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Democrats’ Fading “Rising Star” and NBC’s Sleepy Chuck Todd

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this Winning yet? – Hey, I’m old enough to remember last week, when every fake journalist in Texas and America was telling us that Texas senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, an Irish guy who represents a largely-Hispanic congressional district (thus the ‘nickname’), was the Democrat Party’s “rising star” who was going to whip Ted Cruz in the general election this coming November.  Yeah, that was just another bit of fake news fed to all the fake reporters by the Democrats, who are desperate to pretend they have momentum and are about to have a “blue wave” election this Fall.

Even the increasingly disgusting leftwingers who infest the increasingly fake-newsy The Hill these days are facing up to reality now, with a new narrative on Irish Beto titled “O’Rourke faces uphill battle against Cruz after lackluster primary win”.  This comes after Irish Beto only managed to pull 62% of the vote against a couple of other Democrats with zero name recognition in the primary last week, receiving fewer than half the number of votes Cruz received in the GOP primary.  Clearly, the articulate and good looking Irish Beto is going to have to do more than be articulate and good-looking to appeal to Texas voters outside of Austin.

But don’t blame Irish Beto – this pattern of big “we’re gonna turn Texas blue!” buildup followed by a huge crash and burn at the ballot box is becoming an every-four-year tradition for the Democrats and their fake news media toadies in Texas.  Who could ever forget the gigantic buildup Texas and national media outlets gave to Wendy Davis, who thought she could ride a pro-abortion-until-birth-and-maybe-even-after-birth filibuster in the Texas Senate all the way to the governor’s office in 2014?

In that campaign, Barack Obama sent his Organizing for America clowns down to Austin to assist with the Davis effort, the web-based Texas Tribune became basically the Davis for Governor pep squad, and the New York Times treated its Upper East Side subscriber base to breathless weekly updates on its front page about the coming Reign of Wendy.  On election day, reality came home to roost, as Davis pulled in 38% of the vote against Republican Greg Abbott.

With the Texas Democrat Party probably stuck with a lackluster Dallas County sheriff as its candidate for the governor’s office (Sheriff Guadalupe Valdez, who will face some guy named Andrew White in a runoff for the nomination) Irish Beto has now become the Great Democrat/media Hope for 2018.  The truth is that his chances to defeat Senator Cruz were never any better than virtually non-existent, and all the fawning attention the NYTimes and Texas Tribune can muster on his behalf won’t change that.  Thus, Mr. O’Rourke is destined to become just the latest Great Democrat Disappointment in November, and join Ms. Davis as just another former Democrat “rising star” who has no future in politics.

Because this is Texas, not New York or California, and that is how this stuff works here.

God Bless Texas.

Meanwhile, all those NYTimes-reading Upper East Siders were tut-tutting and clicking their tongues in snobbish horror Saturday night as President Donald Trump delivered one of his classic ad lib stem-winders to a huge crowd in Pittsburgh.  Trump, fresh off a week of #Winning as only Trump can do, was pumped up and in rare form, as he went after his tormentors in the fake news media and the Democrat Party.  Here are some of the highlights:

Speaking of NBC fake journalist Chuck Todd:  The President first referred to Todd as “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd,” then followed with “He’s a sleepy son of a bitch, I’ll tell you.”  Wine glasses crashed to floors at dinner parties all around Central Park at that one.  The NYTimes tried to reach Todd for comment, but he was napping.

On CNN:  “…fake as hell CNN.  So fake.  The worst.”  Correct.

On the fact that his candidacy and presidency have been a boon for ratings at the cable TV networks, except for CNN:  “Could you imagine covering Bernie? Or Pocahontas?  How about that? Can you imagine having to cover Elizabeth Warren for four years?”  No.  We can’t.

On Mad Maxine Waters:  [She’s a] “low-IQ individual.”  He repeated this 100% true statement several times, just to irritate everyone in coastal California even more.

On Oprah Winfrey possibly running against him in 2020:  “I’d love Oprah to win, I’d beat Oprah. I know her weakness,” he said. “Wouldn’t we love to run against Oprah? I’d love it. That would be a painful experience for her.”  Again, all true, so delightfully true.

It was epic, all over the place, completely un-presidential, stream-of-consciousness Trump at his  best – or worst, if you live in the regional Democrat Party centers of New York, Hollywood or Chicago.

He should do this more often.

Just another day in the Democrats have no clue what to do about all of this America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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The Sessions v. California Lawsuit is a Good Start. Perp Walks of CA Officials Would be Even Better

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this Winning yet? – The Trump economy just continues to add jobs at a phenomenal pace.  The ADP/Moody’s Analytics report for February indicates the economy created 235,000 new non-government jobs, well above expectations of 195,000.   The same report raised the initially-reported January number from 234,000 to 244,000.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Wednesday that the Justice Department is filing a lawsuit against California, challenging the state’s “sanctuary state” laws that have its officials openly violating national immigration laws.  The challenge is filed under the “Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which holds that, when state laws are in direct conflict with federal laws, the federal law prevails.  This would seem like a pretty open and shut case, but we can assume that the outlaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, through which this case would have to go prior to moving to the Supreme Court, will find some absurd means of ruling in the Golden State’s favor.  Because being overturned by the Supreme Court is the 9th Circuit’s favorite pastime.

California Governor Jerry Brown, who has spent the last 7 years turning his state into a third world country modeled on Venezuela, denounced Sessions’ move, in the process revealing his state’s strategy in fighting the case.  Brown stated at one point that the case would “last longer than the Trump Administration,” which, if his lawyers engage in delaying tactics, could certainly be the case should Trump not win re-election in 2020.  In the meantime, absent further enforcement actions by the federal government, California just gets to keep engaging in its sedition actions on behalf of the MS-13 gang and other illegal immigrant criminals.

One possible further enforcement action for Sessions to take would be to start charging California officials, like Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, with criminal violations.  Ms. Schaaf, who called Sessions a “racist” after he had announced his lawsuit, was directly responsible for the escape of hundreds of known criminals last week during an ICE roundup of criminal aliens in her area, when she tweeted out a warning about the operation 24 hours in advance.  This is clearly obstruction of justice, and if Sessions really wants to change behavior by California’s outlaw office holders, conducting a few televised perp walks of people like Ms. Schaaf being hauled off to jail in handcuffs would be a great way to start.

Narrative failed?  Double down on the narrative. – In the wake of their narrative of a Texas “blue wave” having failed miserably in Tuesday’s Texas primary elections, the fake news media and Democrat-leaning elections analysts like Charlie Cook did what Democrats do:  they doubled down on the narrative.

Cook, who cited “a lot of evidence” that a blue Texas wave was forming, despite the fact that GOP turnout for the primaries was 50% higher than the Democrat turnout, said  “It’s the Democratic tidal wave versus the Republican seawall.  At this point, my bet is that in House, the wave is bigger and stronger than the wall, but in the Senate, my money is on the wall not the wave.”  Yeah, ok.  Cook also predicted that Hillary Clinton was going to easily be elected to the presidency in 2016, so there’s that.

The Democrats, meanwhile, continued to cling to their hopes of a blue wave by repeatedly pointing out that their total turnout was just over 1,000,000, the first time that had happened since the 2002 primaries.  None of them went onto mention the inconvenient fact that, in the 2002 general elections, their party lost every statewide election in Texas, with Republican Rick Perry prevailing over his extremely well-funded opponent, Tony Sanchez, by a 58-40 margin.

As for Cook’s claim that the Democrat “could” hope to move three of the state’s 36 congressional seats from Republican to Democrat, even that is highly suspect.  Of the three vulnerable Republicans Cook cites – John Culberson, Pete Sessions and Will Hurd – only Hurd would seem to be in real jeopardy.  That is not at all surprising, given that Hurd represents a district that runs from San Antonio all the way to El Paso, one which most observers think is a slightly Democrat-majority district.

Hurd in fact defeated a Democrat incumbent to win the seat in 2014, and barely defeated that same Democrat to win re-election in 2016.  Were that district to flip back to the Democrats in this election, that would not be a “blue wave”, that would simply be the normal course of business.

But hey, stories discussing the normal course of business don’t generate Internet clicks or TV audiences or newspaper sales the way a narrative about a “blue wave” coming to Texas does.  Right?  Right.

Just another day in the Texas Blue Wave is clickbait America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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There Won’t Be Any “Blue Wave” In Texas This Year

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this Losing yet? – Buckle your seat belts, it’s gonna be a rocky few days – and maybe more than that – on the stock markets.  The resignation of President Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser, Gary Cohn, pretty much ensures that.  Cohn’s resignation creates uncertainty in the direction of economic policy, and if there is one thing investors hate more than anything else, it’s uncertainty where policy is concerned.

Cohn announced he will be leaving in a few weeks after the President made the decision to move forward with tariffs on steel and aluminum against his adviser’s wishes.  Or at least, that’s the stated reason.  It seems more likely that Cohn, a globalist Democrat fish out of water in this administration who has frequently clashed not only with President Trump but with several other senior advisers and cabinet officials, decided this would be a convenient time to make his exit and get back to making gobs of money with Goldman Sachs.

After all, it isn’t as if Cohn had been overruled on matters of economic policy on a regular basis.  Plus, it isn’t as if Mr. Trump’s plans to levy such tariffs were any big secret when Cohn took the job.  Trump made that explicit promise time and time again on the campaign trail during 2015 and 2016, and we’ve all seen that he is pretty much laser-focused on keeping such campaign promises.

If Cohn really is so thin-skinned that not getting his way on one issue is enough to make him decide to quit, then he probably needs to go back to hanging out with fellow liberals anyway.  No word yet on who the replacement might be, but putting together a list of candidates who actually support the Trump “America First” program might be a good place to start the search.  After all, that’s another promise the President made throughout his campaign:  No time like the present to start keeping it where his chief economic adviser is concerned.

Democrats in action. – Jihad supporter and ironic “women’s” march organizer Linda Sarsour was arrested at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday.  The radical anti-Semite was hauled off with several of her jihadist friends on charges of “civil disobedience”, whatever that means.  The group had refused to leave when asked to do so by Ryan’s staffers, insisting they be allowed to meet with the Speaker ahead of others who actually had appointments to see him.

The subject these jihadists wanted to meet about?  DACA.  That’s right – they wanted to meet about the DACA “Kids” (Average age:  26), who are in this country illegally, an issue about which Sarsour literally has no skin in the game whatsoever.

Think about the literal perfection of this incident:  A bunch of leftist radicals insisting upon jumping the line ahead of people who had played by the rules so they could meet with the Speaker in support of a bunch of illegal immigrants who insist upon jumping the immigration line ahead of thousands of others who are playing by the legal immigration rules.  If you pointed that irony out to Sarsour, she wouldn’t get it.  She is a Democrat, after all.

That “Wave” still looks pretty darn Red in Texas. – Hey, remember all that talk over the last couple of weeks about a “Blue Wave” supposedly coming to Texas, as a supposed “record” number of Democrat voters turned out during the early voting period for the primary elections that took place on Tuesday?  Remember how the state’s Democrat Party had supposedly finally gotten its act together, how the Ds were actually fielding living human being candidates in all of the state’s 36 congressional races, how Democrat “rising star” Beto O’Rourke was going to beat Republican Ted Cruz in the U.S. senate race?  Yeah, that was just yet another fake news media-generated myth.

That myth was generated by media outlets like the Dallas Morning News and the web-based Texas Tribune looking only at early voting numbers coming in from the state’s big cities, where Democrats tend to do their best in a state in which their party has not won a statewide election since 1994.  Turns out that when you look at the voting totals from the entire state, including all those rural areas where Republicans dominate, the results from yesterday’s primaries look pretty similar to how they’ve looked for the past quarter of a century.

Per the Texas Secretary of State’s official election returns, Democrat turnout was just 6.79% overall, despite the record number of early votes.  As is always the case with Texas Democrats, they just don’t show up to cast votes in person on Election Day.  Meanwhile, GOP turnout was 10.10%, and the total votes cast in statewide races for Republicans out-paced the vote totals for Democrats by roughly 1.5 million to 1.0 million.

If those ratios hold firm come November, they translate to basically the same 60/40 GOP advantage in statewide races that the Republicans have won every four years since 1994.  In other words, there won’t be any “blue wave” coming to Texas, or anywhere else for that matter, come November.  But hey, you can’t blame the fake news media for giving it the old college try – that’s what they think they’re in business to do.

God Bless Texas.

Just another day in the only wave in Texas is a big ol’ red one America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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STEER: A Business Model That Works

It was great to be able to write this issue’s cover feature on the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER) and its outstanding staff, including President and CEO Omar Garcia. Watching the organization have so much success has been very rewarding, since I played a minor role in its creation back in 2012; and writing the piece provided a chance to reflect on the STEER business model and why the oil and gas industry should try to replicate it in other parts of the country.

By late 2011, it had become obvious to everyone that the Eagle Ford Shale was a world-class resource that represented an unprecedented opportunity for economic development in South Texas. Shortly after a lunch during which I and a group of colleagues talked about how best to go about protecting this opportunity, I got on a conference call with the Haynesville Shale Operators’ Committee (HSOC). This coincidence of timing was what spurred my involvement in the germination of STEER.

HSOC was the brainchild of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) and its President, Don Briggs. Created during the height of the development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas development, the organization served as an extremely effective voice for the industry in what was at the time the busiest shale development region of the country. The challenge the Haynesville Shale presented to LOGA was its concentration in the northwest corner of the state, hundreds of miles from the state capital of Baton Rouge, where LOGA’s offices were located.

Rather than have its staff constantly travel back and forth between Baton Rouge and Shreveport to help its members address community and regulatory issues, LOGA came up with the model of establishing a committee within its organizational structure that essentially functioned as a separate trade association. To become members of HSOC, companies paid separate dues, and the committee itself had its own separate staff.

To further distinguish HSOC as a separate entity, the HSOC staff seldom became engaged in the single most crucial role of any state trade association — lobbying the state’s legislature. Instead, HSOC focused on helping members with community and media relations, functions that have not traditionally been strong points for the industry’s legacy associations.

The model worked. HSOC was a tremendous asset for producers, the media and communities in the region, all of whom needed an honest-broker intermediary to help understand and communicate with one another.

Seeing no reason why this model wouldn’t work just as well in South Texas — where the sudden, massive growth in oil and gas activity was very predictably creating lots of friction and challenges in the local communities — I took the idea to Rob Looney, then-President of the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA), one of the industry’s largest trade associations, headquartered in Austin. My involvement ended there, since I had a conflicting role with one of the industry’s national trade associations at that time.

Read The Rest Here

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Capital Flow To The Permian Basin Hasn’t Dried Up; It Has Moved Downstream

headline in Tuesday’s online edition of The Houston Chronicle, “Drillers Choke Off Dollars To Permian Basin Operations,” may have unintentionally caused confusion regarding the current state of play in the country’s most active drilling and oil-producing basin.

The story to which this headline was attached references a report by the firm Wood MacKenzie that discusses how upstream merger-and-acquisition activity in the Permian has trailed off somewhat dramatically in recent months. This is entirely true. As The Chronicle points out, Wood MacKenzie’s data indicates: “Drillers spent $35 billion in West Texas over a nine-month period that ended in early spring. By comparison, the collective value of land deals of the last six months is less than $5 billion.”

Someone at The Chronicle apparently realized that the initial headline was somewhat confusing ― the Wood McKenzie report does not talk about any slowdown in drilling ― because the headline was later changed to read “Rising Costs, Land Prices Have ‘Taken The Edge Off’ Permian Basin.” It was inevitable that the upstream M&A fever that developed in the Permian last summer was bound to eventually slow down. As geographically huge as the Basin is, there is a limit to the amount of acreage within it that could rationally be evaluated to meet acquisition costs that in some deals exceeded $40,000 per acre. So it is not surprising at all that the pace of land and reserves transactions has slowed dramatically.

Read The Rest Here

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The Wisdom And Foresight Of The Texas Rainy Day Fund

In its infinite wisdom (OK, I’m kidding just a little here), the Texas Legislature showed great foresight during its 1981 session, creating what the state calls the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund but what has since come to be commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund. At the time, policymakers took advantage of a great boom time in the petroleum industry, using the state’s oil and gas severance tax receipts as the funding source for virtually the entire fund balance.

Over the last 36 years, the Rainy Day Fund has proved to be exactly what it was billed to be back in 1981: a fund that has had the effect of stabilizing the state’s budget situation. As an example, the Great Recession created huge revenue shortfalls for the state government going into both the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions, forcing policymakers to cut spending on state services deeply. But the ability to take billions of dollars from the Rainy Day Fund ensured that cuts to the bone did not become cuts into the marrow of those services.

The Rainy Day Fund has also allowed legislators to address other pressing state issues without impacting the budget’s General Fund. The 2013 session of the legislature funded the state’s entire $50 billion State Water Plan by tapping the Rainy Day Fund for $2 billion, establishing a revolving line of credit that will be used to finance a large variety of dams and other water projects in the coming decades. That same session also, with the approval of the state’s voters, tapped the Rainy Day Fund for $2.25 billion to fund much-needed road improvement projects all over Texas.

Even after all those and other large, special withdrawals over the last decade, the Rainy Day Fund today retains a balance of over $10 billion, money that is available to help Houston and other areas of Southeast Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey. In short, the Texas Rainy Day Fund is a pretty phenomenal success story for which the oil and gas industry rarely receives much credit.

Read The Rest Here

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When Will Soros-Funded Activists Invade Houston? Soon.

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Here is what is fixing to start happening in Houston, probably within the next few days:  You’re going to see a lot of Antifa, Black Lives Matter and other Soros-funded activists come in from other parts of the country and begin to infiltrate the community, particularly in minority-heavy neighborhoods.  Their purpose will be to make it appear that the federal and state response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster is racist and ineffective.  We can imagine that these activist groups and their benefactors in the national Democrat Party have had enough of seeing uplifting video from Texas of grateful people praising local, state and federal officials, and thanking everyone who has been helping them.
  • So, in the coming days, you are going to start seeing video on CNN and the networks of mainly younger people loudly complaining that the people in other (presumably white) neighborhoods are getting their help, but nobody’s doing anything for them.  You will start seeing films of such people loudly interrupting public officials who are trying to hold meetings in minority communities around Houston, shouting them down, even threatening them with violence.  You will probably begin seeing groups of mainly younger people staging protests in front of Houston City Hall, with signs accusing President Trump, Governor Abbott and FEMA officials of being racists and trying to commit genocide in the Bayou City.
  • All of these people will claim to be residents of Houston, and no one at CNN, ABC, CBS or NBC will question that, or take film of the caravan of white buses that will likely transport them into the city, if that hasn’t already happened.  Because you can bet your bottom dollar that the folks at CNN and the networks are sick to death of all the public spiritedness we have seen from Houstonians over the last 10 days.  This not good for ratings, or for clickbait to their various websites.
  • Sound cynical?  Sure.  But look, this is the playbook that we have seen over and over and over again over the last dozen years.  These agitators and the fake news media cannot allow what we have seen thus far from Houston and surrounding areas impacted by Harvey to stand.  People of all colors and creeds reaching out, putting themselves in danger to help one another?  That is not the America we see portrayed on CNN 24 hours every day.  If that is the real America, then there is no other conclusion to reach than that CNN is indeed “fake news.”
  • A Republican Governor in a Red State that voted for Donald Trump last November becoming a national star with his even-handed guidance of his state’s recovery efforts?  Does not fit the media/Democrat narrative of incompetent Republican governance.  President Trump and his FEMA Director leading an incredibly well-organized and efficient federal response, and helping the people of Texas in every way possible? Does not fit the narrative that Trump is a racist/lunatic/monster.
  • So the facts and images on the ground have to change in order to fit the media/Democrat narrative, and these George Soros-funded professional agitators are just the people to change them, working in conjunction with the fake news media.  We must remember that these are the same people who have infiltrated Republican congressional townhall meetings all over the country throughout 2016 and 2017, shouting down the elected officials and not allowing them to get their message out.  Why would anyone think they would hesitate to do the same in public gatherings all over Houston in the days and weeks to come?
  • This is standard operating procedure for those on the radical left and in the fake news media.  Frankly, the wonder is we haven’t already seen it happening.

Just another day in Why Isn’t The Justice Department Investigating George Soros? America.

That is all.

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Media’s “Trump Is A Monster” Narrative Dies In Houston

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • We should expect the fake journalists, fake anchors and fake editors at CNN, the NYTimes, the WaPo and the broadcast networks to shift their coverage away from Hurricane Harvey starting today.  The images and films from President Trump’s and First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to Houston on Saturday are simply too compelling and devastating to the media/Democrat concocted “Trump is a monster” narrative for them to continue airing them.  Thus, we can anticipate lots and lots of focus on things like DACA, the debt ceiling and the federal budget this week, even though disaster coverage is without question more lucrative and better for ratings at CNN.  Because this is what the fake news media does in its never-ending role as sad toadies for the Democrat Party.
  • If you want a great example of how the President’s humanizing visit to Houston and Louisiana is destroying the left’s world view, take a look as this piece, which discusses the shock an MSNBC reporter has felt as he’s been assaulted by the angry left  for tweeting a message acknowledging the reality of the President’s visit, and how Houstonians of all ages, colors and genders reacted to him.  Very educational about the true agenda of those on the angry left.
  • Here’s the reality that the fake news media has run smack-dab into over the last week, while covering the recovery efforts in Texas:  Most Americans are just really good, normal people.  They care about one another, they help one another, the rednecks and Cajuns in their fishing boats don’t pick and choose to rescue the people who look just like them first, leaving those with different-colored skin to wait in line.  They rush into harm’s way and start getting people out indiscriminately, take them to safety, and rush back in to do it all over again.
  • For the media people who live in their safe little bubbles in New York, Washington and Los Angeles, this is utterly shocking.  Because their own reporting has constantly informed them that everyone out there in “flyover country”, i.e., the other 98% of America, is a hateful racist, bigots who only want to harm people who aren’t just like they are.
  • I spent most of last week in Las Vegas, at a hotel that did not carry Fox News, and was thus forced to watch the coverage on CNN and, to a much lesser extent, MSNBC.  This turned out to be a very gratifying experience, as reporter after reporter found him- or herself utterly frustrated whenever they would ask any Texan a leading question designed to promote conflict, which is all they ever try to do.  Watching these elitist simpletons try to recover from their shock as Texan after Texan invariably responded with only caring and gratitude towards everyone who was working to help, and to the local, state and federal officials who were organizing shelter and recovery efforts, was a true heart-warming experience for me.
  • These fake news outlets, who have been coordinating with the Democrat Party for the last 10 months to try to create the “next Watergate” out of whole cloth, all went into their coverage of the Harvey catastrophe anticipating being able to create the “next Katrina”.  Now, they’re all down in the mouth be cause a) Houston isn’t New Orleans, b) Texas isn’t Louisiana and has a vastly more competent government, and c) it isn’t 2005 anymore, and FEMA and the rest of the federal government has learned a lot about how to respond to such events over the last dozen years.
  • But for all these left-wingers in the fake news media and the Democrats whose talking points they parrot each and every day, the worst learning out of all of this is that their efforts to portray the current POTUS as a deranged monster cannot survive when they run up against real video of him being himself among a group of struggling, displaced Americans of all colors, sizes, shapes, ages and creeds.
  • Donald Trump isn’t a monster at all.  He’s a real President, and a real American.  And that is a truth the fake news media simply cannot focus on for any length of time.  Thus, ratings and website hits be damned, these fake news sites will now move onto other topics that fit better with their narrative, because that is who they are, and what they do.

Just another day in fake news media America.

That is all.

 

Photo Credit:  DailyCaller.com

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Post-Harvey: Will Texas Repeat Louisiana’s 2005 Money Grab?

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Now that Hurricane Harvey has finally passed, leaving behind in Houston and East Texas a level of devastation unprecedented in U.S. history, the political games around securing taxpayer money at the local, state and national levels to help pay for the rebuilding effort will begin.  Given that Harvey wrought destruction from Corpus Christi all the way up the coast through the Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange Golden Triangle and into the Piney Woods communities of East Texas, we are talking about an area that is home to at least 8 million Texans.  Contrast this to Katrina, which, as terrible as it was, impacted New Orleans and surrounding areas that were home to just over 1 million Louisianans.
  • Normally in such situations, the most heated politics revolve around federal funds.  The federal government does have a disaster relief budget in its normal funding, but it will only be able to scratch the surface of a recovery and rebuilding effort that will be required for the nation’s 4th largest city and surrounding areas.  So, it will be up to the Texas congressional delegation to develop a proposal for a supplemental funding bill to shepherd through congress.  As we have seen in the past, such supplemental appropriations bills can become controversial, and vehicles for all members of congress to try to attach their own pet pork-barrel spending proposals.
  • In the wake of Katrina in 2005, the Louisiana congressional delegation, led by then-Senators Mary Landrieu andDavid Vitter, swung for the fences, bringing forward an initial proposal for a massive $250 billion appropriation that included funding for things like $35 million in marketing funds for the state’s seafood industry, $8 million for alligator farms and a $40 billion request for the Army Corps of Engineers, which normally spends about $400 million in the state.  This breathtaking money grab came after the George W. Bush Administration had worked with congressional leaders to push through $62 billion in Katrina-related recovery funding.
  • Twelve years later, now comes Hurricane Harvey, and a trail of devastation that is many times the size of the impact of Katrina.  Partisan politics in the nation’s capital were already polarized in 2005, but the situation today makes the politics of a dozen years ago seem like patty-cake by comparison.  A Texas delegation dominated by Republican members will have their work cut out for them in securing a supplemental appropriation that is sizable enough to truly help, and will need its Democrat members to work to secure vote from their own party, as many, many budget hawks in the GOP caucus will refuse to support any proposed legislation.
  • The Texas delegation will also need to strongly oppose efforts to turn a supplemental bill into a pork-barrel vehicle, as the national news media will be looking for any excuse to demonize members who represent a state that voted heavily for President Donald Trump.  Things could get especially uncomfortable for Senator Ted Cruz if he decides to become a sponsor for a supplemental, as he strongly opposed the supplemental bill for relief efforts for the Northeastern U.S. in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
  • But as is the case related to any disaster such as Harvey, opportunities present themselves as well.  For example, the Texas delegation will have an opportunity to ally itself with the Louisiana delegation related to a supplemental, given that Harvey also caused widespread damage to the Eastern half of the Pelican State.  Care will have to be taken not to revive some of the hair-brained pork barrel stuff that made its way into the Landrieu/Vitter Katrina bill in 2005, but the alliance of the two state delegations would help to build a strong base of support in congress.
  • For the Trump Administration, the opportunity relates to the President’s campaign promise of a national infrastructure spending bill.  The President has often spoken of his desire for a bill in excess of $1 trillion over ten years to help rebuild the country’s decaying system of roads, bridges and other key infrastructure.  The scale of the devastation in Texas and Louisiana from Harvey could serve as an anchoring point to the building out of a comprehensive national proposal.
  • Never have so many major “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects presented themselves in any region of this country at any single time as we are about to see manifesting themselves in Texas and Louisiana in the weeks to come.  It’s still a little too soon for the politicians to begin talking about all of this now, but as the flood-waters recede and the true scope and scale of the devastation becomes visible to television cameras, the political gamesmanship will and should begin in earnest.

Just another day in everything is politics America.

That is all.

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