The Mayor of Houston's downward spiral continues, her third and last term fast becoming a train wreck.
The latest mistake is abandoning public pension reform that could be economically sustainable and fair to city employees while eliminating Austin from the discussion.
Even the Houston Chronicle has joined the chorus, correctly pointing out that, "...a temporary reduction in contributions just means Houston will have to make up for it later. There's no real long-term savings. Instead we're just playing another round of every politicians' favorite game: kick the can."
So instead of doing the heavy lifting and getting the legislature out of Houston's pensions, Parker takes any deal, so she can say "not on my watch." Thanks for nothing, Mayor.
New Chairman For RPT And A Look At The Future
Congratulations to Tom Mechler for his victory at the State Republican Executive Committee meeting, the new RPT Chairman filling out the term of legendary Steve Munisteri. Mechler has big shoes to fill.
As far as the other candidates, former Harris County Chair Jared Woodfill ran a message filled race and showed he has what it takes to lead state Republicans.
There will be a real election for State Chair at the next state Republican convention in the summer of 2016.
It will be interesting to see how and who will get into the Chair's race at the convention where thousands will vote, and not just 62.
Be Careful What We Wish For, Hillary Troubled, But What's Behind Door #2?
The short answer is, we don't know. Hillary Clinton's newest scandal in the operation of her government position - a private email system. She tells us she turned over 50,000 important emails, out of how many? She claims she has turned over all relevant emails, but how do we know?
So if the other shoe drops, will the GOP be in a better position to win the White House? Maybe, but Charlie Cook, in the National Journal raises important considerations we all need to look at. "The overarching question is whether this election will be about 'Time for a Change' or about 'Changing American Demographics.' Are Americans open to the concept of giving Democrats a third term in the White House, regardless of who that Democrat is? Or will the election be more about how the Republican Party and its candidates are perceived among minority and young Americans - who will make up a larger share of the electorate in a bigger-turnout presidential year than they did in last year's midterm election? ... (Also) whether swing voters will be in the mood to trust Republicans with all of the elected levers of federal power, a question that will be partially determined by the behavior of GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates over the next 20 months."
TCR Comment: If Hillary goes down, do any of you think that Elizabeth Warren, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, or Joe Biden would be better for America?
We better pick a winning candidate for the GOP in 2016 for the sake of the country and our party.
To End Daylight Savings Time Or Not To End DST, That Is The Question
By Marc Cowart, TCR Managing Editor
You may have heard that State Representative Dan Flynn filed a bill (HB150) this session to end Daylight Savings Time in Texas. According to Flynn, he wants to move to "Texas Time," although there has been some confusion about what exactly that means. That confusion was evident at Wednesday's hearing by the Government Transparency and Operation Committee where public testimony on the issue was scheduled. At that hearing, a whopping two citizens appeared to testify on the issue, one of whom was Harris County Republican Precinct Chair Melissa Rowell. According to Rowell, "I arrived prepared to oppose the bill, because eliminating the change would mean an end to the extra hour of daylight we enjoy during the summer months. This is an hour of daylight after work when Texans can be outdoors with family, going to one of our parks or working in the yard." But Rowell says that the bill's author Dan Flynn and Committee Chairman Gary Elkins could not agree to whether or not the change would be a permanent "spring forward" or a permanent "fall back." Rowell added, Flynn told her that his bill would end the time changes back and forth and would keep Texas on Daylight Savings Time (the time we are on now) permanently, a measure that she would support.
Following the hearing, the confusion appears to be cleared up as indicated by a post on a Facebook page dedicated to the issue in which the page's author writes, "I discovered that States may end Daylight Saving Time, but CANNOT end Standard Time." The author continues, "...something Rep. Dan Flynn obviously didn't know."
So here is the bottom line. Texas may opt out of Daylight Savings Time (DST), revert to Central Standard Time (CST) and stay on CST permanently with no time changes. The other option is to defeat the bill and continue participating in Daylight Savings Time and endure the semi-annual clock-changing ritual in exchange for an extra hour of evening daylight in the summer months. What Texas cannot do (due to Federal law) is opt out of DST and choose Central Daylight Time (CDT) permanently. Clear?
Of course, Congress could always end the restriction and allow states to choose Daylight Time, but I'm not holding my breath on that one, since I don't think they could agree on that one any better than they do on any other issue.
If you would like to weigh in on the issue, you may contact Committee Chairman Gary Elkins by phone at (512) 463-0722 by e-mail or the bill's author Representative Dan Flynn by phone at (512) 463-0880 or e-mail.
For comments about this article or TCR, please send an e-mail to:
Why Obama's Deal with Iran Cannot Be Trusted
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
I frequently rail against people making assumptions in their thinking. I often castigate others for taking a viewpoint without either actually experiencing what they are commenting on or assuming facts they don't have in hand about others' decisions. But there can be an occasion where arriving at a conclusion may be done based on sufficient history and adequate analysis. In the case of Obama negotiating with Iran, if they are able to come to an agreement, it is highly likely it cannot be trusted.
I am not one to state that President Obama is doing this for his legacy. Presidents are frequently accused in their second terms of taking actions because of their "legacy." I think that is just lazy thinking by journalists who want to classify things. Certainly, there is no indication that if an agreement is reached in the next couple of weeks that it will create lasting peace in the region and turn Iran from being a mortal enemy of our country into a friend and future ally. So to what extent would a deal enhance Obama's legacy? What his motivation is in making this agreement is somewhat bewildering and can only be determined by the final outcome.
What we can say at this point is that, whatever the final outcome, we cannot trust it as an agreement for two reasons. The simple reason on its face is that we are negotiating with a partner who has not complied with agreements or international norms since assuming control of the country 36 years ago. More importantly, we cannot even abide by what will be represented to us by our own team in the Obama Administration.
As you all know, a promise of this Administration from the beginning has been that it would be "the most transparent in history." I have been around long enough to know that from the inception of transparency being pushed as a campaign theme we were in trouble. I have found when platitudes like that are foisted upon the public that the opposite usually comes to fruition. Certainly in this case we have seen the reality to be the exact opposite over and over and over again.
The momentous effort to hide information from the American people was characterized by the Administration placing the immense ACA bill on the internet with only two days remaining before the vote to totally reorganize the entire health care sector of our economy. But that was only the beginning.
That was followed by hiding multiple members of the Benghazi staff from Congressional committees. Then the Attorney General completely stonewalled Congress over criminal activities by employees of the IRS. Next Obama appointed a political henchman as IRS Commissioner who soon lied to Congress about Lois Lerner's lost emails that mysteriously were found after a search confirming what we all knew – they were never lost.
This Administration has been so stifling of information flowing to the public that even their chief enablers, the lackey mainstream media, has voiced multiple concerns about getting their Freedom of Information Act requests honored. Matters are so bad even the MSM has griped.
Just this past week, we have seen three new instances of Obama totally disregarding our democracy's rules. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) passed a 331-page bill seizing control of the internet without releasing the rules to the public. It was hilarious to watch members of the chamber's audience cheering the vote of the FCC when none of them no what was included in the document. These are actions typically taken by dictatorships and banana republics. If the rules are beneficial then they should be waving them in everybody's face instead of hiding them.
Then it was discovered that Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, never used an email address that was government operated. Once again a total disregard for the public in a democracy where the people used to control their government.
On Monday, a federal judge excoriated Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its contempt for its legal obligation to disclose documents and then compounding the offense by lying to the courts about its stonewalling. This was almost three years after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was filed requesting documents from the EPA. The judge wrote the EPA "intentionally sought to evade the lawful FOIA request so the agency could destroy responsive documents."
If we ever see the deal with Iran that was negotiated by Obama and his team, the details will be hidden. Obama will accuse the opponents of only wanting to go to war while he has negotiated peace. He will then use his favorite tactic – creating straw men arguments. He does it all the time. He will state unknown people have created actions that are absurdly detrimental to the peace of the world. Of course, who he is referring to will never be identified because they don't actually exist. Then he will attempt to bully his opponents into submission without us ever finding out what are the real elements of the treaty.
This is how Obama is and what he does. This is why it has been leaked that he attempted to figure out how to make it an agreement that does not have to be approved by Congress as all treaties are as dictated by our Constitution. A trade agreement with Colombia must be approved by Congress, so one would think a nuclear arms deal with the most belligerent country on the planet should be so ratified.
Thinking of our now-established history of this president, it is clear we cannot trust any agreement he makes with Iran. We need to be worried.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can contact Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 12 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 15th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.