August 28, 2014

HERO Opponents Try "Hail Mary" Play On Ordinance Repeal

Noah over at Texpate points us to the Houston Chronicle story on the latest effort by former Harris County GOP chairman Jared Woodfill's effort to get an immediate vote on the repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Opponents of Houston's equal rights ordinance have asked the Texas Supreme Court to force the city secretary to certify the signatures on a petition they submitted seeking to trigger a repeal referendum on the law.

Houston's 14th Court of Appeals denied a similar request on Aug. 15, ruling that the emergency writ of mandamus would have the same result as a favorable ruling in the pending lawsuit opponents filed against the city earlier this month. The plaintiffs, the judges wrote, could appeal after a ruling comes down at the trial court level.

Trial in that case is set for Jan. 19.

The new filing with the Supreme Court, turned in late Tuesday, is similar to the group of conservative pastors and activists' previous requests. It seeks to have the court force the city to suspend enforcement of the ordinance, to put the ordinance to another vote of the City Council and, if the council does not repeal it, to put the issue before voters.

No good reason for mandamus here -- Woodfill and company are asking for the court to give them everything they demand now and then decide if they are entitled to anything later. That is a non-starter for me (hardly a fan of the ordinance) because it then creates the situation where the voters have cast a vote repealing the ordinance only to have that vote thrown out by the judiciary should it be determined that the repeal measure never should have been on the ballot in the first place. This is therefore nothing but a cynical effort to avoid having the case decided on its merits by mooting the case at the ballot box and leads me to question if Woodfill and company have polling data showing them that the repeal will fail any time but this November.

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Looking At 2016 Perry/Cruz Edition

Both these guys are mentioned as candidates for President in 2016. Both are conservatives (though of different stripes) and both are popular among Texans and nationally. It even has the potential to split the vote of Texas conservatives in the GOP primary.

Two Texans, one White House. Is the 2016 Republican campaign trail big enough?

After plummeting from prime contender to political punchline three years ago, Gov. Rick Perry has spent months gearing up for a second run. And he's turned his recent indictment on felony abuse-of-power charges into a campaign rallying cry.

But even as Perry works to convince conservatives that he'll be better at coping with the national spotlight this time, he's increasingly bumping up against his state's junior senator, tea party darling Ted Cruz, whose firebomb approach on Capitol Hill has grassroots activists clamoring for him to make a White House run.

Speaking as a Texas Republican, let me make a couple of observations.

Rick Perry? Not my guy he wasnt in 2012 and wont be in 2016. Im just not a big fan, though I think he might have a spot in an GOP cabinet.

Ted Cruz? Not in 2016. I didnt think Obama was seasoned enough to be president, and his lack of experience has shone through over the course of his two terms. Ted Cruz has exactly as much experience as Obama did in at this point in his presidential run -- hes just not ready. Of course, Id be supportive of Cruz as a vice presidential candidate or attorney general or (preferably) Supreme Court justice. But now is not the time for President Cruz.

Of course, I know who I am praying for in 2016 someone with a long record of accomplishments who is currently praying for guidance on the matter.

|| Greg, 01:47 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sentenced To A Lifetime Of Lousy Jobs

Because nobody is going to hire someone when they explain an arrest over this.

A young man is facing charges stemming from an unusual incident in Westmoreland County Monday.

Skyler Connor, 18, of New Derry, is facing a disorderly conduct charge for waving a rubber penis at passing motorists.

According to police, the incident happened on Route 30 in Unity Township around 6 p.m.

Connor was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle at the time.

Great move, kid.

|| Greg, 01:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Racism In The Obama Administration

Amazing, isn't it, that the progressive Democrat Party that is supposedly the friend to minorities and immigrants acts like the same old Democrat Party of slavery, segregation, and the Klan using your tax dollars.

Americas newest federal agency, charged with regulating financial institutions to prevent another hostile economic downturn, is having troubles regulating hostilities and discrimination among its own employees.

Evidence gathered by congressional investigators, internal agency documents and Washington Times interviews with workers discloses scores of cases of U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employees seeking protection from racially offensive, sexist or discriminatory behavior, including that:

A naturalized U.S. citizen, with more than a decade of service with the U.S. government, was called an fing foreigner by management.

A department was internally dubbed the Plantation because of the number of blacks working in it all supervised by white managers without any obvious promotional track or way to get transferred.

White employees were twice as likely to get the most favorable personnel ratings in employee reviews, as were minorities.

Managers intimidated and retaliated against employees for voicing complaints or offering an alternative point of view from denying vacation requests to hiring unqualified friends to supervise jobs and then asking subordinates to train them.

This agency is the Democrats baby, created by the Democrats under this administration and staffed at the management level by Democrats appointees. No wonder the racial divide hasnt healed under Obama he and his crew are need to continue to purvey racism in order to hang on to power.

|| Greg, 01:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 27, 2014

Saudis Get A Clue On Israel

Are they finally recognizing that decades of encouraging extremism in the name of ridding the region of the Jewish state is undermining the stability of Muslim nations in the Middle East?

Saudi Arabias Foreign Minister said that now is the time to recognize Israel as a legitimate entity in the Middle East, stressing that the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, terror group Hamas, is responsible for fanning the flames of war between Israelis and Palestinians.

Speaking at the world assembly of Islamic scholars in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saud bin Faisal Al Saud reiterated that the Arab world must also reject Hamas as the representatives of the Palestinian movement, AWDnews reports.

Heres hoping that this realization has not come too late for the Saudis and for Israel.

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August 26, 2014

It Isn't Just Austin That Is A Liberal Island

A few weeks back I noted that Austin is a liberal island in the heart of Texas and is out of step with the rest of the state politically. Well, there is more proof of that -- and that deviation from the Texas norm is reflected countywide in Travis County.

Data from eight University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polls conducted among registered voters between May of 2011 and June of 2014 allow us to estimate the mean ideological position of the voting public in 20 of the states 21 most populous counties counties which combined contain almost three-fourths (73 percent) of the Texas population. Insufficient survey data exist at the present time for Webb County, the 19th most populous county in the state.

The UT/Tribune Poll contains an ideology variable based on a question asking respondents to place themselves on a seven-point ideology scale ranging from Extremely Liberal (1) to Extremely Conservative (7), with a 4 indicating the respondent considers their ideological position to be In the Middle. A mean ideological position for every county is calculated by averaging the valid self-reported ideological placement of its residents.

The data was graphed as follows.


Of course, it is likely that the city of Austin skews the county as a whole and that the rest of Travis County is much more reflective of Texas as a whole. But it also accounts for how you got a grand jury like the one that indicted Rick Perry -- loaded with partisan Democrats and virtually devoid of Republicans.

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August 20, 2014

Grand Jury That Indicted Rick Perry Was Stacked With Partisan Democrats

Any doubt that we have a partisan hit on Rick Perry? Not only was the indictment based upon the complaint of a Soros-funded liberal activist group, but the grand jury was filled with partisan Democrats.

The Chronicle was able to identify nine of the 12 Travis County residents who served on the grand jury. Of those, five have voted only in Democratic Party primaries over the last 20 years, according to county records. One has voted in both Democratic and Republican primaries during that time, while three have not voted at all.

Having identified 3/4 of the grand jurors, you come up with only one who has EVER voted Republican -- and even then the grand juror is not a consistent GOP primary voter? But you get five who have never voted in any other primary except the Democrat primary? Looks like the grand jury was stacked.

But surely they were fair-minded, right? After all, look at this from one of them.

Rhoda Chambers, who is the only person listed in Travis County with her name but would only confirm her service on a jury that ended last week, said grand juries involve careful consideration of facts.

"For me, it's not a political decision," Chambers said. "That's what a grand jury is about - take the emotion out of it and look at the facts and make your best decision."

Sounds very high minded, doesn't it? Except while she was serving on the grand jury in question, she was involved in some other activity as well.

Rho Chalmers, who disclosed to the Houston Chronicle yesterday that she was a member of the grand jury that indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was an active delegate to the Texas Democratic Party convention during grand jury proceedings. Chalmers active participation in Democratic state politics is important because she claimed yesterday to the Houston Chronicle that her decision to indict Perry, a Republican, was not based on politics.

For me, its not a political decision, Chalmers told the newspaper. Thats what a grand jury is about take the emotion out of it and look at the facts and make your best decision based on your life experience.

More troubling, however, is the fact that Chalmers attended, photographed, and commented on an event with Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson while grand jury proceedings were ongoing.

Watson was a witness in front of the grand jury. On June 27, 2014, Chalmers shared a photo of the Watson event on a community Facebook page she started called Developers Dungeon. Senator Kirk Watson telling the story of the Wendy Davis fillibuster (sic), she wrote in a comment accompanying the picture.

While serving on the grand jury charged with hearing no other case except one against the sitting governor involving a conflict with a public official of a different party, she was a delegate to that other party's convention. Not only that, she served on the Rules Committee -- a position that as a rule only goes to the most active of party activists. Not only that, she was having outside contact with witnesses testifying before the grand jury while it was sitting. Doesn't this raise questions as to the impartiality of this grand juror? I would argue that it does -- and that it also raises the question of she may have tainted the grand jury's deliberations.

Frankly, this does not pass the smell test.

The indictment of a sitting governor for using his veto power is on its face a perverse violation of the separation of powers contained in the Texas Constitution. To allow a grand jury stacked with the governor's political opponents is even less acceptable. The judge assigned to hear this case needs to dismiss the charges with prejudice -- and if he does not, then the appellate court needs to do so in order to preserve the principle of separation of powers and that of not criminalizing what are disputes over politics and policy.

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August 17, 2014

Obama Regime Funds Border Fence

Has the Dictator-In-Chief finally decided that we have to create a barrier in order to stop the deluge of illegal border crossers created by his failed policies?

No -- it isn't the American border he wants to protect (thought part of the problem here is also due to Obama's failed policies).

As part of the U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine announced by the White House in April, the State Department awarded a $435,000 contract to B.K. Engineering System in Kyiv for razor wire to help defend the newly imposed borders between Ukraines mainland and the Crimean peninsula. The contract was awarded on June 12, but was just posted online this week.

So apparently a physical barrier will stop Putin's forces from invading Ukraine (in tanks and armored personnel carriers) but one will not stop people on foot from crossing into the United States.

If you aren't outraged, then you just aren't paying attention.

H/T Legal Insurrection

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World Silent As 1000 Civilians Killed

No surprise here -- after all, the dead are Christians and the killers are Muslims, so it is business as usual.

The death toll from Boko Harams takeover of the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza is nearly 1,000, not the 100 included in many reports, Nigerian relations expert Adeniyi Ojutiku told Baptist Press.

The Nigerian military abandoned their weapons and fled Gwoza as Boko Haram attacked Wednesday (Aug. 6), burning government buildings, killing residents and taking hostages. Some residents managed to flee to the mountains bordering Cameroon and are without food or water; others made it 85 miles north to Maiduguri, Associated French Press (AFP) and others reported.

News surfaced just today (Aug. 15) of a separate Aug. 10 attack on the remote village of Doron Baga in northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped dozens of boys and men, leaving women, girls and young children abandoned there.

I'm curious -- where is Barack Obama's humanitarian intervention to stop this genocide in Nigeria? Where is the international outrage?

|| Greg, 09:23 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gaza Ceasefire Talks Fail

And I think it is fair to sum matters up in a single tweet from the military arm of Hamas.

Here's a report on the failure. Note the generous terms that were offered Hamas, the losing party in this conflict by every measure.

JERUSALEM - Hamas reportedly rejected a comprehensive, 11-clause long term ceasefire proposal on Saturday. Egypt has warned that this proposal will be its final effort to secure a lasting end to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

According to details leaked by Egyptian newspaper al-Shorouk, the 11-clause proposal contained several key concessions to the Palestinian delegation, including the opening of border crossings between Israel and Gaza, the elimination of the so-called "buffer zones" along the Israel-Gaza border, the extension of the fishing zone to 12 miles off the Gazan coast, and the assistance of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in rebuilding the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip.

The proposal also called for negotiations to resume after a month of quiet, at which time the issues of a seaport and airport in Gaza would be discussed. Egypt has warned that its latest proposal will be its final effort, Israel Radio reported on Friday.

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan said the Egyptian proposal did not meet the needs of the Palestinian people.

"Israel must agree to the demands of the Palestinian people, or it will face a long war of attrition," Hamdan wrote in a Facebook post.

Fine -- Hamas leaders insist that the "demands of the Palestinian people" be met and that they wish for "death for Allah"> Maybe it is time for Israel to give it to them without taking half measures or showing the sort of restraint that has limited their ability to wipe out the terrorists but still left them open to international criticism.

|| Greg, 09:16 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 15, 2014

Rick Perry Indicted For Vetoing Tax Dollars For Office Of Dangerous Drugged And Drunk Driving DA.

Texas is among the reddest of red states in the union. Most counties in the state are controlled by Republicans. One of particular importance is controlled by the Democrats -- Travis County, home of the state capital of Austin. Because of that quirk of geography, this means that a prosecutor elected by a constituency completely out of step with the bulk of Texans gets to investigate anything he/she sees fit to investigate and prosecute anything he/she chooses to -- using state money to do so.

This has become quite important in recent years. The prosecution of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay after then DA Ronnie Earle submitted the same evidence to multiple grand juries in a matter of weeks until he found one willing to indict is one example of how Texas Democrats have used the power of one local prosecutor to attack a political nemesis who was unbeatable at the polls is a classic example. Today's indictment of Governor Tom Delay at the behest of a special prosecutor is another example, given that it relates to Perry's effort to get a prosecutor whose actions were demonstrate her to be unfit for office to resign by using one of the few tools granted him by the state constitution -- the veto power.

Yeah, that's right -- Rick Perry has been indicted for vetoing the appropriation for the Public Accountability Office following Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg's arrest on drunk driving charges and her effort to use her position as DA to avoid that arrest.

A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two counts Friday, accusing him of abusing his veto power by threatening to withhold funding from the Travis County's public corruption unit if the district attorney did not resign following her drunken driving arrest.

The Travis County grand jury, led by special prosecutor Mike McCrum, indicted Perry on one count of abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony.

The punishment range for the first count is 5 to 99 years in prison and on the second count, 2 to 10 years in prison, McCrum said.

"I'm ready to go forward," McCrum said. Asked about the effect on Perry carrying out his duties or eyeing higher office, McCrum said, "I took into account we're talking about the governor of a state... When it gets down to it, the law is the law."

McCrum said he will meet with Perry's lawyer and the judge to set up a time for Perry to come before a court to be arraigned and be given notice of the charges against him. The date has not been set.

Calls to Perry's office and his lawyer were not immediately returned Friday evening.

Grand jurors for months have been looking into whether Perry violated the law last year when he said he'd kill funding for the Travis County district attorney's public corruption division unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after a messy drunken-driving arrest.

Perry carried through on the veto threat when Lehmberg stayed on the job.

Now let's talk about Lehmberg's arrest.


On another spring night nearly two years later, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg found herself being pulled over around 10:45 p.m. by a Travis County deputy, who had been alerted that a vehicle was swerving erratically on FM 620. Glancing at the open bottle of vodka on the front seat, the officer asked her to step out of her car. Preserved for posterity on the dashboard video cam, Lehmbergs slurred and surly response to the deputys field sobriety tests went viral immediately: Oh, thats cool. You have just ruined my career.

* * *

As a prominent public figure responsible for prosecuting alleged wrongdoings by state officials, Lehmberg was subjected to a singularly harsh spotlight in the wake of her DWI arrest. Her field sobriety test was beamed from every TV newscast in Texas, and the police surveillance video of her being forcibly restrained in her cell became an overnight YouTube sensation. The media wants good, meaty, juicy stories, says Alan Bennett, chairman of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In the instance of Rosemary Lehmberg, they got a banquet.

Bennett, who worked with Lehmberg at the DAs office for several years, is sympathetic. The only reason Rosemarys case got all the attention is because shes the elected DA. If she were just Jane Q. Citizen, it wouldnt make the news at all.

Lehmberg was lucky. She harmed no one but herself, the victim of a self-inflicted bullet of bad judgment. To many, her most serious offense was simply First Degree Irony. Others, though, insisted that she resign her officeincluding Gov. Rick Perry, who vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit, which is based in Lehmbergs office, because she did not step down. Lehmberg served 20 days of her sentence, voluntarily sought treatment and announced she would not seek re-election. We reached out to Lehmberg in June, and she responded to questions via email in her first statements since undergoing rehabilitation. I felt then, and do now, that I needed to answer for my mistake, she says. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that going to jail and serving the toughest sentence ever for a DWI was a difficult decision to make.

Jail is an unpleasant place, she adds, and I had 20 days to think about what I did. I learned a lot from going to jail and having gone through the systemI believe it will make me a better prosecutor. My time in treatment was a blessing.

Now let's think about it -- the person in charge of DUI prosecutions was jailed for her own DUI. She refused to resign, but recognizes that the stench of hypocrisy and corruption here is such that she has no place serving another term. But now we see the governor charged with felonies because he called for her to step down from her position and used his constitutional authority to ensure that $7.5 million dollars of taxpayer money were not put into the hands of a dangerous drunk. The theory here is nuts!

Now please understand -- I am not a big Rick Perry fan. I didn't back him in the 2010 gubernatorial race after he tried to play doctor with the little girls of Texas via an Obamaesque abuse of his executive order power. I refused to back his presidential race in 2012 for that same reason, and because I considered him unprepared for job. While he has done a reasonably good job as governor in his current term, I still find his 2007 executive order to be a disqualifier for the presidency. But on this matter, I am firmly in Rick Perry's corner, and hope that the charges are dismissed with extreme prejudice by the judge in the case.

UPDATE: I was challenged on the drugged part of the title and a reference to Percocet in an earlier draft of this piece. I have been unable to locate my source on that material, so I have corrected the piece and make this acknowledgement of it.

UPDATE 2: Noah from Texpatriate sent me this message -- "Lehmberg is not in charge of prosecuting non-repeat DWIs such as hers. In Travis, all misdemeanors are actually by the COUNTY Attorney. It's an odd little quirk."

Of course, that still means she is in charge of prosecuting some DWI cases. But even if she were in charge of none of them, that still does not deal with the fact that t she attempted to use her position and connections to get out of the charges when arrested.

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August 14, 2014

Quanell X -- A Profile In Hypocrisy

Local civil rights fraud Quanell X has come out against an Open Carry event that is going to occur in a black neighborhood in Houston.

Open Carry Texas is coming to Houston and the neighborhood they are planning on visiting is not sitting well with some people.

The gun rights advocacy group, which has made waves for their practice of carrying loaded assault rifles and other weapons at their demonstrations, has announced a visit to Houston's Fifth Ward this coming Saturday at noon.

"There was a false criticism that we only went to rich white neighborhoods, so we planned a Fifth Ward event," says Open Carry Texas leader C.J. Grisham. "We also want to work with the minority community to get them more involved in their right to legally bear arms."

The event on Saturday afternoon is set to be located at the corner of Lyons Avenue and Lockwood, and scheduled to last about two hours, with two guest speakers included. It will not be a march, as past Open Carry Texas appearance have been, but a static event.

* * *

Meanwhile community activist Quanell X has had some terse words for the Open Carry people. He told KPRC-TV that if the group shows up armed that people from the community will show up with weapons too to counter them.

"Coming like this is totally unacceptable. So if you do come, I guarantee you we will not bring a butter knife to a gun fight," Quanell X told KPRC-TV.

Now just a couple of points here.

First, this is not Quanell X's neighborhood. Last time I checked, he lives in Pearland, some 20 miles away, not in Houston's Fifth Ward. Apparently when he is concerned about "the community", he doesn't mean the community he lives in. He long ago changed his address, just like he changed his name from Quanell Ralph Evans.

But beyond that, there is a little bit of history involving Quanell X and Open Carry. Let's go back 14 years to the year 2000, and the actions of Quanell and his own armed goons at the Republican Party of Texas convention here in Houston.

Tensions in the already intense debate over convicted killer Gary Graham's scheduled execution escalated Friday as a dozen armed black activists shoved a delegate outside the state Republican convention in downtown Houston.

Kaufman County delegate A.J. McClure was pushed to the ground by one of the rifle-wielding guards surrounding Quanell X shortly after the Muslim leader began protesting outside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

McClure, a disabled veteran, quickly rose to his feet and said he was not hurt, but he was later taken by ambulance to an area hospital as a precaution.

McClure reported the incident to the Houston Police Department, but no charges had been filed late Friday and the guard involved in the incident was not immediately identified.

* * *

Quanell X's group comprising members of the New Black Panther Party, the National Black United Front and the New Black Muslim Movement arrived wearing all black, except for Quanell X. Many carried shotguns, AK-47s and other rifles.

It is legal in Texas to carry such firearms openly as long as the carrier is not a felon and does not aim the weapon at anyone.

After marching to a drum beat from a side street to a grassy area in front of the exhibition hall, Quanell X demanded clemency for Graham and support from black leaders within the Republican Party. Graham was sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Bobby Lambert outside a Houston supermarket. He is scheduled to die Thursday.

"We believe we have a divine right, a divine duty and a divine obligation to stand up for any black man on Death Row about to be executed ... for a crime he didn't commit," Quanell X said.

But when McClure began shouting over Quanell X, the activist, still surrounded by guards, approached McClure. That is when one of the guards shoved McClure.

"I was trying to back up and he pushed me down," McClure said. "I'm a 100 percent disabled veteran and shouldn't be treated that way."

Got that -- Quannell X is all in favor of his people going wherever they want openly carrying firearms as allowed by law, with the explicit intent of intimidating others. What he is not in favor of is OTHERS going where they want openly carrying firearms simply to remind others that they have the right to do so.

But then again, we've long known that Quanell X is a racist busybody who believes he has the right to revoke the "ghetto pass" of white people who dare to do something he opposes. So why should we be surprised by his openly racist Open Carry hypocrisy here?

|| Greg, 11:51 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (222) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||