Ouch! Texas Judge Slams Right-winger for Wasting His Time

It’s always good to see folks in responsible positions refuse to play games with far-right fanatics who substitute ignorant, facts-free ideology for honest research and expertise. So we enjoyed reading a particular section of state District Judge John Dietz’s opinion on Thursday that the public school finance system in Texas violates the state Constitution.

The case is almost certainly headed to the Texas Supreme Court down the road. And Judge Dietz’s opinion is long — nearly 400 pages. But check out pages 335-336 of that opinion.

In his lengthy list of “Findings of Fact,” Judge Dietz rips into wild and unsubstantiated claims that the head of the right-wing, corporate-funded Heartland Institute, Joseph Bast, made when he testified in the case last year. The Heartland Institute argues, among other things, that the overwhelming scientific evidence on the growing threat of global climate change is wrong. It also supports voucher schemes that take funding from neighborhood public schools to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools instead.

In his January 2013 testimony in the school finance base, Bast claimed that the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Program, a voucher scheme that failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011, would save the state about $2 billion over the first two years. As Dietz points out in his opinion, state officials strongly disputed Bast’s ridiculous math. In fact, Bast’s claims aren’t remotely close to reality. But here’s the best part of what Dietz wrote:

Mr. Joseph Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, testified for the Intervenors regarding the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Programs (“TTSGP”), a school voucher bill that failed in the 82nd Legislative Session. As a threshold matter, this Court finds that Mr. Bast is not a credible witness and that he did not offer reliable opinions in this matter. While Mr. Bast described himself as an economist, he holds neither undergraduate nor graduate degrees in economics, and the highest level of education he completed was high school. Mr. Bast testified that he is 100% committed to the long-term goal of getting government out of the business of educating its own voting citizens. Further, his use of inflammatory and irresponsible language regarding global warming, and his admission that the long term goal of his advocacy of vouchers is to dismantle the “socialist” public education system further undermine his credibility with this Court.


Here’s the shorter version of Judge Dietz’s opinion: Stop wasting my time, fool.

8 thoughts on “Ouch! Texas Judge Slams Right-winger for Wasting His Time

  1. Far this and far that, isn’t there anything in between the two extremes?
    I’m for anything that is logical and achieves something POSITIVE. I’m opposed to anything that doesn’t meet those crietrea. So what does that make me? Someplace in the middle!

    1. That middle is widening in the attempt to drive a partisan wedge so that the people spend more time bickering than watching those in power.

      1. Yeah right, the middle driving a wedge. Who bases their entire campains on wedge issues. who constantly complains about wedge issues. who is still fighting about wedge issues that were decided 40 years ago because they cannot accept they lost (as they don’t understand what America is really about)?

        Right wingers, that’s who. Demonize anyone left of them. Keep the dolts thinking about wedge issues while they steal from the people.

    2. Hi Beverly. I hope you are feeling better these days.

      Basically, it makes you a person who is willing to compromise. The founding fathers understood that compromise on assorted issues would be necessary to move the country forward. With the rise of the Religious Right, the word “compromise” became a dirty word because they believe that a whole range of assorted things is evil, and it is wrong to compromise even one little bit where something they define as evil is involved. Since that time, American government has become unable to function. When the United States falls and people are out in the streets with pitch forks, torches, and lynching ropes, and crying out who is responsible for this, my gnarled index finger is going to point to the nearest Baptist church I can find and say, “It’s the fault of those people in there. Go get’m.”

  2. When are Texans going to stop wasting their time listening to ignorant people like Bast, and educate themselves about these fools trying to push their BS on all of us? Texas is full of smart educated people who need to realize they need to vote, and vote out anyone who does not believe in science. Texas can be a beautiful place if we stop letting the extremists run the state.