Texas Legislative Watch

A conservative information source for Texas Legislative matters & elections

Obama Talks Rights in Africa, Ignoring the Ones He took Away in the U.S.

Posted by Mike O on July 29, 2015

I redid Obama’s speech here with links to freedoms we have lost during his administration, one he is proposing Africans should have:


Mr Obama has said Africa’s progress is at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their term is over.

He says that he can’t run again even though he thinks he’s a “pretty good president” (Most of those who voted for him would disagree) .

No-one is above the law, not even the president, he adds (Like Obama).

Mr Obama says when a leader tries to change the rules it risks instability as we’ve seen in Burundi. And this is often a first step down a perilous path. (Like Obama)

He says if it’s true that the leader is the only one who can lead, then that leader has not done his job properly. (Like Obama thinks he is)

“Nobody should be president for life,” he says to cheers.

Mr Obama says Africans deserve the dignity of being in control of their own lives. (Unlike Americans) The freedom of speech and the press, the freedom of assembly – these rights are universal, Mr Obama says (unlike in America) , and he points out they are written into African constitutions (Ignored in America ) .

He praises the Nigerian election.

But at the moment these freedoms are denied to millions (Like In America) and, to loud cheers, he says that democracies are not just about elections.

“So when journalists are put behind bars and activists are threatened (Like In America), then you have democracy in name but not in substance (Like in America).”

He says that Ethiopia will not realize the potential of its people if people are restricted (Like in America).

Mr Obama says that the world should speak out if citizens are denied their rights (Like In America) – even if that is uncomfortable.

It’s not that the US is perfect, he says, when the US falls short we strive to do better.

Those of African descent knows what it feels like to be discriminated against “so how can we standby” when rights are denied (Like Christians in America) ? Mr Obama adds.


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Blast from the Past: My 2013 Abortion Bill Testimony

Posted by Mike O on July 23, 2015

Why post this now, 2 years later?  Because much of it is so relevant now; both from the current videos making the rounds, but my prediction then what a disaster Obamcare was going to become.
Plus, it explains my ‘not-100% pro-life’ stance.

July 2, 2013
To Rep. Byron Cook and the Members of the Texas State Affairs Committee

My name in Michael B. Openshaw, I am a 40 year resident of the State of Texas, currently residing in Plano, Texas.  I am most known here in my role as co-founder for the North Texas Tea Party, based in Collin County.
I come to you to testify in SUPPORT of House Bill 2 in the second Special Session and in support of Representative Democracy over the Rule of the Mob.
First of all, I suppose I should apologize for my gender to some of those with an opposing view.  Apparently men are not supposed to have ANY say whether a child is born or not,  We are constantly told “Well, who is going to take care of all these unwanted children?”
To that I say- Parents do.  Being a parent is not about biology as it is about attitude.  I know this because I have adopted 3 ‘unwanted’ children myself- ones about as far from my biologically as I think you could get, but they are very much my kids.  They come from an environment of support where the very WORST orphanage in Texas would seem like a paradise to them.  Winnie, Irene and Godfey all reside in Uganda and- unlike many- sponsors of children’s charities- I HAVE taken on ALL the duties of fatherhood with them.  Including yelling at Irene on the phone as a stubborn teenager, to going and seeing Winnie graduate from College in her wheelchair (Where I introduced a massive tent of Lungandan parents to what a VERY LOUD Texas “YEE-HA!” sounds like when Winnie’s name was called ?). Winnie works now for a charity giving hope to other poor and handicapped folks and I could not be prouder of her.
I could go on about my kids like any parent can, but we are here to discuss abortion; more importantly this specific bill dealing with abortion.  My testimony to you will be unusual in that I am NOT solidly pro-life; if this was a bill that eliminated abortion entirely, I would be down here testifying against that.  I ALSO will be unusual that I have actual experience in the clinical realm- as a laboratory technician and son of a surgeon- that pre-dates Roe v. Wade.
And it is that ancient experience that requires me to correct the blatant misconception propagated by the Pro-abortion forces that coathanger horrors were widespread in those days- and magically all disappeared after that decision was rendered.  In the vast majority of states, that simply was not true.  The state of Kansas, where I was raised, abortions WERE legal, being done in clinical setting for ‘medical’ reasons.  Two doctors in town were WELL known for routinely listing ‘depression’ as a medical reason and off they’d go.  I drew and did labwork on many. But abortions WERE done in day surgery facilities then and were safe, legal and RARE!  (And I can assure you; in the late 60s and early 70s, there was NO shortage of activities that could LEAD to the need for abortion. Just more caution.)
But something happened to this ONE ELECTIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE; it was taken outside the clinical realm by a court decision; the ONLY procedure- available to only half of the population- that has been so treated.  I have no ‘constitutional right’ to ANY procedure; not even life-saving ones.  But in doing so, one thing happened that is most troubling; the procedure simply left the normal confines of the clinical realm to become a meat-market-like commodity, where convenience and price became important- and even paramount.  Indeed, you will hear very grim testimony on the like of Gosnell and other far less horrific instances that brings into question as to whether this is clinical practice- or mass-marketing,
Consider Texas, the numbers and the reality of what it truly means.  You see, I have SEEN the results of abortion, in the mass of tissue sent down to pathology in the days of pre-Roe.  I want you to visualize just the QUARTERLY output of the 83,000+ abortions performed by the Texas abortion industry (and that is what it is; an industry, not a ‘practice’). I want you to visualize a mass of human flesh- with tens of thousands of tiny feet and hands sticking out of it- here on the floor between us.  A mass that would weigh TONS.  THIS is the reality of abortion often ignored; the VOLUME.
But I am NOT 100% pro- life; by any means.  Unlike most here on the pro-life side, I have not put rump in pew more than half-a-dozen times in 40 years; my spirituality does not require me to have a professional read a book to me and get me to understand and believe most of its contents- and the message within.  I believe life is precious, NOT sacred.  I DO believe MOST abortions end a life. (I personally question it does if it prevents the implant into the uterine wall; I can accept arguments either way.) And taking life is a VERY SERIOUS business, not to be ignored because it’s an ‘inconvenient’ consideration. Yet I see the actual NEED for abortion to be available is specific instance and ‘a choice’, one I can respect being made either way.  Certainly in rape or incest (though, if these are the ONLY exceptions, I can assure you the unintended consequence of some innocent being accused- to get the abortion.).  Certainly in the case of GROSS abnormality that will require MAJOR medical efforts to sustain with ANY chance of independent life.  To me, those are clear cut choices that have justification for consideration.
But there are clear-cut choices that scream for a change in the status quo.  Gosnell and the protection received from plenty of evidence that there were problems there.  Reported problems elsewhere, NOT seeing the light of day for clearly political reasons.  The 11th abortion of the cousin of a friend of mine.  The sex selection abortions; globally the 160 MILLION women deficit in China as a consequence of their one-child policy.
But the bottom line to me is what this bill actually contains: it starts to bring abortion back into the CLINICAL world and out of the political/advocacy/industrial world.  The abortion supporters say it will shut clinic doors; that should be a serious concern for them; not because of the door they claim being shut, but what is says about the adequacy of the facilities behind those doors.  Requiring the chemical abortion being done to FDA recommendations, and complaining because that is ‘inconvenient’? Well folks, trust me; you’ll learn all about REAL inconvenience in health care by the end of this year.
I would also point out that the Legislative Chair of our group John Smith, had worked up a proposal addressing birthing centers a few months back that have some of the SAME considerations for confirming proper clinical relations to support hospitalization in cases of complication and passed that on to his representative Angie Chen Button for consideration for future legislation.  Certain members of the birthing community were not only accepting but helpful in preparing the proposal.  We are NOT hypocrites here.
On the 20-week ban; I was pleased to see the exception added for the GROSS abnormality as well as the health of the mother; that to me covered an important point.  20 weeks is plenty of time to make the decision and not be taking lives that are on the edge of when we fight desperately to SAVE the lives.  It gives a level of separation desperately needed to avoid being in the continuum leading up to- and including- POST-birth ‘abortion’.  A line to be drawn.
I thank the committee for their time on this contentious topic and hope they will consider this the rarely presented ‘view from the middle’- which the actual contents of this bill represents.  If all people in Texas actually READ this bill- and not paid attention to the rhetoric or hyperbole of BOTH sides; it is my personal belief over 70% of Texans would support it.    Please pass this bill out of committee.

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Ebola is Coming! Ebola is Coming!

Posted by Mike O on August 2, 2014

OK, Folks: my previous life involved a microbiology degree, 8 years in medical labs, advanced training & research in virology & epidemiology.  Even familiar a bit with the FIRST outbreak of Ebola; heard papers on the development of the P4 facilities,
I tell you to CHILL: Emory is absolutely the BEST place to handle this.  All the workers in the unit will routinely be screened (which will catch it LONG before it becomes contagious) and P4 protocols- which they’ve used to handle the viruses in Atlanta for 35 years- will be in place. They successfully handled 5 Lassa fever virus patients (as contagious; somewhat less deadly)  And don’t think this is the first time Ebola has entered the country, as the chart below will explain (animal vectors).
The chances are at least a 1,000 times  greater of some LEGAL traveler bringing it back, and first showing up in hospitals NOT equipped to handle it..  Got close on that one case in Nigeria.  (I was calling for quarantine of those 3 countries 2 weeks ago until they get a grip.) UPDATE:  Looks like the doctor that treated Mr. Sawyer and three of the other medical staff may now have it, though fortunately, no passenger reports of it – yet.
The GOOD news that patients don’t get contagious until they are symptomatic (the one exception: recovered males can still be infectious up to 71 day after recovery- via semen.)
They are working on a vaccine, if FDA will get out of the way, they’ll be able to use it on people. (60% lethality of the disease?  If heavily exposed, yeah, I’d guinea pig it in a heartbeat!)  Also, they have some small history that transfusions from Ebola survivors can help- and seems to be helping Dr. Brantly  Also, this disease actually HAS seemed to burnout in terms of epidemics pretty quickly; review the link below.
BTW: planes generally do NOT fly directly from Africa.  The colonial powers retained nearly ALL landing rights, so they generally fly through Europe.  I should know; planning to fly to Uganda in February to give away one of my girls at her wedding (and if there is ANY doubt even though Uganda is 1500 miles from ANY of this, I am setting up to work remotely and send my wife to my son’s house for a couple weeks after my return. I was actually in the same district as one of the small outbreaks last time it showed up in Uganda, unbeknownst to me; but so were a few million other people.)  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/resources/outbreak-table.html

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The Collin County Illegal immigration Issue

Posted by Mike O on July 29, 2014

The three minutes to speak (and my far poorer presentation of the spoken word over written) limits my clarity on some point I would like to make in regard to the illegal immigration issue and Collin County.

Perception is not Reality: 84+% of ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ are Teenagers

And it actually is worse than that. VERY few of those older minors are female (who would send such this way??) Also, understand that MANY illegals are now lying about their age, to receive the better treatment that minors get.  No documentation, no proof; gray hair is a giveaway, however. 
And, of the younger ‘unaccompanied minors’, that is also nearly always misleading: the most common scenario seems to be children who are traveling in groups that include adult relatives, neighbors, smugglers or others. Often the children migrating already have one or more parents living in the United States, and they are considered “unaccompanied,” even if traveling with other adult relatives. As far at the ‘accompanying adult’ in this case- well, do you remember in the movie Titanic, the bad guy grabbing a stray child to get consideration and into the lifeboat?   
The normal pictures the media show are NOT the typical population; normally it’s a woman with her small kids.  Those EXCEPTIONAL cases will NOT be held for any length of time; they are being released in short order to the family they are coming to join.  The ones that will be held for longer periods will be those older males; and the longer they are held, the more any gang members included can recruit and influence.
We all do emote for the younger children (being used to try to silence opposition); however, their smaller (but growing) numbers can be handled as the exception they are.

The Medical and Epidemiological Issues: Serious but Somewhat Overblown

Here is an excellent article on the topic, though it downplays it a bit (remember; I did this for a LIVING in my previous career):  I have heard mention of leprosy, the plague, smallpox, and polio: all ridiculous and can be discounted.  The concern are more along the lines of scabies, chicken pox, swine flu, and a few cases of TB (some drug resistant); all diseases we already have here.  The problem is the prevalence and incidence; essentially, they have a LOT MORE of this than the normal population.  The source of this very high rate of illness is simple: the safe house the coyotes use south of the border have become epidemiological nightmares- and the drug cartels are hardly going to open them up for health inspections.  The pro-amnesty folks sat our folks are treating this when they are caught; but remember the vast majority are NOT caught.  The danger is for MAJOR outbreaks when school starts; California had a TB outbreak as did Maryland at the end of last year. I certainly expect SOME increase in certain things like scabies, chicken pox and some respiratory ailments in day cares and schools, how much we’ll see over the next several weeks as the school year gets rolling.

The Crime problem as an excuse

Honduras has had a high crime rate FOREVER and the current gang problems started in the late 90s.  The other two countries (El Salvador & Guatemala) have significantly less issue.  And, as described above, it is false to hope they can escaped that problem here.  Heck, if we need to aid children wanting to escape high crime and gangs, let’s start with CHICAGO. 
And the real question remains: How the heck do they coming up with the money to send these kids? The coyotes are charging $5,000 – $7,000 per person for the trip from Central America, an amount in excess of the average income. My African kids can’t come up with $50 to save their leg- something I addressed just last month.  And this transit money goes to fund the cartels; the more we roll out the red carpet, the more money to these monsters and more brutalization of people on the trail will occur.   They are FEEDING the crime more than they are escaping from it. 

Where does this all Stop?

I commented to my Indian boss (who may testify next week) about the fact that 90 Indians were caught crossing the border and are being held in Oklahoma.  He says that is the tip of that iceberg.  Notice how many Indian restaurants are popping up?  He says the vast majority are run by the THOUSANDS of Indians that have crossed from Mexico.  They have caught HUNDREDS from all over the world, and those numbers will continue to increase unless the message is delivered the illegals are NOT welcome and WILL be turned back.
Trust me, if this nation keep the doors this open and welcoming for long, we’ll start seeing MILLIONS from Asia and Africa as well.  We simply can’t handle what is coming NOW. Those that want to help, I strongly urge to dedicate yourself to working THERE than here like I have in Uganda; you can get a LOT more bang for the buck!

Accepting these Border Crossers dishonors LEGAL Immigrants

My wife worked 5 hard years in her native land of Taiwan to qualify to come here- and came to fill specific technological needs we had at the time.  Millions of other immigrants have done likewise, honoring the Rule of Law to come here.  We cannot make a mockery of the struggles of these honorable people.  Indeed, this latest group is not even CLAIMING to come for jobs, which many of the previous waves of illegal immigrants could claim; most of these are coming simply to punch the ‘golden ticket of being here- and availing themselves of our public services.

Not a County Function

Caring for ANY illegals is NOT a county function and should involve the dead minimum of support.  Messages like this resolution will make that clear and needs to be said.   I AM pleased by the ltest edits to the resolution that makes that clear.     

The normal process should be:

Feed them, treat them, clothe them; then SEND THEM BACK QUICKLY!

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David Dewhurst’s Next Dan Patrick Smear Ad.

Posted by Mike O on May 9, 2014

(I’ll send the bill to the Dewhurst campaign)


Dan Patrick has been known to associate with people with nefarious backgrounds. It shows gross negligence on the part of someone who wants to be Lieutenant Governor not to realize the people he has occasionally associated with on the campaign trail has some questionable associations in his past.

Here is Dan with this questionable character associates with: Michael Openshaw –



young_mike_ghost2How could Dan not know this same individual, 40 years ago, as seen here, had some questionable associations?
40 years years ago, this suspicious character was often seen in a bar called ‘Red Dog Saloon’ frequented by known car thieves and burglars. Indeed, he shared an apartment briefly with an individual that was later arrested and jailed for fencing stolen goods, shortly after this questionable character left the area, moving to Phoenix in the summer of 1973.  While there were no charges filed against Mr. Openshaw and no actual criminal activity was tied to him, Dan Patrick should, of course, known all this about this about an individual he has met 4-5 times and not associated with him.  This shows the kind of poor judgement that is unacceptable in Austin.





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My Personal Endorsement for John Ratcliffe, CD 4

Posted by Mike O on May 4, 2014

It is time. Ralph Hall has served as a solid conservative for a VERY long time. How long? I was in graduate school- and elected Denton County GOP chairman- and Ralph Hall had already served several terms- as a 100% conservative DEMOCRAT- in a district that represented part of that county. He has served the citizens of North Texas for the better part of two generations.
However, the need for aggressive, dynamic conservative action in Washington could not be greater. We need more than a solid vote; we need vitality and drive, and new ideas and approaches. It takes the right kind of candidate- one with political experience both dealing with Washington and the local issues, as well as a principled conservative foundation- to replace a legend. You can NOT replace such with a political novice, who will be devoured by the national Political Professional Class. I am convinced the John Ratcliffe HAS those essential characteristics of experience and principle and for that, John has my personal endorsement for what it’s worth.
A vote to give U.S. Congressional District 4 that new voice is NOT a vote AGAINST Ralph Hall and his legacy. It is a vote to give him the honored retirement he deserves, but is reluctant to take. I ask my friends within the district to consider it in that manner.

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Callling in All Friends (and Favors)

Posted by Mike O on February 5, 2014

Many of you also may know about my decade-long work in Africa on what many would consider charity (I consider it ‘people investment’). Well, that work is arriving LOCALLY and the Children of Uganda  (Here is a quick intro to COU) music and dance troupe- 22 of the finest and most talented kids you are likely to ever see- have agreed to put on a performance.  I have been working with the Alliance of Elite Youth Leadership to help pull this together, another GREAT group worthy of support.  The basic information:

Children of Uganda Tour of Light
Saturday February 15th, 6:30- 8:30pm (NEW TIME!)
Faubion Middle School
2000 Doe Rollins, McKinney, TX 75069 (MAP)
Tickets will be $20 at the door, $15 for kids 4-11, kids 3 and under free (I pay far more than that for a minor league hockey game that is less entertaining- and far less uplifting and inspiring- than this show will be!)  Any additional donations will be up to the individual but I would encourage them (I’m covering half of the costs for the facility- and feeding the entire troupe myself afterward) .How uplifting are these kids?  Well, the lessons in life I learned from some of these kids are what got my family through the nightmares of my son’s medical drama 18 months ago.  The lessons on how to live life through adversity from my first trip to Uganda to meet these kids have gotten my family through some really tough times.  So, please come and don’t chalk it up as a charitable donation as much of an educational expense over the topic of “How to Live Life, Through it All.”  You want a ‘pro-life’ rally?  There is none more fun than this one!Please come; please bring the family.  Come see the inspiration of kids who have lived through things few of us can fathom- and have come through with joy in their hearts and incredible physical and musical talent. A show NOT to be missed.Sincerely,

Michael B. Openshaw
(AKA Mzungu Mike)


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Convention of States concept more terrifying than Obamacare

Posted by Mike O on January 7, 2014

Ever since Mark Levin published his politically naive book, ‘The Liberty Amendments’ there have been those pushing for a Convention of States.  I have personally sat in on several of the presentations of the advocates of this and their political naivety is absolutely stunning.  Their motto is: “Using the Power of the States to Curtail the Abuse of Power by Washington DC”.  I downloaded their handbook and you can read it here.

They are adamant their idea is not a ‘Con Con’ (a Constitutional Convention) but something different in that state legislators will appoint delegates. But their concepts of how that would work- and what kind of delegates you’d end up with- are detached from the reality of the modern political world.

First let’s address what a key fallacy on what such a convention would be like:  they state this (emphasis is mine):  “Two-thirds of the state legislatures pass applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing
amendments on the same subject.”  But this is based on Article 5 of the constitution which reads as follows:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. “

Note a very important point: there is NOTHING in Article 5 to restrict such a convention to topics deemed appropriate by the States!  By the constitution itself, such a convention is unconstrained once called.  And not only that, there is no designation of the rules under which such a convention would operate. That would be up to the delegates.

And what kind of delegates would states send to such an event? The advocates of this approach talk about the number of state legislatures either partially or entirely controlled by Republicans. Currently, the GOP fully controls 26 state legislators, and share control in 6. However, some of these include states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan New York and Wisconsin; hardly stalwarts of conservative philosophy and limited government.  I have been dealing with the Texas Legislatures for several cycles now and desipite 11 of the 181 have R’s by their name, there aren’t 30 of them I’d trust with Constitutional rewrites (and rest assured, THAT is what a convention of States would do).  And Texas is far better than all but about 5-6 states.

And do these Convention advocates think for one minute the socialists on the other side are simply going to sit idly by and let this stuff go on without a serious attempt to take over the process?  Bluntly, liberals play this political game far better than most conservatives and I assure you, their impact will be far greater than even their numbers.  There is word of a liberal group in California all ready to take over any such attempt to change the Constitution.

No, this idea is beyond naive; it is incredibly dangerous. And I will fight it with my dying breath and should such a convention EVER get called, our family will be emigrating permanently from the disaster that will result.

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Time to ask for help

Posted by Mike O on November 21, 2013

I HATE asking for help; I always have.  All of you know I ALWAYS put my own money where my mouth is and RARELY ask for any help in the things I do, whether charity of politics.  But my resources simply aren’t there for this one.  Not since the wife lost her job and became a full-time ‘family manager’ between her elderly parents and my sones medical nightmare last year.

My girl Winnie Nazziwa needs a new wheelchair.  Her current one is 6 years old and has held up well but there are limits in a country where they serve more as off-road vehicles than rolling on smooth cement like here.  Cost of a new one is $500-$600, since they have to be custom-built (custom ones in the U.S. are $2000 up and generally NOT off-road capable; Alan’s was $4k- covered by insurance, fortunately). It would take me 4-5 months to scrape it together, with the other support work I do over there in Uganda.  And I’d like to get it done for Christmas (spirit of the season and all that).

I will NOT be setting up something up a GoFundMe type online link for this.  Such sites take about 8% and I want to make sure EVERY PENNY donated goes to the chair.  And, frankly, I want to thank every donor PERSONALLY not via internet.

UPDATE:  I forgot to make this clear.  As much as I appreciates generous offers I have already received from some, I cannot, in good conscious, take donations from ANY officeholders or candidates for office.  My role in the Tea Party precludes this at this time.

If I raise more than needed, I will give any excess to Winnie, who is just starting a job teaching handicapped kids and it WILL go to support critical needs- and I’ll get reports on every bit of it.

So, if you feel willing, contact me and I’ll be happy to pick up any donations my friends could manage or when you meet me at various meetings.  Or contact me if you need to mail them and I’ll give you my address.  I’ll have a fund jar at my office at all times.

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Associations Speak Volumes

Posted by Mike O on September 18, 2013

In politics, ASSOCIATIONS MATTER.  Often, far more than words

Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas house, just completed the 83rd legislative session that left the Democrats high-fiving on the floor, primarily because a group of about 30 of Straus’s minions with ‘principle flexibility’ repeatedly joined the Democrats against their GOP counterparts to spend more and kill more conservative legislation than ever before. A session one retiring legislator said was NOT run by the moderate Republicans as the previous two had been, but by the Democrats themselves. Even the special sessions had Straus’s own ‘brand’ on them; it was his delay of one week in considering the HB2 bill on abortion that led to the first special session debacle in the Senate, and all the high drama of the second. Indeed, it what his leadership’s refusal to consider a protective floor on the reserves to be met before revenue would be diverted to transportation that led to the third special session as well.

Since that time, several of Straus’s powerful chairs have announced they are moving on: Dan Branch, Higher Education Chair (and one of the original ‘Traitorous 11’ GOP member, who joined the Democrats to put Straus in power) is running for Attorney General. Appropriations Chair, another member of the Traitorous 11 is retiring. And Harvey Hidebran, Ways and Means Chair is running for Comptroller. While the loss of these loyal minions (think ‘flying monkey’ minions from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ more than the cute critters of ‘Despicable Me’) is a loss to Straus, it also provides an opportunity. The shuffling of Chairs represents some VERY LARGE carrots that Joe can wave at people who would be willing to have enough ‘flexibility in principle’ to serve as a Chair for him under a presumptive next term as Speaker (MANY of us will continue to fight the uphill battle against that presumption).

Note that the ‘Powers That Be’, after taking some significant beatings in the last two election cycles, have decided that the pro-life group is easiest enough to please and powerful enough to help counter those evil Tea Party types, who unreasonably expect them to act like full-spectrum conservatives and even reduce the crony capitalism that rewards the friends of the leadership with tax money! With the pro-life movement, all they need was a bill that was, in actual content, extremely mild restrictions on abortions: only knocking down the federal standard limit of 24 weeks to 20 weeks and requiring the clinics doing them meet day surgery standards. Despite the hopes of pro-life folks and the ludicrous hyperbole of the pro-abortion folks, HB2’s actual implementation will permanently close very few clinics (some may move) and will only fractionally reduce the number of abortions done. Indeed, the recent successful Medicaid fraud complaint against Planned Parenthood- where they had to pay back $4.3 million- is what is responsible for a couple of recent closings, NOT HB2. (And those clinics might return- in a different form, location and sponsorship). But all the high drama proves valuable to BOTH sides in terms of activism and money-raising, so both sides play along- and the leadership will take advantage of the inflation of the outcome to help retain power.

So in all that context, it is interesting to note which representatives would show up for a gala event hosted by Joe Straus, run in the same timeframe of a pro-life gathering in Austin. (Note, Joe Straus has repeatedly bottled up pro-life efforts at more strict approaches, just letting the milder stuff through; probably related to the fact his wife use to volunteer for Planned Parenthood long ago.)  Who might be drawn to the scent of the large carrots and have a willingness to forgive all sins of the ‘Powers That Be’ for their acquiescence to allow the functionally mild HB2 through? Here is a partial list of people who showed up this ‘gala event’ from a Facebook posting on it, with certain names in caps. Make of it what you will:

Great turnout for Speaker Joe Straus’ event last night in Austin! Great to see DAN FLYNN, Dwayne Bohac, CINDY BURKETT, Byron Cook, Tony Dale, Drew Darby, Gary Elkins, Marsha Farney, Charlie Geren, Larry D. Gonzales, Lance Gooden, Patricia Fincher Harless, Tracy King, Lyle Larson, JODIE LAUBENBERG, Geanie Morrison, Larry Phillips, Four Price, Bennett Ratliff, RON SIMMONS, Drew Springer, Phil Stephenson, Ed Thompson, Jason Villalba & Craig Goldman supporting our PRO-LIFE SPEAKER.”

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