Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Col. Brian Birdwell ran for the Texas State Senate seat in District 22 in a special run-off election with Republican party establishment candidate - and former State Senator - David Sibley. Sibley was definitely the establishment's favorite, getting the support of George W. Bush and other well known Texas politicians. Birdwell's story is that of a Tea Party candidate on steroids and it clearly helped him defeat Sibley by 3000 votes on June 22nd.

Via the Texas Tribune:
What Birdwell lacked in experience, he made up for in narrative. He was working in the Pentagon on 9/11, was burned badly when terrorists crashed an airliner into the building, recovered after a long convalescence and is now a public speaker and, with his wife, the operator of a nonprofit called Face the Fire that combines a Christian ministry with aid for burn victims and their families. He nearly ran for the Texas House a few years ago — against Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland — and decided against it.
Working at the Lynn Woolley Show, I had the opportunity to hear the Logic Czar interview Birdwell on more than one occasion and his story is utterly fascinating. Receiving a first hand account from someone who was not only in the Pentagon when it was attacked, but suffered severe burns from the jet fuel, is enthralling to say the least. Birdwell understands who America's enemies are and comes across as an uncompromising patriot on every conservative issue Lynn threw at him. It is welcome news that Birdwell will be representing the Texas state Senate in District 22 until January.

Birdwell's victory was a run-off to fill the vacancy left by Kip Averitt, who resigned his seat recently. Averitt has said that he doesn't want to run again in November and if you read the tea leaves, a Sibley victory would have almost certainly guaranteed that he wouldn't. As the Tribune reports, a Birdwell victory on the other hand, was sure to present a different scenario.

Via the Tribune:
It’s not David Sibley, the George W. Bush-backed former state senator, who has Averitt worried. It’s his challenger, Brian Birdwell, a fellow Republican and a 9/11 survivor whose detractors have alleged doesn’t meet legal residency requirements to represent Senate District 22 in the upper chamber of the Legislature.
The issue surrounding Birdwell concerns requirements by the Texas State Senate that candidates reside in the state for five years. Indications are that Birdwell moved to Texas in 2007. Averitt's name is still on the November ballot. He was apparently willing to take it off if Sibley won. A judge ruled in Birdwell's favor prior to the June 22nd run-off according but the Waco Tribune reported on Birdwell's eligibility being called into question:
Legal experts said a district court judge should have refused to hear a case brought by state Senate candidate Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, who sought in late April to prove in court that he met residency requirements.

On April 20, Birdwell petitioned the Hood County District Court to issue what’s called a declaratory judgment, but in his lawsuit he didn’t name any other parties.

Six days later, Judge William Brigham, a retired appeals court judge assigned to the case, affirmed that Birdwell had been a state resident for the past five years, thus meeting a constitutional requirement for Senate candidates.
Lost in all of this is that the voters have spoken. What will be interesting to watch is how Sibley handles defeat. Will he and Averitt bow out gracefully, letting the voice of the voters stand or will he take the lead of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist?

READ MORE about Col. Birdwell HERE.

More at the Texas Tribune.


As the oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew, keeping it in the news, more and more layers to the overall story seem to be getting simultaneously peeled back. The latest installment includes the relationship between current Energy Secretary Steven Chu and BP in 2007. Almost equally disturbing is the support for Cap & Trade on the part of disgraced BP Executive Tony Hayward at the same time.

First, the video of Chu in 2007, courtesy of Verum Serum. Take note of how Chu says that his partnership with BP will actually "Help Save the World".

Uh, Steve, how's that whole "save the world" thing working out?

Now on to Hayward. Taken directly from the BP website, Hayward had quite the affinity for Cap and Trade as recently as 2007. Hayward's own words - thanks again to VS:
From BP’s perspective, the evidence that climate change is happening, and that it is manmade, is mounting all the time. As the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found, the evidence is almost overwhelming. We could wait until the science is 100% certain, but BP believes that, as an energy company, it has a duty to act pre-emptively. When you balance the likely impacts of not taking action against the real opportunities that exist to take action, it is difficult to believe that humanity will not move towards a solution to climate change…

We need to ensure that the costs of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are included in the price we pay for everything – whether it be a television, a train journey, or switching on a light – all should reflect the cost of emissions in their price.

This can be achieved through a Cap and Trade system, taxation, or regulation.
Time for another quick rundown of some very pertinent facts.

* In 2007, BP's Hayward and Energy Secretary Chu were partnered up to "save the world" through a scenario that relied heavily on Cap and Trade.

* Over the last 20 years, BP has given more in campaign contributions to Barack Obama than any other political candidate.

* Last week, BP agreed to give Obama $20 Billion with no cap.

Do the words "incestuous relationship" come to mind?

* Beginning on February 13th, BP was communicating with MMS about the red flags that led to the actual April 20th explosion.

* In March, Obama announced plans to explore offshore drilling expansion.

* The explosion happened on April 20th.

* Obama subsequently called for a six month moratorium on offshore drilling.

* On June 22nd, a Federal Judge in Louisiana struck down Obama's moratorium. Almost immediately, Obama appealed the ruling.

There's not just a mess in the Gulf. There's a mess in the White House.

h/t to Verum Serum


We learned some time ago how Barack Obama reacts to court rulings he doesn't like - he stomps, he stammers, he pouts, and he yammers. In the latest example, he does so vicariously through Department of Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar. On June 22nd, a Federal Judge in Louisiana struck down Obama's offshore drilling moratorium. In response - also on June 22nd - the Obama administration appealed the decision as Salazar simultaneously issued a statement saying he will issue a new drilling ban.

Salazar's move in particular carries with it chutzpah on steroids. As head of the Interior Department, Salazar oversees the Minerals Management Service (MMS). This fact is especially relevant because BP was actually in communication with MMS as early as February regarding concerns about the safety of the Deep Water Horizon rig. When viewed in that context, it's safe to say that Salazar is advocating a punitive course of action against all oil companies that drill offshore, all employees that work on those rigs, and any industries that help keep them running. This amounts to penalizing others for your own Department's incompetence. MMS - and by extension the Dept. of Interior - appears to have some culpability relative to the BP disaster while other oil companies have zero. This ranks right up there with having a tax cheat heading the Treasury Department.

Check out how MSNBC reports on the story:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drillingafter a federal judge struck down the existing one.

Salazar said in a statement that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier in the day complained there wasn't enough justification for it.
When a judge rules against Obama, that ruling apparently involves complaining, which is what District Judge Martin Feldman did in the eyes of MSNBC in this case.


After reporting on Salazar's intentions without challenging them and coming off as bitter toward the judge, MSNBC takes it a step further, implying that the judge's ruling may have had something to do with ownership of oil stock. Not only do they report on it without any facts that his decision was related to such a premise, MSNBC doesn't even seem to know what stock he owns.
Feldman's financial disclosure report for 2008, the most recent available, shows holdings in at least eight petroleum companies or companies that invest in them, including Transocean Ltd., which owned the Deepwater Horizon. The report shows that most of his holdings were valued at less than $15,000, though it did not provide specific amounts.

It's not clear whether Feldman still has all of the energy industry stock listed in the report. Recent court filings indicate he may no longer have Transocean shares. He did not own any shares in big companies such as BP PLC, which was leasing the rig that exploded, or ExxonMobil.

Feldman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his current holdings.
This is despicable reporting - yeah, I know it's MSNBC but this may be a new low. Ok, maybe not but it's still a dereliction of journalistic integrity. Why SHOULD Feldman dignify insinuations that his decision was corrupt due to a conflict of interest? As a judge, he deals in facts exclusively. Reporters making such claims had none.

MSNBC is implying a conflict of interest without any facts because it doesn't like the ruling. Why call into question the Judge's motives for ruling a certain way without investigating the evidence that Salazar's Department dropped the ball with respect to red flags coming from Deep Water Horizon, beginning back in February?

This episode is yet another in a long line of examples that illustrate Obama's immaturity. When something doesn't go his way, he can't accept it. This is particularly obvious when it comes to the courts. We all remember his reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC; he called out the Supreme Court Justices at the State of the Union and began work on getting around that ruling, which served to demonize the five Justices who ruled in favor of Citizens United.

Of course, we also have the FCC attempting to circumvent a court ruling that said the former had no right to regulate the internet as a utility, thereby restricting access to web content.

h/t to Free Republic
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