At 11:30 that same Tuesday (tomorrow), Rally Force is holding a protest against tyranny (pick your tyranny and bring a sign) at 11:30 in front of Sen. Cornyn’s office on Spring Valley at the Tollway (west side). Tea Party Patriots is also directing people there now, and the location is less of a drive and offers more shelter in case of rain.
Just like the Obamacare disaster, it looks like this topic will need a running link posting. (BTW: our organization at the outset decided to function ONLY as a state-level PAC and NOT go for 501c status. As a result, we were QUITE effective in 2012 while others struggled with this Gestapo-style interrogations. We wish we were simply brilliant, but we never had a thought that this level of intimidation was even possible, no matter HOW you organized.)
- Cincinnati IRS office becomes a police state; armed guards escorting reporters.
- White House Chief of Staff planned ‘response’ to Treasury IG IRS report BEFORE its release.
- A Smoking gun: Obama met with IRS Union leader day before Tea Party targeting began.
- No ‘Confusion’ here; a ‘manager’ directed workers to target Tea Parties; who told the manager?
- The full timeline of the IRS harassment
- The IRS ‘accidental’ disclosure was staged- an part of the control plan.
- And used a LOBBYIST for the staging; now even Democrats want her resignation
- IRS criminally lied about the existence of Tea Party documents to avoid a filed FOI request
- IRS Manager who apologized for targeting is married to Obama voting hack
- Why Obama being ‘shocked, SHOCKED that intimidation is going on here’ is bogus.
- The effort to intimidate True the Vote & King Street Patriots was multi-agency- and thorough!
- More revelations- 471 groups targeted, NOT the 75 originally estimated by IRS. (Do we get to estimate our taxes that way??)
- Highly selective ‘incompetence’: liberal groups approved without delay or big questionnaires
- IRS workers claim “they simply did what their bosses ordered.”
- Was the IRS responding to direction from Democrat Senators? Is THAT what’s been redacted?
- Only a single worker was charged with reviewing HUNDREDS of Tea Party applications.
- So much for the ‘low-level argument’ These are high-level people, who DON’T undertake things without higher direction.
- Now we find out, Tea Parties have been targeted since 2010, and senior officials knew about it in 2011. Seems like delaying this revelations only occurred until we go through 2012, and certain people may be coming forward , not want to serve TOO much time in jail for this lame duck president.
- And now it comes out that the IRS office released confidential information of the Tea Party applications to ProPublica, a public interest group that made much of that information public.
- Many other conservative groups had their private info leaked.
- At first, they admitted specific targeting by the IRS, but claimed it was only ‘low-level’ officials involved.
- No punishment is forthcoming (for the moment)
- Does this look like some questions a ‘low-level official’ would put together? (As usual, it takes FOREIGN press to get the whole story- 55 questions).
- The Washington Post reveals the the Washington IRS offices and others were involved; what a surprise! (NOT!)
UPDATE: Here is the LEAKED version of Treasury Inspector General’s IRS report. This was selectively leaked to left-wing sources like Huffington Post. It is the REDACTIONS that are most telling about this document. Just search for *** and you’ll see EVERY TRIGGERING EVENT that set into motion the discriminatory review of Tea Parties and related groups has been redacted out. What were these events; more importantly WHO WAS THERE TO TRIGGER THIS HARASSMENT?
Strong words, but the budgeting ideas coming from the Texas State Senate- with UNANIMOUS consent is a case of legislative groupthink that- if it wins out- will introduce Texas to the path of fiscal insanity that California has followed.
Realize that in the last 2 year cycle, the state had $72 billion in revenue to work with, this session they have $94 billion – a 33% increase.. The oil and gas boom has been good to Texas. But there is ALWAYS pressure to spend more- and the pressure was great this time with the lean times of the last session. But they are STILL held to the spending cap that prevents deficit spending (unless they get a two-thirds vote, normally difficult to do). The problem is, everyone seems to wants to break that cap. Incredibly, even Gov. Perry went to the House to demand that they break the cap! (so much for the fiscal conservative in the Presidential primary!)
The way to break the cap is not via deficit spending but by tapping a large reserve the State maintains; a fund that is often called the Rainy Day Fund, but it’s important to know is ACTUAL name because it tells one its true function; the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). It is to stabilize the economy, in HARSH times, not FLUSH times.
The Texas House tried to pass a bill that would have drawn $2 billion from the ESF for a water project fund. Conservatives opposed it because, upon analysis of the model for its use, less than $200 million in the first budget cycle, and no more than $500 million in a decade (this fund only is to be used to lower the cost of borrowing for water projects). Democrats refused to support the effort in the House, because, once the ‘tap was open, they demanded more for eduction, even if this is a one-time fund. The bill failed to gain the needed 2/3rds vote. It was a somewhat foolish attempt to commit a long-term amount to water projects; with that mucn money available, beyond the immediate need, the board in charge of utilizing it to fund projects would be tempted to fund the equivalent of ‘sub-prime’ water projects. But it was fairly honest foolishness.
However, the Senate’s proposed budget is less honest, borders on political and fiscal cowardice, and sets an extremely dangerous precedent. They budgeted the entire available revenue to OTHER purposes and then put together Senate Joint Resolution – 1 . This beast proposes spending $2 billion on water projects, $2.9 billion on transportation project, and also a $800 million education afterthought (to gain factional support) from the ESF. But, rather than actually try to get a 2/3rds to support this fiscal madness directly, they put it in as a Constitutional Amendment, to be voted on.. As such, they can say they didn’t break the budget cap; they expect the voters- to get foundational infrastructural money.
What this does is to bring Texas into the same kind of fiscal ‘pure democracy’ that has led California to the brink of insolvency through initiative and referendum. Constitutional amendments should NEVER be used for budgetary expenditures! By allowing people to vote DIRECTLY for spending, the spenders ALWAYS win (“You CAN’T vote against WATER, TRANSPORTATION and EDUCATION! Can you??” Note, things like The Enterprise fund, the Arts fund, and anything that doesn’t sound the least bit non-essential is not included.) Simply put, by putting perceived essentials (even when they represent over-commitment to TRUE essentials) up for a popular vote and putting non-essentials in the normal budget, the net effect is that they get to spend like Washington Democrats while claiming to be fiscal conservatives.
The GOP free-spending ‘Powers that Be’ are not letting a crisis go to waste; that crisis is the drought. But money cannot stop a drought, nor actually CREATE water. Any long-term operational water development plan is best covered under general revenue, as is transportation. One-time infusions fix little, as we saw with the government ‘stimulus’ package. But it DOES allow politicians to claim to be ‘doing something’- even when water development takes at least a decade to come online.
A rare Saturday session in the State Capitol, nicknamed as ‘Gun Day’ for the consolidation of all the Second Amendment related bills (the ones that got out of committee) grouped for this one day, along with a number of unrelated quick ‘third readings’ bills (‘second readings’ are where the action is, debate and discussion and a feel for the House receptiveness; ‘third readings’ are the recorded votes and everyone pretty well knows if they are passing or not).
The results: Campus Carry (HB 972) passed second reading. This bill is a VERY watered-down version; any campus president can simply opt out after ‘consulting with faculty, staff, and students’. But it’s a start (and, if a woman with a CHL is one of the 20% that is estimated undergoes some sort of sexual assault on campus, suing the campus president PERSONALLY for that decision would be an eye-opener.) The Democrats fought even this watered down bill vehemently, raising 5 different points of order to try to kill it. We have to give House Speaker Straus kudos for swatting these efforts down and letting the vote proceed. (He’d earned even bigger kudos if he’d permitted Open Carry to come out for a vote; that would likely have died in the Senate, but everyone would have to have gone on RECORD about it.)
Actually, more significant bills followed: HB1314 and HB1076 These bill essentially precludes the enforcement of federal gun restrictions that are not specifically matched by Texas laws; as close to nullification as one might get. This one REALLY upset the Democrats and a few of them went into speech-making mode, mainly lambasting AG Abbott for his support of such and willingness to sue the federal government for its over-reach (newsflash to the Dems; That’s not a bug in out AG; that’s a feature!) . They passed anyway. It will definitely keeps state and city officials from enforcing federal gun restrictions. A possible example: if Washington passed a magazine capacity limit, can you imagine the DPS officers in the State Capitol asking each CHL Licensee for their weapon to check that the magazine meets those requirements? Half the Reps with CHLs wouldn’t have passed that day; neither would this author.
A school marshal was passed (HB1009), where school employees can be given two weeks of training and be allowed access to weapons stored securely onsite. (NOT concealed carry; would NOT have stopped the Connecticut shooter in time; but it’s a start.)
With all of these victories (watered down as they were) there was one small defeat. Van Taylor’s bill HB2665, which would have allowed a CHL to be used as an alternate ID in some instances. A point of order was brought up- and sustained by the Speaker. This was more about direct personal retribution from Rep. McClendon for the fact that Van had effectively argued against her poorly written bill on needle exchanges the day before. the Chair upheld the point of order to grant the Dems a small victory and to allow personal retribution, taking some from the kudos for killing the other points of order. Van paid a small price for standing against poor legislation on principle; we wouldn’t have him do anything different.
Bottom line: a good day for Second Amendment, but could have been far better if the campus Carry had not been so watered down- and Open Carry allowed a vote it surely would have passed.