A Psalm for the Political Homeless


BREAKING: #LetThePeopleVote! Mayor Turner Takes Defined Contribution Plans OFF the Table:


Turner Takes Defined Contribution Plans “Off the Table”

Turner and I both testified at the Texas House’s Pension Committee held Monday in Houston on the crisis the City is facing with its pension plans.

We actually agreed on a number of things.  For instance, we both agreed that Houston pension debt is now approaching $6 billion. You may recall that during the campaign Turner insisted that my estimate of $4 billion was an exaggeration.

We agreed that the current contribution of over $400 million does not fully fund the pensions and is unsustainable And we agree that without a pension deal, the City will be facing massive layoffs and service cuts as early as next year.

What we disagree on is the solution to the problem.  As many of you know I have been arguing for some time that the only permanent solution to the pension problem is a plan that ultimately transitions the City from defined benefit to defined contribution plans.  This, of course, is the conclusion that the private sector reached over the last few decades.

However, at the hearing, Turner unilaterally announced to a packed chamber of cheering City employees that any switch to defined contribution plans was “off the table” because all three pension systems are opposed to such a change.  Really?

Apparently the City Council, the Texas Legislature, and of course, the long-suffering Houston taxpayers have no say in the issue.  Oh, and by the way, polling shows that over 70% of Houstonians are in favor moving new employees to defined contribution plans.

The reason defined benefit plans are a financial death trap is that the ultimate cost of such plans is unknowable.  The cost depends on demographic and financial market conditions over many decades.  Any notion that we can predict life expectancies or interest rates over the next 40 years is pure hubris.  And the fact that we have missed the cost by nearly $6 billion in just the last fifteen years shows just how foolhardy the exercise is.  As long as we continue to delude ourselves that such clairvoyance is possible, we will continue face this crisis.  That is why a plan that fairly transitions the City to a defined contribution system is the only solution for both taxpayers and the City’s employees.

But instead of Turner and I continuing to debate this question, I have a proposal to settle our argument.   Turner has said that he is anxious to have an election to eliminate the property tax cap.  So why don’t we give Houston voters the opportunity to vote to eliminate defined benefit pension plans for new employees?  After all, shouldn’t the people that will ultimately have to pay for these plans have some say in what plans they want to offer to their new employees?

Here is my proposal.  Let’s put a referendum on the pension plans on the ballot this November.  I concede that it is unclear what the legal effect of a referendum would have under these circumstances.  But at least it would send a very clear message to the Texas Legislature, not to mention our mayor and city council, how Houston taxpayers feel about elected officials continuing a system that has plunged us into billions of dollars in pension debt.

How Ted Cruz REALLY Operates: Honorably!


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In 2013, after the Kingwood TEA Party had received confirmation that Sen. Ted Cruz was going to visit our group in August, we began promoting his visit as our First Freedom Rally.

In a short amount of time, our Freedom Rally grew to include then TX AG Greg Abbott and two other gubernatorial candidates, nearly every state-wide candidate for office, and a host of local candidates, though only Sen. Cruz and General Abbott were slated to speak.

About 1 week before the event & 700 RSVP’s later:

I received a call from one of Ted’s top staff members informing me that Ted had to cancel his appearance at our event. Turns out that a major national anti-ObamaCare tour was kicking off the night of our event in Dallas and Sen. Cruz had to be there.

After catching my breath and with my heart in my throat, I told his staffer that ok, this is what we elected him to do, and had to hang up and go to work.

My husband then spoke with the same gentleman from the Senator’s office after I left for work that morning, and explained how our event had grown from just the Senator speaking into a large Freedom Rally. Ted’s staffer said he would share the information with the powers that be, but couldn’t promise anything.

The next call came the following morning. When Ted had heard from his staff what was going on with our event, we were told he looked them in the eye and said, “Where have we agreed to be that evening?”

They then made some calls with the organizers of the anti-ObamaCare tour, and were able to get their cooperation. They changed all their plans and hotel reservations for this major national event to the next night.

Sen. Ted Cruz honored his commitment to us 
and then honored his commitment to fight
the implementation of ObamaCare!

Sen. Cruz didn’t have to do this, but this is who he is. It has been our experience that Ted does everything possible to honor his word even for a small group of his supporters in Texas over a huge national tour.

We follow Sen. Cruz’s issues, bills, and career closely. We were informed of his poison pill amendments as they happened, we supported  him. We tweeted throughout his ObamaCare filibuster, and watch all his videos. He has gone to Washington to be our voice and to bring the issues Texans care about onto the national stage.

Sen. Ted Cruz is a brilliant man of his word who cares deeply about Texas, our Nation, our freedoms, and our Constitution. He will fight for us to rein in the regulatory state spending us into oblivion, seal our borders, and get the Federal government out of the way so businesses can thrive, hiring more employees and improving the economy.

More importantly, we trust Sen. Cruz to nominate Supreme Court Justices who will respect our Constitution and the freedoms it created a limited government to protect.

Kingwood TEA Party is honored to support
Ted Cruz for President of the United States.

Sen. Ted Cruz at 2015 KWTP Freedom Rally

A Conversation with Ted Cruz hosted by Michael Quinn Sullivan

A Conversation with Ted Cruz

Hosted by Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans

Gov. Greg Abbott Presents the Texas Plan to Restore the Rule of Law

Reflections on Our Government & the Texas Plan by Robin Lennon

Gov. Greg Abbott: Why We Need the Texas Plan

(Excerpt: 1/8/16, TPPF Policy Orientation Keynote), 5 min.

Join us in ending the tyranny of unelected bureaucrats or men in black robes from ever again imposing laws and amendments upon the free men and women of the United States without representation or due process!!!

Read/Download: The Texas Plan to Restore the Rule of Law

Gov. Abbott Presents the Texas Plan for an Article V Convention: 

(Complete speech; 25 min.)

Gov. Abbott Joins Mark Levin about the
Texas Plan for Restoring the Rule of Law

AUDIO ONLY (15 min.)

The fear of a runaway convention is too often touted by the opposition. It is needless when you consider that we have already lost the Republic our Founders fought and died for. Freedom is worth fighting for. I often hear conservatives speak of the genius and prescience of our Founders, yet they FEAR To use the tool the Founders put into the Constitution for just such a day as today.

Answering the ‘Runaway Convention’ Myth by Michael Farris

Thomas Sowell on the Constitution and an Article V Convention, “Messing with the Constitution” – 1/12/16

The Undermining of the American Mind and Experiment

The Undermining of the American Mind and Experiment

–a commentary by Robin Lennon

The very foundation of the American experiment is to provide the People with a just and free society that grants every citizen due process under law. We hear the term “rule of law” so often most Americans no longer know what it means and why it is liberal and progressive in the truest senses of those words’ meanings. Rule of law does NOT mean that Congress can pass laws for the people, but exempt themselves from it, whether it is Obamacare or insider trading.

Throughout the history of the world after mankind grew beyond the family/tribal/clan models, with just a few notable exceptions, men were ruled by the mightiest who prosper and make laws that perpetuate their rule over the masses. Whether the rulers were monarchs, oligarchies, or tyrants, matter not. The power was always distributed from the top down to the lowliest of the low.

The most ancient exception was the Israelites who were brought out of slavery by a man inspired by their God who gave them rules to live by and a system by which to live. The Ten Commandments and their self-government instituted in Exodus 18 are found in the Jewish Torah. Though the People eventually chose a monarchy instead of self-rule according to God’s principles, Western Civilization eventually found itself clawing a way back toward its roots with a model of government in which all men and women have natural rights which are theirs by birth, not given to them by others at whim.

Time and time again through history, we see the failings of men and women in power. As long as rulers of character and virtue seek the good of the people, all is well. Too often, however, the frailties and vices of the human condition come into play, until it was argued by Hobbes in Leviathan , that the people, ruled by their passions and subject to natures that are all too often plagued with selfishness, greed, and self-interest, cannot rule themselves.

Our Founders argued that given a good education, Americans who understand that freedom depends on the willing fulfillment of duties and responsibilities by virtuous citizens, could maintain a Republic which recognized the right of individuals to govern themselves.

Classical education evolved from the methods used for millennia by the civilizations that developed from Judeo-Christian roots. It focused on teaching virtuous behavior, reading, writing, history, arithmetic, and rhetoric as well as rational thinking over the instinctive emotive responses we humans are prone to. This is the education the American Founders had, and which they repeatedly warned Americans our children must have if our Republican experiment were to survive.

Within the last hundred years, however, the educational methods have evolved from those which empower individuals to those which prepare individuals to take their places in an industrial society. Instead of encouraging every individual to become the best they can be by developing whatever God-given talents they have, we have seen a one-size fits all educational method implemented which has undermined the progress of those most in need of individual instruction in order to equalize the outcomes of education. This not only impedes the steady progress and creativity of society, it harms a majority of our individual students.

Instead of educating our students to work hard to better themselves, our current government educational system teaches them they are perfect as they are. Instead of encouraging reasonable thought, they are asked to consider how they feel about any given topic.

Most parents know how cruel children can be, know that this is simply not true. Being kind to one another and seeking everyone’s best interests are not inherent in every individual. The proof can be seen in the society we now have where a majority of children are born to single parents, instead of in stable families, which are civilization’s way of ensuring that the next generation is taught the virtues, duties, and responsibilities needed for the culture and society to continue.

Instead of business deals sealed with a handshake based upon one’s honor, we now have contracts that set out all the ramifications of someone’s broken deal. Instead of children in homes with two parents, we now have too many children in single-parent homes with government money replacing the time and mentorship of a loving father. We have politicians that lie during campaigns, and vote another way once elected.

The results are plain to see: lowered literacy rates, high school dropouts, gangs, crime, murders, drug addiction, and riots.

We no longer train our children to think rationally, behave virtuously, and protect them from the consequences of lying, cheating, and fighting. We are no longer capable of having a Republic.

What are we going to do about it?

Will we hand over our children at ever-younger ages to the government-sponsored educational experts and continue to march towards socialism and serfdom?

Or will we demand that our government get out of the business of de-educating our children and accept our parental responsibility for ensuring their education?

If the United States is to remain a constitutional republic, it is up to us, We the People to ensure that our Nation stops undermining the American mind and the roots of our Republic.

Bill Whittle Videos

Bill Whittle

Bill Whittle

Bill Whittle’s Virtual Presidency Campaign (12 videos including his Virtual State of the Union that launched the Series)

Afterburner: – To see the entire collection and a lot of other great Bill Whittle and PJ Media videos, a subscription to PJMedia is required.

Firewall: – Most seem to be free to watch

Trifecta: – Most seem to be free to watch

Commentary: – Most seem to be free to watch

Appearances: – Scroll to the bottom to see videos of some of Bill’s appearances

Bill Whittle on King Louis, Imperial President , & the Deluge

Bill Whittle makes the case for history repeating itself.  What do you think?

PJTV's Afterburner w/Bill Whittle – Le Deluge: Obama is Quickly Becoming Louis XV
Watch this video on YouTube.

The Battle over Texas by Prof. Kyle Scott

Dr. Kyle Scott, The Conservative Professor from 1070 AM radio

Dr. Kyle Scott
The Conservative Professor

By: profkylescott (Diary) | June 25th, 2014 at 10:58 PM | View Red State Blog Article
(Formatting added by rhl)

Now is the time to get Joe Straus out

The most important race in Texas is the one you haven’t heard about. Texas Representative Scott Turner is making his way around Texas, taking his conservative message directly to the people, to explain why he, and not Joe Straus, should be Speaker in the Texas House of Representatives. The message is simple: Without a conservative Speaker there will be no conservative legislation. Conservative leadership in the House is required if Texas wants conservative solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. The Lt. Governor and the Governor are powerful positions in the Texas state government, but without a conservative Speaker in the House, Texans will have to brace themselves for continued excessive spending and liberal social agenda.


Speaker Joe Straus

The Speaker controls the committee assignments and which pieces of legislation are put into which committee. In practice this means no legislation is likely to see a floor vote unless it receives the speaker’s blessing. Joe Straus successfully won the speakership first in 2009 when he and ten other Republicans, known as the “Gang of 11”, banded together with the Democrats in the House to oust Tom Craddick. Since taking over, Straus has consistently ranked among the most liberal Republicans in the House, and as long as he holds the speakership, only liberal legislation will get through. Representatives who want the choicest committee assignments require the Speaker’s favor, which means backing his legislation.

Rep. Scott Turner

Rep. Scott Turner

Scott Turner offers Texas the best alternative to Joe Straus. Turner is unafraid to challenge Straus’ leadership. Fear of Straus’ retribution is one reason there have been so few challengers. If Turner loses, he will be ostracized in the House by Straus and lose any influence he might have. Turner has the strength of character necessary to take on Straus. Also, Turner is an unwavering conservative with an impeccable voting record. Rep. Scott Turner received a 100% rating from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and an equally conservative ranking from Rice University’s Mark Jones writing for the Texas Tribune.

Given the positive economic trajectory our state is on as a result of the boom in the energy sector, it appears everything is fine and this is much ado about nothing. In good economic times, it’s easy to look the other way when confronted with challenges. Or as the Latin writer Publilius Syrus wrote, “Anyone can hold the helm in calm seas.” But the good times don’t last forever and the gains during those times can be turned into losses down the road under poor leadership. The time to make changes is when the problems are still manageable and our judgment is unclouded by immediate demands. At present, we can rationally comprehend the differences between Straus and Turner and then assess whether Straus’ values align with those of other conservatives. We have the time to calmly deliberate about what’s best for Texas without the burden of a down economy looming over us. If we wait until things take a turn for the worse—because they will under poor leadership—we are more likely to make a rash decision. Now is the time to act by contacting representatives in the House and let them know who conservatives want as the Speaker come January 2015.

With Dan Patrick as Lt. Governor and Greg Abbott in the governor’s seat, Scott Turner would complete the conservative triumvirate that Texas needs to properly navigate next session and beyond. During the 83rd legislature, Texas raided the rainy day fund and increased its spending by more than $22 billion. Pressing issues like immigration, roads, education, energy and water require real solutions and not just bags of money thrown at them as band aids.

The Speaker is not elected by the people of Texas but by the members of the House. So the best way to get Straus out of the speakership is to put pressure on those representatives. And, if they won’t do it, elect someone who will. As the old adage goes: We will never change our leaders until we change the people who elect them. Texas needs Rep. Scott Turner as our next Speaker of the House.

The Texas Ethics Commission Has Run Amok

The Texas “Ethics” Commission has two new mentors: the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS. Like the Justice Department, the “Ethics” in TEC seems to be what the Commission is avoiding. Instead of probing into Ethics violations, such as legislators getting unqualified students into UT Law School at much higher rates than the average acceptance rate, the commission is seeking to impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall who disclosed violations.

For a bi-partisan scandal of this proportion which reaches into the upper echelons of the TX Legislature, one would expect an Ethics Commission to investigate the problem. Instead, it set about impeaching UT Regent Wallace Hall who is working to ensure the mission of one of Texas’ pre-eminent public universities. By definition, a public university is supposed to serve the People, not the elite elected officials, their friends and families or special interest groups.

However, covering up the misuse of legislative privilege is not the only area of concern for Texans. This so-called “Ethics” commission is also targeting Michael Quinn Sullivan and his organization, Empower Texans, in response to complaints by two of Speaker Straus’ committee chairs. In February, 2014 the TEC voted to conduct a formal hearing into the charges despite the fact that the Commission had ruled they had insufficient evidence of wrongdoing against Sullivan and his Empower Texans organization.

Texas is the last place an Ethics Commission should be over-reaching much like the IRS by requesting the names of Empower Texans’ donors, yet that is exactly what they are doing while cloaked in secrecy also reminiscent of the U.S. government.

We are closely following these cases under the purview of the Texas Ethics Commission, but we are also looking to our elected officials to ensure the Texas Ethics Committee is working to maintain Ethics in Texas Government rather than taint them. We understand that that all the branches of the Texas government appoint the various members of the commission, and we are watching to ensure that those looking out for the People’s best interests are appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House.

Please let us know what we can do to help you ensure that our Texas Ethics Commission protects average politically active citizens rather than persecutes them. Kingwood TEA Party is looking forward to an imminent and thorough housecleaning of the TEC, so that Texas is truly the American bastion of Liberty and economic prosperity.

Robin Lennon
Kingwood TEA Party
President, Co-founder

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