Every Friday morning at 8:30AM, I join the Cardle & Woolley show, Talk 1370 Radio, in Austin to pick the week’s Winners & Losers. It’s a lightning round that runs the gamut from public policy and political trends to sports and culture in Texas, America and the world. Here’s who made my list for the week ending on May 17.

State Senator Brandon Creighton tops the Winners list for calling in the state’s flagship universities to report to the Senate Higher Education Committee on steps they have taken to end the so-called “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) programs that push identity politics on Texas campuses. Despite major pushback from faculty, staff and students, the state’s major academic institutions all reported that DEI offices had been closed and DEI officers had been laid off or re-assigned. The University of Texas at Austin told Creighton they recouped $25 million by eliminating 311 positions and 681 contracts. Continued monitoring and on-going audits remain essential to determine how much of what the academic leaders reported was accurate and how much was an attempt to blow smoke at the Legislature so they don’t take away their state funding. Texas A&M maintained they only had 8 DEI officers, for example, a figure that a review of the data shows is likely wildly inaccurate. All the flagships failed to provide substantive answers to questions about DEI initiatives that remain embedded in hiring practices, academic infrastructure and strategic plans, but Creighton made it clear the era of DEI is coming to an end in Texas.

Creighton was attacked during the hearing by Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe who makes the Losers list for accusing Creighton of racist motivations in authoring the DEI ban (Senate Bill 17) last year. A couple students who testified at the hearing also spit out charges of “white supremacy.” Not surprising. If you believe in the ideology of DEI you believe everyone is either a victim or a white supremacist.

Texas State University is on the Losers list, but it’s not their fault. They were about to become the first Texas university to host a presidential debate slated for mid-September, but President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump went around the Debate Commission and made their own deal. Virginia State University, the first historically black college or university (HBCU) to be selected as a debate venue also lost out.

Keeping with the collegiate theme, Texas A&M makes the Winners list for suspending Title IX Director Rick Olshak, who lamented that Biden’s wacky rules that expand Title IX protections to men who think they are women and vice versa did not go far enough.  Governor Abbott made the Winners list the other week for instructing educational institutions to ignore the new rules. So did Attorney General Ken Paxton, who joined 14 states in suing Biden over it.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be on the Texas presidential ballot in November. It’s not clear what impact he will have on the presidential race or any down ballot contests, but Texas can be proud that his folks are engaged and we’ve got a ballot access program that works.

Houston State Rep. Shawn Thierry is fighting back a challenge from the progressive wing of her party for voting to outlaw gender modification — Senate Bill 14 — which prohibits puberty blockers, castrations and non-necessary mastectomies, for children. Thierry has rightly called it “Black Genocide” and has put up signs throughout the district reminding voters that legalizing non-necessary surgeries for children that frequently result in sterilization is not a good idea for black kids – or any kids.

These are tough times for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, from Laredo, but he still managed to make the Winners list this week for being one of the 16 Democrats, and the only Democrat representative from Texas, who voted to rebuke President Joe Biden for withholding offensive arms shipments to Israel after Congress had approved them.

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene voted against rebuking Biden for withholding arms shipments to Israel, but that’s not why she’s on the Losers list again. She went after U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, for wearing fake eyelashes. I don’t actually know if Crockett’s eyelashes are fake, but as a lifelong feminist, I defend her right to wear them, as well as Greene’s right to pretend she is a platinum blonde. Greene has got to stop these nutty antics. She is forcing conservative women to root for AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY).

Some staffers in the U.S. House are planning a protest of U.S. support for Israel next week and they are telling everyone to show up in a mask, hide their employee tags and wear an outfit that will keep them incognito. The staffers are certainly free to protest – that’s America – but disguising oneself while proclaiming you are standing on principle is not. Those guys who signed the Declaration of Independence were not just risking their jobs and livelihoods. They also knew the British would hang them if they caught up with them. That’s why John Hancock’s huge signature was such a big statement. The fact that the pro-Palestinian protesters are in disguise shows it’s not just Middle East history that they don’t understand. They don’t know much about American history either. Losers.

Let’s close out the Losers list with the always obtuse City of San Francisco which is spending a couple million a year to provide alcohol – a shot or a beer – to homeless alcoholics in the Tenderloin District. The strategy of giving alcohol and drugs to addicts has been tried for decades. It doesn’t work. Only Losers like the people running San Francisco would think it’s a good idea.

** Correction** Last week Barron Trump made the Winners list for being selected as a Florida delegate to the Republican National Convention. Later in the day the news broke that Barron has declined the invitation. He was out of the spotlight when his father was in the White House and it appears he will stay in the background for a while longer. However, he did graduate from high school today, so he’s taken the first step in the critically important Success Sequence – clearly a winning move.

That’s all for now – have a great weekend.


Sherry Sylvester is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the former Senior Advisor to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

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