- Justice who paid property taxes with campaign money says he’s fixing reports – Chuck Lindell, Austin American-Statesman
- School finance lawsuit, or coal in taxpayers’ stockings? – Michele Samuelson, Empower Texans
- Educrat Scoffs At College Readiness – Michael Quinn Sullivan, Empower Texans
- Perry urges Iowans not to settle, but polls show little movement for him – Jason Embry, Austin American-Statesman
- Perry’s Iowa Push Not Moving the Polls – Ben Philpott, Texas Tribune
Political pundits say Iowa is where a candidate goes to refine their message.
“Candidate” is singular, but “their” is plural. Trib editing has been slipping of late.
- More oil production in Texas great for state's economy, tax collections – Alex Mills, Times Record News
- Perry challenges exclusion from Virginia primary ballot – Joe Holley, Chron.com
- Perry seeks to overturn Virginia’s Republican primary ballot law | Perry Watch – Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News
So much for the Tenth Amendment and powers reserved to the states.
- Ron Paul: Bush Admin was ‘Gleeful’ Because of 9-11 – Bryan Preston, PJ Media
- Republican Rivals Unleash Broadside on Paul in Iowa – Jeff Zeleny and Michael Shear, New York Times
- Perry closes door on all abortion exceptions; change of heart deemed sincere by pro-life pastor – Todd Gillman, Trail Blazers Blog/dallasnews.com
- Since the beginning of Barack Obama's administration, Rick Perry's Texas has added more jobs than all other states combined – WILLisms
- Texas Electric Grid Faces Uncertainty in 2012 – Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune
Yes it does. 2012 may be the year the Obama EPA’s war on Texas finally snuffs the economy here.
- Court: New Texas districts may be discriminatory – Chris Tomlinson, AP
- Texas' voter ID law may not be implemented in time for 2012 primaries – Aman Batheja, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Gingrich, Perry fail to qualify for Virginia ballot – Libby Quaid, AP
- Rep. Ron Paul's story changes on racial comments bearing his name – Jackie Kucinich, USA Today
- Why Ron Paul's Newsletter Explanation Fails – Rhymes with Right
- Federal judges slam Texas’ redistricting formula – Nolan Hicks, Texas on the Potomac/Chron.com
- Silvestre Reyes' support of court-drawn map criticized: Challengers say boundaries give US rep unfair advantage – Cindy Ramirez, El Paso Times
So why do Texas Dems and media elites prefer judicial gerrymandering to self-government again?
- Texas is tops in population growth -Steve Campbell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Hacker group says it stole data from Austin-based Stratfor – Cassandra Vinograd and Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Will the Texas Voter I.D. law survive? – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
- Craig James' attorney seeks depositions from book publisher – Brittany Hoover, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
- Glen Maxey’s Salacious Book: The Hot Rick Perry Story That Wasn’t – Jacob Bernstein, The Daily Beast
- Texas Greens Cheer New EPA Mercury Rules – Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune
Fans of a healthy economy and opportunity society, not so much.
- Texas EPA czar starts mercury war – Tom McGregor, DallasBlog
- EPA setting Texas up for pain – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
- Teachers unions, bureaucrats take on self-government – Kate Alexander, Austin American-Statesman
More than $5 billion worth of state budget cuts to education enacted by lawmakers earlier this year has exacerbated the problem.
We supplied a better headline. The “$4 billion cut” lie continues, of course (and grows).
- Beating the Perry security detail dead horse – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
There, that headline is an improvement.
- Some Elections Depend on Which Lines Judges Draw – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
Why do Dems and media elites in our state prefer this to self-government?
- Texas Tree Ring Study Warns of Long Droughts – Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune
Wait, climate change isn’t a new thing?
- Judge eliminates forced distinction between beer, ale – Patrick Beach, Austin American-Statesman
- Texas Watchdog examines how politics and cronyism seep into big-dollar Houston schools contracts – Trent Seibert, Texas Watchdog
- Crime Can Pay For Legislators – Andrew Kerr, Empower Texans
- Kel Seliger, establishment R, pt 3 – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
- Rick Perry needs a lifeline to explain his tax plan – Wayne Slater, Trail Blazers Blog/DallasNews.com
That’s probably going to be it from us until after Christmas. MerryHappyFestive ChristmasHannukahKwanzaa or whatever holiday you do or do not celebrate, and thanks for reading Texas Iconoclast!
- Texas Highway Patrol Association officials accused of misleading donors and misspending funds – Tony Plohetski, Austin American-Statesman
- Judge approves probation, fine for state Rep. Joe Driver – Tim Eaton, Austin American-Statesman
- Rash of improper influence over high-dollar contracts at Houston ISD — while teachers are cut and schools are closed – Mike Cronin and Jennifer Peebles, Texas Watchdog
The needs of elites and their crony friends outweigh the needs of “the children.”
- New focus on incendiary words in Paul's newsletters – Jim Rutenberg and Richard Oppel Jr., New York Times
- Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses? – Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, Politico
If Iowans give the crank a plurality, it seems Iowans themselves will have killed the relevance of their caucuses.
- New EPA rules expected to cause at least 32 power plants to shut down but are unlikely to cause blackouts – Dina Cappiello, AP
Much as Dina Cappiello and her headline writer try to slant this story, the fact is the Obama EPA’s war on Texas is going to close plants that wouldn’t otherwise close, drive up the price of electricity, diminish available supply on the margin, hurt our economy, and yes — increase the risk of blackouts. That the two choose to editorialize that blackouts are “unlikely” is simply an editorial assertion removed from the laws of supply and demand (and reality).
- State to buy isle homes – Amanda Casanova, Galveston Daily News
- Slimy James has proved he's ready to be a senator – Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Federal Judge in Redistricting Battle is Brother in Law of Texas Democrat Senate Caucus Chairman – David Bellow Blog
- Democrat Paul Sadler enters U.S. Senate race – Kate Alexander, Postcards
- Paul Sadler, a Democrat, Files for U.S. Senate – Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune
- Perry Revisits Undocumented Students' In-State Tuition – Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune
- Perry still struggling to regain momentum – Dave Montgomery, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A good chunk of voters seem to want a candidate who can discuss a wide range of issues knowledgeably. Perry flunked that test early and probably won’t recover.
- Insanity, Erick Erickson – RedState
- Richard Rhodes: The Texas Tribune Interview – Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune
The Trib goes outside its usual cadre of elite higher ed bureaucrats to talk to… a community college bureaucrat.
- Perry 'Retires' To Boost Pension Pay – Jay Root, Texas Tribune
- Sanchez quits race for Senate – Nolan Hicks, Houston Chronicle
- Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates, little recourse for consumers – Jeremy Schwartz and Eric Dexheimer, Austin American-Statesman
- Lawmakers form subcommittee to oversee rate increases, reform private water industry – Jeremy Schwartz, Austin American-Statesman
- Texas’ quest for water: who should supply it? – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- Jeff Sandefer, TOY and UT System innovation – Rodger Jones, Dallas Morning News
- Even in a tough economy, Tarrant County has millions for construction – Dave Lieber, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Craig James' football resume double-edged sword in possible Senate run – Jim Vertuno, AP
- Dallas touts itself with Houston skyline – Robert Wilonsky, Unfair Park
- Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas – Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune
- Austin City Council’s Cram-down On Bags – Mary Lou Serafine, Ramparts 360
- TLR, ally or AWOL – Daniel Greer, AgendaWise Reports
- Rick Perry's last stand – James Hohmann, Politico
- Governor for life? – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
- Liberal groups file FEC complaint against Perry campaign – Tom Benning, Trail Blazers Blog
We supplied a more informative headilne.
- Unemployment Drops in November; Private Industries Grow – Becca Aaronson, Texas Tribune
But wait, wasn’t the sky supposed to have fallen by now due to the state budget cuts?
- Redistricting Judges Risk Disruption of Texas Elections – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
Suppose state lawmakers were fooling with the primaries in a way that shrank voter turnout and affected the election results and the state political parties’ ability to hold summer conventions. Would that have been allowed under the Voting Rights Act? Would they have been able to justify the extra spending? Would the counties have complained?
Would these same federal courts have allowed it?
Better question: Are there no substantive editors at the Trib to rein in this sort of thing?
- UT System Leaders Look Back At a Long Year – Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune
Yet another piece of, by, and for Tribune’s institutional sources.
- Voter ID Is Not Jim Crow – National Review Online
Somebody tell the lockstep Texas political media.
- Sen. Cornyn Says He Doesn't Appreciate AG Holder Telling Texas How To Run Its Elections – David Pitman, KUHF News
- Rip the lid off the secrecy of public employee pensions – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- Texas executions reach new low – Mike Ward, Postcards/Statesman.com
- State OKs 50-year water plan – Will Weissert, AP
- UT President Ends Tough Year With Another Battle – Reeve Hamilton and Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune
The latest paean to the higher ed bureaucrat (and TT source).
- Why We Chose Rick Perry as Our 2012 Bum Steer of the Year – Texas Monthly
The lockstep Texas political media has been waiting this day for SO LONG!
- Rick Perry’s Presidential Candidacy a Bitter Pill for Texans – Evan Smith, Daily Beast
Nah, one suspects some Texans — especially among the lockstep political media — have rather enjoyed it. See above.
- On Redistricting, GOP and Texas AG are in Sync – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
The attorney general’s office claims purity, as you’d expect it to, saying it’s not politically motivated even as it rails against its Washington counterparts at the Department of Justice as being politically motivated.
But the political smell is hard to ignore.
SHOCK: Some journos find self-government in a conservative state smelly.
- Perry likens himself to Tebow in final debate before Iowa caucuses – Jason Embry and Kate Alexander, Austin American-Statesman
- God and the Economy in Iowa – Kimberley Strassel, WSJ.com
- Praying For A State-Funded Jumbotron – Michael Quinn Sullivan, Empower Texans
- Interview: Texas Comptroller says Rainy Day Fund likely needed to balance budget – Chris Tomlinson, AP
- New Medicaid waiver could save billions, improve outcomes – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
- Federal courts set key dates in redistricting fight – Tim Eaton, Postcards/Statesman.com
- Eric Holder Announces Opposition to Election Integrity Laws – J. Christian Adams, PJ Media
- Perry blames poor debate performance on health issues – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
- Was Federal Ruling Good for Family Planning Providers? – Thanh Tan, Texas Tribune
State Sen. Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, said there is a quick solution to this entire debate. “The problem could be solved tomorrow if Planned Parenthood just renounces abortions and just does family planning and comprehensive care, which they’re capable of,” he said. “Then we could provide a lot of family planning, and there wouldn’t be abortions and this problem would go away.”
It really is that simple. But don’t look for Big Abortion to take up Sen. Deuell’s solution.
- In Austin, attorney general defends Voting Rights Act – Dave Montgomery, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder vowed Tuesday to aggressively uphold the principles of the Voting Rights Act and charged that a Texas redistricting plan would create “precisely the kind of discrimination” that the 46-year-old landmark statute was designed to prevent.
Translation of political hack Holder’s statement: This archaic law is important to those of us in the federal government who are in favor of limiting self-government in the several states.
The problem with such far-reaching, federalism-altering legislation is that it NEVER goes away, despite having outlived its original purpose. Some federal legislation really could stand sunsetting.
- D.C. court sets preclearance trial – Tim Eaton, Postcards
- First Reading: Could Craig James be a serious candidate for the U.S. Senate? – Jason Embry, First Reading
No. On the other hand, getting crushed in a political race might help downsize the guy’s XXL ego, so that’s a plus.
- Can David Dewhurst hold off Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert in Senate primary? – Gary Scharrer, Texas on the Potomac/Chron.com
- Remember When Higher Education Used To Be About Education? – Dustin Matocha, Empower Texans
- Kel Seliger, establishment R, pt. 1 – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
- Kel Seliger, establishment R, pt. 2 – Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
- Federal officials reject Texas' bid to bar Planned Parenthood from women's program – Robert Garrett, Dallas Morning News
Cindy Mann, a top federal Medicaid official, said Monday that the federal government cannot renew Texas’ version of the Women’s Health Program because the state wants to disqualify health-care providers that perform abortions or have affiliates that conduct abortions.
Federal law won’t allow ostracism of caregivers “because they provide other services that Medicaid doesn’t pay for,” such as abortions, said Mann, deputy administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry promptly blasted the decision.
“I am concerned the Obama administration is playing politics by holding women’s health care hostage because of Texas’ pro-life policies, sacrificing the health of millions of Texas women in the name of their pro-abortion agenda,” said Perry,
Big Abortion is a Big Supporter of the Obama Administration, so the administration’s latest effort to trim self-government at the state level is hardly surprising.
- Perry says he's a 'different candidate' since recovering from back surgery – Tom Benning, Trail Blazers Blog
Really? It’s hard to tell from the ongoing verbal gaffes.
- Obama prepares to trim National Guard on U.S.-Mexico border – Stewart Powell, Texas on the Potomac/Chron.com
- UTEP mimics UT Austin, raises tuition – Jordan Brownwood, Texas Budget Source
- Grocery bag ban — one of the toughest in nation — considered in Austin – Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
Keep Austin. Seriously, just keep it.
- Speaker Straus to draw a primary challenger – Robert Garrett, Trail Blazers Blog/DallasNews.com
- Where’s Ricardo? (Plus: A New Democratic Challenger Appears) – Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
- School Finance Expert Leaving Texas Legislature – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
At some point, these over-the-top tributes will stop, right? The Texas legislature will surely survive the departure of one member. Surely.
- Deconstructing Patricia Kilday Hart – Unca Darrell
For Ms. Kilday Hart, this is just another shift at the office, where one day the Houston Chronicle climbs in bed with the Occupy movement, today she plumps for public money for a radical political organization, and tomorrow — who knows?
- Measuring the Impact of Historic Texas Education Cuts – Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune
The Texas lockstep political media’s latest edition of turning a small spending increase into (historic!) cuts. Needed corrective here.