Veeeeeery Interesting!

There were shenanigans in the national Republican party recently.  The harder-right-wing conservatives very nearly got the most-influential Republican removed from his position of leadership in Congress.  It was widely expected that speaker Boehner would retaliate by removing these conservative-er political adversaries from positions of influence and committee chairs, etc.

He has therefore been very frustrating to his previous Republican (in name only) allies: he conservative bloc has been punished for their status as political upstarts – by giving them power and influence in Congress?!  Either it is, A) as Instapundit says, a case of “keeping your enemies closer,” B) Boehner remains a pragmatist and sees which way the wind is blowing for now, or C) Boehner has had some kind of a change of heart, and will be changing from a RINO to some sort of an actual Conservative.

Time will tell.  President Obama now has nothing to lose, and it has been apparent that he also has nothing to fear from the “opposition” party in Congress.  We’ll see, we’ll see.

Bush Lied, People Died!

. . . now let’s tell the truth so more people can die!

The press is on to soften you up for a ground war against the Islamic State.  Today’s news is:

You remember the Weapons of Mass Destruction that DID NOT BYGOD EVER EXIST in Iraq that George DUBYA Bush LIED about to get us into war?

The ones that IS fighters found in an abandoned depot in Iraq recently?
The chemical weapons that IS fighters are now using on their co-religionists for not waging jihad alongside them?
The ones that we didn’t have to deal with (because they didn’t exist, natch) so it was safe to 100% fulfil campaign promises and get all the way out of Iraq?

Yeah we lied about that.  Or at least didn’t tell you that we’ve been finding more and more chemical WMD all the time, even as late as 2011.  So now the enemy is the worst of the worstest, using chemical weapons* in war and we have to commit to a new righteous ground war against them in Syria!  Nevermind that whole business about invading Syria without their permission, that’s just a political nicety when you’re the world’s policeman.  No, we HAVE to go in with a ground war now.  And by “now” I specifically mean “after at least this election, but preferably after the next Presidential election so it will be the bad-ol’ Republican president’s fault.  And thanks for not pointing out at that future wartime that if the Democrat base had allowed the Democrat President to keep a US military force in Iraq to train the Iraqui army, ISIS would never have become a problem in the first place.

*because chemical weapons kill you deader than plain bombs, they are worse or something. :shrug:

November 4, 2014 Travis County, Texas Election Voter Guide

 “Sometimes, the only responsible vote is an abstention”

~or: “No wonder voter turnout is low, these candidates suck!”~

If you don’t know your own politics click here.

******Text in (parenthesis) are where I copy/pasted my notes on the same candidates from a previous election.  The opinions on this page are mine alone, feel free to disagree with them.  As always, remember Democrats vote on November 7th!  ******

Straight Party it is irresponsible to vote a straight party ballot.  This shouldn’t even be a thing.

United States Senator
John Cornyn (R) – Will win, but it will be over my objection.  (no.  He’s a republican and a moderate conservative one at that, but he’s also a squishy wobbly.  If there are better alternatives (and there are) he needs to go.  Don’t let his high-dollar “I’m just like you, vote for me” ad campaign fool you.)
David M. Alameel (D) – Like the rest of the modern Democrat party, favors policies that will crush the economy and liberties of the USA if allowed to fester.  We need to root this type of person OUT of public life.  I am glad he is spending lots of his own money in this race, so he won’t have those dollars to spend in a race he has a chance of winning.
Rebecca Paddock (L) – Please vote for Paddock for Senate.  We need more liberty from washington and Cornyn is too much of a wobbly.
Emily “Spicybrown” Sanchez (G) – if you are on the Green ticket, you are not a serious person.  If you can’t even match your nickname to your party’s color, you doublefaild.  Come back when you are no longer spouting phrases like “I am the 99%” and have paid off your student loan debt.  And grown up enough not to use a nickname on the ballot.

District 17, US Representative
Bill Flores (R) Vote for Bill Flores.  He may not be the leader of every charge up Ideology Mountain, but he’s a solid conservative when we need as many of those as we can get.
Nick Haynes (D) – not the worst Democrat in the party, but still a solid Democrat – and their party is ruining our country faster than the other party.
Shawn Michael Hamilton (L)  – he actually has a website, which is rare for a Libertarian candidate.  It’s pretty barren and extremely slow, but it’s there.  I’d vote for him over Haynes, but Flores is in this race and Flores wins.

Governor – not that it matters.  The “dead girl or live boy” proverb applies.  The shock would be if Abbott didn’t win by at least a solid majority.
Greg Abbott (R) Please vote for Greg Abbott for Governor of Texas!  I have some differences of opinion with him, but not nearly as many as the other candidates and it is not close. (The people that don’t like him, don’t like him for the reasons I do like him.  There is lots of criticism of Abbott out there, but most of it is for doing things that I would like to see done.)
Wendy R. Davis (D) – a.k.a. “Abortion Barbie”.  A conniving, gold-digging bitch who blatantly lies about her personal history and will stomp on your face if it helps her climb the ladder.  No, I am not exaggerating.
Kathie Glass (L) – has crazyeyes.  This single metric has never yet steered me wrong.  Plus, she seems to be running against Washington, D.C. instead of the other people in this race.  If Abbott weren’t running I would look past her eyes and vote for Glass.
Brandon Parmer (G) – a Green party candidate with no website and two brief Facebook posts from February.  The most one can learn about him online is he was crushed in a recent Texas Congressional election (0.8%) but for a Green this counts as a pretty strong showing.  Next!

Lieutenant Governor
Dan Patrick (R) – Please help elect Dan Patrick as Lieutenant Governor. He gives every appearance of being a solid ‘Movement Conservative’ – of which we can hardly have too many.
Leticia Van de Putte (D) – if you like what Democrats stand for, vote for her.  Better yet, don’t vote at all.
Robert D. Butler (L) – I’m with him on school funding following the student and probably a few other L-party issues.  I can’t go with them on the ‘gay marriage’ issue though.  Plus: it says something very bad about a person who allows themselves to be a huge lardass.  Srsly look at the man.
Chandrakantha Courtney (G) – I have no problem with Indians.  I have no problem with people from India.  I have no problem with Indian music or Indian music teachers.  I have a problem with a dam’ furriner spending the first few decades of their lives being not-American and not-Texan, then trying to come here and tell us how to run our Texas.  no.  Ban.

Attorney General
Ken Paxton (R) Please vote for Paxton for AG.
Sam Houston (D) – not terrible as Democrats go, but still a Democrat.  I think we need someone who leans to the R side to stick up for us, especially against the current President and his vendetta against the biggest Conservative State in the nation (that’s us)
Jamie Balagia (L) was a policeman and popped positive for drugs.  Now he’s a lawyer.  Here’s to his continued success as a private citizen.
Jamar Osborne (G) – Committed the grave crime of not living in Texas long enough.  Plus he’s not ready for this – maybe or even lawyering in general (?), AND would someone please tell the Green party to get their candidates to put up informative websites?

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar (R)  -is running for office.  Not this office so much as any office where you will be happy to elect the Conservative Republican™ candidate.  He seems proud of his record as a legislator, how about we let him try to keep that job.
Mike Collier (D) – It gives me the willies, but I think I have to vote for the Democrat in this race.  He is an accountant (CPA), not a career politician.  He supports collecting sales tax on all internet transactions but otherwise seems like a decent candidate.  Sales tax on internet transactions isn’t something he could affect from the Comptroller’s office.
Ben Sanders (L) – we should not be surprised to see a Libertarian support your right to be a Freemason.  But finding a Libertarian who IS a Freemason is a bit of a surprise to me.  Here is one.  Still I’d go for him over Shafto any day of the week, and even over Hegar if I had to choose between them.  Fortunately, Collier is running.
Deb Shafto (G) If you have a ten-foot pole, please join me in using it to keep people like this out of elected offices everywhere.

Commissioner of the General Land Office I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.  The two major candidates don’t seem to care to hold the office (one is running to build a resume, the other to get El Pasoans in the history books.  Neither is a good reason to seek office.  You ought to run for an office because you are passionate about being the best person for that job.
George P. Bush (R) No.  Not another Bush from Texas.  Bushes are banned from elected office in America.  I’ll abstain first.  We’ll “just see where it goes” when asked if he’d seek higher office later.  Right.  Let me guess.
John Cook (D) – doesn’t seem like a horrible candidate, for a Democrat especially.  Still seems a bit thin on details and hasn’t given me a suitable reason to vote FOR him.
Justin Knight (L)– Does not appear to have a campaign but forevermore can honestly say he was a candidate for the office.  For what it’s worth.
Valerie Alessi (G) – Does not appear to have a campaign but forevermore can honestly say she was a candidate for the office.  For what it’s worth.

Commissioner of Agriculture I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Sid Miller (R) Previous comment: (was so impressive I didn’t even comment on him for the primary race.  Who else?)
Jim Hogan (D) – He’s on the ballot but not running a campaign.  He’s not even walking a campaign.  This guy is one step removed from the proverbial “pick a name from the phone book” candidate.  It’s a sad state of affairs that he is on the ballot but here we are.
David (Rocky) Palmquist (L) – again with the nicknames.  It’s puerile. Use your given name on a ballot, people!  He does at least have a campaign website, which you will only find if you search using his nickname.  The “on the issues” page is blank, but it’s there.
Kenneth Kendrick (G) – at least he’s passionate about food safety.  He’s not a career anything, and the website with his name has a legit hand-to-a-future-employer resume and dead links.  I don’t think, from his previous employment history, that his whistle blowing was the reason he can’t find a steady job.  I think he just keeps bouncing from job to job his whole life because that’s who he is.

Railroad Commissioner
Ryan Sitton (R) Vote for Ryan Sitton– I was prepared to abstain from this ballot, until I saw he had eliminated his potential conflict of interest.  It is well and good if YOU know you can operate with potential conflicts of interest and maintain your integrity.  It quite another thing to try to get elected with a big fat glaring conflict of interest right in front of us all.  He said he’d put his energy industry-related company in a blind trust if elected, and that’s closenough.  Now I can vote for him.  He might be young and there is something wrong with his face but you can’t hold those against a guy who seems otherwise qualified.
Steve Brown (D) – a politician in charge of energy, and a politician in the party that is against energy production.  His self-published resume reads like he is a party hack, not an energy industry-knowledgeable engineer type like Sitton.  No thanks.
Mark A. Miller (L) – I like him, but Sitton is running.  If Sitton were not in this race, I’d be voting for Miller.
Martina Salinas (G) – as a GP candidate, she seems ready to live up to the stereotype.  Big-time leftist.  No website, a few local political events, signs, and speeches, and MAYBE if you are looking for a while you will find her responses to A political questionnaire.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht (R) – Vote for Judge Hecht! I stand by my previous comment: (This guy.  What they said:
William Moody (D) – if you want the fundamental laws to change at the whim of a judge, go with this guy.  If you want your legislators to make law and the judges to decide on what is legislated, don’t go with this guy. (Continues to try to gain one judgeship while holding another. Let him keep his current job.)
Tom Oxford (L) – Note to the Libertarian Party: an e-mail and a phone number are not sufficiently informative to voters looking to inform themselves about your candidates.  I like this guy right where he is: a Lawyer sticking up for the Little Guy.  You don’t get to go from lawyer to Chief Justice though, sorry.  (His heart may be in the right place, but he definitely is . . . another who can keep his current position. )

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court, Unexpired Term
Jeff Brown (R) Vote for Jeff Brown – not only is he currently on this job, with no notable complaints, he’s also the only candidate with any Supreme Court judgin’ experience at all.  (This guy.
Lawrence Edward Meyers (D) – That he wants the position is no reason to give it to him.  Flipped party affiliation right at the filing deadline – this may be a fatal  error in Texas.  Sorry you got swept out of office, but we don’t need to replace a decent incumbent judge with you, solely because you want us to.
Mark Ash (L) – has one of the more extensive Libertarian candidate websites out there.  And by “extensive” I mean “2 pages and a promise of updates in the coming weeks, from months ago, and no further updates”  At least the one-sentence blurb (and that’s all there is) on the front page sounds nice.

Place 7, Justice, Supreme Court – if you don’t vote in any of the down-ballot races, do at least vote in this one; I can see it might be relatively close and every vote actually DOES count.
Jeff Boyd (R)Please keep Jeff Boyd on the Court.  None of the other candidates even come close to being worth removing a solid incumbent judge.
Gina Benavides (D) – Wants to skip four years of her six year term in the post to which she was only re-elected in 2012.  This sucks for everybody involved except her – for her it would be a step up.  While she appears to be a qualified judge, she also is active in racist (read: hispanic) and blasphemous (read: Catholic) causes.
Don Fulton (L) – oh surprise! A Libertarian candidate with no discernible campaign online!  No thanks.  Plus, he looks like George Costanza, not that you can hold it against him 🙂
Charles E Waterbury (G)  -oh surprise!  A Green candidate with no discernible campaign online!  I was able to discern he’s a lawyer, but that’s all.

Place 8, Justice, Supreme Court
Phil Johnson (R) – PLEASE vote for Judge Johnson (This guy.  What they said
RS Roberto Koelsch (L) ( another Libertarian not taking campaign contributions is another libertarian who will lose.)
Jim Chisolm (G) –  “Spectacularly unqualified” – quote of the day, and said about none other than our man Jim here and his good buddy RS Roberto.

Place 3, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Bert Richardson (R) This is almost a toss-up, so I will defer to someone I trust (me).  My comments from previous Voter Guides provide guidance for me, which is actually the reason for typing all these words in the first place: ( him.  He wants judgin’ to keep pace with newfangled technology thingies.)
John Granberg (D) – just plain lacks the experience for this post.  Too soon, Junior!
Mark W. Bennett (L) Would be far-and-away my choice if Richardson were not running for Place 3.  Before, I said: (Spouts off personal opinions on matters about which he might have to issue court opinions.  Horrible judgement for a JUDGE candidate.) But having read some of his writing, his spoutings-off (the ones I read, at least) are pretty good stuff.  Plus he’s qualified for the position, unlike Granberg

Place 4, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Kevin Patrick Yeary (R) This time I’ll vote for Yeary.  If he weren’t a Catholic I wouldn’t have a reservation.  He is but seems otherwise like a solid candidate for the position.  Note to other candidates: THIS is what a campaign website for a judge looks like.
Quanah Parker (L) – A libertarian without a campaign website, how surprising.  Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a fat black lady, it’s a fat white dude!  That, plus that he does some pro-bono work in addition to his regular lawyerin’ job, is all I could find out with a bit of googlin’.  If you WANT to be elected, at least hang out a shingle, people!
Judith Sanders-Castro (G) – She wants to be a judge, and LIED to a court to get her daughter special treatment.  That was easier to find than anything related to her campaign for Judge, which I didn’t.  This one I didn’t have to look into (but I did anyway).  If you encounter a woman with a hyphenated last name in America, she is a bitch.  Yes, Mexicans conjoin last names and yes we are close to Mexico.  Mexicans don’t name their daughters Judith or Sanders.  That, plus the Green party affiliation (read: environmentalist nutjob whacko by default) should tell you all you need to know.  Plus she worked a long time for (racist organization) MALDEF.

Place 9, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
David Newell (R)This guy, by a mile, and not just because he’s the only one with something resembling a campaign.  His campaign website says what I want a man seeking the position to say.  From last time he ran: (this guy.  We could use someone on the CCA who said that when he worked on appeals in the past he *started* from a place where he assumed the defendant had been done wrong in previous trials.  It is also a plus for me that he has been paying close attention to what the CCA has been doing recently so he will have a shorter transition period when getting to know his case load.)
William Bryan Strange III (L) – I don’t think I should have to try this hard.  After a few minutes of trying to find any trace of him or his positions online, I am not entirely sure this guy even exists and/or is still alive.  WTH Bill – fine, keep your day job then!
George Joseph Altgelt (G) – A Green party candidate without a website.  How surprising.

District 14, State Senator I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Kirk Watson (D) As I said last time: “not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical.  I’m not a Democrat”  He is a moderate-left with typical Democrat policy positions with which I disagree.
James Arthur Strohm (L) – Hey, a Libertarian with a website!  A cursory website, from his 2010 campaign for Congress, but it’s a website.  Fail, Strohm.  Fail, and lose.
srsly R, nobody?  What happened to being a major party?

District 46, State Representative I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Dawnna Dukes (D) (not the worst Democrat out there but still a Democrat.  As long as Democrat = “social justice” and leftist policies in general, we need fewer of these.)
Kevin Ludlow (L) – Supports abortion.  I am not a single-issue voter, but there are some issues that are deal killers for me.  Endorsing homosexual “marriage” and LGBTQEIEIO rights in general are one.  That he is against the TSA and War On Drugs is nice, but these don’t overcome the queer-friendliness of someone trying to get in place to make new laws for my Texas. Plus he’s anti-life and (biologists, try to not laugh) thinks abortion is NOT the taking of a human life!

Chief Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Jeff Rose (R) Please RE-elect Judge Rose.  A good judge on any court should be kept in place, if for no other reason than to avoid the huge delay it causes when a new judge has to look at a case already in progress.  He’s a good judge.  The Statesman, Police AND ranchers all endorse him.  Keep Jeff Rose on the 3rd Court!
Diane Henson (D) She left a bench on this court in 2012 to work in private law practice.  Let’s keep her there.  (listening to her makes me a little sick to my stomach.  Looking at her doesn’t make it any better. ) Looking at her, it is NO surprise she is proud to be endorsed by the leftist environmentalist whacko group Sierra Club.

Unfortunately, the Rs can’t seem to run anyone for District Judge either, but then this is the San Francisco of the Central Time Zone so . . .

County Judge
Mike McNamara (R) PLEASE elect McNamara to run the Commissioner’s Court! Proud to be a Texan and Austinite, a person with private business experience as well as military experience.  Active in politics and local community organizations.   Wants to build roads but with no mention of a choo-choo to nowhere, and wants to lower taxes.  Read, heed, then vote!
Sarah Eckhardt (D) Last time she was running, my comment was: “Social Justice: low on my priority list, high on hers”.  This time I note from her claimed experience that she is what’s wrong with Austin and Travis county.  If it’s not swinging too hard left for you and you wish your tax dollars were being less wisely spent, vote for her.  Otherwise, vote otherwhom.
Richard Perkins (L) Oh boy what a dog cat this guy is.  Claiming to be a Libertarian and for smaller government, his main deal is he wants to spend gozillions of tax dollars on mass transit run by the government.  His next biggest issue is personal freedom – one supposes aside from the freedom to choose where to stop the bus and get off.  Speaking of getting off, his campaign has a Libertarian slogan that is a mild sex joke related to a former L-party candidate.  You stay classy, Dick.

District ClerkI will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for which to vote.
Velva L. Price (D) a democrat with the backing of socialists labor unions, just what we need MORE of in this country!  Her website reminds you to vote in the March 4th Primary election. Her facebook page, updated as recently as last year that she was “proud” to be running unopposed in this election.
Kevin Pick (L) – Shockingly, here is a Libertarian candidate without a campaign website.  He is on Facebook, however, and goes to L-party meetings (and supports NORML).  He appears to be running so that he can make sure jurors know about the concept of Jury Nullification, with a secondary goal of increasing jury pay.  I could get the conspiracy theorists wound up about how the first will guarantee his defeat at the hands of international banking interests, but I’ll leave off trolling and mention that low jury pay is a GOOD thing because it ensures only people who can afford it can serve on juries – either welfare slobs who would avoid it anyway, or people with enough sense to have a worthwhile job.  Low juror pay is a PITA but not necessarily a Bad Thing.

County Clerk
Dana Debeauvoir (D) as I said last time, “In light of the alternative, re-elect Clerk DeBeauvoir.” I don’t understand why we have to wait until AFTER 2016 to have a paper trail on our voting machines, but this still appears to be a woman who is passionate about doing a good job – let her do it.
Michael M. Holt (L) -surprisingly, here we have a Libertarian candidate for office who has no website for his campaign.  Not even a free do-it-yourself website!  Fail, L-party.
William E. Stout, Jr. (G) – is it a purity thing, to be in the idealistic minor party and not have a website?

County Treasurer
Dolores Ortega Carter (D) – I will be voting Democrat this year.  Ms. Carter is currently doing the job and I haven’t heard anything about her for bad (or good) but she knows what she’s doing at least, unlike the guy currently NOT doing the job.  Plus (call me “sexist”) I like having frumpy old women tending the checkbook.
Mike Burris (L) New for this election cycle: a website!  This is a website but it is an upgrade from last election, when he was still using the same web pages from his previous unsuccessful attempt to be elected Treasurer.

Precinct 2, Justice of the Peace
Glenn Bass (R)Please re-elect Justice Bass.  He is doing a good job, and (after requesting a lower budget) more efficiently than his predecessor.  I asked you to help me elect him the last time, and I ask you to do it again. Vote for Bass for Justice.)
Randall Slagle (D) – the front page of his campaign website assumes that you have no faith in the justice system.  This is typical of self-hating white people who assume racism is going on, and rhymes with the current trend of leftists telling people who didn’t know any better that they don’t trust their own government.  Stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, Randy.  He’s a lawyer voted “best qualified” by: other lawyers wheeee! derp.  He’s also had more jobs than he’s had years of experience since he got a law degree.  He’s had more jobs than your dad and grampy had put together.  Plus there’s something wrong in his eyes when you look at him.
Daniel Martin Ruble (L) – How surprising, a Losertarian candidate with no visible campaign or website.  Also: really Danny, you had to put Martin in there?  Were you afraid you’d be confused with all the other Dan Rubles on the ticket?

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
“The constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads”
Please vote FOR this Amendment.  I think this should be a state Law, not part of the supreme Law of the State – but for whatever reason the TX constitution covers a lot of similarly small-time stuff.  As long as we have the option, let’s take some of the taxes we are already collecting and spend them where we need them.

Place 2, Council Member, City of Pflugerville
Brad MarshallPlease re-elect Councilman Marshall!
Rudy Metayer -Three strikes, you’re out!  (1) he’s too young. To run a city, you need the perspective age and experience bring.  (2) he’s member of TWO racist organizations (3) he’s not the incumbent who has been doing a good job for pflugerville since winning the last election.  Also, not that you can really hold it against him (or her) he has the same dead eyes and forehead as Michelle Obama.

Prop. 1, city of Pflugerville
“The issuance of $28,000,000 tax bonds for City street improvements, including for E. Pecan Street, Pflugerville Parkway, Heatherwilde Boulevard, Weiss lane, Rowe Lane, Pfennig Lane, Cactus Blossom Drive, Columbine Street, Ardisia Drive, Blackhorn drive, Thackeray Lane, Gravesbend Road, Isle of Man Road, Isle of man Court, Gower Street and Langland Road”
I will vote FOR this bond proposition.  These streets are seriously [deleted] up.  Lots of heavy equipment rolling through for the construction of the surrounding neighborhoods really did a number on streets that were already built on shifty clay soil.  If you have a bad back, driving through this section of town is literally painful because it’s SO bumpy everywhere!

Prop. 2, City of Pflugerville
“The issuance of $25,000,000 tax bonds for City park and recreational purposes, including development of parks and hike and bike trails, a City Sports Complex and parks and recreational improvements at Lake Pflugerville”
Please vote AGAINST this bond issue.  We don’t need a City Sports Complex.  Break out the trails and recreational improvements at the lake and I could maybe go for that.

Unfortunately the trend is almost unbroken that the way to get a tax bond measure passed is to have it on the ballot in Travis County.  I really would prefer a government that set money aside for building roads and parks, but that is not the world in which I live.  What I can do is to say “we don’t need a stadium in a city of 40,000 inhabitants, and you people are stupid if you vote for TWO of them” yes two, because they just approved a regional football stadium for the local religion favored sport.  [deleted] a stadium.

Austin Proposition – The issuance of $600,000,000 bonds and notes for …
This is an election to spend $1.2 BILLION (later to balloon to an “unexpectedly” $2 Billion or more) for NINE miles of low-capacity passenger rail from downtown to downtown and zero additional miles of road that would actually relieve congestion.  This is as stupid as it gets.
Please vote NO against this proposition!

In other news, this is the election when Austin finally shakes off the former city council system where the people in the heart of Northern Downtown Austin got their way and F the car, truck and anybody outside the city core.  There are scores of candidates for 11 positions.  With 5% or so turnout, actual representation isn’t happening, but I think at least the council meetings will be more colorful going forward.  Not smarter,mind you (it’s still Austin) but definitely probably different maybe.

Because We Already Fixed Everything Else?

Patrick is going to be the next Lt. Governor in Texas.  Dewhurst is widely hated for being himself in the state house, and Patrick is a likeable unknown who says lots of the right things.  Sensing his imminent defeat, Dewhurst is spewing as much venom as he can find.  As I predicted.

To recap the attempted attacks against Patrick I’ve heard in the last week on local radio:

  • He left his creditors hanging, stiffed them with a zillion-dollar loss!
    • (which, when you can’t repay your debts, is what bankruptcy has been for since before people spoke English here)
  • He changed his NAME!!1!  He’s trying to HIDE SOMETHING!!!1
    • (he changed his name before going into politics and his life is an open book)
    • (he was drafted, reported for duty, and was rejected due to disability from old injuries)

The Devil knows he will end in the lake of fire and is trying to do as much damage as he can before he finally loses.  Likewise, Dewhurst is slinging as much mud as he thinks he can, going well beyond the standard of decency in the process, as he loses his last race for Lt. Governor.  It’s enough to make me want to vote AGAINST Dewhurst just for the poop-on-the-other-guy campaign he’s trying to run!

Re: the title of this post: if Dewhurst really was the man for the job, he’d be on the front page for his ideas on how he’s going to fix everything that’s broken in Texas.  What does this attempted smear campaign say about his ideas for what to do for our great State?

Gobsmacking Lies On “Climate Change”

The President would like you to stop thinking about his many failings in foreign and domestic policy where his faulty logic  leads to bad outcomes all over the world.  Instead, please could you start thinking about how you have been affected by Global Warming Climate Change?  After all, it is clear that the last 17 and a half years of no-warming are leading to dramatic effects for you, personally.  Be concerned just in time for the election, won’t you please?

No warming?  Actual cooling?  Says who?  The thermometers?  Well, let’s just adjust the numbers on our government records and we’ll fix that cooling trend right up!

If you are at all interested or concerned about the climate and what your government wants to do to you because of it, you really should be reading Watt’s Up With That?  The following animation was found there, for instance.  The blue lines are what the thermometers say, and the red lines are what your government wants you to believe:

It’s Not Sexism When WE Do It!

The Democrats have been stirring the media up to talk about Equal Pay for Wymyn! and Minorities!  The AMERICA is bad because (insert statistic from decades ago).  Then something funny happened and I just realized it’s typical of them.

Wendy Davis (a.k.a. Abortion Barbie) is trying to be elected to Governess of Texas.  She’ll lose, and she knows it looks right now like she’ll lose so she’s trying to appeal to the groups* she thinks she can get to vote for her.  She’s got the single-issue abortion-freedom and electawomantoeverything groups locked up.  She tried gun folks and that didn’t go so well.  She damn well CAN’T go for SAH moms with her background.  Several weeks ago, she had a press conference decrying the evils of Pay Inequality.  The crowd was shamelessly sycophantic.  It went something like this:

(cheers from the crows)
(cheers from the crowd)

etc.  One reporter actually did some journalism though.  Having noticed beforehand that Ms. Davis also pays her woman and brown people employees less money, the reporter confronted her about it.  Davis said, entirely honestly, that different pay levels had not so much to do with sex as with experience and ability in the workplace.

A few days ago, President Obama was speechifying about the horrors of Pay Inequality as well.  Someone asked ‘okay then how come the women in your White House make less than the men, and the brown people even less still?’  The President of the Frikken United States Gubmint responded that it’s not so much about the sexism as that the people in his adminstration make what they are worth based on experience & ability.

But you see, some OTHER people might be paying women less because of Sexism.  We need to Look Into This!  And the only reason we didn’t get to it before an election year is . . . .


*groups.  Democrats tend to make their pitches to/for groups.  Conservatives want to get out of the way so *individuals* can excel on their own.

March 4, 2014 Texas Statewide Election Night Results

…following up on my Primary Election Voter Guide

Something like four percent of my fellow Texans just voted in their party primary elections.  As this is Texas in 2014, the results of these primaries essentially decide who will be the next officeholder.  4% decided who would be our next United States Senator and Governor.  Shame on the rest of you, and feel free to shut up if my elected heroes start doing things you disagree with.  You should have voted today.

Here are the State’s picks based on incomplete returns on election night.  It looks like there will be a runoff election soon, and a few of the campaigns have been nasty – I suspect it will be really nasty for the next couple of months.

US Senator  – You people picked Cornyn again.  You picked wrong, but a supermajority of you did it, so I guess it’s a mandate, a reward for a slick ad campaign, or a sign of inattention.

Governor – Greg Abbott – I guess this really was an easy one.  You voted with me, congratulations.

Lt. Governor  – Dan Patrick – my man ran away with it, but I think there is a runoff coming.  Here’s hoping Dewhurst gets his pee-pee stomped on just like when he ran against Ted Cruz for U.S. Senator.

Attorney General – I called for Ken Paxton for 2nd place but he took first.  This looks like another runoff.

Comptroller of Public Accounts  – I called for Glenn Hegar with Harvey Hilderbran a distant second, and that’s exactly what we got.  Also we may have got another runoff election.

Commissioner of the General Land Office – Another George Bush from Texas.  Well, at least these are a conservative-leaning dynasty.

Commissioner of Agriculture – I missed this one by a lot.  Oh well.
Railroad Commissioner – and this one

Chief Justice, Supreme Court – Nathan Hecht – Good!
Place 6, Justice, Supreme court, Unexpired Term – Jeff Brown – in a landslide.  Good!
Place 8, Justice, Supreme Court – Phil Johnson – Good again!

Place 3, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals – Bert Richardson – enough to avoid a runoff, but I hate that Walther even got a third.
Place 4, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals – Kevin Patrick yeary – I guess you all agreed he would be a good choice, regardless of whether Wood was running.  Still, a good result.
Place 9, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals – David Newell by a squeaker, but both were good candidates.  This runoff election ballot is going to be longer than usual  

Republican Primary Ballot Propositions – all passed with nearly all the votes, surprising nobody.

March 4, 2014 Texas Republican Primary Election Voter Guide

I’ve put in around a dozen or more hours on this guide, as usual.  What I haven’t done is polish the presentation.  The following are my notes so far, pretty much in the same form as I wrote them for myself.  Copy-and-paste the links if you want to follow them.  My picks for this election are in green text


US Senator
Dwayne Stovall – This guy, and this guy by a mile.  Read this – if he means what is on that page, he’s my guy.  Not a lawyer, a working man.  Not a politician, not a party guy, but he knows what’s what.
Linda Vega – campaigning against Obama and the NSA, apparently.  No.  How about saying what you intend to do?  If I founded a “Whites Ready to Vote” organization you would call me a racist and rightly so.  She founded “Latinos Ready to Vote” so what does that mean about her.  Strike two.  Two strikes was enough to get me to stop looking in such a crowded race.
John Cornyn – no.  He’s a republican and a moderate conservative one at that, but he’s also a squishy wobbly.  If there are better alternatives (and there are) he needs to go.  Don’t let his high-dollar “I’m just like you, vote for me” ad campaign fool you.
Reid Reasor – watch this he looks good.  His introduction of himself is almost enough to recommend him by itself. He sounds like an Oath Keeper which means a lot to me.  Then I read his Big Ideas and he sounds like some sort of quasi-socialist (or else he is a terrible communicator).  Plus he talks about pre-emptive strikes (=war) on Iran.  He’s not the worst possible candidate for *national* office, but that is not saying much.
Steve Stockman – I’m not quite sure what his game is but it apparently is NOT hard-core campaigning.  P.S. if you want to impress people with your endorsements for the office you seek, you might not want to lie about the endorsements you got in previous races applying to the current effort.    He had to REMOVE his endorsements page, it was so bad!  Next.
Curt Cleaver – running for a Good Guy contest?  I like that he’s out there pushing the gospel of Christ, but he’s doing it in an election where 5% of the electorate will vote and maybe 3% is paying attention.  Double-plus sad points for begging for 10 likes on his facebook a few times and not even getting that many.
Chris Mapp – No.  Tell things the way you see them, that’s fine.  But when you use the word “wetback” in public and you are not a Mexican talking to your friends in front of only friends, you lose about 99.999% of the rest of us.  Wetback is like Nigger.  You can’t say these words, because they are pretty much universally offensive except to the people they deride, who sometimes feel entitled to use them privately amongst themselves.  This single lack of tact and discretion alone was enough to scratch him from consideration for all future public office.  Yes, I know, regular readers may be clearing their throats and giving me meaningful looks just now – I’m not running for office, this other gringo is.
Ken Cope – naive, not accepting campaign funds for the purity of it all.  Sorry charlie, no funds no wins.  Plus, promising not to serve “more than two term limits” on your campaign website is hardly the way to

District 17 US Representative
Bill Flores – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Greg Abbott – this guy.   I find it difficult to fault anything I’ve seen from him recently aside from an emphasis on college training vs. going into detail about trades training as well.  Maybe he likes state-standard tests for schoolchildren too much.  That’s about all.  Another plus in his column: the people that don’t like him, don’t like him for the reasons I do like him.  There is lots of criticism of Abbott out there, but most of it is for doing things that I would like to see done, so he wins even in the enemies column.
Miriam Martinez – Anyone gets a pass at marriage going bad once.  Two divorces is a trend.  This is *almost* a disqualifier by itself.  Also almost a disqualifier is allowing your main campaign website picture to be of you in a shirt that lets your feminine undergarments show through for all the world to see.  She wants illegals to become citizens (Fritsch talks about guest workers instead of citizens).  And her campaign website “issues” section lists all of three: amnesty for illegals, guns for the people, and more words than the whole rest of the website combined are dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana.  Maybe in the next go-round she will have had time to generate some position papers.  This election we can excuse her from being a little light on website material because she’s only been a U.S. Citizen for three years!  It is hardly a surprise that she also has a slight racist/sexist tone to her questionnaire answers (be better to the brown people, affirmative action for women type stuff)
Lisa Fritsch – coming into this process (of researching my candidates) I had a large bias in favor of Mrs. Fritsch.  I’ve heard her stick her political neck waaaay out there on the radio and make big, bold statements.  No pale pastels here, people.  No, that’s not a pun about her being a dark brown woman, either.  From what she’s said that I’ve heard on the air in lively, spontaneous debate, she’s about 93% my kind of conservative and that’s rare in somebody willing to run for this high an office anymore.  Unfortunately, that other 7% wants the government to be giving a ‘hand up’ and get involved in private enterprise.  Plus she talks about putting more diverse folks in high places, where Abbott talks about putting the best qualified people in high places.  She’s second, and it’s close for me, but still she’s second.
SECEDE Kilgore – not surprisingly, based on his name on the ballot, he is running on a secessionist agenda.  also not surprisingly, he will get few votes in this primary.  We are not a State ready to become a Nation again, and I am fairly certain we won’t be setting off down that trail by voting in a regularly scheduled election.

Lt. Governor  – Here is an hour-long ‘debate’ with all four of them, if you have the time
Dan Patrick – I keep seeing him described as a ‘solid conservative’ which I like, and (possibly formerly) a hothead which I also like in my Solid Conservative leadership.  He is talking the talk of a partisan who insists his party should hold all the power.  Well, have I not been wishing for this?  Is it scary to see a Lt. Governor candidate who says he won’t put half of his appointments to Democrats?  Will it turn the State against the Republicans like the partisan Obama has turned the nation against Democrats?  We may yet see.  The only campaign issue against him seems to be that he, personally, intentionally, willfully hired illegal immigrants to work as dishwashers in his restaurants.  Except that they presented false papers to somebody else, and Patrick didn’t hire them himself.  Staples is running ads intentionally casting Patrick in the worst light possible as if all his opponents are taken at face value and Patrick is assumed to be acting contrary to law.  This is not quite a pants-on-fire moment for Staples, but it is disingenuous at best.  That, my friends, is no way to START as our Lt. Gov.  I don’t like how he Patrick walks away from the question of paying debts cleared in bankruptcy.  He has a funny-looking body and head, but you can’t really hold that against a guy.
Jerry Patterson – I have yet to hear anything bad about him as our current Commissioner of the General Land Office, which I helped vote him into in 2010.  Let’s have him keep that job, but he’s a decent 2nd choice for Lt. Gov. in my opinion.  Not only is he less-bad than the other two, I like him better than the other two.  I like that he is a Marine also.
David Dewhurst – this Battleswarm blog from the last big election still says why you should vote against Dewhurst in this PRIMARY unless you wish those pesky Conservative Movement types would just go away again .  In the general election I would probably still vote for him over some leftist democrat cook but he’s third choice in the primary.  Plus he has a touch of the crazy eyes.
Todd Staples – for Agriculture Commissioner maybe, but for Lt. Governor, not so much.  Let me fisk his 10-point “contract” real quick here
*Secure the Texas border – this is not a State issue.  This is a Federal issue and the feds aren’t interested.  Strike one for bringing up something that’s not your job.
*Cut taxes, grow jobs, limit size & scope of government – Cutting taxes is kinda the Lt. Gov’s job, but as for growing jobs, all he really could do is get out of the way.  Limiting the size & scope of government is also only in part his responsibility.  This one’s a Ball.
*Get state spending under control, lower debt, increase transparency – buzzwords all, but Texas doesn’t have so much of a spending problem compared to other Satates.  If he were running for US Senate this would be great.  Maybe he won’t have to re-write his “contract” when he runs for U.S. Senator?  Ball two
*Strengthen 2nd Amendment rights, defend our State’s rights – 2nd Amendment is a federal thing.  Strengthen GUN rights?  How about just saying “GUNS?”  Too scary for you?  States’s rights – buzzwords again, with no meaning.
*Defend the sanctity of life, improve women’s health, uphold traditional family values – come on Stapey, say the words!  “I don’t like Abortion.  I don’t like the gays marriage.”  Focus group terms may play well to some people but not to me.  Strike two for lacking courage even at this late stage in the campaign.
*Demand student-focused, parent-driven, transparent and quality education system – Okay, I demand student-focused also.  We got it to work by homeschooling until we found a student-focused school with a quality educational system.  Parent-driven is a bit of a problem when the parents don’t give a damn, and I’m not sure what Transparent means but I’m sure focus groups love it.
*Improve healthcare, reject obamacare, demand welfare reform – The Lt. Governor is going to improve health care?  Is he a doctor?  Reject obamacare, demand welfare reform, I do these also, and I’m not running for Liutenant Governor.  Ball three for not saying anything
*Defend private property owners’ rights – sure, you can do that from the Lt. Gov. chair, by not crushing people out of their land.  I expect this from my politicians.
*Uphold and Expand tort reforms – uphold is sort-of your job.  Expand is not.  Strike three.
*Apply conservative leadership on transportation & water priorities – Leadership, oh wow.  As Agriculture Commissioner this is bang-on what you should be doing now!
*ooh, and he signed the “contract”, how novel!
If he runs for Senate come ask me again and I’ll think about it some more.  For now, in this Lt. Governorship primary, Staples goes down.

Attorney General
Barry Smitherman – this guy by a mile.  Just listen to him in this interview and ask yourself if you don’t want a fighter-sounding cat like him at the bar for Texas
Ken Paxton – I never heard of him but the people who have swear up down and sideways that he’s a “movement conservative” like Cruz is supposed to be.  And BOY HOWDY is he trying as hard as he can to get you to think he’s Ted Cruz 2.0.  But he was also swindled out of $100,000 in a scam just a few years ago (bad judgement, anyone?) and doesn’t think it would be his job to fight to keep Common Core and CSCOPE out of Texas schools! but as a legislator it was his job Smitherman says he’d fight this fight before the fight hits him in the face, which I like.   Plus, shady dealings?  and his face doesn’t look right.  Call him 2nd place.
Dan Branch – I don’t want someone who is described as having a pragmatic approach to governance.  I want my politicians as hardcore conservative and all the time as I can get.  Plus he advertises that he belongs to the “Church of Christ” which is a borderline cult.

Comptroller of Public Accounts – I can’t take any exception to the writeup here so I won’t try.
Glenn Hegar – this guy
Harvey Hilderbran – a distant second
Raul Torres – It’s nice that you’re an accountant, but better luck next time.
Debra Medina – I can’t get past looking at the woman, and not in a good way.  You want to be in charge of the finances of the State, but you are yourself a lardass without enough discipline to do what is right for your very own body?  Sorry, yer disqualified right there.  Oh, plus this campaign is pretty plainly an attempt to get elected wherever you think you might be able to, vs. a run for the actual office for which you are on the ballot.

Commissioner of the General Land OfficeI’m not sure there is a good candidate here.  And by here, I mean not just this primary, but this race.  It seems likely this one well be a toss-up for me, between voting Libertarian so they’ll be more than a blip on the radar during the next election cycle, and voting for the (R) candidate to prevent the (D) from getting the office if it looks close in the polls come November.  I’ll abstain from voting in this primary race.
David Watts – some odd kind of racist?   Okay so the kids of illegals aren’t here legally.  Not educating them is both illegal and a bad idea.  Prosecute their parents and send them all packing, or educate the children already.
George P. Bush – oh jupiter, not another George Bush from Texas, please!  He’s in up to his neck with a racist group hispanic republican group which is enough to disqualify most people for me in most races.
The Democrat John Cook supports benefits for the gays.  I’m against that and him.
Libertarian Steven Childs appears to not be campaigning, as usual for a losertarian.
Green Ulises Cabrera seems to be campaigning slightly less than Childs.  Besides, a Green Party candidate starts out from a position of being a watermelon looney-toon, which is going to prevent them being elected in the forseeable future.

Commissioner of Agriculture
Eric Opiela – This race is a choice between several good candidates, and I think I would like a runoff . . . but in the primary the slightly-better man for the job seems to be Opiela.  They all may know their stuff but Opiela’s bench seems a little deeper than his opponents’.
J. Allen Carnes – played to both sides, supporting dems and repubs in the past.  Not a great idea if you intend to be on the Republican ticket, mate.
Tommy Merritt
Joe Cotten – not running very hard, which means he deserves to lose very hard.
Sid Miller

Railroad Commissioner (to run Energy stuff, not Railroad stuff, can we get this agency name changed already?)
Becky Berger – a geologist.  Now yer talkin.  Plus her Ten Energy Policy Issues Stances are good stuff.
Ryan Sitton – has a company he will refuse to leave if elected to run the agency that is in charge of what his company does.  Conflict of interest means I’m not interested..
Wayne Christian – Made the Texas Worst Legislators list – twice – for being a jerk when he doesnt have to be.  No.
Malachi Boyuls – again, I don’t want investors running this show

The judge races with incumbent justices are pretty easy for me.  This article has a nice summary of how I feel about them:

One of the biggest challenges that faces our elected Supreme Court is when turnover slows down the docket to the point that people have to wait years for a decision. Voters should grant incumbency a heavy weight not only because of the experience that justices accrue, but also because the disruption to the court has consequences down the line.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht – This guy.  What they said:
Robert Talton – such a dynamic campaigner!  check out this page from his website from last month!  It looks like he’s been planning this for a long, long time – in fruit fly time.  In human time, why even bother to campaign for only two months?

Place 6, Justice, Supreme court, Unexpired Term
Jeff Brown -This guy.
Joe Pool – has some ‘splainin’ to do and

Place 7, Justice, Supreme Court
Jeff Boyd  – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Place 8, Justice, Supreme Court
Phil Johnson – This guy.  What they said
Sharon McCally – maybe if she were running for an open seat.  But to replace an incumbent?  Not this year.

Place 3, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Bert Richardson – him.  He wants judgin’ to keep pace with newfangled technology thingies.
Barbara Walther – specifically not her.  Okay, a splinter from the mormon church may be full of kooks – but when the supreme court of Texas said you abused your discretion taking 400 of their children away, that should be a career-ending decision for you.

Place 4, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Jani Jo Wood – this gal.  We could really, really use on this court someone who has been working for the defense team the whole time.  Yeary is a prosecutor, Wood’s a defender.  Her.
Kevin Patrick yeary – would be a good choice if Wood were not running
Richard Dean Davis – if you don’t want to campaign, you don’t get the office, sorry.

Place 9, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
David Newell – this guy.  We could use someone on the CCA who said that when he worked on appeals in the past he *started* from a place where he assumed the defendant had been done wrong in previous trials.  It is also a plus for me that he has been paying close attention to what the CCA has been doing recently so he will have a shorter transition period when getting to know his case load.
W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall – I’d vote for him, if he weren’t running against his current opponent.

Chief Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Jeff Rose – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

County Judge
Mike McNamara – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Precinct No.2 Justice of the Peace
Glenn Bass – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

County Chairman
James Dickey – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Republican Primary Ballot Propositions

Religious Freedom: Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places
Vote YES on this

Second Amendment: Texans should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry
Vote YES on this too

Franchise tax: Texas should abolish the state franchise tax, also known as the margins tax, to encourage business growth
Vote YES on this, too.  This seems like rather a no-brainer.

Welfare Reform: Texas recipients of taxpayer-funded public assistance should be subject to random drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits
Hoo boy, now we’re onto a controversy!  Vote yes on this, and then when the vote comes to disenfranchise them, vote yes on that also.  Also when the vote comes to actually CHECK to see if they needed the benefits.  Oh, don’t get me started!

No Lawmaker Exceptions: All elected officials and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances as their constituents
Vote YES on this, for all the good it will do.

Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” should be repealed.
Duh?  Yes.

This Is My Surprised Face

The President said the Affordable Care Act website would be up and working by this weekend and, right on cue, here comes a raft of stories about how it is up and working*!

*for 80% of users
*provided you don’t exceed the number of visitors the site can handle, which is less than it’s been seeing
*unless you try getting online in the morning, during lunch, or after work
*unless you expected it to stay online as much as 96% of the time
*except for the part where people actually get insurance.  That’s still not written yet.


Hold on there.

You know who doesn’t work for free?  Better said, you know who doesn’t straight-up give away money?  Insurance companies.  You give them your first payment on your new health care payment insurance plan, and they say “you’re insured, buddy!”  If you fail to pay, they say “John Q who, again?  Never heard of ’em.”

You. Can. Not. Pay. For. Insurance. Because. That. Software. Is. Not. Written. Yet.

You sign up.  You get approval.  You get sick.  You go to doctor.  Doctor treats you for supersickness.  You are discharged, expecting “only” a several-thousand dollar deductible payment.  You are presented with a TENS or HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars everything payment because you have not paid your first insurance bill yet.  Be sure to try to negotiate at the front desk as they are shoving a pile of forms at you, because you’re screwed if you just sign a “send me the bills later” paper.

The website the President keeps promising only works* for signing up.  It is also required that you go as far as payment.  Payment requires some advanced maths from the government and the insurance companies working hand-in-hand.  The software to allow payments to be made is not ready yet.  Sign up all you want, but you will not actually be insured until you pay, which you can’t.

So, good luck not being injured or sick until such time as they get that up and running!