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Dan Patrick Curiously Missing During Border Security Debate At Senate Finance Hearing

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Dan Patrick based his primary campaign around getting tough on border security and immigration. He even had his signs depict a fence with a padlock on it with the words "Secure Our Border" emblazoned across the top, and referred to an "illegal invasion."

But, since his primary victory Dan Patrick has been noticeably less visible, and even though he sits on the Senate Finance Committee he was not engaged during the border debate that took place at the hearing.

It's not the first time Patrick hasn't jumped at the opportunity to debate. See more on that below the jump...

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The Media Applauds the Romney Campaign of Deception and Distortion

by: David Feigen

Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM CDT

Media pundits from around the country agree: Mitt Romney crushed President Obama in the first Presidential debate. Romney was poised, robust, and energetic, while the President too often seemed professorial and disengaged. Romney's hair was perfectly swooped to the side, his complexion was absolutely immaculate, and his hand gestures were positively authoritative. Mitt Romney swept the pundit class off their feet. By the standard that perception is reality; the press seems to have forgotten they have a role in reporting on truth beyond perceptions. By the standard that style beats substance, the press seems to have concluded that a Presidential debate should be covered more like a Mr. Universe contest than a discourse between the two possible leaders of this country. Mitt Romney did win Wednesday's debate. Not because he won on the issues, but because he is attempting to steal this election by unleashing a string of complete fabrications and campaign reversals, while the media drives the getaway car.  


In his sudden effort to sprint to the center before Election Day, Romney made perhaps his most audacious assertion when he turned to the President and said: "My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am." However, independent analysts assert Romney is being untruthful here, and anyone who has even remotely followed his campaign could perceive this complete reversal. Analysts at the Brookings Institution reported that households with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $87,117 under Romney's plan, while those earning $200,000 or less would pay higher taxes. The Brookings Institution explained, "even when we assume that tax breaks -- like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance -- are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality, the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households." So Mitt Romney is lying about his tax plan, and completing a campaign 180 when he claims he does not want to lower taxes for the wealthy. Still waiting for the conservative cries of "class warfare."

Bank Bailouts

In explaining why he would seek a repeal of the financial regulation bill "Dodd-Frank", Romney asserted that the law designated five banks as too big to fail, and gave them "a blank check," contributing to the collapse of smaller banks. "We need to get rid of that provision because it's killing regional and small banks", Romney claimed. But Bloomberg News explains that this understanding is inaccurate. They explain "there is no connection between the failure of community banks and the provision in Dodd-Frank designed to contain the harm from the failure of a big bank."  In addition, "FDIC statistics show that 37 banks, not five, have enough assets to come under that provision." Romney wants to frame Dodd-Frank as another big government regulator inhibiting growth and crushing the little guy, but the facts are not on his side. In fact, the opposite is true. Bloomberg News reports that "The trend (of small banks closing) is down since Dodd-Frank. After peaking in 2010 at 136, the small-bank failures declined last year to 86 and are down to 42 through the first nine months of this year."  

Clean Energy

According to FactCheck.Org , Romney "made numerous bogus claims" about the $90 billion in grants, guaranteed loans, and tax breaks for energy companies found in the stimulus package. For example, Romney falsely claimed "about half" of the clean-energy companies that received U.S.-backed loans have filed for bankruptcy.  But 26 companies received loan guarantees under a loan program cited by Romney, and only three of those have filed for bankruptcy and the three firms were "approved for about 6 percent of the loan guarantees." But in Romney's defense, "about half" certainly sounds better. Romney's energy lies would not stop there. FactCheck.Org explains, "He stated at one point that Obama put $90 billion into solar and wind. But only $21 billion went for renewable energy projects, such as the installation of wind turbines and solar panels, according to a White House document cited by the Romney campaign. The spending also included $18 billion for transit projects and $10 billion to upgrade the nation's electrical grid." So does Governor Romney truly have a problem with investing in an all of the above energy plan and upgrading America's infrastructure? Probably not. But hey, it sure sounds good when you say he spent $90 billion on windmills.


Mitt Romney made a number of dubious, misleading, and hypocritical claims about Obamacare and Medicare. Romney 10 times, including in his closing statement, stated that the President was taking $716 billion from Medicare patients' pockets to pay for Obamacare. Romney and VP candidate Paul Ryan have been spouting this lie for a long time now. CBS News backed up the Obama campaign, reporting that the Congressional Budget Office reports that "it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers." Beyond the inaccuracy is the hypocrisy. CBS News points out that Paul Ryan's plan that Romney has described as "bold and exciting" and "very consistent" with his own plan makes the very same deductions.

These are just a few of the many lies that permeated Romney's entire performance Wednesday night in Denver and indeed his entire campaign. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have lived by the motto set by the Romney pollster who asserted that "Our campaign won't be dictated by fact checkers." They have lied from the starting gun and the media has decided to let them get away with it. To them, it's about performance. Romney sounded like a candidate should sound, and President Obama did not. He looked like a candidate should look, and President Obama did not. But as mediocre of a rhetorical performance as the President put on and as puzzling as his pacifist strategy was, he won in the most important score: he told the truth. He treated the American people like adults. He laid out a vision of equal opportunity and shared prosperity. As the President put it the next day, "Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth." It is due time the media does its job and let the American people hear the facts, not an evaluation of the performance. But hey, Mr. President, you have two more chances to wipe the smirk off that smug, tax dodging two-face and show the media and the American people that you still have some fight left in you. Please?  

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Texans Deserve a Debate Between Paul Sadler & Ted Cruz

by: Deja Vu

Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM CDT

We now know that Paul Sadler is going to be our candidate for the U.S. Senate race.  We also know that Ted Cruz is the Republican candidate.  A Tea Party candidate no less.  There are a lot more sane people in Texas than the Tea Party.  Texans need to know what they would be getting with Ted Cruz.

We don't need a repeat of the 2010 Governor's race when Rick Perry refused to debate his Democratic opponent. Texans didn't get all the information they needed in order to make an informed decision. We didn't get a sense of where each candidate stood on issues that matter to Texans. People ended up not knowing why their vote counts. Why vote? Texas ranked 50th in 2010 with a 32% voter turnout. Rick Perry was reelected by less than 20% of registered voters.

We need to get our voters out to vote.  One way is to let them know that they have a choice.  Paul Sadler.  A debate is a great way to do it.  I have started a petition to the League of Women Voters asking them to step up and organize a debate.  Please go and sign the petition.  It will let them know that people are interested.




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2010 Texas Gubernatorial Debate: Bill White, Kathie Glass, Deb Shafto

by: Phillip Martin

Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:01 PM CDT

Find where you can watch the debates here -- or stream online and watch it live!

8:00pm - Back soon with wrap-up and final thoughts.

7:58pm - Bill White closing argument: "While Rick Perry and his friends can run the state over the last several years, during times when polls are open you can decide the direciton of this state. Get out the vote, get others to do so."

7:56pm - Shafto wants to construct the kind of world where we can care for each other, and what car you drive isn't as important as how close you are to your neighbor. Says many of our green values are human values.

7:54pm - Glass' closing argument: Says she will be a fighter, and she's heard the top two people spend $50 million to tell everyone why each other is wrong, and says they are both right. You can vote for Rick Perry on November 2, but the next morning he still won't respect you.

7:53pm - Missed that last lightning round question. I was shooting whiskey. Closing statement!

7:52pm - "Beer, wine, whiskey or green tea?" Shafto: Green Tea. Glass: wine. White: coffee.

7:51pm - Favorite philosopher? Glass: Ayn Rand. Shafto: Pass. White: St. Augustine. "Socrates had his moments."

7:50pm - How would you rate Barack Obama's performance as President? White: won't give running commentary, but will give him respect and call him President. Glass calls Obama, "the worst President ever." Glass says, "6.5-7" and is constrained by forces that aren't always obvious.

7:49pm - Lightning round! What law do you want to repeal? Shafto wants to end the death penalty. White wants to end unfunded mandates -- for example, the one that doesn't give local school districts setting school calendars. Glass: property tax.

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Rick Perry Refuses to Debate So He Can Hide From Texas' $21 Billion Budget Deficit

by: Phillip Martin

Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 10:14 AM CDT

Houston Chronicle editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson: "Saddle bags"


Governor Rick Perry wants to distract from the massive financial crisis that is bearing down on the state of Texas. Today's stunt -- and that's all it is, pure stunt -- is his way of ducking the tough issues facing the state of Texas, as he has throughout his ten years as Governor and twenty-five years as a career politician.

Democrats must stand up to Perry on this. We must tell our friends about this. There is a political element, of course, but this is an extremely grave public policy concern. We've only now -- seven years later -- started to recover from the disastrous cuts that were made in 2003, and they didn't even cut that much then. It is going to be twice as worse in 2011, especially if our elected officials continue to hide from this grave problem.

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Editorials From Across the State: Rick Perry Should Debate

by: Phillip Martin

Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:35 AM CDT

Today is Day 122 of Rick Perry refusing to debate. And while Rick Perry's spokesperson Mark Miner has tried to steal that line from me, remember - they earned a "Pants on Fire" rating from PolitiFact Texas for trying to flip that claim around and pin it on Bill White. Ever since the Rick "Chicken" Perry campaign hosted a Bill White press conference, the Perry campaign has been on the losing side of this issue.

Dave McNeely, a long-time Texas political observer and columnist, writes: "We'll see if Perry's strategy of not debating White works" --

Perry has assumed he can ignore the newspapers, whose stories usually run just one time. If he wants publicity, he’ll buy it in slick TV ads that run dozens of times, and fly around the state for carefully staged and controlled photo ops.

That’s particularly so since a Miner news conference several months ago to blast White’s ethics, in front of White’s Austin campaign headquarters, was co-opted by Democrats. The TV news cameras featured the raucous Democrats, including one in a rather large chicken suit, underlining Perry’s refusal to debate.

Since then, Perry’s People are guarding him almost more tightly than the state troopers who shadow him everywhere.

Meanwhile, there's been lots of pointless hand-wringing about how the Back to Basics "Coward" ad was somehow to mean, or nasty, or negative to Rick Perry. As if Rick "Adios Mofo" Perry can't handle a newspaper ad, and as if their entire campaign hasn't lived in the gutter for months. Democrats throw a single punch and -- WAAAAA!!! -- the Perry campaign cries fowl. The fact is that the ad simply echoed what many across the state are saying: it is past time for Rick Perry to saddle up and debate Bill White.

People from across the state of Texas are calling for a debate. If Rick Perry wants to play chicken with Bill White on this issue, he can. But I promise you -- he's gonna lose even quicker if he does.

The following is a list of editorials calling on Rick Perry to debate, as provided in a press release I received yesterday from the Back to Basics PAC:

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Day 119 of Rick Perry Refusing to Debate: "COWARD"

by: Phillip Martin

Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:56 AM CDT

The following full-page newspaper ad from Back to Basics is going to run in twenty newspapers across the state on Tuesday, ten weeks from election day:


A h/t to Mean Rachel, who got the scoop and had the ad up first late last night.

Today, the Eagle in Bryan-College Station editoralized against Rick Perry refusing to debate: "Perry owes it to Texans to debate White":

Perry should debate White, but he won't. He would rather make scripted appearances before groups of cheering, sycophantic Texans who are going to vote for him anyway.

That's fine, but what about the rest of Texas voters who are trying to decide for whom to vote? Debates could help them make their choice.

Perry wonders what White is hiding but not releasing his 12-year-old tax records. We wonder what Perry is hiding. He refuses to meet with editorial boards at Texas newspapers large and small. Now, he won't debate.

What is he hiding from the people he was elected to serve? It's fine to speak to groups of supporters. His ego certainly gets a boost.

But he is governor of all Texans and answerable not only to those who love him, but to the rest who aren't sure.

Perry might not like the questions asked and the issues raised in public debates. That's too bad. If he wants to keep his job, he needs to let Texans raise them.

Previously on BOR:

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KPRC-TV in Houston: Video Editorial Calls on Rick Perry to Debate

by: Phillip Martin

Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 08:54 AM CDT

Houston TV station KPRC (Click 2 Houston) Vice President and General Manager Larry Blackerby voiced an  on-air editorial yesterday calling on Rick Perry to debate Bill White. You can watch the editorial here:

VIDEO EDITORIAL - http://www.click2houston.com/video/24565808/index.html

Here is a transcript of the on-air editorial. Emphasis is mine:

"In a democracy, public debates are a must. It is one of the most direct ways voters can compare and contrast their choices for public office. It's time for Governor Rick Perry to drop the political smokescreens and make himself available to debate Bill White.

Until now, Governor Perry, using all the advantages of a n incumbent, has refused to debate until White releases all tax returns related to his time while in public office. That's a case to make to voters during a debate and shouldn't be used as a reason not to have one. We think it's a lame excuse to avoid facing an opponent, and a disservice to all Texans.

KPRC has made an offer to host such a debate on our station, on our sister station in San Antonio, and any other stations in the state of Texas who want to carry it. Millions of Texans could then decide for themselves who they'd vote for as Governor. Bill White has said yes; Rick Perry is using a political maneuver to avoid it.

Shame on you, Governor Perry, putting politics first over the people you say you want to represent.

I'm Larry Blackerby. That's our take. What's yours?"

Rick. Chicken. Perry.

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Day 100 of Rick Chicken Perry Refusing to Debate

by: Phillip Martin

Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 11:21 AM CDT

Rick Chicken Perry:

Perry's approach is dramatically different from what it was in 2002, when he said, "If two debates are good, twelve will be great."
Let's go back to how this all started. From the Dallas Morning News, "Perry refuses to debate until White releases income tax returns"

Gov. Rick Perry is refusing to debate Bill White unless the Democratic challenger releases income tax returns covering his years in public office.

The Perry campaign told WFAA-TV (Channel 8) in Dallas that it won't discuss debate dates until White makes his past income taxes public.

I could see how, maybe, that was a somewhat reasonable argument, if Perry wasn't the world's biggest hypocrite:

On April 26 -- 100 days ago -- Perry decided he didn't want to debate Bill White. There are plenty of reasons why:

Rick Chicken Perry knows that any time he debates, he will lose. He knows that his vision for Texas can't stand up next to Bill White's vision for Texas. He knows that if voters ever truly saw the two candidates, side by side, that Rick Perry would look worse than Bill White. Rick Perry is in this election for himself -- not to answer unscripted questions, not to appear before the general public, not to actually engage in an honest campaign.

Rick Perry is scared of Bill White. Rick Perry knows Bill White is his worst nightmare. Rick Perry will refuse to debate, refuse to engage, refuse to answer questions, refuse to act honestly, refuse to act ethically, refuse to behave like a man. No macho man, tough guy would rather spend time in California or laying by the pool in a taxpayer-funded $10,000-a-month rental mansion than show up to his job. But Rick Perry isn't a macho man -- he's a chicken who is in it for himself.

Let's watch this chicken dance:


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Day 70 of Rick "Chicken" Perry Refusing to Debate: Bill White Debates Libertarian Kathie Glass

by: Phillip Martin

Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 11:47 AM CDT

Today is Day 70 of Rick Perry refusing to debate Bill White.

Today also marks the first debate of the general election season, as Democrat Bill White and Libertarian Kathie Glass will square off at a league of women voters debate in Kerrville tonight, at 7pm. The debate will be streamed live on the KVHC website. Before the weekend began, R.G. Ratcliffe wrote a piece about the debate, "Debate will go on without Perry"

The first debate in the Texas governor's race will be between a pair of Houstonians in the Hill Country on Monday, minus Gov. Rick Perry. [...]

Kerrville Area League President Donna Robinson said Perry was invited to attend but turned it down. Robinson said Perry remains invited to show up Monday if he wishes.

And I don't mind highlighting what Bill White had to say about tonight's debate on his Facebook page:

The League of Women Voters is a mainstream, non-partisan group promoting voter education and candidate accountability. I accepted their invitation to debate others running for Governor tomorrow in Kerrville. Kathy Glass, Libertarian candidate, also accepted. Perry's handlers don't want him to answer questions about the state's financial condition or all the insider dealing and mismanagement, so he won't show up.

Rick "Chicken" Perry has now held a Perry-White debate ransom for 70 days. There is no justifiable reason for Perry not to debate:

Tonight's debate, meanwhile, will only hurt Perry more. As Charles Kuffner writes, "It’s all right, he wouldn’t have contributed anything to the debate anyway":

I’m pretty sure White is going to spend his entire allotment talking about Perry, Perry’s miserable failure of a record as Governor, and the fact that Perry didn’t have the stones to show up and talk about his record.

Agreed, Charles. And in the mean time, the chicken suit isn't going anywhere for a while...

Previously on BOR:

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