makes college more expensive,” he howled, once again personifying tea partier frustration over politicians who are more about scoring political points to protect their power and positions than taking an honest approach to governing and finding solutions to the problems that plague this nation.

I say this because, well, let me ask you, dear readers-who by virtue of your being on this site demonstrate a higher IQ than most-a common sense question.  If you were a governor trying to make a name for yourself on the national stage by using your own state as a jobs-creation model would you seriously propose a budget that kills over a half million jobs in two years? Of course not.  In fact, I’ve met governor Perry and trust me, this is a sharp man who understands economics.

So what’s the real story here? Well, the answer comes from the very same LBB report that the democrats use to go after the GOP in a crass misrepresentation of the facts.  A falsehood  proffered by like-minded elements at CNN.  As the Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF) Center for Fiscal Policy observes:

“The negative 272 thousand change in jobs predicted for 2012 does not imply the state will lose that many jobs from our current employment level upon enactment of CSHB1. Rather, that figure implies Texas will have 272 thousand jobs less than a baseline scenario where state expenditures remained constant relative to 2010-11 levels and available revenue matched these spending levels.

“The LBB’s baseline scenario assumes that Texas continues to support levels of spending where government has grown at almost three times the rate of population growth plus inflation over the last two decades, and has available revenue to match that bloated spending. Texas doesn’t have the available revenue to support that — and to get it would mean ruinous tax hikes that aren’t on the table.”

To put it more simply: the Democrats took a report that offered that should the state of Texas continue on its steep trajectory of government expenditures, and should it have the revenues to support such continued growth, then there would be 600,000 more jobs in the future than there will be if the current budget proposal is enacted. But, of course, Texas does not have the financial wherewithal to support such growth without resorting to crippling taxes that would quickly push the state to the far side of the downward slope of the Laffer curve where higher taxes start to have a corrosive effect on the economy, ergo a loss of jobs.

As to CNN’s take on the story: Suppose I said to you, I have a container that is 100 gallon capacity. Each year I have filled it up to by ten gallons a year and now I am at 100.  But I cannot fill it any more or bad things will start to happen so I must finally turn off the hose.  And then what if  CNN reported that my actions will “cost 20 gallons over two years” from the water supply? The implication here is that the container will go from 100 to 80 gallons correct? But in fact it remains full. 20 gallons have not been lost, just not gained. But that original 120 gallon projection was bogus as the rate of flow was unsustainable. That’s quite a different reality. But what does reality matter when semantics can be used to twist data to comport to a pre-disposed view that you can never have too much water?

It’s hard enough to steer Americans away from the unsustainable and culturally and economically destructive path of ever more government dependency without fear-mongering for political gain.  In the case of the latest row over the Texas budget, we see dishonest and self-serving politicians and their like-minded media mouthpieces dutifully echoing their twisted message to whip up an atmosphere of fear over faux job loss in a world where somehow for them $ 83.8 billion is no longer enough to run a single state.

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Daled Amos

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Wisconsin Democrats trying to block the democratic process on behalf of the insatiably greedy public sector unions that own them aren’t the last state senators to leave their state behind. While they saw fit to hide in the Land of Lincoln, others want out of it:

Roger Keats, a former Illinois state senator and Cook County Board president, is packing up and leaving the Land of Lincoln for good. The 62-year-old Keats was a good government reformer who helped clean up the rampant corruption in the Chicago-area courts uncovered by Operations Greylord and Gambat.

But now he’s throwing in the towel, and he and his wife are heading for Texas. “I am tired of subsidizing crooks,” Keats told the Wilmette Beacon.

In “Good Bye and Good Luck,” a letter to all the friends and political supporters he’s leaving behind after 60 years, Keats says he is leaving what he calls “the most corrupt big city…and most corrupt state in America” with “a heavy heart.”

The corruption that characterizes Chicago’s all-Democrat politics is only one of many problems moonbattery has created, as Keats observes:

“Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds! …

“Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together!”

This is the swamp from which the liberal media recruited Barack Hussein Obama to run our country.

Keats has had his fill of the politics marketed nationally as “Hope & Change.”

On a tip from Byron.


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The Texas Progressive Alliance’s brackets are still in good shape as it brings you this week’s blog roundup.

WhosPlayin has been focused on City Council elections and the criminal records of two of the candidates, each of whom has assault convictions, and each of whom lied on their ballot application.

Off the Kuff discusses the budget deal that allows for Rainy Day funds to be used to close the current biennium’s shortfall.

DosCentavos compares the Mexican shootin’ Missouri legislator and the goings on at the Texas Capitol; and tell us what Dems should be doing.

Bay Area Houston notes When the Galveston County Republican Party Chair slept with teabaggers he woke up with a bad taste in his mouth…..and no job.

Are you in favor of preserving the mortgage interest income tax deduction, or do you favor phasing it out for larger, more expensive homes and/or wealthier taxpayers — or eliminating it altogether? PDiddie wants your opinion at Brains and Eggs.

Musings gives an update on the ground perspective of why schools need more support staff, not less, in order to ensure student success with the new, more rigorous curriculum and testing mandated by the Legislature and SBOE.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson makes clear that the recent “drama” surrounding whether to spend some of the Rainy Day Fund was done for political cover, better known as The Show.

This week, McBlogger takes a look at two crazy people who are, unbelievably, elected officials.

refinish69 is disgusted and dismayed at the stupidity that is the Texas Ledge. Nothing like a Clean Crapper Bill or protecting the ignorant to make the State of Texas proud.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme suspects that Republican hate against Muslims resulted in fires at a Houston Mosque. Republicans have sliced and diced the American public every which way – women, people of color, gays, teachers, nurses, Jews, Muslims and who knows what else. Wisconsin has woken up. Lets hope the rest of America soon follows.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker is Shocked! Shocked! at the new “edited” video that has hit the web. Check out The Media Fail Us Again- of NPR and Edited Videos.

Neil at Texas Liberal came across an example of extreme government direction of our lives.

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