Our Next President: Donald J. Trump

President Elect Donald Trump Today’s New York Times front page headline: “TRUMP TRIUMPHS Shocking Upset as Outsider Harnesses Voters’ Discontent.” The story’s headline echos the anti-establishment: Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment. Source: New York Times

So there it is. I really don’t know what to say. Some headlines talk about “election hangover” or “now what” so let’s review and see what just happened. (Full disclosure, I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton.)

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump officially announced that he was running for President of the United States. His campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.” Even from the beginning – from his first speech (he descended to the podium on an escalator in Trump Tower and mentioned Mexico sending rapists across the border) – controversy followed Donald, and he spewed hate-filled rhetoric.

On July 27, 2016, after the primaries, I wrote, the nominees have been chosen to represent their parties. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, and making waves as the 3rd (and 4th?) party nominees are Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein for the Green Party.

In the past 6 months – since the primaries began – there’s been scandals, mudslinging, and a healthy dose of much-to-do-about-nothing. History has again been made with the nomination of Hillary as the first female nominee of “a major political party” for president. (Victoria Woodhull ran for president in 1872.) WikiLeaks leaked over 30,000 emails from the DNC – they showed a preference toward Hillary and motives to eliminate Bernie Sanders from the nomination. (Russian hackers got into the email server.) Donald, meanwhile, has been saying some radical things: he would (possibly) eliminate the World Bank; get Mexico to pay for a wall along our border with them; (possibly) not support NATO countries that don’t pay their share; he wants to talk with Putin, …

Hillary and Donald had 4 debates, he lost them all. He was trailing – even just a little – in polls most of the race. He lost the popular vote by 200,000 votes. But, in the end, he won the electorate. They’re still counting votes, but as of now he has 51%. Hillary conceded Wednesday morning thus making Donald J. Trump our 45th president.

I forgot to mention that Donald’s Vice President is Mike Pence. Remember his name I think we’ll see more of him.

Texas Voter ID Law and the 2016 Election

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said the [Texas Voter ID] law violates the Voting Rights Act.

On July 20, a federal appeals court found a Texas voter-identification law discriminates against blacks and Hispanics, and ordered that temporary remedies be put in place by the November election. Source: Wall Street Journal.

This is the same 5th Circuit Court that I wrote about last year (and the year before last) allowed Texas to keep the law because it was too close to elections to change it. Apparently, a couple weeks makes the difference in being too close to an election. The election is now 109 days away.

The lower court hasn’t fixed it in 2 years, so I don’t see them doing much with it now. They may follow the Wisconsin example and accept affidavits from affected voters who swear they can’t get a photo ID.

You’re hearing it here first: I predict someone will go to Mexico and “collect” a lot of signed affidavits from people that are unable to get government IDs. That’s right up there with the dead voting.

Yeah, there’s no room for fraud in an affidavit system.

The 2016 Primary Election in Texas

The date for the 2016 Primary election in Texas is March 1. Early voting is February 16 – 26.

Here’s a look at who’s on the ballot in Brazos County, Texas.

Asterisk (*) indicates incumbent. Strikethrough indicates withdrawn/drop-out.

President/Vice President

  • Martin J. O’Malley (D)
  • Star Locke (D)
  • Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente (D)
  • Bernie Sanders (D)
  • Calvis L. Hawes (D)
  • Willie L. Wilson (D)
  • Keith Judd (D)
  • Hillary Clinton (D)
  • Lincoln Chafee (D)
  • Lawrence Lessig (D)
  • Jim Webb (D)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

  • Bill Flores (R)*
  • Ralph Patterson (R)
  • Kaleb Sims (R)
  • William Matta (D)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

  • John Raney (R)*
  • Jess Fields (R)

Texas Supreme Court

Place 3

  • Debra Lehrmann (R)
  • Michael Massengale (R)
  • Mike Westergren (D)

Place 5

  • Rick Green (R)
  • Paul Green (R)
  • Dori Contreras Garza (D)

Place 9

  • Eva Guzman (R)
  • Joe Pool (R)
  • Savannah Robinson (D)

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 2

  • Mary Lou Keel (R)
  • Chris Oldner (R)
  • Ray Wheless (R)
  • Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (D)

Place 5

  • Sid Harle (R)
  • Steve Smith (R)
  • Scott Walker (R)
  • Brent Webster (R)
  • Betsy Johnson (D)

Place 6

  • Michael E. Keasler (R)
  • Richard Davis (R)
  • Robert Burns (D)

Texas Courts of Appeals (District 10)

Place 3

  • Al Scoggins (R)

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Debra Medina (R)
  • Glenn Hegar (R)*
  • Harvey Hilderbran (R)
  • Raul Torres (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • George P. Bush (R)*
  • David Watts (R)
  • John Cook (D)

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Sid Miller (R)*
  • Eric Opiela (R)
  • J. Allen Carnes (R)
  • Joe Cotten (R)
  • Tommy Merritt (R)
  • Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III (D)
  • Jim Hogan (D)
  • Richard “Kinky” Friedman (D)

Railroad Commissioner

  • Weston Martinez (R)
  • John Greytok (R)
  • Gary Gates (R)
  • Ron Hale (R)
  • Lance N. Christian (R)
  • Wayne Christian (R)
  • Doug Jeffrey (R)
  • Lon Burnam (D)
  • Cody Garrett (D)
  • Grady Yarbrough (D)

Texas State Board of Education Member (District 8)

  • Barbara Cargill (R)*

District Courts – Brazos County

272nd District Court Judge

  • Travis Bryan III (R)*

85th District Attorney – Brazos County

  • Jarvis Parsons (R)*

Sheriff – Brazos County

  • Chris Kirk (R)*
  • Miguel C. Vasquez (R)

Tax Assessor-Collector

  • Kristeen Roe (R)*

County Commissioner Pct. 1

  • Lloyd Wassermann (R)*
  • Steve Aldrich (R)

County Commissioner Pct. 3

  • Gabriel Garcia (R)
  • Nancy Berry (R)

 Read More

Voter ID’s and Elections

8-6--8-12-forcastAs we enter the hottest days of of the year – the forecast calls for at least 7 days of 100+ F temperatures – the arguments of last year’s election and the Texas Voter ID law is starting to heat up too.

To recap, last year I wrote in Voter ID Law in Texas:

On Tuesday, October 14, the Texas GOP successfully appealed the blocked law.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allows the law to be used in the November election, despite a lower judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit did not rule on the law’s merits; instead, it determined it’s too late to change the rules for the election. Source abcnews.com

They said while it may cause harm to some voters, the greater harm would come from disrupting the election statewide.

Yesterday, the same 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Texas law “runs afoul of parts of the federal Voting Right Act…”

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2011 Texas law runs afoul of parts of the federal Voting Rights Act – handing down the decision on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law. Source: AP.org

However, the court sent the law back to the lower courts to fix the discriminatory effects. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, said the law will stand. Ironically, he’s currently under indictment for felony securities fraud. Suffice it to say, this issue isn’t finished.


First-GOP-debate-2015Speaking of things heating up, the 2016 presidential election, which is 459 days away, is getting started with the first GOP debate tonight – brought to you by (they chose 10 debaters based on the highest average of 5 polls) and broadcasted on Fox News. The 10 are Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich. The number of potential GOP candidates is overwhelming – something like 39 have declared!

With all the drama, this is starting to look like a reality tv show: Survivor or Big Brother or America’s Got Talent. “Retiring” Jon Stewart said it best on his show last night, “[Fox News] will decide the next leader of the free world…WTF is going on here!”

I have a feeling this election is going to be colossal – colossally expensive, and a colossal waste of time on commercials. Hillary Clinton (don’t get me started) is going to start running ads this week. Did I mention we’re 459 days away from the election.

UPDATE:

20150820-deeznutsA surging Independent candidate, Deez Nuts, is taking the polls – and the world – by storm. A 15-year-old boy from Iowa registered as a candidate under the name Deez Nuts, and the Internet loves him. The name trended on Twitter for a day. Everybody wants to know more about him. His real name is Brady Olsen.

This picture is a screen shot from the coverage of the North Carolina poll held August 20, 2015.

2014 Election Results, Who Represents Brazos County Texas

Refer to my earlier post about the 2014 Primary/Election for candidates of this mid-term election. This is a small list of the people that represent Brazos County Texas.

U.S. President – Next Election 2016

U.S. Senate (Texas)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

District Attorney – Brazos County

Read More

I Voted in the Midterm Election or The Big Yawn

And the winners are (the Republicans of course):

United States

Senator: John Cornyn

Representative (District 17): Bill Flores

Texas

Governor: Greg Abbott

Lieutenant Governor: Dan Patrick

Attorney General: Ken Paxton

Senator (District 5): Charles Schwertner

Representative (District 14): John Raney

Comptroller of Public Accounts: Glenn Hegar

Commissioner of the General Land Office: George P. Bush

Commissioner of Agriculture: Sid Miller

Railroad Commissioner: Ryan Sitton

Chief Justice, Supreme Court: Nathan Hecht

Supreme Court, Place 6: Jeff Brown

Supreme Court, Place 7: Jeff Boyd

Supreme Court, Place 8: Phil Johnson

Criminal Appeals Court Place 3: Bert Richardson

Criminal Appeals Court Place 4: Kevin Yeary

Criminal Appeals Court Place 9: David Newell

10th Court of Appeals Place 2: Rex Davis

85th District Judge: Kyle Hawthorne

361st District Judge: Steve Smith

Brazos County

County Judge: Duane Peters

County Court at Law #1: Amanda Matzke

County Court at Law #2: Jim Locke

District Clerk: Marc Hamlin

County Clerk: Karen McQueen

County Treasurer: Laura Davis

County Commissioner Precinct 4: Irma Cauley (D)

Justice of the Peace #4: Louis Garcia

Constable Precinct 4: Isaac Butler (D)

Texas Propositions

Proposition 1 – Transportation Funds: Passed

City of Bryan Propositions

Charter Amendment, Proposition 1: Passed

Charter Amendment, Proposition 2: Passed

Charter Amendment, Proposition 3: Passed

Bryan ISD

Voters in Bryan approve a $132 million bond proposal.

The money will be used to build a pair new school buildings and make improvements to every school in the district, including security and heating and air conditioning.

Voter ID Law in Texas

In 2011 the Texas state legislature passed a voter ID law which said voters had to present a government issued (picture) identification in order to vote in person; they wanted to prevent voter fraud. This year Democrats successfully appealed to have the law blocked; the judge said it was a poll tax.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an appointee of President Barack Obama confirmed to the bench in 2011,  struck down Texas’ voter ID law on Thursday [10/9], calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax” intended to discriminate against Hispanic and African-American citizens that creates “an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.” Source: The Huffington Post

As I see it there are two types of burdens: physical and financial. Physically, there are people who don’t drive and/or don’t need picture identification: elderly, poor, big-city dwellers, and college students. Also, there are people in rural areas unable to get to a identification office. These are all legitimate reasons not to have identification.

There are several aspects of financial burden, but I’ll just say I think the State can issue voter ID without driver’s licence – free of charge. If not, they should. This reason is less of a reason not to have a licence/ID.

In that same article, Ryan P. Haygood, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the law imposes costs and burdens:

“The evidence in this case demonstrated that the law, like its poll tax ancestor, imposes real costs, and unjustified, disparate burdens on the voting rights of more than 600,000 registered Texas voters, a substantial percentage of whom are voters of color.”

 

Let’s Do Some Math

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, before the 2012 election there was 235 million people 18+ years of age, 215 million citizens (18+ years of age), and 143 million registered voters (65% of voting age population). If the NPR news story Why Millions of Americans Have No Government ID is accurate, then there were 3 million Americans without government ID in 2012; assuming they are citizens 18+ years of age. That’s 1.4% of citizens able to vote. That’s not a lot, but still, every American has the right to vote.

We read/hear stories about how these few people want to vote – try to vote – but get denied because they don’t have acceptable identification. The whole point of showing ID (aside from showing a voter ID card) is to show proof of residency and prevent multiple votes. They don’t want people voting in the wrong district or voting at several polling places.

Taxation For Different Reasons

Recently some have said, and I tend to agree, that the Revolutionary War cry, “No taxation without representation!” has a corollary, “No representation without taxation!” Early American history (sort of) had it this way. When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with property – paying property tax – were permitted to vote; freed African American slaves could vote in four states. Times have changed and more groups of people have been allowed to vote, but the idea of tax payers should be voters remains.

I believe those of us that pay taxes should have a say in how it’s spent (e.g. electing people we think will spend it wisely). If you don’t pay taxes you should not have a say in how other peoples’ money is spent.

Latest Development

On Tuesday, October 14, the Texas GOP successfully appealed the blocked law.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allows the law to be used in the November election, despite a lower judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit did not rule on the law’s merits; instead, it determined it’s too late to change the rules for the election. Source abcnews.com

They said while it may cause harm to some voters, the greater harm would come from disrupting the election statewide.

The NAACP vowed to appeal this appeal to the US Supreme court.

On Saturday, October 18, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to use its voter id law in the November election. They gave no reasoning. Justice Ginsburg – along with justices Sotomayor and Kagan – issued a six-page dissent. (Source: nytimes.com)

We haven’t seen the end of this argument. There will be more legal battles and appeals.

So, in the end, I showed my driver’s licence that I paid $25 for, and I voted early.

Texas General Election 2014

The General Election in Texas is November 4, 2014. Early voting runs October 20-31, 2014. From the Primary Election in March to the General Election in November, the candidates have been chosen. See who/what is on the ballot or table of candidates.

There are 5 possible party affiliations: R-Republican, D-Democrat, L-Libertarian, G-Green, and I-Independent.

U.S. Senate (Texas)

  • John Cornyn (R)
  • David M. Alameel (D)
  • Rebecca Paddock (L)
  • Emily “Spicybrown” Sanchez (G)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

  • Bill Flores (R)
  • Nick Haynes (D)
  • Shawn Michael Hamilton (L)

Texas Senate (District 5)

  • Charles Schwertner (R)
  • Joel Shapiro (D)
  • Matthew Whittington (L)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

  • John Raney (R)
  • Andrew Metscher (D)
  • Bruce L. Pugh (L)

Texas Governor

  • Greg Abbott (R)
  • Wendy R. Davis (D)
  • Kathie Glass (L)
  • Brandon Parmer (G)

Texas Lieutenant Governor

  • Dan Patrick (R)
  • Leticia van de Putte (D)
  • Robert D. Butler (L)
  • Chandrakantha Courtney (G)

Texas Attorney General

  • Ken Paxton (R)
  • Sam Houston (D)
  • Jamie Balagia (L)
  • Jamar Osborne (G)

Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice

  • Nathan Hecht (R)
  • William Moody (D)
  • Tom Oxford (L)

Place 6

  • Jeff Brown (R)
  • Lawrence Edward Meyers (D)
  • Mark Ash (L)

Place 7

  • Jeff Boyd (R)
  • Gina Benavides (D)
  • Don Fulton (L)
  • Charles E. Waterbury (G)

Place 8

  • Phil Johnson (R)
  • RS Roberto Koelsch (L)
  • Jim Chisolm (G)

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 3

  • Bert Richardson (R)
  • John Granberg (D)
  • Mark W. Bennett (L)

Place 4

  • Kevin Patrick Yeary (R)
  • Quanah Parker (L)
  • Judith Sanders-Castro (G)

Place 9

  • David Newell (R)
  • William Bryan Strange, III (L)
  • George Joseph Altgelt (G)

Texas Courts of Appeals (District 10)

Place 2

  • Rex Davis (R)

Texas State Board of Education Member (District 8)

  • Barbara Cargill (R) – Next election November 2016

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Glenn Hegar (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)
  • Ben Sander (L)
  • Deb Shafto (G)

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • George P. Bush (R)
  • John Cook (D)
  • Justin Knight (L)
  • Valerie Alessi (G)

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Sid Miller (R)
  • Jim Hogan (D)
  • David “Rocky” Palmquist (L)
  • Kenneth Kendrick (G)

Railroad Commissioner

  • Ryan Sitton (R)
  • Steve Brown (D)
  • Mark A. Miller (L)
  • Martina Salinas (G)

District Courts – Brazos County

85th District Court Judge

  • Kyle Hawthorne (R)

NOTE: Judge J. D. Langley is stepping down.

272nd District Court Judge

  • Travis Bryan III – Next election ?

361st District Court Judge

  • Steve Smith (R)

Justice of the Peace – Brazos County (Precinct 4)

  • Louis Garcia Jr. (R)

District Attorney – Brazos County

  •  Jarvis Parsons (R) – Next election November 2016

Sheriff – Brazos County

  •  Christopher C. Kirk (R) – Next election November 2016

Amendments to the Texas Constitution

Proposition 1:

Allocate to Fund 6 (The State Highway Fund) one-half of the general revenue derived from oil and gas production taxes that currently is transferred to the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund).

Also See

 

 

Remember this from 2007: time capsule of irony

Remember this post from 2007: Let’s tuck this away and see what happens. I knew this day would come. Seven years ago today I wrote that post. I can’t help but laugh and think to myself, “Isn’t it ironic?”

Especially ironic is the quote “[Hillary said] she would not meet with world leaders critical of the United States,” and then Obama (perhaps sadistically) appointed her Secretary of State, where she had to meet with leaders critical of the U.S..

Sorry Randy, you gambled on an idea and lost. But, the other irony is that your horse is probably in the 2016 race. (Is it just me or is politics full of irony?)

 

The 2014 Primary Election in Texas

Unlike 2012, the date for the 2014 Primary isn’t changing – it’s March 4. Early voting is February 18 – 24, 2014.

Here’s a look at who’s on the ballot.

* Indicates incumbent

U.S. Senate (Texas)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

Texas Governor

NOTE: Governor Rick “Good Hair” Perry is not running for a 4th term.

Texas Lieutenant Governor

Texas Attorney General

NOTE: Greg Abbott is vacating the position to run for Governor.

Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice

Place 6

NOTE: Jeff Brown’s term doesn’t end until December 31, 2016, but he must run in 2014 to keep his position.

Place 7

Place 8

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 3

Place 4

  • Jani Jo Wood (R)
  • Kevin Patrick Yeary (R)
  • Richard Dean Davis (R)

Place 9

  • David Newell (R)
  • W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall (R)

Texas Courts of Appeals (District 10)

Place 2

  • Rex Davis (R)*

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Debra Medina (R)
  • Glenn Hegar (R)
  • Harvey Hilderbran (R)
  • Raul Torres (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)

NOTE: Could not confirm if Susan Combs is stepping down.

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • David Watts (R)
  • George P. Bush (R)
  • John Cook (D)

NOTE: Jerry Patterson is stepping down to run for Lieutenant Governor.

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Eric Opiela (R)
  • J. Allen Carnes (R)
  • Joe Cotten (R)
  • Sid Miller (R)
  • Tommy Merritt (R)
  • Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III (D)
  • Jim Hogan (D)
  • Richard “Kinky” Friedman (D)

NOTE: Todd Staples is stepping down to run for Lieutenant Governor.

Railroad Commissioner

  • Becky Berger (R)
  • Malachi Boyuls (R)
  • Ryan Sitton (R)
  • Wayne Christian (R)
  • Dale Henry (D)
  • Steve Brown (D)

NOTE: Berry Smitherman is stepping down to run for Texas Attorney General

Texas State Board of Education Member (District 8)

  • Barbara Cargill (R) – Next election Nov. 2016

District Courts – Brazos County

85th District Court Judge

  • Kyle Hawthorne (R)

NOTE: Judge J. D. Langley is stepping down.

272nd District Court Judge

  • Travis Bryan III – Next election ?

361st District Court Judge

  • Steve Smith (R)*
  • Margaret Meece (R)
  • Michele Esparza (R)

Justice of the Peace – Brazos County (Precinct 4)

  • Rose Jones – Next election ?
  • Louis Garcia Jr (R)
  • Tommy (Shannon) Duren (D)
  • Larry J. Johnson (D)
  • Christina S. Butler (D)
  • Darrell Booker (D)
  • Manuel “Manny” Aguilar (D)

District Attorney – Brazos County

  • Jarvis Parsons – Next election Nov. 2016

Sheriff – Brazos County

  • Chris Kirk – Next election Nov. 2016

 Read More

UPDATE:

There was a runoff election held May 27 for a few contested spots.

Texas Lieutenant Governor

  • David Dewhurst (R)*
  • Dan Patrick (R)

U.S. Senate (Texas)

  • David Alameel (D)
  • Kesha Rogers (D)

NOTE: This race was controversial because the Democratic Party said Rogers wasn’t a Democrat, and she wasn’t on the ballot as of February 14.

Texas Attorney General

  • Ken Paxton (R)
  • Dan Branch (R)