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Chad’s Morning Brief: Ted Cruz / David Dewhurst Battle Takes Center Stage, Disillusioned Voters, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 28, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

1. Memorial Day

Yes, LFN is on the air today and live. Though today’s show will be mainly about politics and the latest in the primary races, we hope that you will take some time to think about what Memorial Day means. So many people tend to forget about what Memorial Day is. Many Americans view it as the weekend to relax, have fun, and kick-off Summer. I’m not trying to be a downer, but lets really take a moment to think about all the men and women who have died fighting for this great country. Yes, enjoy your cookouts, pools, and lakes by all means, but while doing so today just think of what many have given up for this country.

Here is an interesting piece from National Geographic about some who want to change up Memorial Day. What are your thoughts?

2. Dewhurst/Cruz Race in the Spotlight (link)

The U.S. Senate race here in Texas is in the national spotlight after tons of endorsements from outside of Texas. Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Rick Santorum are just some of the national names who have inserted themselves into the race.

As the candidates appeal to Texans, national figures are not just watching. Cruz’s supporters include Palin, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and groups such as the limited-government Club for Growth, which has run ads bashing Dewhurst.

Dewhurst, meanwhile, has the backing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Michael Reagan and traditional GOP supporters such as Texas business groups and prominent state anti-abortion activists.

He also is backed by Gov. Rick Perry, who has appealed to the tea party in his races but is firmly in Dewhurst’s corner. The idea of a longtime state officeholder “being knocked off by a tea party candidate is unsettling to them both,” said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.

In his first time on the ballot, Cruz points to his experience as former Texas solicitor general under state Attorney General Greg Abbott, pressing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on issues such as national sovereignty. He draws inspiration from his father, Rafael Cruz, who fled the oppressive Batista regime in Cuba for freedom in the United States.

In his closing pitch to voters, Cruz contends the toppling of establishment-backed candidates in Indiana and Nebraska set a pattern for Texas.

“At the end of the day, Texans understand we need a strong conservative and a fighter. The time for milquetoast, go-along-to-get-along establishment Republicans has passed,” Cruz said in Stephenville, as he does most everywhere.

3. Voters (link)

Are voters this year disillusioned? The Dallas Morning News thinks so.

If 2008 was “hope and change” and 2010 a rabble-rousing tea party revolution, this is the year of the disillusioned voter — of Americans taking stock after some roller-coaster years and not happy about what they see.

“There is this increasing sense that neither political party really has good answers, neither political party has a coherent, sensible plan for reinvigorating American national greatness. And that’s discouraging to a lot of people,” said political scientist Matthew Wilson of Southern Methodist University.

In Texas, which holds primaries Tuesday after months of legal wrangling over political districts, Republicans will remain firmly in control, but the dissatisfaction remains. So in many races, including the marquee battle for U.S. Senate, candidates are rushing to the right, eager to embrace take-no-prisoners conservatism — and avoid the most damaging epithets, “establishment” and “moderate.”

“In a lot of conservative rhetoric, there’s a sense that being Republican just isn’t good enough anymore,” said Wilson. “There’s a belief that there are a lot of Republican sellouts who are just as complicit in the debt mess and the growth of government as Democrats. So you have large constituencies on both sides who are really dissatisfied with the core leadership of their parties.”

Friend of the show, Matt Mackowiak, even weighed in.

Texas GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak acknowledges “a little letdown on both sides.”

“Part of that is that so little has been done in Washington that no one got what they wanted,” he said.

Thoughts?

4. U.S. vs. Iran? (link)

The United States is ready to stop Iran now according to Leon Panetta.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Sunday indirectly confirmed recent remarks by the Ambassador to Israel that the U.S. is “ready from a military perspective’’ to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails.

The U.S. and members of the United Nations Security Council recently met in Baghdad for talks about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapon program. Iran denies it has military intentions but has called for the destruction of Israel.

5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)

Good job Arizona.

Taxpayers in Arizona spend $125 million each school year funding more than 13,000 students who don’t exist at public schools.

That’s because the state school system uses an antique budget approach that causes taxpayers to overpay, says a new report, “Ghost Busters: How to Save $125 Million a Year in Arizona’s Education Budget,” by Goldwater Institute education director Jonathan Butcher.

The system pays for some students twice, Butcher says.

Here’s how it happens.

Arizona schools are funded based on the number of students who attend each school in the prior school year, Butcher’s report says. However, when a student transfers out of one school and into another, the school getting the new student can apply for funding for that student in the middle of the year, he says.

But the schools don’t talk to each other, nor share funds, nor computer systems, it seems. So that results in the two schools double filing for — and getting double the taxpayer money for — the same student. This budget snafu costs taxpayers $125 million each school year, according to Butcher’s estimates.

6. Good Brews Good News of the Day (link)

Pictures of Americans honoring Memorial Day.

Boy Scouts carry a large American flag through the Memphis National Cemetery in Tennessee, where scouts also placed flags on 42,000 graves. In Little Rock, Ark., a 4-year-old girl fills her arms with flags to place on gravesites.

Across the U.S. this weekend, Americans are honoring the fallen, veterans and military personnel in ceremonies and private remembrances.

Here’s a gallery of AP photos from Memorial Day weekend.

Everyday, Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge brings you the Good News of the Day!

LIVE APPEARANCES!

Tuesday May 29: LIVE Broadcast from Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge 7-9am: DETAILS

Other Top Stories:

A Look Back on the Mayoral Race

A Warning Sign for Obama

Obama Administration Faces Defiance Abroad

Worst. Story. Ever. Man Eats Other Man’s Face.

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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