Not With a Bang But a Whimper

The Texas anti-TSA groping bill died in the House of Representatives today, the last day of the special legislative session. The bill’s champion, State Representative David Simpson, gave a personal privilege speech after the bill failed:

The text of Rep. Simpson’s speech is available on his web site [PDF]. He directed much of his criticism at House Speaker Joe Straus, who is serving his second term. He was elected to his first term by a coalition of the House Democrats and a few RINOs. Tea Partiers and conservatives voiced opposition to re-electing Straus as Speaker, but the Republican super-majority in the 82nd legislature elected him to a second term anyway. That was a mistake. Not only did Straus work against Rep. Simpson’s anti-TSA groping bill and resort to revenue gimmicks to close the budget shortfall, but there was no attempt, as Empower Texans points out, to enact spending limits, prune state agencies, or reform taxes.

Links for 6-3-2012

  • Texas Governor Rick Perry was one of the first big name Republican politicians to publicly associate himself with the Tea Party movement. That suited his interests at the time: he was running for re-election. Now that his candidate for U.S. Senate, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, is opposed by Tea Party and other conservative groups (they’re backing Ted Cruz), he’s deeming Tea Partiers to be “out-of-state interest groups.” He continues by saying that if people understood how things in Texas work, they’d support Dewhurst. Actually many of us do know how Texas works — and we know what Dewhurst did as leader of the Senate in the last legislative session. In particular he buried the Interstate Health Care Compact and the TSA anti-groping bill and he mishandled the sanctuary cities bill (which was one of Perry’s priorities).

  • Exxon Mobil plans to construct a new chemical plant in Texas, taking advantage of cheap natural gas from fracking operations in the state.

  • The new head of Mitt Romney’s transition team, Michael Leavitt, is a proponent of states implementing ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges, putting him in conflict with conservative think tanks who advise states not to implement the exchanges. This may be related to the fact that Leavitt owns a consulting firm that would profit handsomely if/when states implement exchanges. In response to concerns from conservatives, the Romney campaign assures us that Romney is committed to repealing ObamaCare.

  • A Citigroup study asserts that countries are forcing banks to buy sovereign debt: “Regulators are allowing banks to escape counting their country’s debt against capital requirements and loosening other rules to create a steady market for government bonds…” If these nations default on their debt, the banks are obviously screwed.

  • Iran threatened U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East with their expanding missile inventory.

  • The New York Times covered the self immolations in Tibet. There’s not much new in the article if you’ve been following these events, but it’s nice that a newspaper that liberals read is covering the story and explaining that some Tibetans are doing more that putting “Free Tibet” stickers on cars.

Links for 7-14-2012

Links for 7-29-2012