January 31, 2007

In which Tom CradDICK whines about the size of his dick

Not really, though I'm sure he's whined about his cock from time to time. Seriously, I don't know a straight boy who doesn't wish his dick was bigger and I know CradDICK is straight. Fags are vindictive, but we're up front about it. CradDICK always comes from behind. Wait...actually, let's not even go there.

Fresh from today's defeat, CradDICK was whining about the vote he lost and how it will slow the legislative process. Which is complete bullshit since the only thing that's been slow so far are his committee assignments and the only thing that could slow things down more are stupid bills from Leo Berman rewriting federal laws.

Whatever horrendous agenda CradDICK was planning to roll out and shove through the House has been set back. That's what's best for Texas. If the House actually focuses on what's important, instead of giving Dr. Hospital Bed and Perry another hummer, then there is plenty of time to get things done. If they choose to focus on vouchers bills... ANY VOUCHER BILLS... it's going to waste a lot of time.

So, Tom, do what's right, quit bitching and let the process move forward at it's own pace.

Posted by mcblogger at 05:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, Biden... you'll never be the nominee

Joe Biden spent some time with a reporter recently carping about his betters. I say betters because the man is pretty damn scummy. Yeah, a Democrat who voted for the Bankruptcy bill is pretty low and Joe's been voting with Republicans against the middle class for years.

He takes time to tear into Edwards, Obama, and Clinton while eating soup. Because that's what old men have for lunch. I happen to think he's nailed it on Obama though it doesn't make me happy to acknowledge he's correct on anything. Clinton, less so and with Edwards it's just jealousy. Biden's plan to partition Iraq is receiving no traction and likely won't (things have spun too far out of control). Pulling back troops is the one thing we can do to force the Iraqis to step up and start beating the radicals themselves... we can't do it for them. We could dump 1,000,000 troops into Iraq and it wouldn't do anything other than polarize all Iraqi's against us.

As for his comment that Iraq will descend into chaos with 40,000 less US troops, the Senator must not be aware that things are pretty chaotic now anyway. Maybe senility has already set in to join the mindnumbing stupidity that has apparently been there since the 1980s.

Biden represents some of the darker aspects of the Democratic party, specifically a failed past (think more DLC and less FDR). Let's not forget that he's been around for what, 30 years? Maybe the people of Delaware would be better served with a new Senator. The man is nothing more than a sellout. Joe Biden is a proof of just how false 'The worst Democrats is better than the best Republican' has become.

(hat tip to Greg)

Posted by mcblogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Garnet Coleman YOU ROCK!

Karen Brooks of the DMN captured this convo between Representatives Dan Branch and Garnet Coleman today during the debate over suspension of the 60 day rule

Coleman vs. Branch - Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston stopped in front of the press table on the House floor today, fuming at a GOP chairman's on-mic threat that "minority party" members who voted against suspending the constitutional order of business were going to be cut out of the legislative process entirely. Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas: "He's just acknowledging the reality." Coleman: "Well then we can just keep beating ya'll at the polls, Mr. Branch." Branch points toward Mr. Coleman and looks around at people standing nearby: "Now, THAT was being threatening."

Yeah, we're going to do that anyway but you rock for pointing it out to hapless Branch. Great comeback, Representative Coleman!

(Mad props to SuperWow! at PinkDome for the find)

Posted by mcblogger at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Immovable force meets irresistible object

Toby is carrying water for Jennifer Kim? Are frogs falling from the sky?

Apparently, Jennifer Kim's ABIA adventure was all a big misunderstanding. Oh, let's laugh and have drinks. On second thought, let's just have the drinks. What is most telling about this whole flap is that I've not heard or seen one person who doubted for a second it was true, regardless of the circumstances.

Kim's got some serious PR work to do.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Praying for Molly

Annatopia at TexasKaos has a post up about Molly Ivins who is apparently taking a turn for the worse. Y'all keep her in your prayers! For those of you that don't pray (heathens!) please keep her in your thoughts and wish her a speedy recovery.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's getting hot in here...

... and North Texas Liberal has more about it.

We know things are getting warmer, but it's very hard to visualize how catastrophic climate change might impact Texas. Last year's record-breaking temperatures, coupled with the worst drought in fifty years, gave us a preview of things to come, but dry, cracked reservoirs don't compare with glaciers melting and crashing into the sea. Dying livestock can't capture the public's attention like polar bears drowning.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2007

Perry gets knocked around

The last couple of weeks haven't been all that good for Governor Perry and frankly we're pleased as punch. Because he's a douche.

First off, there are the lawsuits over the coal plants. Then there was the Ted Nugent flap at the inaugural for which Perry is still catching shit. Finally the lobbying contracts with Abramoff cronies were terminated, not to mention a not-so-pleasant meeting with member of the Texas Congressional delegation... or least the members of the delegation that actually, you know, matter.

Needless to say, if his entire term is as bad for him as the first few weeks have been, we're all going to be extremely happy. We can't think of anyone who sucks more. Except CradDICK, of course.

Posted by mcblogger at 06:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Glass Houses

The Washington Post has an op/ed up about the growing trend among Republicans to demonize Barack Obama by using his full name, Barack Hussein Obama.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh, demonstrating his usual maturity, got a chuckle out of the senator's allegedly oversized ears, calling him "Barack Hussein Odumbo." And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council issued this e-mail alert: "Joining an already glutted field of hopefuls, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama (D-Ill.) announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic nomination yesterday."

It occurs to me that fatass, mediocre radio mouthpieces with drug habits and erectile dysfunction shouldn't be making fun of anyone. Of course, neither should people who share a name with an actor best known for his part as a mamma's boy gone waaayyy wrong. Who also ended up being, you know, gay.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Suspension of Constitution in the House fails, CradDICK defeated

108 to 34, that was the final vote on the suspension of the 60 day rule. 34 people finally put the brakes on CradDICK and said 'We're going to do what's right for our constituents and the people of Texas'.

Vince has more on the debate and the speeches. Branch questioning Dunnam is funny as hell, simply because Branch comes across as a retard with his repetitive (and ridiculously obvious) questions.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tolls : Watson v. Costello; TTC investor buying newspapers; TXDoT intimidation

  • I gotta say, watching Watson and Costello fire back and forth at one another is a bit like watching two idiots arguing over who's smarter. It doesn't really matter since they are both retarded. Truly, that's the case with Sal and Kirk, at least when it comes to transportation. Sal's been agitating on his blog and at the CAMPO meeting last week, getting people really stirred up at Watson over a bond issue when Kirk was Mayor of Austin.

    Kirk, for his part, is much more discreet and has a far larger megaphone (the AAS is large like that!), even if his writing is pedestrian (sorry, Kirk, this commentary sucks balls and not in a fun way). Don't get me wrong, I like Kirk and Sal for the most part. However, the bullshit needs to descend a few levels.

    For one thing, Sal, Kirk's not the real enemy. I don't remember what happened with that bond, but the issue is in the past. This is the present and we're dealing with the future. We need help in the Lege and we're starting to get it from people like Kirk. Your real focus should be on Krusee and Gattis. Every primary and every general until you beat them or they quit. Gattis may be a little tough, but Krusee'll be a piece of cake. Just make sure you back a Democrat in the race. Why? Because one is going to win in 2008. If you want to be part of it, better get in gear now.

    Kirk, tolls are pretty pointless and there really isn't a place for them in the future of Texas. That being said, the image of 18 lanes north AND south on MoPac is terrifying. The solution is improvements to MoPac and rail. It's got to be part of the mix and we all agree on that. Tolls however, no matter how they look on paper revenue wise, do not.

    Tolls are the most regressive transportation tax. Even those that will supposedly impact those demographic segments that can best afford them always end up hitting those that can least afford them. ALL TRANSPORTATION TAXES ARE REGRESSIVE. The gas tax just happens to be the least so. Tolls are always more expensive for consumers. Even when they eventually disappear, they are still a more expensive method of paying for a road than gas taxes. So why the hell should they ever be part of the transportation mix?

    Revenue. That's the only reason. That has to be taken off the table. Period. In that vein, here's a quote from Kirk's piece that really pissed me off.

    But reality requires action. We must stop talking about "free roads," as if there ever were such things. Any tool we use, any road we're on, costs money from some source. We can't simply oppose things or divert attention from problems with slogans or personal attacks. Our citizens are too smart to let half-truths, untruths, innuendo and conspiracy theories define our future. We don't have the time and shouldn't have the patience for unaccountable ideologues distorting our present or jeopardizing our future.

    We know it costs money. The very citizens who are pissed are the same ones to whom you're writing. They know roads aren't free and they certainly aren't clamoring for a repeal of the gas tax. They realize the state has grown and Central Texas has experienced an outsized helping of that growth. They know that we'll have to pay a little more to expand our infrastructure to accommodate that growth. They also know tolls are bad idea. Take them off the table. You see toll roads as a funding source and that's gotta change.

    This conversation is vital to our region's future. Think of it as the opposite of a traffic jam — if you don't get on this road, the rest of us can't get anywhere.

    We're on the road with you. But we're not paying tolls, Senator. TXDoT can want a permanent funding source but as the old saying goes, wishing ain't getting.

  • Australian toll road operator Macquarie is snapping up small, rural newspapers across Texas. There's nothing like ensuring good media coverage... by owning the media.
  • WOAI in SA has a story up on TXDoT's alleged intimidation of those who don't want tolls in SA Metro

    Adkisson, a Bexar County Commissioner, said in a letter to Governor Perry that Tex-DOT District Engineer David Casteel, who is himself a member of the MPO board, and Texas Transportation Commissioner Hope Andrade, who is not, sought to 'reprimand and punish' the two VIA board members who were among the six MPO members who voted against the toll road plan, Melissa Castro-Killen and Dr. Sidney G. Ordway. The plan was approved, 9-6, following five housrs of debate.

    Adkisson also charged that Perry vowed to work to defeat VIA's legislative priorities in the current session of the Texas Legislature.

    "TexDOT leadership has begun to take on a very different and mean spirited tone of late," Adkisson wrote. "(Tex-DOT Chairman) Ric Williamson and his group take any discussion that seems to move away from their core position as a threat."

    Gee, where have we heard this before?

  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:43 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    David, way to get out in front on a controversial issue

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWith all the courage and bravery of a French General, our Lt. Governor has announced that he is against child predators! It takes guts to come out against child molesters, since sooo many people respect their work and think they are great people.

    Maybe next Dudley Dewhurst will go against the ever-popular drug dealers and then take a tough stance against car thieves. It's good to know we have a leader like Dewhurst who will actually fight for what's right, instead of what's popular. That's integrity, friends, and you either have it or you don't.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 29, 2007

    Bananas

    Installation art used to mean kooky things like wrapping the Golden Gate Bridge in wax paper. But 9/11 changed everything.

    In an art installation sure to launch a thousand UFO conspiracies, Montreal artist César Saez plans to send a 1,000-foot helium blimp in the shape of a banana into low Earth orbit over the Lone Star State.

    If everything goes right, the fruity dirigible, known as the Geostationary Banana Over Texas, should launch in August 2008.

    The astrofruit is an artistic commentary on the absurdity of American politics -- especially Texan-style kookiness, says Saez.

    "I see Texas like a crossroads of important social and cultural happenings in the states and in the world," he says.

    Just beween you and me, I'm thinking about a giant inflatable Arlene Wolgemuth to symbolize the absurdity of installation art.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Poverty and the Democraddicks

    Al Stanley has a great post up over at Kaos about poverty in Texas and specifically in whose districts. It's worth the read to familiarize yourself with some of the poorer districts in Texas... and their Representatives, many of whom are DemocradDICKS. One has to wonder, exactly what their support will earn them, other than plum committee assignments. Are we looking at full funding for CHIP which would have a tremendously positive impact on these districts?

    Nah, I didn't think so either. Also, there is a rumor that in return for the chairmanship that Patrick Rose just landed, he's got to switch parties by 2008. Let me break things down for y'all out in the hinterlands who think that Rose's district is chock full of conservative nutters. You don't win this district without Hays County and you can't win as a Republican in Hays County.

    Period. I certainly don't think Rose wants to run off and practice law right now. He wants to stay an elected as long as he can and he knows he'll fare better in a Democratic primary than he will as a Republican in the general. This isn't to say the D primary is going to be easy for him...

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Appraisal review recommendations funny...

    I know, I know... this came out last week. That was, in fact, when I wrote this. Still, I don't think nearly enough attention was paid to it so I'm rekindling the fires.

    Statutory:

    Require Voter Approval for Spending in Excess to Reasonable Levels of Government Growth
    And what would you consider reasonable? Would you consider it reasonable when spending has to increase due to massive population increases? Kinda like the ones we've been seeing for years?
    Improve Fairness of the Appraisal Process
    Fair rocks! However, I think you're covering that with the mandatory sale price disclosure.
    Change Comptroller’s Property Value Study
    Prospectively Prohibit Unfunded State Mandates
    Yes. If the Lege wants something done, they need to allocate the resources for it.
    Require Sales Price Disclosure
    Almost the best idea ever! People find it unbelievable that there is a whisper market in Real Estate. However, it is there and it's pervasive. This is the best thing The Lege can do to increase fairness in the system, not to mention giving a lenders a better idea on the value of all properties which will accelerate the process of mortgage lending, allowing more people to buy homes.

    Constitutional Measures:

    Add Consistency to appraised Taxable Value for Taxpayer Protection and Relief

    Oh, I can't wait to see how you're going to do this but go on, give it a shot!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    CradDICK trying to stick it to Texas... again

    Everyone's favorite codger, Speaker Tom CradDICK (R-Cocksucker) has asked all members of the Texas House of Representatives to be present for a very special episode of Blossom. I kid, I kid. It's actually an episode of Moeshe that will help explain teens having sex to some of the dumber members of the Lege (wake up, Warren! Look alive, Berman!). After the video, CradDICK has asked the members to vote to suspend a constitutional rule that prohibits consideration of legislation not designated by the Governor as an emergency on the floor within the first sixty days of the session.

    Suspending the rule requires a four-fifths majority vote. The rule has been suspended every legislative session except one and CradDICK has used it aggressively during his reign of terror. Some of his hits include:

    1) All but eliminating the ability of consumers to sue... anyone.
    2) Kicking kids off CHIP
    3) Fucking up school finance
    4) Finding, then losing, Jimmy Hoffa's body (in the folds of Linda Harper-Brown's stomach, natch)
    5) Redistricting fun
    6) Tax 'cuts' that were more funny stupid than funny ha-ha
    7) The TTC and Here-A-Toll, There-A-Toll, EVERYWHERE-A-TOLL!

    Sounds perfectly innocent, no? Yeah... given what a vengeful prick CradDICK always shows himself to be, I think it's safe to say he's going to try to drive another anti-consumer, anti-taxpayer session in the House while drinking a puppy blood juice box.

    Keep in mind that almost a fifth of the Lege (and they were all Democrats) voted against CradDICK for speaker. Now that the committee assignments are out and the vengeful asshole has done what he's going to do, we're hoping they'll pull in a few more people and slap his ass down on this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Alexandra Pelosi and her documentary

    Alexandra Pelosi's documentary is fucking creepy as hell. I've never seen as many fat mongos in my life, except when I went to a Ryan's Steakhouse for a friend's birthday.

    I'm a Christian and what these people believe is alien to me. Trust me, it will be to you as well.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 28, 2007

    Who let the dogs out (of the garage)?

    Rick Perry is rumored to be running for Vice President. So he does classy things like invite Ted Nugent to perform at his inauguration and projectile vomit on church ladies from Amarillo. Rick's neighbor to the north, Arkansas' Mike Huckabee is rumored to be running for President, so he had to form his very own rock band, The Capitol Offense, to be taken seriously.

    What's that old saying, don't quit your day job!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 04:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    What David Dewhurst wants to do RIGHT THIS MINUTE

    BUILD MORE PRISONS!

    "We haven't built any new prison beds in Texas for a number of years, and our population is exploding," Dewhurst said.

    "I don't -- and the people of Texas don't -- want to have dangerous people on our streets, and that's what we're going to prevent. I've been looking at a number of 4,000 to 5,000" over the next four years, he said.

    That projection is in line with the budget request by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which wants to add three prisons to hold 5,000 prisoners. That would cost $440 million just for construction, a state expense opposed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which advocates limited government.

    Two quick points, then I gotta roll...

    1) This is in direct conflict with common sense to some extent because the Texas CJ system is FUCKED up. We imprison too many people for too many bullshit offenses. We need to streamline the Criminal code and take out a lot of stupid crap, along with encouraging judges to give probation to non-violent offenders. Grits for Breakfast also has some good points up on why we have enough beds now, even with the increase in population.

    2) Dewhurst acknowledges that we've had population growth and so need more prison beds. Technically, he's right if you don't think #1 is a good idea. That being said, and this is in the vein of all roads leading to infrastructure (I'm nothing if not monomaniacal), we have had a massive increase in population. So why is it so hard for Republicans to understand that we need a commensurate increase in taxes to handle the buildout of infrastructure (schools, roads, hospitals) to help service the expanded population?

    At what point do these fucking stupid assholes finally realize that you can not service a population of 23 million people with a tax system that produces effectively for only 18 million?

    (via Off the Kuff)

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Why self cleaning toilets don't belong in clubs...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 27, 2007

    I'm done with you...

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSeriously, Jennifer Kim, from your comment-less performance at CAMPO to this, I'm just fucking done. This may, in fact, be the first time I take Leslie's candidacy seriously. It's a shame Jennifer Gayle had to move to Dallas to start fucking with people in North Texas. She might have actually won this election. Seems that Princess Councilwoman Jennifer Kim is getting all jammed up over the fact that she can't get through security at the airport with just her city council badge (which is a strange thing for her to think since you can't even get a seat a Taco Cabana with a city council badge).


    She said she recently planned to meet a visitor from the Ford Foundation and was delayed because she thought she could go through the security screening line without a boarding pass.

    "I didn't know it was a (Transportation Security Administration) issue," she said. "I thought since it was our airport and we own it, and if we are pre-cleared, we could get through.

    Yeah, Jennifer, TSA runs security at airports. Badly, but it's what they do in ALL airports. As for the 'visitor', do you intend to defend yourself by saying that the person you were meeting isn't familiar with the rules at airports and would have been peeved had you not met him/her at the gate? Oh, enough with the bullshit. EVERYONE knows you just meet people at baggage claim.

    But a memo from the city manager's office used to summarize council members' concerns and questions said Kim "thought her VIP badge at our airport would allow her to get through security without going through screening. She has now been told that's not the case and is not happy."

    It was reported that she then tried to beat Toby with her phone but that turned out to be false. Everyone knows Toby Can't. Be. Defeated. Even Kim's not stupid enough to try.

    Kim said she thinks it's possible for her to get a special pass from airlines to meet their passengers while still going through screening. However, she said she didn't want to do that because of the wait at the ticket counter.

    Boo-fucking-hoo. WE ALL HATE GOING TO THE AIRPORT. It's usually a pain in the ass and waiting on line (sometimes, more than one) is, while annoying, de rigueur. Your elected office (which is, in reality, a minor step above the SFA HS student council) doesn't come with a 'skip the lines' feature.

    You hear one story about bitchy behavior and you dismiss it. Two and you start to wonder. This makes 4,980 with Jennifer. Seriously, she's gone from being an elected official to a cautionary tale. The worst part is how FUCKING TERRIBLE SHE IS AT HANDLING THE FALLOUT. These quotes are awful and reading them makes one angry, not sympathetic. No, we don't understand her position. In fact, we think she's a terribly presumptuous jackass.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Selling honesty

    Former TDP Executive Ed Martin wrote a commentary piece for the SAEN prior the election that we missed while we were doing things. Other things, in case you were wondering. Sure you can ask what those 'other things' might be, but I'm not going to answer you. Frankly, you deserve to be kept in the dark. AND YOU KNOW WHY.

    Still, what Mr. Martin has to say is important...

    People know they are being sold candidates like Pepsi-Cola and SUVs. They aren't stupid. I know. They told me for the past five days.

    They were the workers and fellow patients in an urban medical center, a place that brings together young professionals and workers of all races from all places. I know their names, but they deserve more than "State of the Union live-shot recognition." They deserve more than being a prop. They deserve respect. They are real people making real decisions about real lives, and their mockery of what they were hearing and seeing was audible.

    For all of you consultants and wannabe candidates, this is why more and more people make fun of you, especially when it's obvious you 'don't get it'. While we, by and large, support progressive candidates here at McBlogger, it doesn't stop us from making fun of the some of them from time to time. Especially when they do stupid things. It's not about listening to us, it's about saying what you want to say. Don't be a 'tard because it does hurt us when we have to call you one.

    Mostly we laugh, but it does hurt a bit. Like when we stub our toe when we're stumbling through a bar to say hello to someone.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Something is happening but you don't know what it is

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe US Central Command revealed Friday that an airstrike near the dusty Somaili town of Buur Gaabo was believed to have killed the elusive terrorist mastermind Burger King. A Pentagon spokesman who insisted on remaining nameless said that the death of the number three man in Al Qaeda was a significant victory in the War on Terror.

    UPDATE Intelligence analysts now believe that the man killed was Sali ibn-Wazir, a wealthy retailor of strict Islamic women's apparel, known as the Burka King. A Pentagon spokesman who insisted on remaining nameless said that the death of the number three man in Al Qaeda was a significant victory in the War on Terror.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

    January 26, 2007

    Dregs: Gilbert, CHIP and Clean Air

  • Hank Gilbert is planning a rally in in Austin on March 2nd as part of the Don't Tag Texas campaign. We'll have details as they become available but for now, make sure you're going to be here that day! Win, lose to draw, Hank keeps his promises which is one of the reason we supported him during the general election and continue to support him today!
  • Matt Glazer has a post up about Democratic efforts to restore full funding to CHIP. Vince at Capitol Annex some information us as well. I don't have children so it's kinda hard for me to go anywhere with this. At least, anywhere that won't piss off those of you who do have children.
  • Rep. Ana Hernandez has filed a bill to establish enforceable standards for clean air in Texas. The next step is forcing TCEQ to actually, you know, enforce them. Just look at the lulu's they give to coal burning power plants now. This is great work, Representative... however, you gotta have agency oversight for it to work!

    Next up are comments made by Phil King and others regarding clean air, as well as a review of a wonderful new film titled "TXU goes to Washington", which is about a stodgy old company, eager to remake the world... and change Washington. It's Capra-esque only in the sense that it takes place in Washington. It actually borrows from both Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's A Wonderful Life and combines the best both in that it's Mr. Potter (TXU) who goes to Washington (Washington)

  • Posted by mcblogger at 06:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Texas Monthly Talks Some Shit

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI got home a little early last night, made myself a tasty dinner (Lasagne... from a box, natch. Marie Callender is the best cook ever!) and sat down to watch Texas Monthly Talks which was on KLRU despite the best efforts of Connecticut native George Bush's administration, as well as the late House majority, to kill public broadcasting.

    The show left me with questions...

    1) Does Spellings know how wrong those glasses are on her?
    2) What the hell does Evan use to shellac his hair to his scalp (Barfly tells me I shouldn't comment on anyone's hair because mine looks like the grass on a chia head)?

    The show was about education, or a discussion about some kids show about lesbian mommies that Spellings doesn't like (she doesn't much care for the mommies, either). It really wasn't clear. In fact, the only thing that I'm certain of is that I will NEVER give money to KLRU unless I'm sure none of it will go to produce Texas Monthly Talks.

    Don't look at me that way. The show sucks, yo.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Video from the Senate Judiciary...

    Did you miss the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week? I know I did. Sister Ruth of course saw the whole thing and said it was a laugh riot. Did I ever tell you that Sister Ruth's bizarre obsession with CSPAN creeps me the fuck out?

    ANYWAY, Somervell County Salon has a link to the videos up on Can-O-Fun. Check it out when you have some free time and see Specter go off on Gonzales (I have to admit, it did make me smile a little).

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    New Blog

    A little birdy told me about a new blog that's out there, Feet to the Fire, which exists to hold elected officials accountable for their actions. This is, to me, the number one difference between conservative and progressive bloggers. While the conservatives will beat up on progressive elected officials, they'll never say a negative thing about conservative elected officials.

    Progressives hold everyone to the same standards. Who's fair and balanced now, bitch?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    China has ASAT weapons...

    This is a comforting thought... the Chinese, rather than let their old satellites just fall back into the gravity well and burn up in the atmosphere (which is what EVERY OTHER NATION DOES), have decided to shoot them down with a missile. Of course this causes a tremendous amount of alarm on the part of the DoD because the US military is heavily dependent on satellites for real time information and now, rightly, have figured that they have a tremendous achilles heal. No shit.

    We've often wondered why an enemy would want to nuke us at all. It would be far easier and more effective to just EMP out the power grid and kill all our electronics. No cars, no trucks, no computers, no phones, no food. Yeah, without being able to run down to Randall's every two days, I'd certainly be dead.

    Yeah, I said it. R-A-N-D-A-L-L-S. Fuck a bunch of Central Market and HEB.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Res ipsa loquitur

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 25, 2007

    Drakula-Cunt tries a new tactic...

    Oh, Shelly, just quit it. You're making my hole bleed and there is no way in hell you are ever going to win a Republican primary, even in FBC.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I want me some HPV

    So, there's a reco from doctors or scientists or someone that the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer, should be administered to all girls attending school in Texas. Sounds reasonable, right? We knew you'd agree since it seems to be reasonable. Turns out it's not reasonable at all in the land where ideology trumps medicine and common sense because the HPV is transmitted... sexually.

    Supporters of a mandate say states have a rare opportunity to fight a cancer that kills 3,700 American women every year. But opponents say states – and parents – should be trying to prevent premarital sex, not pushing a vaccine on the assumption that it's already happening.

    "It's almost contradictory," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the conservative Texas-based Free Market Foundation. "We have laws on teaching abstinence on one side, then on the other say we don't really believe that's going to happen."

    Kelly Shackelford, douche supreme of the world of nutters. Always available for a quote. So, of course, the DMN calls him for one on a sensitive human health issue. Which is funny, to me at least, because Kelly is sensitive... like a fucking brillo pad. Fortunately, he's not the only nutter who can comment on public health

    Even with such provisions, mandates take away parents' rights to be the primary medical decision maker for their children, said Linda Klepacki, an analyst for sexual health at the Colorado-based evangelical organization Focus on the Family.

    Oh, I was wondering when someone from Focus on the Family would pop up, good to see that it's Linda Klepacki. I love that her last name actually sounds like a venereal disease. Is there no voice of sanity?

    But Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar said her proposal to mandate the vaccine for girls entering sixth grade is aimed at protecting children whose parents are less informed about or less interested in preventative health care.

    "Not everybody has equal sets of parents," said Farrar, a Democrat from Houston who had precancerous cells removed from her cervix several years ago due to HPV. "For (opponents) to decide the fates of young women in the state is irresponsible."

    Thank God. Would it be too much to ask for maybe one more?

    And giving a child the vaccine isn't giving her permission to have sex before marriage, Crosby said.

    "People have a tetanus shot but we don't tell our kids to go out and jump up and down on rusty nails," she said.

    Oh, that's nice Mrs. Crosby. Of course, no story on ideology vs. common sense would be complete without the obligatory quote from some mongo mother...

    But one friend she can't convince is Lisa Girouard, who believes abstaining from sex until marriage is all the protection her 17-year-old daughter needs. Wary of all vaccines, the 44-year-old housewife worries Gardasil could have unexpected future side effects.

    "I don't see any reason why they need to make it a requirement," she said. "Let people do what they want to do."

    Oh, Lisa. You're a housewife who's 'wary of all vaccines'? STFU and just get your kid the fucking shot.

    This morning I woke to find this piece advocating for a voluntary program from Courtland Milloy at the WaPo. As part of his argument, he uses the success of New Hampshire's voluntary vaccination program which is interesting since the student population in NH is roughly equivalent to that of DISD, not to mention that NH is far from being as heterogeneous as DISD. Voluntary is a great idea, all things being equal. However, as Rep. Farrar pointed out, all things are not equal. Sometimes what's best for the child has to trump the bad information on which the parents are acting, not to mention the ridiculous objections of someone as clueless as Kelly Shackelford.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Ellis bans smoking...everywhere

    Haven't you people done enough to us?

    Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, announced plans last week to file a bill that would ban smoking from all public buildings in Texas, including bars and restaurants.

    The law would trump the exemption for bingo halls and the other handful of businesses that was written into Austin's non-smoking ordinance.

    The debate will pit arguments of personal liberty against concerns over health costs for smoking-related illnesses and the health risk unfairly posed to non-smokers. Business owners also cite declining alcohol sales in cities that prohibit smoking in bars.

    Declining alcohol sales? The negatives so outweigh the positives on banning smoking it's not even funny. Beside, you guys are about to pass all that cancer research stuff so it'll be cheaper to treat us when we get something from smoking.

    Let's not forget that our education system now depends on me lighting a cigarette literally every 30 seconds. Not to mention all those people who work at gas stations whose very jobs depend on me buying cigarettes. Why the entire economy may well collapse if this ban is pushed forward!

    Please, Senator Ellis, just let us enjoy our nicotine fix!


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Calling Bullshit : Kinky for Senate, 2008

    Laura Stromberg, you are no Kelly Fero.

    There's a fresh round of rumors today that Kinky Friedman may be mulling a run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

    People of both parties have been in touch with him, said Laura Stromberg, who was Friedman's spokeswoman during his independent bid for governor.

    "He's not calling them. They're coming to him," she said.

    Friedman, who is finishing up his book on his race for governor, has said if he ran again, it likely would be under a major-party label given the obstacles facing an independent candidate.

    Today, he said, "I think all options are on the table, but I certainly haven't given a lot of thought to running for anything. I've talked with some Republicans and some Democrats about various possibilities."

    Even Kelly wouldn't try to pull off bullshit like this. While the Republicans are indeed desperate to get Cornyn out of the way, there is no way in hell anyone would seriously consider Kinky in an R primary. And the Democrats... oh, yeah. WE'RE just starving for some more Kinky.

    This IS the bullshit rumor of the month.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Veto Me

    So the new majority in the House, the DEMOCRATIC Party, has completed it's 100 hour agenda (take that, Newt you giant loser). Bush has already said he'd veto much of it and so one has to wonder what's next. With polls consistently showing that people want the Congress in the driver's seat, is there a possibility that he'll be overridden?

    Sure, as long as the bills pass the Senate and Lieberman doesn't fuck us all over.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 24, 2007

    Finally, Methodists start acting like Methodists

    I gotta tell you, being a Methodist since Connecticut native George Bush became President has been a bit rough. I've had to remind myself that he's a Methodist just like he's a Texan. Trust me, Methodists are cool (get to know me!), they don't start wars, for instance, and they love a great drinks party.

    I'm all the time being asked "Would you like another drink?" but that's beside the point. Less frequently I'm asked "Are all Methodists like George Bush?" and my answer is always an emphatic "NO" followed quickly with a request for another Talisker and soda. Which, by the way, I would REALLY love right now.

    Annatopia at TexasKaos happened upon some information that there are other Methodists who, like me, are irritated that the Bush Lieburry is going to be put in at SMU...

    We the undersigned express our objection to the prospect of the George W. Bush library, museum, and think tank being established at Southern Methodist University. As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate. We urge the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church to reject this project.

    Maybe now Bush will convert to something that is more reflective of his personality. Like one of those fundamentalist churches that are all over rural Texas. I think they have tent revivals but I've never been to one. They don't have bars. Maybe that's why Connecticut native George Bush hasn't been to one either.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Homebuilders kinda suck...

    I'm from a family of homebuilders and there are always problems with homes. Seriously, there are defects from construction and sometimes things aren't exactly the way the homeowner wants. When that happens, YOU FIX IT. Unless, of course, you're Bob Perry.

    Bay Area Houston has a great post up about the commission that oversees homebuilders and another one about how Bob Perry has abused the process he lobbied so hard to get and in the process, caused a lot of problems for one elderly couple.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tolls : Fucking around in San Antonio, CAMPO slaps down Phase II

  • According to South Texas Chisme, toll opposition is also heavy in SA, though it's not quite meeting with the success it's met with in Austin.
  • The Phase II vote was, as expected, delayed. The Statesman has a writeup where they miss a few things like

    The fact that though this is being termed a 'delay', it is, in fact, the end of this particular method of financing. I know Costello thinks we're getting played but these roads are so unpopular everyone is looking for blood. The CAMPO members know that the mob may be satisfied with just Krusee, Ogden and Gattis all of whom are going to be left to twist in the wind. I would throw Dukes in there as well, but honestly there's not much anger with her on that, though it is an issue and likely will intensify even for her during the primary next year.

    The fact that even at the very end, TXDoT DE Bob Daigh was still trying to add pressure to the decision making process. Bob, these are smart people. They know well that the 'clock is ticking' and they don't need your smartass mouth to remind them. You are, after all, the person responsible for the missing flyways all over Austin metro. If I were you, I'd answer with as little as possible when asked a question and keep out of the line of fire. By the way, Bob, we aren't done asking questions about the money that appears to be missing from the 45/1 tollway project. Seriously, if the connectors were figured into the cost and financed, but weren't built because of an environmental clearance oversight, then the money should still be there to build them. So why are you saying it's not? Bob?

    The Statesman really missed the mark on the number for replacing the tolls with a gas tax in the CAMPO area (Bad reporter! Very, very bad!). Let's go back over it again... The 17 cent number came from TXDoT and covers profits expected on the toll roads, as well a bond sale of $2 Bn sometime in the 2040's. Of course, my numbers in the original post are off as well. So, let's go with what the TTI rolled out, a little over 8 cents a gallon, increasing over time to keep pace with the inflation in construction costs. Needless to say, a gax tax is still cheaper.

    The most stunning thing about this is the bad faith in which TXDoT is acting. I know some it is based on political decisions (TXDoT is having to issue numbers based on certain ridiculous assumptions), but the reality is that CAMPO has got to do a better job of asking the right questions and demanding accurate numbers.

    Lastly, as a followup on the meeting itself, the crowd directed a lot of anger at Watson which is, in my opinion, misplaced. Sen. Watson appears to be coming around on this issue, while Krusee, Ogden and Gattis have shown no evidence of it. Just from a political perspective, all three are more vulnerable than Watson. To the anti-toll forces out there I would ask only that you take a moment to reflect on who the real enemies are and focus your efforts in 2008 and beyond on those who most deserve it and are most readily defeated, Gattis, Krusee and Ogden. The State of Texas would be far better off with none of them in public service.

    And with that, I'm done on this issue for a bit... until the next piece of bullshit comes flying out of Ben Wear's ass.


  • Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Good.

    Without comment.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dan Patrick does something else stupid

    Oh, Dan. Why do you keep filing bills? From the AAS

    Patrick, R-Houston, filed Senate Bill 268 which would place a fee on money wired out of Texas to any foreign country. The 10-percent fee on wire transactions under $5,000 would be collected to provide funding for border security.

    Oops... I think you're getting into Federal territory there, boy-o. I'm sure OCC and The Fed would LOVE to take a look at this idea, since they are technically the ones who control the wire transfer system. Of course, there is a giant hole in this plan... most of the wiring companies have operations in other states and they could simply move the transaction there, then onto it's final destination. Or they could just change over to money orders altogether.

    Dan, if you're serious about immigration, go after the employers, secure the border (but not with some stupid fence) and grant amnesty to all who apply for citizenship within one year. Further, increase support for economic growth in Mexico, especially in large loans to government specifically for lending to small businesses and individuals. People come here because they can earn more money. If they could do that in Mexico, they'd never leave in the first place.

    If you'll do that, especially that last part, you'll begin to break-up the asset distribution structure in Mexico (which is far too top heavy to create economic growth) and really provide a firm footing for a Mexican middle class.

    None of this is hard to understand, Dan. Oh, and lest you think this a handout, keep in mind that Mexico pays it's debts... usually before they are due.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sweep The Leg

    Seriously, sweep the leg, Johnny. Just scroll down a bit and click Just WATCH THE VIDEO.

    And yes, it's safe for work. Unless embarrassment makes you wet yourself.

    Posted by barfly at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Medved carries water for Paris Hilton

    Pandagon has a fantastic post up about Michael Medved's insane concern for the oft put upon rich...

    Michael Medved didn’t get the memo from the Republicans. You know, the one that states, “Hey, our actual policy ideas are going to be wildly unpopular, so your job as a pundit is to deceive, mislead, distract and obfuscate.” But even if he missed the memo, you’d think he’d get the idea from the lies to get us into Iraq, the attempt to turn Social Security into a cash giveaway to the very rich by calling the plan “personal accounts”, and relabeling the estate tax the “death tax”, which implies that, for instance, all the soliders and poverty-stricken New Orleans residents that have wrongly died on BushCo’s watch have to pay taxes when they die or something.

    Medved here actually tries to make the argument to middle class readers that we should carry the bulk of the tax burden and spare the poor, suffering rich. Conservatives are so nostalgic for the 1950s, except for the 90%+ marginal tax rates the wealthy paid back then. In fact, that’s basically the dance they do—they make people long for a time when a male high school graduate could support a wife and a passel of kids by himself, and claim that what people are missing is the sexual repression, the racism, the sexism, and the conformity. Odds are they miss the prosperity.

    One more time (from the heart), cutting taxes on the rich doesn't grow the economy... it grows profit taking and not much else. Except for spending at Neimans and frankly we'd like to see less of the obnoxiously rich the next time we go shopping there. Barfly and I both get pissed because they distract the staff who should be paying attention to us.

    The article goes on to dissect a few of Medved's key points regarding taxes. It's a little long and drawn out so I'll summarize... don't listen to a failed movie reviewer on tax policy. He doesn't understand anything that can't fit on a bumper sticker. To wit...

    Tax hikes hurt the economy. Pelosi proposes to take money out of the hands of people whose investment and entrepreneurship create jobs, and to place it into the hands of government, which creates only job-stifling bureaucracies.

    This is just empirically wrong. In the 90's taxes went up on the rich AND the size of government went down. Meanwhile, the economy grew dramatically and the federal government actually paid down debt which resulted in lower interest rates which further drove economic growth.

    The rich do not create jobs. Even Milton Friedman didn't believe that bit of bullshit. There is only one thing that will create a job and that's economic growth, namely the knowledge that adding one job will allow a company to make/do more, sell more and make more money. No one hires people just because there is a tax cut, they hire people to satisfy demand.

    See how difficult that is?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Up past your bedtime. Senator?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:30 AM | Comments (1)

    Webb knocks the response out of the park

    I love me some Senator Webb!

    "These presidents took the right kind of action for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight, we are calling on this president to take similar action in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way."

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 23, 2007

    We like to gamble...

    and we know you do as well. Which is why it's good that Senator Ellis filed SJR8, a bill that would allow the public to vote to amend the Texas Constitution and allow casino gaming here in Texas.

    Texas Democrat Senator Rodney Ellis is proposing licensing up to 12 casinos across the state, mainly in major cities and on tourist islands along the gulf coast. Voters would then have to approve this proposal - by approving a state constitutional amendment. Then local voters would have to take a vote before a casino could be built in their cities.

    So, for all you NIMBY folks out there, you'll get a chance to make sure, during a local election, that the big bad casinos won't be near your home.

    There are a couple of realities that people opposing this, both liberals and conservatives, need to understand:

    1) People are going to gamble. They've been going to Louisiana for years, not to mention Vegas.
    2) Texas should benefit from the money spent by Texans on gambling.
    3) Re-read 1 and 2 until it sinks in.

    Honestly, I get the argument that this is yet another regressive tax. However, I don't see it that way at all. This is a tax on a business, nothing more. If you're worried about people spending money they don't have, then do something about it like restricting advertising and create a gambling commission that provides assistance to those who become addicts. Don't restrict those of us who do have a modicum of self control and want to gamble every now and then.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Central Texas has it's very own detention camp

    Eye on Williamson has more on the T. Don Hutto facility/prison camp which is being used by ICE to house families (minus the fathers, who are sent to another facility) that are in the United States illegally. That's right, families. EOW has done extensive research on this facility and the abuses at it. Now the contract with the private operator, CCA, is up for renewal the WillCo commissioners are set to vote on it this Thursday. Check out the link to EOW for information on contacting the commissioner's court or attending the public meeting.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Here's the next bad idea coming to Texas

    It's always good to look at other states and see what kind of stupid things their leaders are doing. It's a nice way of finding out, many times, what's going to come out of the mouth of some idiot Republican here in Austin. Like Dan Patrick. Or Mike Krusee.

    Illinois is thinking about privatizing their lottery organization to raise money for schools.

    The state of Illinois is hoping to attract investors to pay as much as $10 billion in a jackpot bid for its lottery system, according to a newspaper report.

    The sale of the system is likely to be one of the biggest privatizations of a state-run program and may occur as soon as the spring, The New York Times reported.

    Illinois will receive a multibillion dollar one-time payment as the sale is expected to raise more than $1 billion with annual payments of $200 million, the Times said.

    "Gambling is getting so competitive around the world that we're worried our revenues could go down unless there is retail expertise," John Flilan, chief operating officer of Illinois, said to the paper. "This is fundamentally a retail business and governments are not equipped to manage retail business."

    Last year, the lottery collected revenue of nearly $2 billion and profits around $630 million. The new owner would receive all revenue and profit for 75 year, the Times said.

    So, you're going to give up $430 Mn annually for a one time payment of $1 Bn? Gee, this seems really smart. Oh, but then there is the fear that if we don't give it up, they will start losing revenue because of a lack of retail expertise, per Joe Flilan. I guess Joe never thought of hiring someone with retail expertise? You know, to walk him through the complexities of running a lottery as a retail business...

    Let me say it again... selling off assets only makes sense if you can do so at a premium. That's not the case here and it won't be in Texas, either.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Ethically speaking...

    Gotta love some research on all the ethics violations committed by elected officials in Texas. Y'all need to get your shit together or get out of politics.

    Seriously, I know expense reports are pain in the ass, but you don't even have to do yours, you can hire someone to do that.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 22, 2007

    It's 6:30, do you know where our CAMPO board members are?

    The CAMPO Phase II meeting, which was to start at 6:00, has still not started. The conf room is packed, but a quorum isn't present because of a wreck on MOPAC. Apparently, our board members are not smart enough to do what I do almost daily... Take an alternate route when MOPAC is jammed up.

    Come on, y'all! Briscoe and Jabba Gattis managed to make it! We need you to be here so we can riot and sacrifice you all to the freeway gods!

    UPDATE: 6:40 Jennifer Kim, Krusee and 'Can I sell you a car?' Maxwell have arrived. Finally. Krusee and Maxwell are now chatting privately while watching the crowd that is, apparently, unified in opposition to tolls. The gutless Ogden, apparently has sent an alternate. Kirk just walked so I guess now we can begin.

    Krusee... Damn. He just looks like a mook. Granted, beating up on him is a bit like kicking a puppy. It's a shame for him I have no compunction about kicking puppies.

    UPDATE:7:11 - some guy just spoke and finished with 'remember Karen Sonleitner' and the crowd erupted. It's weird because most of these people don't look like your traditional activist nutters, they all look normal. Sal Costello is speaking now about Watson's time as Mayor of Austin regarding the prop 1 bond issue which was supposed to be for free roads.

    UPDATE 8:48 - Sal Costello asks the board to drop the six month waiting period before the vote on the Phase II plan and vote against it tonight. Pandomonium erupts including one jackass sitting down from me who kept yelling 'Can you hear us now, Watson'.

    Dukes has just made an amendment regarding the racial makeup of CAMPO which is kinda funny because honestly the current makeup of the board actually looks a lot like the racial makeup of Austin metro. This amendment was to the motion made by Maxwell to adopt item 5 which were the changes proposed by the CoC.

    Someone is speaking now asking them to move up item 10 which is Phase II.

    Just to clarify, the Gattis mentioned here is his stand in because his grandmother died.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Selling off the future

    (By the way, please don't miss the CAMPO Phase II meeting tonight at 6:00. Directions are here or here)

    The KC InfoZine (viaSomervell County Salon) has a great article up about what's really going on with toll roads and 'innovative finance'. It's nothing more than government selling off assets as quickly as they can so that they don't have to raise taxes.

    Several big deals were consummated in 2006, even as a resurgent economy and the return of surpluses gave most states a respite from penny-pinching. Another form of easy money - tax revenues from legalized gambling - also is helping to keep state coffers brimming. And states, like credit card-crazed shoppers, are borrowing more money than ever through the bond markets.

    The prize of cash upfront is what's driving the new phenomenon of states marketing public assets to private corporations....

    Critics argue that private firms are apt to jack up tolls and fees because they have to keep investors, not voters, happy. Others worry that states will fritter away the upfront money.

    In Texas, the spendthrift Republicans are selling off the assets before they've even been built. Maybe that is the 'innovative' thing about the financing. Why be honest with the citizens of this state about the need for taxes and the utilization of them to expand and maintain the infrastructure on which our economy depends? It's so much easier to sell off the assets paid for with tax dollars for a one-time windfall that can be used to buy candy for the populace and put off the day when the world crashes down around us.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Phil King, a rabbi and a priest are in an accident...

    Stop me if you've heard this one before.

    A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished, but amazingly, neither are hurt. They crawl out of their cars and the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says, "So you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There's nothing left but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days." And the priest said, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God."

    And the rabbi said, "and look at this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Mogen David wine didn't break, surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune. And so he handed the bottle to the priest. The priest said he agreed, took a few big swigs, and handed the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi took the bottle, didn't drink at all, put the cap on, and handed it back to the priest. The priest asked, "aren't you going to have any?" And the rabbi replied, "No . . . I think I'll just wait for the police."

    What exactly does this have to do with Phil King? Not a damn thing, I just thought the joke was kinda funny unlike Phil King's bill to keep the poor from voting. Of course, much as the joke has nothing to do with King, his bill has nothing to do with 'protecting the integrity of the vote'. Do I think Rep. King is a racist? No. I think he's playing politics with one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to every American citizen, the right to vote. You see, poor folks are going to have a problem with his voter ID law. Even if they do have picture ID, they may not want to present it out of fear their names will be taken down and people will be able to see how they voted. So, this bill which is supposed to assure the integrity of the vote is really just a way to keep what Rep. King hopes will be mostly Democratic voters out of the polls.

    Just about now is when the law of unintended consequences comes up, and it's a bitch for Rep. King. More and more, poor people have associated themselves with Republicans because of religious/'values' issues. That association is what has really propelled the GOP into power here in Texas. Seriously, how else can you explain people living in a single wide in Nacogdoches that still have a W04 sign up in their yard. These are NASCAR folks and they love them some President Bush. They don't know what's going on unless there was a article about it in US (they think People is kinda snooty).

    While this will depress minority turnout for Democrats, I think it will hurt Republicans a hell of a lot more. All it takes is someone spreading a rumor in a mostly poor white area that the cops will be at the polls checking ID's. Trust me, that will result in two very bored blue hairs working the poll that day and a loss for Republicans.

    While I'd love to get worked up about this, I just can't. Even if the Republicans are stupid enough to pass it there will be a court challenge almost immediately which will more than likely result in the law being overturned, especially since the real world evidence of massive voter fraud (one of the rationales for this program) just isn't there. Essentially this is a poll tax, nothing more. You can't do that here in the US, but I guess Rep. King didn't realize that when he shit this turd out of his ass.

    Now, Rep. King, why not do some real work... like mandate that the counties have to create a voter verified paper trail along with a paper record of votes on each machine in time for the 2008 election. Time's a wastin' and that's a hell of a lot more important than making sure an 80 year old registered voter isn't an illegal alien.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Shelly was wrong?

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingRemember the AP story that Shelly claimed was fake? Turns out, not so much.

    I relayed information from multiple sources--CPATT, Centcom, and two other military sources on the ground in Iraq-- that the Associated Press's disputed source, Jamil Hussein, could not be found. As I noted on the 4th, the AP reported that the Ministry of Interior in Iraq has now said a Captain Jamil Hussein does work in the al Khadra police station. I regret the error. But no blogger should apologize for raising legitimate questions about AP's transparency, its reliance on local foreign stringers of dubious origins, and information that sources such as Hussein have provided the AP. I will continue to pursue some of the unresolved issues related to this.

    So, basically, she was just quoting other sources and really wasn't that bent out of shape about things. But really she was (her panties were in a full twist over it). She further resolves to hold the AP's feet to the fire on every story, no matter how well documented it is. She's also committed to eat nothing but candy corn until the AP admits that they SHOULD HAVE GIVEN HER NAMES. Personally, I think it's a pretty big deal because candy corn is gross. And it's not going to mix well with the puppy blood she normally uses to wash food down.

    Media Matters has more on the fallout from all over the nutter perspective.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    TXU may be fucked...

    Possibly good news on the gloabl warming/pollution/being able to breathe in 20 years front. TXU may not get to build their dirty coal plants after all.

    "The Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007" would cap greenhouse-gas emissions of the electric power, industrial, transportation, and commercial sectors at 2004 levels by 2012 and reduce them to one-third that level by 2050.

    Similar bills, introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, and John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2003 and 2005 have failed to pass.

    But the new measure, also co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has improved its chances of passing in the new Democratic-controlled Congress. The White House has opposed capping carbon emissions, saying they are too costly and deter economic growth.

    That last part really makes me laugh. Evidently Connecticut native George Bush hasn't read the Big Picture Book of New Technologies and New Jobs or Mommy, I can't breathe! (A primer for children living with asthma).

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 21, 2007

    The company you keep...

    You know, I don't usually sit down for a beverage with someone who holds views to which I'm diametrically opposed.

    Then again, I'm not Chris Bell.

    Yeah, yeah, I get that it's always good to talk to reasonable folks. However, Perry is far from reasonable. He's an ideologue despite his recent turn on a number of issues. That being said, am I the only one who thinks sometimes it's better to decline an invitation?

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    A happy thought for today

    Two years from today you're going to wake up in a world where George W Bush is not the President of the United States.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:43 PM

    January 20, 2007

    In which we may be required to file... as lobbysists

    WOW! I guess some of the old guard is a little pissed.

    An outfit called GrassRootsFreedom.com is reporting that the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would require political bloggers with readership over 500 to register as lobbyists. If they fail to register, they could face criminal penalties up to one year in jail.

    WAIT. The Democrats love them some blogs. And who the fuck is GrassRootsFreedom? Oh, that guy... I guess this isn't so much related to us.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Trump to brand furniture...

    Not content to just furnish his own home in the most tasteless manner possible, Donald Trump is taking his keen eye for all things tacky and sectional to the consumer market.

    Lexington Home Brands will add “Trump Home” to its stable of licensees, which include Tommy Bahama, Liz Claiborne and Bob Timberlake. The collection, to be presented at the April High Point Market, will include a full line of case goods and upholstery in traditional and contemporary styles.

    “Mr. Trump wants to make his lifestyle of elegance and luxury available to the consumer in their own home,” Cathy Hoffman Glosser, vice president of Global Licensing for The Trump Organization, said in an e-mail interview.

    We know you're planning to buy new furniture. Isn't everyone? Isn't it great to know that in a few short months you'll be able to make your home look like brothel, just like Donalds?

    Oh, yeah... Hizzily and Richardson are in the Presidential race. Yay. Feel the excitement. Rock.Goodie. OMG, I'm about to burst from the possibilities. Oh, yeah, at this very moment I'm overcome with sheer joy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 19, 2007

    The price of bipartisanship

    Via the Lake Jackson Democrat I came across a piece written by George Scialabba for The Nation that pretty well sums up why Democrats have cooperated with Republicans all these years. Much like lobsters in a pot, we always thought we were safe. All the while, Republicans have, with the help of some economic trends, been turning up the heat or, in practical terms, dismantling the New Deal we all thought was so secure. Even Republicans are now beginning to realize just where the 'conservative' path leads... one of the reasons some of them switched over and voted for Democratic candidates this past cycle.

    They've made great progress. Organized labor has been decimated. Unemployment benefits have been trimmed. Much of our regulatory structure has been dismantled, defunded or handed over to industry flacks. Persistent false alarms about Medicare and Social Security have led to proposals that they be replaced by riskier and less generous individual health and retirement accounts.

    Click through and read the complete article. It's well worth it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Conversion nutter in Waco

    Nate over at Common Sense is all over the new nutter pastor in Waco who wants to 'cure the gay' right out of you. And you know, you probably need it. We noticed the last time we saw you that you were looking a little gay around the gills. That and the totally faggy way you walk. Seriously, girl, butch up a bit.

    Oh, and would someone give Pastor Dumbass a good kick in the balls when next they're in Waco? Also, by 'all over' I mean 'keeping track of'. This is for Sister Ruth who reads too much into every damn thing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Welcome, Senator Carona

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting We at McBlogger have been hearing a lot about Senator Carona, especially good things which is curious since he's a Republican and all. Apparently the good Senator has now realized that tolling and selling off assets (or, what TTC Commissioner Dumb Dumbson refers to as 'leasing', even though the 'lease' lasts as long, in some cases, as a human lifetime) for a pittance of upfront money is not only fiscally stupid and irresponsible, it's bad public policy.

    He joins a lengthy and growing list of mostly Democrats and a few Republicans who've come to realize that passing 3588 was a bad thing. I think even now Todd Staples might regret his decision to have done so much to further the cause of privatizing, at the expense of citizens, the most vital infrastructure in the state.

    Here's a great first start... outright moratorium on all toll projects. Rep. Coleman definitely is spot on with that proposal. Next one, abrogate all the contracts signed with toll developers and pay for actual construction costs to date and no handouts for the loss of future operating revenue. Let them sue and in the process, forbid them from any government work.

    The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how gutless elected officials can be. Y'all need to grow some goddamn huevos and learn how to play hardball. It is, after all, just business. If Zachry wants to sue then I think it only fair that they be cut out of every local, state and federal transportation project in Texas. It's not like we don't have other companies that can handle things.

    Senator Carona is also on my new fave list for calling for the resignation of TTC Chair, Ric Williamson. Another great first step.

    Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, said Williamson’s “abrasiveness” and single-minded commitment to toll roads and privatization as the solution to traffic congestion “has worn out his welcome in many communities across the state.”

    “I think it would be in the best interest of the state that he step aside in favor of new leadership on the commission,” he said.

    Thanks, Senator, for helping everyone to correct this imbalance. It's good to see Republicans and Democrats working together. It would have been sad to have to have run y'all out on a rail in 2008 and 2010 and replace you all with Democrats. Really, we like some Republicans. Especially the ones not named Leo Berman.

    Except you, Krusee. You should really look into Baxtering yourself. Just saying...

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    But we still want to have sex with you, Ted

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Dear Ted:

    I was a little hurt by your remark at the Governor's Inaugural Dance Party. I'm fine with you wearing a Confederate flag shirt, I even find it kind of sexy in a dirty, rural gas-station-attendant fantasy kind of way. Same with the machine guns, but more in a hot-marine-looking-for-fun... you get the idea. I honestly think you're dumb about the language thing, though... this is Texas. Spanish has ALWAYS been spoken here. GTF over it. What really got me was your marriage remark, specifically how much you like the fact that voters approved a ban on 'Faggots gettin' hitched'.

    While I've never been that big on marriage, I always kinda harbored the hope that one day you'd walk into my life, take me up in your scrawny arms, hold me as gently as you would one of your bows and kiss me, passionately with all your pent up desire. Then we'd have a great big wedding. It would be a magical day, even though you'll probably get too drunk and throw up everywhere.

    KIDDING! I just wanted to grudge fuck you because occasionally I feel a need to scratch an itch called 'talentless bore with greasy, stringy hair'. I sometimes get one called 'one hit wonders', but it rarely makes me think of you. Most of the time, it makes me think of Robbie Williams. Angry sex soooo rocks.

    That's right, Ted Nugent. I want to fuck you. Over and over again. I totally think you're gross, but it doesn't stop this weird desire to tap that ass. I want to pound that mangina until you apologize for 'Cat Scratch Fever' and 'Fred Bear'. Whenever you're ready, just drop me a note. I really want to hook up.

    XXOO,

    McB

    (photo credit:Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine... like I could make that up)

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    That's us. Giving. We're all the time giving.

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingYou might have noticed the graphic to the left on the sidebar. It's a link to Alta Vista's Babel Fish service which will allow some of our many foreign visitors to browse the site in their native language as long as it's Chinese (Mandarin), German, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. Or some combo thereof (for those of you in Macau).

    Surprisingly, we get lots of traffic from European and Asian countries. It's mostly people looking for porn who've found us because of something nasty I wrote that's completely unrelated to, for example GIANT TITS, but according to Google is THE place to find GIANT TITS. That's for the French and the Italians. You Germans and Japanese are FREAKS. I'm not going to even discuss what y'all were searching when Google provided you the link here.

    So, if you're from a part of the world other than the United States (literally BILLIONS are, or so The Mayor keeps telling me), use it to read our profanity laced posts in your native tongue. Just don't come here or Leo Berman will accuse you of pilfering medical assistance, stealing social security, taking our jobs or having sex with our wives/husbands. Yes, we know he's a fucktard... but he's our fucktard and we'll verbally bitch slap him ourselves.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I only wish Kay Baily had felt the same way

    Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) "said today he will honor his term-limits pledge and leave at the end of 2008, creating a replacement fight that should turn Colorado into one of the country’s biggest electoral battlegrounds," the Rocky Mountain News reports.

    Said Allard: "I just didn't think I could back away from the (term limits) commitment. It is a matter of integrity and keeping your commitments. I have never wavered on that."

    Texas' own Kay Bailey Hutchison promised during her 1993 campaign to serve only two terms

    In April, the Dallas Morning News reported that Hutchison had repeated her pledge to serve only two terms in the U.S. Senate

    Such a shame that Hutchison doesn't have the integrity of Wayne Allard.

    (via Political Wire)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Another way to track bills this session...

    Last week we told you about Somervell County Salon's new site to keep track of the Lege. It would appear there is another site out there called BillHop which is another great resource for keeping track of bills. While it lacks a crawler to recover the bills from the TLO website, the interface is based on a Wiki which gives users the ability to add bills, comment and communicate. It's clear to follow and you'll love the title on HB111.

    Check it out when you have a chance! Also, check out Vince's piece on a couple of bills filed by Democrats so far.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 18, 2007

    I don't want to spoil the party

    Well, how 'bout that Governor Goodhair? In case you didn't hear, "Imagine the Possibilities" was the theme of his inaugural address. If only it had some production music playing relentlessly under it I wouldn't have been able to tell it from one of those annoying cable TV marketing campaigns. Rick saved the music for later in the evening, when former rock star Ted Nugent performed at the inaugural ball. Ted raised some eyebrows by appearing in a confederate battle flag shirt and suggesting that non-English speakers might be more at home in another country. After the gala, Nugent tried to mend some fences by revealing that he had gotten the rebel banner from a Civil War re-enactor he had personally bayonneted to death and eaten. He also apologized for killing all those birds downtown last week.

    One group that is hoping to avoid uncomfortable moments at their party are those ferocious members of the Fourth Estate, the White House Correspondents. Last year's keynote speaker, Stephen Colbert provided some of the most uncomfortable moments for the powerful and contented since Damocles looked up between courses. Playing it safer this year, the media watchdogs have named impressionist Rich Little as the headliner for their 2007 dinner. Little, whose last gig was as a severed head in a jar in the second season of Futurama, has promised to play nice and not step on any presidential toes. Good luck, correspondents---I hear some of his Grover Cleveland material is pretty edgy.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Thank you, cocksuckers

    This is a little thank you note to all of the fucktards who thought there was still ice on goddamn Mopac through goddamn midtown. Seriously, friends, that was the best 80 minutes I've ever spent in my car. Well, maybe not the best... that would have to be when I had sex in the backseat on a first date (don't look at me that way... it was going nowhere and all I wanted from the relationship was a blowjob. I do regret doing it on a Friday night while parked down Fourth from OCH and Rain). Actually, now that I think about it, by 'best' I actually mean 'worst'.

    Thanks again, y'all. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you don't suck, 'cause you sooo do!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Anita and Griffin

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Bless their hearts!

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    SUPER BAD IDEA

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This is the perfect gift for the blow hard Republican in your life who thinks the reason no one listens to him is that no one can hear him. Or her. Yes that's right... people really DO want to hear your jackass opinions and this is just the thing to get the word out!

    You morons never heard of a blog?

    (via Gizmodo)

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bernanke, I love you!

    I'm watching Fed Chair Bernanke's testimony before the Senate Budget Committee and he just got a question from Senator Allard regarding the tax cuts, specifically, if Bernanke thought the tax cuts were essential to bringing money into the government.

    Bernanke said (and yes, I'm paraphrasing), that along the Laffer curve, at higher marginal rates of 90-100%, you would see increases in tax receipts with a cut from those levels as people return to those industries. However, I don't feel like we are on that side of the curve, as we've seen little net benefit from the cuts that have been made.

    Translation? The Tax cuts aren't growing the economy. Tax cuts aren't building jobs.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    On electing challengers...

    We've talked a lot about unseating Republicans and members of the Iscariot Caucus. It's going to happen, probably not all at once, but you're all marked. I thought it would be good idea to discuss a little bit about the process there.

    A successful challenge has to be fought from the ground up. There will be no BSD/P in Austin who decides on the challenger, consultants, media strategy, etc. It has to be at the local level. Obviously, some Democrats are too popular in their districts for it to happen in 2008. So we move them to 2010. However the work begins now.

    Some of them, like Patrick Rose, are not terribly popular in their districts. People keep giving Patrick chance, after chance, after chance and he keeps taking the good will and shitting all over it. No one really knows why, but there is one certain outcome. Eventually people shit on you. Sure, there are people that like Patrick in Hays County (apparently, the Statesman got their information from the Patrick Rose Fan Club), but there are many more who are really pissed at him over a variety of things, and the Speaker's race was the last straw. Especially when they find out how pivotal Patrick was to holding the Iscariot Caucus to voting for CradDICK.

    So, while everyone out in the world is watching their votes, people in their districts are slowing sowing the seeds of discontent and steadily building support. It won't be too much longer until candidates start being mentioned and that, combined with seed money, is what it takes to really start the ball rolling.

    Obviously, while people are angry about Rose and his constant apologies and promises to 'do better next time' , they've not settled on a candidate. Some of the districts are further along in the process than others but the fact remains, it's happening. Well funded, aggressive challenges to weak incumbents usually win. Especially when it's not someone from outside the district calling the shots. One thing to note, any incumbent can be weakened. Once the dissent begins, you can't rebottle it. Anyone who grew up in a small town knows what I'm talking about... when the long knives come out they don't get re sheathed

    Which brings me to a post at FireDogLake (via Vince at Capitol Annex) talking about a primary challenger to Cuellar. While Cuellar is liked in his district, he's beatable by someone in the primary this coming cycle. As long as they follow the rules. It has to be the people on the ground that make the decisions. While the blogs are good at reporting and discussing what folks are talking about, they aren't good at creating an insurgency. They are, however, extremely good at driving one to success.

    I don't see that happening with Cuellar, though. He earned a lot of goodwill with his support of Ciro. Of course, it could happen if it's done right. A challenge is a challenge, after all.

    In the end, it's not just the Iscariot Caucus that should be worried. The Republicans have given Democrats a marvelous bludgeon. Don't think it won't get used. Branch, for example, is weaker than people realize and that's a good example of a target. Why go after moderate Republicans... they vote to do what's best most of the time. It's the guns and gays conservative nutters that really aren't doing their jobs. Take Berman for instance. I know people are already lining up to take a piece out of him. Much like Krusee, he should really look into lobbying jobs. He's gone in 2008.

    I told y'all CradDICK was not the one to fear. And lest you think I'm suffering from a vastly overinflated ego, it's not me either. Ask Congressional Republicans what it's like when everything turns against you. Then realize it's not just fate, it's engineering.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 17, 2007

    Gallego opens the process to regular people

    Good job, Rep. Gallego!

    Gallego Puts Power in the Hands of the People
    ~Rep. Gallego Passes Landmark Legislation~

    Austin, TX Jan 12, 2007 (Austin)- Today the Texas
    Legislature passed landmark legislation opening the
    halls of government to the people. Representative
    Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) substantially opened up the
    legislative process to public scrutiny and
    participation by giving all Texans
    immediate, real-time access to amendments as they
    are being discussed on the House floor.

    "The amendment process on the House floor is one
    of the most significant parts of the legislative
    process. It is the only time all 150 members have
    the opportunity to change legislation." said
    Gallego. "Now people from Alpine, Fort Stockton, Del
    Rio, or anywhere in Texas can be a part of the
    process."

    Nice work, Rep. Gallego!


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    CAMPO Meeting postponed...

    The CAMPO Phase II toll meeting will be postponed until Monday, 6:00 pm. The location remains unchanged. It's cold out and apparently they don't want us sliding into one another trying to find parking at J.J. Pickle.

    I guess the one thing the toll roads can't do is thaw themselves out. They may be time machines, but they don't have auto-defrost. For all the money we're paying for them you'd think Zachry would have been nice enough to throw that in.

    Guess that wasn't in the bid, much like a few needed flyways.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oops... it's a bitch when a 'surplus' evaporates

    Grits and Kuff both have great pieces up about the spending cap and the evaporation of the surplus. Muse discusses it from the angle of the property tax cut which, as it turns out, isn't so much happening.

    Sucks, I know, but it's not like we didn't already know about it...

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    39% doesn't think the TP&WD needs all that money...

    Remember 39%'s campaign promise to use all the money collected by the state for the sporting goods tax for Parks and Wildlife? Turns out, not so much...

    “And my question is, if we drop $100 million on Parks and Wildlife and say, ‘Go spend it efficiently and effectively on your parks,’” maybe they can’t, Perry said. “So finding the appropriate amount of money to spend on the parks to get them updated, upgraded and maintained appropriately may not take all that money.”

    No, 39%. It won't take ALL that money, it will take MORE.

    The department needs between $140 million and $200 million in critical repairs and up to $400 million in total repairs, said Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, author of House Bill 6.

    Look, 39%, people don't want a tax rebate... they want the parks to be restored to where they would be had it not been for the mismanagement of you and other Republicans. You may have won your election but in reality you're weak. If I were you (thank God I'm not) I'd be lobbying the hell out of the Lege to up the funding and I'd sign the bill as soon it came out of the copier.

    (via Dig Deeper Texas)

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Crazy Old Guy runs for President

    Texas Congressman Ron Paul (Dr. No) has announced he'll run for President as a Republican, despite the fact that he's old enough to remember the Gettysburg Address. Because he was a member of President Lincoln's cabinet at the time it was written. This will be Paul's second try at the Presidency (he ran in 1888 as a Libertarian).

    Kent Snyder, the chairman of Paul's exploratory committee and a former staffer on Paul's Libertarian campaign, said the congressman knows he's a long shot.

    "There's no question that it's an uphill battle, and that Dr. Paul is an underdog," Snyder said. "But we think it's well worth doing and we'll let the voters decide."

    Uphill battle? Master of the obvious, please tell us more! He then went on to say that Paul was running despite the fact that the vast majority of people in the US didn't know who Paul was and those who did know Paul thought he was 'completely incompetent','rigid', 'bat shit crazy' and 'older than Methuselah'.

    "This is going to be a grassroots American campaign," he said. "For us, it's either going to happen at the grassroots level or it's not."

    I'm thinking not...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tolls : Traffic dropping; come to the CAMPO meeting

    Per Eye on Williamson, it appears that traffic is dropping on the toll roads here in Central Texas...

    that’s a drop in 48 - 60% usage. If the roads don’t produce like the “consulting firms” said then it’s hello Denver and higher tolls to make up the difference. Remember the “easy tags” are still free. When everybody has to pay those numbers should go down even more.

    I would say it's surprising but it's sooo not. I can't say I'm disappointed since it realistically means I'll have TWO lanes to drive in!

    On the subject of overall policy and CAMPO, I spoke recently with someone who pointed out that gas taxes are regressive. So are toll taxes, they just happen to be more expensive. While I agree we need a more progressive tax system in Texas, and believe such is the will of the electorate, the majority in power right now does not have the political courage to do it. Because Republicans are mostly a gutless, say anything and do anything crowd. Which brings us to what is going tonight... the CAMPO meeting where this ridiculous policy will be discussed.

    Normally I would be at Keep Austin Blue @ Mother Egan's having drinks. However some lame jackass decided to cancel it because of the weather. If you're like me and have nothing better to do in the bitter cold, then you should by all means attend this event where you can bitch about the ridiculousness of toll roads and how unnecessary tolls are (yes, Krusee... roads are good, Tolls are dumb).

    CAMPO PUBLIC FEEDBACK PHASE II TOLL MEETING
    Wednesday, January 17th at 6PM
    10100 Burnet Road, Bldg. #137
    The Commons Building,
    UT Pickle Research Campus, Austin, Texas

    Oh, and just for kicks, click here for the Statesman's Super Cool Toll Charge Calculator.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 16, 2007

    As I drink...

    I'm watching Fox 7 News and they just did a spot on the Inaugural Ball. Apparently, 39% got up on stage during the cover of Sweet Home Alabama and he and the singer changed the lyrics to

    "In Austin, Texas they love the


    Governor"


    Which is super funny when you think about it because he totally lost Travis County. Seriously, people hate you here ,39%. Make no mistake about it, Austinites really don't love their Governor. They don't even respect 39%. They actually like Leslie better.

    Vince over at Capitol Annex has a great piece up about a section of 39%'s speech today in the House

    I had to laugh. I just had to laugh! It is like Perry is channeling Lyndon Johnson and John Lennon and the wires got really, really crossed.

    Aside from that, I feel utterly compelled to point something else out: Governor Perry can “imagine the possibilities” all he wants, but the fact remains that he and more often, his party, are a massive obstacle to seeing these “possibilities” become realities.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The White House discovers it has no teeth

    This is what happens when you treat people badly for years. When they turn, they fucking turn...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    WASHINGTON — The White House fired back Friday at Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's verbal slap at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling the California Democrat's caustic comments about Rice's family life "outrageous."

    Boxer lit into Rice on Thursday with bitter diatribe during a heated line of questioning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looking into Iraq policies. At one point, Boxer turned to the broad question of who pays the ultimate price for war. Rice has never married and has no children.

    "Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

    Boxer hasn't apologized, won't apologize and despite the best efforts of Fox, there is no one calling for her to do so. Fox, being populated exclusively with troglodytes, failed to mention that Condi's numbers are way down and this exchange hasn't helped. Further, the White House could have said they fully supported Boxer and it wouldn't matter as they are now, functionally, powerless. No one is listening to them and in fact the vast majority of this country has nothing but outright contempt for this President and his party.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Got cabin fever yet?

    Central Texas has been paralized by a quarter-inch of ice and snow for almost a WHOLE DAY and it's no surprise that tempers are getting frayed and stocks of alcohol are getting low. Why not find a craft project to pass the time? Why not build a model Starship Enterprise out of a floppy disk?
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Calling Bullshit : Obama announces (and navel gazes)

    Here's the video...

    Our biggest problem is the smallness of our politics? With that one simple message and his announcement/non-announcement (No plans? No info? You're not going to talk until FEBRUARY?), Senator Obama shows brilliantly why he's the wrong choice to be the Democratic nominee. Yes, I know many progressives will disagree with me. I'm not saying Sen. Obama is a bad guy, in fact I think given a few years he could develop into the leader I know he can be. However, I've not seen any evidence of it. Seriously, watch the video and really listen to the words... he chalks everything up to partisanship, which, to everyone other than Sen. Obama, IS political reality in this country. Always has been, always will be. We're in the middle of what amounts to a battle for the soul of the United States against ideologues (as opposed to certain Republicans who've seen the light and have been voting with the Democrats) and Sen. Obama wants to make it all about partisanship.

    Not so much, hermano.

    This is exactly the kind of meaningless political pap he's been spewing for months. It's a salve and doesn't really cure any of the rifts in this county. It's the kind of feel good bullshit that pollsters say people love but, in reality, everyone with a brain sees through like a plate glass window.Where's the heart? Where's the soul? People want passion. Where the hell is yours?

    WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE OUR PRESIDENT, SENATOR OBAMA? What do you hope to achieve, aside from tea parties with Radical Republicans? Do you really think by taking this presumed 'high road' they won't line up to take a piece out of you?

    This guy makes me think of Kerry more and more each day. 2004 Kerry. He'll do well in a primary and get crushed in the general when the media finally asks him THE question.

    He's right about one thing... the grassroots are pointing in the direction of a win. Edwards is paying attention... why isn't Obama?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    How much does UP pay in taxes?

    UP wants taxpayers to pay for new tracks. From the SAEN...

    UP spokesman Mark Davis said that while “one accident, one injury or one death” is one too many, “relocating tracks is of greater benefit to the public” than it is to the railroad, “so the public should bear most of the costs involved.”

    Puente noted that “the bottom line is that (UP) is willing to relocate tracks, but someone is going to have to pay for it, and that someone is most likely going to be the taxpayers.”

    The dangers posed by trains, which sometimes carry toxic or dangerous chemicals, is a complex issue that has no cheap or quick fix, officials involved in the process note.

    (hat tip to Dig Deeper Texas)

    You know, since I drive a lot on freeways I pay to keep up every time I stop for gas, I really don't have a problem with paying to relocate tracks... as long as UP is paying taxes. How about a special toll? If it's good enough for truckers and commuters, it's good enough for Union Pacific.

    One thing, though... these trains normally run to a facility in a city. If the tracks are shifted out of the city, how are goods going to get into the city? Trucks, obvs. So who is going to pay to expand those feeders roads?

    It better be UP...

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    $83 Billion? WTF?!?!

    Did you know that there is $83 billion sitting in a fund controlled by the State of Texas? Apparently, there is...

    The Texas Universal Service Fund has collected so much money, in fact, that it has a surplus of $83 billion, prompting the state's Public Utility Commission to lower the fees' rate from 5.65 percent to 5 percent fees.

    This is fund that we all pay into every time we pay our phone bills. Ostensibly, it's to subsidize phone service for rural Texans (as well as those with low incomes and the disabled) so that they pay about the same (or lower) cost for phone service as urban and suburban customers. Obviously, we're paying too much if the fund has accumulated $83 billion at a time when less and less of the state is rural.

    So how about it, Lege? Why not take down the percentage to a much lower level and then use the surplus in the fund to take care of transportation, with the balance going to build schools and reinforce the employee's pension systems (Teachers and Public Employees)? Seems like that would be a far better use than letting it sit in a fund, unused.

    If we're serious about boosting the economy and getting it ready for the 21st century, spending this money on education, infrastructure and pensions would be an excellent first step.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bring it on...

    Oh, yeah... snow day and I have power, broadband and TV. Fuck this storm. Snow days now aren't like the ones when I was a kid. Now all they mean is 'scramble to catch up after the holiday that really wasn't a holiday because you were trapped in your house'. I fully intend to start drinking again around 12:00 when I start 'dumb kids ice party, 2007' by telling the neighbors that it's an excellent idea to sled down the middle of the iced over street.

    Oh, and fuck you KVUE and your wimpy 'Ice Alert, 2007'. You guys are losing your touch with the panic!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Druggy Drug-Drug.Benefit. Blah.

    The Congress is voting to allow HHS to negotiate drug prices for the Medicare Drug Benefit. The White House is threatening to veto the legislation which begs the question... is Bush drunk at the wheel?

    To maximize the government's savings, it would make the most sense to compare the best Medicare Part D price for a drug with a benchmark price like the price paid by the Veterans Administration or the Canadian government, both of which already negotiate drug prices, he said. At the top of the list will be brand-name drugs that cost Medicare many times more than what other payers pay -- and those should be the priority for negotiation.

    Wait. VA negotiates the drug prices?!?!?!? VA is a part of the US Government. So is Medicare. Why the hell can one part of the government negotiate while another is forced to pay whatever drug companies want to charge (the equivalent of being screwed without vasoline or kiss)?

    The problem is what benchmark do you use to negotiate with the drug companies? If you benchmark against the VA, then the companies could just raise the prices charged to the VA during the next round of negotiations. Then there is the formulary...

    "There are effective tools for bargaining even without a formulary," Ron Pollack, executive director of healthcare consumer group Families USA, told UPI.

    One example would be tiered formularies, he said. Manufacturers that refused to lower their prices would see their drugs moved to tiers with high co-payments, thus substantially limiting their sales.

    Here's an idea... cut their patent protection. That is the one huge club the government possesses in this fight and it's time some of these companies get used to the idea that they need to play ball. Let them go offshore. Without patent protections, there will be hundreds of generic manufacturers that rise up instantly and begin to offer generic versions of any drug produced by big pharma.

    The White House sees no way to effectively negotiate the prices. The HHS Secretary was just on talking about how this 'would limit choice' and that 'he can't find his balls to save his life'.

    Why is Connecticut native George W. Bush sooo afraid of pharma? For that matter, why are the Republicans in our Congressional delegation so afraid of pharma?


    This came from our friends at the TDP who evidently saw this as well...

    "Texas Congressional Republicans voted once again to put their special interest donors ahead of the middle-class Texas seniors they are supposed to be representing," said Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Amber Moon. "Republicans kicked seniors to the curb when they voted to continue part of the DeLay sham drug bill that barred the government from negotiating lower prices. Drug company profits have reached record levels while seniors have been held captive to the whims of big pharmaceutical companies."

    Under the current law, which Tom DeLay rammed through the U.S. House in
    2003, the Health & Human Services Secretary is prohibited from
    negotiating competitive and fair prescription drug costs while allowing
    the pharmaceutical companies to effectively set a price floor.


    Currently, states, Fortune 500 companies, and large pharmacy chains all
    use their bargaining clout to obtain lower drug prices for the patients
    they represent, and HHS should have that same capability for Medicare
    beneficiaries. This legislation, opposed by 18 out of 19 Texas
    Republicans in the U.S. House, would give the HHS Secretary the ability
    to use the purchasing power of Medicare's 43 million beneficiaries to
    achieve the greatest price discounts.

    "Despite record profits, Texas Republicans are still willing to use
    their vote in Congress to further benefit special interest campaign
    donors at the cost of everyday Texans," added Moon. "Congressional
    Democrats are taking the steps to undo some of DeLay's legislative
    damage and address the health care issues facing middle-class seniors,
    not wealthy CEO's."

    A Families USA study shows that, over a 6-month period, the median drug
    price increase among Medicare drug plans for the top 20 drugs prescribed
    for seniors was 3.7 percent - which translates into a 7.4 percent
    increase over a year, more than twice the rate of overall inflation.
    Meanwhile, Pfizer reported in October its third quarter earnings had
    doubled from the previous year. [Families USA, Big Dollars, Little
    Sense: Rising Medicare Prescription Drug Prices, 6/20/06]

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 15, 2007

    It's sad when you suck...

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI was watching 24 earlier and noticed that around 8:47 it jumped the shark. Yes, I know, I've been party to many ridiculous twists, wafer-thin plots and, of course, the superhuman exploits of Jack Bauer. I've hated Chloe. I've loved Chloe. I've hated Edgar. I've hated Edgar even more. I even cheered when I was sure Edgar was dead.

    Most of all, I hated Jack's imbecilic daughter. A close second would be the dipshit Republican Presidents and their advisors.

    Tonight, the show officially lost any shred of cool by making me watch the Curtis/Assad subplot. And that was BEFORE the nuke went off in Santa Clarita, CA. I still don't know why setting off a nuke in a 'burb is a bad thing. Seriously, the Valencia area of Santa Clarita is B-O-R-I-N-G, unless you love grocery stores, Blockbuster Video and Olive Garden. Setting off a nuke there would be more mercy killing than terrorism.

    And with that, I'm fucking done with this show, though I do hope someone will tell me when Thomas Lennox receives his comeuppance.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dregs : Granger, The Eminent Domainatrix; Shitting in the river and PWT

  • The always insightful Todd Hill, who has recently joined the BOR team, has a great post up about Congresswoman Kay Granger's love of her family and all things eminent domain.

    Fort Worth Republican Kay Granger has been bitten by the same bug that has recently tarnished the Republican Party in demonstrating the art of cronyism with a hint of corruption. It all adds up to a recipe for the Trinity River Project that will end up screwing the taxpayer, and certainly the poor working class in the end. Working with State Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), both have managed to ensure that the potential the Trinity River Project had in economically revitalizing Forth Worth is riddled with perks for family, friends, and Republican-leaning entities. In the end the working class, small business owners, and minority neighborhoods surrounding the area affected will be negatively impacted.
  • News 8 says that the Colorado received a whole lot of rain and 'a little wastewater' on Saturday.

    The City of Austin said their South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant released partially treated wastewater mixed with fully-treated wastewater and rain into the Colorado River.

    How much is a little? 1.6 MILLION GALLONS of full treated and partially treated wastewater. Way to play it down, News 8.

  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Seriously, I love me a picture of PWT all worked up about 'emmigrents'

  • Posted by mcblogger at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Happy MLK Day, Y'all!

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    This may strike some as odd, but I personally think the day we set aside each year to honor the life of Dr. King should be a celebration of his life, his work and how much he did to bridge the gaps that exist between people in this country. Granted, there is still work to do, but today is a time to celebrate the life of one man who did more in 20 years than most could do in several lifetimes.

    We don't observe this day to commemorate his death. We observe it to commemorate his birth and his life. So, while you're busy moping around feeling crappy about the state of the world, try to take a moment and remember the guy who worked hard to make things better.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    When even your friends turn...

    Oh. My.

    Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.: "It's, first of all, in my opinion, morally wrong. It's tactically, strategically, militarily wrong. We will not win a war of attrition in the Middle East... Madam Secretary, we've been there almost four years, and there's a reason for that skepticism and pessimism, and that is based on the facts on the ground, the reality of the dynamics."

    Yeah, Incompetentezza and Gates did not get a good reception from even the Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which isn't surprising given that the plan they were there to whore is bad. Monday night I referred to Bush's plan as being analogous to the plans of bad gamblers to double down in the face of mounting losses. Good to see that I'm not the only one who think the analogy is apt.

    "The human species grew up in the same world in which all other species did -- which is to say a world of limited resources. Once we spend any of our precious hoarded capital -- time, money, emotion, acorns -- it galls us not to get something valuable in return. Somewhere in our primal wiring, we thus developed a defensive tendency to do precisely what we shouldn't do when faced with the risk of grave waste: press our bets."

    The most interesting thing to happen to Connecticut native George W. Bush in the wake of his speech? He's even being shunned by the military...

    Soldiers being soldiers, those who met the commander in chief Thursday saluted smartly and applauded politely. But it was hardly the boisterous, rock-star reception Bush typically gets at military bases. During his lunchtime speech, the soldiers were attentive but quiet. Not counting the introduction of dignitaries, Bush was interrupted by applause just three times in 30 minutes -- once when he talked about a previous Medal of Honor winner from Fort Benning, again when he pledged to win in Iraq and finally when he repeated his intention to expand the Army.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    They don't want us on the floor?

    As a follow up to the post about Rep. Rodriguez's (D- AWESOME) effort to extend press credentials to bloggers, I thought it would be good for you to know what the inside debate looked like from someone who actually saw it...

    - Gives example of Quorum Report, Capitol Insider....notes that he wants everyone to have action
    - Solomons, who's carrying the House Resolution (HR 3)...is choosing his words carefully. It's FUNNY.
    - "I guess if you want a whole bunch of bloggers out there, it's up to you." -- Solomons
    - Fred Hill asks the question: "are we opening the area behind this rail to not only the media, the legitimate press, but all the bloggers in this state...". Solomons responds: "some of these are logistical problems..."
    - Fred Hill asks: "what are the credentials?" Solomons tells him you need 200 unique hits a day. Hill asks, "who certifies these unique hits?"
    - Hill asks: "What does a blogger bring to get their credentials on their floor." Solomons has no clue.
    - Hochberg up to the mike: "we have room for all the people to cover us, don't we?" Solomons answers: "I'm concerned there will be a whole lot of people..." Hochberg counters, what if we place a number and limit to the number of bloggers..."
    - Martinez-Fischer asks: "If you're a member and you get less than 200 unique hits, do you have to leave?"
    - Solomons is totally flabbergast by this amendment. It's hysterical. Seriously, you all need to go watch this video over the weekend. Solomons just moved to table. Rodriguez is closing...Rodriguez is going to temporarily pull the amendment and try and get the amendment more specifically written, and make sure blogs can get credentialed that are exclusively focused on state government.
    - PATRICK ROSE: I think you have a great idea, don't you think there's an increase in involvement because of the internet. I think we'd have a lot of chance to move forward, and I want to help you move forward with this...
    - Rodriguez is going to withdraw it for now, will work on it for the futureM

    There you go, kids! An inside view of the sausage grinder. Wasn't that fun?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Two takes on the minimum wage...

    First off, there's George Will's retarded, incoherent ramblings that reveal the fact he doesn't know a damn thing about how a consumer driven market economy works. Then there is Ruben Navarette's extremely good commentary on increasing the minimum wage.

    If the richest country in the world is going to have a minimum wage, we should have the decency to not let it hover near the poverty level. Forget the old saw that raising the minimum wage causes job losses. Research shows better paying jobs result in more people working. Workers tend to spend their wage increases, which pumps money back into the economy.

    Raising the minimum wage isn't just good for workers. It's good for everyone.

    Guess which one you should pick to read...

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 14, 2007

    Well, that's just wrong...

    B and B has an interesting take up on the Speaker's race...

    I believe it was a mistake for progressives to try to turn the choice of Pitts (and earlier, Republican Brian McCall) into a litmus test for Democratic legislators, an effort which many of my fellow Texas political bloggers drove. In fact, this effort may have contributed to Pitts' defeat, as it likely helped make Republican legislators wary of publicly joining the Pitts forces. These GOPers may have feared a primary challenge funded by Craddick allies, but such a challenge would have been more likely to succeed due to the vocally Democratic nature of the McCall/Pitts coalition.

    While I can't speak for other bloggers, I can elaborate on what I hoped to achieve. This race was important and everyone that voted for CradDICK should be targeted. They voted for a continuation of pay to play politics, for partisanship over common sense and for self-interest over what's best for Texas. I warned Republicans and Democrats alike and told them both CradDICK wasn't the one they should fear.

    Just FYI, he still isn't.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Giant Red TX Cock penetrates as far north as IL

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Do the weather people even realize how porno-like their graphics occasionally appear?

    By the way, am I the only one disappointed in the coverage of the

    GIANT WINTER STORM

    on TV? It seems like no one is paying attention to it. Also, check this out for an idea of just how unusual this storm is... not to mention a tornado in San Marcos. We aren't supposed to have tornadoes in January. Isn't extreme weather due to global warming a blast?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Yes, it's me. I totally own it.

    HELLO. MY NAME IS BARFLY AND I'M A PETTY BITCH.

    Today, one of my friends told me I was mean. We were talking on the phone about some random people we saw last week. I made a comment about a young woman who propositioned my friend at the bar. She basically asked him to ditch his friends (a group that included myself) and service her. I wasn't criticizing her, it was just a tiny observation. His response was 'You're mean'.

    Stunned, I responded with a whiny 'No I'm not'! However, what I was really thinking was 'If you think that was bad you are in for a fucking world of hurt, my friend'. An hour later, thinking about the conversation, it occurred to me that maybe I could stand to let a few things go without comment every once in a while. So it is in that spirit, and
    in honor of my extremely judgmental friend, I present this without comment.

    Seriously. Not one fucking word.

    Posted by barfly at 12:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 13, 2007

    Famous potato heads

    If freshman state senator Dan Patrick (R-Hate Radio) has his heart set on being the wingnuttiest legislator in the country, he should be advised that he's up against some pretty stiff competition. The latest to throw his clown hat into the ring is Idaho congressman Bill Sali, who expressed his displeasure with the rise in the federal minimum wage by drafting legislation to lower the force of gravity.

    So, Mr. Speaker, I have asked my staff to draft a measure I call the Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act. Since Congress will apparently not be restrained by the laws and principles that naturally exist, I propose that the force of gravity by the force of Congress be reduced by 10 percent. Mr. Speaker, that will result in immediate weight loss for every American. It will immediately help reduce obesity problems in America. Weight loss will also help to promote the overall health of Americans as we have been vigilantly advised by our health care.

    Idaho. What the hell are they putting in those potatoes?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Breach that southern border, cowboy!

    Anna over at TexasKaos sent this to me... and it soo has to be shared. Just a note, this is not really safe for work. But it's Saturday and really, you shouldn't be at work (I finished mine last night along with a bottle of scotch!).

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 12, 2007

    Fun and excitement... in your very own house!

    It's Friday night and I'm working... no joke, I'm actually sitting here underwriting on one computer while I blog on another. Talladega Nights is playing. My God, this is not the way life should be.

    I once had a life. I used to go out. Now I sit on my ass and back check documentation to make sure it matches LP findings. For those of you out doing amazing, fun things with amazing, fun people (and, hopefully, doing those same people), just one thing: I hate all of you.

    Not really, I'm just jealous. Like the kid with mono looking out the window at other kids playing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    For you and your monkey helper

    Some helpful hints from TSA for those who will be traveling with 'Monkey Helpers'

    Monkey Helpers

    * When a monkey is being transported in a carrier, the monkey must be removed from the carrier by the handler prior to screening,
    * The monkey must be controlled by the handler throughout the screening process.
    * The monkey handler should carry the monkey through the WTMD while the monkey remains on a leash.
    * When the handler and monkey go through the WTMD and the WTMD alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.
    * Since monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the monkey.
    * TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.
    * TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.
    * The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.

    Is it just me or are you too thinking about Planet of the Apes?


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Go, Eddie! Blogger Support Amendment

    THANK YOU, REP. EDDIE RODRIGUEZ!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday January 12, 2007 For More Information: Tashara Mitchell (512) 463-0674

    Representative Eddie Rodriguez to propose amendment to support Bloggers

    AUSTIN-- Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) will propose an amendment to the house rules today that will give established Bloggers access to the House floor.

    "With the rise of citizen journalism, it no longer makes sense to limit access to House business solely to the traditional press outlets," said Representative Rodriguez.

    Political blogs are some of the limited media that focus solely on reporting the happenings at the Capital and many of these Bloggers regularly break stories that show up in the traditional media.

    Bloggers, as defined by this revised rule, produce original reporting and informed comment worthy of credentials. This amendment will allow increasingly popular non-traditional media, the privileges necessary to more effectively inform citizens on governmental issues.

    "This kind of measure would encourage citizen participation in government and help demystify the system for the general public," said Rodriguez.

    This is really cool! While we know we don't individually have the readership of the DMN or HouChron (the AAS is another story), bloggers combined (especially those in the TPA) have a lot of eyeballs focused on them. It's great to see Democrats leading the way in acknowledging that and leveling the playing field between bloggers and dead wood media.

    Now, will enough Republicans stand with Democrats and do the right thing?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Koufax Awards... the first chance to vote in 2006

    Text courtesy of Vince at Capitol Annex...remember, when you vote you have to include the URL's. You can vote by sending this ballot to koufax | at | nic-naa | dot | net.

    Texas' progressive bloggers had a heck of a year in 2006. From TexRoots to exposing scandals like CondoGate, we "crashed the gate" and rocked the (Texas) House, helping Democrats up and down the ballot.

    Now, it's our turn for a little recognition. Every year, the Koufax Awards
    honor work by the best bloggers of "the Left" (hence the award being named
    after a lefty baseball player, Sandy Kofax).

    The Texas Progressive Alliance has, as a group, come up with a "Texas
    Ticket" that we are asking all of our readers to nominate for the Koufaxes.
    The "ticket" is below. Blogs with the most votes will make it into the
    second round of voting and we'd like to see Texas blogs up for the finals in
    every category of the Koufaxes.

    Voting is easy. All you have to do is copy the list below and paste it into
    the comments section on the Koufax Awards site, which is here .

    You can add additional blogs to this list as well, but we do ask, in the
    hopes of supporting Texas bloggers, that you vote this entire list,
    especially since all it requires is a "cut & paste."

    Best Blog : Off The Kuff (www.offthekuff.com) , Burnt Orange Report
    (burntorangrereport.com , Texas Kaos (texaskaos.com) , Capitol Annex
    (capitolannex.com)


    Best Blog -- Pro Division: The Agonist (www.theagonist.org)
    Best Blog Community: Texas Kaos (texaskaos.com)


    Best Writing: Charles Kuffner, Off The Kuff (offthekuff.com)


    Best Post: [INSERT YOURS HERE]


    Best Series: Capitol Annex's Coverage Of The Renewal Of The Voting Rights
    Act
    (http://capitolannex.com/capitol-annexs-coverage-of-the-voting-rights-amendm
    ent-renewal-2006/); Burnt Orange Report's 40/40 Project
    (http://www.burntorangereport.com/tag.do?subjectId=20); Musings's Coverage
    Of State Rep. John Davis' $1,500 Boots (& Various ethical problems)
    (http://muse-musings.blogspot.com/2006/10/khou-exposes-state-rep-john-davis.
    html)


    Best Single Issue Blog: Grits For Breakfast
    (gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com)


    Best Group Blog: Burnt Orange Report (burntorangereport.com)


    Most Humorous Blog: People's Republic of Seabrook (intellectualize.org) ,
    McBlogger (mcblogger.com)


    Most Humorous Post: McBlogger
    (http://www.mcblogger.com/archives/2007/01/giant_wax_cock.html, Burnt Orange
    Report: (http://www.burntorangereport.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1986 )


    Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: McBlogger (McBlogger.com), Musings
    (muse-musings.blogspot.com)


    Best Consonant Level Blog: Capitol Annex (capitolannex.com) , McBlogger
    (mcblogger.com , Musings (muse-musings.blogspot.com) , Bay Area Houston
    Blog (http://bayareahouston.blogspot.com/ ) , Eye On Williamson County
    (eyeonwilliamson.org)


    Best Expert Blog: Grits For Breakfast (gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com) , A
    Capitol Blog (acapitolblog2.blogspot.com)


    Best New Blog: North Texas Liberal (northtexasliberal.blogspot.com) ,
    Texas Kaos (texaskaos.com) , Musings (muse-musings.blogspot.com)


    Best Human Equality Blog: Dos Centavos (doscentavos.blogspot.com)


    Best Coverage of State or Local Issues: Burnt Orange Report
    (burntorangereport.com) , Eye On Williamson County (eyeonwilliamson.org) ,
    Capitol Annex (capitolannex.com) , Off The Kuff (offthekuff.com)


    Best Commenter: The Pretzel, Texas Kaos
    (http://soapblox.net/texaskos/showDiary.do?diaryId=2269)

    Yes, I'm pimping the hell out of the blog. You bet. The Mayor and I both thought it appropriate, even when we were sober.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    AT&T drops Cingular

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAT&T, which completed it's purchase of Bell South last month, has decided to scrub out the Cingular name and call the wireless company... AT&T. Thoroughly original, these people.

    "We did not enter that decision lightly," Wendy Clark, vice president of advertising at AT&T, said in an interview. "We came to understand that consumer customers and business customers alike are looking for a single provider. We heard it so consistently across the marketplace."

    Yes, Wendy. I, as a consumer, want everything to come from Ma Bell. The good news? It'll still be the same shitty service. That's right bitch, keep dropping me from EDGE to GSM and see if I don't call customer service over and over again. It's all I can do on GSM.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Saying goodbye...

    As many of you no doubt know, BOR's Karl-Thomas Musselman is leaving today for Massachusetts to go work with Act Blue, where he will slowly run the company into the ground. I kid, he'll actually do it quite quickly.

    Have fun in Boston, K-T! Send us some pictures of the green shag carpeting!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    House Passes Pay-Go

    I'm LOVING the new Democratic Congress...

    The House voted overwhelmingly today to ban anonymous pet spending projects, known as earmarks, and to reinstate “pay as you go” spending rules. Skip to next paragraph

    By 280 to 152, the Democratic-controlled House voted to require sponsors of the pet spending items to be publicly identified, a move that sponsors say will do away with some of the most egregious waste of the taxpayers’ money.

    The vote to reinstate the “pay as you go” rule was 280 to 154. It requires that increases in spending on entitlement programs be offset by savings elsewhere, so as not to raise the budget deficit.

    It's good to see some fiscal sanity returning to Washington.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 11, 2007

    More whining from Republicans

    Republicans are whining because the Democrats won't adopt a minority rights bill. It just happens to be the same bill the Republicans rejected when they were in the majority.

    The disappointment centered around the Republicans being the minority party in Congress for the first time in 12 years. Playing second fiddle is no fun, so the Republicans have come up with a "Minority Bill of Rights" to better include them in the legislative process.

    It is, said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., "based on the exact text that then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi submitted in 2004 to then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert." He added it would ensure "all sides are protected, that fairness and openness is in fact granted by the new majority."

    Ah, such a wonderful concept. In all fairness and openness, and to make sure all sides are protected, shouldn't the Democrats adopt the bill?

    What McHenry didn't say was that the Republicans certainly didn't embrace "the exact text" in 2004 when they were the majority party.

    What happened to fairness and openness back then? Reported The Washington Post, "In keeping with the general atmosphere of the House these days, aides to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said he will not respond to the two-page proposal from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif."

    That same news account quoted Dreier, who was then chairman of the House Rules Committee. He said the Democrats were crying about the process, while his mission was "to move our [Republican] agenda, and to do it in the fairest and most responsible way possible. And I do it in that order."

    But last week, he was "very disappointed" that the Democrats would be on the same mission while not being all warm and fuzzy with the Republicans.

    During a press conference Thursday, Putnam offered his "missed opportunity" remark about more inclusion. Rick Klein of the Boston Globe, referring to Pelosi's 2004 attempt at that same inclusion, asked, "What stopped you from taking that opportunity when you were still in the majority?"

    Putnam quickly tiptoed away from that mine field: "Well, I'll let Chairman Dreier speak to that."

    But he eventually tiptoed back to say: "The important point here is that the American people were promised a new way of doing business in the 110th Congress. There was clearly a high level of frustration in the heartland about the way people viewed the workings and procedures in this building, and they were promised a fresh approach, a fresh start."

    Actually, Rep. Putnam, the country is getting that fresh start with the reinstatement of Pay As You Go and meaningful ethics reform. The country doesn't want Republicans fucking it up. Democrats are listening to you, they are just ignoring those of you who come from the DeLay school of corruption.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    New tool to keep up with The Lege

    Somervell County Salon has a great new tool... a wiki-like bill tracking and commenting system. The damn thing rocks... check it out when you have a chance!

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    RFID's and practicality...

    Somervell County Salon has a post up about RFID's used in ID's and credit cards. Specifically, the post talks about ways to keep people from reading them who are, shall we say, unsavory. Somne suggest a Faraday cage or a hammer to break the RFID.

    Nope. This doesn't make me entirely happy either. Using a Faraday cage assumes that one has already bought off on the idea that some information, such as fingerprints, eye scans, etc are already OKAY to put into a card. I don't disagree that maybe once one has a card, one will have to shield it from the prying *eyes* of RFID readers, so that, for example, the casual shopper is not inundated with advertisements from a grocery shelf, targeted just to that person. Or so that, once you use your RFID enabled toll-tag, the readers along the way can track just where you are at any minute.

    I'm with SCS... I think these things are, for the most part, a super bad idea especially for coding biometrics in an ID. Of course, these things will really fail in the market and everywhere else when these become ubiquitous... and you know they will.

    And no, we are still not encouraging the creation or use of lo-tech EMP weapons...just pointing out how easy it is to screw RFID's.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Violence of the Lambs...

    I can't wait to see this... Seriously, it's safe for work and absolutely hysterical!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oh, Nancy...

    No smoking in the Capitol...

    If House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, quits smoking, he might have to thank his political rival.

    In one of her first acts as the new head of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has banned smoking in the Speaker's Lobby. The room, right off the House floor, has been one of the last refuges for lawmakers and journalists to light-up during votes.

    EVIL, Nancy. E-V-I-L!

    "The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over," Pelosi said Wednesday in a statement released by her office. "Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example."

    Blah, blah, 'secondhand smoke' blar-blah-dee-blee. If there is a silver lining, and I like to think there is... it's that Boehner will have to stand out in the cold for a cigarette. WHERE HE BELONGS.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Robot Suit Attack

    This is the Matshushita Demon Suit 3000 which can turn a normal human into a being capable of destroying whole city blocks. Or it's a suit to help those weakened by stroke. Which do you think is correct?

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMatsushita has developed a suit with virtual muscles. While it won't help you lift semis one-handed, it will aid in the rehabilitation of stroke victims suffering from partial paralysis by moving their limbs. Slated for 2009 release, the suit will run about $17,000, but should become cheaper with mass production.


    Version 2.0 will be for normal lazy people like me who just get tired of actually using our muscles. Version 3.0 will be for Republicans who lack spines.

    via Gizmodo

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Speakering in tongues

    Well, the fight is over. The new lines have been drawn and people are already gearing up for short term fights during this session and longer term fights beginning next fall. Muse has a recap the vote on the Geren Amendment which clearly shows that there are some good Republicans... and a few bad Democrats. For those of you interested in what little Patrick Rose had to say, Muse also has the text and Can-O-Fun has the audio of his insipid speech.

    BOR has a great post up on the democraddicks and what they were voting to support.

    And that, as 'they' say, is that. People were told CradDICK is not the one they should fear... it's us, the millions of Texans of who wanted a change. Now the die is cast and you can almost hear the bells ringing, signifying the death of the Republican Party in Texas and the end of the careers of 15 Democrats. Oh sure, it may not happen for all of you in 2008. Maybe it will be 2010. However, it'll happen. As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, it'll happen.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 10, 2007

    Dear Dawnna

    With a heavy heart, I pen this missive in remembrance of your loving embrace. There is no other way to say this – your love has grown cold. I can barely hold it together as I express my deepest regret to our fallen relationship.

    It seemed only yesterday that we laid in the cool tall grass of HD 46 and looked into the night sky. The million stars shined on us and our dreams of unlimited potential. Our love knew no boundaries. Embracing a young, intelligent, liberal woman in the Texas House had made me swoon with desire.

    First, it was those rumors, those wicked, wicked rumors about being seen with my nemesis, the Republican. I shrugged that off as just petty politics. My anger swelled at those who would try to split us apart. Then the innuendoes about conservative bed fellows were just too much to bear. You stopped coming around and I never saw you again at all our old haunts. You didn’t return my phone calls, and that time you passed me in the capitol rotunda without acknowledging my existence crushed my spirit.

    Well, I hope your happy and wish you only the best. I’ll only remember the good times we spent together. I will survive.

    Mending a broken heart,

    The Progressive Cause

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 03:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Blogger meeting with TDP...

    Yes, we went to the blogger meeting at TDP and can report that they are indeed moving past mistakes and looking to a much brighter future. One of the goals was to achieve a bilateral communication structure and it succeeded. Thanks to Hector, Amber, Chairman Nabisco (old habits, don't you know!) and all the folks there for hosting us!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Clean Air Rulz

    Jobsanger has a great piece up about the Alliance for A Clean Texas taking on TXU. It seems this upstart Alliance wants to stop TXU from building their dirty coal plants by lobbying in the Lege to, among other things, actually get TCEQ to stop the fast track licensing of the new plants. TXU is whining about not having enough power for Texans... in 2025. What they really want is to build a bunch of dirty coal plants here in Texas so they can ship the power to other states where you have to operate cleaner facilities.

    Anyone care to ask TXU the $64k question about how often their plants run at full generation? Most of the time the plants run in either a start-up or a shut-down mode. Of course, during all three phases, the plants are generating power. However, TXU only gets hit for emissions that occur during full generating mode.

    Here's an idea for the Alliance... why not ask the Lege to require that TCEQ enforce emissions guidelines during all operational modes? Then, and only then, can they even consider permitting the new plants... on a case by case basis.

    The Alliance will have some help on this from an unlikely source, Texas Business for Clean Air which has joined the battle against TXU's ill conceived expansion.

    It started in Dallas in the fall, when real estate scion Trammell S. Crow joined David Litman, the founder of hotels.com, and Garrett Boone, founder of the Container Store, to launch a political action committee called Texas Business for Clean Air.

    They've been joined by other business heavyweights, including Chris Harte, a director at San Antonio-based direct marketing company Harte Hanks Inc., and San Antonio developer Tim Hixon.

    Litman and Boone said the group got off the ground after taking a hard look at a plan by Dallas-based TXU Corp. to build the coal-fired units, mostly in rural counties in central and northeast Texas. They then approached Crow because they'd heard of his interest in environmental causes.

    "And I said, 'Hell, yes — this is a window of opportunity,'" Crow said.

    The businessmen, after what they say has been months of study, believe TXU's planned coal-fired plants would use old technology and contribute to pollution and global warming. They're working to sign up other Texas business leaders.

    "Our group has never witnessed such opposition to a business plan in the state of Texas," Crow said. "I don't think our organization could've happened a year ago, because the businessmen I know in Texas just don't join environmental groups. But I think the overall awareness of global warming has changed a lot of minds."

    "We're not against business," Litman added. "We all run successful businesses and we appreciate the profit motive. But power generation is different, because there are costs that are pushed on to the public because of what goes out of the smokestack."

    No story on business would be complete with a comment from Bill Hammond of the Texas Association of Bidness

    "It will be devastating for Texas if we experience a (power) shortfall," Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond told the San Antonio Express-News editorial board this week. "Look at California: They decided they didn't want to build power plants, and that was one reason they had businesses moving out of the state."

    Bill, you're a douche. Tomorrow, next week, next year and so on into the future, you'll always be a douche. Oh, and you're wrong... CA's shortages where due to manipulation in their deregulated electricity market. What the hell do you think made the big checks from Ken Lay go away?

    TXU says it will decommission older plants when the new ones come on. Of course, it's bullshit since by that time TXU will whine and cry that they have to keep the old ones going because they need to keep the power generated by them on the grid. So when, given that Texas is already on the edge of being non-compliant with air quality standards, when the state finally make TXU clean up it's act?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Girl... I needs some help!

    As many of you know, when it comes to highly technical things I am a tard. I can calculate the note rate off an APR, but I can't make things work on this blog. In fact, the only reason things DO work on this blog is because Mike Nicholson, truly a prince among men, has taken the time to help make them work.

    At least when it comes to design. For all the backend operations, I'm SOL.

    I'm restoring comments and pulling TypeKey for now since I obvs don't know how to install it. Annatopia has graciously volunteered to help with that and a WYSIWYG editor for entries (yeah, we've been coding the HTML and yes, it does suck ass). I think she only wants my first born which is totally cool since I didn't plan on keeping #1 anyway.

    For now, comment away, sellers of Viagra and Phentermine.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dan Patrick... loser

    We knew it wouldn't be long until Dan Patrick made an ass out of himself. Today he wanted the Senate to vote against requiring the traditional 2/3 majority to bring a bill to the floor for debate.

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingNo surprise, but Republican freshman Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston lost his first battle on his first day. You could say it was rather decisive.

    Patrick was the only vote recorded in opposition to a longstanding senate tradition requiring a two-thirds vote to bring a bill to the floor for debate.

    The other senators -- all 30 of them -- voted to keep the rule.

    Dan... two things. This tradition protects the Senate, not any particular party. Just because your party is in power doesn't mean you get to run rough shod over the minority. Keep in mind, as Republicans in Washington are learning now, that things can change in a single cycle.

    You're also a stupid douche. The fact that you couldn't get even one other Republican to vote with you on this should have told you that you were barking up the wrong tree.

    Dumbass.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Poisoning the well...

    Word on the street over the last few days is that several groups are to begin work on 'poisoning the Bob Perry well'. This is similar to what was done with Lieninger (the mere mention of which will turn most Republican voters to a Democrat) and his donations since 2004.

    Anyone else picking up on this?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Promises, promises

    Even though prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton already seems to have raised more political contributions than God, her supporters are always on the lookout for more. So Sister Ruth shouldn't be surprised if a pro-Hillary website is shilling for dollars by reminding us of Dick "Toesucker" Morris's vow to leave the country if the Hildebeeste is elected President.

    Of course, these pledges often turn out to be as hard to redeem as Patrick Rose's soul. Who knows how many votes the Democrats picked up nationwide on the strength of John Rambo McCain's as-yet-unfulfilled promise to commit suicide if the GOP lost control of the Senate?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Profiles in Courage, Texas House Edition

    Thank you, Representative Dunnam, for publishing this letter to members of the Democratic Caucus who stood almost completely united today. I've been feeling pretty disappointed in the few Democrats who sided with CradDICK. Thank you for showing us all that most Democrats are still on the right side of history.

    Dear Colleague, When Tom Craddick stepped onto the House floor today, he honestly did not know if he would be elected Speaker. That alone is something that would have been deemed unbelievable four years ago, and indeed even four months ago. If only six members had voted differently, we would have different leadership in the House. Unfortunately, that 45-minute delay on Rep. King's Point of Order probably resulted in at least that many votes being flipped.

    I am proud that House Democrats stood together today, committed to changing the direction of Texas - something voters in 2006 stated quite loudly that they wanted. House Democrats said enough to the four years of dictatorial rule and policy that threw hundreds of thousands of children off CHIP, increased tuition for all Texans, cut funding for public schools and put the special interests of the wealthiest Texans above Texas families.

    The decision of whether or not the House would have a new Speaker has always been a Republican decision. There are 81 Republicans in the Texas House and, not surprisingly, a Republican Speaker. House Republicans had an opportunity to choose a new direction for the State of Texas, but they chose the status quo.

    Tom Craddick obtained the Speaker's gavel in 2002 through illegal corporate money from TRMPAC and a redistricting map that was designed to elect 100 Republicans. Since that time, House Democrats have gained seven net seats, and we are poised to play a strong constructive role in the shaping of good policy this session.

    My goal is for House Democrats play a positive role in shaping policy this session. I hope Mr. Craddick does become more inclusive and allow members to just vote their conscience and district. But that decision is solely in his hands.

    Today was just the first round this session in our fight for our constituents and the people of the State of Texas. Once again we proved that we will stand up for our convictions and principles, regardless of threats or promised rewards.

    Thank you for your courage, your trust and your friendship. We will never win every vote on the floor, but when House Democrats stand up and fight together, Texas can never lose.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Dunnam

    Vince at Capitol Annex has the statement to the press on the re-election of Tom Craddick.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 09, 2007

    Profiles in Cowardice, Texas House Edition

    OK, here's the recap. Geren's Amendment for a secret ballot (that would have been revealed after committee assignments) failed by 80-68 with the CradDICKHEAD Democrats (or, as The Mayor has begun calling them, the Iscariot Caucus) making the difference. With that, Merritt's Amendment went down in flames and shortly thereafter Pitts withdrew so as not to force any of his pledges to commit certain suicide.

    You're kind of a gimp, Pitts, but honorable at least. That bit about letting 'the healing begin', though, was class A pussy. I haven't heard that kind of chickenshit weakness since Brian (#3) was in my life.

    K-T has the Iscariot Caucus named...

    1. Joe Deshotel (512) 463-0662
    2. Kino Flores (512) 463-0704
    3. Ryan Guillen (512) 463-0416
    4. Aaron Pena (512) 463-0426
    5. Helen Giddings (512) 463-0953
    6. Sylvester Turner (512) 463-0554
    7. Dawnna Dukes (512) 463-0506
    8. Ruth Jones McClendon (512) 463-0708
    9. Norma Chavez (512) 463-0622
    10. Patrick Rose (512) 463-0647
    11. Kevin Bailey (512) 463-0924
    12. Tracy King (512) 463-0194
    13. Robert Puente (512) 463-0452
    14. Harold Dutton (512) 463-0510

    One wonders of what their 30 pieces of silver will consist... the med school in El Paso for Chavez? A tollway for Pena? A pair of lifts for Patrick Rose (who, by the way, wins the contest for who can suck up most... it takes a brave man, Patrick, to actually blow the Speaker on the floor during your seconding speech)? Another useless title for Sylvester Turner and Dawnna?

    The bottom line is that those who considered this a largely irrelevant vote are wrong. This was hugely relevant because CradDICK has been the prime mover on a lot of bad work and harmful legislation. From redistricting to killing ethics bills, CradDICK has been the one who made things happen. A vote for him was a vote for pulling kids off CHIP, for selling off public infrastructure, for privatizing our state services and wasting tax dollars, for unfair taxation, for poor funding of education, for screwing teachers.

    I'm not the type of Democrat who demands elected officials agree with me 100%. However, I do expect them to do what's best for Texas and their constituents. Some members of our party failed that test today. I expected the overwhelming majority of Republicans to fail it, but the Craddickcrats were extremely disappointing.

    Would Pitts have been better? From talking to those who know him, yes. Unfortunately, we'll never know because a sliver of Democrats voted with the majority of Republicans and fucked the state of Texas for the next two years.

    For those Republican who hung with Pitts until the very end... my thanks. To those Democrats who held their noses while voting for Pitts... my eternal gratitude. All of you did what was right for your state when you crossed party lines to work together.

    The rest of you can clean my ass with your tongue after I've taken a nasty shit.

    (Muse and Annatopia both have up excellent wraps of their own...)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Who's liveblogging the miasma...

    Pink Lady is doing a fine job while watching it and blogging text messages from Lawrence Collins.

    BOR has a live thread, as does Texas Kaos. I hear Kuff, PDiddie and Greg are there as well...

    So who's got the scoop on all the exciting (not exciting) work (not really work, either) going on at the Capitol? Or, is this all a bunch of anti-climatic lame while CradDICK does his best to bail water from his rapidly sinking dinghy?

    That's right, kids... sinking. It looks like a ballot and we won't know how folks voted until after committee assignments are made. Which means CradDICK has got his pig tit in one hell of a ringer.

    UPDATED 5:23 - Looks like the secret ballot when down in flames...oops.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    ...And Introducing Ms. Buffy McCreeperson

    Can you tell we're kinda bored with the 'action' in the House? As I drive down 130 (yes, I'm well aware that driving and typing are super bad) it occurs to me having a real job kinda blows. So would someone who's watching this shit keep us up to date?

    (via the NY Post... I know, I'm embarrassed for me as well)

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBrooke Henson was just a normal girl, who just happened to be someone other than Brooke Henson. The real Henson went missing in 1999. This chick is Esther Elizabeth Reed and she assumed Henson's identity years ago. Then she went to Harvard and Columbia. I would totally steal an identity if my name was Esther. And it's not just because I'm a boy.

    Of course, Reed was also known as Natalie Fisher to a cadet at West Point and his family (he took her to the meet the fam?!?). The people at Harvard and Cal State-Fullerton also knew her as Henson. So the question is, what was she doing at Columbia (studying criminology, no less)? Great question... another one is how she got caught


    Reed's scam first came to police attention last June, when she tried to get a summer job as a housekeeper in Manhattan and identified herself as Henson. She used the missing girl's birthday and Social Security number.

    When her prospective employer did a search on Henson's name, the first thing she found was a missing-persons Web site created by Henson's family.

    "She realized that the woman who had come to her had the same birth date and had a resemblance to the picture of Brooke Henson on the Web site, so she immediately called the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division," Campbell said. They, in turn, notified the NYPD, who sent a detective to Reed's campus apartment.

    "Everyone suspected it was probably a case of a stolen identity, and we fully expected her to say, 'You got me. I'm not Brooke Henson,' " Campbell. "Well, to our surprise, she said the exact opposite."

    Reed, pretending to be Henson, claimed she was estranged from her family and had run away. The detective then called Campbell.

    "He called and said, 'You can clear your case.' But I was like, 'Hey, wait a minute.' Frankly, I believe that Brooke Henson is very likely dead, and I needed more proof - like DNA or fingerprints," Campbell said.

    He said that by claiming she was Henson, Reed almost pulled off a stunning con.

    "If it hadn't been on this case - which I am very close to - we would have closed the file, and she would have had a completely laundered identity," he said.

    When investigators contacted Reed just before July 4, she agreed to provide a DNA swab after the holiday but never showed up.

    Since the Post is a Murdoch property, they DID find a way to work terrorism/espionage/something-to-fear into the piece.

    But investigators also stumbled upon some alarming information.

    At least one soldier's family told Campbell they saw that Reed frequently received large amounts of money wired to her from Germany and Italy. She also placed numerous lengthy calls to people in the Netherlands. And at some point, she traveled to Florida to have plastic surgery done on her face.

    Then she allegedly tried to get a cadet to furnish her with a certificate from the Army's assault school.

    "At this point, it started sounding like it could be espionage and not just identity theft," Campbell said.

    Really, Detective? Any proof of any of this? I mean, she was busted applying for a job as a cleaning lady... why would she do that if she was rolling in money from Europe? Oh, hell... I'll let you have this one if only because that picture creeps me the hell out.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    RG4N takes Wal-Mart to the next level

    Remember the Wal-Mart at Northcross? Apparently things aren't going well for RG4N. So they're going to sue.

    "It seems that administrative activity has still been going on down at City Hall, and that is problematic," Meeker says. "It makes us wonder what really was being put on hold for 60 days."

    But city councilman Mike Martinez, who helped broker the 60-day deal, says he doesn't believe Wal-Mart or Lincoln have gone back on their word. Martinez says the comittment they made was to the actual store, and the building permit that Lincoln applied for was for remodeling of the site.

    He says the dialogue is ongoing, but Responsible Growth for Northcross members are ready to take the talks to court.

    "We think it's unfortunate," Meeker said. "We don't want to have to sue the city, but one of the ways we can help facilitate not suing the city is if people honestly step forward now and start having a dialogue."

    In case you were wondering, Wal-Mart is a bad idea here. These people already have to put up with Stein-Mart.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Moyers, spot on as usual...

    Someone once told me I wrote like Bill Moyers. I found out later on he was referring to the fact that we both wrote on a computer and didn't want to come out and say I was actually completely hopeless. Like I didn't know that already.

    Moving on, as the tears stream down my talentless cheeks, here's an excerpt from this article at The Nation. Check it out when you have a chance, or just jump to the supersize.

    Here in the first decade of the twenty-first century the story that becomes America's dominant narrative will shape our collective imagination and hence our politics. In the searching of our souls demanded by this challenge, those of us in this room and kindred spirits across the nation must confront the most fundamental progressive failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibility--the gift we have received and the legacy we must bequeath.

    What, you ask, happened to the catty bitch? I grudge fucked him. I'm fun like that.

    For America's Sake

    by BILL MOYERS

    [from the January 22, 2007 issue]

    The following is an adaptation of remarks made by Bill Moyers to a December 12 gathering in New York sponsored by The Nation, Demos, the Brennan Center for Justice and the New Democracy Project. --The Editors

    You could not have chosen a better time to gather. Voters have provided a respite from a right-wing radicalism predicated on the philosophy that extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice. It seems only yesterday that the Trojan horse of conservatism was hauled into Washington to disgorge Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and their hearty band of ravenous predators masquerading as a political party of small government, fiscal restraint and moral piety and promising "to restore accountability to Congress...[and] make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves."

    Well, the long night of the junta is over, and Democrats are ebullient as they prepare to take charge of the multitrillion-dollar influence racket that we used to call the US Congress. Let them rejoice while they can, as long as they remember that while they ran some good campaigns, they have arrived at this moment mainly because George W. Bush lost a war most people have come to believe should never have been fought in the first place. Let them remember, too, in this interim of sweet anticipation, that although they are reveling in the ruins of a Republican reign brought down by stupendous scandals, their own closet is stocked with skeletons from an era when they were routed from office following Abscam bribes and savings and loan swindles that plucked the pockets and purses of hard-working, tax-paying Americans.

    As they rejoice, Democrats would be wise to be mindful of Shakespeare's counsel, "'Tis more by fortune...than by merit." For they were delivered from the wilderness not by their own goodness and purity but by the grace of K Street corruption, DeLay Inc.'s duplicity, the pitiless exploitation of Terri Schiavo, the disgrace of Mark Foley and a shameful partisan cover-up, the shamelessness of Jack Abramoff and a partisan conspiracy, and neocon arrogance and amorality (yes, amoral: Apparently there is no end to the number of bodies Bill Kristol and Richard Perle are prepared to watch pile up on behalf of illusions that can't stand the test of reality even one Beltway block from the think tanks where they are hatched). The Democrats couldn't have been more favored by the gods if they had actually believed in one!

    But whatever one might say about the election, the real story is one that our political and media elites are loath to acknowledge or address. I am not speaking of the lengthy list of priorities that progressives and liberals of every stripe are eager to put on the table now that Democrats hold the cards in Congress. Just the other day a message popped up on my computer from a progressive advocate whose work I greatly admire. Committed to movement-building from the ground up, he has results to show for his labors. His request was simple: "With changes in Congress and at our state capitol, we want your input on what top issues our lawmakers should tackle. Click here to submit your top priority."

    I clicked. Sure enough, up came a list of thirty-four issues--an impressive list that began with "African-American" and ran alphabetically through "energy" and "higher education" to "guns," "transportation," "women's issues" and "workers' rights." It wasn't a list to be dismissed, by any means, for it came from an unrequited thirst for action after a long season of malignant opposition to every item on the agenda. I understand the mindset. Here's a fellow who values allies and appreciates what it takes to build coalitions; who knows that although our interests as citizens vary, each one is an artery to the heart that pumps life through the body politic, and each is important to the health of democracy. This is an activist who knows political success is the sum of many parts.

    But America needs something more right now than a "must-do" list from liberals and progressives. America needs a different story. The very morning I read the message from the progressive activist, the New York Times reported on Carol Ann Reyes. Carol Ann Reyes is 63. She lives in Los Angeles, suffers from dementia and is homeless. Somehow she made her way to a hospital with serious, untreated needs. No details were provided as to what happened to her there, except that the hospital--which is part of Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in the country--called a cab and sent her back to skid row. True, they phoned ahead to workers at a rescue shelter to let them know she was coming. But some hours later a surveillance camera picked her up "wandering around the streets in a hospital gown and slippers." Dumped in America.

    Here is the real political story, the one most politicians won't even acknowledge: the reality of the anonymous, disquieting daily struggle of ordinary people, including the most marginalized and vulnerable Americans but also young workers and elders and parents, families and communities, searching for dignity and fairness against long odds in a cruel market world.

    Everywhere you turn you'll find people who believe they have been written out of the story. Everywhere you turn there's a sense of insecurity grounded in a gnawing fear that freedom in America has come to mean the freedom of the rich to get richer even as millions of Americans are dumped from the Dream. So let me say what I think up front: The leaders and thinkers and activists who honestly tell that story and speak passionately of the moral and religious values it puts in play will be the first political generation since the New Deal to win power back for the people.

    There's no mistaking that America is ready for change. One of our leading analysts of public opinion, Daniel Yankelovich, reports that a majority want social cohesion and common ground based on pragmatism and compromise, patriotism and diversity. But because of the great disparities in wealth, the "shining city on the hill" has become a gated community whose privileged occupants, surrounded by a moat of money and protected by a political system seduced with cash into subservience, are removed from the common life of the country. The wreckage of this abdication by elites is all around us.

    Corporations are shredding the social compact, pensions are disappearing, median incomes are flattening and healthcare costs are soaring. In many ways, the average household is generally worse off today than it was thirty years ago, and the public sector that was a support system and safety net for millions of Americans across three generations is in tatters. For a time, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by more work and more personal debt. Both political parties craftily refashioned those major renovations of the average household as the new standard, shielding employers from responsibility for anything Wall Street didn't care about. Now, however, the more acute major risks workers have been forced to bear as employers reduce their health and retirement costs--on orders from Wall Street--have made it clear that our fortunes are being reversed. Polls show that a majority of US workers now believe their children will be worse off than they are. In one recent survey, only 14 percent of workers said that they have obtained the American Dream.

    It is hard to believe that less than four decades ago a key architect of the antipoverty program, Robert Lampman, could argue that the "recent history of Western nations reveals an increasingly widespread adoption of the idea that substantial equality of social and economic conditions among individuals is a good thing." Economists call that postwar era "the Great Compression." Poverty and inequality had declined dramatically for the first time in our history. Here, as Paul Krugman recently recounted, is how Time's report on the national outlook in 1953 summed it up: "Even in the smallest towns and most isolated areas, the U.S. is wearing a very prosperous, middle-class suit of clothes, and an attitude of relaxation and confidence. People are not growing wealthy, but more of them than ever before are getting along." African-Americans were still written out of the story, but that was changing, too, as heroic resistance emerged across the South to awaken our national conscience. Within a decade, thanks to the civil rights movement and President Johnson, the racial cast of federal policy--including some New Deal programs--was aggressively repudiated, and shared prosperity began to breach the color line.

    To this day I remember John F. Kennedy's landmark speech at the Yale commencement in 1962. Echoing Daniel Bell's cold war classic The End of Ideology, JFK proclaimed the triumph of "practical management of a modern economy" over the "grand warfare of rival ideologies." The problem with this--and still a major problem today--is that the purported ideological cease-fire ended only a few years later. But the Democrats never re-armed, and they kept pinning all their hopes on economic growth, which by its very nature is valueless and cannot alone provide answers to social and moral questions that arise in the face of resurgent crisis. While "practical management of a modern economy" had a kind of surrogate legitimacy as long as it worked, when it no longer worked, the nation faced a paralyzing moral void in deciding how the burdens should be borne. Well-organized conservative forces, firing on all ideological pistons, rushed to fill this void with a story corporate America wanted us to hear. Inspired by bumper-sticker abstractions of Milton Friedman's ideas, propelled by cascades of cash from corporate chieftans like Coors and Koch and "Neutron" Jack Welch, fortified by the pious prescriptions of fundamentalist political preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, the conservative armies marched on Washington. And they succeeded brilliantly.

    When Ronald Reagan addressed the Republican National Convention in 1980, he a told a simple story, one that had great impact. "The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership--in the White House and in Congress--for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us." He declared, "I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself." It was a speech of bold contrasts, of good private interest versus bad government, of course. More important, it personified these two forces in a larger narrative of freedom, reaching back across the Great Depression, the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Mayflower Compact. It so dazzled and demoralized Democrats they could not muster a response to the moral abandonment and social costs that came with the Reagan revolution.

    We too have a story of freedom to tell, and it too reaches back across the Great Depression, the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Mayflower Compact. It's a story with clear and certain foundations, like Reagan's, but also a tumultuous and sometimes violent history of betrayal that he and other conservatives consistently and conveniently ignore.

    Reagan's story of freedom superficially alludes to the Founding Fathers, but its substance comes from the Gilded Age, devised by apologists for the robber barons. It is posed abstractly as the freedom of the individual from government control--a Jeffersonian ideal at the root of our Bill of Rights, to be sure. But what it meant in politics a century later, and still means today, is the freedom to accumulate wealth without social or democratic responsibilities and the license to buy the political system right out from under everyone else, so that democracy no longer has the ability to hold capitalism accountable for the good of the whole.

    And that is not how freedom was understood when our country was founded. At the heart of our experience as a nation is the proposition that each one of us has a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." As flawed in its reach as it was brilliant in its inspiration for times to come, that proposition carries an inherent imperative: "inasmuch as the members of a liberal society have a right to basic requirements of human development such as education and a minimum standard of security, they have obligations to each other, mutually and through their government, to ensure that conditions exist enabling every person to have the opportunity for success in life."

    The quote comes directly from Paul Starr, one of our most formidable public thinkers, whose forthcoming book, Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism, is a profound and stirring call for liberals to reclaim the idea of America's greatness as their own. Starr's book is one of three new books that in a just world would be on every desk in the House and Senate when Congress convenes again.

    John Schwarz, in Freedom Reclaimed: Rediscovering the American Vision, rescues the idea of freedom from market cultists whose "particular idea of freedom...has taken us down a terribly mistaken road" toward a political order where "government ends up servicing the powerful and taking from everyone else." The free-market view "cannot provide us with a philosophy we find compelling or meaningful," Schwarz writes. Nor does it assure the availability of economic opportunity "that is truly adequate to each individual and the status of full legal as well as political equality." Yet since the late nineteenth century it has been used to shield private power from democratic accountability, in no small part because conservative rhetoric has succeeded in denigrating government even as conservative politicians plunder it.

    But government, Schwarz reminds us, "is not simply the way we express ourselves collectively but also often the only way we preserve our freedom from private power and its incursions." That is one reason the notion that every person has a right to meaningful opportunity "has assumed the position of a moral bottom line in the nation's popular culture ever since the beginning." Freedom, he says, is "considerably more than a private value." It is essentially a social idea, which explains why the worship of the free market "fails as a compelling idea in terms of the moral reasoning of freedom itself." Let's get back to basics, is Schwarz's message. Let's recapture our story.

    Norton Garfinkle picks up on both Schwarz and Starr in The American Dream vs. the Gospel of Wealth, as he describes how America became the first nation on earth to offer an economic vision of opportunity for even the humblest beginner to advance, and then moved, in fits and starts--but always irrepressibly--to the invocation of positive government as the means to further that vision through politics. No one understood this more clearly, Garfinkle writes, than Abraham Lincoln, who called on the federal government to save the Union. He turned to large government expenditures for internal improvements--canals, bridges and railroads. He supported a strong national bank to stabilize the currency. He provided the first major federal funding for education, with the creation of land grant colleges. And he kept close to his heart an abiding concern for the fate of ordinary people, especially the ordinary worker but also the widow and orphan. Our greatest President kept his eye on the sparrow. He believed government should be not just "of the people" and "by the people" but "for the people." Including, we can imagine, Carol Ann Reyes.

    The great leaders of our tradition--Jefferson, Lincoln and the two Roosevelts--understood the power of our story. In my time it was FDR, who exposed the false freedom of the aristocratic narrative. He made the simple but obvious point that where once political royalists stalked the land, now economic royalists owned everything standing. Mindful of Plutarch's warning that "an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics," Roosevelt famously told America, in 1936, that "the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man." He gathered together the remnants of the great reform movements of the Progressive Age--including those of his late-blooming cousin, Teddy--into a singular political cause that would be ratified again and again by people who categorically rejected the laissez-faire anarchy that had produced destructive, unfettered and ungovernable power. Now came collective bargaining and workplace rules, cash assistance for poor children, Social Security, the GI Bill, home mortgage subsidies, progressive taxation--democratic instruments that checked economic tyranny and helped secure America's great middle class. And these were only the beginning. The Marshall Plan, the civil rights revolution, reaching the moon, a huge leap in life expectancy--every one of these great outward achievements of the last century grew from shared goals and collaboration in the public interest.

    So it is that contrary to what we have heard rhetorically for a generation now, the individualist, greed-driven, free-market ideology is at odds with our history and with what most Americans really care about. More and more people agree that growing inequality is bad for the country, that corporations have too much power, that money in politics is corrupting democracy and that working families and poor communities need and deserve help when the market system fails to generate shared prosperity. Indeed, the American public is committed to a set of values that almost perfectly contradicts the conservative agenda that has dominated politics for a generation now.

    The question, then, is not about changing people; it's about reaching people. I'm not speaking simply of better information, a sharper and clearer factual presentation to disperse the thick fogs generated by today's spin machines. Of course, we always need stronger empirical arguments to back up our case. It would certainly help if at least as many people who believe, say, in a "literal devil" or that God sent George W. Bush to the White House also knew that the top 1 percent of households now have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Yes, people need more information than they get from the media conglomerates with their obsession for nonsense, violence and pap. And we need, as we keep hearing, "new ideas." But we are at an extraordinary moment. The conservative movement stands intellectually and morally bankrupt while Democrats talk about a "new direction" without convincing us they know the difference between a weather vane and a compass. The right story will set our course for a generation to come.

    Some stories doom us. In Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond tells of the Viking colony that disappeared in the fifteenth century. The settlers had scratched a living on the sparse coast of Greenland for years, until they encountered a series of harsh winters. Their livestock, the staple of their diet, began to die off. Although the nearby waters teemed with haddock and cod, the colony's mythology prohibited the eating of fish. When their supply of hay ran out during a last terrible winter, the colony was finished. They had been doomed by their story.

    Here in the first decade of the twenty-first century the story that becomes America's dominant narrative will shape our collective imagination and hence our politics. In the searching of our souls demanded by this challenge, those of us in this room and kindred spirits across the nation must confront the most fundamental progressive failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibility--the gift we have received and the legacy we must bequeath.

    In our brief sojourn here we are on a great journey. For those who came before us and for those who follow, our moral, political and religious duty is to make sure that this nation, which was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we are all created equal, is in good hands on our watch.

    One story would return America to the days of radical laissez-faire, when there was no social contract and the strong took what they could and the weak were left to forage. The other story joins the memory of struggles that have been waged with the possibility of victories yet to be won, including healthcare for every American and a living wage for every worker. Like the mustard seed to which Jesus compared the Kingdom of God, nurtured from small beginnings in a soil thirsty for new roots, our story has been a long time unfolding. It reminds us that the freedoms and rights we treasure were not sent from heaven and did not grow on trees. They were, as John Powers has written, "born of centuries of struggle by untold millions who fought and bled and died to assure that the government can't just walk into our bedrooms and read our mail, to protect ordinary people from being overrun by massive corporations, to win a safety net against the often-cruel workings of the market, to guarantee that businessmen couldn't compel workers to work more than forty hours a week without extra compensation, to make us free to criticize our government without having our patriotism impugned, and to make sure that our leaders are answerable to the people when they choose to send our soldiers into war." The eight-hour day, the minimum wage, the conservation of natural resources, free trade unions, old-age pensions, clean air and water, safe food--all these began with citizens and won the endorsement of the political class only after long struggles and bitter attacks. Democracy works when people claim it as their own.

    It is only rarely remembered that the definition of democracy immortalized by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address had been inspired by Theodore Parker, the abolitionist prophet. Driven from his pulpit, Parker said, "I will go about and preach and lecture in the city and glen, by the roadside and field-side, and wherever men and women may be found." He became the Hound of Freedom and helped to change America through the power of the word. We have a story of equal power. It is that the promise of America leaves no one out. Go now, and tell it on the mountains. From the rooftops, tell it. From your laptops, tell it. From the street corners and from Starbucks, from delis and from diners, tell it. From the workplace and the bookstore, tell it. On campus and at the mall, tell it. Tell it at the synagogue, sanctuary and mosque. Tell it where you can, when you can and while you can--to every candidate for office, to every talk-show host and pundit, to corporate executives and schoolchildren. Tell it--for America's sake.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    For those who remember when Apple was tres geek

    Yes, there was a time when Apple was decidedly geeky.Gizmodo has some photos up of a 1983 Apple Computer catalog. I want the wall hanging...
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    Posted by mcblogger at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Giant Wax Cock endorses CradDICK

    wax cock1.jpgGiant Wax Cock, an Austin original since two days ago, today announced it's support for Tom CradDICK during an impromptu drinks meeting at a local bar.

    Tom Craddick is an old friend and I think he is the best person to lead the Texas House of Representatives. We've had our share of ups and downs (not to mention ins and outs), but in the end we've developed a mutual respect. Of all the people/objects I know, he is the only other that understands how it feels to be a giant dick.

    A flame then burst from the head of The Giant Wax Cock while Melt With You by Modern English played loudly in the background. Most of those present openly wept at the sweetness of the sentiment displayed by Giant Wax Cock.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Yes, Aaron, we see you (and Dawnna, too)

    Oh. God.

    The fact that some of you tried to sneak (or, in the case of Patrick Rose, run) in is just so... tacky and Republican. I know you realize you're on the wrong side. Why not do the right thing and switch over manana?


    (huge hat tip to K-T at BOR)

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 08, 2007

    The UCS takes on Exxon

    The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a public call to Exxon to stop funding misleading, ideologically driven climate research that erroneously claims global warming is not a threat. We talked about this months ago when I introduced to you to Myron who might as well be on Exxon's payroll (yes, Myron, I think your brain is an integrity-free zone). It's great to see UCS take a real stand on this and come out publicly... even though it received less attention than Britney's latest revealing.

    Exxon Mobil lists on its Web site nearly $133 million in 2005 contributions globally, including $6.8 million for "public information and policy research" distributed to more than 140 think tanks, universities, foundations, associations and other groups. Some of those have publicly disputed any link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

    Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy director, said in a teleconference that Exxon Mobil based its tactics on those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting peer-reviewed scientific studies or emphasizing only selected facts.

    Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company has sought to "create the illusion of a vigorous debate" about global warming.

    The company said its financial support doesn't mean control over any group's views.

    Sure. Seriously, is there anyone out there dumb enough to think that if Myron started talking about reality, instead of his 'carbon is good' bullshit, he'd still be getting his allowance from Exxon?

    Didn't think so.

    (Much love to the Somervell County Salon)

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dead birds here, Gas leaks in NYC

    CNBC has Bloomberg live right now talking about gas leaks in Midtown down to Chelsea (who wants the first gay joke?) and spreading as far as Queens and NJ. Of course, the biggest question is how anyone in Queens or NJ would be able to tell the difference between air saturated with natural gas and their normal air.

    All they've got is a 'gaseous smell' and whiny New Yorkers. We, at least, have dead birds which is much bigger than minor gas leaks ConEd will have plugged in a few hours.

    WTF, why not go live to Mayor Wynn? Austin never gets any love from the national media...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Homeowners still get fucked

    Bay Area Houston and Muse are both on the case of The Missing Homeowners Insurance Coverage. Basically, even though there's been an assload of lawsuit reform in Texas, insurance rates have not gone down. Which isn't really news to me. Neither is losing coverage. Of course, the gutless Texas Dept. of Insurance, which is run by Republicans, isn't about to piss off the people who donate so much to Republicans. Instead, they'll make excuses for the inability of the companies to properly manage their business.

    We lose coverage, our rates remain the same (highest in the nation). We lose the ability to sue, our rates remain the same (highest in the nation). We have the easiest legal environment of any state and still our rates remain the highest in the nation.

    When WILL the Republicans learn than regulatory bodies without teeth are useless and that companies will get away with whatever they can in the absence of real penalties? Don't even get me started on how inefficient private enterprise can be when people aren't allowed to take them to court.

    What has happened in Texas should be a cautionary tale for the rest of the nation. Don't believe the lawsuit reform bullshit. We did and now corporations have more power in Texas than policyholders.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    CradDICK R's should be scared shitless, too

    We've talked a bunch about the CradDICKhead Democrats, but we've talked little about the Republicans who are supporting their ethically questionable leader. So, in the spirit of fairness, we're taking time out of our busy Sunday to clue y'all in.

    Dear CradDICK Republicans:

    I don't vote in your primary, however I know people who do. I know many folks all over the state and what goes for Democrats goes for you as well. You need to think carefully about what your support for CradDICK is going to cost. Trust me, you don't want to pay the price. Should you make it through the primary, you'll find me and others working for the Democrat who'll face you. You'll also find the Republicans who didn't vote for you in the primary working with us. Just ask some of the R's who lost to D's this year how it feels.

    Many Republicans have already come out to support Pitts because they're smart. Why would they want to stick with CradDICK? Leininger's money? In case you hadn't noticed, it's poison at this point. What does that leave CradDICK with to threaten you? A primary challenger? Keep in mind, CradDICK and Co. aren't doing so well on that front.

    We, however, do win our challenges. It's not CradDICK you should fear, it's us. Ordinary Democrats and ordinary Republicans, working together, who all know that Tom CradDICK is bad for Texas. Make your choice wisely.

    Nothing but love for you,

    McBlogger

    Just in case you missed it, Vince at Capitol Annex has some great stuff up about corporate interference with the race and Kuffner has some information on those who stand to lose the most from a CradDICK dethronement.

    There really shouldn't be any doubt in the minds of people that this isn't partisan, this is about what's best for Texas.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 07, 2007

    Who do you have to sleep with to get out of this outfit?

    And you thought Barbara Ann Radnofsky's emails were relentless...

    The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

    The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Deregulation going full bore

    Dig Deeper Texas has a great post up about electric utility deregulation in Texas, primarily what a disaster it's been. Yeah, we already knew about that. What's new is that TXU and Reliant are moaning and whining because they just can't compete with the Austin and SA muni's. From the Star Telegram

    What chafes the North Texans are the lower rates in Austin and San Antonio, whose municipal systems were exempted from the 1999 deregulation law. Austin and San Antonio have emerged as direct competitors to Dallas-Fort Worth in industrial relocations, a point driven home three years ago when Toyota selected San Antonio for a big new car plant.

    As North Texans have paid 13 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity this year, San Antonio’s average rate was 9.5 cents and Austin’s was slightly above 10 cents.

    Both systems, being government-owned, don’t have to pay taxes and can sell tax-exempt debt. Municipal systems and rural co-operatives have always enjoyed a price advantage because of their tax-exempt status. But the coalition complained in its report that recent increases in North Texas by TXU and its competitors have widened the disparity.

    Fucking losers. The last I heard, neither were selling power in TXU or Reliant's territory. Of course, that doesn't stop them from dreaming of entering the SA and Austin markets. Part of deregulation was that private enterprises, even without access to tax-exempt financing and no taxes, were supposed to bring down prices and be better for consumers. That hasn't proven true. Which makes the case for companies like TXU and Reliant pretty damn weak.

    I'm a capitalist. I hate excuses, especially from companies that hold public capital while spending huge sums on lobbying. That's the dirty little secret about all this... TXU got it's financing from the equity markets which Austin and SA muni's can't access. Of course, they don't worry so much about that. They just go on, day after day, providing the cheapest electricity in the state.

    If I was holding TXU stock, I'd serioulsy consider suing management for gross incompetence. If you can't compete against a municipal power system, with all the benefits of much great scale, then you don't deserve to lead a company.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 06, 2007

    Overheard

    So Sister Ruth and I were in line at the movies today and in the next line some woman said

    This is a new billfold and I don't know how it works.

    God help us if she ever gets a new cellphone.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Comments are fucked up...

    Yesterday afternoon I noticed the blog was running at close to 25k comments in junk, and over 9k in the general. So, I disabled it and have activated TypeKey. However, it's not working so I'm top posting a comment we received earlier today regarding the Speaker's race in the supersize. It's a point counterpoint regarding the excuses given by Democrats for supporting CradDICK.

    Ok, but aren't the spots on Appropriations coveted for the value they provide the constituents of a district, too? Is it not a great service to the east side of Austin to have a member sitting on Appropriations? These chairmanships and apps. seats aren't just a popularity contest. The members develop influence and knowledge that can help their districts, while also serving the more "altruistic" purpose of monitoring/developing a state budget.

    It just seems completely strange that you're casting disparagement on members for that reason- everyone knows a committee appointment means something for the members' constituents.

    If you believe, on the other hand, that all Democrats should vote as a bloc for a speaker they believe will better serve Texas, it seems like a more debatable point. In this matter, it seems clear that this race is more about reducing the powers of the Speaker and less about the personalities of the candidates-- the same charges of "strong arming" existed under Laney, it's just that you probably didn't notice it because your party was in the majority.

    I think the ability for strange bedfellows to mix it up and overcome an incumbent speaker to be a very healthy exercise. But it is troublesome to observe falsehoods, like an Appropriations seat being irrelevant to a member's district, being used to attack a member-- it stops the debate completely and forces everyone to huddle in the fringes developing a defense. Dukes is a Democrat serving in a highly coveted seat on Appropriations under the opposing party's leadership, and Central Texas is better served. Surely you can acknowledge it.

    (By the way, I hardly know her, and I don't know you at all.. I just read your blog from time to time and have often thought you were reasonable.)

    I see what you're saying and I think I might understand your confusion. The community is not benefiting from Dukes' spot on Appropriations. Central Texas is not better for her being in that spot. If anything, it's given some of the more disastrous things the Republicans have done a thin veil of bipartisanship.

    In my profession, it's a bad bargain that doesn't benefit all parties. I'm reasonable, but I'm not stupid. I realize when I'm dealing with someone who is thoroughly uncompromising that I am wasting my time. I'm dealing with someone who's self-serving and working with them is wholly impossible. CradDICK is such a person. He consistently screws over those who have supported him. How long, for example, has he dangled that medical school carrot in front of Chavez? Meanwhile, Midland gets public funding for every little project that can be dreamed and Republicans who are liked by CradDICK get all kinds of things.

    The Democrats get meaningless titles and assignments. Consider this:

    Tom Craddick appointed me to the Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services where I’ve been able to be influential . . . especially on issues involving the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Accenture contract (with the state). Knowing that Craddick has the votes, I want to be in the position to be able to continue to fight the fight.” (source :AAS)

    She was able to do nothing for either. In fact, I'm not even sure what she 'tried' to do or what fight she was fighting. The program still got screwed and the contract was awarded.

    Dukes seems extremely bright so I have to question her motives for working with such a person. As I stated in the post, there are a ton of excuses given for voting for him. There are no reasons. There is a difference between the two.

    This is one of those times where the votes of a few Democrats will end up deciding the Speaker. It's important that they not go to someone who has shown over and over again that he puts self-interest and ideology above all else. Dukes and other CradDICK supporters need to know guilt by association is just as damning.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 05, 2007

    Energy ideas that makes sense

    There is a great article up by Lord Andrew Turnbull of Booze Allen Hamilton about how government and industry must cooperate to determine the best energy mix to power our growing economies. He takes into account carbon taxes, among other things, to come to the conclusion that the best idea is a 'managed market' that takes into account all stakeholders and impacts.

    In policy circles, this is coming to be known as the “modified market approach.” The government (or perhaps a regional political structure like the European Union) establishes a framework for energy prices. This framework incorporates the prices and costs of energy, as set by supply and demand, but also takes into account the social and ecological benefits and harms of each fuel source. Fuels that exacerbate climate change, for example, are made more expensive; fuels that reduce the danger cost less. An implied surcharge on carbon-based fuels reflects the desired CO2 reduction target. Once a rationale is agreed on, the government embeds the new framework in permits, surcharges, and regulations, after which the various technologies can effectively compete in the marketplace.

    Texas is, surprisingly, leading the country in terms of renewable energy which puts us ahead of the curve on increasing carbon-neutral energy production. However, we do not have a true cost for carbon and air pollution. Maybe we should start looking into that, you know, while we can still breathe the air.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Michael Medved endorses giant land grab; officially wins Stupid Olympics

    Who the fuck cares what a douche movie reviewer has to say? I mean, seriously, the guy couldn't keep his show going so now he's on radio and the web spouting off crazy about how neat the TTC is going to be. Since when do eminent domain and movie reviews have a common theme?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Rice A Roni for everybody!

    Fox News Reports:
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    You decide: would that be a bad thing?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    IT LIVES!

    I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! Today is the first day that everything has kinda returned to normal. It took me forever to take the damn decorations down. I am just glad that it is over. Not that I don't love Christmas. I really am one of those people. Most holidays for me are a festive mixture of merriment and feeling like shit. Both compliments of my dear, close pal, Mr. Scotch. He was good to me this year. Especially when my cousin presented me with my gift. For the record, I gave her a lovely pair of earrings. Flashy yet conservative. Elegant. She fucking gave me Kate Spade's 'Manners'. I shit you not. I expect more from them, though I shouldn't. She's in college right now and Neiman's is expensive. So, you skimp where you can... making do with only one pair of Chanel sunglasses is tedious, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Oh, definitely skimp on gifts for family. McBlogger says they're just trash. I'm inclined to agree. Two years ago she gave me a purse which was clearly from Target. McBlogger and I set it on fire later that night while singing 'O Holy Night'. It was really more touching and tasteful than it sounds.

    Needless to say, I was really looking forward to New Years. 2006 was not one of my best years. They say every year is a gift and for me, 2006 was a gift wrapped in a brown paper with dog shit smeared on it. I was glad to see it go and made plans to celebrate with friends. I just did not take into consideration that my tolerance has lowered over the last year. I just don't go out much anymore and am seriously out of binge drinking practice. I wasn't bad, but there is a strong chance that I was THAT girl. You know what I mean. It took me a while to recover. Feliz Ano Nuevo con gripe del coctel, and I know I wasn't the only one.

    Now I just have to get through my birthday. A friend of mine has offered to take me some place 'entertaining'. He said it is seedy, dirty, and there is a distinct possibility that I might get stabbed. WOOHOO! Let's go out and chop it up! Let's put a brick through the other guy's windshield!

    I don't want anything for my birthday because Bravo is giving us all another season of 'The Real Housewives of the O.C.'! Hell yeah! I've already checked the bios to get a sneak peek at the feast to come. Jeana is back as if anyone gives a shit. Her bio does mention that she appeared in a ZZ Top video. I wonder if she was the one in the white pleather outfit? Vicki is back to provide more unintentional funny. Same with Laurie. It seems she has found a sugar daddy, but still works with Vicki. Don't worry about her little scamp of a son. She has packed him off to a State-run boarding school where I am sure he will receive all of the affection, love, and support that he needs (and get his very own works). They appear to have dumped Kimberly which was a step in the right direction clearly! They have replaced her with the reptilian Tammy Knickerbocker. She's the O.C. rebel, who just happens to have the same boobs as every other woman in O.C. One has to wonder, is there only one plastic surgeon who does the 'through the nipple' implant?

    Anyway, you know the show is all about Jo. I am sure that sassy little minx won't disappoint. It appears Slade is still hanging in there. I can't wait to see the catfight between Jo and Laurie over that repulsive sack of flesh! What about you? All I know is I am pumped! Let's get ready to rumble!

    Posted by barfly at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi

    It even feels good to write

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    You ROCK,



    Nancy!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    But children are so tasty...

    ..or so Tom CradDICK tells me. That, my friends, is why you eat your young.

    This is, of course, a Speaker update. I'm on the clock during the day so I don't get to talk about the race during normal hours unlike some other bloggers. I'm especially grateful for the work of Pink Lady, Matt, Muse, WCNews and Rawhide and all the others who are actually taking to the time to keep up with this bullshit.

    For those of you in the real world, that's what this all is...bullshit. There are some who think certain progressives who are promising to support primary challengers for our weak Democratic brothers and sisters are employing nothing more than a CradDICK style control device.

    It's a fucking stupid argument which I'm sick and tired of hearing it. Why? Because there just isn't any reason for Dawnna Dukes to vote for Tom CradDICK. Sure, there are excuses which she and other CradDICK D's have been more than happy to share with any reporter in earshot. However, excuses (much like assholes) are extraordinarily common and they all stink. What CradDICK and the Talipublicans do is force a member to vote against their district and the good of the state. What we are trying to do is to get the Reps. to actually, you know, REPRESENT THEIR DISTRICT. There is no reason that someone like Sylvester Turner should support Tom CradDICK. Oh sure, he gets to keep his little bit of power but in the end, that's all he has. He can't do anything with it. He certainly couldn't help the kids who ended up being losing health insurance.

    One has to wonder how much bad legislation passed during the last four years would have made it to the floor had CradDICK not been speaker. 3588? 1361?

    HJR 6?

    This is a fantastic chance for Democrats in the Lege (who are, by and large, a moderate group) to actually work with moderate Republicans for the good of the state and the citizens they serve.

    Yes, the vote for Speaker matters. Yes, we are paying attention. No, we won't forget.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    January 04, 2007

    Excellent Advice from 2006

    FleshBot managed to capture some of the best sex questions/advice from 2006. Here's a sample

    I always wanted to experiment with putting liquids in my rear; is this unsafe or risky? The kinds of liquids I had in mind would be like lotion, baby oil or condiments like vinegar, barbeque sauce, ketchup, olive oil, or a tiny bit of Tabasco sauce (just to feel what its like). Do you have any comments on this?

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Too close to CradDICK

    YAY ALFRED STANLEY!

    Finally, one of the old school Democratic leaders/consultants is going to go after those who are a little too close to a certain Republican from Midland.

    Austin consultant Alfred Stanley plans to kick off the New Year with a new political action committee, Too Close to Craddick, and an accompanying Web site that takes aim at House Democrats who are way too chummy with Speaker Tom Craddick. "I intend to lose some friends over this," Stanley said. Yet Stanley believes there are enough House members on both sides of the aisle who are ready and willing to overthrow Craddick. Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, has mounted a serious campaign to try to do just that. Before McCall publicly confirmed his intentions over the Christmas break, Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson had been the only candidate running for speaker but was not regarded as a serious threat to Craddick. Democrats are now looking to McCall as the person to beat Craddick. It matters little that McCall is a conservative Republican, Democrats say. What's important is that he works and plays well with others. It it happens that Craddick wins re-election when House members cast their votes on Jan. 9, watch for Stanley to go after Craddick's Democratic allies with metal tongs at the yet-to-be-launched www.tooclosetocraddick.com

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    A Legacy is not just a station wagon, Governor 39%

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPerry is now the 3rd longest (self)serving Governor in the history of the State of Texas. Which is exciting if you're from a state other than Texas and only then because he's not your Governor. Seriously, try to get the New Mexicans to take him. Even Arkansas has a better Governor than 39%. He's kind of a geek but he at least has a personality that doesn't drive him to make a double-entendre out of eating roast beef and, to my knowledge, no one has ever thought he was gay. Gay men aren't typically named Huckabee, unless they are drag queens.

    Naturally, at the beginning of a second full term, most people elected to an executive office would be thinking about a legacy of good government, reform and building an enduring, broad based prosperity. But not Rick Perry who apparently thinks that the best way to guarantee a legacy is to wait until the end of your term to worry about it. Is it any wonder why only 39% of the people in this state voted to re-elect him? Some of the 61% who wanted someone else hated him sooo much they voted for comedian Kinky Friedman who can only be considered a comedian if you think Carrot Top is funny. And if you do, well... just keep that to yourself.

    While Perry may be unconcerned, his Spokespuppy Robert Black (no relation to Lewis Black who's actually funny, clever and attractive)

    Black said one of the most visible legacies of Perry's administration will be innovative financing to build highways and the Trans-Texas Corridor system.

    "Texas is pouring more concrete than any other state in the nation," Black said. "That is the most tangible thing that Texans will see for generations."

    OK, so Robert really is pretty funny. He's calling government secured private debt 'innovation' which is a laugh riot since it's been around for DECADES. And what will private enterprise use to pay off their low interest rate debt? Tolls paid by you and me and everyone we know.

    Black said Perry also oversaw lawsuit reform and an overhaul of the public school finance system. He also noted that Perry got a balanced budget without raising taxes in the face of a $10 billion deficit and won passage of a new business tax this year to pay for property tax cuts.

    "There has not been anyone who cut taxes more than Rick Perry," Black said.

    Robert, you are a comedic GENIUS! Keeping people from suing corporations for damages is one of the hallmarks of Republican leadership. The really cool part is that even with this 'lawsuit reform' (I chuckle a little when I write that phrase), our insurance rates STILL are among the highest in the nation. As for the tax cutting part... did he cut them before he raised them or vice-versa? I forget.

    You can see Robert Black at the Cap City Comedy Club all next week at 6:00 and 9:00. Should you miss that engagement you can also catch him at his day job at the Capitol. Tips are graciously accepted.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Going Hunting?

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This is the DREAD Weapon System which is being developed for the DoD. It's capable of firing out 120,000 rounds per minute (either .308 and .50 caliber round metal balls) all at 8000 feet per second. An M-16 rifle fires its ammunition at 3200 fps, and can only shoot 900 rounds per minute. This one will cut down a forest, or a platoon.

    This is totally the thing for the duck hunter in your life... you know, for Christmas, 2007?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Speaker, schmeaker

    Oh, God, though thou surround us with morons, let us not lose our heads.

    Kuff has an update on today's action and Peggy Fikac says that the LBB meeting has been postponed while Pitts gets some pre-election botox. CradDICK is MIA in all this, probably having some new blood put in from fresh puppies.

    McCall is apparently dropping out and throwing to Pitts which would make him the prohibitive favorite. If Senfronia doesn't throw a big wrench in the plans and bend Pitts and CradDICK over to fuck the hell out of them. Personally, I like McCall but not knowing the dynamics of the race, I guess Pitts will do as well. As the saying goes, Anyone But CradDICK. Still, what do we really know about Pitts other than that he likes to promise more than he can deliver (isn't that right, Dawnna?).

    Of course, the whole thing will probably change tomorrow since Steve Urkel is still in the running as is Gibb Lewis. ITPT says that Andy Brown is expected to throw his support to Pitts. Which is exciting because it means another big check pic. I LOVES ME SOME BIG CHECK PICS.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 03, 2007

    Blogroll shout-out

    It's been a while since I've done this (it's because I was drinking, natch) and thought it was time to add a few more names to the list. I read lots of blogs daily which is surprising given that I enjoy gainful employment and am usually driving (yeah, that's me reading the phone while driving down the freeway). There a few blogs we've not put on the list but should have long ago. Consider it nothing more than honest scotch induced forgetfulness. Or consider it me being an asshole. Whatever gets you through.

    Off The Kuff
    Eye on Williamson
    Boing Boing
    FleshBot
    North Texas Liberal

    And a new addition to the Texas Blogosphere... The Texas Blue. So far it's a little dry and sedate but that's to be expected because they let Bell write. I kid, I kid! It's really because of Glazer. That aside, it's an excellent read on policy without being snarky or talking about dildos.

    In case you missed it, there is also now a semi-decent Republican blog, Billy Clyde's Political Hot Tub Party. It's a vast improvement over the more obsequious right wing bloggers who seem hell bent on holding the party line, even when it's clear the end of it is tied to an anchor.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wanna write on McBlogger?

    We're always looking for new talent at McBlogger. Seriously, you think I like being constantly threatened by a far too large dildo? That thing has been working my hole for a while (literally and figuratively) now and with that, I'd like to announce we're looking for new writers.

    Can you put a sentence together? Can you spell? Do you have problems making the voices stop? Well, two out of three will be enough to get you a spot on McBlogger (respect is sold separately at the commissary). Use your name, or be completely anonymous... I'm not giving you up and I'm the only one who knows who everyone is.

    Ready for the excitement of blogging? Ready to show the world that yes, you too have all the talent of a high school senior? Ready to be berated by McSleaze and forced to admit embarrassing facts about yourself, like that you eat chili out of the can? The kind with the beans? Then take a moment and join the team! Send two samples of your work to mcblogger@mcblogger.com.

    If one of the 'samples of your work' is a picture of shit in a toilet, I'm sending McSleaze and Sister Ruth after you.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I bought cigarettes yesterday...

    ... and came to the conclusion that I really super hate Mark Strama.

    If I didn't believe that the children were, indeed, our future, then I would sooo quit smoking. As it is, schools have to be paid for, I think they actually need more money and since they cut my property taxes a bit the least I can do as a patriotic American is keep lighting up.

    Children are wonderful and I intend to purchase some soon. I also know they need to be educated and that doing that requires money which I'm more than happy to pay. That doesn't stop me from still hating Mark Strama.

    What's next, Mark? Maybe you and Naishtat can get together and tax the hell out of my other favorite vice?

    (if you haven't clicked the 'our future' link, do it now)

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tolls, TX DoT and stupid

    Beginning Friday, TXDoT will asses the tolls on 45/1. In anticipation, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how good their billing systems are. Apparently, they have been mailing bills for 25 cents (the bills, not counting paper, actually cots 30.8 cents in postage to send) and billing people who've never actually used the roads. Of course, all new systems have bugs and anything this ridiculously complex is sure to have some as well. Especially when you don't build toll booths on the fucking road and instead decide to automate the entire process.

    Lazy is what many would call it. I would be included in that many. These idiots never heard of an automated kiosk? I love the ones at theaters and... what are those machines that spit out money? ATM's?

    Billing issues are already plaguing the toll road systems while TXDoT is lobbying for higher toll limits, government backing for the bonds that private companies will sell to finance the roads and, of course, the ability to convert freeways into toll roads.

    Under the guise of such a flowerly reporting entitled "Forward Momentum: Recommendations to reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality, and enhance the value of Texas' transportation assets. A report to the 110th Congress, 1st Session" dated January 25 2007", TxDOT proposes that private equity become the primary resource for funding of highways. Note this is not only designated for new highways. The plan calls for "states to be able to buy back interstate segments by reimbursing the federal government its past contributions." Essentially, the state will be able to toll existing highways.

    Getting extremely obvious that TXDoT is really angling for a permanent funding source, not tied to the Lege to become a self-funding bureaucracy. Which should make exactly no one happy, but is apparently what the Republicans have always had in mind.

    I'm never entirely comfortable when a government entity doesn't have to go to elected officials and ask for money. I'm also not please with having to cover the profit of a private company which is more expensive than if TXDoT ran the roads themselves (some are run by TXDoT, some are not). What irritates most about this plan is that it's an endless toll. There will never be a time when the toll goes away because TXDoT wants the income, in perpetuity.

    AAA now says that 'the public' prefers tolls to gas taxes. Of course, no detail is provided and it's odd that this would come out of AAA since AAA has traditionally opposed toll roads. Given that, I'm calling bullshit. I want to see the crosstabs and I want to see the how the questions were structured. It's pretty clear from what we've seen in Texas that when people actually see the cost comparison, gas taxes are ALWAYS the better option that the public supports.

    Which is it, AAA?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 02, 2007

    But is it art?

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    (hat tip to Kate's Studio)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Democrats polling even with Republicans... here in Texas

    Via EOW comes the news that Texas is turning blue faster than predicted.

    Texas Democrats have pulled even with Republicans, and the state is now about half red, half blue. At least, that’s according to 1,053 Texans surveyed by an independent Democratic pollster.

    The poll’s news announcement focused on one specific response: By 46 percent to 35 percent, respondents said Democrats “care” more about “people like me.” That’s a reversal from two years ago.

    But most eyes went immediately to the bottom line of the poll, conducted in early December by Austin-based Montgomery & Associates:

    Asked which political party they lean toward, 45 percent chose Democrat.

    Only 43 percent chose Republican. If you figure in the poll’s margin of error, that’s a tie.

    Two years ago, in the same Democratic poll, Republicans led by 55 percent to 34 percent.

    First, the caveats... it's an off year and this poll is generically of adults in Texas and though the demographics used are representative of the state as whole, they do not necessarily reflect the demographic breakout of likely voters or even registered voters.

    That aside, this is excellent news and is backed up by the numbers out of the race for Governor. It's clear that when people are given a choice, and they know about it, they'll vote for Democrats again. It's a shame folks decided that the statewide candidates should be written off this year, especially Hank who polled extremely well. Had he at least been able to raise 25% of the money Staples brought to bear, there is an excellent chance we'd have our first statewide officeholder in years.

    Speaking of Hank, we've heard there are some events being planned and he's definitely working with a number of groups to help farmers and ranchers in the next session of the Lege. Topic number one is going to be the TTC followed up by the Animal ID system.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wentworth ready to let SA suck Edwards dry

    No, this is not a post about some kind of bizarre sexual encounter with Senator Edwards. The Edwards I was referring to is the one that's an aquifer. Wentworth wants to eliminate current water pumping restrictions imposed on the Edwards Aquifer in so-called 'wet' years.

    Wentworth's plans make his San Antonio constituents happy but concern ones in Hays, Comal and Guadalupe counties. Local officials fear that if San Antonio doesn't do more to reduce its reliance on the aquifer during droughts, the springs that feed the Comal, Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers may run dry.

    Wentworth said that the higher limit on pumping wouldn't overtax the aquifer or the springs during wet years and that any new legislation would include lower limits during droughts. When asked whether San Antonio should do more to wean itself from the aquifer, he said the question was "controversial" and "not productive."

    Uhm... Senator... your stupid ass obviously hasn't noticed but there hasn't been a wet year for a while. We are in the middle of a long term drought. Should we go over on rainfall this year, we would still be under the average over the last few years. Meaning the aquifer will not have recharged adequately. But that wouldn't stop SA, under your plan, from pulling even more water out of the system.

    SA simply can not meet it's water needs from the aquifer... there just isn't enough there. So, they need to rethink surface reservoirs and even consider, desalination. Quit giving them a pass, Jeffie.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Something to think about...

    From Political Wire

    "Identifying the problem and talking about hope is waiting for tomorrow."

    -- John Edwards, quoted by Blue Hampshire, in an apparent swipe at the main theme of another Democratic presidential contender, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Who's off the reservation in Central Texas

    Selby publishes a great piece on the Speaker's race, telling us who in Central Texas has committed to which candidate and who (Strama, Howard) is undecided. Here's the interesting part:

    Rep. Dawnna Dukes appears to be alone in the soon-to-be entirely Democratic Travis County delegation in pledging to Craddick.

    "The choice is between two Republicans," Dukes said Friday. "If I flip-flopped from one Republican candidate in this race to another Republican, what value would that have, other than for someone to say you're weak and don't stand up for your beliefs?"

    Dukes stressed Craddick's past decision giving her a leadership role on the House Appropriations Committee, where she has focused on health and human services.

    Craddick, she said, "is going to win the race. I need to position myself to best serve my constituency again."

    Republican Reps. Mike Krusee of Williamson County and Dan Gattis of Georgetown support Craddick, along with Democratic Rep. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs.

    First off, CradDICK hasn't really helped any of you. In fact, he's hurt you by forcing you to vote for things that are incredibly harmful to your constituents. Granted, you've all had some of your own fuckups (Dawnna's absenteeism; Krusee's love of 'toll road time machines' and being, in general, a 'tard) but supporting CradDICK is going to be one of your biggest. Rose is probably the most surprising of all since he's in a relatively safe district that is steadily trending D (are there any countywide R's left in Hays County?). He still thinks he needs to vote like an R but needs to quickly realize the winds of change are blowing. For someone as astute as Rose, it's shocking to realize how badly he's misreading the situation.

    Secondly, Dawnna, how best are you serving your constituents? How many freeways are being constructed in Eastern Travis County? You mention Health and Human Services and that's interesting since apparently CradDICK didn't listen to you before making changes that eliminated thousands from CHIP and granted Accenture their disastrous contract. How do you think that supporting him again will change that?

    Third, you're all tacitly in support of ethics reform and we all know that CradDICK takes that about as seriously as I take the warning label on a pack of cigarettes. If I were you, I would consider this a vote on ethics reform... choose the wrong side and you'll more than likely have a challenger who is going to be merciless about that issue.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    January 01, 2007

    In which someone has a differing opinion

    It's good to see differing opinions... it gives readers (AKA, You People) a chance to see the wrong side along with the right side.

    Sorry, Hal, Norma is being extremely petty and protective of what little power she has been given by CradDICK. Again, I'm going to listen to Rep. Moreno before your justifications or Norma's excuses. And I'll keep blogging about it, because I don't own a cat. And I've got all this great material.

    Anyone who thinks the Texas Progressive Alliance is monolithic is way wrong.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack