Peaceful transfer of power on schedule is too rare in our modern world. It was nice to see the huge enthusiastic turnout in D.C., but now it's time to get to work.
Obama, like Bill Clinton, could be a real challenge for conservatives. TCR suggests support him when he is right and oppose him when he is wrong. This should be based on issues and our principles and not based on partisanship.
To rebuild, we have much work to do and adding to our numbers is critical, but we also need a conservative philosophy for the 21st century (more about this in future issues).
Energy Crisis #2, We Are Sowing The Seeds Now!
Oil decline since the summer of 2008 from around $150 a barrel to a low in the $30's was quite like a roller coaster ride. The bad news is the present relatively low prices are sowing the seeds of a rapid price increase and possible shortages when the economy recovers. The secret to this situation is that the supply-demand price reduction like we've experienced has resulted in significant supply destruction. Quite simply, we are not making the necessary investment to increase energy supply, and not just in oil and gas, but also in alternative energy. So, when the demand increases as the economy increases, prices are headed back up. So what to do? Encourage domestic and alternative energy development and discourage importing of oil from hostile nations. Encourage conservation and free industry to research where the energy of the future is to come from.
Democrat Stimulus Bill:
Will It Boost The Economy?
As it stands now, probably not. Here is why. The Democrats bill rolling through the House was recently scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. They found that only 35% will be spent in 2009-2010 and that the remaining 65% is in 2011-2012 and outward. This plan is not a stimulus, it's more like typical pork barrel spending!
What is missing here are broad-based tax cuts on individuals and businesses which can jump start the economy.
And if you haven't peeked, we have even more stupid spending coming under the guise of stimulus, like: $142 billion in education spending, hundreds of millions for contraception, thousands of bridges to nowhere in the form of grants to local governments, none of which will boost the economy in the short run.
Here Comes Hutchison, Will Gov. Perry Stay In
The Race Or Hang It Up As He Promised Key Funders Four Years Ago?
The race is on in the 2010 Texas Governor's race. The clash of titans, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison vs. Governor Rick Perry (going for a world record 14 years in office.) Early polling shows Sen. Hutchison in the lead, but Perry is a formidable campaigner, conservatives should watch the actions of the candidates and not their word.
Sen. Hutchison rates a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 90.27, which compares favorably with well-known conservatives like Senators Orrin Hatch, Mike Enzi, Jon Thune, Sam Brownback and Mitch McConnell.
Gov. Perry has no legislative record in recent history, but usually can be counted on to say the right thing. In 2008, the Governor was ripped by Conservative Republicans of Texas for abandoning conservatives on such issues as immigration amnesty, HPV vaccination and the gross receipts tax.
This will be a fascinating race (if it in fact occurs) and conservatives need to study closely who'd be best for Texas, down ballot GOP candidates and conservatives.
Texas State Budget Challenges:
Why Not Prioritize And
Put Teeth Into Spending Limitations?
With the massive spending increases last biennium not slowed by the present Article 23 constitutional limits on spending, it is time to put real teeth into spending limits and eliminate the easy loopholes. Among other things, the spending limits should apply to all spending, be limited to the growth in state national product (a true economic measure) and be set by the legislators themselves and not given to staff members to enact or modify. Then we might have a spending limits system that works.
Kyle Janek Update
By Jim Hotze
Former Sen. Kyle Janek, an anesthesiologist whose new "shock" is that he's one of Austin's newest lobbyists.
This is after he told GOP leaders he wouldn't be a lobbyist after resigning from the Texas Senate last June unless his new job requires it and it does not. Janek has five lobby clients with fees worth at least $260,000, according to his registration with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Kyle Janek always had other plans and he just mislead his supporters on what the plan was. It's a good thing SD17 voters rejected his candidate.
Jim Hotze is a Houston businessman and former SREC member from Senate District 17.
Failure Of The Two Party Political Systems
In The U.S., Is It Time For A New Party?
By Brian Ettinger
There is a fundamental problem with our education system. We are currently generating a student population creating mediocrity. Our students are being denied the ability to reach their full potential. We have created a system called the inclusion method putting all the students in the same public education systems are basing their performance on standardized testing which the teachers are not teaching and only preparing the students to pass these test to move on to the next grade level and get awards for the school system. Teachers are there to teach and need to teach the basic subjects of English, Math, Science and History. We are a diverse culture and it is great that we are, but English is the unofficial language, but needs to be designated as the official language as we are not doing our students justice by the bilateral education system. For our students to assimilate into the American society, they need to learn English. They can keep their cultural values and language, as individuals that came to this country in the late 1800s to early 1900s did but also had to learn English to survive. We need to tailor our public education system with the guidelines form the Federal Government but left in the hands of the State and Local School District to develop their curriculums to teach the basic subjects listed above as well as dedicate certain schools in the District to provide training and teaching for certain students that cannot meet the academic standards, such as trade programs for those students who did not want or could not meet the standards to attend college. For special needs students, their needs to be programs designed, not inclusive in the regular class rooms, for these students to be able to reach their full potential and live productive lives. We are not doing any of our students' justice and have created a generation of mediocrity which is placing our country further behind the international community. Teachers are a very dedicated profession and should be allowed to teach and not be glorified babysitters. Our students are not getting enough exercise and also lack communication skills, as they sit by the computer, television, video games and text each other. They put information on Facebook and other websites so they don't have to directly communicate with each other. This is impersonal and does not foster direct interaction between individuals. The problem is that we have turned our education system over to educators that do not have any common sense. Teachers should be paid as well as other professionals and we would seek to have school districts increase teachers compensation by 20% over the current compensation levels. This way, we will attract and keep dedicated teachers who are training our young people to reach their maximum potential and be able to survive in the global job markets.
The Federal Government needs to encourage all forms of energy such as wind, solar, nuclear, oil and gas exploration off the Coast of the U.S. including Federal lands in Alaska. We need to rebuild the current infrastructure pipeline system throughout the U.S. Pipelines are many years old and have deteriorated and the Federal Government needs to encourage under a public/private program the rebuilding of this infrastructure. For companies that own these pipelines and rebuild them, they should get a tax credit. For coal fired powered plants we should build more and encourage the industry through tax credits to develop clean coal technology to create electricity. For alternative fuels, we should encourage and give Federal and State incentives for these alternative fuels. We need to develop high technical innovations such as fully battery operated vehicles, hybrid vehicles that will lessen our dependency on any foreign oil, gas or LNG. The Federal Government needs to take a proactive role in energy security, which also has a direct effect on our National Security, as we have seen Russia and the Middle East countries use energy as a political hostage over the U.S. interest. The United States needs to be totally free from foreign energy sources within 10 years and can commit to do so by adopting a multilateral energy plan to encourage energy sources as reflected above. Nothing should be off the table. This is an investment that our Federal Government must make.
TCR Comment: Stay tuned for the final part of this series.
Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney and contributing editor to TCR. He is a strong conservative who is concerned about America's future.
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones is, after a four year run, on hiatus. If you would like to see the show come back sooner with Gary and David, contact John Hesse, General Manager of PBS Houston at (713) 743-8402 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 twelfth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seven years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.