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On the Ground with Tea Party Express in Support of Ted Cruz

-This article was originally published at Hot Air and

For the next week I’ll be down in Dallas and other parts of Texas with the Tea Party Express (TPE) on a week-long junket/bus tour/mobile phone bank to help GOP Senate candidate Ted Cruz pull off the victory formerly known as improbable against the Texas GOP establishment . I’m hanging out with people like former Reagan staffer Sal Russo, who founded the Tea Party Express, and hopefully will get to rub elbows with Senators DeMint, Paul and Lee later this week — as well as other famous conservatives — as we hit Dallas and Houston trying to get out the vote for Cruz.

Two events of note to keep an eye on:

First, there is the Stand with Ted Cruz Radiothon tonight with the TPE from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time. A number of people will be participating, including Rick Santorum, Senator Jim DeMint, Paul, Lee and former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese. Check out more details here, or listen locally at 570 KLIF.

Second, the tour’s highlight will be a rally in The Woodlands in Houston on Friday evening. Details about the event can be seen here, but suffice to say the goal is to get all of your favorite conservatives and then some to show up in support of Cruz.

I interviewed Cruz back in May, and enjoyed getting to sorta-kinda-meet him. Hopefully I’ll be able to make that an actual meeting before heading back to Washington next week.

Check out the interview here.

Refuting Media Bias on Global Warming

-This article was originally published at Hot Air and American Thinker.

In the last few months, two large studies have been published that warn about the dangers of global warming related to coastal flooding in the United States.  Unfortunately, the media outreach by one study’s authors and the national media’s reports on the stories are extremely misleading.

Just Facts President Jim Agresti dissected the reports earlier this week.  According to Agresti, “[m]ajor media outlets — and in some ways the studies themselves — have painted a distorted picture of past, current, and future sea levels. In fact, the studies actually conflict with each other, a crucial fact that has gone unreported in news reports that have mentioned both of the studies.”

What kinds of distortions are present?  Agresti writes:

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On Spending, Bush Was Bad, Obama Is Worse

Bush Obama

-The article was originally published at Roll Call and was co-authored with David Weinberger.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently decided — for the third year in a row — not to pass a budget, meaning uncontrolled spending can continue apace.

Federal spending will have gone up by nearly 60 percent in 2010 dollars from 2000 to estimated 2013 spending. Yet to exclusively blame one political party smacks of intellectual dishonesty because both have failed in the past decade to balance the budget.

Additionally, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had to deal with budgetary fallout from their predecessors and other factors for which they were not responsible. Let’s review some history.

During Bush’s tenure from 2001 through 2009, liberals cite the doubling of the national debt as proof of his profligacy. The debt did indeed double, but not all of it can be attributed to Bush policies. For example, Bush’s first year in office was plagued by an inherited recession and 9/11, which, coupled with other technical and economic revisions, Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl calculated cost $3.8 trillion through 2011. Surely he can’t be held responsible for those unforeseen events.

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Mixed Bag on Student Loans, Transportation, and Flood Insurance

-The article was originally published at The American Spectator.

On Friday, Congress overwhelmingly passed a transportation/flood insurance/student loan conference bill, ends three years of ad-hoc action by Congress to keep transportation funding from ending. While the bill was not as flawed as it could have been, and some concerns expressed by conservatives – including myself – about the political process related to the bill never came to pass, it is still a major disappointment that it got through so easily.

The issues with legislation are not just policy-driven; there were at least two procedural issues. Some good reforms were included, but four major sticking points stand out:

  1. The conference report combined three unrelated bills into one, a too-common practice on Capitol Hill to offset costs (remember passage of the PPACA and the student loan industry takeover, in which the student loan takeover was about $19 billion of the total “savings” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the health care law would have over ten years?) and garner votes by putting “must-pass” legislation around items of lower priority. I am not certain why the bills were stacked together, but I am certain most people would prefer separate legislation be debated and passed (or rejected) on their own merit.
  2. Student loans should not be subsidized by taxpayers. This was done as a so-called temporary measure in 2007, but like many other “temporary” measures it has now been extended. Unfortunately, the extension was far more about political capital and elections than it was about actually making college more affordable and bettering the American university system.
  3. Procedurally, the legislation was passed with a waiver so Members didn’t have to stay in Washington until Saturday. While I’m usually all in favor of Congress leaving town, it’s yet another small indication of where priorities are for many Members – on their own agendas, not on the promises of transparency or putting their constituents first.
  4. As Heritage notes, it simply spends too much.

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