March 31, 2007
Lame consultants, lame ideas and ignoring reality
The ever graceless Greg Wythe has an opinion on the Texas Senate race... to attack bloggers.
So why are Texas Democratic bloggers pitching such a heated fight on his behalf? Why shoot down another Democrat when nobody's announced for the contest in question?
Horseshit. There may be a few that have decided to support Noriega, but NONE are pitching a fight. You're trying, just like Kos did, to paint us all with one brush. Needless to say, it's a douchie thing to do.
2005 was a point in time when several leading bloggers (even not-so-leading ones such as myself), espoused the view that we should "run everywhere." I still maintain that view, for what it's worth. But now, instead of engaging in something productive, the Texas left-Blogosphere is engaging in what might best be labelled "Only Run Pre-Approved Candidates." You'd think they won something on a scale big enough to warrant the sort of ring-kissing they now demand. Last I checked, every statewide elected official is Republican. Such stature might be more becoming of a bit more teamwork. No matter how I crunch the numbers, our challenge as a party does not result from the overpopulation of Democrats.
I've said this privately in other forums, but I'll state it publically now: the leftwing Texas blogosphere has jumped the shark. That might be harmless enough if it weren't for the fact that they now see it as their mission to inflict damage on otherwise great Dems like Rick Noriega and Nick Lampson.
First off, no one in the Texas Netroots is going after Lampson, unless your referring to an honest assessment of him as a candidate. If that's the case, then I can't say much other than 'you're wrong' and I would offer as proof his 'victory' last fall which resulted more from legal maneuvering than his skill as a candidate. Oh, don't get me wrong... he's a better person than anyone the Republicans could have brought forth. Nevertheless, it's tough for someone like Nick to get elected in this day and age given the sophistication of the electorate. He comes across as lame. In person and in his ads. Maybe it's his team or maybe it's him. However, he doesn't get a pass either way for being a 'good guy'. You gotta be a 'good guy' AND electable. You and others who've been running and losing for years don't get it. Why not listen to others for a change and quit picking candidates that couldn't generate enough excitement to get a puppy to jump around.
As for any of us demanding that someone KISS OUR RING, you've got to be joking. This is like saying if the strategists running around offering money had just talked to us first we'd be OK with a Lampson Senate race and nothing could be further from the truth. I do have to admit that the top-down nature of this sucks ass, as does the intimidation. No candidate need be pre-approved by anyone. For example, some of my fellow
losers bloggers have decided to support Rick Noriega. Some have decided to support Pete Gallego. I've not decided on anyone and have instead opted to wait until the session is over before giving any of this serious consideration unlike Greg who has thrown his heft behind Lampson apparently. Before you think too highly of Greg's skill as a candidate picker, keep in mind that he was one of the ones leading the charge against Bob Gammage last year during the primary. As a result of that primary, we got a guy as a gubernatorial candidate who couldn't hold the Democratic base in a four way race. So much for Greg and his pathetic opinion.
The only thing on which Texas Bloggers all agree is that we'll all do what we can on our own to remove Corpsyn from office. None of us are out to damage anyone, other than Corpsyn.
School has changed a lot since my day
All we ever got to do in shop was make candlestick holders.
Only one high school was celebrating but it was V.E. Day yesterday – Victory in Etobicoke.
The delivery of a World War II Sherman Firefly tank, a combat veteran of the European battlefields, to Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, was a triumph for teacher Sean Carney after a months-long campaign that he was told he couldn't win.
"We'll have to rent a crane to get it off," said Alex Bihuniak, 16. He's more into muscle cars and hot rods but was beside himself with excitement. "To work on a piece of history like this ... it's mind-boggling. I've only ever seen these in the movies."
Laurie LeFresne, 15, was just as thrilled, even though she's more interested in horses. "Not everyone in this class wants to be a mechanic," she said. "This is so cool, so amazing. I'm so nervous but I can't wait to get started. It's ... a tank. End of story!"
March 30, 2007
Success is a seminar away
So, my flight to Dallas last week was pretty quick and I decided not to break out my computer or the magazines I brought. Which left me with the inflight magazine which I normally avoid like the plague. But I'm glad I picked this one up because ONE WEEKEND CAN MAKE ME A MILLIONAIRE! Allow me to explain...
The Learning Annex is bringing these Douches to Dallas to teach us about how to invest in Real Estate (never mind that the big attraction, Donald Trump, went bankrupt in Real Estate) and make millions. After you pay them to attend their seminar. Hey, Tony Robbins ain't some cheap bitch and thgis seminar COULD. CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE.
The cost for a weekend with these folks. And hundreds of others who, like you, were dumb enough to buy into this shit? $299 if you're an AA passenger (just click the link... I've already taken that bullet for the team). This it doesn't work? Just look at this, you doubting Helen Thomas
HA. Guess you got schooled. 'Tard. Obviously, there will be some out there who still don't believe. For them I present... The Donald
Had enough? They are even cutting the price! Please someone in Dallas go to this. I would, but it would require a trip to Dallas and I don't have that kind of time to be on the road. Those are valuable drinking hours that would be wasted.
Edwards rolls out E2 plan and Gore may be running
With all the news about his wife, I think this kinda got lost in the mix...
Also visiting the American heartland was presidential candidate Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee, who offered his plan for energy independence and curbing climate change.
"Our generation must be the one that says, 'we must halt global warming,'" Edwards said in Iowa, one of the early testing grounds of the 2008 White House race. " ... It won't be easy, but it is time to ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war."
More on the plan here.
Then this popped up a few days ago on Political Wire
"Gore was a bit heavy when I talked to him, and it's long been said of Gore that you know he's running if he loses weight. People who've seen him since my interview tell me he's lost some weight."
-- XM satellite radio host Bob Edwards, quoted by the DC Examiner, on whether Al Gore will run for president.
Gore decides to run? That would really throw a wrench in things for Hillama.
Mein eyes! Mein eyes!
This is the one of the lamest things you'll see all year... The Dancing Buttertroll
Coby over at Bay Area Houston sucks for even pointing me to this. Seriously, John, I hate you now.
If this isn't a good enough reason for abortion to be widespread and legal, I don't know what is. I've never seen this many people in need of a good lay. Never.
Thanks for the stupid idea. Now here's what we're going to do...
Right from the get-go, there have been whispers and bullshit-a-flying about who is going to run against Corpsyn. It's a gimme seat but you still need the right candidate. You can't have some lamer with a bad, weak, ridiculous strategy. I've heard of two candidates, in particular, that I like. Gallego and Noreiga. I've been hearing over the last few days that Hank may get in the race. I've talked to Hank about it and (having worked with him last year) know that he dislikes Corpsyn with the heat of 1,000 suns.
Hank told me that people have talked to him but that he hasn't made a decision. Honestly, I don't think he'll run as he really wants to be Agriculture Commissioner. However, he also realizes he could do a lot for agriculture in the Senate that isn't being done. Still, my bet is that he's hoping someone with some legislative experience will run. It IS nice to know that if all else fails Hank will step in. God knows, if any Democrat can pull Republicans, it's Hank and out of all the people that have been mentioned so far he has the best name ID and the highest likelihood of sailing through a primary, even without much money. Should he decide to run, he's going to be the one to beat.
That aside, the fact remains that no one has announced yet and summer just around the corner. It's obvious someone needs to step up.
That someone should not be Congressman Nick Lampson. As has been widely reported, the Beltway folks and certain elements in Texas are actively persuading candidates NOT to get into the race. Their preferred candidate is Nick Lampson. The same Nick Lampson who beat a Republican write-in by, what, 10% of the vote? The same Nick Lampson who will more than likely be unable to hold his congressional seat for the Democrats. This is the Nick Lampson they want to run against Corpsyn.
Before you say, 'Hey, McBlogger, these guys are in their positions for a reason. They are bright and they must know something you don't' keep in mind that these are some of the same strategists who brought us resounding Democratic victories in Texas in 1994,1996, 1998, 2002, 2006. The same people who made it impossible for Hank to raise money and only AFTER the election did any of them say 'Hey. He coulda won. Who'd have thunk it?' The same people who decided not to help the other statewide D candidates at all.
Needless to say, their ability to pick good candidates is kinda the suck. And now they've picked Nick Lampson.
The reality is that it's going to take money, buzz and a good candidate for anyone to beat Corpsyn. Nick may have the money, but he's not a good candidate. I've seen him speak and it's frankly uninspiring. Do I think he's a bad guy? No. Do I think he tries to play it safe. Yes, and that's precisely what will help Corpsyn hold his seat. We need someone to run hard, aggressive and right in Corpsyn's face. Someone who will break him down month after month and never let up.
Don't get me wrong. I like Nick. I think he's a great Congressman, probably second only to Austin's Lloyd Doggett in constituent services. His voting record is great and I don't want this to come across as 'bashing Nick Lampson'. It's not bashing to point out that someone would not make a good candidate. That's reality.
A good candidate is someone who doesn't try to play on the fears and worries of the people they're hoping will vote for them. Someone who doesn't pander but instead convinces folks that they're right. Someone who makes a solid case for why they should be elected, as opposed to someone who'll merely work off polling and determine what issues they'll address based on which appear to be the ones most important to voters. Most of the time the most important issues are the ones people don't know about. Issues where they've gotten so used to be screwed they don't think anything better is possible. The candidate who will convince them that better is possible is the one for this race because that's the person who will win. Corpsyn will pander. Let our candidate inspire.
That guy ain't Nick and the consultants pushing this are just plain wrong. We'll be supporting someone else.
Take THAT, FloShap! You freak!
Great job, House D's and the few R's who crossed the aisle and voted with them. The House has approved a budget that increases teacher pay for ALL teachers and eliminates funding for vouchers. Great work, y'all! The full press release is in the supersize.
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kevin Vickers
March 29, 2007 (512) 463-0508
HOUSE DEMOCRATS PASS HISTORIC TEACHER PAY RAISE, KILL SCHOOL VOUCHERS
~ BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC PRIORITIES ~
AUSTIN—Texas House Democrats passed an historic increase in teacher pay and killed efforts
to fund private school vouchers today, flying in the face of opposition from Republican Speaker
of the House Tom Craddick. Led by Reps. Rick Noriega (D-Houston) and Joe Heflin (DCrosbyton),
Democrats in the House led a bipartisan coalition to convert a controversial and
divisive teacher incentive pay program—which is opposed by teachers across the state—into an
across-the-board pay raise for every teacher in Texas and drove a nail into the coffin of private
During today's debate on the $165 billion Texas budget, Rep. Noriega authored a measure to
increase teacher pay by approximately $900 annually for every Texas teacher, librarian,
counselor, and nurse.
"Hardworking Texas teachers deserve to be paid what they are worth. Texas teachers are paid
thousands of dollars below the national average. The teacher pay raise we passed today will help
to get Texas teacher pay closer to the national average," commented House Democratic Leader
Following the vote increasing teacher pay, Rep. Heflin led a bipartisan coalition to kill efforts to
rob public schools to pay for private school vouchers.
"Texans have spoken and we've been on their side—we hear them loud and clear," said Rep.
Dunnam. "Texans support our public schools and they simply do not believe it is right to rob our
public schools to pay for more failed social experiments. Today, a bipartisan majority of the
House rejected the radicalism of Rick Perry, Tom Craddick, and James Leininger."
"By passing an across-the-board pay raise for Texas teachers and killing vouchers, House
Democrats are delivering on the promises we have made the people of Texas. We will continue
to work hard for hard-working families," Rep. Dunnam concluded.
March 29, 2007
I want this...
This is the OQO Model 2 which has finally begun to ship in quantity. It's not that expensive and when you really think about it, the hours of fun you get reading McBlogger are entertaining and FREE. Just think about what you'd be spending money on instead and you'll realize it's $1,499 sales price is really a bargain. You know, because you're reading this instead of drinking or gambling.
The Mayor has been wanting to put ads all over the site and I've resisted... so far. Mostly because I think they are ugly and the nasty looks I get from people when I tell them "I'm a blogger" are usually more than enough payment for doing this at no cost to you.
All I'm asking is that you take the next step of buying me something I want. Something that will allow me to blog from anywhere without killing myself on my damn BlackBerry. Something that I don't REALLY need but just want. Seriously, you know you want to.
Quit laughing and get that credit card out! Your family doesn't need to eat THAT bad.
RIAA battle continues
Apparently, someone thinks Gizmodo is going about their anti-DRM campaign all wrong.
Instead of demonizing them for doing the only thing they know how to do, why don't you come up with a better way? You guys understand the future of tech and what it means for music and movies better than most anyone, so why don't you stop throwing rocks at the dinosaurs and start solving the problem.
To which Gizmodo responds...
Now, I realize that these guys aren't evil incarnate and we just share differing beliefs, but I don't think I've demonized them personally too much (well, maybe a little bit yesterday). This is clearly an ideological debate, and we're just trying to get people talking about it so progress can be made.
As for us needing to solve the problem, to be fair, we're a blog. It isn't our job to develop new products or services, and I certainly would have no idea where to start doing something like that. If anyone has new, groundbreaking ideas or innovations in this field, of course I would love to post them here and get them publicity. However, there's a huge line between writing about technology and developing technology.
Plus, I write 13 posts a day, dude. There are only so many hours around to do stuff in. Publicizing the issue and educating people about what's at stake is our way of helping to solve the problem, as far as I'm concerned.
Honestly, I hate the RIAA. I think they are struggling to remain relevant in a world where technology has completely overwhelmed them. The reality is that with or without penalties, there will always be a percentage of the population that will steal stuff. Get over it.
Toll Road Madness
To Senator Carona and our Texas Lawmakers,
You have a chance to actually stand up for all Texans and stop the surge of selling our roads to private companies and selling out drivers to be at the mercy of excessive price-gouging professionals. It seemed like politicians were actually listening to the many, many people who are outraged about being tolled to death by private companies and TxDOT. With a huge majority of leaders in the Senate and in the House already signed on to stop Toll Fever, I cannot for the life of me figure out why the brakes have been applied. We don’t want tollroads, no matter who builds them. We do not want to drive around with cameras pointed at our butts, then receive 10 bills from 10 different toll companies with 10 different fees/charges.
It is very simple and the public gets it: TxDot needs money and tollroads/TTC are the quickest way to get resources for other projects. This upfront money will then be used for other projects around Texas. Threats of “delayed projects” have started making the papers. Have you seen the $1.00 charge for “invoice fee” at the bottom of a toll bill? What about the rumored $1.50 “camera fee”? What other hidden charges or increases can we expect from these For-Profit companies?
I have three of the same form letters from Gov. Rick Perry saying that “to convert an existing tollroad into a tollroad the public has to vote on it”. WHAT VOTE? Is this letter referring back to vote back in 2001 (Amendment 15) in which the governor loves to say that “we voted for tollroads all across Texas” and the “conversion to toll vote”? Put it very clearly on the next state ballot and see what your answer will be!
Don’t we have a $13 billion surplus? There are other forms of taxation or revenue that the state needs to look at first. Also, if we’re embracing public-private partnerships, why not let corporations “sponsor” our roadways instead of OWN them? Example: the ExxonMobil I35 Interstate. Let them pay millions to have their name/signs, while we still get to keep our state road system.
It took decades for our Texas Highway system to be outdated, mismanaged, or ignored. Interstate 35 has been 2 lanes since the 1960’s! We’re not buying the threat of “delayed projects” as an excuse for TxDOT/politicians to get in bed with for-profit only companies. Private tollroads and the TTC are the biggest and most shameful Land-and-Money Grabs that Texas has ever seen! Why do you think so many people (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and former apathetic voters) are furious and loudly speaking out? But, ……… are you listening?
You have a choice:
a) Side with Private Business, Special Interests Groups, Lobbyists
b) Side with THE PEOPLE OF YOUR STATE
We are watching very, very closely. What’s it going to be?
WOW. What she said.
March 28, 2007
Amazing expressions of religious tolerance, Part 2354
Radical cleric James Dobson looks at potential GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson. What do you thinkt he sees?
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.
"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson's claim. He said that, while Dobson didn't believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless "has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith."
"We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians," Schneeberger added.
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Take that, Jesus!
He was on his way to Wednesday church service
Hypocrisy can be sooo amusing at times!
Could Richardson be more pathetic...
via Political Wire
According to the New York Observer, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is pursuing a second choice strategy in his presidential campaign fundraising.
Said Richardson: "I appeal to funders that say, 'I’m for Senator Clinton,' and I say, 'O.K., that’s fine. But make me your second choice. Help me out too.'"
In the news...
Covenant Marriage? Can't we just set the money on fire?
Kuffner has more on Warren Chisum's latest craptacular idea. Seriously, there isn't a better way to waste taxpayer dollars? Maybe setting them on fire? Buying Debbie Riddle an outfit from a store other than Talbot's Outlet?
Seriously, someone's gotta have a better idea than paying for this bullshit. Especially when more than 10% of Texans can't even get married.
NEW FEATURE! Troll Time
We (meaning just me since everyone else was passed out) have decided to bring you a new feature for your reading enjoyment. It's because we're givers. Seriously, we're all the time giving things to people. Like headaches and the desire for a scotch and soda.
We're calling this Troll Time because it's a time for you, our viewers, to see what the trolls under the spell of TinaFish are doing.
That's it for now! Have a goodun!
March 27, 2007
You may have missed this, but last week washed-up presidential candidate Tom Vilsack threw his support to Hillary Clinton. This endorsement, which has the potential of influencing literally dozens of votes, now seems to have paid off for the former Iowa governor.
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton has agreed to help one-time candidate Tom Vilsack, who endorsed her on Monday, as he seeks to retire a campaign debt of more than $400,000.
Clinton spokesman Mark Daley said he was uncertain how Clinton would go about raising money for Vilsack, but he conceded that at some point, she would have to contact her supporters. "Someone in her shop is going to have to reach out," Daley said.
Vilsack's campaign lasted a couple of weeks and he's Four Hundred Thousand Dollars in debt? I guess that campaign zeppelin was a bad investment.
K-Fed is NOT looking to get back with his meal ticket
Just in case you were wondering, Kevin Federline is NOT looking to get back with Britney. Because she's fucked up and all. And he's super important.
A source told Us Weekly magazine: "I talked to Kevin about Britney and he said he's not getting back together with Britney. At least not right now. He just wants to be a friend for her.
"She has told him she would get back with him, but he's trying to just do the right thing for everyone right now, but he doesn't want to go back there again."
Another source claims the couple were close to working out a divorce settlement earlier this year, until Britney's wild partying caused Kevin and his lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, to intervene.
Britney has reportedly fallen for RIVA lead guitarist Jason Filyaw after meeting him at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Does anyone even care about K-Fed any more? Did anyone ever care about K-Fed? Oh, yeah Kevin. I totally believe that Britney wants your skank ass back.
When Reason just don't make no sense
Few things will anger me more than disingenuous arguments in support of toll roads. Kuff pointed me to an op/ed piece in the HouChron by Geoffrey Segal, director of government reform at the Reason Foundation. These were the same fucko's who thought utility deregulation would be a smashing success. Even CATO doesn't say that any more.
So, before we go into debunking his actual arguments let's all admit that the idiot has no credibility. It will be interesting to see how much money interested parties gave Reason last year. Trust me, that's the MO... there will more than likely be a donation from a construction company or financier that is depending on the corporate welfare of the 'public-private partnerships' for future profits. That's reality. Reason touts this as freeing the market from government control when in reality it is nothing more than funneling public funds to private corporations. I'm thinking not so much. In fact most people agree with it's a super bad idea. For an organization that cares so much about free enterprise one has to wonder why they are so interested in giving welfare to anyone.
Of course, we should actually look at what Geoff wrote:
It seems many of the state Texas legislators who want to delay toll roads until 2009, at the earliest, have forgotten why the governor, Legislature and Texas Transportation Commission agreed to allow state and local agencies to partner with the private sector in the first place: TxDOT The Texas Department of Transportation is short $86 billion it needs to meet its congestion reduction goals as the state Texas adds another 13 million residents over the next two decades.
State lawmakers could raise the gas tax, which is supposed to pay for roads. But because of inflation and more fuel efficient vehicles, the 20 cents per gallon tax isn't even enough to maintain existing roads, let alone build needed new highways. Lawmakers haven't raised the gas tax since 1991 and show no signs of wanting to push the massive tax increase that would be needed to produce $86 billion.
Remember the $86 bn estimate that TTI pooped all over? Kuff does. So do I. So why would the douche from Reason not remember that it had been debunked? Possibly because it makes for a less interesting op/ed and by 'less interesting' I mean 'thoroughly unconvincing'.
EVERYONE realizes the gas tax is the better alternative to private toll roads. Except Krusee who's still fixated on how regressive gas taxes are and still pimping that straw man argument that tolls primarily effect those in the suburbs.
As for the raising the gasoline tax, Krusee said he was okay with that. But he added that he was going to make sure his colleagues knew that it was one of the most “regressive taxes” on the planet. He said most of the toll roads on the drawing board will benefit people living in the suburbs, who for the most part are affluent Republicans. “When we do a fuel tax, people in the inner city are not only subsidizing people who live in the suburbs, but they’re also subsidizing NAFTA trucks carrying goods from Monterrey to Chicago.”
We addressed that, Mikey. Guess you were too busy on a time machine to notice. The one thing even the normally progressive Texas Observer forgot to think about is that these roads are going to be built EVERYWHERE. We're all going to be driving on them. Given that it catches all segments of the population, doesn't it make more sense to spread the burden as cheaply as possible. One thing that never gets mentioned regarding the gas tax is that it, much like tolls, it's more expensive for those who use the roads the most.
Either way we are going to be paying usage fees. Given that, just being smart would necessitate going with the option that gives you the most road for your buck, the gas tax. Of course, the Lege has never really been interested in doing the smart thing.
March 26, 2007
Of all the scandals in all the capitals in all the world
And a dame named Monica had to walk into this one.
Preacher is applying for the job of God
The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., one of the country's pre-eminent evangelical leaders, acknowledged that he irked many fellow conservatives with an article earlier this month saying scientific research "points to some level of biological causation" for homosexuality.
Proof of a biological basis would challenge the belief of many conservative Christians that homosexuality - which they view as sinful - is a matter of choice that can be overcome through prayer and counseling.
However, Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was assailed even more harshly by gay-rights supporters. They were upset by his assertion that homosexuality would remain a sin even if it were biologically based, and by his support for possible medical treatment that could switch an unborn gay baby's sexual orientation to heterosexual.
"He's willing to play God," said Harry Knox, a spokesman on religious issues for the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group. "He's more than willing to let homophobia take over and be the determinant of how he responds to this issue, in spite of everything else he believes about not tinkering with the unborn."
Josef Mengele may be dead but it's good to see there are those willing to carry on his good work.
OK, OK... who y'all gonna run against Inhofe?
Think Progress (via PD@Pink Dome) has some AWESOME video up of Gore's testimony on Global Warming. Inhofe, the massive douche from just north of Texas, tries to trap him and Gore smacks the bitch down. However, Inhofe, like a degenerate drunk gambler, decides to press his luck only to have his teeth kicked in by Barbara Boxer. Gotta.Fucking.Love.It.
Bless all of you in CA who voted for Boxer. She sooo totally ROCKS!
Rehab's a bitch...
March 25, 2007
Recovery is kind of a mess...
You've probably noticed that we've not been too active today. It's because we're all feeling like shit, at least I am... the trip to Vegas wiped me out and since I returned I've been dealing with some personal issues. All I can say about that is that emotions are bitch and it's never easy when someone shits all over you.
To all the players out there, I salute you. May you find something that makes you happy so you'll stop fucking with the rest of us. God knows we're all sick to death of your sociopathic bullshit.
That aside, The Mayor informs me that we've not been nearly mean enough to Cornyn. Look for that to change rapidly. Also, expect more on the tolls and vouchers as things move forward in the Lege. FloShap is still pimping her jackass bill, using autistic kids and this families as a shield from negative PR.
Needless to say, the bullshit is flowing freely from the Lege and we're back in town. A little angry and a whole lot sad but we're back. And loaded for bear.
March 24, 2007
Birthday time at McBlogger
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of our nearest and dearest, Mayor McSleaze. It was an unusually cold and stormy March day in 1857 when he first entered the world and began his rise to dominance. From those humble beginnings, he's risen to preeminence as an owner of chemical companies, shoe manufacturing centers and animal rendering facilities around the world. The Third World. Where laws are lax and you're only a bribe away from pumping raw toxic effluent some villages drinking water. Eh, third legs and arms are occasionally helpful!
His uncommon business sense has endeared him to all of us here at McBlogger, especially those of us he hasn't pressed into working on one of his 'projects'. Because we know the pitfalls of indentured servitude and we don't like to sign contracts in blood. We also remember just how vengeful The Mayor can be. None of us will forget his invention of the 'boy band' as vengeance for the UN Convention Against Poisoned Postage Stamp Adhesive of 1966. Every time we hear Backstreet Boys we shiver just a little at the pure, evil genius that is Mayor McSleaze.
So, I hope you'll all join me in wishing The Mayor a happy sesquicentennial!
Other Celebrity Birthdays today:
Peyton Manning (1976)
Louise Armstrong (1953)
Fatty Arbuckle (1887)
Steve McQueen (1930)
A Giant Burning Building (1974)
They meant his career
Apparently, the fine folks at Wikipedia make mistakes, just like real humans. They're cool like that. The Statesman, being neither human or cool, is shocked because the Wikipedia entry for alleged comedian Sinbad declared him dead.
Actor-comedian Sinbad had the last laugh after his Wikipedia entry announced he was dead, the performer said Thursday.
Rumors began circulating Saturday regarding the posting, said Sinbad, who first got a telephone call from his daughter. The gossip quieted, but a few days later the 50-year-old entertainer said the phone calls, text messages and e-mails started pouring in by the hundreds.
"Saturday I rose from the dead and then died again," the Los Angeles-based entertainer told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
The St. Petersburg-based nonprofit organization, which describes itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," leaves it to a vast user community to catch factual errors and other problems. Apparently, someone edited it to say Sinbad died of a heart attack. By the time the error was caught, e-mail links of the erroneous page had been forwarded to hundreds of people.
A note on Sinbad's Wikipedia page Thursday night said the site has been temporarily protected from editing to deal with vandalism.
Wikipedia was created in 2001 as a Web research tool. It has more than 1.6 million articles, contributed by members of the public.
A telephone call and an e-mail left for Wikipedia were not immediately returned Thursday night.
When asked if he was upset about the mix-up, Sinbad, whose real name is David Adkins, just laughed.
"It's gonna be more commonplace as the Internet opens up more and more. It's not that strange," the Los Angeles-based entertainer told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
Sinbad, who is currently on the road doing stand up, said he hasn't received an apology from the Internet site. He has appeared in the films, "Houseguest," and "Jingle All the Way."
And for all of us who actually sat through 'Houseguest' I'd like to request a time machine so I can go back to talk Sinbad's mother into forcing him to be a bloodsucking lawyer or a doctor, ANYTHING other than a bad comedian!
March 23, 2007
I'm back, bitches! Now on to drinks... Hey, I gotta catch up with Barfly who has been in town for hours.
And yes, American Airlines still sucks!
As Joe Hill said
Don't mourn, fuckin' organize!
Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads...
EOW would like to take a more conciliatory approach. While I love them, I'm going to disagree. I'm with Sal on this. Fuckabuncha whiny ass bullshit about killing roads in DFW. WE NEED BETTER FINANCING OPTIONS, SENATOR. FOR THE ENTIRE STATE.
Never trust a Republican to do a Democrat's work. And for all you Democrats who are wavering... primaries are fucking bitch. Remember that before you take some weak ass position. We don't forget ANYTHING.
Fickes... you are sooo toast.
I'm watching CNN...
...and Maria Shriver looks like shit.com.
They're talking about Elizabeth Edwards. Mad props to the Edwards' for continuing the campaign. Y'all are incredible!
I can't wait to get back to Austin. I need real bars!
March 22, 2007
McSweeney's has some great tips up on how to relax at work
Sit down at your desk with legs crossed and head rotating. Gently place ears and teeth on floor. Lift. Repeat.
Stand with knees detached, holding pelvic area extended in front of body at shoulder level, eyes closed. With neck open, take six deep breaths. Repeat.
If you can do that head thing, I still have the restraining order in place. You KNOW who you are.
Toll Road Nutty
Every once in a while, my mother loses it in a really ugly way. It's usually regarding a stressful time like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Last Call. My sister and I refer to the event as 'a nutty'. We usually append it with the event name (e.g., Christmas nutty) and will occasionally reference really heinous ones (like the Thanksgiving, 2003 nutty or The Library nutty) by date of occurrence or location. What makes it so funny is that the nutty is normally of short duration and afterward she's OK. I guess you could call it cathartic. Barfly and I just refer to it as time to get the hell out of the way.
Now I feel like taking a moment for my own little nutty over toll road bullshit. Which moron in Dallas city government decided to build a tollway IN THE TRINITY FLOODPLAIN? From what I've read so far on this stupid idea, the project was sold to voters in 1998 as a parkway combined with the Trinity River project. Now it's morphed into a toll road? Fortunately, Dallas Progress and others are calling bullshit loudly. Allow me to chime in: BUILDING ROADS IN A FLOOD PLAIN IS A DUMB IDEA.
Next up, EOW has some great stuff up regarding the Lege and what's expected to happen in the battle royale between Krusee and Carona. Then they posted about Ben Wear's newest column (mad props to EOW for even reading Wear) in which he writes:
For a number of reasons — campaign trail grumbling last year, disputes with Dallas and Houston toll road agencies, lack of deference to legislators by Texas transportation commissioners, turf battles over huge pots of money suddenly coming Texas’ way — the Legislature has been gripped by a sort of March madness over tollways, particularly those that would be in private hands for a half-century.What remains to be seen is what the madness will lead to by the end of the session May 28. As transportation chairman, Krusee can, in theory, block most legislation seeking to roll back tollway powers. And Perry could veto whatever makes it to his desk.
But more than two-thirds of the Legislature has signed on to legislation that would put a two-year moratorium on concessions, contracts with private companies to build and run toll roads. Dozens of other bills limiting tollway powers have been filed. And powerful legislators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, are talking about using the power of the purse to curb the Transportation Department.
Perry and Krusee may have no choice but to make concessions on concessions and on other prongs of their toll road agenda.
Watch the budget,” Ogden said. “At the end of the day, TxDOT can’t spend a dime without our permission. So, watch the budget.”
The reality is that Perry will probably veto any bill, even the compromise being sought by Krusee and Williamson both of whom are politically dead men walking. That last bit of information may come as a surprise, but it's reality. Given that, I'm thinking neither will be willing to do much of anything to protect Texas taxpayers from being taken advantage of by the very laws they helped shepherd through the Lege in 2003. Which is why, in 2008, Democrats will retake the Lege and soon after things will start to change. The bottom line is that all Texans want roads. What they do not want are extremely expensive toll taxes and corporate welfare which are the only things the Perry, CradDICK, Krusee and Williamson offer.
How much money is being spent to fund the pro-TTC PR campaign going on? I know billboards aren't cheap. I also know that with each new op/ed and advertisement, opposition grows to toll roads across all Texans - Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
If, however, by some miracle Krusee does let the bills through they appear to be 'veto proof'. Which completes the emasculation of Rick Perry which CradDICK started with such zeal in 2003.
Make it stop! Make it stop! For the love of god, make it stop!
I swear if I see that damn Ben Crenshaw commercial for Time Warner's digital phone service one more time, someone is going to get cut.
When I'm on the green, I have to make all kinds of tough decidions.
You know who really makes tough decisions? How about soldiers in Iraq wondering if that car coming down the road is going to explode or not? You're trying to knock a ball into a hole in the ground.
But at least when I get home the one think I worry about is my phone service.
Don't feel too special, Ben. This is America, not Nigeria. As long you you pay the bill from time to time, NOBODY needs to worry about their phones. They just plain work.
Caller ID. On teeeveeee. Now that's better than making a thirty foot birdie putt
What Ever, Jethro.
A few notes from the road...
So, I'm here. Finally and only after a very rough flight courtesy of the aforementioned American Airlines. The hotel is nice, much nicer than the Minnesota trip (not to mention the OC trip which shall be forever known as the trip to hell).
Having fun. Now, I'm going to bed. Have a goodun!
March 21, 2007
I hate TSA (and American Airlines, too)
My company was only able to get me a flight connecting through Dallas for reasons that have not been explained. I caught the Austin to Dallas leg with no problems, only to miss the connector to my final destination. Why?
Because I needed a cigarette and TSA sucks ASS.
My flight from Austin was a bit late but I still had 50 minutes to kill before the next one left. So, I went outside for a cigarette. Lest you think me a slow smoker, rest assured I can suck one down in under 7 minutes. However, I DID NOT anticipate how slow security at DFW would be. Bitch behind the xray conveyor looked at EVERYTHING 3 times.
I finally pulled one of the TSA mooks aside to tell them my plane was leaving in 15 MINUTES and would she please call to the gate to let them know I was on my way, to which she replied, "Oh, we don't work with the airlines and we have no way to do that". Thanks a lot, Debbie Dumbass.
I finally got to the head of the class and was able to get through. I then quickly threw my shit back in my carryon and ran to the gate. My flight wasn't leaving for another 7 minutes, tight but nothing horrible. Unless you are flying American.
Needless to say, I got to the gate 6 minutes before departure only to watch the plane pulling away. Fucking assholes.
So, I'm sitting here patiently waiting for the next available flight. Seething while I look at some stupid freak woman with a sunflower (just one) embrodiered on the back of her shirt.
TSA makes travel a pain in the ass and American Airlines is helping them. I hate you guys.
Petulant little bitch... someone slap Bush for me, 'K?
I caught just a bit of el Presidente retardado comedy hour, otherwise known as the press conference regarding the firing of US Attorneys around the country. Gonzales is in deep shit over this and Politico is saying that the White House has begun searching for another puppet to replace him.
The operative assumption, the GOP source said, is that Gonzales will go but that he will do so on his own schedule. The first stage in finding a replacement is gauging who is available among the well-established lawyers under consideration, most of whom have previously been confirmed by the Senate. "I think it is going to come down to who is willing to take the job," said the source.
During the conference, it was very clear that the combative, petty executive is alive and well. The White House claims to have given over everything requested by Congress but in reality it's heavily redacted and major pieces are missing. Then there is whether or not Rove will testify...
White House counsel Fred Fielding went to Capitol Hill with an offer Tuesday, outlined in a letter released after his meeting, offering testimony by Rove and other top aides but only if the interviews "would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas."
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded coolly to Fielding's proposal, calling it unique but "with a lot of pitfalls" that made it inadequate. "With no transcript, with no oath, with private conversations that can be contradicted, recollections can fail, you're not going to get very far," he told reporters. "Counsel Fielding … said he wanted this to be a conversation rather than a hearing. A conversation's fine. But let's have a conversation under oath with a transcript. … Mr. Fielding indicated that he did not want to negotiate, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try."
Nah, we've played that game. Swear his ass in. Rove likes to lie too much.
In a feisty statement at the White House late Tuesday afternoon, Bush told reporters in the Diplomatic Reception Room that he will not abet "show trials" by Democrats and that their initial response indicated they "appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts." He said he wanted to avoid an "impasse" but said defiantly: "I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials."
What Politico characterized as feisty was in fact childish. Seriously, you should have seen it if for no other reason that to understand just how little the Chief Douche respects Congress. Why can't they learn 'the facts' with sworn testimony, Mr. President? Do you seriously think it's going to inhibit someone from speaking their mind in the future?
Go to court, Mr. President. Let's see how far executive privilege really goes and settle this shit once and for all.
I'm on my way to a super fun corporate meeting so blogging is going to be a little tough. The Mayor will be posting for your pleasure as I sit through meeting after meeting, occasionally managing to squeeze something out on my BlackBerry. The one bright spot? Watching some of the mooks I work with slobbering over themselves at the prospect of face time with the VP's and hitting on skanks in the hotel bar.
Yes, I'll be drinking. A lot.
A word of advice... don't piss off McSleaze. He's wicked mean, drunk or sober, and would just as soon punch you in the gut as look at you. Then he'd put your kids to work in his sweatshop.
And you bitches thought I was the mean one?
What goes around...
...comes around, as Bush's spokesman Tony Snowjob demonstrates in his comment on that old fallback of presidents in trouble.
Executive Privilege is a Dodge
Evidently, Mr. Bush wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.
Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.
One gets the impression that Team Bush values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Bush will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.
Alright, I admit I did a naughty thing. That quote actually came from an op-ed piece Snow wrote in 1998 attacking The Big Dog, so all the references to Bush should actually read "Clinton". Still, I can't fault his argument. Perhaps Tony would like to explain why we should now consider it inoperative.
March 20, 2007
...And they all work for Republicans
More than 30% of residents in Washington, D.C. are functionally illiterate. How's that for national pride? At a time when we are spending outrageous sums giving tax cuts to the wealthy and fighting a war with a country that didn't attack us, more than 30% of the people in our nation's capitol can barely write their names.
So much for No Child Left Behind and the future of our workforce.
Bell takes a job as a lobbyist...
Vince at Capitol Annex has more on it but I thought y'all would like the money quote...
Bell, who argued for ethics reform during his gubernatorial bid, said it won’t be difficult to work as a lobbyist after emphasizing ethics. He described Patton Boggs as “a very ethical firm” and said he’ll conduct himself properly.
Political scientist Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas at Austin said the career change will be worth watching.
“We’ll see if Mr. Clean can hold to those high standards in this new line of work,” Buchanan said in a story posted Sunday night on the San Antonio Express-News Web site.
Far be it from me to criticize how someone chooses to make a living but COME.ON.
New Obama video...
Yeah, I posted it just to see if anyone would bitch.
Do you know your rights?
Via Grits comes this super cool quiz on your rights while dealing with the police. If you're stopped, do YOU know what they can and can't do?
I got 6 out of 8 which is 75%. Which means I'm an upper-end moron. You'll probably do better than me. It's because you're a nerd and all.
Sylvester Turner : Speaker CradDICK's cockwipe
There's an old saying that if you lie with dogs you shouldn't suprised when you wake up with fleas. Never has that been more true than in the case of the Iscariot Caucus who today learned they'd not only picked up some Republican fleas but that the suckers bite like a son of a bitch. Rep. Turner's partial CHIP restoration bill was killed on a point of order that was sustained by none other than the jackass they supported for another term as Speaker.
So who was it that called the point? Rep. Talton, one of the Republicans who voted against CradDICK. Proof positive, as if more was needed, that CradDICK will always put partisanship ahead of good policy.
The reality is that Turner's bill was shit. As Matt at BOR points out, it's death today makes way for a better bill later on. Of course, it more than likely won't pass either and Texas taxpayers will continue to get screwed, having to pay for more expensive emergency care instead of doing the right thing and providing cheap, cost-effective preventative care.
Regardless, it's still funny as hell that CradDICK so thoroughly used Turner who now looks like an even bigger douche than he did in January.
March 19, 2007
Bitchslapping Attorney General Greg Abbott
Late in February, Attorney General Greg Abbott eschewed the law for
political grandstanding when he released GA-0519, Abbott's opinion declaring
as felons the good folks at Texas's district and county clerks' offices.
Little did he know such posturing would come back to haunt him so quickly.
Specifically, GA-0519 effectively rewrote a provision in the Public
Information Act to read that all social security numbers are private under
state law. It then went on---in a fit of "creative" lawyering--- to couple
this revision with a reference to an outdated federal law that makes it a
felony to disclose social security numbers. The result of all this activist
judging was a shutdown of Texas clerk offices, which maintain hundreds of
millions of documents, many of which contain said numbers. Open government,
in short, took a break.
People begged and pleaded for "General" Abbott to retract his opinion, when
its many legal flaws were pointed out, and after the opinion's grave
consequences spread plague-like across the state. But Abbot, lacking the
peach fuzz to admit his bad, took the unprecedented step of temporarily
abating his word for the plebes to figure it all out. And we did. Today HB
2061---a law declaring the General wrong wrongity wrong wrong wrong---passed
unanimously out of the Texas Senate and headed to the Governor, bitch
slapping Greg Abbott along the way.
DOJ finally getting involved in TYC...
This is what I hope will be the last post about the TYC scandal. It's not that we don't think it's important. It's that each new revelation nauseates us more than the last. Kuff's saying that the DOJ has sent a letter to 39% asking him to DO SOMETHING...
A South Texas juvenile corrections facility run by the Texas Youth Commission is so "chaotic and dangerous" that it violates the constitutional rights of the youth incarcerated there, the U.S. Justice Department told state officials Thursday.
Youth-on-youth assaults at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg are five times the national average, the report said, and in one instance last year a corrections officer tried to subdue an unruly youth by pushing his eyes "back into his face."
A 14-page letter from Justice officials to Gov. Rick Perry detailed repeated patterns of violence that injured both youths and corrections officers at Evins. The report said the facility is poorly designed, insufficiently staffed and has corrections officers who are poorly trained.
The letter said if the problems are not fixed within 49 days, the department's Civil Rights Division may file suit against Texas to bring the facility into compliance.
I guess the DOJ hasn't been paying attention to Robert Black's valiant efforts to deflect this miasma from 39%, who is (in case you were wondering) the one ultimately responsible. I will say it's great that they are finally getting involved with this after ignoring and actively trying to cover it up for a LONG time (mad props to the LSP for picking up on that).
When freaks run for office...
PinkDome found this and also discovered that old boy is an Eagle Scout. Which is funny, to me, because every Eagle Scout I know is gay. Watch the video and pay close attention to how he grips the light saber.
March 18, 2007
Unlike Sister Ruth, I don't get to sit on the sofa all day eating bonbons and watching C-SPAN. So I didn't get to watch Valerie Plame's testimony before a House committee on Friday and had to settle for the highlights reel on Olbermann that night. And what do I see in the background, jumping up everytime the camera is on Ms. Plame? It's one of those Code Pink nutzoids. Look at me! Look at me!
Okay, hon. We get your message. You don't like Bush. Now please sit down and behave like an adult. We just can't take you anywhere.
Honestly, if anyone watching the hearing had an epiphany and realized "You know, that George Bush guy is a real scumbag and he ought to be impeached!" is it more likely to have come about from Plame's testimony about the junta's vendetta against her and her husband, Joe WIlson or from seeing "Impeach Bush" written on a tshirt?
I know that there's a political current that is outraged that Congressional Democrats aren't already holding impeachment hearings. Well, show me your list of 67 Senators who are ready to vote to remove Bush from office and then we can talk. Until then...
When Nixon left office, those 67 votes existed. Nixon's political position had been steadily eroded by more than a year of hearings and investigations which had established a clear pattern of lawlessness, criminality, and obstruction of justice And it wasn't liberal political opinion that brought Nixon down, it was conservative and Republican. It was James J. Kilpatrick saying on 60 Minutes' Point/Counterpoint "Nixon is a dead mouse on the kitchen floor of America. The only question left is who is going to pick him up and throw him in the trash" that for me best exemplifies how completely isolated RMN had become.
We're a long way from a similar situation with Bush. The right wing and the republican party have been so heavily bolshevized over the last decade or so it's hard to imagine Bush's base deciding that he's more of a dangerous liabilty than an asset... but of course it was also hard to believe that an earlier president re-elected in a landslide would find himself driven from office less than two years later. Already it seems that various senators are unhappy about the way that the White House planned to cut them out of the loop in the US Attornies matter. Who dare predict what other turds will come to the surface as the doings of Bush, Rove and the rest of the gang are examined over the months to come?
Now, please do not misunderstand me. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Bush and the rest removed from office, put on trial, and punished for their crimes. But if impeachment is ever actually on the table, it will be because the Right put it there.
March 17, 2007
Yeah, the RIAA still sucks
Gizmodo continues it's quest to end the tyranny of the RIAA which has now decided to start charging podcasters who use music as part of their 'casts. Since they have such a MASSIVE listener base and are totally making fat bank off their podcasts.
"Per performance" rates are charged per stream per listener. The example the Radio and Internet Newsletter gives is that an "audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 'performances' for each song" played. There is also a minimum fee of 500 bucks per station, even for tiny or noncommercial ones.
The Mayor and I were thinking about a podcast of our own. Then Sister Ruth interjected, tried to become a part of it and we all decided she would only be allowed to participate by saying the words 'EXTREME SNOWBOARDING' and playing the cymbal on occasion. The entire project fell apart over the insistence of McSleaze and Spamburgler that it be called 'Happy Hour' and my belief that it would only be successful if it was called 'Zebulon'.
'Happy Hour' is a dumb idea for a podcast that's only 10 minutes long and that most of us will pass out while making. Even Boobilicious thought it was dumb. The only thing she thought was dumber was calling it 'Zebulon'. You'll not be hearing from her for a while.
March 16, 2007
Thanks for coming, y'all!
It's always great having so many foreigners in town for SXSW. As always, we're THRILLED about going through downtown and not being able to get a call through (or even send a fucking email) because 10,000 jackasses are 'checking in with the coast'. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, it rocks to have y'all here. We're thinking next year there will finally be a critical mass of coastal dicks that will create a black hole of pretension from which no douche will escape.
Until then, here are a few helpful hints...
Now, would you mind leaving? Oh, we understand that you've made the hotels and bars and 'services' happy, but it's time for you to move on.
Voter ID? Not so much this session?
The Republicans in the Texas Lege have once again put forward a voter ID bill designed to disenfranchise millions. Because you can't have EVERYONE voting. That would be chaos. And Republicans might lose.
Unfortunately for the R's, Sen. Ellis has already lined up the votes he needs to block and kill the bill. For the second time.
Texas Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) announced today that he has eleven signatures in the Senate to block debate on Voter ID legislation under consideration by the Texas House.
At the press conference announcing this, Senator Ellis was joined by representatives of Common Cause, The People for the American Way, Advocacy Incorporated, the League of Women's Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union.
This is literally some of the best news to come out of this session. We should be very, very grateful to Senator Ellis and the 11 others who have agreed to block consideration of Voter ID legislation in the Senate. They are true Texas Heroes.
Bluebonnet at PinkDome has a post up about the pressure Dewhearse is receiving from Tinafish and Douchey Leo Berman to override the 2/3 rule and allow a vote on this. Guess we'll have to see if the integrity of the Senate is worth anything.
Of course, once you break that rule then you have a realize paybacks are bitch.
Why aren't these bastards dead?
The WaPo has a story up about US fears of a resurgent al-Qaeda.
The new director of national intelligence said yesterday that the United States is "very concerned" that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership are attempting to rebuild their terrorist network and establish training camps in a region of northwest Pakistan "that has never been governed by any power."
"We inflicted a major blow, they retreated to another area, and they are going through a process to reestablish and rebuild, adapting to the seams or the weak spots as they might perceive them," retired Vice Adm. John M. McConnell told the Senate Armed Services Committee as he delivered his first global threat assessment to Capitol Hill.
There is STILL al-Qaeda leadership? Those people should have been killed by the end of 2004. Maybe if we hadn't been invading countries that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda they would have been. Thanks a lot, President Bush. Your stupidity has made us all LESS secure, especially when coupled with yet more proof of a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.
But the strike nonetheless demonstrated that Al Qaeda and the Taliban appear stronger and more emboldened in the region than at any time since the American invasion of the country five years ago, and since the Bush administration claimed to have decimated much of their middle management. And it fed directly into the debate over who is to blame.
The leaders with whom Mr. Cheney met on his mission to Pakistan and Afghanistan have appeared increasingly incapable of controlling the chaos, and have pointed fingers at one another.
Mr. Cheney said the attack was a reminder that terrorists seek “to question the authority of the central government,” and argued that it underscored the need for a renewed American effort.
His critics, on the other hand, said the strike was another reminder of how Iraq had diverted the Bush administration from finishing the job in Afghanistan.
The only saving grace appears to be that these people are even more incompetent than Bush and Cheney. Of course, you don't have to be real smart to get the better of them.
Dude... RFID's aren't so secure...
It's an article of faith that RFID systems are keeping buildings secure. It's misplaced faith, which is why this piece over at Somervell County Salon is such an eye opener. We knew these things were easy to destroy, what we didn't know was how easy they were to hack.
Can't wait until someone clones my TXTag.
March 15, 2007
Duh! Macias already has his sugar daddy
AUSTIN — The only Hispanic Republican lawmaker in the 181-member Texas Legislature has so far declined to join the House Mexican American Legislative Caucus….
Macias represents Bandera, Comal, Gillespie and Kendall counties. He defeated incumbent Carter Casteel in the Republican primary last year, using $757,951 given to him by San Antonio businessman James Leininger. Leininger’s support represented 96 percent of Macias’ campaign contributions.
Isn't there a Leininger Caucus at this point? Maybe a subset of the House Republican Caucus?
Hasta La Vista, Douchebags
From the Chronicle (via Kuff) comes word that the entire TYC Board is going to resign. I can't imagine why they'd do that given what a bangup job these asshats have done to date. Let's not forget these folks were appointed by 39%.
Good job, 39%. I wonder if your base still thinks you're the right person for the job. I heard you were thinking of running again in 2010. Oh, please! Do that!
Corpsyn still acting like a douche
From the TDP...
Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn actually voted against protecting America from another deadly terrorist attack by opposing legislation to accept the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission. The bill (S.4), which passed the Senate with bipartisan support, will enhance homeland security, allow for more efficient emergency response and increase efforts to stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. [Roll Call vote #73, 3/13/07] A similar version was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
"I can't imagine what John Cornyn could possibly have against policies that protect the American people from those who would do us harm," said Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Amber Moon. "After nearly three years of Republican foot-dragging, Congress has finally heeded the advice of the 9/11 panel and taken meaningful action to secure our homeland - despite John Cornyn's opposition."
John Cornyn has turned his back on Texas and refused to support a bill that:
* Tightens airline, port and rail security with more thorough cargo and baggage screening
* Equips first responders with tools that allow them to more effectively communicate with each other during emergency situations
* Increases the sharing of intelligence information between government agencies
* Strengthens our border with international collaboration on border and document security
* Allocates more funding to higher-risk areas
* Prevents terrorists from acquiring WMDs
The 9/11 Commission was created by Congress and approved by President Bush to evaluate America's response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. In 2004, the panel submitted 41 recommendations to improve homeland security and guard against future attacks on American soil.
However, John Cornyn and his Republican leaders in Congress refused to adopt many of these recommendations, while others were only partially implemented. It was not until Democrats took control of Congress this year that the Commission's report was fully adopted.
"Voters across Texas and the country have solidly rejected the failed agenda of Republicans like John Cornyn," added Moon. "I applaud Congressional Democrats from Texas, who are working to make America a safer place and unanimously supported the 9/11 Commission recommendations. In less than three months, Democrats in Congress accomplished what Republicans put off for nearly three years"
Well, I guess it's little wonder why Corpsyn isn't bleating on about how secure he's making us. What a partisan dickhead... he'd vote to make us more susceptible to terrorism just to spite the Democrats. Way to really give a shit about your constituents you assclown.
March 14, 2007
The old Unicorn Defense
Sister Ruth predicts that by the end of the week Alberto Gonzales will be using this himself.
Montana man blames unicorn for drunken-driving crash
Prosecutor Ingrid Rosenquist said Phillip C. Holliday Jr. initially denied driving the truck involved in the March 7 crash in Billings. He told officers at the scene that a unicorn was driving, she said.
Holliday, 42, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges of criminal endangerment and drunken driving. A pickup truck drove through a red light and nearly struck another truck in the intersection, according to court documents. The driver then made an erratic U-turn through a gas station, crossed the street and crashed into a light pole. Nobody was injured.
Jokes of My Father's : Another one that's actually kinda funny
Why Men are Rarely Published in Dear Abby
I've never written to you before, but I really need your advice on what could be a crucial decision. I've suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me.
The usual signs... Phone rings but if I answer, the caller hangs up.
My wife has been going out with the girls a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, "Just some friends from work, you don't know them."
I always stay awake to look out for her taxi coming home, but she always walks down the drive. Although I can hear a car driving off, as if she has gotten out of the car round the corner. Why? Maybe she wasn't in a taxi?
I once picked her cell phone up just to see what time it was and she went berserk and screamed that I should never touch her phone again and why was I checking up on her.
Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just didn't want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to really check on her.
I decided I was going to park my Harley Davidson motorcycle next to the garage and then hide behind it so I could get a good view of the whole street when she came home. It was at that moment, crouching behind my Harley, that I noticed that the valve covers on my engine seemed to be leaking a little oil.
Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the
For the math nerds out there...
McCombs loves him some TTC, Ford Taurus
So, Red McCombs, Ford Dealer extraordinaire, has penned a retarded little op/ed for the Schlockman (which is evidently in a race to the bottom with the Fort Worth Star Telegram) in which he's listed as a 'special contributor' instead of the far more appropriate 'used car salesman'.
That's right! He's a CAR SALESMAN. Who the hell cares what the man who tries to sell you clearcoat thinks about transportation??!?!? He picked Ford's to sell... enough said about his intelligence. Red McComb's apparently a very passionate man. He's wild about tollroads. Red, now that I think about it, is kinda trash (sorry, it's the Ford thing... I hate Fords. They're just soooo lame). He's also a little bit senile (what is he, 90?)
By utilizing toll roads and private investment along with traditional funding methods, Texas can get more roads built faster and without a significant tax increase.
By using public-private partnerships or comprehensive development partnerships like the $5 billion Texas 121 project, the state would have the resources for additional road projects because of the billions private companies are willing to pay to build and manage user-financed toll roads.
Red, no joke, how many times are we going to do this before you decide to pay attention? The public/private partnerships are just corporate welfare, nothing more. It's taking money out people's pockets and putting it onto the P&L of a foreign company. As for your declaration about a 'significant tax increase', if we make both tolls and gas taxes comparable to one another, working them on a per gallon basis, TOLLS ARE THE MORE EXPENSIVE TAX. That's important, Red... TOLLS ARE A TAX. Whether you are paying it to Cintra or the State of Texas, it's a tax.
Here's a simple example... in the real world, where WE live, tolls are averaging $0.20/mile. My car gets around 20 miles per gallon so my toll tax equivalent is $4.00 PER GALLON on the toll roads around Austin Metro... at least on the ones that the slow ass people have managed to open. The increase in the gas tax needed to fund transportation? Well, if you listen to the TTI (which, evidently, Red doesn't do because he doesn't like people smarter than himself) you can do it pay as you go by raising the gas tax by $0.31. 31 CENTS vs. $4.00 per gallon.
Gee, Red, which do you think is cheaper? Which is the better deal for consumers? Since the tolls roads are going to be everywhere, just a like a gas tax, we'll all get caught in it. Doesn't it make more sense to go with the cheaper alternative?
As for privatization schemes, we went over this last week so I'll not belabor the point except to say that no for-profit company is altruistic... most of the time, it's against the interests of their shareholders. When you factor in the need for a private company to make a profit, you soak up ANY efficiency from moving management from the public to private sector.
By using public-private partnerships or comprehensive development partnerships like the $5 billion Texas 121 project, the state would have the resources for additional road projects because of the billions private companies are willing to pay to build and manage user-financed toll roads.
Oh, Red. you mention this just as we find out that TXDoT sold out on the cheap. These guys can't even privatize correctly.
We've heard a lot about privatization over the last 26 years. Sometimes it works, usually it doesn't. It's also rarely cheaper for consumers and taxpayers. You can't get something for nothing which is exactly what toll roads (and those who, like Red McCombs, support them) promise. In the final analysis, the private sector can be just as sloppy and mismanaged as the public sector. Just look at Enron.
This has made me wonder if Red McCombs has invested in Cintra? In Zachry? Come on, Red! Tell us, pal! Do you stand, in one way or another, to gain from the construction of toll roads?
Eye on Williamson has more on McComb's ridiculous argument regarding anti-tollers wanting to do nothing. The reality is that we all know roads must be built. The problem is, we're the only ones not lying about how they should be financed.
I guess that's because none of us stand to gain from tolls. We actually care more about our fellow Texans than we do about a Spanish company.
Making money the old fashioned way...
To many Mexicans, who make Slim richer with nearly every phone call or trip to the mall, his rise shows their businessmen can run world-class companies. He's widely praised for turning Telmex -- once notorious for taking months or years to install a phone line -- into a modern, professional operation.
But he also has kept phone rates high in a country where the minimum wage is about 50 cents an hour, and his success inspires anger among Mexicans who resent the concentration of wealth in the hands of the nation's relatively tiny elite.
"Why should we want a few people to hoard all the wealth, if the majority of Mexicans don't have enough to eat and 30 million Mexicans live on less than 22 pesos ($2) a day?" thundered former leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after Slim's jumped to No. 3 on Forbes' list of billionaires announced last week.
Now worth an estimated $49 billion, the 67-year-old Slim is the son of a Lebanese father who built a small family fortune from retailing.
Slim's Telefonos de Mexico SA controls more than 90 percent of the nation's fixed phone lines and made $15.9 billion in 2006; his America Movil SA controls about 70 percent of cell phone service in Mexico and made $21.6 billion.
Carlos Slim is the worlds third richest man because he's gouging Mexican consumers. It's not skill, it's greed. If Mexico is ever going to drag itself into the first world, they have got to break up monopolies like that enjoyed by Mr. Slim.
And we have to be ever vigilant against monopolies here in the US.
Panic in the markets!
So the Dow fell more than 240 points today. However, the world did not come to an end. The economy, while not good, is still decent as is the job market. Granted, nothing is a strong as it could be, but it's not the end of the world.
Everyone is nervous about the mortgage industry, specifically the sub-prime sector. Some of the companies are going to go bankrupt, adding to the ones who have already filed. It's the kind of the thing that happens every 8-9 years and it's completely healthy as it shakes out the weaker lenders who underreserve for losses and have ridiculously lax underwriting guidelines. They were the ones who made life difficult even for those of us in the A paper market. Fuck New Century. I'm glad the bitches are gone.
This brings up a great point on liquidity. Countrywide's CEO says the overall industry is entering a kind of liquidity crisis. While I think there are some issues, I don't think it can be classed as a crises. What the investment banks are doing is squeezing the folks with the weakest balance sheets. By forcing them to buy back bad loans while at the same time freezing their access to new capital, they are effectively shutting them down. This will work with a company like New Century, but it more than likely won't with someone like Novastar (on the smaller end of the business) or GMAC (on the larger end).
Sellers are in charge of the market right now and are creating, as they always do, terrific buying opportunities. The bottom line, especially in the mortgage business, is that the players who aren't forced under are the ones who will end up being hugely profitable as time goes on. Bottom line is that the reaction in the market (selling everything they can) is way overdone. As a great friend said to me almost a decade ago, "Be greedy when others are fearful; Be fearful when others are greedy."
Will the slowdown in housing and the collapse of many lenders cause a recession? Sure. That was already cooked into the market. The bigger problem is how much leeway the Fed has to drop rates. At this point, we need some real fiscal responsibility in Washington. Otherwise, what happens today to sub-prime lenders may be what happens tomorrow to the Federal government.
One last note, for those looking for how far things may go, keep in mind there is TWO TRILLION DOLLARS sitting on the side lines, accessible by hedge funds.
Eight of the top 10 LBOs in history have been inked since June; in 2006 alone some $420 billion in leveraged buyouts took place, a record. And yet private equity firms still wield as much as $2 trillion in combined buying power, enough to take out fully a 10th of the entire U.S. stock market.
The fuel for all the buying—low long-term interest rates—remains in the tank. In fact rates have been falling in the past few weeks and fell even more Tuesday, making the debt, or leverage, that private equity firms wield even cheaper. "The difference between cost of capital and return on equity is so enormous that if you're a leveraged player you just have to buy," says market watcher Jason D. Trennert of Strategas Research Partners. He goes so far as to suggest that the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index itself, if it could be packaged into a single entity, would be a screaming LBO candidate. Hence what veteran market strategist Edward E. Yardeni has taken to calling the "private equity put"—for put option, a floor price under a security. In this case it's under the whole market.
If you have stocks, hold 'em. If you have cash, buy. Then don't look at things for at least six months.
March 13, 2007
Almost 60% of us want the troops home. Are you listening, Congress?
Americans (58%) want troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Further, 52% oppose President Bush on the surge and actually support Congress blocking the funding, a la Murtha. A speech on Monday, Cheney talked about the terrorists waiting us out.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, shot back that Cheney and Bush are advocating an "open-ended commitment" of U.S. troops against the advice of military leaders.
The White House and congressional Republicans have warned Democratic leaders against plans that would "micromanage" U.S. commanders in Iraq.
But the latest survey finds Americans more receptive to having Congress take the lead, with 47 percent saying the lawmakers should be "primarily responsible" for setting war policy. Thirty-three percent said the president should be primarily responsible for setting the country's course.
Oh, Congressional Republicans. They still want to abdicate their constitutional duty and be a rubber stamp for an out of control President. Stupid people do stupid things.
Come! Watch the shit flinging monkey!
Via Matt at BOR...
Join Texas Monthly Talks host Evan Smith for a conversation with rock/media personality Ted Nugent.
You are cordially invited to join KLRU and Texas Monthly Talks for a special conversation with Ted Nugent.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.
(Please arrive by 9:00 a.m.)
KLRU Studio A
(Austin City Limits Studio)
2504-B Whitis - Map
(Southeast corner of 26th and Guadalupe), 6th Floor
RSVP for you and your guests by
the end of the day on Monday, March 19, 2007.
We won't be going (we've made our feelings on Texas Monthly Talks well known) mostly because we outgrew going to the zoo to see the monkeys fling shit around the age of 10.Plus, there isn't even a cash bar at the KLRU Studio and we've got a real problem with that.
The Treasury Dept. has a coffee klatch
The US CoC is worried about all the companies worldwide who are choosing to list their stocks on exchanges located in other countries. The CoC focuses on regulation and legal expenses (the cost of litigation) as major factors. What regulations would they like to see relaxed? The very ones that are designed to protect the integrity of accounting results and create an even-playing field for all market participants.
The proposals being discussed include a blueprint laid out Monday by a committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Proposals included giving the SEC the authority to exempt some companies, especially smaller firms and overseas companies, from some aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom.
The chamber is arguing that global companies are choosing to list on overseas markets rather than U.S. exchanges, which they say poses a risk to the U.S. economy long-term.
Nice... Of course, what the CoC fails to mention is that exchanges in emerging markets have been expanding for years and it's not because of regulation here in the US. It's because their countries are becoming more stable and their capital markets more efficient. Further,you had to list in the US if you wanted access to US capital. That's no longer the case as US investors are very likely to put assets to work globally. In short, the money is now chasing the deal.
Lastly, they talked about tort reform and distributed as a media talking point (CNBC's Liz Clamon actually used it on the air) the bullshit about litigation in the US costing American business $250Bn. Then they drove the point home that the number is twice as high as Germany. Just as an FYI to the thoroughly stupid US CoC and the reporters who used this stat, Germany has around 27% of our population. Given that, do we REALLY need more tort reform? Isn't it obvious that we offer less protections to American consumers than German consumers enjoy? If we had the kind of protections that Germans enjoy, we should be seeing consumer advocates winning a little less than $500 bn for their clients. If anything, I would say the legal environment in the US leans TOO FAR TO PROTECT CORPORATIONS.
Message to tort reformers... you're done here. We'll beat the hell out of you in PR if you don't. back. off.
Everybody's a critic
Pity the poor voters of Houston's HD-146. For years they were represented by Al Edwards, who became a nationally-known buffoon with his crusade against sexy cheerleaders. His replacement is Boris Miles, who came across something in the Capitol Extension that he did not care for.
I was greeted with these images as I walked through the halls of the Extension this morning with my two children, ages five and eight. I consider them to be extremely inappropriate and highly objectionable. Capitol exhibits are supposed to serve a public purpose or be informational in nature. These pictures were hung with no accompanying text or explanation.
I have spoken with staff at the State Preservation Board regarding the process for selecting exhibits and the oversight responsibility for items selected for display. I am sending these for your review and comment on the pictures and the process by which items for public display in the Capitol and Extension Buildings are selected and approved.
State Rep. Borris L. Miles
The ironic thing about this is that the exhibition of disturbing images of executions was timed to coincide with a series of actions AGAINST the death penalty as part of something called Alternative Spring Break. Some people find the death penalty offensive. Some find images offensive. And some of us find state legislators calling for the removal of images pretty offensive, too.
March 12, 2007
Roger Ailes, laughably, thinks FOX NEWS is real
At the same Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation dinner where he made the controversial remarks about Obama, Ailes referred to the pressure to drop FOX: "Pressure groups are forcing candidates to conclude that the best strategy for journalists is divide and conquer, to only appear on those networks and venues that give them favorable coverage...This pressure must be resisted, as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake,'' Ailes said, adding that the strategy would surely backfire with voters.
No, no, Roger. We just don't think your employees are 'journalists' any more than FOX NEWS is a 'news organization'. Hell, even Republicans don't think y'all are 'fair and balanced'.
In which Shelly comes unhinged (and Ann's just an asshole)
Shelly's in the first part, Ann's at the very end (after Mitt Romney tells folks that 'it's a good thing they'll be seeing her'). The exchange will Shelly in the beginning of the video prompted this conversation with Mike Stark (via Sadly, No)
Malkin chatting with Mike Stark at CPAC:
Stark: “What happened, Michelle?
Malkin: “Some punks from the Nation came, and they ambushed me at my book signing.”
Stark: “Heh, that’s real professional.”
Malkin: “Yeah. Such chickenshits.”
Stark: “What did they do?”
Malkin: “Uh, they had a video camera, and they, uh, started, uh, lambasting my book. Assholes. I’m sorry, I’m just like, cursing. It’s made me [unintelligible]. ”
I think my favorite part of the video were the Tom 'Stop the brown hordes' Tancredo folks. Solid. Gold. Comedy.
39% gets shunned
A McBlogger informant called Saturday to tell me that she was at the 4A UIL State Basketball Tournament. During half-time, they did the awards ceremony for 2A and announced 39% would be handing out the award.
And NO ONE CLAPPED as 39% walked out. No one stood. Our informant described it as the silent treatment for 39% which should surprise no one. I mean, come on, you can't go through your time in public service being a complete douche and not expect people to treat you like shit.
In case you hadn't realized it, Texas is now a full fledged swing state. People are SICK of the one party bullshit and what they've realized is that all the things they thought they hated about Democrats are really things they despise about Republicans. 2008 is going to see Democratic control of the House and possibly (if candidates will get off their asses) in the Senate return to Texas.
March 11, 2007
They shoot horses, don't they?
Unfortunately, lame failed candidates not only don't end up at the glue factory, they're actually allowed to try to keep a hoof in the game by forming political action committees. Matt Glazer has stirred things up over at BOR with a post about Chris Bell's new attempt to appear relevent, some nebulous project called Faith In Texas.You remember Chris Bell, don't you? He's the guy who bragged to the LA Times
I can be a corpse and get 31% just based on the straight Democratic vote."
Who would guessed that just drawing breath could cost him 53,669 votes?
March 10, 2007
McCain gets a suprising endorsement
Via Political Wire
"The only one I wouldn't support is McCain. I don't agree with him on hardly any issues. I don't think he has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction."
-- Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), in an interview with The Politico, on the 2008 Republican presidential field.
Seriously, I think McCain is a panderer of the first class. However, how can you help but think more of someone that Rick Santorum won't support.
March 09, 2007
A third party? Oh hell...
David Broder has a piece up in the WaPo about Unity 08, a bastard mix of Republicans and Democrats and Independents that's destined to be blamed for costing one party or another the Presidency in 2008. Probably the Republicans if Hagel can be convinced to run as their candidate. And wouldn't that just be a shame?
Now comes word that Billionaire Dork Marc Cuban has joined the delegate ranks of Unity'08. With celebrity nerd endorsements like this it'll be no time before Unity goes way of Perot's Reform Party.
I'm a little slow this morning...
Sorry about the delay in getting posts up... I'm a little under the weather due to a wicked bad case of cocktail flu. I'm not sure WHAT The Mayor is doing, but I suspect it has something to do with telephones. Or maybe it has something to do with accounting.
Seriously, we don't know WTF The Mayor does when he's not posting, which is like 98% of the time. Sister Ruth had a theory about cars and some kind of lube. And, when she shared that theory, Sister Ruth creeped me out for the MILLIONTH time.
I'm wanting to bitch about the TYC thing but really, how many times can you say PERRY IS RESPONSIBLE, PERRY FUCKED UP? The buck on this one stops with 39%. While we enjoyed the lame attempts of TYC & Perry Staffers to drop the Senate in the grease, it's only because they're just fuckall pathetic and we like to laugh at pathetic performances. Their incompetence is acceptable only in comparison to 39%'s.
When I shift blame, people don't even realize it. They end up thinking they screwed up. You people are thoroughly amateur. I can't wait until I see a resume from one of these mooks. No way y'all are getting hired... you make way more trouble for yourselves than you should.
At the very least, I haven't been able to make fun of Chris Bell yet and the temptation is killing me, especially after the PAC email.
THIS is why the AP rocks!
They spent a week ignoring Paris Hilton. Surprisingly, none of the media outlets who depend on the AP appeared to even notice.
It was only meant to be a weeklong ban — not the boldest of journalistic initiatives, and one, we realized, that might seem hypocritical once it ended. And it wasn’t based on a view of what the public should be focusing on — the war in Iraq, for example, or the upcoming election of the next leader of the free world, as opposed to the doings of a partygoing celebrity heiress/reality TV star most famous for a grainy sex video.
No, editors just wanted to see what would happen if we didn’t cover this media phenomenon, this creature of the Internet gossip age, for a full week. After that, we’d take it day by day. Would anyone care? Would anyone notice? And would that tell us something interesting?
It turned out that people noticed plenty — but not in the way that might have been expected. None of the thousands of media outlets that depend on AP called in asking for a Paris Hilton story. No one felt a newsworthy event had been ignored.
This tells us two things:
1) The public really doesn't give a shit about Paris Hilton. Reporters care about Paris Hilton.
2) You can ignore obnoxious media whores and not be punished for it.
Here's to hoping that ban is expanded and lengthened!
March 08, 2007
Diebold exiting the election business?
Apparently executives high up at Diebold, the company that brought untold amounts of frustration to voters and countless faulty elections across the US, are considering dumping their Diebold Election Systems business unit, which it seems is almost systematically attempting to tarnish its parent company's brand with its infamous e-voting machines. After strained relationships with government officials over the utter craptasticality of their boxes, Diebold expects to announce the future of DES early this year; although there's no way to guarantee the 150k deployed Diebold machines would be decommissioned if DES were dismantled or sold, we'd really like to see a progressive technology organization -- like, say, a major university, the Open Voting Foundation, or the EFF -- raise the funds, buy the assets, opens source the software, and ensure that by the time the 2008 elections roll around, every vote will be properly accounted for, even if cast on old Diebold boxes.
Actually, not a bad idea... and Verified Voting could do it by setting up a partnership with a private equity firm. I hear Citadel is looking for good investments.
Oh shut up, Elizabeth
Here's the footage of Rosie making Elizabeth 'Vacuous' Hasselbeck cry.
As much as I dislike Rosie, she was spot on with this and Elizabeth is wrong. Elizabeth's the weakest, most pathetic kind of American citizen, willing to give up freedom for temporary security. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, those who would give up the former deserve neither freedom nor security and will eventually lose both.
That's good. THIS would be better
I would like to congratulate the Senators who have signed on to the bill to halt the TTC. I've little doubt that it's mostly symbolic since Krusee will end up killing Kolkhorst's bill in the House. So, you need to know this will come back in 2008 and we'll all be waiting to see what happens.
On Monday, state Sen. Robert Nichols filed legislation that would immediately halt any further public-private partnerships or comprehensive development agreements from taking place, according to a press release from San Antonio Toll Party, an activist group in opposition of such measures.
Note 'any further public-private partnerships or comprehensive development agreements from taking place'. What about those already signed? Are you just going to allow them to stand? You're the State of Texas. Abrogate the existing contracts. You guys are so scared of your own shadows that you don't even realize how much power you have. What the hell would Zachry do? Sue? Even if they win a settlement, just don't pay it. Hell, there are people who won money in lawsuits against the state in the 1970's that STILL HAVEN'T BEEN PAID. In the meantime, as the litigation wends it way through the courts, they certainly don't have to be awarded any contracts, do they?
I understand that Zachry's been a big contributor to some of y'all, but you need to know exactly how much of liability they are going to be going forward. Contributions from them will become poisonous, just like those from Leininger. It goes for both Republicans and Democrats... it'll get used against you in a primary, then in the general should you not be taken out during the primary. It'll never go away...
If I were running Zachry, I'd back off the TTC and tolls fast and change the name of the company. I don't think any of you understand just what a PR disaster this all is. You'll overcome it eventually but it's going to be tough and it'll take years.
I almost feel sorry for y'all. It's going to get much worse before it gets better. God help you all when Krusee kills this in the House.
Burnam seeks to rein in electric companies
Jobsanger has more on Rep. Burnam's bill to restrict compensation to utility executives
Burnam's bill would attack this problem head-on. HB 1937 would mandate that any electric company that charges its customers more than 125% of the national average, must pay its executives minimum wage. Yes, he said minimum wage! I guarantee you that if TXU executives are paid minimum wage, they will quickly lower costs to the consumer to restore their enormous salaries.
This is one idea I like. Another is to link the compensation of senior executives to that of the lowest level employees. Maybe limit it to 40 times the earnings of an hourly worker by taxing any amount over at 100%? Extreme? Sure. But isn't making 450 TIMES the salary of your lowest paid worker enough? Let's me honest, these CEO's aren't worth nearly as much as their earning and consumers, as well as shareholders, are the ones who suffer.
March 07, 2007
The Washington Post is running a Peeps diorama contest. I only wish I was kidding.
We're serious. It's the start of Peeps season, when those marshmallowy chicks and rabbits clog checkout lines. Now you have an incentive to buy them (or use the ones that have been languishing in your pantry the past three Easters).
We want you to make a diorama of a famous occurrence or scene. It can be a historic or current event, or it can be a nod to pop culture. The one rule is that all the characters in the diorama must be played by Peeps.
(Our ideas? "The Peeple v. Larry Flynt." Or Penelopeep Cruz in "Volver." Or a scene from MTV's "Peep My Ride.")
Sister Ruth managed to find this on Sunday. Did I ever tell you that sometimes Sister Ruth really creeps me out? Especially now that she's quit smoking and cut WAY back on drinking.
The Mayor and I were thinking of announcing a 'Queso in Science' project but decided against it when it became obvious that the winner would, no doubt, be the dork kid whose father helped him build the volcano that spits out hot, delicious queso.
That fucking kid always wins.
Was the Op/Ed section of the Star-Telegram brown?
With bullshit like this, it would have to be. The Star-Telegram published an editorial from someone who is, to put it bluntly, extremely disingenuous. This isn't the first time the First Lady of Fort Worth journalism has published a questionable op/ed piece by someone in the industry. I'm more surprised that they'd do it again after being called out the first time.
I would think one bout of looking like an ass would have been enough for the Star-Telegram editors. Turns out, it's not.
Let's look at this odious piece of trash...
First, according to an editorial in Wednesday's USA Today, traffic congestion cost $63 billion in lost productivity and additional gas in 2003, not including the 18.4-cent federal gas tax or other state and local transportation taxes. In other words, relief of traffic congestion is good for drivers' psychological and financial health.
Congestion is a bitch. Roads and public transportation are the solution. The method used to pay or them is largely irrelevant. This is approaching the millionth time I've heard toll roads conflated with easing congestion. It's also the millionth time pro-toll forces have looked like idiots. You'd think they would learn from the mistakes of the irredeemably stupid Ray Perryman.
Second, as Star-Telegram reporter Gordon Dickson wrote last month, state transportation officials reject as absurd the claim of some toll critics that an 8-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax could finance regional transportation needs. The actual number, according to state officials paid to calculate these costs, is $1.40 per gallon, which would increase the price of gasoline to more than $3.70 per gallon today. How could this help the poor?
Oh, yes... tolls are cheaper. This is an outright lie. For one thing, the tolls are going to run at least 12 cents per mile (as we've seen in Austin, sometimes they are MUCH more expensive). At 20 miles per gallon, that's a gas tax equivalent of $2.40 per gallon. Even if the State's ridiculous estimate were correct, a gas tax would STILL be CHEAPER than tolls, by at least $1.00 per gallon. That's reality, and I'd like to see Mr. Erler deny that.
However, we all know that the state's estimate is way off and completely meaningless. Why? Because, unlike Mr. Erler, we actually did some research. Bottom line, tolls are ALWAYS going to be more expensive than a gas tax. Period. The State's numbers are 'engineered' to come to a preconceived conclusion. Instead of just blindly accepting them, Mr. Erler, why not actually investigate the assumptions used? Those assumptions include a PROFIT for a private contractor that is paid EVEN UNDER A GAS TAX MODEL. Why would we be paying for that if we shift gears and ditch the tolls and the CDA's?
I'm going to stick to the TTI numbers. They are accurate and unbiased unlike those used by the State.
So what about the public versus private issue? Consider last week's announcement that a private company has been selected to build and manage Texas 121, just north of Fort Worth and Dallas. That company will pay $2.1 billion upfront and another $716 million over 49 years, and it will spend an additional $2.26 billion for construction and maintenance over the 50-year span of the contract.
This deal will, according to local officials, provide "several hundred million dollars" for non-toll roads in our region.
As for the money 'up front' to be used for other projects, that's little more than an acknowledgment that people will have the same problem with tolls that they have with gas taxes (money generated in one spot goes to pay for a project in another). Of course, we could raise that money upfront by selling bonds backed with tax revenues, which is basically what the toll road companies are doing (only in their case, their bonds are backed with massive tolls).
The most interesting thing about this is the money. We already know the state has promised a nice 12% ROE to developers. Annually. That means that these roads will have to pay more $609.1 mn annually, just as a return on invested capital. What's the debt service on $5.076bn? Around $400 mn annually? Combine the two and that means that North Texas drivers who use 121 will have to cough up roughly $1.09 BILLION annually. Of course they won't, so the entire project will end up devolving to Texas taxpayers anyway. Even if $609.1mn is also used to pay down debt, it's still too expensive. Maybe the toll companies aren't looking to make a profit... oh, hell, even Mr. Erler wouldn't buy that argument.
The numbers, any way you slice and dice them, will always come out in favor of a gas tax. I suspect Mr. Erler knows this which is why he's so disingenuous in his op/ed piece. My only question is why the Star-Telegram published it without even bothering to include a counterpoint. It's obvious that Erler believes what he's saying. Unfortunately for him, he's confused belief with truth. As someone far smarter than I once said, "It's not what you know; It's what you know that just ain't so."
Thankfully, as EOW points out, the vast majority of the Senate isn't listening to Erler or Dick Williamson any more.
(mad props to EOW for finding Erler's piece in the Star-Telegram)
People love them some health care...
Turns out, people want universal health care... AND THEY'RE WILLING TO PAY HIGHER TAXES TO GET IT.
The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more.
Nearly 8 in 10 said they thought it was more important to provide universal access to health insurance than to extend the tax cuts of recent years; 18 percent said the tax cuts were more important.
Huge shocker. Especially since it's become widely known how much it's costing us to have so many dependent on emergency care. The interesting thing is that a year out from the primaries, health care has become a massive issue
All of which illuminates the reality that no White House hopeful can be taken seriously in the rapidly evolving 2008 race without confronting what many Americans have long said is one of their biggest concerns: the availability and affordability of health care.
"Every candidate is going to have to have a health-care plan, because it is the number one domestic policy issue on the minds of voters," said Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans
I didn't win...
I was certain I would win MegaMillions, despite the foolish overconfidence of certain people. However, I heard the news this AM on CNBC... two winning tickets, one in NJ another in GA. My heart sank as I realized I couldn't have purchased either of the winning tickets. I was not in either state yesterday.
And that thought cheered me up.
Oh, I didn't NEED the money. I just wanted it because I've always had a longing to totally ruin my life. Now, finally, I'd have the money to become a real degenerate and drag others along for the ride. But it was not meant to be. So, I'm forced to continue being a productive member of society.
Maybe I'll start smoking during the day again?
Edwards coming to SA
WHAT: A rally with John Edwards.
WHEN: This Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 4:30 pm
WHERE: Sunset Station Depot
1174 E. Commerce St.
San Antonio, TX 78205 (click for map)
Oh, and there's a new poll out...from the LAT showing Edwards in second place behind Clinton. Truth be told, both are lagging behind "No Favorite" who is poling 30%. Which is impressive and all considering it hasn't even announced.
Oh, get over yourself. Your jokes are pretty lame sometimes, too.
Let me tell you a little story...
Let's say, for instance, that you are in default on your student loans. Let's then say that you went to a buy a home and were a perfect fit for a FHA insured mortgage, save one problem... you were in default on your student loans. The reality is that you aren't eligible for a FHA insured mortgage because of that default. The same should be true of federal contractors who violate federal law. But, as it turns out, the Bush Admin thinks that what's best for individuals isn't necessarily best for government contractors. Think about how much we've heard about Halliburton's blatant violations of federal law and war profiteering? Now we find out that much of what has happened at Walter Reed may have been the responsibility of Halliburton?
How about Congress passing a law to ban those who violate federal law or regulations from doing business with the government?
March 06, 2007
Just in time for hurricane season
NYMEX is rolling out Catastrophic Risk futures (CAT risk) for trading on Globex and options on those contracts which will trade on the floor of the Merc. The options are European style contracts and will settle on ClearPort only at expiration. Usually, insurers and others who stand to lose billions from weather related events have purchased reinsurance through very large and financially sound insurers (it's called a SuperCAT policy). Now they'll have another way to insure against loss, by trading derivatives. With people who may not be able to pay up when the weather turns against them. Nice.
Anyone want to even think about the counterparty risk? I know the NYMEX is safe, but one event could really break some people. Just ask Lloyd's underwriters who got creamed by Hurricane Andrew.
One thing is for certain... the money has voted that global warming is real. That is a large part of the reason these contracts exist.
Would you like a little cheese with your whine?
So, there I was, reading some political discussion board while at work HEY! It's called multitasking! and what should I come across but a thread complaining about how unfair somebody on YouTube was to that nice Mrs. Clinton lady and how Barack Obama needed to drop whatever he was doing and denounce it. So as a consequence, I watched this video which I probably never would have seen otherwise and now you have the chance to repeat my experience.
David Brooks on suicide watch
So David Brooks, as part of a lame attempt to be funny, thinks he might be tempted to kill himself because of boredom caused by the Democratic Presidential candidates.
I wish he was serious. It's not that I'm mean, it's that he's a gimp and all he'd be doing is putting himself out of the world's misery. I don't think anyone would miss him, save maybe Ann Coulter for whom Brooks is something of an intellectual counterpart (and really, isn't that sad enough?).
Winding Road in Urban Area thought his head-in-ass joke was in extremely poor taste. After reading their post on it, I'm inclined to agree.
Libby Guilty on Four out of Five Counts
Jurors found I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a former White House aide, guilty of four out of five charges in his trial following an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity.
The verdict came on the 10th day of deliberations by a panel of seven women and four men. The announcement was made by Randall Samborn, a spokesman for special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It was read in the courtroom where jurors heard 19 witnesses during the five-week trial in the perjury and obstruction trial of Libby.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the only person charged in the case, which grew out of an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
Oh, Ann...you don't have to act...
Coulter, we know you hate the gays. We get it and frankly we don't care. You don't have to make excuses... it's like getting mad at a dog for eating shit. It's their nature, just as it's your nature.
"'Faggot isn't offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays," Coulter said on "Hannity and Colmes" Monday night. "It's a schoolyard taunt meaning 'wuss,' and unless you're telling me that John Edwards is gay, it was not applied to a gay person."
Yes, Ann, it's like calling an African American a 'nigger'. THAT'S the equivalent. It's offensive as hell, you knew that and that's why you said it. 'Wuss' is a schoolyard taunt meaning 'wuss' but you didn't mean to imply that Edwards was weak. You meant to call him 'gay' using a word that you and everyone in your audience understood to mean 'gay' and 'effeminate' .
Don't try to hide it and quit making these convoluted and ridiculous excuses. Everyone knows you're a giant cunt and no one believes you anyway. We also think you're gross.
Rat Shack supplies the terrorists?!?
Via BTC News
When the U.S. military claimed two weeks ago that the government of Iran was sending IEDs into Iraq, the evidence it provided was not very convincing, and the administration was forced to back down from the claim almost immediately.
Now we hear that one week ago, U.S. forces in Iraq discovered “the best evidence yet that the deadliest roadside bombs in Iraq are manufactured in Iran.”
Maj. Marty Weber, an “explosives expert,” says it’s “a no-brainer.”
According to the Times, Major Weber said that “use of passive infrared sensors, or P.I.R.’s, [is] one of the strongest markers of Iranian involvement…’Every P.I.R. in Iraq has been RadioShack, Digigard or Everspring,’ Major Weber said.”
Are there ANY Rat Shack's in Iran? Some of the other 'proof' that Iranians are supplying the insurgents in Iraq? Plastics made in Haditha.
Haditha is a SUNNI, not Shi'ite, town in IRAQ. The more the Administration makes the case that the Iranians are supplying the insurgents, the more ridiculous they look. I guess that's why they've decided to throw in the towel and actually work with the Iranians on regional issues.
March 05, 2007
CNN Banner 'O The Day
(hat tip to MichelleMalkinIsAnIdiot)
Jeanne Tripplehorn annoys me...
So there is a willingness in the Senate to increase the term of enrollment in CHIP from six months back to a year. Unfortunately, Lt. Governor Dudley Dewhearse and Senator Ogden (R - Recent convert to doing the right thing, occasionally) are not for doing any such thing because they believe it might work. And that it will be too expensive.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said they don't like the idea of lengthening the enrollment period for the Children's Health Insurance Program from six months to one year.
The fate of the CHIP expansion also may be affected by an unrelated federal lawsuit over Medicaid that is expected to dump additional health care expenses on the state this spring.
The Medicaid suit could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars if, as expected, U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice forces Texas to finally comply with an 11-year-old agreement to expand health care to thousands of other low-income children.
"I'm told a decision will be coming out in April, and I'm trying to ascertain what the effect of this type of decision will be fiscally on the state of Texas," Dewhurst said.
Of course it will be expensive. However, that money is going to be spent along with much more if we don't extend the coverage. Why? Because people who are uninsured usually receive the most expensive health care available, emergency care. As Dig Deeper Texas astutely points out, it's really more a case of saving a dollar by spending $4 in other areas.
Remember, cutbacks of services don't always make the service go away. Usually, it just devolves the level at which the service is paid and increases the cost to you and me. Thanks, Dewhearse for being such a profligate spender of my money. You can do better and if you can't then we'll find someone to replace you.
In case you were wondering... this has NOTHING to do with Jeanne Tripplehorn as it turns out. I kind of knew that all along. What, you didn't see that coming?
Of course, you still need to find a partner...
...but once that special someone drunkenly wanders into you life (or night, whatev) you'll be set with what Dutch Designer Jurgen Bey called 'the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa'. It's a condom that comes with a built in applicator and is being marketed under the Pronto brand in South Africa. Watch the video of it being used here (it's safe for work... trust me).
Some of you will think this is ridiculous. I congratulate you on your effortless condom usage. The rest of us have to have help. The sad thing is, sometimes that's the best part.
I'm sooo digging on Conservapedia
The conservatives now have their own dummy encyclopedia. Which is totally cool since they've had their own dummy science and dummy knowledge for a while, most of it based on Pat Robertson's ideas about the Bible, and NO WHERE TO PUT ALL THAT STUPID. That's all changed with the creation of the Conservapedia, the dummy answer to Wikipedia, since it needed to be answered and all.
I mean, come on! Wikipedia has been BEGGING for competition as it's not all that great at storing stupid. Apparently, smart people kept editing the stupid and making it smart. Or something. Which totally blows. Now all that stupid knowledge and information can rest comfortably in the loving embrace of the mongos at Conservapedia where it will be protected from 'scientists', 'teachers' and 'critics'.
For those who haven't seen it...
March 04, 2007
Going all buggy
I usually try not to pay attention to Ann Coulter because she's the kid you knew in third grade who would eat a bug for a quarter all grown up. No longer working for lunch money, she commands handsome speaker's fees for being vile.
Of course, it's pretty normal for children to find the gross-out artist entertaining. When those children grow up without any corresponding maturation of their tastes, something is wrong. The fact that there is an audience for Miss Coulter is a lot more disturbing than any of her verbal diahrea.
"But wait!" I can already hear from the rightwing. "She's just entertainment! She's our Michael Moore! You guys have Michael Moore! What about him?"
Okay, let's talk about Michael Moore. He makes films. His films have a political viewpoint. You may or not agree with his viewpoint, you may or may not find them entertaining. Moore likes to portray the people he doesn't like as stupid, uncaring, selfish bastards. Frequently, his targets help him in that portrayal with their stupid, uncaring, selfish behavior. Unlike Ann Coulter, Michael Moore has thus far refrained from calling for anyone to be shot, imprisoned, poisoned, blown up, executed as an example to others, or forced to convert to a different religion.
Beyond that, is Moore even a Democrat? It's pretty well known that in 2000 he supported Ralph Nader's run for the Presidency. True, in the last couple of election cycles he's urged people to vote Blue. But it seems to be more out of the pragmatic belief that a Democratic win would be the best way to undo the havoc Bush and Co. have wreaked on this country than his finding in politicians like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi qualities he didn't detect in Al Gore. Even a quick glance at michaelmoore.com or the website of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council will show that Moore is, at best, a voice on the left fringe of the Democratic Party.
Ann Coulter, on the other hand, is embraced by the Republican Party. The CPAC conference where the latest brouhaha erupted included speeches by Vice President Cheney and most of the GOP presidential candidates. Just a month ago she was the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Denton Republicans. For a mere $15,000 you could sit at the underwriters' table with the blonde bugeater herself.
Republicans embrace Ann Coulter because her values are their values. More than two decades of promoting division, waging class warfare, demonizing disagreement have led to their total ethical and moral bankruptcy. Their most important legacy may be a cautionary lesson for future generations about the vast gap between governing and merely wielding power
The GOP candidates who laughed at and applauded Miss Coulter's remarks are now making the predictable expressions of regret over those awful things she said. Rather than engaging in that hypocrisy, they'd be better off asking themselves why they can't seem to stop paying that kid to eat those bugs.
Gizmodo declares war on the RIAA
March is officially boycott the RIAA month! The RIAA is the one mandating all the crap DRM on digital music that keeps you from playing music on more than one or two devices. I, for one, have my phone, a CD burner, a jukebox and other assorted media that I'd love to be able to use for DRM'd downloads. Only problem is, I can't. That's what happens when the RIAA is more concerned about profits than consumers.
Methinks it's time for consumers to bite back. So, before you buy ANY CD's this month, check the make sure the company isn't a member of the RIAA. Until they drop their draconian ways, it's the only way to make them feel our pain.
March 03, 2007
Cornyn in trouble?
From the HouChron
Texas Sen. John Cornyn will have to get down to some serious fundraising in preparation for his re-election run in 2008.
The Republican raised $3.3 million during the past two years and began 2007 with a little more than $3 million in the bank. Considering he spent $15 million in campaign contributions on his 2002 election, he's got a ways to go in the quest for campaign cash.
"I'm working on it," Cornyn said, predicting he will have banked at least $6 million by next January's filing deadline.
Cornyn estimated he'll need about $20 million if he has a serious Democratic rival. Among those who may be eyeing the race: former Comptroller John Sharp, former Dallas mayor and 2002 Senate nominee Ron Kirk and Houston Mayor Bill White, though many think he is far more inclined to make a gubernatorial run in 2010.
Houston Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison last year, also is in the mix.
"I'm just going to try to be ready for whatever comes," Cornyn said.
Are the big R donors starting to think that dumping money into Corpsyn is a bad idea? Looks that way. The man has been nothing but a disappointment as a human being and worthless as a Senator. He apparently didn't realize that as a Senator he was not obligated to do whatever was asked by Connecticut native George W. Bush. However, he's such a weak minded fool that IT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE DID.
That's just a failure of character in general. TDP has a press release out about one in particular, his failure to bring more money home for Texas military bases.
“Despite a Republican Majority in the House and Senate, as well as a fellow Texan in the White House, John Cornyn dropped the ball on funding for BRAC last year,” said Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie. “After failing to support Texas troops and their families, he is now holding press conferences and attempting to take undeserved credit for the hard work of Congressional Democrats.”
So, Corpsyn, what the hell were you doing in the Senate this whole time? The QAD is nothing other than giving speeches about Terri Schiavo and voting to pass whatever the failed President wanted. It's little surprise that even Republicans are sick of you. The Democrats have nothing but outright contempt for your worthless ass.
There will be a Democrat running against him in 2008. Click here to give money to the candidate who wins the primary next year.
March 02, 2007
At the TTC Rally
Wow! Turnout's not as high as I anticipated, but its still a lot of people for a Friday afternoon. Lots of libertarian whackos. And a few of them smell like urine. The idiot from Ron Paul's office just said he'd set up an exploratory committee.
Other than that, a LOT of ordinarily Republican folks who will be voting for at least one statewide Democratic candidate in 2010, not to mention more than a few Democratic candidates for the Lege in 2008 against sitting Republicans.
Some of y'all are going to lose your seats if you continue to let Krusee and CradDICK run your shit.
I don't think they'd let you install this in the Brown Building...
But it's fucking cool as hell. This is the Bloomframe, a window that expands into a patio for those who live in high density urban areas. It's absolutely worthless to me since I have a backyard and and patio. However, for those of you living in the reno'd condos, it may the perfect thing.
The wicked mad bitches of the OC
(McBlogger's note : My Sister has been watching this crap so you don't have to. Catch up on all the greta commentary on the Real Housewives of OC here)
I find that I am am only moderately invested in Season 2 of the Real Housewives of the O.C. It has lost some of it's spark. Not that I am not watching the lifestyles of the rich and soulless, it's just not something I care about as much as say 'steak' or 'scotch'.
She is the most transparent of them all! Who else loved her meltdown over the minivan when she was going on vacation? It was fucking hysterical! Who did not find the trip to Lake Havasu a little nauseating? Vickie + beer= gross. I get so embarrassed for her. She obviously thinks that she's hot which makes the fact that she is not all the more apparent. Her husband, Donn, is exhausted by her' energy', so she seeks the council of an astrologer. Because that is what all competent, intelligent women do.
Actually, I only use an astrologer for advice on business. Everyone knows that good reliable advice on personal affairs can only be obtained via palm reader. Anyway, it appears that Vickie's stars are behind her particular
type of crazy which thrilled her to no end. And what is up with those damn jersey shirts all of them are sporting? Did you notice Vickie's hot pink number with the huge bedazzled thing between her enormous knockers? That thing was bigger than a baby's head. Is it just me or does Vickie look like a Jim Henson creation? The lady is a fucking Fraggle.
She seems so nice and, dare I say, normal. How she ended up with those wacky daughters I haven't quite figured out. The oldest, Megan, kinda looks like the sister in the Twilight Zone movie. You know that segment with Kathleen Quinlan in it? Anyway, she has found her Price Charming in Roman, a pit bull breeder. The
youngest, Lindsey, is a shell of a person who bemoans the bleak life ahead of her without horses. She is a prime example of how homeschooled kids are weird. It does not help that Tammy treats her like she is made of fucking glass. Hell, when the girl had a car accident, Tammy thought it was cute! I just don't get it. I just can't relate. McBlogger and I grew up in an enviroment where we were told that life wasn't fair and to suck it up from the get go. We don't do feelings. Anyway, maybe Tammy will fair better with her son, although I doubt it.
And speaking of fucking kids! Jeana seems like a genuinely nice person. They have given her more play so far this season. Don't get me wrong. She is still a brown bird, but I don't mind her as much.That being said, she has committed a crime against humanity for burdening the world with her son Shane. He is such an
argument for abortion. When he constantly referred to Tammy, who was a guest in their home, as 'Tits' I wanted to kick him in the fucking head. What a loser. I actually felt sorry for that vacuous beauty queen he flew in from Canada.
Jeana's other kids seem relatively okay. What gives with that cancer of a husband of hers? I mean nothing says love like constant criticism and negativity. Between her spouse, demon spawn, and mangy dogs, I don't know how Jeana holds it together. I have decided she must be on some mission from God. And NAR.
I think we will all remember where we were when Lauri said she was a Republican. I know it was a moment that I will always treasure. It was bittersweet for she revealed that she really has no idea what that means, but she knows she is one. I know a couple of other things that also could define Lauri, but I digress. Lauri has found her
salvation in clueless George. I mean, come on! Have you ever seen a bigger fucking mark? She has managed to put one child in lock up, and is fast on her way to throwing another on the street over cat shit. I am not really invested in it though, because the kids are assholes. I wonder where they get it from? Oh, and I love her pebbles of wisdom about how being wealthy sure as hell beats being poor. What a sage! Call me crazy, but I might have to have that embroidered on a fucking pillow!
Of Josephine! My little disappointment! The little minx that I have long championed has turned into a narcissistic spoiled twit. Hello, who else agrees that the bitch can't sing? Am I alone here? I mean I almost feel sorry for Slade. The passive aggressive torture she subjects him to is just plain cruel. I know she is pissed that he dated Lauri, but have it out and be done with it. I loathe passive aggressive people. It is such a chicken shit way to be.
I love how when she was leaving, she drew reference to the pink boa AND the discarded license plate from
season one. Why doesn't she just shoot him in the heart with rock salt and dance about pouring lemon juice on him? Oh, and by the way, what the fuck happened to Slade's youngest son? Did they sell him for Jo's studio time? What a fucking waste! Anyway, here's hoping for a brighter future! Jo is out and paying her own way, which (P.S.) is okay with her. I fucking loved it when she said that to Slade. Classic!!!!
Anyway, to be technical, Jo should be kicked off the show. She is no longer a housewife or living in the O.C. Would I miss her? Perhaps. But only if she pulls her head out of her ass, and starts acting like the lovable trollop we all know she can be. What a fucking titbaby.
TTC RALLY TODAY and More TTC billboards, this time in Fort Worth Metro
As we told you in December, some groups with a financial interest in the creation of the TTC are paying for billboards to sell it to the public. This one was spotted in Fort Worth. The ads are paid for by a toll road/road construction industry group we talked about back in August. Good to see they're still at it. Click the first link for my post debunking this stupid billboard.
These people are really dishonest. Fortunately, they are also seeing MASSIVE public outrage about the TTC. It ain't gonna happen, y'all. Give it up!
While you're trying to plan out your Friday, why not take the afternoon off and come on down to the Capitol? Check out the Don't Tag Texas Blog for more information on the march and rally at the Capitol TODAY. Yes, we'll be there and I promise that I will be sober until at least 3:00(though I can't speak for The Mayor or Sister Ruth)!
Meanwhile, on Planet Self-Parody
Much like honoring Santa Anna for his contributions to Texas Independence,
Accuracy in Media will honor Michelle Malkin and Mark M. Alexander for their outstanding contributions to journalism in a ceremony taking place during the American Conservative Union's 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference. The Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award is named for AIM's founder, Reed Irvine, who was America's first media watchdog.
Hummer : Run nationwide in 2008
My friend Karita Hummer has an excellent post up on the John Edwards blog and her desire to see Democrats mount another 50 state strategy in 2008. Given how well it turned out in 2006, I don't think it's a tough sell.
What does the Democratic Party not get about this? Why the failed strategy of the last two decades, in which the South and virtually the West were written off in their campaign strategies, hardly visited and certainly not inspired and encouraged. Not until Howard Dean, as Chair of the Democratic Party, have we seen any real attempt to reach out to all fifty states. And how, were we in the grassroots not informed about this strategy for failure? The Democratic Party virtually ceded the South and the West, paid scant attention to Alaska and Hawaii and we call ourselves the Democratic Party, while not being democratic. What an insulting strategy and what a failed strategy!!
Like John Edward says, it is time, way past time, for the Democratic party to act Democratic and democratic again.
March 01, 2007
Innovatin' with Bill Gates
Innovation is the source of U.S. economic leadership and the foundation for our competitiveness in the global economy. Government investment in research, strong intellectual property laws and efficient capital markets are among the reasons that America has for decades been best at transforming new ideas into successful businesses.
The most important factor is our workforce. Scientists and engineers trained in U.S. universities -- the world's best -- have pioneered key technologies such as the microprocessor, creating industries and generating millions of high-paying jobs.
But our status as the world's center for new ideas cannot be taken for granted. Other governments are waking up to the vital role innovation plays in competitiveness.
He goes on to advocate for two things:
1) Better Education
2) More H1B visas to bring in cheap, well trained labor
See how I did that? Gates makes the case for better education and I personally think this is incredibly important. Of course, not knowing much about it other than that there is a great high school making math nerds in San Diego, CA, he doesn't address the real problem which is a chronic lack of funding in education. Corporations pay the least in taxes of any group in the United States, save those in poverty who don't pay anything. If you're going to reduce taxes on dividends, then taxes on corporate income have to go up dramatically and that money should be used for infrastructure. I'll go Gates one better... we need massive improvements not just to education but also to transportation and health care. We take care of these things and we'll set up this country for the kind of economic boom not seen since that which occurred post World War 2.
On the issue of visas, I'm less than enthusiastic.
Parents! Start your own NSA!
Just plug the SnoopStick into a computer and you can be your own Big Brother
SnoopStick is a USB flash drive type device that allows you to monitor what your kids, employees, or anyone using your computer is doing while on the Internet. And, you can monitor them live, in real time, from anywhere in the world.
Simply plug the SnoopStick into the computer you want to monitor. Then run the setup program to install the SnoopStick monitoring components on the computer. The whole process takes less than 60 seconds.
The SnoopStick monitoring components are completely hidden, and there are no telltale signs that the computer is being monitored.
You can then unplug the SnoopStick and take it with you anywhere you go. No bigger than your thumb and less than 1/4" thick, you can carry it in your pocket, purse, or on your keychain.
Any time you want to see what web sites your kids or employees are visiting, who they are chatting with, and what they are chatting about, simply plug in your SnoopStick to any Windows based computer with an Internet connection and a USB port. SnoopStick will automatically connect to the target computer.
Monitor both sides of IM conversations in real time or tell SnoopStick to display recent activity. Check the sender and recipient of every email sent or received. You can even log the user off, disable internet access, set time restrictions or even turn the computer off. All using your SnoopStick from any computer.
EASY TO USE! There are no commands to remember, no passwords to remember, just plug it in.
Thoughts on Thursday
1) What was up with the smell in Oak Hill a little after 11:00? It smelled like burning hair mixed with an animal fat rendering plant.
2) You southsiders are fucked up drivers. Go faster,dicks.
3) I have no idea what's going on in the Lege right now. I have a feeling some Republican (Shapiro) is trying to fuck public education and teachers with a strap-on made from sand paper.
I don't like it, but then again the teachers unions kinda deserve it because they're stupid.
Merck beginz zee experiment
Remember tort reform? Turns out, it hasn't helped us a bit
The saddest part of this report are the stories like Mr. Berry’s, you can read more personal stories here. But, as always, when we’re sold something that’s too good to be true, this was as well. One of the main selling points used in the run-up to the vote on this was the issue of Texas having a lack of specialists, obstetricians in particular. This “talking point” was used to guilt voters into voting for this. In effect making one feel that if they voted against this they were voting against the health of unborn children and their mothers. Well come to find out this problem has only gotten worse since 2003. Here are the main findings of the report:
* Underserved areas remain underserved. Rural, remote, and indigent regions of Texas have seen a decrease in the rate of new doctors since Prop 12 passed.
* More counties do not have an obstetrician. Today more counties in Texas do not have an obstetrician than before Proposition 12 passed.
* Medical liability insurance premiums remain inflated. Despite marginal reductions, doctors are still paying dramatically higher premiums than they were just a few years before Proposition 12 passed.
* Texas has the highest rate of citizens without health insurance. 25% of Texans do not have health insurance, the highest rate of uninsured among the 20 largest states.
It seems the only one’s who’ve benefited from the 2003 tort reform is the insurance companies. Imagine that.
(via Eye On Williamson)
So, we know that far from being the panacea to few doctors and super high insurance costs, tort reform has only helped insurance companies.
Why do I bring this up? Because I happened across an interesting hypothetical being advanced by John Coby at Bay Area Houston regarding Perry's EO on the HPV vaccine. Basically, the theory goes that tort reform ended the ability, for the most part, for people to sue pharmaceutical companies and win a settlement that would make it worth an attorney's time. What better place for Merck to test it's HPV vaccine than a state where it's mostly 'judgment proof'? Better still, they've contributed an assload of money to the Governor who's just been reelected (39%) and they employ one of his former staffers.
Not only did they make Texas safe as houses for insurers, the Republicans may have turned us into a massive drug study as well. Nice work, girls and boys!
Market plunge caused by MURTHA, or, What kind of Fucktard is Gohmert?
From Think Progress Today on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) blamed yesterday’s market drop — the largest since the September 11 terrorist attacks — on members of Congress supposedly “talking about…more regulation” and “undermin[ing] the President’s national security policy.”
Gohmert said, “In two months of talking about raising taxes and more regulation and [referring to Murtha] one committee chairman talking about how he’s going to undermine the President’s national security policy — two months! — we have this terrible damage to the stock market, to the economy. Unbelievable.” He added: “I just encourage my friends across the aisle, be careful. We built a great economy. Don’t blow it quite so quickly.”
The video is up on TP... as if you needed any more confirmation that Gohmert is, in fact, a fucktard. "We built a great economy?" Louie, you douche, you DESTROYED a great economy. You took it from Clinton and SHIT all over it. There's been no income growth, job creation has been anemic at best and the only folks making money are those who were already rich. The plunge in the market was related to some technical factors which are far too complex for your little rat brain to understand, Louie.
Seriously, I'd explain then yen carry trade to you but I think I'd get so frustrated I'd end up going crazy because of your impenetrable stupidity.
Shapiro files her bullshit voucher bill...
You gutless bitch... trying to advance your political agenda by hiding behind defenseless children and their families. Instead of improving the system for everyone, you'd rather give these people the false hope of vouchers. You disgust me, Florence.