<big><big><b>We won't stand by while Mexican border violence kills</b></big></big>
Embroiled in an ongoing clash between rival drug cartels, the region of Mexico directly across the border from Texas has become one of the most dangerous places in the world, with more than 28,000 people killed since 2006, a death toll more reflective of a war zone than a nation ostensibly at peace.
Wishful thinking won't keep such an overwhelming explosion of violence from creeping farther north, so we must consider all our options as we determine the best way to protect our communities.
It all begins with a strong border, and a border is only as strong as the forces protecting it.
Four Texas metropolitan areas — Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio — dominate the top 15 U.S. cities in a global study to determine the level of cities' recovery from the recession.
The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program report ranks 150 cities: 50 in the United States, 50 in Europe and 50 in the rest of the world. Austin was the highest-ranked U.S. city and No. 26 in the world. Dallas ranks as the No. 4 U.S. city and No. 39 in the world. San Antonio ranks No. 11 in the U.S. and No. 51 in the world.
Houston is ranked No. 15 in the U.S. and No. 61 in the world, according to the report, Global MetroMonitor, which received assistance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
San Antonio, Houston and Dallas rose in global rankings during the past two years from their pre-recession rankings. Austin stayed about the same, ranking No. 25 among the 150 metro areas before the recession.
The report found that income and job growth in metro areas exceed those of their nations as a whole, which means large cities are leading the global recovery from the 2007-09 recession.
The incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association suggested Friday that TSA screeners would be more help securing the nation's border with Mexico.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday on Fox Business Network that states need to "push Washington back into that box that we call the United States constitution," but said the federal government needs to follow through on its responsibility of securing the U.S. border.
"Just in the last two weeks, I've had five of my citizens who've lost their lives on that border with Mexico, and that is an irresponsible lack of focus by our federal government," Perry said, calling the federal security an "abject failure."
When asked if, in the wake of the TSA invasive pat-down controversy, he'd replace TSA screeners as states are allowed under federal law, Perry had an idea.
"How about we take all those TSA agents and put them on the border with Mexico where they can do some security there?" Perry said. "That's where we need security substantially more than in our airports and what we're seeing out of this bunch."
Perry cautioned that the incoming lawmakers in the 112th Congress "better be dreaming about" cutting the size of government and embracing fiscal conservatism when they go to sleep at night and focus on it every waking day.
"That's the type of individual that will be rewarded by the voters with a re-election," he said.
The possible presidential contender said that will also be the hallmark of a successful nominee.
"I'd like to find somebody with the characteristics will stand up and run for the presidency in 2012 and say, I want to go to Washington, D.C. and help you make Washington as inconsequential in your life as I can make it," he said.
Perry didn't say whether he was that person, but said he had "the best job" as governor of the Lone Star State. "I want to be back in the state being a governor and making things happen," he said.
<em>Where can you go to escape the recession? Try any of these 10 places. Oh, and be prepared to wear red.</em>
Like a massive tornado, the Great Recession up-ended the topography of America. But even as vast parts of the country were laid low, some cities withstood the storm and could emerge even stronger and shinier than before. So, where exactly are these Oz-like destinations along the road to recovery? If you said Kansas, you're not far off. Try Oklahoma. Or Texas. Or Iowa. Not only did the economic twister of the last two years largely spare Tornado Alley, it actually may have helped improve the landscape.
NEWSWEEK has compiled a list of the 10 American cities best situated for the recovery. These are places where the jobs are plentiful, and the pay, given the lower cost of living, buys more than in bigger cities. In other words, places unlike much of the rest of the country. The cities, most of which lie in the red-state territory of America’s heartland, fall into three basic groups. There's the Texaplex—Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston—which has become the No. 1 destination for job-seeking Americans, thanks to a hearty energy sector and a strong spirit of entrepreneurism. There are the New Silicon Valleys—Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Salt Lake City; and urban northern Virginia—which offer high-paying high-tech jobs and housing prices well below those in coastal California. And then there are the Heartland Honeys—Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, and Des Moines, Iowa—which are enjoying a revival thanks to rising agricultural prices and a shift toward high-end industrial jobs.
AUSTIN – Gov. Perry today received the endorsement of the Texas Registered Nurse and Advanced Practice Nurse PAC (RN/APN PAC) which represents the political arm of four statewide nursing associations: Texas Nurses Association (TNA), Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice (CNAP), Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA) and Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP).
“Gov. Perry’s solid record of supporting Texas nurses speaks volumes,” said Susan Sportsman, a registered nurse and president of TNA. “Under his leadership $100 million has been dedicated to nursing education to address our needs. Gov. Perry continues to demonstrate his support by ensuring we have the resources we need to continue providing quality health care for Texans.”
“Gov. Perry recognizes the essential role advanced practice nurses play in providing primary care and other essential health care services,” said Jean Gisler, a family nurse practitioner and chair of CNAP. “The governor has helped sustain quality health care for families across the state and his support makes us proud to endorse him for the general election.”
The Texas Nurses Association seeks to promote excellence in nursing by helping nurses achieve quality patient care through high standards of practice, legislative involvement, and public policy advocacy. The mission of the Coalition for Nurses in Advance Practice is to create a legal and regulatory climate in which Texas Advanced Practice Nurses can use their full potential to improve the health and well-being of all Texans. The Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists works to advance patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia. Texas Nurse Practitioners works to promote the professional excellence of nurse practitioners, and to support quality health care through leadership, education and advocacy.
“Nurses play a vital role in providing quality patient care for families across our state,” said Gov. Perry. “I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Texas Registered Nurse and Advanced Practice Nurse PAC and proud of what we’ve accomplished together to address the nursing needs in Texas. I look forward to building on this success so that our health care system can be more affordable and accessible to all Texans.”
Texas created more than half the jobs in the nation over the last year, according to a report released Thursday.
In the monthly review of the Texas economy for October, Ali Anari and Mark Dotzour of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University reported that the state added 166,000 jobs during the year ending in September for an annual growth rate of 1.6 percent.
During the same period, the U.S. economy gained 321,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 0.2 percent.
The private sector is driving job creation in Texas, Anari said in a statement.
AUSTIN – Today Gov. Perry received the endorsement of the Texas Radiological Society PAC for the general election in November.
"The Texas Radiological Society shares the governor’s desire to keep health care affordable for all Texans,” said Dr. I. Ray Kirk, chairman of the Texas Radiological Society PAC Committee. “We are pleased to announce our endorsement of Rick Perry for another term.”
The purposes of the Texas Radiological Society, as a chapter of the American College of Radiology, is to serve the specialty of radiology in Texas by advancing the science, education and practice of radiology; improving radiologic service to patients and the medical community; fostering closer fellowship among radiologists; addressing the economics of radiology; and establishing and maintaining high medical and ethical standards.
Established in 2004, the TRS PAC remains committed to a mission to positively impact the future of radiology in Texas by supporting the legislative agenda of the Texas Radiological Society.
“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the professional men and women of the Texas Radiological Society PAC,” said Gov. Perry. “The medical and ethical standards established by the radiological society play a vital role in creating high quality and affordable health care for Texas families. I look forward to continuing to build and maintain a high quality of life for every Texan.”
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) HOMEPAC for the November election.
“Gov. Perry’s ongoing commitment to keep taxes low and a limited government demonstrates his keen understanding on how to keep Texas open for business and the envy of the nation,” said Randy Bowling, chairman of the HOMEPAC Board of Trustees. “We are proud to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for the general election.”
Founded in 1946, the Texas Association of Builders is an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders and has 34 local home builders associations across Texas. With a membership of 11,000 representing 600,000 jobs and $30 billion of the Texas economy, the Texas Association of Builders plays a crucial role in providing housing for Texans.
The TAB staff also works closely with elected state officials and regulatory agencies in the development and adoption of regulations, codes and standards for housing with the goal of creating safe, quality and common sense construction standards.
“I am truly honored to receive the endorsement of the Texas Association of Builders HOMEPAC who has worked with me to create the economic climate so that homes across the state can be built,” said Gov. Perry. “Garnering the support of a group of people who spend every day building is especially fitting, because I have dedicated most of my adult life working to build Texas into a place where people are free to pursue their dreams with less worry about government interference.”
The September state unemployment numbers came out last Friday, and we couldn't help noticing that three of the four states with the highest job losses were California (-63,500), New York (-37,600) and New Jersey (-20,200). The other was Massachusetts (-20,900). Texas, meanwhile, gained 4,000 jobs.
This continues a longer term trend.Over the last year, as the economy was beginning to grow again, the Lone Star State has led the nation with the addition of nearly 153,000 jobs, while California surrendered 43,700, New Jersey lost 42,300 and New York dropped 14,600. This superior jobs recovery builds on the fact that Texas also weathered the national recession better than most states. According to a new Texas Public Policy Foundation study, Texas experienced a decline of 2.3% from its peak employment, while California fell nearly four times further, with 8.7% of jobs vanishing.
These hiring statistics confirm that for business Texas is the new California—as the likes of Austin, Dallas and San Antonio have become destinations for investment and entrepreneurship. Texas has become a mecca for high tech, venture capital, aeronautics, health care and even industrial manufacturing like the building of cars and trucks.
Meanwhile, the Golden State, New York and New Jersey have been slouching toward slow-growth European status. New Jersey is at least working to get its spending and taxes under control with Chris Christie as Governor, though its state and local tax burden remains the nation's highest and its business tax climate is the worst, according to the Tax Foundation.
The migration of factories, capital and jobs to states like Texas is no accident. Texas is a right to work state, meaning that workers cannot be compelled to join a union. Texas also has no income tax, which gives its firms a roughly 10% cost advantage over a "progressive" state like California.
There is also a lesson here for Washington. The job-free zones of California, New Jersey and New York each tax the rich more than nearly all other states. In these states the top 1% wealthiest taxpayers bear roughly 40% of the state income tax burden, but their budgets are still a mess and the job losses continue. If the next crop of Governors and the 112th Congress want faster growth and more job creation, they'll avoid the mistakes of California and New York and learn from Texas.
AUSTIN – Today Gov. Perry received the support of the Texas Dental Association DENPAC for the general election this November.
“Gov. Perry has been a true advocate in ensuring the medical industry’s success in Texas,” said Warren Branch, chairman of the Texas Dental Association DENPAC. “He has tirelessly fought against frivolous lawsuits, allowing the medical community to provide quality health care for all Texans. This type of understanding and proven leadership is exactly what Texas needs to continue being a national economic leader. We are proud to support Gov. Perry because we believe in his leadership.”
Along with the practice of dentistry, DENPAC promotes and protects the dental health of the people of Texas. The Texas Dental Association advocates for the funding of charitable programs such as CHIP and MEDICAID and strives to keep these programs available to patients in need.
“It is an honor to receive the support of the professional men and women from the Texas Dental Association DENPAC,” said Gov. Perry. “The dental industry is a crucial part of Texans’ overall health, and I will continue to protect our quality of life. Working together, I know we can maintain Texas as a place where people can continue to have access to good quality dental care, an opportunity to find a job and raise a family for generations to come.”
The Texas Dental Association DENPAC joins the following organizations in their endorsement of Gov. Perry in the general election: