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Texas Tag

God bless Texas. Last year, the Lone Star State passed a bill that allows schools to say things like, "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Hanukah" without retribution. Co-authored by Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), the bill, "allows students, parents, teachers and administrators the freedom to acknowledge these traditional winter holidays without fear of litigation or punishment and restores common sense by placing Supreme Court precedent into state law," according to the law's official website.
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For many living in states not called Texas, it might seem odd that a place most regard as the "reddest" state in the union would fight so hard to gain ground in traditionally-liberal districts. Isn't a solid governing majority and clean slate of statewide office holders enough? Not if you want to keep building. And build Texas has, by electing a full slate of Republicans on the statewide level, defeating Battleground Texas' initial efforts to elect a Democrat statewide, and making key inroads with both battleground districts and battleground demographics. Perhaps our most notable achievement this cycle was flipping Wendy Davis's Senate District, SD-10, in favor of Republicans. When Tea Party candidate Konni Burton first announced her candidacy for Davis's old seat, many wrote her off as a long-shot; on election night, however, she proved them wrong. Via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“It’s hard to believe that over 20 months ago I started having conversations with conservatives across Tarrant County about the need for someone to challenge Wendy Davis,” Burton, a Colleyville conservative with Tea Party ties​, told about 300 supporters gathered at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. “We were all sick and tired of being represented by a liberal in Austin who didn’t reflect the conservative values of District 10.

AP reports via HuffPo:
The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election. A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented. The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday. The Supreme Court's order was unsigned, as it typically is in these situations. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left the district court decision in place. "The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters," Ginsburg wrote in dissent. Texas' law sets out seven forms of approved ID — a list that includes concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs, which are accepted in other states with similar measures.
The Supreme Court Order is here. It denies a request to vacate the stay issued by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals putting on hold the trial court ruling invalidating the law.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has reversed former House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay's 2010 money laundering conviction. The panel in an 8-1 vote held that the state failed to prove that corporate contributions made to Republicans running for seats in the Texas legislature in 2002 violated Texas Election Code. This ruling affirmed last year's overturning of the conviction by a lower court. We covered that earlier reversal, Which office does Tom Delay go to, to get his reputation back? From the Capitol City Project:
DeLay long believed the charges were politically motivated. “I understand what it’s about and it’s about … the criminalization of politics and the misuse of power … and prosecutorial misconduct,” DeLay said Wednesday. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 8-1 that the state did not sufficiently prove that DeLay funneled money as part of a plan to redraw congressional district lines in the state. He was accused of laundering $190,000 to fellow Republicans running for the Texas Legislature back in 2002.
Earlier this year, Leader DeLay spoke out against the similar targeting of Texas Governor Rick Perry by the Travis County District Attorney's Office:

Watching the press conference that President Obama gave yesterday in which he revealed that his foreign policy has devolved from "don't do stupid stuff" to "no strategy," I was perplexed that the media was complaining more about the color of the suit instead of its emptiness. Mulling over the subsequent coverage, I couldn't help but wonder what the upcoming September 11th would bring for our country, because our enemies are clearly inspired by weakness. Now Judicial Watch has revealed that Islamic terrorist groups are operating Mexico and plan to attack the United States along our southern border.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

The prosecutors in Austin, Texas thought they had one over on Texas Governor Rick Perry when they convinced a grand jury to issue an indictment accusing Perry of abusing his veto power.  A copy of the indictment is here. That alleged criminal abuse of power related to Perry's threat to issue a budget veto regarding a unit of the prosecutor's office if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign after a DWI conviction. Not just any conviction, Lehmberg was videotaped attempting to pull rank over the booking officers by mentioning they needed to make sure the Sheriff was aware of her predicament. It's not hard to see what she was doing -- hoping the Sheriff would intervene on her behalf. Her field sobriety test is here, and she again kept mentioning her political career.  She was abusive and violent in the police station:

Democrats are salivating over Friday's indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry, and for good reason. Their one bright hope for the cycle, Texas State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, has already done an early dive into the gutter, and their slate for the remaining up-ballot races is mediocre at best. They're last shot might be a long shot, but that doesn't mean they're not going to try. Progressive grassroots juggernaut Battleground Texas is already fundraising off of the indictment. PJ Media has a copy of the e-mail sent by Battleground Texas almost immediately after the indictment was handed down:

Wendy Davis supporters are pretty excited about her campaign for governor of Texas but when pressed to name one of her legislative accomplishments, they're surprisingly silent. Yehuda Remer of Truth Revolt sees a pattern:
Just as Hillary Clinton supporters were unable to name a single accomplishment of the former Secretary of State, Wendy Davis’ supporters are in the same boat. A new video by Texans for Greg Abbott features an interviewer asking supporters of Davis at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention what her greatest legislative achievements were.
Here's the video: Liberals are already preparing themselves for Wendy Davis to lose.


Per its tradition in the second week of May, America's business leaders have voted for the states with the "best" and "worst" business climates. As usual, Chief Executive Magazine places California at the top....of the naughty list!
That’s 10 years in a row — a decade of dominance. Over that same period, California saw its unemployment rate go from mirroring the national rate to having consistently among the highest rates. The Golden State is now second worst in the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults who want to work full time but can’t find such jobs.
An executive officer's comments about the results summarizes many of the points I made recently when reporting about Toyota's move to Texas.
“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing. The only saving grace is that there are still a lot of affluent areas that drive local economic zones, but the trend line on these is not good for the mid- to long-term.”
A good example of this dynamic involves one of the most popular exports of the state, Sriracha Hot Sauce. The company that makes the sauce, Huy Fong Foods, has been embroiled in a public battle with the Irwindale City Council over complaints that fumes from its busy plant are causing neighbors to get sick. A video report summarizes the controversy. Team Texas is eager to offer the firm another option:

Wendy Davis rose to national prominence when she conducted a filibuster to block a Texas bill restricting non-medically necessary abortions after 20-weeks. For that position, which is wildly unpopular, Davis became the next Elizabeth Warren -- the Great White Hope in pink sneakers. Erick Erickson dubbed her "Abortion Barbie," which led to howls of sexism. But as I explained in Why is “Abortion Barbie” off limits for Wendy Davis?, Barbie and Ken analogies in politics are quite common. Erickson's remark was directed not at Davis' gender, but her self-professed ignorance of the Kermit Gosnell House of Abortion Horrors. That someone running on a pro-late term abortion platform didn't know about the biggest abortion story of the year made her look, well, like a plastic impression. Like Elizabeth Warren, whose life story does not hold up to scrutiny, Davis appears to have narrative problems, as detailed today by The Dallas Morning News, As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred:
Wendy Davis has made her personal story of struggle and success a centerpiece of her campaign to become the first Democrat elected governor of Texas in almost a quarter-century. While her state Senate filibuster last year captured national attention, it is her biography — a divorced teenage mother living in a trailer who earned her way to Harvard and political achievement — that her team is using to attract voters and boost fundraising.

I just sent my first e-mail to a University President regarding the academic boycott of Israel by the American Studies Association, and the similar boycott just announced by the small and relatively new Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. I could not find a direct e-mail...

Among the nicest things the Democratic smear machine called Sarah Palin was "Caribou Barbie." Just about everything else they called her was much worse. The term "Caribou Barbie" started within days of Palin's nomination for Veep in August 2008.  By September 2, 2008, the term was spreading throughout the left-blogosphere, as Michelle Malkin noted at the time. The term so took hold that it even was the subject of an SNL skit in October 2008, with Palin delivering the punch line in an attempt to make light of the term. It later was used by NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd:
"Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy."
The treatment of Palin was sexist -- including liberal women who mocked Trig Palin and thought it the worst thing in the world that Palin had the audacity to bring him on stage with her -- but not just because of the term "Caribou Barbie."  That term was the least of it. The "Caribou Barbie" name was part of the myriad of accompanying photoshops and sexualizations of her, using any excuse to make sex jokes.  Palin wasn't just turned into any Barbie, but a sexy librarian and bikini model not just in the blogosphere, but from stars such as Stephen Colbert. With Palin it wasn't just the use of the term "Barbie," it was the full package of sexualized attacks, including from mainstream publications. [caption id="attachment_66047" align="alignnone" width="400"](Newsweek magazine, feature article, November 23, 2009) (Newsweek magazine, feature article, November 23, 2009)[/caption]