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A Change of Heart

Patrick’s apparent reversal on Medicaid cuts is a victory for poor and disabled children.

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated below.

Yesterday afternoon Dan Patrick, the lieutenant-governor, effectively announced that Texas will not proceed with plans to make drastic cuts to the Medicaid Acute Care Therapy Program.

That’s my interpretation, anyway. Technically, what happened is that Patrick and Jane Nelson, the Senate Finance chair, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Traylor elaborating on the legislative intent behind the budget rider in question and emphasizing the imperative for HHSC to take a closer look at how the cuts will affect access to care. Only at that point would the new plan become official.

And awkwardly enough, yesterday’s news reports offered conflicting updates. The Texas Tribune reported that Patrick had offered a “sternly worded defense” of the cuts in his statement accompanying the letter. According to the Dallas Morning News, though, Patrick and Nelson had told Traylor that the budget’s call for $350 million in cuts was a goal, not a requirement. I can see a case for either interpretation. The ambiguity is in the letter itself. The rider proposing the cuts, Patrick and Nelson say, “was purposefully written” to allow HHSC some flexibility: “If there are vulnerable citizens in need of services we expect you to assess and address them as vigorously as pursuing cuts in waste, abuse and fraud.” Several months from now, then, HHSC officials might report back that they can make some cuts without jeopardizing access to care; that would depend on whether they can find any ways to whittle away wasteful spending while preserving access to care.

On examination, though, I believe Patrick has tabled the issue. That was the right thing to do, under the circumstances, and although he realized the problem belatedly, Patrick is the kind of person who would react to such a realization by doing the right thing. I can’t read his mind, and politicians are politicians; maybe I’m missing something. But for all my problems with his budget math, this is consistent with my longstanding understanding of his character. As a state senator and a private citizen, Patrick has always been a vocal advocate for Texas’s children. His rhetoric sometimes strikes me as schmaltzy and he’s come up with some pretty half-baked schemes to help them, but I don’t doubt the sincerity of his intentions, which he has expressed repeatedly and passionately over the years.

A couple of details in the letter corroborate that view of things. First, Patrick’s co-author is Nelson. She sent her own letter to Traylor last week, emphasizing the Lege’s expectation that HHSC consider access to care before proceeding. When I wrote about the controversy a couple of weeks ago, I noted that I found her contribution particularly telling. The cuts came from the Senate; if the Senate’s chief budget writer was having second thoughts about them, that was a pretty clear sign that the cuts might be avoided. And since this letter is consistent with Nelson’s first one, it stands to reason that Patrick and Nelson are on the same page there. Second, the letter says that the rider gave HHSC a chance to achieve “$100 million in savings.” That figure refers to the state share of spending. If Patrick and Nelson were defending their cuts, they’d include the federal matching funds; $350 million in spending cuts is more impressive than $100 million, unless you’re feeling queasy about the cuts.

If it’s not too persnickety, I’ll note that it really wouldn’t be unreasonable for Texans to expect their elected officials to think about the potential implications of spending cuts before they pass the budget. There’s no guarantee that such situations can be fixed after the fact; if not for the legislators, reporters, advocates and families who spoke out, HHSC might already be implementing these cuts. I hope the Lege takes that lesson to heart. For my own part, I can say that Emily DePrang’s reporting on this story helped me learn not to be so completely cavalier about Medicaid cuts. To be clear, I still don’t like Medicaid. If HHSC can substantiate waste or inefficiencies in the program, cruel conservatives of Texas can count on me to help make the case. But the need for substantiation is non-negotiable when there’s little kids at risk; even us “cold-hearted” fiscal cons should be able to see that.

A number of politicians can learn from Patrick’s example here, too. Ideally everyone would get everything right the first time. But if that’s not possible, correcting course is better than doubling down. As a powerful statewide official with a talent for getting embroiled in controversy and with plenty of critics, Patrick would have had to weigh the benefits to the vulnerable citizens against the costs to himself. It’s a sign of character that he made the right call.

UPDATE: While I was finishing this post, as it happens, Traylor was sending a response letter (PDF here) to Patrick and Nelson, confirming that he had received the message: “I understand your letter to direct HHSC to preserve access to care even if it means the full rate reductions contemplated by Rider 50 cannot be achieved.” In other words, it’s official: Texas is holding off on its plans to gut funding for therapy for poor and disabled children. 

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  • MeNDan always do the right thing

    • Indiana Pearl

      Baloney.

      • go away

      • Hugh Everett

        Texas Democrats should either move, or find a new interest other than politics.They have less input into state governance than Vermont Republicans.

    • Unwound

      im proud to know that you support patricks venture into big government liberalism.

      • hahaha.,..,

        • Unwound

          Man you really lost your creative edge

        • Indiana Pearl

          Yoyoyo . . .

  • WUSRPH

    A Plea to Conservatives

    My days as a commenter on Burkablog have come to an end. This is the last entry I will make. Nor will I respond to any entries addressed to me as long as the vileness of the Troll is openly encouraged and tolerated.

    As I depart the scene I have a fervent request to those conservatives and libertarians who follow this blog and who may or may not have made entries. My plea is that you join in the discussion presenting the kind of well-thought out and civil arguments that can be made for conservative positions on virtually al the issues being discussed on the blog.

    PLEASE DO NOT LET THE LEGITIMATE CONSERVATIVE POSITION BE LEFT TO THE LIKES OF THE TROLL. Conservatives can argue their positions without the vile insults to all that disagree with them that the Troll so proudly makes his specialty. If Burkablog is to be a legitimate forum for discussion of public issues and Texas politics the participation of such conservatives is vital. I know you are out there from your occasional entries. Please speak out for your cause. Do not let anyone have a reason to believe that the conservative movement in Texas is confined to the likes of the Troll.

    P.S, I think it was less a change of the heart then :”feeling the heat”.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Did you contact Brian Sweany with the corrected e-mail address I gave you?

    • Unwound

      this is childish.

      • WUSRPH

        Because of the nature of your response. I will respond. I am sorry you feel that way. But I have had more than enough from the Troll…..He is now questioning the loyalty of all who oppose his views. I find that more than offensive. I also believe that conservatives need to be heard…and that his approach harms their cause. Sorry if you do not agree.

      • You’re just now seeing this? Talk about clueless…
        When dealing with liberals all you have to remember is they have huge egos and cannot be questioned, lack the ability to discuss issues and act like juveniles when pressed.

        • Unwound

          sorry pal, but between being bogged down in a work project (something which you apparently dont know anything about if you have this much time to lurk the internet) and aiding a wife with a broken foot, i havent had a lot of time to fence with mongoloids like yourself.

    • John Johnson

      Your reason for bolting and running are lame. Some may plead with you to come back because you are able to, because of your storehouse of knowledge, share where we’ve been. That is very much appreciated. When you start trying to put a halo on the political process, you have most of us holding our noses…Dem’s and Repub’s alike. Only someone who made their living in this cesspool could ever defend it. When you want to take it further and start defending your actions, you move even further off base. You are a dinosaur. I am an old prick. You worked for someone in government service most of your life; I worked for myself. I expected you to take care of my best interests. Instead, you and you band of brothers took care of special interests because I didn’t have an office in Austin or the $ to influence you.

      • Indiana Pearl

        JJ, stop with the “I worked for myself” shtick. Business can be just as corrupt as any other kind of work. Your business life does not make you eligible for sainthood.

        • John Johnson

          Thank you, Pearl, for that comment. “Indiana woman compares corrupt, ineffecient government to corrupt, inefficient small business people. Country laughing.”

          • JJ did you get your panties in a wad when dems said this about you?

            Republican Anti-American Majority

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/24/1380092/-Republican-Anti-American-Majority

            When did it become acceptable for democrats to use republicans as punching bags and we had to take it?

          • John Johnson

            No, but I guess I should. Maybe throw a hissy fit. Write them a letter telling them I’m never going to read their rag again. Lock myself in my room. Is that what I should do?

          • Now you’re thinking like a dem…

          • John Johnson

            This is bullying. I’m going to cease and desist. Punching on someone with fragile sensibilities isn’t cool.

          • bullying is an effective tactic used by dems….

          • Indiana Pearl

            Yupyupyup . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Who has “fragile sensibilities”!

          • Indiana Pearl

            YaYaYa . . .

          • Unwound

            as soon as the republican party was formed in the 1800s.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Kos suffers from the same flaw as the Bagger sites – screeds with no content.

          • hahaha.,,.,.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Yukyukyuk . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            No. Indiana woman tells pompous Texas businessman that he’s just as guilty.

          • John Johnson

            Pompous? Yeah, I’ll buy that. Part of some corrupt, immoral small business contingent. Naw. That ain’t me.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You complained that you couldn’t have a contact in Austin because you “couldn’t afford it.” I call that situational ethics. You would have played the same game.

          • Indiana Pearl

            JJ, why was your comment deleted when Booksie has a non-stop stream of “hahaha”?

    • Beerman

      Let’s not let the Troll win. His offensive remarks are so irrational they can only be explained as “bait” for folks like you, me and many others that follow this blog. We should just ignore this character, and time will cut-off his firehose of mis-information, error and nonsense. Hang in there, common sense will end his reign of terror. Patience.

      • dave in texas

        All due respect, I think everybody’s giving JBB far too much credit. I don’t think of it in terms anything remotely resembling a reign of terror. More like the mindless blathering of a man who only has two or three things to say and applies those same two or three things to every single situation that arises. And I’m sorry, but the notion that TM “openly encourages” him strikes me as ludicrous. He gets called out by Brian, Erica, and everyone else around here on a regular basis. Erica thanked him for paying her a compliment the other day and also thanked him for posting an informative link that was actually germane to the topic at hand, believe it or not (It was. I promise. Like Molly Ivins used to say: With all this horse****, there’s bound to be a pony around here somewhere.). That’s something she’s done with all of us at point or another.

        Look, don’t anybody think for a second that I’m defending JBB. Nobody finds his mindless, repetitive carrying-on any more useless than I do. But fer cryin’ out loud, stop treating him like he’s a freaking force of nature; he’s just a guy who likes to stir things up and is willing to say vile things to do it.

        • I’m am a force in some minds here.
          All one has to do is stand up to them and watch the caterwauling begin.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hoohoohoo . . .

        • Beerman

          Your thoughts are very valid and appreciated about this situation. I have ignored the Troll for months; however, I let the anti-American remarks set me off. I am blocking out his future remarks completely, and showing my interest only in the many interesting Democratic/Republican political topics expressed on this blog. The political landscape is changing quickly because our elected officials refuse to actually govern our country. Today, more than ever in our history, politicians are interested only in individual ideology and how to take advantage of the government gravy train. I believe there are many changes in the wind for both political parties, and our great Country will benefit from those changes. Common sense leaders will eventually emerge.

          • Indiana Pearl

            How can I block out his comments completely?

          • Beerman

            Just ignore them and move on to the next posting. Patience.

          • Now you’re learning. Grownups learn “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

          • Unwound

            then why do you constantly freak out when people comment on your internet idiocy?

          • hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hohoho . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hoohoohoo . . .

          • John Johnson

            See that little box on the upper right of each post? Tap it and the comment disappears. As soon as you see my name you can make whatever is under it go “poof”.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Wrong. It comes right back when the file is reopened.

        • Unwound

          i think youre right here. its an internet comment section. theres always going to be deranged toddlers. what he does doesnt approach cyberbullying or threats (see BD), so yeah, you live with it, or throw his bile back at him.

          • dave in texas

            its an internet comment section. theres always going to be deranged toddlers.

            Exactly. And much more succinct and to the point than that 300-word ‘essay’ I threw out there.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Ah, but my good moderate gentlemen, when a woman backs him into an intellectual corner, he becomes a potty mouth. He hates women, especially liberal women.

          • Unwound

            i dont particularly think he hates women anymore than anyone else, except himself. the same happens when anyone else gives him what for.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Some of the females who post here would disagree. The sexism is under male radar.

          • Unwound

            yes, youre right about that.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Booksie only diminshes his cause and his candidates. He thinks of himself as an “agent provacateur,” but he’s only a sorry nuisance instead.

      • Unwound

        There is of course always the argument of being a nuisance back. I’ve apparently gotten under his skin enough that he’s resorted to a cut and paste answer because hes got nothing else/frightened

        • Indiana Pearl

          He cuts and pastes everything becausenhe can’t write even one sentence correctly. Hahaha . . .

    • vietvet3

      Sir, you will be missed… Thank you!

  • enp1955

    Too often, our pols think that the way to cut waste & fraud is to simply cut budget. But it never works that way in practice. I’ve seen the same problem in the corporate world: You cut the budget of the wayward division/department, thinking it will reduce waste. But invariably the waste continues while the valuable work gets cut. You cut waste by wading into the affected department and pulling it out by the roots – it is hard work (which is probably why it is so rarely done), but it is the only effective method.

    • It only works that way in poorly functioning bureaucracies. A well run company can manage cuts and stamp out waste and inefficiency.

      • enp1955

        My point exactly. Good companies do it by working hard to stamp out waste and inefficiency and see the results in their budgets. Poorly run companies (and our legislatures) just cut the budget and assume the right things will happen as a result. If you want to cut waste, you have to get your hands into the details.

        • The lege don’t make the cuts they mandate them. The bureaucrats make the cuts, and therein lies the problem. Even with clear direction government agencies like the IRS, EPA, Medicare etc still are run by bureaucrats who willfully use their agencies against Americans.
          The cuts are in our best interest the agencies will purposely distort for their wellbeing.
          Some want a larger government because it is always inefficient and they can hide their agenda.
          Just say no to larger government.

          • enp1955

            Mandating vs. making is splitting hairs. If they don’t give you the budget, then you’re going to make cuts. The questions are where and how. I’m not sure what “agenda” is being hidden, but it isn’t the size of government that concerns me, it is the effectiveness. And I get very frustrated at pols that just keep cutting (taxes, budgets, programs) without doing the hard work of actually improving anything. Every agency, and therefore every bureaucrat, reports to some elected body and there is an oversight committee for every one. I remember the VA oversight committee being “surprised” by the problems in the VA. The only way they should be surprised is if they are not doing their job. It’s time to make all of these people – elected, appointed, and hired – do their job effectively.

          • “but it isn’t the size of government that concerns me,”
            obviously our founders were

          • Unwound

            apparently patrick isnt too concerned with the size of govt either, hes not cutting medicaid.

          • hahaha.,.

          • Unwound

            whatever happened to “cut cut cut”??? not so much anymore.

          • hahaha.,.,

          • Unwound

            I’m glad youre agreeing with me. That was a pretty good one too

          • hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Goodness . . . hahaha . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            HahahahHHahahahaha . . .

            Nuts . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            OMG . . . hahaha . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Looky . . . hahaha . . .

          • enp1955

            Read through the writings of the time and you’ll find that size was an on-going debate, but the type of governance and the balance was actually more important. You cannot define any particulars as to size and expect those to hold true hundreds of years later. Remember, at that time there was no treasury, no highway system, no air force, not even a regular army. Communication was by paper or face-to-face. Planes didn’t crisscross the sky, and there was no such as cyber-anything.

            I suppose you could argue that all these things are not the concern of the government, as they were not of concern then, but I doubt if we would be a first world power had that attitude prevailed.

          • are you trying to suggest the US Constitution is out dated?

          • enp1955

            Not at all – quite the contrary. Had it been written too tightly to control the size of government, it would likely be outdated by now. But fortunately, there is plenty of room within the constructs to deal with a modern world that the founders would never have imagined. All of our disagreements are over the nature of that room. But I can’t imagine anyone that would say that “firearms” means only muskets or that “speech” means only verbal communications or that “religion” means only the sects that the founders knew at the time.

          • so smaller government and larger government had different meanings in 1776?

          • enp1955

            Smaller and Larger are both relative terms – neither can be defined as absolutes. That was true in 1776 and it is true now. Smaller than what? Larger than what?

          • smaller than it is now…today, how hard is this?

          • enp1955

            Finally, something we can agree on to close this conversation out. I want it more effective and efficient, you want it smaller. If it was more effective and efficient, the same work could get done with less people and money, so we’d both win. Done deal. You work on smaller, I’ll work on effective and efficient. And Dan Patrick can go work on – whatever it is he thinks he’s working on.

          • MeNDan are working on cutting the budgets, the bureaucrats need to work on running their departments not growing them.

            How many tax payer funded holidays do bored state workers need?

            http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/state_holidays.html

          • Indiana Pearl

            Watch . . . hahaha . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Look . . . hahaha . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Oh hahaha . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hahaha . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            “The Lege DOESN’T make cuts.”

      • Unwound

        you mean like HP under Fiorina? their stock under her tenure certainly reflected that.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Hahaha . . .

    • Indiana Pearl

      Medicare is far more cost-effective than private insurance. It has an 11% overhead cost vs. 18% for private insurance corporations which are gouging the sick.

      Steven Brill is nailing the for-profit medical community:

      http://www.uta.edu/faculty/story/2311/Misc/2013,2,26,MedicalCostsDemandAndGreed.pdf

  • Indiana Pearl

    Handwaving to exonerate morally debased Tea Baggers . . . I call “foul.”

  • Beerman

    It appears that our charlatan Lt Gov has EG under his spell?

  • John Johnson

    Erica, please tell me that you are not suggesting that Patrick made this move based on personal reflection. Did you not pick up on Rep Matt Krause’s move yesterday calling for review of the cuts to special needs kid’s programs? This is a pretty bold move for a newbie, but I have grown to truly respect this guy. He has all the makings of a true statesman. I feel certain that other legislators were getting flak on this very subject and were pounding on leadership to do something.

    • Unwound

      hes certainly shown to be made of better stuff than most of the rest of the tarrant county legislative contingent.

      • John Johnson

        Amen. My attitude about him has changed a bunch.

      • Erica Grieder

        I agree that Krause is a good guy.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Ms. Grieder: why do you dislike Medicaid?

    • Erica Grieder

      Short version: the program writ large is, at best, wildly inefficient (comparing the cost to the empirically substantiated benefits relative to “nothing.”) It’s also not well-optimized to address Texas’ outlying public health problems (obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes) which are all correlates of poverty–I’m much more inclined to support investments in education than Medicaid expansion.

      • Indiana Pearl

        That won’t help elderly nursing home patients.

        • donuthin2

          In fact it is a very naive response to your question.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Yeah. Let’s send Medicaid recipients to college.

  • What do democrats say about republicans?
    Republican Anti-American Majority
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/24/1380092/-Republican-Anti-American-Majority

    Are you tired of playing games with the simple minded? Then do what I do stand up to liberals and treat them like they treat you.

    • Indiana Pearl

      I will.

      • shoo….

        • Indiana Pearl

          You can dish it out, but you sure can’t take it. Man up!

          • dead to you dummy….go away

          • Unwound

            Then quit antagonizing her. You’re making yourself look weak and bankrupt.

          • hahaha

          • Unwound

            this is getting better and better.

          • hahaha….

          • Unwound

            you keep replying, that means im annoying you enough that you feel you have to keep responding.

          • hahaha…

          • Indiana Pearl

            Why does TM permit Booksie to reply “hahaha” over and over again?

          • Indiana Pearl Beerman • 6 hours ago”How can I block out his comments completely?”
            here’s how you do it,
            1. stop commenting on my comments,
            2. hold your breath till you turn blue
            3. stomp your feet real hard
            4. whine whine whine
            see which one of those suggestions help the most.

          • Unwound

            1. you first.

          • hahaha…

  • Jay Trainor

    You see the glass half full. I see Chris Traylor’s letter to Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Nelson as half empty because he wants to maximize cuts without any idea of what is necessary to continue access to services. If you hate Medicaid, what would you replace it with? I wish we all had a single payer system but neither of us is going to get our wish. We have to deal with reality. It’s time to make existing health care more fair. Isn’t that exactly what Pope Francis was talking about all last week? Aren’t we suppose to treat other’s as we’d want others to treat us? Texas leaders have a long way to go to fulfill that way of governing Texas.

  • Indiana Pearl
  • Sen Cruz’s track record sets him above the field

    “Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda.Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.”

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/what-no-one-seems-to-know-about-ted-cruzs-past/

    Contrast that with Hillary….
    “What Clinton didn’t mention in the Skimm, though, was that she was fired from the job within a week after asking too many questions, according to the Times. (“I found another job,” she told the paper.)”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/hillary-clinton-alaska-fish-sliming-job-salmon-120823#ixzz3nRVpSc5t

    and the next one….
    “Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.”

    http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/02/25/hillary-fired-lies-unethical-behavior-congressional-job-former-boss

    But her helicopter did come under fire…

    ““I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.””

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/8/jospeh-curl-forget-brian-williams-its-hillary-clin/?page=all

  • Point of order for the less than bright here. We know you use the offensive term tea bagger out of ignorance.

  • The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

    Winston Churchill

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_truth.html#Zy32m2cU6SuQUWy9.99

  • Indiana Pearl

    Endless streams of “hahahaha.” Is this what TM has become?

    • Unwound

      yes

      • hahaha

      • Indiana Pearl

        BB, for whatever reasons, has become the stepchild of TM. It will implode soon. I’ll be interested to see what rises, like the Phoenix, from the ashes. Perhaps BB has outlived its purpose.

    • Beerman

      Yes, sadly…

  • 6660splendidday
  • Indiana Pearl

    Oxford Dictionary includes “teabaggers” in its lexicon:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dawn-teo/teabagger-oxford-dictiona_b_362355.html

  • to each their own…

  • John Johnson

    My fervent hope is that this site turns into a “home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.” At this point, it will have become just another insignificant blog site where only birds of a feather stick together. It seems to be well on its way.

    • I agree

      • Indiana Pearl

        The Oxford Dictionary does not agree with redstate. Neither do I.

        Respectfully,

        IP

        • “Those are my rules if you want to play. There is no need to respond about who called who a name first. If you want to be treated like a grownup then act like one. “

          • Indiana Pearl

            You don’t get to make the rules.

            I could have chosen a screen name like Mother Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, or Boadicca, the Celtic queen who slaughtered the Romans in London after they assaulted her and her daughters, but that would be silly and pretentious, just like “John Bernard Books.”

            And you always have to have the last word . . . adolescent.

      • Indiana Pearl

        You have highjacked this blog with a non-stop stream of contemptuous, juvenile drivel. You request respect, yet are incapable of exhibiting it yourself.

        You used grotesque sexual innuendoes to me and other women on this site until so many complaints were lodged against that you were close to being banned.

        And yet you whine about “respect” . . .

        • “Those are my rules if you want to play. There is no need to respond about who called who a name first. If you want to be treated like a grownup then act like one. “.

          • Indiana Pearl

            If YOU want be treated “like a grown up,” stop using multiple screen names and repetive posts of “hahaha.” My son did stuff like that in middle school, but he grew up. You are obviously still in a state of delayed adolescence.

          • Those are my rules if you want to play. There is no need to respond about who called who a name first. If you want to be treated like a grownup then act like one. “.

          • Unwound

            you first

        • Indiana Pearl

          And while I’m on a roll, let me say that your insult to Democratic veterans was repulsive.

          If you were half a man, you’d apologize. I doubt you ever served in combat.

      • John Johnson

        What I have come to understand is that the majority of Dem’s scream compromise, but only when they are the minority party. A few years back, tell me how Obama, Reid and Pelosi were willing to compromise. Now, they expect the Repub’s to offer up some. People like our senior senator are willing to cave. Closer to home, people like Professor Pedant can dish it out, but can’t take it. Ever seen a conservative run for an editor, or the PC police, or their mother for protection from a big, bad person addressing them in harsh terms? I don’t think I have. I have no respect for whine’ers.

        • Yes, I have yet to see a conservative run tell on another poster. That seems to be a liberal thing. Even Robert Morrow didn’t offend me because I understood he had a different perspective. I believe the most hilarious reactions are when someone from TM agrees with me.

          JJ as you are aware we occasionally have differences, and I poke at you about Windy but we’ve managed to keep it civil. That is how grownups do it.

          But you are correct, as the dems lose power they tend to become less civil and less tolerant to anyone’s views but their own.

          Once again if the posters here respect my views and comments I will respect theirs. If my comments offend anyone then lets discuss.

          • John Johnson

            Right on the mark, JBB. I have found over the years that you often throw out a highly controversial comment in a short blip. It is directed toward no one in general. You then get personal slams back at you. You don’t run away; you take it up a notch. Then the squealing starts; then you get four or five joining the fray, and when you keep giving it back to them, they want to call TM and insist that you be punished. When Erica happened to thank you for introducing a pertinent link, WUSRPH loses it. I have no respect for this sort of reaction. I wasn’t raised this way. Glad we could have this back and forth. Since we both have known where each other have been coming from for years, we did not need to really share this openly, but glad we did in hopes others will catch on.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Rubbing each other’s brisket’s,” eh?

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, right.

          • Simple they’re one dimension thinkers.

          • John Johnson

            Poke, poke, poke. Prod, prod, prod. Lighten up. Damaged goods.

        • Indiana Pearl

          JJ, I almost never agree with you, but you ate usually a gentlmen.

          You and Booksie will be talking to each other from now on.

          Adios!

          • John Johnson

            That makes sense. You call me a racist all the time because I state published government numbers you refuse to accept. Therefore, you slander me. Do I run away and whine? Complain about the name calling? I will tell you what I have done… I simply keep posting the numbers. You profess to be so tough. You aren’t. You talk tough and then quit. You guys are quitters.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I accept the numbers, but not your solutions. I define racism is the act of judging someone’s behavior based on their genetic makeup.

            You seem to believe that black folks should just “get over” slavery. Your solution for out-of-wedlock births for black women is not birth control, but forced birthing. Gotta punish them thar sinful black folks!!

            I never asked to be on your team. Forget the sports metaphors and educate yourself. A good coach is in possession of FACTS, not opinions.

          • John Johnson

            I gave you facts. 72% of black children are illegitimate. A equally disproportionate number of these are raised neither by their father or mother. These are Fed figures I am quoting from 2012. Incarceration, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and unemployment were given as the principal reasons. I questioned why none of the so-called black national leaders were addressing this problem. You called me a racist. Instead of birth control or abstinence, it would seem that you would prefer just aborting these “mistakes” and letting the good times continue to roll. You also wanted to keep throwing the number of white kids in the same situation (illegitimate and raised by others) into the conversation, but, while of concern, the proportionate numbers for every other race is very, very low compared to blacks. I am stating fact. You turn speaking truth into being a racist, but that’s your prerogative. I’m not running to TM to complain. I can take it.

          • Indiana Pearl

            About 100,000 black women in Texas are on public assistance. About 400,000 white women on public assistance. Do the math.

            I love the way you seem to know that all those black babies were conceived in “drug and alcohol fueled couplings.”

            For someone who brags about running the “best strip joint in Houston,” you’ve become quite sanctimonious.

            I call racism. Deal with it.

          • John Johnson

            Oh, Pearl…when you have trouble debating, you start lashing out. I understand. Lot’s of people do it. Not sure I ever “bragged about managing a strip club” at 23. I was simply stating what all I had done in my life. With regards to “drug and alcohol induced couplings”, it was stated that two of the reasons for a disproportionate number of blacks being raised by someone other than father or mother was drug and alcohol abuse. Is it too much of a stretch to conclude that they contribute to the conception, as well? If you judge me a racist, so be it. I don’t care what you think.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Lash out”! Holy Smokes, Mr. Wizard!

            Self-awareness is a gift.

          • Indiana Pearl

            This is what it’s all about:

            https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

          • John Johnson

            Racist and member of hate group, huh? Please give me Brian Sweany’s email address, I’m going to turn you in.

          • Indiana Pearl

            What for?

            If you want his e-mail, look it up. Or do you expect wait on you?

          • John Johnson

            It was sarcasm, Pearl. Quit for the evening; you’re slurring your words.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not hardly at all compared with JBB . . . But then he’s barely literate.

          • Indiana Pearl

            And I deeply resent that someone with the knowledge and experience of Mr. W has been grossed out.

            Don’t give me your “suck it up” schlock.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Running to Mommy”?

          • Indiana Pearl

            I didn’t accuse you of being a member of a hate group. I posted the SPLC website. Not equivalent.

          • Indiana Pearl

            So do you! You’re the guy who got banned elsewhere for too many “ad hominem” posts.

            When you paint yourself into an intellectual corner, you talk about gin.

            Physician, heal thyself.

            Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about August Benjamin Smith and the World Church of the Creator.

            I always call out racism. That’s the deal.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Yawn.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Erick Erickson, MQS, Cruz . . . ad nauseum. You choose to ignore them.

          Booksie gets no screen time at redstate, breitbart, WSJ, or National Review. Even Cruz won’t be caught in the same room with him.

        • WUSRPH

          Okay, JJ, you have had your fun. We all know you are a rough, tough big balled MAN and anyone who sees the situation another way is a weak, whinny ball less coward. You’ve made your point….Now stuff it.

          • John Johnson

            “Unpatriotic”, “un-American” and “racist” are all pretty much on an equal plane as far as I’m concerned. You and Pearl and others can dish it out, but can’t take it. You gotten over your breakdown yet? Written Brian to complain about Erica’s simple “Thank you” to JBB? Toughen up or stay away.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You too need a visit to the OED if you lump the above words together under the same definition.

          • John Johnson

            those words are on the same plane as far as being “offensive”. Nowhere is it suggested that the definitions are the same.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Too many “manly” metaphors . . . I’d argue that you’re a Fearful White Guy who dreads the loss of White Privilege.

          • John Johnson

            Why didn’t you just tell me you were having trouble understanding them? As far as your description of me…I don’t care what you think. I am comfortable that my many friends of all color, the many friends of my children of all color who spent hours in our home, and the many kids of color that I coached over the years, see me differently. Adios.

          • John Johnson

            HOLDING A GRUDGE IS LETTING SOMEONE LIVE RENT-FREE INSIDE YOUR HEAD.

          • “WUSRPH • 4 days ago

            TO All THE REGULARS:

            I regret doing so….but the offensive comments of The Troll have reached a new level. He probably thinks he was being cute and entertaining when he openly questioned the patriotism of millions of Americans. But I do not.

            He clearly has no sense of decency…The question is does TM?

            As such, I will not be associated in any way—including by entering items on this blog—with any organization that continues to tolerate his behavior.
            He has said many stupid, arrogant and hateful things but his attack on the patriotism of thousands of Americans who gave their lives for this country, including my wife’s father, goes beyond any level of acceptance by any decent person. It is not just offensive, it is despicable.

            I will regret not being able to continue our discussions and even sparring with JJ, but as long as he is allowed to post, I will not.”

            Like an employee that quits but won’t leave you keep showing up.

      • Unwound

        this is you

    • Indiana Pearl

      Prepare to have your hopes dashed.

  • Interesting reading

    http://texaslyceum.org/2015poll

    • John Johnson

      The one thing in this poll that jumped out at me was the fact that 50% of Hispanic responders were for immigration reform and securing the borders, and that while most Hispanics think young people who attend college or serve in the military should receive amnesty, about 30% don’t.

      • That isn’t what we read from the mainstream media.

        • John Johnson

          Yeah, that’s what I was referring to. I had never seen it in print before, although I knew many Latinos could not like open borders anymore than do.

          • The purpose of open borders is to flood certain areas of the US. The US Census counts both citizens and illegals equally to determine representation in congress.

            “Thus the census counts illegal immigrants and other noncitizens equally with citizens. Since the census is used to determine the number of House seats apportioned to each state, those states with large populations of illegal immigrants and other noncitizens gain extra seats in the House at the expense of states with fewer such “whole number of persons.”
            Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/illegal-immigrants-could-elect-hillary-clinton-213216#ixzz3nbTgZ2z1

          • John Johnson

            I couldn’t get that link to open, but know that even if it is not the principal reason some prefer to allow the inflow, it is still an ancillary result. The fact remains, however, if it is the principle concern of those of us living in the border states, and we have to bear the brunt of all the ramifications, why isn’t something being done? Bottom line…what is Cornyn doing? Our Congressmen? Why are we having to spend $1.3B of our own money? We need to clean house.

          • We get a chance to start this week by selecting a conservative speaker who build coalitions to better America and stand up to those who want to better their party.

          • Unwound

            The tea party faction of the house hasnt shown itself to be very good at building coalitions so far.

          • John Johnson

            They are horrible at it. Calling someone names does not attract others to your position, and truck to tail loyalty is impossible when do many of their positions are so lame.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The so-called Freedom Caucus . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            So you want to pander to the 30%

          • John Johnson

            Pearle, have you been into the gin this afternoon? I’m going to read with the Cowboy game on in the background tonight. No mindless back and forth with you this evening.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Talk to JBB.

          • Pearl is an angry old woman perhaps gin does fuel the rage.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Booksie is an old fat tuv of lard who never met a deep fried Twinkie he could pass up.

          • Indiana Pearl

            For someone who sips a vodka martini with some regularity, you’ve become sanctimonious again.

            Geez!

          • John Johnson

            Not, me. I’ve had a couple, but when I drink, vodka is not my drink of choice.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I thought you drank vodka martinis.

            It doesn’t matter. You’re obviously not a charter member of the WCTU.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Waiting patiently for the phoenix . . .

    • “Indiana Pearl John Johnson • 17 hours ago

      JJ, I almost never agree with you, but you are usually a gentleman.

      You and Booksie will be talking to each other from now on.

      Adios!”

  • Respect-Have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of:
    I respected his views

    “Respect can be such an abstract concept to explain”

    • Unwound

      those who want respect, give respect.

      • like you?….hahaha

        • Indiana Pearl

          Hahaha

        • Unwound

          im not the one weeping about it all the time.

          • trying to teach someone who is clueless isn’t weeping….hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hahaha

          • Unwound

            youre right. youve been begging. thats even uglier.

          • look son if anyone has been begging its you for my attn.
            now go away…..hahaha

          • Unwound

            naw

          • no creep quit creeping in my personal life. Stop your unhealthy obsessing about me creep.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Then don’t respond. Simple.

          • Unwound

            creeping in your personal life? how so? you were the one who went prowling around to find out where i lived.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Bingo!

          • Look creep stop creeping in my personal life…..got it?

          • Unwound

            no. please explain.

          • I don’t need you in my life creep go away. Clear enough?

          • Unwound

            nah. you first. im not going anywhere.

          • I’m telling you not asking you to stop bothering me creep.

          • Unwound

            what are you gonna do, use your second amendment rights?

          • Obviously you’re not capable of understanding when someone says they do not wish to converse. It means you have nothing to say they want to hear, nothing.

          • Unwound

            IM IN YOUR HEAD

          • no you’re an idiot.

          • Unwound

            apparently im smart enough for you to have felt the need to comment to me in the first place.

          • I was using sarcasm and apparently you didn’t get it…

            “Researchers don’t know if sarcastic people are smarter, but they do know that sarcasm requires abstract thinking—discerning meaning beneath the surface—which is known to be a hallmark of intelligence.”

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/people-love-your-sarcasm-really-1440451942

          • Unwound

            whatever happened to “hahaha”

          • Indiana Pearl

            Lots of “comments deleted” since last night.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Your attention is the kiss of death.

          • Indiana Pearl

            He doesn’t want your pedagogy.

          • Indiana Pearl

            He certainly is whiny, isn’t he?

    • Indiana Pearl

      Another incoherent comment . . .

      Hahaha.

      • it could incoherent to you, it is an abstract concept.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Hahaha . . . the only “abstract” you know.

          Hahaha.

          • Look ditch the hate it just makes you look old and bitter.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not as old and fat as you, Porky!

          • old and bitter….hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Old, fat, and STUPID!

            Hahaha

          • hay I could care less what you look like….hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Neither do I.

            Hahaha

          • actually you seem preoccupied with me, my looks and my right to free speech. You and I will never get together quit fantasizing.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Gag me with a spoon.

          • hahaha

        • Indiana Pearl

          “It could incoherent to you.”

          Do you read the stuff you post before you hit “submit”?

        • Indiana Pearl

          NOTE: corrected

  • Indiana Pearl
  • Indiana Pearl

    If everyone who hates Booksie’s “hahaha” comments floods this comment section with multiples “hahahas,” maybe it will implode.

    Rebirth is on the horizon.

    Hahaha.

    • only one seems bothered is you…hahaha

      • Indiana Pearl

        Hahaha

        • hahaha..

          • Indiana Pearl

            Gosh . . . Hahaha

          • have another gin…hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            Corn dogs. Lots of corn dogs.

          • yes I can see that corn dogs soaked in gin…hahaha

          • Indiana Pearl

            If you drank a fifth of gin, younwould be a better person.

            Hahaha

          • younwould? we’re never gonna happen stop fantasizing

          • Indiana Pearl

            You’re quick! Did you just take your evening dose of Aracept?

          • sober up you’ll hate less

          • Indiana Pearl

            Eat less fat and get off your rotund keester. You might live another year.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Another incoherent blatheration . . .

  • Indiana Pearl
    • I’m sorry you have personal issues. Hate will destroy you.

      • Indiana Pearl

        It has already destroyed YOU.

        • I’m happy…hahaha good night

          • Indiana Pearl

            That’s because you have low executive functioning.

            Hahaha

  • Indiana Pearl
  • I dunno maybe I get some too much credit.

    • Indiana Pearl

      You don’t want to play this game with me, Fatso.

    • Indiana Pearl

      And there’s always Weight Watchers for porkers . . .

    • Unwound

      i dont drink. whats your excuse.

  • Indiana Pearl

    The costs of obesity in America:

    http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

  • Indiana Pearl

    Still waiting for adult supervision at Burkablog . . .

    • Beerman

      There has not been any “adult supervision” at TM since Paul Burka retired.

      And, this blog has become a joke and a playground for adolescents.

      They should shut it down and try to resurrect it under another name and format for adults.

      • Indiana Pearl

        I agree. Waiting for the phoenix . . .

  • This is the most informative blog in the state bar none. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you can always go post on WASSUP’s blog.

  • wessexmom

    Breaking News: Erica Grieder STILL doesn’t like Medicaid. Even though this column is about the Medicaid

    she DOES like.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Ms. Grieder’s solution to poverty seems to be “education.”

    • Indiana Pearl

      Mr. WUSPRH doesn’t have a blog.