You may have heard about the recent slaying of a Texas district attorney and his wife in their home. It follows the brazen daylight killing of a prosecutor in the same county, and it has everyone on edge. This is what local law enforcement is going through:
The judge was on the phone.
“Yep, I said I’ll do anything,” Bruce Wood told the person on the other end, rubbing his forehead. “They asked me to do a eulogy. I don’t know what I’m going to say.”
Elsewhere in the Kaufman County Courthouse, a sheriff’s deputy was handing out bulletproof vests. “I brought the smallest one,” he said to a secretary, who stared at the khaki armor as he explained how to adjust the side straps should the need arise. “These have the neck for a female.”
Outside, two armed guards escorted a white-haired judge from his parked car to the mirrored doors of the yellow brick courthouse in a county where little seemed the same anymore.
“Judge! How are you doing?” shouted a reporter.
“Everybody is making do as best as we can,” he said.
Ted Cruz, who was backed by the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, has won the Republican nomination for United States Senate in Texas, defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the runoff last night by roughly 12 points:
Ted Cruz, the former solicitor general supported by the Tea Party, defeated long-time Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, R-Texas, in a primary runoff that effectively decides who will serve as the next U.S. Senator from Texas.
The Associated Press called the race for Cruz the first 22 percent of votes counted showed him with 53 percent support, as Roll Call noted, despite Dewhurst loaning himself over $24 million during the primary.
Cruz received strong support from Tea Party figures such as Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., whose Senate Conservatives Fund spent $1.3 million on behalf of Cruz and raised another $700,000 for his campaign.
“This is another victory for conservatives and it shows that the Tea Party can still defeat the Republican establishment if it wants to,” said Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins. “This wasn’t a fluke. Ted Cruz was massively outspent in a state of 25 million people and he still won. If conservatives can win a race like this in Texas, they can win anywhere.”
Governments do one thing well. They make things illegal. They have done so with startling efficiency since before the ink was really dry on the Constitution. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they fail to understand the fallacy of legality.
The idea itself isn’t really that hard to comprehend. Most know it on some level at least. That idea is that the legality of an act only matters to those inclined to follow the law. By definition, those that will run afoul of a law aren’t likely to follow laws in the first place.
Where the fallacy of legality kicks in is where government enacts laws in the name of public safety. For example, take the old Texas law that forbid Suzanna Hupp from taking her gun into a diner where she was eating with her parents. Hupp was inclined to follow the law because she was law abiding. Unfortunately, George Hennard wasn’t so inclined. He rammed his pick-up truck into the diner and began to shoot patrons. Two of the dead were Hupp’s parents.
Honestly, this isn’t a difficult thing to comprehend. Unfortunately, we see far too often that those we elect to “lead” don’t grasp the basic concept.
Laws exist as grounds for people to know what is acceptable and what isn’t, not as a way to hamstring the law abiding but as grounds for the non-law abiding to understand they are crossing the lines of decency. They should serve as the expectations of what humans should do.
For example, laws against murder don’t hamstring the law abiding (despite smart remarks to the contrary). Instead, the level an expectation that people should not kill and that those who fail to comply will be punished.
Since 2003 a number of states have passed laws requiring some sort of ID to be shown when a person goes to vote. Proponents of the laws present them as a way to stamp out voter fraud; opponents decry the laws as a way to prevent minorities or the poor from voting, as they are most likely to not have acceptable ID. The battles have waged not only in legislatures but in courthouses as well. Wisconsin’s law was just struck down by a judge and Texas’ law is being challenged by the DOJ.
For a libertarian, it seems like both sides of the argument have been a little disingenuous. Voter fraud has yet to be shown to be anywhere near as widespread as Republicans would like us to think, though this could be because it has heretofore gone undetected. And showing a form of basic ID, often provided at no cost to the voter, is a very low bar and one that is gladly accepted when doing numerous other activities - even buying alcohol or getting into a bar.
So we are left to sit outside and try to figure out which side to take. On one hand, for those libertarians who believe in voting, the integrity of elections is very important. We need to ensure that elections accurately represent the will of voters. On the other hand, though, it is important that no one is prevented from voting for illegitimate reasons. If the laws are an underhanded attempt to disenfranchise certain groups, as opponents say, they are problematic.
Mitt Romney has been hitting his key opponent, Rick Perry, relentlessly for his decision to allow undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition in Texas. Romney even made the issue into a campaign ad:
The former Massachusetts governor has stated that the educational benefits offered by the state of Texas act as an incentive to draw more undocumented immigrants across the border:
“You put in place a magnet — you talk about magnets — you put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which is giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country. And then you have states, the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years, they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration. Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants.”
Now we learn, via the LA Times, that the healthcare reform that Governor Romney ushered in during his tenure in Massachusetts, colloquially referred to as RomneyCare, contained a provision that provided public aid to undocumented immigrants:
The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. We’ve already covered their reports on the records of Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Next under the knife is Rick Perry, who has served as Governor of Texas since 2000.
Perry has certainly shaken up the race for the GOP nomination for president and dominated media coverage during his first week on the campaign trail. His campaign is being driven by conservatives and tea partyers wary of Mitt Romney, who they see as a flip-flopper and someone who laid the blueprint for ObamaCare. But does Perry have the fiscal record for conservatives and libertarians to get behind? You be the judge.
After serving almost 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul told The Facts this morning he will not be seeking another term for the District 14 seat.
Paul, 75, will instead focus on his quest for the presidency in 2012.
“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul said. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”
His announcement will give enough time for anyone with aspirations for his seat to think about running, he said. Paul didn’t want to wait for filing in the 2012 primary to let people know he wasn’t seeking reelection.
“I didn’t want to hold off until in December,” he said. “I thought it shouldn’t be any later than now.”
Paul has served 12 terms in Congress. District 14 encompasses a 10-county area along the Gulf Coast.
I saw a few people mention on Twitter that he isn’t running his district was split during reapportionment. I haven’t followed the redistricting process in Texas, so have no idea if that’s true or not (and I haven’t had time to dive into those details). A friend close to the campaign tells me that this insinuation is false. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out to be the case considering that national Republicans, including then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, targeted him in the past during primaries.
While I don’t always agree with Dr. Paul, I’m sad and disappointed to see his congressional career come to an end. He is a tireless voice for liberty and free markets and that is sorely needed in Congress.
I was puzzled by the recent news that PresBO has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and several days later, my confusion remains despite reading a number of articles addressing this surprising move. It occurs to me that it is just indicative of the current administration’s leadership strategy, which is frankly equal parts reactionary and political, but always misguided.
So here are my thoughts on this current attempt to ease the high prices Americans are facing at the gas pump…
First, this move is too little too late. The fact is oil prices were at their peak around April of 2011 and have been steadily declining over the last few months so that prices were already easing slightly. So why release this oil now? Particularly when we are in the beginning days of hurricane season, and we realize how beneficial it is to have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), for example, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, when supply was majorly disrupted. So, instead of maintaining the SPR until a real crisis occurs, the President has opted to release 30 million barrels of the Reserve for seeming little more that earning political brownie points with the American people.