Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Secondhand Smoke: The Phantom Menace

We received an excellent column from Dr. John Dunn, a physician from South Texas, who says the American Cancer Society should re-check the "facts" they've been spreading about the effects of secondhand smoke.

Of course, we know the ACS's true agenda has nothing to do with secondhand smoke. They want to ban smoking altogether, and they're chipping away at the issue through smoking bans, "for public health reasons," they say.

We call this back-door prohibition.

Here is the column from Dr. Dunn, which pokes holes in the pro-smoking ban argument:

I can say with confidence that second hand smoke may irritate some, but it does not kill. Those claiming thousands of deaths from second hand smoke to the Dallas City Council and the public are deceitful for a political goal.

I have been a Texan for 22 years, and a physician specializing in emergency medicine for 36 years. I am familiar with the public health science on second hand smoke.

Public health studies cited by the American Cancer Society and the Surgeon General claim thousands of deaths result from second-hand smoke. These are weak, cherry-picked studies. Their supporters compound the deceit by ignoring studies by the World Health Organization (Buffetta 1998 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute), Stranges, 2006 in Archives of Internal Medicine, and Enstrom 2003 in The British Medical Journal – all of which show no effect from second-hand smoke.

In science, one study that disproves a scientific theory is more important than a pile of studies that are slightly positive. Anti-smoking advocates and fanatics ignore that basic rule and ignore any study they don’t like.

They are propagandists, not scientists.

The crusaders are willing to do and say anything about second hand smoke, including making public statements about thousands of deaths from second hand smoke. Those claims are diverse and duplicitous—they are lies. Second hand smoking, even for the spouse of a smoker is one cigarette or less per day—which has no effect. The second hand smoke scare is a phantom menace conjured up by the High Holy Church of Smoke Haters to support the anti-smoking crusade.

Smoking Bans violate the Texas tradition of minding your own business. If the City Council thinks it has a role in telling people how to live, they should get a Divinity Degree and find a congregation. Folks in Dallas can easily avoid second hand smoke, and employment in a bar or restaurant is voluntary. Smoking is legal. Avoiding smoke is easy.

John Dale Dunn, MD, JD

Policy Advisor American Council on Science and Health, NYC, and the Heartland Institute, Chicago.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chances Dwindle on Bailout Plan for Automakers

Since when is it the government's responsibility to use taxpayer dollars to bail out companies? If a small business owner's business goes under, is the government going to help them out as well? No.

Thank goodness for this bailouts dwindling chances...

I think it's ridiculous that the federal government would even consider the thought. This bailout plan, along with all the others should have never been put on the table in the first place.

Let's go back to the basics: Less Government is Good Government.

To read the full story on the status of the automaker bailout plan, click here.

Spending Limits a Must for Texas

Government spending is getting completely out of hand, on the national, state, and even local level. Did you know that local government debt is growing five times faster than our income?

The State Director for Americans for Prosperity - Texas, Peggy Venable, was invited to give testimony on Spending Limits for the House Appropriations Committee this past Wednesday. To read her written testimony click here and the video stream of the proceedings are here.

AFP recognizes that Texas is in dire need of Spending Limits.

They propose a spending limit that does the following:
  • Allows government to grow proportionate to the increase in population and inflation
  • Any growth beyond that would require voter approval
  • Surplus revenue should go to the budget stabilization fund (to be funded up to 15% of the state budget), and to a true emergency reserve cash fund (3% of the budget)
  • Once those funds meet their target, additional surplus should be given in property tax relief.
  • Local spending limits must be in place so taxpayers would have opportunity to realize that tax cut.
  • Mandates cannot be passed from state to local government (or federal government to the state) without subsequent funding, or the spending limit is adjusted proportionate to the unfunded mandate cost.

Speak up. Tell your legislators to file spending limit bills this legislative session.

It's important for Texas and our pocketbooks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Representatives Start Showing Support for Craddick

Representative Leo Berman's campaign office sent out a media release today announcing his and other representatives' support for Tom Craddick as Speaker of the House.

Representative Leo Berman stated:

"Because of his record of success, we stand resolutely behind Tom Craddick and continue to support his re-election as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives."

The following initiatives have been accomplished under Craddick's leadership:
  • Balanced the budget without raising taxes despite a $10 billion budget shortfall.
    Added transparency to the budget process.
  • Kept schools open by passing a school finance plan, increased spending each session on public education and appropriated money for a 13th check for retired teachers.
  • Began the process of expanding renewable energy.
  • Passed a property owners bill of rights to protect private property.
  • Increased penalties for child predators by passing “Jessica’s Law.”
  • Eliminated the TAKS test for end-of-course exams at the high school level.
  • Increased the number of RN’s through additional funding for nursing programs.
  • Passed nationally recognized Tort Reform Bill.

The other Representatives that have signed on to publicly support Tom Craddick are:

Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving), Carl Isett (R-Lubbock), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker), Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), Dan Flynn (R-Van), Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), Bill Callegari (R-Katy), Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) and Wayne Christian (R-Center)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Veteran's Day 2008

First off, thanks to Jason Denny for this Veteran's Day information!

Veteran's Day American Legion Travis Post 76 Breakfast & City of
Austin/Travis County Veteran's Day Parade

The annual Veteran's Day American Legion Travis Post 76 Breakfast & City of Austin/Travis County Veteran's Day Parade will be held on Nov. 11, 2008.

The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Post (2201 Veterans Drive, Austin, TX).

The parade starts at 9a.m. from the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge and travels north to the Capital. Viewing is available all along Congress Avenue and there will be a reviewing stand at the Steven F. Austin Hotel at 7th and Congress Avenue. Travis Post 76 members & Spirit of 76 will be marching. Others who can't march will ride in the vehicles provided by the Lone Star Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

At 11 a.m., following the parade, there will be a ceremony on the south steps of the Capital. "Women of the Military Past and Present"

A special flyover is scheduled for the start of the memorial ceremony, at 11a.m., performed by the Commemorative Air Force from San Marcos.

Pflugerville Fallen Warrior Memorial

Veteran's Day, 2008 in Pflugerville, TX has been designated as the rededication day for the Pflugerville Fallen Warrior Memorial commemorating the addition of PFC Ron J. Joshua's name to the memorial. PFC Joshua died in service to our country in Baghdad, Iraq on July 17, 2007. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at the monument site in Pfluger Park, 700 Railroad Ave., Pflugerville. Friends, family, neighbors and the community are invited to attend and honor this fallen hero.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Short Break-Down of TX House Pick-Ups

Democrats gained 6 TX House seats, while Republicans gained 3. This only gave the Ds a net gain of 3 seats - taking us to 76-74 in the House.

  • HD 52 (Williamson County) Diana Maldonado defeated Bryan Daniel, 48.6% to 47.6%.
  • HD 78 (El Paso County) Joe Moody defeated Dee Margo, 51.5% to 45.1%.
  • HD 96 (Tarrant County) Chris Turner defeated incumbent Bill Zedler, 51.3% to 46.6%.
  • HD 101 (Dallas County) Robert Miklos defeated Mike Anderson, 50.6% to 49.4%.
  • HD 102 (Dallas County) Carol Kent defeated Tony Goolsby, 53% to 47%.
  • HD 133 (Harris County) Kristi Thibaut defeated incumbent Jim Murphy, 50.6% to 49.4%.


  • HD 17 (Bastrop, Fayette, Lee, Colorado, Burleson, Brazos Counties) Tim Kleinschmidt defeated Donnie Dippel, 54% to 42.9%.
  • HD 32 (Nueces, San Patricio, Aransas, Calhoun Counties) Todd Hunter defeated incumbent Juan Garcia, 50.1% to 46.8% - Before Garcia, it was Republican Gene Seaman's seat.
  • HD 97 (Tarrant County) Mark Shelton defeated incumbent Dan Barrett, 55.4% to 42.7%.

Sessions running for NRCC Chair

Sessions is in. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) made it official Thursday, announcing a bid to run the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"While I commend the dedicated efforts of Chairman Tom Cole, the call for new direction at the National Republican Congressional Committee is clear," he said.

For full story, click here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

TEC Posts Declared Speaker Candidates

4 Republicans, 5 Democrats

List can be found on the TEC Website - here.

What does this mean for Speaker Tom Craddick? The big question is whether he will be re-elected or not; but, with 68 of the 74 House Democrats meeting to unite behind one D candidate and Republicans fracturing the Republican vote...

the votes for Tom Craddick are seemingly decreasing.

The fractured Republican support may just pave a way toward a Democrat as our next Texas Speaker of the House.

Texas Remains Red

Here are the Election Results, Texas-style...

Texas November 4, 2008 election night highlights

Early voting was the winner with 47 % of the voters casting their votes before Nov 4.
With 13,575,062 registered voters in Texas, 59% cast their ballots this election cycle.

At the top of the ticket, McCain carried TX with 55%.

US Congress – Texas picked up one Republican seat and kept Sen. Cornyn.

Sen. John Cornyn was re-elected with 55% of the vote.

Republicans picked up a US House seat with Pete Olson defeating incumbent Nick Lampson who took Tom DeLay’s seat in a special election for HD 22.

So Texans will now send 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats to DC, a pickup of one Republican seat.

Texas Statewide elections saw no changes

Republican Michael Williams won re-election to the Texas Railroad Commission with 52% of the vote.

Each of the 3 sitting Texas Supreme Court Justices on the ballot won re-election with 51 and 52% margins. All 3 are Republicans.

Three Republicans on the Court of Criminal Appeals handily won re-election.

State Board of Education saw no upsets as the five Republicans and two Democrats won their re-election bids.

TX Senate – D’s gained 1 seat, one in run-off, now 19 R’s, 12 D’s

Of the seats up this cycle, only one incumbent lost as Republican Kim Brimer lost his bid for re-election to Wendy Davis in SD 10. That shifted one seat from the Republicans to the Democrats making the totals now 19 R’s and 12 D’s.

The special election for SD 7, Kyle Janek’s vacated seat, is in a run-off between Democrat Chris Bell and Republican Joan Huffman. They received 38% and 26% respectively.

TX House – D’s gained 3 seats now 76 R’s, 74 D/s

HD 11 – Republican Brian Walker came within .2% of taking out incumbent Chuck Hopson losing by 102 out of 52,830 votes cast.

HD 17 – Republican Tim Kleinschmidt beat Donnie Dippel for Robby Cook’s seat, an R pick-up.

HD 29 – Randy Webber, Republican handily defeated Kevin Murphy for the Mike O’Day seat. The seat didn’t change parties

HD 32 – Todd Hunter defeated Democrat incumbent Juan Garcia 50% to 47%.

HD 47 – Donna Keel failed to unseat Democrat Valinda Bolton.

HD 48 – Pam Waggoner failed to take Democrat Donna Howard’s seat.

HD 52 – In this open seat once vacated by Mike Krusee, this once considered safe Republican seat went to Democrat Diana Maldonado who beat Brian Daniel by less than 1%. The Libertarian candidate got almost 4%.

HD 55 – open seat - Republican Ralph Sheffield handily beat Democrat Sam Murphey
(this is formerly the Republican Diane Delisi seat)

HD 73 – Republican Doug Miller handily defeated Daniel Boone in this open seat after defeating Nathan Macias in the primary.

HD 78 – Republican Dee Margo who beat Pat Haggerty in the primary was defeated by Democrat Joseph Moody so this El Paso seat goes to the Democrats.

HD 81 – Tryon Lewis easily picked up the former Buddy West open seat.

HD 82 – Speaker Tom Craddick easily beat challenger Bill Dingus

HD 96 – Democrat Chris Turner unseated Republican incumbent Bill Zedler 51-47%.

HD 97 – Republican Challenger Mark Shelton defeated incumbent Dan Barrett 55-45%.

HD 101 – Democrat Robert Miklos defeated Republican Mike Anderson by 1.2%
(The Republican incumbent Thomas Latham was defeated in the primaries)

HD 102 – Democrat Challenger Carol Kent defeated incumbent Tony Goolsby 53-47%.

HD 105 – Incumbent Republican Linda Harper-Brown narrowly defeated challenger Bob Romano by a mere 25 out of 40,700 votes cast.

HD 107 – Conservative Bill Keffer failed to unseat incumbent Democrat Allen Vaught to win back the seat he lost last cycle. The vote was 50-47%.

HD 112 – Republican Angie Button won this seat with 56% of the vote against Democrat Sandra Vule. The Libertarian candidate earned over 4% of the vote in this open seat.

HD 130 – Republican Allan Fletcher beat libertarian candidate William Gray Junior to keep this seat Republican after defeating Corbin Van Arsdale in the primary.

HD 133 – Incumbent Republican Jim Murphy lost to Democrat Kristi Thibaut by 464 votes.

HD 144 – Republican Ken Legler defeated Joel Redmond for this open seat formerly held by Republican Robert Talton.

Bond Initiatives

A total of 37 School districts had bond initiatives on the November ballot. Only 11 failed, bringing the total debt passed in one day in Texas to a startling $1.4 billion. The largest was for $219 million in Allen, Texas. It appears even in this tough economy, most passed. The listing is here:

Tax Rollback Elections

It appears that around 47% of the tax rollback elections in 49 ISD’s passed. That means that half the time, voters didn’t allow the taxing authority to take in more revenue. Six are slated for later this year. We thank the Texas ISD website for this information and for the bond initiative data:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YRs Demand "Change"

While the political realm heats up and our presidential race ends tonight, two Young Republicans took it upon themselves to inject a little humor and get their political message across last night.

You might have seen Nathan Glass and Matthew Kidwell out on the corner 2222 and Shoak Creek in Austin last night; but probably didn't recognize them.

That's because they dressed up as homeless men carrying home-made, politically driven signs to inform others of the tax hike we'll be receiving if we allow an Obama administration.

From their reports, they surprisingly received positive responses from their audience.

Conservatives can be mighty creative.

Way to go Nathan & Matt!