- The Washington Post Discovers Ted Cruz – Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
- Video: Did Democrats Bungle Sanctuary Cities Bill? – Thanh Tan, Texas Tribune
- Rick Perry's First 100 Days – James Freeman, Wall Street Journal
- Carney: Perry Still "Weeks Away" From Big Decision – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
- Perry rouses New Orleans crowd as slow build to possible presidential campaign continues – Jason Embry, Postcards
- Gov. Perry's Remarks at Santé Ventures
- Perry vetoes texting while driving ban, 22 other bills – Aman Batheja, PoliTex
- Perry vetoes texting-while-driving bill and 22 others – Mike Ward, Postcards
- Austin pension bills give Perry opportunity to vent – Kate Alexander, Postcards
- Conservative powerhouse hammers Gonzales on rainy day vote – Kate Alexander, Postcards
- Tea Time – Abby Rapoport, The Texas Observer
- 'Blatant racism,' Houston ISD trustee Larry Marshall says of Texas Watchdog, Houston Chronicle ethics coverage – Lynn Walsh, Texas Watchdog
- Rick Perry’s Moment – Matt Mackowiak, National Review
- Video: Perino, Trippi Size Up Perry Candidacy – Texas Tribune
- House Republicans move to kill rainy day fund amendment – Terrence Stutz, Trail Blazers Blog
- TWIA on the ropes – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- Some School Districts Look For Their Next "Fix" – Dustin Matocha, Empower Texans
- Self Congratulations, Paid For By Lobbyists – Michael Quinn Sulilvan, Empower Texans
- Hutchison unveils plan to save Social Security: raise retirement age and slow COLAs – Tristan Hallman, Trail Blazers Blog
Baby steps are better than none, we suppose.
- Critics raise doubts over ‘sanctuary cities’ bill – Peggy Fikac and Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle
It’s odd that the Chronicle mentions the Houston police chief is opposed, but neglects to mention the Houston Police Officers’ Union supports the legislation.
- Missing the point – Cory Crow, Texas Iconoclast
- Weekly TribCast Episode 84 – The Texas Tribune
If you listen to this, you will hear the Democratic talking points about the sanctuary cities bill repeated ad nauseum as fact. In reality, we have little empirical evidence whether local police agency policies to ignore immigration law somehow are a net positive for law enforcement.
- Texans like Perry, but not for president – Wayne Slater, Trail Blazers Blog
The headline is indicative of what has been overly simplistic interpretation of some slightly odd poll results.
- Poll: On job approval, Obama beats Texas Lege and Perry surpasses both – Peggy Fikac, Chron Texas Politics
- The Blended-Learning Movement is Growing Fast – Jeff Sandefer, Transforming Education.
- Rick Perry—Ready for Prime Time? – Daniel Henninger, WSJ.com
- Respecting Rick Perry? – Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker
I wish I could say that these antics sufficed to consign Perry to the Implausible category. They’re not, alas. He is all too plausible.
Political leaders who pray (gasp!) and have little use for the politically correct tropes of the left are VERY SCARY to some…we’re pretty sure Americans would be okay with their president praying if they had a job again.
- Perry is the candidate everyday Americans can relate to – Ruben Navarrette, RealClearPolitics
- Perry surges to 4th in new NBC/WSJ poll (pdf)
This after only a few days of serious speculation that he might actually get into the race.
- Higher Ed "Coalition for Excellence" Formed in Texas – Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune
The (higher ed status quo) Empire strikes back.
Senate Race 2012
- In Ted Cruz, a candidate as good as it gets – George Will, Washington Post
It’s not really Will’s style to write endorsemens, and the only time he is ever this effusive is when he’s talking about baseball. This was an endorsement as good as it gets.
- Leppert compared himself to Obama when talking to Young Democrats in 09 – Sam Merten, Dallas Observer
- June 15th Texas Senate Race Updates – Lawrence Person’s BattleSwarm
- Turf Tussle – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
Austin media elites can be entertaining (but not in the way they probably think). Here’s the Burka list (so shocking that his “worst” list is Republican only).
- Texan v. Texan: Rep. Ron Paul elbows Gov. Rick Perry – Todd Gillman, Trail Blazers Blog
Not unlike Paul Burka elbowing Evan Smith for allegedly crowding HIS turf (entertaining in its own way).
- Poll: Texans not uniformly conservative on social issues – Chuck Lindell, Postcards
The percentages in support of the sonogram bill but opposed to legislation to remove state funding from abortion providers are so similar that one wonders if the questions were asked clearly enough during the poll.
- Health care compacts bill passes Texas House; Kolkhorst considers Senate strategy – Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
- Bad idea to muzzle citizens at Katy ISD – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- Democrats Question Perry's Whereabouts – Brandi Grissom and Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune
- Video: Hundreds Protest Sanctuary Cities Bill – Justin Dehn, Texas Tribune
- U.S. Supreme Court Halts Texas Execution – AP
- Texas vs. California questions continue; answers remain the same – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- Texas Is America's Shining City On A Hill – WILLisms.com
- Do budget conferees risk a game of chicken with the governor? – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- Good for Texas. Good for America? – Chester E. Finn Jr., National Review
Rick Perry for President?
- Perry Goes Nationwide in Week of Big Speeches – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
- Dave Carney traveling with Rick Perry in New York – Maggie Haberman, Politico
- Perry to meet with Rudy – Maggie Haberman, Politico
- Perry fires up Manhattan Republicans – Jason Embry, Postcards
Embry’s economic comparisons drop way too much context. See today’s first two Top Stories for a different perspective. Put a different way: if a stock mutual fund makes 10% when the the market is up 20%, that is much, much less impressive than if a mutual fund makes 5% when the market is down 15%. Let’s compare apples to apples.
- Rick Perry Says Voters Want More Options in GOP Field – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
- Houston Prof Likes Perry's Chances for GOP Nomination – Bill Stamps, KUHF News
Dr. Mark Jones has been a huge upgrade in political analysis for Houston media.
- New rules, new outcome as Senate OKs sanctuary cities bill – Tim Eaton, Austin American-Statesman
- GOP pushes E-Verify as immigration tool – Gary Martin, Houston Chronicle
- Democratic senators say they'll support bill if Howard's rainy-day amendment stays – Jason Embry, Postcards
- SBOE’s Ratliff defends the public schools – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
If you believe every Democratic talking point 100%, then this post makes sense. Otherwise, it looks a bit silly.
- The Tribune Insiders’ Best and Worst list – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
Best accompanied by “Is this even relevant?“
- In Which I Come Perilously Close to Defending Lloyd Doggett – Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
- New Lt. Gov Info? -Daniel Greer, AgendaWise Reports
- My Governor, Rick Perry – William Murchison, The American Spectator
- Could Perry's brand of conservatism stand national scrutiny? – Jason Embry, Austin American-Statesman
- Perry Goes Nationwide in Week of Big Speeches – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
- Pro-Rick Perry web ads hit New Hampshire – Alexander Burns, Politico
- Too many Hispanics in the Texas Legislature? – David Jennings, Big Jolly Politics
- On the Records: Lawmakers Well Educated, Report Finds – Becca Aaronson, Texas Tribune
- Texas gross state product grows in 2010 – Lance Murray, Houston Business Journal
- Congressional redistricting commish bill to get OK? – Mike Ward, Postcards
- UIL Bill Killed – Lyndsay L, Right in Texas
- A Reality Check for the Fact Checkers – Scott Braddock
We prefer to call ’em PolitiFarceTX.
- Lawsuit challenges Texas sonogram law – Chuck Lindell, Postcards
- Rick Perry's day of prayer underscores his ties on the religious right – Wayne Slater, Trail Blazers Blog
- Democrats name new state executive director – Christy Hoppe, Trail Blazers Blog
- The Texas example – Jay Ambrose, RealClearPolitics
- Obama administration to approve Texas photo ID bill? – Tristan Hallman, Dallas Morning News
It’s behind the paywall (so no need to click for most people outside of Dallas), but apparently the Obama administration is considering approving the voter ID bill because they know it’s a fight they can’t win in the courts and don’t want to set a precedent that will thwart Democrats’ political arguments in the future. That’s apparently the only thing that gets Obama to set aside his war on Texas.
- Some Texas lawmakers say light bulb bill is bright idea – Anna Tinsley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Texas GOP to hold another presidential straw poll? – Aman Batheja, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Busy week will keep Perry on national stage – Richard Dunham, Houston Chronicle
- Perry Watch: Governor's support for 'sanctuary cities' bill holds political risks – Jeanna Smialek, Texas on the Potomac
- History, as Perry sees it – Patricia Kilday Hart, Houston Chronicle
We get that this is mostly about the noisy terrier nipping at the disliked governor’s heels, but is the BIG topic of religion and the Founding really the best use of Patricia Kilday Hart’s tiny bit of column space? More news and less of this would be a better idea.
- Democrats put their faith forward, too, in a different way from Perry – Peggy Fikac, San Antonio Express-News
We would be embarrassed to attach our names to something like this and call it objective news.
- In defense of the higher-ed status quo (part 3,623) – Professor Joseph Daniel Ura, Texas Tribune
- A Lightning Rod on U.T. Board, Regent Is Not Deterred – Reeve Hamilton, NY Times/Texas Tribune
It was an early hint of the changes afoot at the U.T. board and the tense months — some of the most tumultuous in institutional memory, with the regents seemingly pitted against the flagship university in a highly public spat — that lay ahead. Of that new crop of board members, none have received more scrutiny than Alex Cranberg.
More than a few defenders of the higher ed status quo act like they believe governing boards shouldn’t be all that involved in…. governing higher ed. Serious question: Why do so many people who would probably abhor the notion of an absentee corporate board of directors somehow think an absentee academic board of directors is preferable when it comes to overseeing absentminded professors?
- Bills target HOA power – Mike Morris, San Antonio Express-News
- Sunday Senate Race Roundup – Lawrence Person’s BattleSwarm
Among other things, the video for the Q&A part of the recent TribLive Senate Forum.
- Some thoughts on congressional redistricting map – Ed Hubbard, BigJollyPolitics
It is distressing that everyone is always in favor of any map…just as long as it gives them exactly the congressman they want.
- The Lone Star Jobs Surge – Wall Street Journal
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison protests White House ‘bias’ against Texas – Stewart Powell, Texas on the Potomac
- Democratic Senate Candidate Ricardo Sanchez Comes Out for Illegal Alien Amnesty, Teachers Unions, and…Tax Cuts??? – Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
- Combs a time – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
- Why today's budget is the right one for these tough times – Speaker Joe Straus
- How the Budget Got Cut – Dave Mann and Abby Rapoport, The Texas Observer
A good enough recap of liberal “sky is falling” hysteria. We’ll wager the state will continue to do well under this budget.
- Texas House gives final approval to school finance bill – Dave Montgomery, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Republican-led Texas House on Friday gave final approval to a revenue and school-finance measure that would implement a $4 billion reduction in the state contribution to public schools….
Another example of journalistic malpractice (since spending on public education increases).
- Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Jane Nelson back compacts bill as part of state health care reform package – Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
- House OKs Bill to Seek Federal Medicaid Waiver – Becca Aaronson, Texas Tribune
- Merit not a factor in federal grant allocation – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- State auditor questions $420K in contracts that lacked required bidding – Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
- Perry has not overburdened the collection plate – Gary Scharrer and Abe Levy, San Antonio Express-News
If Gov. Perry enters the presidential race, expect some of the Texas political media whom he treated as irrelevant during the last gubernatorial election to try to make themselves relevant. Wayne Slater may even have something other than Karl Rove to write about (not that many will see it behind the DMN firewall)!
- Labor Unions Under Investigation By Texas Ethics Commission – Yvonne Larsen, Big Jolly Politics
- Rick Perry's Moment? – Reid Wilson, National Journal
- Newt’s Staff Quitting En Masse=Rick Perry Jumping Into the Presidential Race? – Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
- Sink or swim: Texas chose the latter, California the former – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- Guest Column: GOP Understands Texas Voters – Jim Henson, Texas Tribune
[I]t’s plausible to say that the public seems reflexively conservative, but open to listening to some hypothetical courageous Republican who might stand up and make the case for a less severe approach to the budget than the one we’re seeing.
It boggles the mind how so many Austin political elites continue to suggest that it’s somehow heroic or courageous to betray taxpayers and principles, break promises to voters, and raise taxes.
Texas Senate Race
- Video of Texas Tribune Senate Forum
- #TribLive Senate Forum: Good, Blah, and Ugly – Eliza Vielma, Miss Lizaface
- Kelly Shackelford and Ed Meese to serve as Chairmen of Cruz Campaign — TedCruz.Org
- “Amazon tax” takes Texas in the wrong direction – Bill Peacock, RedState
- Fiscal Conservatives Frustrated With House Votes – Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune
- House defies Perry, anti-tax groups; won't budge on Amazon flap – Robert Garrett, Trail Blazers Blog
“Bill, is this an increase in taxes on the consumers of Texas?” Paxton asked Zedler.
“It is,” Zedler replied.
Paxton said in addition to imposing higher taxes, “we’re also possibly losing Texas jobs, is that correct?”
“That’s exactly right,” Zedler said….
- House agrees to spend extra rainy day money on schools – Terrence Stutz, Trail Blazers Blog
Democrats have repeatedly argued that rainy day monies should be used to erase a $4 billion cut in education funding over the next two years.
- Sanctuary Cities Causes Rift Between Perry, Two GOP activists – Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune
Our headline is better.
- Texas Tribune: Public face of liberal echo chamber – Daniel Greer, AgendaWise Reports
Is there any analysis to show Texas Tribune’s coverage has been significantly less objective than the state’s other major political media? The Austin press pack mentality seems a bigger problem at times (to wit, Heroism=Raising Taxes and Spending Increase=$4 Billion Cut).
- House Votes in Favor of SB 7 to Defund Planned Parenthood – Texas Legislative Update: A Liberty Institute Blog
- ObamaCare’s Other Constitutional Problem – Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola, Wall Street Journal
The oral arguments in the 11th Circuit were held yesterday and they didn’t seem to go very well for ObamaCare. Obama’s Solicitor General even conceded that, “We are not saying the Congress can force someone to buy something.” Wait…really? Case concluded.
- Eroding pension fund ratios may force reform on lawmakers in 2013 – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- The man who would remake Medicaid in Texas – Mark Lisheron, Texas Healthcare Report
- Time to Make Professors Teach – Richard Vedder, WSJ.com
In a study for the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Christopher Matgouranis, Jonathan Robe and I concluded that tuition fees at the flagship campus of the University of Texas could be cut by as much as half simply by asking the 80% of faculty with the lowest teaching loads to teach about half as much as the 20% of faculty with the highest loads. The top 20% currently handle 57% of all teaching.
Such a move would require the bulk of the faculty to teach, on average, about 150-160 students a year. For example, a professor might teach one undergraduate survey class for 100 students, two classes for advanced undergraduate students or beginning graduate students with 20-25 students, and an advanced graduate seminar for 10. That would require the professor to be in the classroom for fewer than 200 hours a year—hardly an arduous requirement.
Texas Senate Race
- Recap of Texas Tribune Senate Race Forum – Jason Embry, Statesman
- Quick Impressions of the Texas Senate debate – Lawrence Person, BattleSwarm Blog
- Dan Patrick’s unpersuasive Texas Senate poll – Evan, Texas Iconoclast
- Rick Perry weighing a 2012 candidacy – Dan Balz, Washington Post
- New Whispers of a Perry ‘12 bid – Neil King, Jr. – Wall St. Journal
- House votes to strip hospital districts of state $ if they perform abortions – Robert Garrett, Trail Blazers Blog
- Texas Rep. Lois Kolkhorst plans strategy to advance health care compacts bill- Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
- State comptroller certifies budget – Kate Alexander, Postcards
- Texas House approves Medicaid changes – Chris Tomlinson, AP
- The “Save Texas Schools” Campaign, and Other Popular Myths – George Scaggs, Ramparts 360
- The Brief: June 8, 2011 – David Muto, Texas Tribune
But the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal civil rights organization that recently deemed the American Family Association a “hate group,” harshly criticized [Gov. Perry’s planned prayer] event.
The SPLC would name the Republican National Committee a hate group if it thought it could get away with it.
While Texas journalists find prayer rallies controversial and strange, your average Texan doesn’t.
- Dan Branch and Higher Ed Accountability – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
An avowed ally of controlling university tuition costs, Representative Dan Branch (R) has nevertheless given mixed signals concerning the UT Higher Ed controversy.
- Gov. Perry adds immigration issues to special session – Chris Tomlinson, AP
Texas Democrats vehemently oppose all the measures and successfully used parliamentary procedure to stymie them until after the deadline passed for passage during the regular session. In a special session, there are fewer opportunities to slow a bill down.
- School districts likely will get fewer mandates – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
What couldn’t be accomplished between January and May seems to becoming reality in the Special Session.
Bills aimed at stripping away mandates on schools languished in the Legislature during the Regular Session, killed on a procedural Point of Order or intense opposition from teacher unions.
However, the 12th-hour filibuster on a key fiscal bill by State Rep. Wendy Davis, D-Forth Worth, changed all of that. Republicans are passing these bills now.
- Is the Special Session Turning into a Nightmare for Teachers' Groups? – Abby Rapoport, Texas Observer
This probably wasn’t what Sen. Wendy Davis had in mind.
- Ted Cruz: Cuban Ivy League Tea Partier for Senate – Caroline May, Daily Caller
- Austin and UT want to catch up with Silicon Valley – Collin Eaton, Statesman
- Windstorm insurance group facing overhaul is doing better, leader says – Tim Eaton, Austin American-Statesman
- Taxpayer Savings Grants could help Texas save more than $1 billion – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- Rick Perry to Host Hate Group-Funded Prayer Summit – Tim Murphy, Mother Jones
We’re pretty sure the governor enjoys making liberal heads explode this way.
- Is Karen Hughes working in the Islamic Gulen Movement? – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports