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RADIO SPOTS BACK PERRY/SHARP TAX PLAN
by Will Lutz    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 08:39 PM

Texans for Taxpayer Relief has announced that it is running radio ads promoting the governor's tax plan. It is running on radio stations throughout the state, including KSEV, the Houston talk radio station that is home to plan opponent and Sen.-elect Dan Patrick. The group also released the list of its contributors, which include the Texas Apartment Association, the Texas Beer Alliance, the Texas Association of Builders, Texas Credit Union League, Maxxam, the Texas Motor Transportation Association, and the Texas Restaurant Association. The script for both ads are posted below in pdf form. One of them argues that the Perry-Sharp plan is based on conservative principles and another bashes the "spend the surplus plan" stating that it "will create a large budget deficit and higher taxes in the future."

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SPONGE CHUCK FAT PANTS VS. DAMP by The Fish
by Mike Fisher    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 08:06 PM

Charles Barkley is laughing at how Mavs fans applauded Erick Dampier for his 12/12 effort in Game 1. We thought we'd check back into Sponge Chuck Fat Pants' career for some laughs of our own. ... In the 'School of Fish':

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AVERY JOHNSON NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 05:38 PM
avery2.jpgFirst year Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson has won the NBA Coach of the Year Award in a landslide vote over Phoenix Coach Mike D'Antoni.  Johnson led his team to 60 regular season victories.
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IS LEADING CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT IN MEXICO ANOTHER 'CHAVEZ'?
by Tom Pauken    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 05:36 PM

Increasing concern is being expressed in Mexico that the leading candidate for President in Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, may turn out to be another Hugo Chavez, the radical leader of Venezuela who has assumed dictatorial powers since gaining power in that oil-rich nation.  Mr. Lopez Obrador is the former Mayor of Mexico City and is the candidate of the Leftist party in Mexico.  At the moment, he is the frontrunner in the race to succeed Vicente Fox as President of Mexico.  The election is scheduled for July 2nd.  That have been reports that Chavez has been providing financial backing to Mr. Lopez Obrador's campaign.

In Tuesday's Financial Times, a top aide to the center-right candidate for President, Felipe Calderon, accused Lopez Obrador of being another "Chavez", a reference to the radical leader of Venezuela.  Ernesto Cordero was quoted in the article as saying that "Andres Manuel has no respect for democratic institutions.  He has no respect fo the Supreme Court, he has no respect for Congress,...and everything else that he does not agree with."

The race has tightened in recent weeks as Mexican voters have started moving away from their support of Lopez Abrador in light of his ties with Hugo Chavez; but the former leftwing Mayor of Mexico City still maintains a slight lead in the latest polls.  His election could have a major impact on U.S.-Mexico relations which already are strained over the immigration issue. 

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"HIGHER EDUCATION" IN CALIFORNIA
by Tom Pauken    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 05:18 PM

satan a biography.jpgThe Emeritt Distinguished Professor of English at UCLA has some rather novel notions about Satan whom he believes "is the most maligned figure in history,"  according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Dr. Henry Ansgar Kelly believes that the devil is the victim of "unjustified character assassination."

Dr. Kelly has even written a book called Satan: A Biography which attempts to rebut the traditional Christian view of Satan as the fallen angel Lucifer who rebelled against God, caused Adam and Eve to sin, rules over Hell, and seeks to damn people to Hell with him.  Those traditional Christian views are all wrong, according to Professor Kelly,  "For 1700 years (the claim has been that) Satan has been the enemy of God, whereas in the Bible he works for God, he's his prime minister or attorney-general, in charge of policiing the world.  He is one of God's angels, and his job is to test people."

Lately, we have heard a lot in the news about attempts to make Judas into a more sympathetic figure.  Now, we have a college professor at one of the leading universities in California engaged in a campaign to "rehabilitate"  Satan's reputation. 

What will our "learned" minds think of next?
 

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CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AT HIGHEST POINT IN FOUR YEARS
by Scott Bennett    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 12:10 PM

According to the New York based Conference Board consumer confidence is at its highest point in four years.  The survey was taken in early April when the upswing in gas prices was already well under so consumers can fairly be said to be shrugging off energy for the present. 

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PERRY/SHARP TAX PLAN PASSES
by Will Lutz    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 09:48 AM

The House passed HB 3, which contains the revised franchise tax component of the Perry-Sharp tax plan 80-69 Monday (April 24). The House took up more than 60 amendments, but when all was said and done, the final bill remained true to the original proposal. Most amendments to carve out special exemptions from taxation were soundly defeated. In the end, 10 Democrats voted for HB 3, and their voted turned out to be necessary to pass the bill. Reps. Vilma Luna (D-Corpus Christi) and Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) spoke in favor of the bill. The two brother's Keffer -- Jim and Bill -- debated HB 3, with Bill urging a no vote and Jim calling for a yes vote.

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STILL NO WORD FROM THE DIOCESE
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 07:44 AM

The Catholic Diocese still hasn't returned calls to DallasBlog seeking comment on our story from sources alleging that Father Ramon Alvarez's abrupt departure last week from the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe was because of inappropriate sexual conduct with an adult male, or that his departure was delayed until after the April immigration rights protest the church supported and Easter weekend services.

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MAYOR MILLER PRESENTING AT ANTI-GUN SUMMIT IN NEW YORK
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Apr 25, 2006, 07:07 AM

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller will be attending an anti-gun summit today in New York City hosted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, both of them strident anti-gun activists intent on undermining the Second Amendment.


DallasBlog - which supports the whole Bill of Rights and doesn't treat it like a Chinese menu - asked whether Mayor Miller was seeking at the conference a means to adopt tighter gun restrictions in Dallas, and her staff assured us that her attendance was to make a "best practices" presentation to the summit about Dallas' successful Operation Disruption.

The Bloomberg-Menino anti-gun summit, which will be held at the NYC mayor's mansion, states that its goal is to "To create a unified coalition of cities dedicated to working together on the issue of gun violence and illegal gun trafficking, share successful initiatives and best practices and identify definitive future actions and opportunities for collaboration including programmatic, policy and legislative initiatives."

(If you're wondering what an "illegal gun" is, it's notable that since New York has outlawed the possession of virtually all guns, almost all guns in New York are "illegal guns.")

The Q&A session on the agenda is comprised solely of anti-Second Amendment experts - former Naderite David Hemenway, Professor, Harvard School of Public Health; Joshua Horwitz, Exec. Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence - a rabid group dedicated to banning all private possession of firearms, and Daniel Webster, Co-Director, Center for Gun Policy and Research.

Gun rights advocates note that this is an important strategy session to coordinate a media campaign and legislative efforts to attack the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms. No mayors known for pro-Second Amendment stances are attending this summit.

Below is the full agenda for today's meeting, which will undoubtedly be guarded by large men wielding guns to ensure the safety of attendants - a measure most of the attendants wish to deny to ordinary citizens.

9:15 A.M. Breakfast

9:45 A.M. Opening Remarks
• Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
• Mayor Thomas M. Menino

10:00 A.M. Best Practices Symposium
An opportunity for open discussion among Mayors about innovative and successful strategies and polices.
Presenters:
• Mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle
• Mayor Laura Miller, Dallas
• Mayor John Street, Philadelphia
• Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee

11:00 A.M. Q&A Discussion with Expert Panel
David Hemenway, Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
Joshua Horwitz, Exec. Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Daniel Webster, Co-Director, Center for Gun Policy and Research, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

11:45 P.M. Open Forum & Introduction of Key Principles
An opportunity to raise additional issues, extend dialogue on other topics, and discuss draft Statement of Principles.

12:15 P.M. Working Lunch
Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, will present remarks.

1:00 P.M. Strategy Session on Federal Legislation & National Litigation

1:30 P.M. Next Steps
Committing to areas of collaboration and finalizing key principles.

2:00 P.M. Press Conference

5:30 P.M. Dinner Hosted by Mayor Bloomberg

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TEXASGASPRICES.COM IS A GOOD GUIDE FOR PRICE
by Scott Bennett    Mon, Apr 24, 2006, 11:37 PM

If you are driving around Texas you are probably desperately looking for the best gas prices.  After all, they do vary a good bit from place to place.  If so, check out www.texasgasprices.com a sub-site of www.gasbuddy.com.  The site relies on reports from folks like you trying to see where gas is available and affordable.  Check it out.

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