Monday, September 09, 2013

Texas Statewide Races (Top 3)

It may seem crazy that the 2014 political season is already upon us, but the fact remains that it is. The Texas GOP will have several contested races for statewide positions. There's always the possibility that someone else will jump in, but at this point, anyone not already running is pretty far behind. I will address the top three statewide races here (Yes, I am ignoring the Democrats):


This race is Greg Abbott's to lose, but keep in mind that 2012 brought us a Senate race that was David Dewhurt's to lose, and he did. I have known Attorney General Abbott and his main opponent, Tom Pauken, for several years. I met both of them through my association with Baylor's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter. I supported Pauken in his 1998 bid for Texas Attorney General, and I have supported General Abbott in his statewide races since 1996. To me, the Texas Republican Party would be proud to have either of these men as the nominee, and the State of Texas would be well-served by either one.


I used to like David Dewhurst. No, really, I did. However, I supported Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race, and Dewhurst lost even more of my respect with his gross mishandling of the last day of the first 2013 Texas Legislative Special Session. His attempt to use his influence to get a family member out of jail didn't help, either. Dewhurst is facing three serious challengers: Jerry Patterson, Todd Staples, and Dan Patrick. Any of these three would be an improvement. I have known Jerry Patterson the longest time, but at the moment, I remain undecided.


With Greg Abbott seeking the Governor's mansion, this position is up for grabs. Three men have announced: Dan Branch, Ken Paxton, and Barry Smitherman. Smitherman was just elected to a full term on the Railroad commission in 2012. Branch is a State Representative and is far too chummy with Texas Speaker of the House, Joe Straus for my tastes. Paxton is a State Senator, and is my pick here. Smitherman has the advantage of having won a statewide race before, but Ken Paxton is the type of man I would like to see in the AG's office.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals

As I went out for a run this evening, I had an epiphany about one of the major differences between Conservatives and Liberals. Mind you, this is not the only difference, but I do believe it is significant.

Conservatives distrust the Federal Government no matter which political party is in power.  Liberals only distrust the Federal Government when Republicans are in power.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Something worth sharing

My best friend, Rod Martin, had this to say:

Oh, and just one other thing. I'm already hearing this or that conservative whine about how "well, God's put us under judgment", or "well, it's all over now." Funny, I never hear a liberal say any such thing: when they lose, they get up and fight for the ground they lost (they've been fighting for what is now Obamacare since FDR); when they win, they get up the next day and fight for more.

Could it be that the reason conservatives and Christians get their butts beat so often is that they're a bunch of losers who don't have the guts and the seriousness of purpose of their opponents. Answer: yes.

If you're a Christian and this describes you, shame one you: you serve a God who parted the Red Sea, created the Universe, beat the Midianites with 300 guys with lanterns, conquered death and freed the captives from Hell. He's bigger than one Supreme Court ruling, and those of you who have so little faith and so much love of "judgment" frankly ought to get some of the latter so you can learn some of the former. I don't hear Chinese house church Christians whining about "God's judgment" when their pastors are arrested and beaten. What persecution are YOU suffering?

And as for any other conservatives in this group, get off your whiney butt and fight. Did you take at least five friends to the polls last election? No? Then you're part of the problem. Did you do that and still lose? Then act like a liberal and get up and do it again.

2010 told us everything we need to know about what it takes to win. It takes acting like winners, and stopping acting like whiners.

Now, let's go take these socialists out.

I couldn't have said it better myself, so I'm letting him speak for me.

This post (also by Rod) at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies site also presents a solution beyond just a repeal in the upcoming Congress.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Great Timing

I decide to get this thing going again, and then I promptly leave town for 10 days.  I'll be back in Texas soon and back to the grind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Texas GOP Convention Report, Part 3

Ron Paul

There were a lot of Ron Paul supporters at the Convention.  Some people see that as a bad thing.  I do not.  Most of my discussions with other Republicans have gone something like this:
Me: I really like Ron Paul. I agree with probably about 85% of what he says.
Other Person: Me, too.
Me: His foreign policy scares the crud out of me, though.
Other Person: Me, too.
Me: I may not want him as President, but I wish we had about 250 of him in the U.S. House and 60 in the Senate.
Other Person: Me, too.

To be fair, there are some who find Paul to be completely scary and maybe even crazy.  Typically, those folks are what we fondly call "Establishment Republicans."  Traditional Conservatives and Tea Party types actually have far more areas of agreement with Ron Paul than they have areas of disagreement.

I am not thrilled with some of the deceptive tactics undertaken by the Paul supporters in their efforts to get elected as delegates to the National Convention, but I can understand their frustration.  If they tell the whole truth, they have almost no shot of being selected, and that would also be unfair.

The Republican Party needs to figure out how to reach out to Paul's supporters to bring them into the fold.  These folks will not be co-opted, so if that is the plan, it is doomed to fail.  Imagine how great it would be if we could harness that enthusiasm going forward.  On the other side, the Paul supporters who take the "nobody but Ron Paul" position should not be surprised when other Republicans aren't too enamored with them.

Ron Paul has pointed out some significant problems with the way we do government at the Federal level.  His proposed approach would be too much, too fast, but he is one of the few who stays true to the ideal of limited government, and that should be embraced, not feared.

2012 Texas GOP Convention Report, Part 2

The Platform

I am sure that there are other areas of disagreement about the Texas Republican Platform, but it seemed like the only plank people wanted to argue about was the one on Immigration.  The new plank in its entirety read:
The Texas Solution – Because of decades-long failure of the federal government to secure our borders and address the immigration issue, there are now upwards of 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States today, each of whom entered and remain here under different circumstances.  Mass deportation of these individuals would neither be equitable nor practical; while blanket amnesty, as occurred with the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986, would only encourage future violations of the law.  We seek common ground to develop and advance a conservative, market- and law-based approach to our nation’s immigration issues by following these principles:

1. Secure Our Borders – The U.S. Border must be secured immediately!  We demand the application of effective, practical and reasonable measures to secure our borders and to bring safety and security for all Americans along the border and throughout the nation.

2. Modernize the United States Social Security Card – We support the improvement of our 1936 Social Security card to use contemporary anti-counterfeit technology. The social security card will not be considered a National ID card for U.S. citizens.

3. Birthright Citizenship – We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions.

4. Create an Effective and Efficient Temporary Worker Program – A national Temporary Worker Program should be implemented to bring skilled and unskilled workers into the United States for temporary periods of time when no U.S. workers are currently available.  The program should also require:

• Self-funding through participation fees and fines;
• Applicants must pass a full criminal background check;
• Applicants with prior immigration violations would only qualify for the program if they paid the appropriate fines;
• Applicants and/or Employers must prove that they can afford and/or secure private health insurance;
• Applicants must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from any public entitlement programs;
• Applicant must show a proficiency in the English language and complete an American civic class;
• Temporary Workers would only be able to work for employers that deduct and match payroll taxes;
• All participants would be issued an individual Temporary-Worker Biometric Identification Card that tracks all address changes and both civil and criminal court appearances as a defendant.

This approach closely follows the suggestions of Newt Gingrich this year and Mike Huckabee four years ago.  It is within the mainstream of Republican thought and in no way paves the way for Amnesty now or in the future for those who have entered our nation illegally.

A softened approach to those who are already here (and who are being as productive as they can be in the shadow economy that is necessary for their survival) coupled with a commitment to securing the border is the most rational approach going forward.  I commend the Platform Committee and the Delegates who approved the new language overwhelmingly.

There are those who will claim that this language was slipped through because we didn't get to the Platform on the floor until late into the evening on Friday.  However, a reasonable analysis should lead to the conclusion that the vast majority of those opposed to the new plank would have been especially motivated to return for the 9:00 p.m. session.  Even so, the Texas Solution was approved by roughly a 2 to 1 margin of those present and voting.  I believe that if the entire delegation had been present, the ratio would have been closer to 3 or 4 to 1 in favor.

Maybe, just maybe, the Republican Party can stop antagonizing hispanic voters.  If we don't, the future of the Party in Texas will begin to look bleaker and bleaker.

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 Texas GOP Convention Report, Part 1

There are so many things I could talk about relating to this year's Texas Republican Convention.  These thoughts will be somewhat random and will appear over the next several posts.

I was nominated by by State Republican Executive Committeeman (SREC), John Cook, to serve on the Temporary Rules Committee.  This meant that I was involved in the meetings that went on before the Convention actually opened on Thursday.  I was supposed to be there Monday at noon, but because of some mis-communication, I wasn't aware I had actually been appointed to the Committee.  I finally got there Tuesday afternoon, which was early enough to be involved in the discussion about most of the substantive rules.  I found myself on the minority side of a 22-9 vote on an issue that I felt pretty strongly about.  It was, and still is, my opinion that the then existing rule caused our Party to violate a provision of the Texas Election Code.  There are 31 Senate Districts in Texas.  Each one has a Caucus at the State Convention.  At the first meeting of that Caucus, each SD elects representatives for each of the Permanent Committees (Rules, Platform, Credentials, State Nominations).  I was elected without opposition, so I got to return to carry on with our work.  Four of our colleagues from the Temporary Committee had been defeated at their Caucuses.  After a few tweaks to allay some of the concerns from folks who had been on the Temporary Committee, the proposed rule change was presented again.  This time, my side was in the majority 17-14.  I was thrilled that we made the change to allow us to comply with the law.  I was flabbergasted that 14 people were more worried about practicalities and potential power plays than with complying with the law.

The major changes to the rules took out the term limits for Texas' members of the Republican National Committee; changed the procedure for the State Convention (the one I mentioned above); and eliminated one round for which our Delegates to the National Convention will remain bound to their pledged candidate.  The Ron Paul supporters had wanted us to change that rule to make our Delegates completely unbound at the National Convention.  First, even if we had, it would not have applied this year.  Second, there was no way we were willing to do that.  I'm not sure who in the room was actually fond of Mitt Romney, but none of us were willing to undermine the will of the majority of those who voted in the Texas Republican Primary.

The obligatory "catching up" post

It truly shocked me to see that I had not blogged since December 2010 (and that wasn't a real entry).  I blame Facebook.

Since my last real post, several things have happened.

Most importantly, my fifth daughter, Claire, was born in December 2010.

For those who followed my posts about marathon training, you should be pleased to learn that I did, indeed, complete the 2010 Dallas White Rock Marathon.  I also completed the 2011 Rock and the 2012 OKC Memorial Marathon.  I am currently training for the 2012 NYC ING Marathon in November.

I lost my job at the Dallas DA's Office at the end of 2010 and spent a few months trying to find a new job before deciding to open my own solo law practice.

My weight loss journey started back up again last fall.  During marathon training in 2010, I had lost 20 pounds.  When I took a few months off before kicking it back up in 2011, I had gained 10 of that back.  I thought I would be able to lose that 10 again just as easily as I had the year before, but it was not to be.  In fact, over the first 3 1/2 months of training last year, I gained 3 pounds to get back up to 250.  In September, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app for my phone and started tracking my daily caloric intake and burn.  I got down as low as 193 in April.  Right now, I'm back up a little because I haven't been as diligent as I need to be.

So, what inspired my return to this corner of the blogosphere?  I was a Delegate to the 2012 Texas Republican Convention last week.  Although I am not particularly thrilled with who wound up as the GOP Presidential nominee this year (sorry to my Ron Paul supporting friends, it really is a done deal at this point), the convention (as tiring as it was) renewed my enthusiasm for politics.  Thus, you can expect a decidedly political focus going forward.  That's not to say that I won't mention other things, but politics will be the primary subject.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I cannot believe I've been gone this long


Really a year and a half without a post.

Am thinking it is time to get serious about regular blogging.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


All of a sudden, I am getting tons of Spam comments. I've had to turn on Comment Moderation. I hate to do it, but I see no other way.

Maybe I'll do a better job of blogging.

But I make no promises.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Few Random Thoughts

Marathon training has been a little rough. It never dawned on me that donating double red blood cells might not be a good idea when one is running about 20 miles a week.

Work has been a little weird because one of our prosecutors has had laryngitis since last Tuesday, so I've been having to go back out to the JP Courts to cover for her.

I'm about to turn 42, and I still get people who don't believe me when I tell them how old I am. Many are skeptical when I tell them how much I weigh, too.

I'm looking forward to our Pastor getting back from vacation this week. I miss his preaching.

We leave for Walt Disney World in 21 days. I anxiously anticipate seeing the looks on my kids' faces when we enter the Magic Kingdom.

Is it really possible that we might have a day with a high less than 100° this week?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pushing It

Because of the opening of 42nd Street last Friday, I had taken the week off from running, so this morning was my first day back on the pavement since Saturday the 10th. I decided to push my pace a bit just to see if I could handle it. The schedule called for a 50 minute run. Out of that time, I walked about 5 minutes and ran the remaining 45. My pace during the running was between 11:15 & 11:30 minutes/mile, and my overall pace was 11:59 min./mile.

That's the best pace I've ever turned in.

It was pretty humid this morning, but there was an occassional breeze that felt nice.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Long Week

This week has been pretty tiring as we have been in crunch for tonight's opening of 42nd Street at GSM. I decided that I needed to take a break from my marathon training because of the late nights, but I'll be back on that horse either Sunday or Monday morning.

The oldest three calvinatorettes started Children's Theatre camp at Terrell Actors Playhouse this week as well. They seem to be enjoying it so far. Their camp performance will be in two weeks.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back Again

It has been a crazy spring moving into summer. As you can see from the posts below, I started running in January in an effort to get in shape and start the preparation for the White Rock Marathon.

As I'm sure anyone who is reading this knows, I appeared on Jeopardy! in June. The shows taped back in February, so that interrupted my training. I started back on the road in March and managed to run my first 5K in May. I even came in under my goal of 40 minutes.

I also was cast in a semi-professional production of 42nd Street at Garland Summer Musicals. I'll be playing Bert Barry, and we open this Friday. If you call the box office for tickets (972-205-2790), if you use my name, you get a four dollar discount per ticket.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A new approach

Okay, I've decided to get more structure for my running. A friend at work suggested Couch to 5K, so I downloaded the podcasts, and I'll be using it to help me avoid burnout and injury.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Running Thing

I have never liked running. I would prefer to ride a bike, but I know that running is actually a better cardio-vascular workout. Plus, I have that goal of running a marathon. That's not a "bucket list" kind of thing, though. It's just something I've always wanted to do. I don't plan to expend all this effort; run the marathon; and then give up running altogether.

On today's run, about a third of a mile out, I thought, "Why the hell am I doing this?"

Right now, the only only answer I could give was, "Because I want to."

For now, that's enough.

RunKeeper Shared Fitness | Running Activity

Day 2

Ran a mile. Walked the rest. This has to get easier.

My hands were freezing, too.