It didn't take long, but the attacks in the GOP Governor's race have begun. Texas is facing many challenges this legislative session, and for conservatives, these distractions are unfortunate.
Regardless, TCR will continue to tell it like it is. The first salvo attacking Senator Hutchison for voting against J. Leon Holmes (Arkansas) to the U.S. District Court in Arkansas (pretty arcane), who was criticized because of what some described as an outdated view of a woman's role in marriage (that a wife obeys her husband). TCR is told that Sen. Hutchison found his views on women's rights unsettling.
On the flipside, she has voted for 99% (359 of 360) of all GOP nominated judges, including the key court appointments of President Bush, Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito. So, is the vote a big deal? At the end of the day, not really.
An interesting thing about Sen. Hutchison was recently revealed in the issues that thirteen pro-life Republicans identified in the "Stakes are High" memo. They are concerned that the Democrats will try to roll back pro-life progress in the following areas: parental notice, restrict late term abortions, protect right of conscience for health care providers and institutions, banning partial birth abortions, informed consent laws and ultrasounds before an abortion. On these issues, Sen. Hutchison is 100% pro-life. Her voting record is also tracked by the National Right to Life Committee. Over the last 12 years it shows: 48 right and 3 wrong for a score of 94%. That's an A where TCR went to school.
Ideas For How To Bring The Middle Class
Back Home To GOP
As part of TCR's ongoing effort to share smart ideas with you, in the February 9, 2009 National Review (www.nationalreview.com) the editors present twelve ideas all worthy of consideration, here are the highlights:
1. Encourage parenthood by expanding the child tax credit (to $5,000 per child) and make it available for all parents up to the amount they pay in combined income and payroll taxes. This will reduce the overtaxed parents costs of raising children. This will promote growth and strength of families.
2. Make savings easier by exempting from taxes: interest and dividends income or create a broadened savings credit that is simple and easily available.
3. Reduce health care costs by creating a market based reform strategy. This would entail substituting a fixed tax credit for the present deduction and shift control from employees to individuals and families. John McCain proposed a $2,500 individual/$5,000 family tax credit. If we give families financial control and ownership of their health insurance you can keep the same insurance as you change jobs.
4. Boost teacher quality. The decline we face can be traced to opening up the job market to a large pool of smart women who would teach or be secretaries in the past. As women have progressed, the quality of teachers has gone down. So social conservative solutions overhaul state licensure systems making it easier to have non-school of education teachers hired. Next, devise smart ways to evaluate performance and push to get rid of weak teachers. Next, put more money into rewarding excellent teachers, rare skills and difficult assignments and finally, update the profession to include options for change and growth.
5. Relieve traffic congestion. As we all know traffic gets worse every year, so is there a solution? Yes, congestion pricing based on supply and demand. The good news is that technology is now advanced enough to be set up in a matter of a few months.
6. Update airports by deregulating airport and air traffic control. This idea would include congestion pricing for landings at busy airports. Today's stupid system is based on weight, so airlines clog the airports with smaller jets landing hourly, when regular size jets could operate every other hour. This plan would eliminate or at lease reduce the problem.
Obama's Economic Recovery Plan,
Is It The Answer?
By Judge Rory Olsen
On the Democratic passed $787,000,000,000.00 so-called stimulus bill. I have two simple questions to ask.
Question #1 is: How will we know whether or not the so-called stimulus plan actually did what it was supposed to accomplish? By what standards will the success of the plan be judged? If the Congress was run by people who understood the scientific method, there would have been some device implanted in the so-called stimulus bill to allow policy analysts, wonks and social scientists of various types to judge whether it worked so that future policy makers would have the benefit of their (and our) experiences to guide them.
Question #2: Who is going to get stuck with the tab for the so-called stimulus bill if it proves to be a bust? I ask this question because the overwhelming consensus in the academic Economics community is strongly against the bill. I am being coy here. I know who is going to get stuck with the tab. I am. You are. Our children and grandchildren are all going to work long and hard hours to pay for this so-called stimulus bill that was rushed through the Congress before anyone had had an opportunity to read it. Is this the kind of change that we want to leave to the next generation? What hope is there for us all if our leaders pass laws that they do not even bother to read?
Rory Olsen is the Judge of Probate Court No. 3 in Harris County, Texas. His thoughts on our present condition can be found at:
Failure Of The Two Party Political Systems
In The U.S., Is It Time For A New Party?
Final Part 4
By Brian Ettinger
America needs a strong, and highly technical armed services. We do not do enough to encourage our young people to consider service in the U.S. Military. In certain countries it is mandatory service of their citizens. We should have a program at the middle and high school level that requires all physically able students to participate in military training at a military base for at least three weeks of the school year from 7th through 12th grade. This will also get our students in shape as we have become a generation of video games, computers, and televisions. Protecting the U.S. and its citizens is a vital interest and we should not take any of our technological weapons off the table. If U.S. interest was threatened or attacked, then we should have the right to respond appropriately including the use of nuclear weapons. America is currently perceived as being weak and the whipping boy of all the other Rouge countries that want our aid, but do not work with American in fighting the war against terrorist, Islamic extremist or other people who do not foster democratic principals or humanity. Defense, including National Security, would be the only departments that would not be subject to a reduction of budget as all other Federal agencies. We would seek a 10% across the board reduction in the Federal agency's budget as there is too much waste and Government. The Defense Department would be subject to a third party review of how they spend their budgetary funds which will be appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress.
We need to secure our borders and make English the official language of the U.S. We should have an official guest worker program and all individuals including citizens in the United States need to be documented and have a National Identification Card. There is no reason why we should not know who is in our Country. The fact that undocumented workers and illegals come to our Country does not grant them the right to have medical treatment nor to give birth to babies, making the babies an automatic American Citizen. American Citizenship is more than a right, it's a privilege. We would seek to have a constitutional amendment that states that if you come to this country legally, you have to apply through the process to retain citizenship and children that you bear would also have to go through the citizenships process. Citizenship tests will be done in English. In addition, voting, driver's license, and other requirements need to be done in English. There is no reason why the Federal Government or States need to offer multiple languages. All illegal immigrants that are taken into custody will be sent back within 30 days to the country that they came from. It has cost the U.S. billions of dollars to house, feed and medically treat illegals. Employers are encouraged to hire legally documented workers, but if they hire illegal immigrants they should be severely penalized to discourage this practice. I know we are the melting pot of the world and everyone wants to come to our country being a diverse society, but times have changed and we need to take these steps to protect our American Citizens.
Voting not only a right but a privilege and under the current system is subject to voter fraud and abuse. There should be for Federal elections a basic proficient test that a voter needs to pass such as who was the first President of the United States, who is the current President of the United States, how many days there are in the year, and the alphabet. If you don't know that, then you shouldn't be allowed the privilege of casting a vote.
The Federal Government needs to get out of the business of providing direct healthcare coverage under the current Medicare/Medicaid system. This system is failing and the Federal Government should work with the private insurance industry, set up a program of basic healthcare at a set price that can be deducted from the payroll taxes of an individual. This basic healthcare coverage will cover major medical needs including preventative coverage for all American Citizens. They will be allowed to go to their own doctors and hospitals and be treated under this system. If an individual wants to pay more for a private healthcare coverage, then they will have that right. If an individual causes a self inflected medical problem such as smoking, drinking, drugs they should bear the cost of this treatment. Why, should the overall public pay for this individual's elected choice?
10. Social Security.
We need to get rid of this program as we should have a cut off that anyone now entering the workforce at the age of 21 would go under a government program that gives the individual a choice on how to invest their social security tax payments. Anyone currently in the workforce paying social security would be eligible for guaranteed social security benefits. The government needs to set aside funds to guarantee this program's payouts until it has ended. This program was never designed to go on into perpetuity. It was designed after the Great Depression and was to be a temporary program but grew into a huge bureaucracy.
All welfare recipients will be drug tested twice a year. If they fail two consecutive drug tests, they are not eligible for any welfare benefits for five years. Welfare is also designed to get the individual off of welfare within a 24 month period by providing training so they can seek gainful employment.
12. Rebuilding the highway infrastructure system.
The Federal Government needs to conduct capital construction projects to rebuild our highways, bridges, and pipelines which have deteriorated to a dangerous condition. Under this program, the government could create millions of jobs throughout the country, as it is vital to our economy, security, energy, and mobility of society to restore the infrastructure system. The Railroad industry, both the transportation of goods and people need to be modernized. President Obama is moving in the right direction on these infrastructure projects but this is not enough to jump start the economy.
This article (in four parts) has addressed issues why there needs to be another major third party.
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 email@example.com.
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.