December 31, 2007

Yes, Debbie, you're stupid

You folks in Tomball are seriously going to have to get rid of Debbie Riddle. She's embarrassing the hell out of y'all...

PhotobucketOne defender of ghost voting is Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, who was shown on the KVUE video voting for fellow members and justified it on grounds that the pace of House business is so demanding.

That might be a little easier to swallow if Riddle were not such an enthusiastic supporter of a Voter ID law, which would require ordinary voters to prove their identity before casting ballots. Political hypocrisy is nothing new, but seldom is it this raw: Riddle thinks it’s OK for her to cast votes for colleagues as they make laws the rest of us have to obey.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The impossibility of a kinder, gentler politics

Krugman has a great piece up about just how different the parties really are this cycle.

On one side, the Democrats are all promising to get out of Iraq and offering strongly progressive policies on taxes, health care and the environment. That’s understandable: the public hates the war, and public opinion seems to be running in a progressive direction.

What seems harder to understand is what’s happening on the other side — the degree to which almost all the Republicans have chosen to align themselves closely with the unpopular policies of an unpopular president. And I’m not just talking about their continuing enthusiasm for the Iraq war. The G.O.P. candidates are equally supportive of Bush economic policies.

Why would politicians support Bushonomics? After all, the public is very unhappy with the state of the economy, for good reason. The “Bush boom,” such as it was, bypassed most Americans — median family income, adjusted for inflation, has stagnated in the Bush years, and so have the real earnings of the typical worker. Meanwhile, insecurity has increased, with a declining fraction of Americans receiving health insurance from their employers.

And things seem likely to get worse as the election approaches. For a few years, the economy was at least creating jobs at a respectable pace — but as the housing slump and the associated credit crunch accelerate and spill over to the rest of the economy, most analysts expect employment to weaken, too.

All in all, it’s an economic and political environment in which you’d expect Republican politicians, as a sheer matter of calculation, to look for ways to distance themselves from the current administration’s economic policies and record — say, by expressing some concern about rising income gaps and the fraying social safety net.

In fact, however, except for Mike Huckabee — a peculiar case who’ll deserve more discussion if he stays in contention — the leading Republican contenders have gone out of their way to assure voters that they will not deviate an inch from the Bush path. Why? Because the G.O.P. is still controlled by a conservative movement that does not tolerate deviations from tax-cutting, free-market, greed-is-good orthodoxy.

Issues matter and this cycle, it's the Democrats who have the strength. It's also creating a deep contrast between the parties that will play to Democratic advantage. The interesting thing is that many bloggers and some pundits have been talking for years about creating just such a contrast.

There’s a fantasy, widely held inside the Beltway, that men and women of good will from both parties can be brought together to hammer out bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems.

If such a thing were possible, Mr. McCain, Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani — a self-proclaimed maverick, the former governor of a liberal state and the former mayor of an equally liberal city — would seem like the kind of men Democrats could deal with. (O.K., maybe not Mr. Giuliani.) In fact, however, it’s not possible, not given the nature of today’s Republican Party, which has turned men like Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney into hard-line ideologues. On economics, and on much else, there is no common ground between the parties.

So much for Obama and the idea that there is some magical common ground we can all come together on. The reality is, the Republicans are not going to let it happen.

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

Exxon drops itself in the grease

Stop me if you've heard this one before... large oil company opens and exploits a producing field over a period of decades. When the economics no longer work, they shut in production and give up the lease. A new company comes in, negotiates a new lease and attempts to reopen the wells that should be profitable for them since they don't have the large company's overhead and can take advantage of a new tax break.

Only problem is, the large oil company, in violation of state law, dumped trash and other materials down the well to make it very difficult or impossible to reopen. Further, in one case, they killed a producing formation.

The large company? Exxon who has been sued by both the land owner (Exxon lost) and the new company (Emerald... Exxon lost against them as well). All this went to trial years ago. Now, it's with the TX SC which should rule in the next few months. However, while this little legal drama plays out, what the hell has the RRC done? Specifically, what has Republican Michael Williams of the RRC, who's up for re-elect next year, done?

Absolutely nothing. Basically, what Exxon wanted him to do. He should have known for years that Exxon violated their lease AND state law, yet he's done NOTHING. Which is business as usual for the lazy and incompetent Williams who revels in triviality and fails, time and again, to protect Texans. If he didn't know, then he's negligent and should be removed from office.

Damn good thing we have a choice this cycle... Dale Henry.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2007

So sad to see you go...

Ric Williamson, Chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, died last night of a heart attack. He will, no doubt, be missed by friends and family.

I am not among them.

In point of fact, most Texans who stand adamantly opposed to the plans he helped advance, like tuition deregulation and infrastructure privatization, will be happy he no longer serves on the Commission. While we would have preferred his exit be through a letter of resignation, his departure removes a serious and malevolent obstacle from the TTC. Hopefully now we can have a true, honest and open discussion about transportation finance. One that creates real, long lasting solutions that don't leave the citizens of this great state in the slow lane.

Burka points out that he had an 'inventive' mind. Inventiveness can be used for bad or good and what Burka refers to as inventive was in large part a singular fixation on privatization to the benefit of foreign interests and at the expense of the people of the State of Texas.

Speculation now turns to whom 39% will appoint as Williamson's replacement. I've talked to a number of people today who feel it will be none other than Rep. Mike Krusee which would set up a special election in HD 52. With Krusee as Chair, we should not expect any substantial policy changes which means the fight against privatization and for rational solutions will continue unabated.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Saving al-Maliki

You remember that military funding bill that all the Kucinichites were all pissed as hell about? Bush vetoed it on Friday. As it turns out, there was a provision within the bill that would have allowed American military personnel held and tortured by the Hussein government in Gulf War I to sue the current Iraqi government.

Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with it either. But apparently, it would have resulted in close to $1bn being paid to veterans and their families. The Iraqi's for their part, threatened to pull $28bn from US banks if the bill passed. Uhm, wait a sec... WE ARE THE FINANCIAL BACKING FOR IRAQ. US taxpayers have been happily subsidizing the puppet government in Iraq and now it wants to threaten us? Apparently, it worked with Bush the Weak who caved in like a horny teenage girl after sucking three Zima's through a straw. Screw the troops who fought in Daddy's war! We gotta help our Iraqi friends.

The Democrats, for their part, have been on heavy offense...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, criticized the president's decision.

"The defense bill passed both houses of Congress by overwhelming bipartisan margins and addresses urgent national security priorities," including the pay raise and money for veterans' health care, Pelosi and Reid said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that the president will not sign this critical legislation."

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, also expressed dismay at the president's decision.

"This bill is important to our men and women in uniform," Levin said. "It is unfortunate that the administration failed to identify the concerns upon which this veto is based until after the bill had passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the president for signature.

"I am deeply disappointed that our troops and veterans may have to pay for their mistake and for the confusion and uncertainty caused by their snafu."

The disputed legal claims provision in the defense bill prompted the Iraqi government to threaten to withdraw $25 billion in Iraqi assets from U.S. banks, White House officials told CNN.

You mean the Iraqi's have been storing OUR money in our banks? Well, that's awfully big of them. As for threatening a withdrawal, that's some bullshit. We're still holding frozen Iranian assets. We could easily add Iraqi assets as well.

It should be clear, even to the most ardent Republican voter, that Bush is a useless piece of shit who is thoroughly incompetent. It should also be clear that he is the archetype of a Republican elected official. Which means, if y'all want this country to endure, you better start voting Democratic. Republicans certainly can't do the job.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Guys With Armored Cars Get All The Chicks

Focus groups found this 78% more effective than the Royal Navy's old recruiting slogan "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash!"

If you think that was enticing, you should see the video marketing has whipped up for the Ukrainian pizza delivery service.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 29, 2007

Obama, Lameness and Voter Turnout

Last night I had an interesting conversation with a guy who is an ardent supporter of Obama. He was the most persuasive Obama supporter I've ever encountered and I made a comment to the effect that he should be on Obama's payroll.

I was not, however, persuaded. In fact, I came away more convinced that ever that Obama is precisely what the Democratic Party and the US don't need.

Support for Obama hinges on whether you accept the premise that there are voters 'turned off' by hyperpartisan politics and clear choices. The idea that Americans want to vote for the nice guy. Sure, some people might want to vote for the nice guy, but usually the other (the mean son of bitch) makes the nice guy look so bad that he ends up winning. This is why I think Hillary and Edwards can take the White House and why Obama will, like Kerry in 2004, come up short.

Basically, people WANT clear choices and the Republican electoral success since 1980 has depended on making the differences clear and turning it into a life and death decision for American voters. It's worked well. The bottom line, for all of you running polls, is that your samples are wrong for the same reason they are wrong when talking about charitable giving. People always like to say they give to charity, but they usually don't. They also say they want things nicer and less coarse in terms of politics. They are lying through their goddamn teeth.

EOW has more detail on turnout since partisan sniping reached a new level. It's up, not down, since partisan media began to be appear. The reality, no matter what you may see anecdotally, is that Americans want to see candidates clash. They want clear, delineated choices and elegant messaging. And just at the point where Americans are finally starting to see it from Edwards and, to a limited extent, Hillary, Obama pops up. The perfect Democratic Primary candidate who won't be able to win the general. Why? The same reason he'll do well in the primary... he's LAME.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Rise of Fascism (New Orleans Style)

This video pretty much speaks for itself. Frankly, I don't give a damn about the reason...there is no reason to lock citizens out of a city council meeting.

Lets just say, if this were to happen in Austin, I would probably end up in jail for disturbing the peace, although were things to get this bad in Austin, there really wouldn't be much peace!

You can read the full story from truthout.org here.

Posted by Closet Purist at 01:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 28, 2007

Looks like hard work to me...

The Republicans have wasted a lot of time and oxygen complaining about 'how little the Democrats in Congress have done'. ELLN posted a brief list of exactly what they've been up to and what the Republicans have fought so hard against.

We're not fooled by the rhetoric. Neither is the rest of the country. You Republicans want to know why hating you has become so fashionable? It's the bullshit.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's nice when smart people act, well, smart

The AAS comes around on the gas tax...

We talked about all this before and frankly, it's good to see the folks at the Statesman finally pull head out of ass and come to the same conclusion we and EOW reached more than a year ago. Here's some of the fun...

The refusal of most state political leaders to even consider raising taxes, no matter how popular the use for the revenue or how obvious the need, is costing the state dearly. There’s no better example than local highways and the testy holiday exchange between state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and the Texas Department of Transportation.

No one who travels the state’s highways, especially in and around its growing, prosperous cities, is unaware of the need for rebuilding and expanding existing roads, as well as building new ones. Central Texas is no exception.

How to pay for that, though, has been a problem.

Governors and most legislators since 1991 have refused to raise the 20-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax , even as inflation each year ate away at its value. In 2006, revenue from the state gasoline tax grew 2 percent, but highway construction costs leaped 25 percent, according to the transportation department.

The exchange was the one between Watson and TXDOT regarding the lack of funds since the legislature killed the sale of public roads to private companies. Williamson and the other Transportation Commissioners are playing a dangerous game since public private partnerships are roundly hated by the public and the electeds know that. What's it all mean? There are some changes coming in the next session.

Still, one thing did catch my eye. That bit about the 25% increase in construction costs last year. That number's from TXDOT. Which means it's highly suspect. But let's give the folks at TXDOT the benefit of the doubt (for now) and assume it's right. Exactly what does that mean? Maybe private subcontractors are bleeding the state dry? Maybe it's time for TXDOT to start doing it's own construction again? It's pretty damn clear that private companies are incapable of holding down costs.

What TXDOT needs is some balls at the top, not people who'll bend taxpayers over and let them take it up the ass, courtesy of Zachry Construction. Which means the new Legislature, which convenes in January, 2009, better work on replacing the leadership at TXDOT AND finally fix transportation funding.

EOW has some additional details on how Sen. Watson got screwed by TXDOT. While we feel bad for Kirk, we also think he shouldn't have made the deal in the first place. It was class A stupid and very politically inept. However, maybe my expectations were too high... it's pretty clear it's amateur hour at Kirk's office.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Help Maldonado

Dig deep, my friends. Annie's List has agreed to match $15,000 raised by the Maldonado campaign by the end of the year. Go help her out!

Posted by mcblogger at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kill Them All

The asassination of Benazir Bhutto neatly points out just how miserably Connecticut native and President George W. Bush has failed in the war on terror. Word has just now crossed Bloomberg that a Taliban leader with links to al Qaida is responsible for the death of Bhutto yesterday.

Now, my question is, why are these people still alive? Because, Bush got focused on invadin' Iraq and got distracted from his real job, killing extremists. Which brings up an important side note, one we'll address later... the US never formally declared war because there is no state we're fighting. It's a collection of individuals. One has to wonder about the Administration's claims invoking the Constitutional war powers of the Presidency. We'll come back to that another time. Now, I just want to know why these people aren't dead.

We've asked that question every time Bin Laden pops up with another of his dumbass videos or tapes. We've asked it when there is news out about how swimmingly everything is going in Afghanistan. Now, we're asking it again.

WHY HAS BUSH NOT KILLED ALL THESE PEOPLE??!?!? The only way you can deal with an extremist is to kill him. So where are the roving teams of assassins? Why are we hellbent on invading countries?

There are two ways to win the hearts and minds of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kill all the troublemakers they can't bring themselves to kill (because of fear or religious beliefs) and dump money into rebuilding the countries.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

A funny thing happened last week... Paul Burka jumped the shark. Then he ate it.

Burka, while a fabulous writer, has recently been a pretty lame reporter and commentator. Over the last 15 years, as the Republican Party rose to dominance in Texas, he's come to depend on Republican operatives for information on races and what's really going to happen in the Lege. It's been a good move for him since the Democrats were acting like a bunch of retards and the Republicans were definitely bringing their A game. Now that things have changed and the Republicans are disintegrating day by day, it's been a pretty bad bet.

Take some of the recent crap on his blog. From the top in chronological order.

  • Burka posted about Dunnam's release lambasting AG Wheelie for his decision on CradDICK's claim of absolute power. It was a beautiful piece of work and Dunnam hit hard, as he should have. Any Democrat who would run from that statement ain't much of a Texan. Dunnam, in the best tradition of Texas Legislators, called a spade and spade and didn't do it nicely. Burka's delicate sensibilities were upset. He thought it was far too harsh. So did Frank Corte, who is a pretty big son of a bitch even for a Texas Republican. Seriously, the man makes Stalin look perfectly friendly and reasonable in comparison. His right wing garbage about Dunnam wanting to repress people was pure Reagan era bullshit worthy of Peggy Noonan. Which means Corte might have a brilliant career in speech writing once he loses his election next year. Provided that he can go back in time to the 80's where voters are still buying tired old 'conservative' rhetoric. Burka you need to man up.

    Just FYI, Rep. Corte, it's Attorney General Wheelie. Anyone who takes advantage of the courts to make himself rich, THEN fights for tort reform is a pathetic slob worthy not of compassion, but of scorn and ridicule. Fuck him and feed him fish heads.

  • Burka's next experiment with filling space on a blog was to talk about Speaker CradDICK's chances to stay on as Speaker. Everyone knows that CradDICK is toast and that he's going to take a lot of Republicans down with him . The fact of the matter is that CradDICK is hated in Texas, by Republicans AND Democrats. Granted, D's are running real campaigns and actually persuading voters, but the reality is that being able to paint an R as a CradDICK stooge is making things hella easy. What Burka is having a problem with is the Why. After all, as Burka neatly points out...

    ...he has had a lot of success as speaker on subjects near and dear to Republicans' hearts. Many speakers can point to significant legislation that passed WHILE they were speaker. Craddick can point to legislation that passed BECAUSE he was speaker: tort reform, congressional redistricting, tuition deregulation, the property tax cut, restrictions on abortions, billions of dollars worth of budget cuts, mammoth overhauls of the state's approach to human services and transportation policy. He played a central role in all of these. So why is he in such trouble?

    Here's Burka's biggest problem. He never seems to understand that people change and that while these things may have appealed to Republicans in the past, they no longer do. Why? Because the reality of them is as the Democrats said they would be. Tort reform, electricity dereg, budget cuts, toll roads, tuition dereg, and the elusive property tax cut, have been massive failures. Let's not forget the almost $1bn in taxpayer funds the Republicans wasted trying to privatize HHS. The problem is that even ordinary Republicans know they were sold a big business bill of goods that's left them worse off. And they're all pissed as hell.

    What Burka doesn't realize is that what is happening for the Democrats now is what happened with the Republicans in the 80's and 90's. Once they switch, Texans tend to switch for a good long while. It also helps that Democrats have been RIGHT about everything that said would result from the Republicans fucking up the state. From higher teen pregnancy rates and STD infections because of abstinence only sex ed, to higher insurance costs, the Democrats were spot on when they said Republican ideas and initiatives would hurt far more than they would help.

    That's the shift going on. The demographics are just playing into it. Which takes me to the third post.

  • Burka found the NYT website today. The NYT says Texas may get as many as 4 new Congressional districts because of population growth. My housemate's dog, the one who eats shit, could have told you that. What it means to Burka is that it'll be good for Republicans.

    And that's where I call bullshit.

    Population shifts affect not only congressional majorities but also the electoral college. In general, the shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt favors the Republicans' presidential prospects. Four additional electoral votes from Texas would greatly benefit the Rs. The first presidential election that the new population numbers will effect is 2012.

    Actually, this is nightmare for Republicans. For one thing, the new districts will be focused in the largest areas of the state where Democrats are already beating the hell out of the Republicans, the metros. Additionally, Texans are pissed at their own Republican President. There is a VERY good chance Texas will help elect a Democrat next year, especially if Edwards is the candidate. That trial lawyer bullshit ain't playin' (even in the rural areas...are you paying attention, Rep. Corte?) and the good looking, friendly demeanor of Edwards will sell well even in East Texas where many are sick of pontificating Republicans.

  • Damn, Burka. Quit talking to politicos and start talking to people. It'll give you better idea of what people are really thinking.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:52 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    December 27, 2007

    A joke welcomes another joke to the primary

    Ray McMurrey is running for the Democratic nomination to be our candidate against Junior John Cornyn. McMurrey's a teacher and we hope he's good at that because he's a lousy candidate focused more on criticizing Rep. Rick Noriega than on actually campaigning for the nom. He's also an idiot for sending out a press release welcoming GENE 'THE SA SHITHEAD' KELLY to the race.

    I guess no one told Ray that Gene is a recurring spoiler and last year caused a runoff with Barbara Radnofsky that required her to spend $1mln to beat him in a runoff. The man's death will be celebrated by hundreds of thousands of Democrats around Texas. Including Charles Soechting, who's making sense again, who writes in a letter to William Pate who runs McMurrey's campaign (via Carl Whitmarsh's list)...

    Let me see if I get this right. A candidate for the Senate welcomes to the Democratic Primary someone who communicates with the press via messages in a potted plant (yes, that's right, a potted plant), someone who files and then does nothing to secure the nomination but causes other candidates to spend money to counteract the name ID associated with a famous dead dancer. Mr. Pate, anybody can run but the time to get serious about what is happening in this country is long past. Welcoming someone who has caused more problems than any four legged rodent could ever hope to is not the answer. The Democratic Party is inclusive, but inclusion in my book stops when the person doesn't want to be in the race for any reason---and that's where Gene Kelly fits in. As for Rick, he is tried and tested in many ways that of us have not. He is a good, decent and honest man and someone who could step right into the job that our current Senator has failed at.

    For someone who calls himself 'the heart and soul of the Democratic Party', you'd think Ray would know all that. You'd also think he'd know that it's grassroots, not institutional, support that brought Noriega into the race. Every time you criticize him, you're stabbing the very people you claim to want on your side. In the eye.

    As soon as you decide to really talk about issues and run a serious campaign, come on and talk to us Ray. Until then, take us off your retarded mailing list.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:43 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    Consumer Alert

    Better check your checkcards, boys and girls...

    I have three accounts I spend money out of. Two checking and one savings. I have one checking account with Compass here in Austin. I rarely check the online system, so things can go for days before I notice something is up. Last week someone called WWW.VOIPAX.DE KAARST charged me for $15.60. Not knowing who they were, I went down to Compass and asked about it. They didn't know, but gave me a wonderful slip of paper detailing out how to talk to their 'un-authorized transaction' dept. I just got off the phone with them since there have been 6 charges today from someone called WORLDWIDE GLUCKSMANN T VENEZUELADEBIT. Which brings the total to $500 that is now missing from my checking account here in Austin.

    6 charges in one day from the same source and the nice folks at Compass didn't get a teensy bit suspicious?

    Compass says it will be 7-10 days before it's resolved. I have money (in other acounts) and credit, so I'll be OK. HOWEVER, there are many out there who don't. So, you might want to take a peek at your checkcard transactions online.

    Oh, and doesn't Compass suck, yo? Methinks I need to find a new bank.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Obstructionists!

    Here's something interesting that shows exactly who the obstructionists in the Senate really are...

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    H*ly F*ck*ng Sh*t!

    You know this is big.

    Olbermann Back To Countdown Tonight

    Keith Olbermann will be cutting his vacation short to cover the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as he returns tonight to anchor Countdown. The Bhutto breaking news resulted in some anchors on Fox News coming in from vacation tonight as well.

    However, the Leader of the Free World will remain at his vacation home near Crawford, Texas, playing Wii.

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

    Oh, TinaFish

    This is pretty cheesy. TinaFish, the ridiculous leader of the Republican Party, is calling on Texas Monthly Editor Evan Smith to resign. Because some paper in Midland erroneously reported that Smith has been encouraging Midland City Councilman Bill Dingus to run against CradDICK.

    Now, it's true I've never been a big fan of Evan's (it's the hair) but this is just stupid. Even for TinaFish who prides herself on saying retarded things while watching over the dramatic decline of her moribund party.

    You're pathetic, Tina.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Now is the time to fight

    Krugman nails it...

    I like to remind people who long for bipartisanship that FDR's drive to create Social Security was as divisive as Bush's attempt to dismantle it. And we got Social Security because FDR wasn't afraid of division. In his great Madison Square Garden speech, he declared of the forces of "organized money": "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred."

    So, here's my worry: Democrats, with the encouragement of people in the news media who seek bipartisanship for its own sake, may fall into the trap of trying to be anti-Bushes—of trying to transcend partisanship, seeking some middle ground between the parties.

    That middle ground doesn't exist—and if Democrats try to find it, they'll squander a huge opportunity. Right now, the stars are aligned for a major change in America's direction. If the Democrats play nice, that opportunity may soon be gone.

    We've got to start doing things at the grassroots that start shifting the debate from labels to issues. For example, when a Republican asks if you support socialized medicine, tell them you support universal health coverage and ask them why they don't. The only way we're going to win is by turning the arguments around at the ground. Otherwise, our 'leaders' are going to continue to lose their balls in tragic polling accidents.

    The reality is that, labels aside, we ARE the majority in this country. It's high time we act like it and stop trying to compromise with a bunch of mindless lunatics.

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

    The clueless and their delusions

    Bush is happy about the economy. He thinks the prospects are great!

    The White House is betting that the steps it has taken to address the housing and financial crises will be enough to avert a recession without resorting to a major tax cut or new spending, as leading economists in both parties have urged, senior administration officials said.

    In a news conference yesterday, President Bush said he is considering various measures to stimulate the economy but made clear his belief that it is not time to pull the trigger. "My view of the economy is that the fundamentals are strong, that we've had strong growth for a reason: that we're competitive, we got flexible workplace, that we kept taxes low, exports are up," Bush said.

    Bush's comments reflect a consensus among his economic advisers that it is still possible to avoid a recession and that their efforts should focus on executing the programs they have already announced for containing problems in the mortgage markets -- such as the plan to freeze interest rates on certain subprime mortgages or an initiative to pay for mortgage counselors who would advise people at risk of losing their homes.

    Bush is talking about FHA Secure which can help as many as 80k people. A drop in the bucket for the 3 million currently at risk. But, at least 80k would be something. They announced the program in August and I know a lot of people would want to jump on it. What may surprise you is that only 266 have closed.

    That's right. Two hundred and sixty six homes have been refinanced to FHA Secure.

    A program unveiled by U.S. President George W. Bush in August that is trying to save tens of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure has aided just 266 borrowers so far, according to government data released on Monday. The initiative, which helps high-risk or low-income borrowers win better loan terms by insuring mortgage payments, targets recent homeowners whose loans have a built-in interest-rate spike that made them miss a payment. More than 1.8 million borrowers could face mortgage rate spikes by the end of next year, according to the Federal Reserve Board, with the mortgage costs rising $350 a month. Until Bush relaxed the rules, borrowers who missed a payment would not have been eligible to refinance under the Federal Housing Administration -- a program from the Depression era designed to make home ownership more affordable. Officials behind the new initiative, called FHA Secure, said it is on track to move 60,000 delinquent borrowers into stable, fixed-rate home loans. But between September and mid-December, only 266 such borrowers have cleared all FHA hurdles, according to data compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that was provided to Reuters.

    At that rate, it'll only be 80 years until all them are done! Greenspan and Lawrence Summers think that we need to expand benefits. That might actually help someone like this.

    Griffin, 49, like hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country, is in foreclosure. Recently, she sat at the dining room table where for six years she has served holiday meals to her large, extended family of 19 brothers and five sisters, where they all hope to gather again this Christmas, and shook her head. "What will I do if I lose this house? What will I do? I think about it all the time."

    Good to know the President thinks things are going well! If only he could translate his wishes to reality.

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

    December 26, 2007

    I'm frustrated when I can't sue

    I'm not really a litigation-happy person. Personally, about the only thing I care about in regard to lawyers is that they are back in their coffins by sunrise. I kid, I kid... well, at least I am about the 'care' part of that sentence. Attorneys have a nice way of fucking things up. Still, they are useful when you're threatened with 'legal action' or when you feel like making some asshat's life miserable. Which I wanted to do on Saturday.

    Unfortunately, the weak sister's over at Wiki have declined to supply me with an IP address. Bitches.

    So, whoever you are, you got a free skate this time. Enjoy it. If I ever find out who you are, you're going to want to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. Paybacks are a motherfucking bitch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Lemme get this straight...

    First, Sharon Keller violated an unwritten policy that one judge can't act on a case assigned to another judge, in effect ruling on a case that was out of her domain. Now she expects a Federal judge to let her out of a wrongful death suit filed by the family of the guy she, in effect, killed.

    That's some fucking balls, Sharon. And I totally hope the Federal judge votes against you and you end up losing that shitty strip club on Northwest Highway.

    Gee, Sharon, why not countersue them? You know for causing you all this pain and suffering by actually taking you task for killing their relative and all.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Air Force One and other dumb things

    I'm just back at the office from Dallas and boy oh boy what a trip. Nice drivers today and the only time traffic came to a complete stop on the freeway was at the point in Jarrell where it goes to six lanes. Go figure.

    This morning I saw on GMA (which my parents, inexplicably, watch) that President Bush was coming down to Crawford for the remainder of his break. I actually saw Air Force One coming in for a landing at the sad little airport in Waco. Luckily I got through Waco before the motorcade carrying the Connecticut native was on it's way to the pig farm.

    It's damn good to be back in the 512.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 25, 2007

    The Ghost of Christmas Cards Past...

    ...forwarded these Huckabee family greetings from when they were living in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.

    Photobucket

    Was there a three-for-one sale at the Big and Tall Outlet that year?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 24, 2007

    In The Beginning God Created The Heaven And The Earth

    I was outside a little while ago, looking up at the Moon and remembering looking up at that very same Moon on Christmas Eve in 1968. The Moon was a little bit different that night, shining in the frigid Virginia sky as we went to Midnight Mass because for the first time in human history mankind had made its way there. Apollo 8 was in orbit, and that night the astronauts made a broadcast which served as a coda of sorts to a year packed with more history than any twelve year-old should have to take in.

    I remember reading about the Siege of Khe Sahn in Time Magazines my English teacher had brought in and learning the astonishing fact that America might be losing a war. I recall LBJ withdrawing from the Presidential race after Gene McCarthy's surprisingly good showing in the New Hampshire Primary. The murder of Martin Luther King... and the stories of people who had been to Washington who said you could see the smoke from the fires from the Beltway. Waking up on the second to last day of school to the news that Bobby Kennedy has been shot, and the next morning that he had died. Listening to the funeral on the radio that weekend as we drove up to Granny's house in Connecticut; a news bulletin interrupting the singing of The Battle Hymn of the Republic to say that James Earl Ray has been arrested in London. Thinking that somewhere along our drive north we had crossed paths with RFK's funeral train heading south. Even later, Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago almost coincident with Brezhnev's verdict to the Czechs that socialism could not have a human face.

    And through it, we lived our own lives. My favorite uncle died that summer, my first experience with death. We housebroke our puppy and broke him from the habit chewing up newspapers. Laura, the cute girl in my seventh grade class decided she liked my friend Corey and not me.

    Well, does all this have a point? No, not really, just a flood of memories brought on by seeing the Moon looking much as it looked way back then. So I'll just wish you all a Merry Christmas, all on the good Earth.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Profiles in Dumb : Cornyn The Author (part 1 in a series)

    It's no secret that we at McBlogger don't have a lot of love for Junior John Cornyn. However, what may surprise you are the reasons we don't love him. Frankly, we think he's pretty lame. Sure, we could spend hours writing about how he hates the kids by voting against SCHIP, refuses to acknowledge the reality of illegal immigration and has basically spent his entire term in Congress not fighting FOR the people of Texas but instead actively working against them by being little more than a rubber stamp for President Bush.

    We could do that but we're not. In point of fact, we've already gone through most of that (just google 'Cornyn' on the sidebar). What really gets us is just how embarrassingly lame he is. Like that time we took him to a drinks party being thrown by some great friends of mine. He spent the entire party drinking Natty Light (he brought his own) and asking people to pull his finger. Frankly, I'm surprised my friends even talk to me.

    Let's not even get into that time I fixed him up with his scorching hot chick I knew from work. She still won't return my calls.

    Of course, this is all just a bunch of buffoonish behavior from someone who is seriously socially retarded. It's kind of excusable. However, his lame ass, feel good editorials are another matter entirely. The first one I noticed was this one about Blue Bell Ice Cream. Like all Texans, I love me some ice cream. I also have a lot of respect for the folks in Brenham who have turned what was a small, regional brand into a nationally known and respected ice cream. My only bone of contention with them is that they never make enough lemon. Seriously, it would kill you to make some more for the Randall's on Mesa here in Austin?

    Cornyn doesn't have a problem with having enough ice cream because he likes the omnipresent Pecan Pralines and Cream. At this point you're probably wondering, "Who gives a fuck what kind of ice cream Junior John likes?". If so, you're not alone. Basically, our esteemed Senator, who some of you elected to work for us in Washington on serious issues, is taking time to write about Blue Bell Ice Cream. If that doesn't piss you off, maybe this will. Texas, even though we've had a Congressional delegation in the majority for most of the last 10+ years, is always getting shortchanged on federal highway funds. We send more to Washington than we get back.

    Things are so bad that TXDOT is even reneging on their bloody agreement with CAMPO (Congrats, Kirk!) because they may not even have the funds to build toll roads. So, in short, we'll have no roads built and the bottlenecks we have now all over the state won't be fixed. Because federal highway dollars are drying up. And we have Junior John to thank for that.

    While Cornyn writes about how great Blue Bell is, our infrastructure is getting older and far less capable of accommodating the ever growing numbers of Texans that he supposedly serves. But that doesn't bother Cornyn.

    Maybe the next time you're stuck in traffic getting more annoyed with each passing minute at the endless field of lit brake lights in front you, you can think about how much Cornyn likes Blue Bell. In fact, think also about replacing him next November with Rick Noriega. He's the kind of Texan that actually gets things done.

    Cornyn's too busy eating yet another bowl of Pralines and Cream to get anything accomplished. Other than writing about how much loves the little creamery in Brenham.


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 23, 2007

    Will No One Rid Me Of This Meddlesome Loser?

    Gene Kelly, who has made a political career of sorts by filing for races he has no intention of making an effort to win, has once again filed for the US Senate. In 2006, in conjunction with a another idiot "candiidate" who refused campaign contributions Kelly forced the hapless Barbara Ann Radnofsky into a primary runoff election. Hopefully, in 2008 Rick Noriega should be able to squash both Gene Kelly and neophyte googoo Ray McMurrey like bugs; if not, I'd have to seriously doubt his chances of sending John Cornyn home to the boxturtle he left behind him.

    And in the meantime, why can't you ever find a chupacabra when you really need one?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 04:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The New Phone Books Are Here!

    I still haven't finished last year's.

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

    December 22, 2007

    OK. Now you pissed me off...

    You know, other than the occasional (read : RARE) post or my comments at BOR on the subject, I've mostly stayed out of the race for Travis County Tax Assessor Collector. I've not done it out of an overabundance of respect for Nelda (frankly, I don't think she's anything special) or a dislike for Glen (the person for whom I'm more than likely going to vote). I did it because frankly the race is a bit like high school. I mean, come on... we're turning a county office into a life and death matter for voters. The reality is that Nelda's performance as collector has been more about the powers of the office, the excellent staff and technological improvement than anything Nelda's done. Glen would accomplish the same thing. As for handling voter registration and elections, she's pretty crappy. Not trying to be a dick, she's just not done nearly enough with that part of the office. I mean, we have less people registered to vote in Travis County NOW than in January, 2005. Almost three years ago and with more than an additional 80k people moving into TC.

    That isn't the mark of someone who takes voter registration seriously.

    Nelda's campaign would like you to think the world will end if their candidate isn't re-elected, mostly because it won't. They are operating under the assumption that people will be motivated in the race by fear (apparently having forgotten that this Travis County and we laugh at those campaigns). They tried something similar with Soechting, who came across like a retard writing a letter about a possible Republican win in Travis County if Glen is our candidate. I should have rained far more poop on poor Charles for that one. What a stupid thing to get dragged into.

    Then there was the op/ed piece in the Statesman Captain Kroc and I took a swipe at long ago.

    Needless to say, over the last six months, that's been the limit of our involvement in the race. That's the way it would have stayed had some douchebag not gone to Wikipedia and edited an entry on Glen as me. Don't worry, Wiki will be getting the IP for the impersonator and whoever did it will be seeing a process server soon. I wasn't kidding about having an attorney on retainer. I'll drag this out for years just to watch you bleed.

    A word to the wise for all the budding and established politicos out there... don't pull me into your bullshit. I'm way meaner than you and I'll cut you off at the goddamn knees.

    For now, I leave you only with this... if Nelda has done such a great job, then why the fuck is her campaign so goddamn scared they're going to Wikipedia to try to embarrass Glen with things that are patently untrue and libelous.
    Further, why be such a dumbass about it by using me? Seriously, you could have used Pink Lady or Pink Dome and they never would have been the wiser. Instead, you used me.

    And this is where things get really nasty.

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

    Afghanistan and what went wrong...

    President Bush and the Republican Neo-Cons failed pretty miserably in Afghanistan. That we should have invaded goes without saying. That we lost what was a golden opportunity to really strike a crippling blow to international terrorism is well known. That they continue to fuck up is crystal clear. Now comes word that Gates has a new strategy.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will push NATO members meeting in Scotland today to provide more troops and equipment and reorganize the mission to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Rebel attacks have more than doubled in southern Afghanistan in the past year and NATO's international force is short of three infantry battalions, 20 helicopters and about 3,000 instructors to train the Afghan army and police, the Pentagon says.

    ``The numbers are not that big, which, frankly, is one of the sources of frustration for me in terms of our allies not being able to step up to the plate and meet these needs,'' Gates told the House Armed Services Committee in Washington this week. ``I am not ready to let NATO off the hook.''

    And now we know, he new strategy is to BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. Way to go, Bob. Good to see that accountability is alive and well in Republican circles.

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

    December 21, 2007

    Gerry gets a D opponent

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketGerald Daugherty has finally drawn an opponent, Karen Huber. A SW Travis County resident who has grown more and more disgusted with Daugherty and his bullshit, Karen recently filed to run as a Democrat and will more than likely go on to mop the floor with Daugherty who richly deserves all the negative mailers she can send out.

    The man is a corpulent douchebag, shortsighted as hell and someone who frequently ignores his constituents, not to mention working diligently to make life hell for everyone else in Travis County.

    Good luck, Karen. Everyone here at McBlogger wishes you well. At the very least, you'll make the Commissioners Court more aesthetically pleasing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Rarely Is The Question Asked, Is Our Presidential Candidates Learning?

    Or even reading at an age-appropriate level? Reports the NYT:

    “Who is your favorite author?” Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.

    Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.

    In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.

    “My favorite author is C. S. Lewis,” she said.

    Mike is careful not to boast
    He's the one Iowa loves the most
    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
    If he wins our world is toast

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What about 39%'s property tax cut?

    Yeah, I didn't get mine, either much like Coby over at BAH. Of course, unlike the assholes who voted for 39%, I knew I'd never get it.

    It's because I'm smarter than y'all.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dodd for Majority Leader?

    Would it be so bad? HuffPo doesn't seem to think so and I can't help but agree after the leadership he showed Monday.

    "I like Harry Reid enough, but it's clear that we live in a climate in which the type of leadership we need is better provided by Chris Dodd," Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos told the Huffington Post. "Republicans have been laughing at us all term, refusing to compromise because they know the inevitable capitulation on any given issue is always just a couple of days away. Those Republicans need to be re-taught how to negotiate, and step one is to have a Democratic caucus that will tighten the screws when necessary. Yesterday, that person wasn't our leader, it was Chris Dodd."

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 20, 2007

    Scratch Another Poopyhead

    Did anyone catch the news that Tom Tancredo was running for President? Apparently not many people did, since the immigrant-hating Coloradan has now dropped out of the contest. Tancredo threw his support to Willard Romney, which has got be worth dozens of votes.

    The five-term congressman announced plans to spend more time with his family, complaining about having to press "1" for English.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sign Wexler's impeachment petition

    Rep. Wexler has been working hard to give some traction to the move to impeach Cheney. As of last night, his petition was over 100k signatures. Go here to add your name to it. Let the Speaker know unequivocally that it's time to hold the hearings and see where things take us.

    Ed. Note - I originally posted that there were 100m signatures which means ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND. The Mayor informed me that some of you were, in fact, too dumb to understand that. So, in the best traditions of the broadcast media, I'm dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator by changing it to K. To me, that means 'kilometer' but he informs that most stupid people read that as thousand. Retards.

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

    Dale Henry rolls ahead!

    It all comes down to water, which is apparently a mixer I'm mostly unfamiliar with. Dale's had a busy two weeks pulling in endorsements from Rep. Coleman and others around the state. He's also made his campaign official with his announcement on Tuesday. The reality is that we have several excellent people running for this office, but only one who actually knows enough about the oil and gas industry (which the RRC regulates). That person is Dale Henry.

    Check out his new (and very well done) website and see what the RRC is really all about. Find out why I think he's our best bet to pull an idiot Republican out of the RRC.

    BOR has a post up by Dale regarding what really matters in this race. Go take a look!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Noriega update

    I know it's a little late in coming, but we've been busy... plus, Noriega's campaign seems to be on autopilot to victory. I seriously don't see much on the horizon to derail him. To wit

  • He's been endorsed by the Congressional Democrats from Texas.
  • There is a poll out showing JUST how deeply unpopular Cornyn is. The R's whine and say that 'Noriega's a librul'. As if that even worked anymore. Cornyn's record of being a borrow and spend Republican should just about do the trick.
  • With the news out of HD 97 last night, it's pretty clear that the R's are about to lose some serious headway. The funny thing is how much in denial they are about it. Do they honestly not realize when the hatred starts the only thing that can stop it is burn out? If you're looking for an explanation or a reason for Noriega to win, here are two simple ones...

    1) Wage growth has been non-existent - The economy isn't good for the vast majority of Texans
    2) Gas is $3 per gallon.

    Mark my words. As long as gas stays over $2.25/gal, there is no way Cornyn can win. People are too pissed. At ALL Republicans. Hell, CradDICK himself shouldn't think he's out of danger.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    And the Tina Fish speaketh

    Via Political Junkie comes TXGOP Chair Benkiser's comments on the Barrett win in HD 97

    This is a temporary victory for the most liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party as the victor will never get to cast a single vote. It will also serve as a rallying cry for the entire Texas Republican community to work together in November to fight these liberal incursions with one positive, conservative voice and vision.

    Come on, Tina. A 'rallying cry'? No one gives a fuck about you, your party or your tired old rhetoric, useless ideas and manifold failures. Working together? You're assuming any Republican in this state wants to work with you or CradDICK. The ones I know are sick to death of you.

    Conservative voice? Go sell that to the people who are about to lose their home to the TTC or some other toll road that 39% wants to sell off to a European company. Or go sell it to the kids who can't afford college. Actually, they're already focusing their hatred on Bush and all things R. But that really shouldn't keep you from opening your gimp mouth as often as possible. It always helps.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 19, 2007

    Damnit! We just can't have nice things!

    Someone dented the solar system.

    The data was gathered by the craft on its 30-year journey into the edge of the solar system when it crossed into a sweeping region called the termination shock, they said.

    It showed that the southern hemisphere of the solar system's heliosphere is being pushed in or "dented."

    Voyager 2 is the second spacecraft to enter this region of the solar system behind Voyager 1, which entered the northern region of the heliosheath in December 2004.

    The termination shock is a turbulent area far beyond Pluto's orbit where the solar winds emanating from the sun are significantly slowed as they run up against the thin gas of interstellar space. Solar winds blow in all directions from our sun, and shape what was once thought to be a bubble around the solar system called the heliosphere.

    "Voyager 2 entered the termination shock almost 1 billion miles closer within the southern hemisphere of the heliosphere of the solar system than Voyager 1 previously had," said Voyager Project scientist Edward Stone of the California Institute of Technology.

    And no, it wasn't me.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Burning down the EEOB

    Apparently, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses the losers in the President's administration who don't get to have offices in the West Wing of the White House, is on fire. Not surprisingly, no one really cares if a bunch of back benchers go up in flames.

    Apparently, they found a new cache of documents they forgot to burn related to everything from the 9/11 conspiracy (it WAS an inside job) to who REALLY impregnated that Spears girl (Hucakbee's The One). Speaking of...

    Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old "Zoey 101" star and sister of Britney, told OK! magazine that she's pregnant and that the father is her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

    "It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she said. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."

    That wasn't shock, hon. That was the sudden realization that HE'S the new K-Fed.

    On a more serious note, Sen. Wyden on Monday during the debate on FISA and Telecom Immunity made a reference to documents detailing the legal rationale for immunity and called them weak. He said they were at the EEOB. One has to wonder if maybe those documents are really the ones going up in smoke.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Edwards leads in Iowa (first and second choice)

    Via SPR comes word that Edwards and Obama are neck and neck, with Edwards leading overall and Obama leading in most-likely caucus attendees. More importantly, Edwards has a commanding lead as the second choice, which puts him at just over 42% of the total vote if it's limited to just Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

    Edwards leads with 30 percent in a poll of Democratic voters who said they intend to participate in the Jan. 3 presidential caucuses, followed by Clinton with 26 percent and Obama with 24 percent. When the sample was narrowed to the most likely caucus-goers, based on several questions, Obama leads Edwards by less than a percentage point with 27 percent, with Clinton in third place at 24 percent.

    Edwards holds a significant advantage, however, among a group who could be key to the first contest of the presidential year: those who say their first choice is someone other than the top three. Under Iowa Democratic Party rules, candidates who poll less than 15 percent in the first vote at each caucus around the state are eliminated, and their supporters get a second chance to vote for another candidate.

    Under both screens, Edwards leads as the second choice of these voters, with Clinton trailing Obama.

    “If Edwards is the second choice at this stage of those who intend to vote for other Democrats, then it would not be surprising if he produced a bit of a shock in Iowa,” said InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery.

    Towery said the firm employed the same methodology with regard to asking the second choice of those who were voting for candidates other than those in the top tier, and obtained an accurate picture of John Kerry’s lead.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Thompson announces in HD46

    With all the excitement about Dan Barrett's win up in Fort Worth, I forgot to mention I went to Brian Thompson's kickoff last night at Vivo. Great event, very well attended and the crowd looked like the district, thoroughly mixed, which goes to show that he is in fact drawing support from the major ethnic groups in the district. Ran into a few people I didn't expect to see and in general had a fabulous time thanks to the heavy pouring bartender.

    The speech... Well, he's got great delivery skills and set the tone of the campaign last night. He's running against Dawnna's lackluster, also ran, legacy. Which is great because most of the people in 46 have no idea exactly what Dawnna's been up to and they really need that information. His fundraising is still going well and he's loaned his campaign enough money to match Dawnna's cash on hand.

    Thompson hit on some good points last night...

    1) We need to make major improvements to schools and curricula (had a nice chat with Richard Franklin about that same issue Monday night)
    2) Fully funding CHIP
    3) Enough with the toll road nonsense

    Basically, a broadside against Dukes who has failed the district on all those issues and has, on many occasions, actually carried water for the other side.

    On a lighter note, Elise Hu at KVUE did a report on Dawnna's spending habits last night. I missed it because I was in transit to the announcement party. However, the video is there when you click the link so you won't cry about not being able to see it. Here's one tasty morsel...

    "We're just going to go back and clarify because I feel it's important to do so," Dukes said.

    Nah... see, that's not really true. You are really correcting the reports because you got busted and, as filed, your current reports violate campaign finance laws. Over a period of six years no less.

    Oh, and of all the staff and volunteers working on the campaign, Stephanie displayed a "unique selflessness in her decision to bravely man the table, even while the others moved inside to hear Brian's speech". So if you see her you should totally buy her a drink.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 18, 2007

    Welcome another newly elected Democratic State Rep

    Please put your hands together for Representative-elect Dan Barrett (HD97)!

    I can't wait to hear what Hans has to say about this... come on, Hans! Spin us some bullshit we can write about!

    UPDATE: This really should be a wake up call for every elected official, especially the Republicans, in the State of Texas. WE'RE WATCHING EVERYTHING AND WE'RE PISSED AS HELL.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    That's suprising coming from her

    You know, I've always thought celebrities were kind of simplistic and rather stupid. I did, at least, think that Whoopi Goldberg wasn't irredeemably stupid since she's mostly right on issues. But this is some bullshit.

    Whoopi, seriously, do you even HAVE enough money to be affected by the Estate Tax? Eh, even if you do, it stays. Paris Hilton shouldn't get a free ride through life, and neither should your kid. That's just unAmerican.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundup time again

    Enjoy this week's Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Fred Thompson couldn't make the ballot in Delaware because of FIVE HUNDRED
    SIGNATURES. Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger thinks that's pretty pathetic. You will as well.

    Eddie at Burnt Orange Report writes about a precedent-setting case in the Sixth District Court of Appeals which gives helps a Paris, Texas blogger preserve his or her anonymity.

    How I became a "far-left-radical with a socialist agenda" etc. On Bluedaze by TXsharon

    While Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News had a sick mouse the world moved on.

    Choo choo!! That is the sound of cleaner air at The Texas Cloverleaf. 98 new more environmentally friendly trains are running in Texas. But did taxpayers really have to front the money?

    Bay Area Houston Wonders why NASA Contractors are limiting their employees constitutional rights while receiving billions of dollars of government funding.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that AG Greg Abbott has handed Speaker Tom Craddick an early Christmas present in the form of an opinion that hands him cart blanche to do whatever he wants--and even emasculates impeachment.

    Muse discovers a list of 300+ women political bloggers! Female bloggers are playing a powerful role in this presidential election cycle – and are increasingly recognized for this. Texas bloggers are on the list. Check it out!

    In his piece titled John Cornyn Files for Senate, Hal at Half Empty entertains the notion that the junior senator is really looking for an elusive seat on the US Supreme Court.

    Stace at DosCentavos tells us about the newest Pew Center poll! It's no wonder many Citizen-Latinos (and especially undocumented folks) are feeling like people without a country.

    Eye on Williamson, posts on Brian Ruiz, Rep. John Carter's opponent in TX-31, and two of Carter's recent votes in Brian Ruiz And Rep. John Carter's (R-Exxon Mobil) Circle .

    An activist action plan for the FISA-with-telecom immunity bill, coming up on Monday in the Senate, is posted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    And, last but not least, don't forget about Dan Barrett in House District 97, who has been endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance in his special election runoff. Matt at Burnt Orange Report has a great post about the race here.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dodd wins but we need to get him some help!

    Reid pulled Telecom Immunity off the floor by removing the retard SIC version of the FISA Bill, finally caving into the demands of the majority of Americans and Sen. Dodd. Dodd, along with Sen. Kennedy and others, managed to stare this thing down and helped turn the tide to restore the rule of law to the United States of America.

    Honestly, watching Dodd yesterday made me proud to be an American and a member of the Democratic Party. The only black mark on the day was the fact that Reid even attempted this garbage. That and of course, Junior John embarassing himself and all Texans by whining about being 'afraid of the terrarists'. Cornyn is a coward, afraid of terrorists when he should be standing tall like a real Texan and defending the Constitution.

    Which is what impressed me most about Rick Noriega's statement on the bill.

    "On Christmas morning 2004, outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, my buddies and I drove to our base camp to use the computers. We wanted to be with our kids when they woke up that Christmas. To get there we drove through a near ambush--anytime we drove on the Jalalabad Road, it was risky, and we had an incident on our way.

    That Christmas morning, I suspect the government listened to our conversations. They occurred between two countries; Afghanistan and the US. They probably didn't realize the difference in tone in my voice as I spoke to my wife and children that morning as my heart raced still from our encounter on the road. My wife did.

    I fought to defend our country and our constitution in Afghanistan. I fought for the right to privacy for every Texan. Mr. Cornyn must now stand up for the privacy of every Texan and American too. We as a nation cannot grant anyone sweeping amnesty if they violated the law.

    Americans understand the need for safety and the need for intelligence gathering. What they will not accept is an abuse of power, of crossing the line on American's privacy.

    I would join Sen. Dodd in opposition to any retroactive provisions that allow a "get out of jail card" for violating the Constitution. If Mr. Cornyn had ever had the opportunity to have his Christmas conversation listened to by the government, on a day that he feared for his life in a convoy on Jalalabad Road, he would do the same."

    Go help Rick!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 17, 2007

    Just when we need you, you're no where to be found

    Oh, man... Clinton and Obama are MIA when Dodd and EVERY AMERICAN needs them in Washington.

    Here's something fun for your to do... urge Reid to support Dodd's filibuster!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Without comment...

    Sorry, Elise...

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Cornyn the Coward is live on CSPAN

    Go watch it now... he's defending the illegal actions of the telecoms and desperately saying that we have to do something now to protect us from the terrorists.

    Goddamn, would one of you Republicans please let Junior John know that no Texan in their right mind is going to give up liberty and privacy for security. We're tougher than that and a hell of lot meaner. Tell that sumbitch to man up and vote against this shitty bill.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    "Bush is willing to let Americans die for telecom immunity"

    That's a direct quote from Sen. Kennedy who just rained shit all over Feinstein's rationalization of telecom immunity. Bush has said he would veto the FISA bill if it doesn't include telecom immunity. In the same breath, he said that Congress had to revise FISA to protect American lives.

    Dodd is saying this is about the Constitution, not fighting terrorists or some kind of partisan fight. Amen, Senator.

    FDL and KOS are keeping up with this. Clinton, Obama and Biden were all nonvoting in bringing this to the floor and right now I'm not sure they are even in Washington. If they aren't, then damn them all to hell.

    Here's the bottom line from my perspective... these companies acted illegally and have no affirmative defense under the law. What they did was break the laws that protect the citizens of the United States of America. I can't think of ANYTHING more deeply unpatriotic.

    There is no good faith escape clause since you would have needed a warrant, EVEN IF the AG or the President said it was OK (and the AG, by the way, didn't do that). Any attorney would have known that and these companies have hundreds of them. Are you seriously telling me that my 2 semesters of business law provided me with more knowledge than attorneys billing out at $2000/hr?

    Bullshit.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    On impeaching Cheney

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Rep. Wexler...

    A CASE FOR HEARINGS

    By Representatives and Members of the Judiciary Committee:
    Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)


    On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

    The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

    Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.


    Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations - would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.

    The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70% of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43% say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.

    Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee can not proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President – not our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings. Also, despite the fact that President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans -- including children’s health care, stem cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq -- the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum wage hike, an energy bill to address the climate crisis and bring us closer to energy independence, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether or not Vice President Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence – not politics – should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Krugman takes Obama down a notch

    Exactly

    At one extreme, Barack Obama insists that the problem with America is that our politics are so “bitter and partisan,” and insists that he can get things done by ushering in a “different kind of politics.”

    At the opposite extreme, John Edwards blames the power of the wealthy and corporate interests for our problems, and says, in effect, that America needs another F.D.R. — a polarizing figure, the object of much hatred from the right, who nonetheless succeeded in making big changes.

    Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naïve.

    We've said it before, we'll say it again. Obama is not a fighter and the only problem is that a fighter is what the country is looking for right now. The low approval ratings for Congress AND the President are related mostly to the Republicans but increasingly it's because of the business as usual attitude that seems to have pervaded even the Democrats in Washington. The American people don't want to run out the clock... they've been fucked over pretty well over the last few years and they WANT SOME RED MEAT.

    Of course, as someone pointed out to me long ago, Democratic primary voters are not exactly representative of the voting majority in this country. Which may help explain why Clinton and Obama are doing so well. The point here is that D primary voters have been beaten down so much over the last almost 28 years that they are seeking a kinder. gentler candidate who they hope will 'win over' the nation. Ain't gonna happen...

    As health care goes, so goes the rest of the progressive agenda. Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

    Which brings me to a big worry about Mr. Obama: in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate.

    There’s a strong populist tide running in America right now. For example, a recent Democracy Corps survey of voter discontent found that the most commonly chosen phrase explaining what’s wrong with the country was “Big businesses get whatever they want in Washington.”

    And there’s every reason to believe that the Democrats can win big next year if they run with that populist tide. The latest evidence came from focus groups run by both Fox News and CNN during last week’s Democratic debate: both declared Mr. Edwards the clear winner.

    But the news media recoil from populist appeals. The Des Moines Register, which endorsed Mr. Edwards in 2004, rejected him this time on the grounds that his “harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change.”

    And while The Register endorsed Hillary Clinton, the prime beneficiary of media distaste for populism has clearly been Mr. Obama, with his message of reconciliation. According to a recent survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Mr. Obama’s coverage has been far more favorable than that of any other candidate.

    So what happens if Mr. Obama is the nominee?

    He will probably win — but not as big as a candidate who ran on a more populist platform. Let’s be blunt: pundits who say that what voters really want is a candidate who makes them feel good, that they want an end to harsh partisanship, are projecting their own desires onto the public.

    And nothing Mr. Obama has said suggests that he appreciates the bitterness of the battles he will have to fight if he does become president, and tries to get anything done.

    We need a fighter, not someone who thinks that a 'new kind of politics' will magically make everything right. This country is ready for a shift comparable to the New Deal. And I think Edwards is the one to usher it in.

    One last point, regarding Edwards and how harsh he is toward corporate America, The Des Moines paper seems to think that he'll be unable to work with corporate America. The reality is, it'll be corporate America that has to work with an enormously popular President with a mandate for change. Of course, there will be compromise, but not of the sort that Clinton and Obama seem willing to make on a consistent basis.

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

    You suck, David Gest

    David Gest recently went to a party as his ex-wife, Liza Minnelli.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    David was starring as the "Tranny Granny" in the Twisted Carol panto, but his short black wig and dramatic eye make-up made the similarity to his famous former lover rather striking.

    The pair famously went through an extraordinarily bitter divorce battle in 2006, with Gest accusing the Cabaret star of carrying a sexually transmitted disease.

    In turn, the Minnelli claimed that her estranged husband tried to "poison" her.

    Catty fucking queen, no? I don't care how bad your divorce was, when you do Liza you do it with some motherfucking dignity!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 16, 2007

    Lieberman endorses McCain

    Not that it'll matter much, but McCain was endorsed by Lieberman. Which is pretty funny considering that Obama WANTED him to be his mentor (and still refers to him as such... what a dipshit) and Hillary tried to help him despite talking big about Lamont.

    D's and D consultants in Washington are a truly a bunch of lightweights. Losers.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Clarion Call

    If there was ever a time for rational people who care about the well-being of Texas to step forward and run for school board positions, it’s now.

    While the Texas progressive movement continues to find, train, and work on campaigns for progressive, liberal, and populist candidates for legislative positions, activists need to spend more time on finding qualified candidates for board positions, both locally and statewide. The fight for control of Texas education is at critical mass, and voters need to purge current board members and their underlings before it is too late.

    On many levels, these positions are just as important as political ones since they hold the key in the education, or ineducation of our children.

    Most likely, the candidates will have to come from outside the school system because current teachers and administrators who advocate and support the teaching of evolution are stifled, harassed or dismissed, while those who actually call ID and creationism an abomination against reason are subjected to character assassination. There’s nothing like being threatened with your job to keep you quiet.

    As the state of science education in Texas descends into voodoo territory, thanks in part to The Institute for Creation Research, let’s do the roll call of those that need to go at the Texas SBOE – Terri Leo, Gail Lowe, Barbara Cargill, Geraldine Miller, Patricia Hardy, and Cynthia Dunbar. Yes, all women. There are white conservative males on the board, but their dogma is expected, and they will eventually come to their demise. That women hold that political ideology is more important than children’s education is deplorable.

    However, the biggest pagan is Chair of SBOE and College Station dentist, Don “Is it safe” McLeroy, an outspoken Creationist and Intelligent Design Creationism activist.

    A report by Steve Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science about the shenanigans of TEA and McLeroy is comprehensive and beyond the coverage found in legacy media. Listening to the recorded presentation and reading the transcript of McLeroy’s anti-science bias is strongly recommended.

    Some voices have speculated of the collusion between the ICR and the Texas SBOE in that McLeroy being appointed by Governor 39% and ICR moving to Texas are more than coincidental.

    Though the MSM goes on to other matters, the science blogosphere continues the discussion. Wesley Elsberry at austringer.net has more on the ongoing national debate.

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 04:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    This is just weak

    The meat is about 1:25 into the video regarding the FISA bill. Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that Reid's weakness doesn't run to all the Democrats in the Senate. Let's hope the SIC version of the bill dies and the SJC version gets passed. Greenwald has more

    Today, they provide but the latest iteration of the answer as to why there is so much dissatisfaction and anger towards them, including from those who fully recognize the pragmatic constraints involved. This isn't a case where they are trying to oppose Bush's demands on telecom amnesty and warrantless surveillance powers but are sadly thwarted by a lack of votes. Rather, Harry Reid is doing everything he can to thwart those who are attempting to impede Bush's demands and thus doing everything he can to ensure that the White House is liberated from the prospect of accountability for past lawbreaking and vested with vast, new eavesdropping powers with as little oversight as possible -- just as Mitch McConnell would be doing if he were Majority Leader (though even McConnell might lack the audacity to simply run roughshod over Dodd's hold, as Reid is apparently doing -- while treating Tom Coburn's holds as sacred).

    Put another way, the issue isn't that they're failing to impose limits on the President. It's not even that they're failing to do everything they can to do so. The issue is that they are devoting their efforts and energies -- again -- to ensuring that the White House wins, its radicalism enabled and bolstered, and the people who support them thwarted in what they believe.

    One last thing... I'm holding out the hope that Reid has something up his sleeve. I seriously doubt it, considering what a disaster Mukasey has been (thanks Chuck and Diane!)

    Damnit, y'all! We need and expect more from you. DO SOMETHING!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 15, 2007

    Uhm, yeah... we're going to need you to pay attention here

    The RRL (viaEOW )has a choice quote from one of the R's vying to run against Maldanado in HD52. If this is the caliber of person they are going to run against the popular Maldanado, you guys are sooo up shit creek.

    When asked why he is a Republican, Gordon replied: “I’m a very strong believer in individuals. Government is a necessary component, but should be looked [to] very seldomly. The more we can enhance individuals and their responsibilities, the better our society will be.”

    Gordon described himself as being pro-military and a Second Amendment supporter, stating: “The more armed our society is, the safer and more secure our society is.”

    “I’m a strong Christian,” Gordon continued. “I believe a nation must be founded on those morals, to remain strong.”

    Not to be rude, but an original thought never crossed that little rat brain of yours? My God, Maldanado is going to kcik the shit out of someone like you. Mr. Gordon, you're running for a state office, not a federal office. You don't get to override or extend the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Hell, I don't you even think you know what the hell it says. So let me get your clichés straight...

    1) You're for individual people doing individual things
    2) Government is a necessary component of our society (this is the most sensible thing I've heard a Republican say... normally all y'all can do is fall over yourselves bashing the government that provides roads, good schools and public safety)
    3) You support the troops - Who the fuck doesn't, asshole? Seriously, are you a fucking retard or something? Do you honestly think there is some large segment of the population that doesn't support the troops? Fukctard.
    4) You believe in the individual right to keep and bear arms (Damn! I gave away the Second Amendment)
    5) You're a strong Christian. So am I. That doesn't mean I want my kids being taught your fucked up, ass backwards beliefs or some kind of creationist bullshit. No one gives a shit if you're religious, douchebag. STFU.

    Seriously, is this the cream of the crop for y'all? At least Krusee was kinda smart when he really got going and, I'm told occasionally, even had flashes of brilliance. At least on things unrelated to school finance and transportation. Which just happen to be the most important issues in the district and on which Maldanado is in an unassailable position.

    Gordon, don't waste time and money embarrassing yourself. Baselice's polling model doesn't work in 52. You"re going to lose if you run.

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

    Bitch mother craps all over Christmas

    What a cow...

    The highlight of the day will be a low-fat macrobiotic feast prepared by their chef.

    (Neither Ritchie nor Madonna cook.)

    It is highly unlikely to feature turkey, as Madonna has issues with the rearing and slaughtering of poultry.

    Instead of a festive bird, the "feast" will be mostly based around grains - such as quinoa - and vegetables.

    Associates indicate that there will be a small amount of unsalted meat for the children and for Guy; but salty, fatty treats such as chipolatas and stuffing are completely out.

    Indeed, the festive season is seen by Madonna as no excuse to stint on her punishing health regime.

    She has even hired a nutritionist to advise on her children's food.

    Macrobiotic feast? What the hell is that? All you can eat spirulina?These poor children are going to be so deranged when they actually try to enter society thanks to dear old mom.

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

    Catching up...

    Sorry about not posting anything yet. Some of us are just waking up. AND QUIT SHOUTING AT ME, at least until I get the first bloody down.

  • Ronnie Earle is retiring. He's also not running for re-election. I'm kind of pissed because I really like the guy. Still, he's been in office, what, 30 years? After that kind of run, you deserve some time off. Thank you, Mr. Earle for your service.

    God help us with the clusterfuck of campaigns that are about to start to replace him. What are there, six possible candidates? Ronnie, you couldn't have waited until Feb 1st just to have saved us some pain?

  • According to the Kronberg, AG Abbott has 'no opinion' on CradDICK's theft of power in the House. CradDICK is saying Abbott agrees with him. Which we really couldn't find,other than some bullshit about the Speaker being an officer of the State. Brooks has more on the timing of the release. Hermana, you're going to have to find way to do this crap from a blackberry!

    180 days. 31 pages. No decision. Is there ANY doubt in ANYONE'S mind at this point that Wheelie is thoroughly incompetent? It's largely irrelevant since this old bastard won't be Speaker in January, 2009. The fun will be after that... will the members actively shun him and work against everything until he resigns? Y'all better.

  • That special election up in FW is STILL set for Tuesday so get your ass in gear if you're in DFW...GO HELP DAN BARRETT!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 14, 2007

    Dukes to file amended reports after being busted

    Looks like Dawnna will be taking care of that MULTI-YEAR problem with her campaign finance reports we told you about last week. Oh, and just a note for the reporter to whom Colin Struther leaked Dawnna's decision to finally come clean, John Coby was the one who actually, you know, found out about all this. He's been doing a series on the State Reps and how they spend their campaign money. You should read it since it's a good primer on campaign finance.

    It'll also keep you from being duped by someone like Colin.

    The paper also mentioned Rick Noriega who actually discovered his mistakes and reported himself. For his trouble, the board fined him $1k for reporting late. His reports were only wrong in 2006. Dawnna's problem goes back to 2000. Who knows how high her fine will be. The funny part is this...

    Colin Strother, Dukes' political consultant, said Dukes began reporting the credit card spending correctly last year after the Ethics Commission sent a reminder to lawmakers. But she had not corrected past reports.

    At least Rep. Noriega was out of the country fighting in Afghanistan when most of the charges occurred corrected it as soon as he could. Dawnna, on the other hand, just decided to file erroneous reports beginning in 2000. Then, she started filing them the right way when they sent her a 'reminder'? Oh, come on!

    Kudos to her for finally correcting them, but one has to wonder if she'd be doing that if John Coby at Bay Area Houston hadn't pointed out that she was in violation in the first place.

    And with that, I give you the weekend... stay warm, boys and girls!

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Texans of the Year - House Democratic Leadership

    Today, the Texas Progressive Alliance honors its 2007 Texan of the Year. This year, the Alliance elected to recognize a number of other Texans who have contributed to Texas politics and the Progressive cause during 2007. This week, leading up to the TOY announcement, we brought you our Texas Progressive Alliance Gold Stars. Thursday, we recognized State Sen. Mario Gallegos.


    07TOY


    The Texas Progressive Alliance is proud to announce the House Leadership team of State Rep. Jim Dunnam, State Rep. Garnet Coleman, and State Rep. Pete Gallego as our 2007 recipients of the Texan of the Year award.

    There may not be another three individuals who have done more for the citizens of the state of Texas over the past four years than Rep. Jim Dunnam, Rep. Pete Gallego. Together, they have led the fight for the resurgence of the Texas Democratic Party. Every day is another story. They fought through the 2006 elections and then they fought for the months leading up to the first day of session. They led the fight against Speaker Craddick in the final days of the session, and are now poised to add to the Democratic gains in the House as they continue their roles as Co-Chairs of the House Democratic Campaign Committee.

    Their work together is imperative to the continued progress of Democrats in Texas, but it's their individual efforts that really demonstrate how this leadership team makes the best of one another for the good of all Texans. Here is a brief highlight of what each of these leaders did over the past year:

    State Rep. Jim Dunnam

    When we had a mere 62 members in the House in 2003. Today, there are 70, including State Rep. Kirk England who announced his intentions to switch parties and run as a Democrat next cycle. In only 5 years, there was full frontal attack on Speaker Craddick's ability to lead, launched by one question by the Waco Democrat: "Mr. Speaker, what is the process of removing the Speaker of the Texas House?" His mastery of the House rules is incredible to watch.

    During the 80th Regular Session, Rep. Jim Dunnam led efforts to clean up the mess Governor Perry and the Republican leadership made at the Texas Youth Commission. He worked with Rep. Coleman and Rep. Gallego to lead the fight against expanding new tax cuts for the richest 10% of Texans at the expense of health care and education opportunities for Texas families. He passed numerous bills for his district, but he will forever be remembered for the efforts he made on the House floor, challenging the absolute power of Speaker Craddick.

    State Rep. Garnet Coleman

    Rep. Garnet Coleman is one of the most progressive members of the Texas House. Rep. Coleman filed over sixty piece of legislation, including (1) legislation end tuition deregulation, (2) legislation to overturn the ban on gay marriage, (3) legislation to prevent the construction of any new toll roads anywhere in the state of Texas. But beyond these strong policy positions, he successfully passed legislation to expand health care opportunities for former foster children and double the funding for cancer research. He continued his fight to fully restore CHIP -- an effort he's worked for ever since Speaker Craddick and his allies cut hundreds of thousands of kids off of health care since 2003.

    Beyond his legislative work, Rep. Coleman is the top fundraiser for Texas Democrats, and is well-known for his non-stop efforts in supporting House Democrats across the state. He chairs the Legislative Study Group, which received a Silver Star award from the TPA for its incredible policy work.

    State Rep. Pete Gallego

    Rep. Pete Gallego is the chair of of the largest bipartisan legislative caucus in the Texas House-- the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. He also sits on the national board of NALEO. He was a top lieutenant for Speaker Pete Laney, and his trust from that better time in the Texas House allows him to remain as one of the most trusted members in the Texas House.

    His policy issues are far-reaching, and can range from helping protect our state's natural resources to preventing those horrid voter ID bills behind the scenes. Rep. Gallego also helped temper some of the more controversial issues of the session, including immigration and security.

    Rep. Gallego often makes waves quietly inside the Capitol, but his efforts help thousands of Texans from all walks of life. Together, Rep. Gallego, Rep. Dunnam, and Rep. Coleman are extremely deserving for our 2007 Texan of the Year award.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dumbasses In The News

    No, this is not about the Legislature.

    Man Accidentally Shoots Self In Buttocks

    (Important to contrast this accident with the recent rash of deliberate self buttock shooting lately I guess.)

    Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said Daniel Leatherman, 26, heard a disturbance outside his apartment and saw a man he knew fighting with a cab driver.

    Leatherman told police that the man, Cody Nunn, 25, had assaulted him in the past, so he grabbed his gun and went outside.

    Leatherman told police that he accidentally dropped the gun while hiding it behind his back and shot himself in the derriere.

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

    McCaul gets an R opponent

    Charles James. The man, the legend, has decided to run against Congressman Mike McCaul in the Republican primary. We at McBlogger just wanted to let you know that we wish you well. Hey, it really doesn't matter to us which Republican gets stomped by a Democrat in November. You're just as good as McCaul.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Telecom Immunity again?!

    I know, it's a bit like having the same meal over and over again. Senate Majority Leader Reid is once again bringing the FISA bill up with telecom immunity. Come on, Harry... give it a rest. No one wants it. Except Republicans and what they want has never really been best for the country.

    Maybe our problem isn't so much our party as it is our weak, incompetent leadership. For those of you out there with the cocktail flu, this is what I'm talking about.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dead Beat Dutton

    Y'all know I work for a bank and one of our bedrock credit policies is that we will not lend money to someone who has collections from the Office of the Attorney General indicating there is back child support owed. Frankly, We're not trying to pass judgment, we just assume if it's there then its true and we'd rather not lend to someone who doesn't even care enough about his/her children to pay for their care.

    For us, it's a financial decision. People who won't pay child support probably won't be great at paying a mortgage. State Rep. Harold Dutton is one of those people...

    “The reason I didn’t pay (child support) is because I wanted the court to tell me how much to pay — because I didn’t want her to have one nickel she wasn’t entitled to,” the state legislator said from his Houston law office on Tuesday.

    That's it, Harold. Make sure your children suffer because of how much you hate your ex-wife.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 13, 2007

    Gold Star : Sen Mario Gallegos

    This year, in addition to recognizing its Texan of the Year (which will come this Friday), the Texas Progressive Alliance elected to recognize a number of other Texans who have contributed to Texas politics and the Progressive cause during 2007. This week, leading up to the TOY announcement, we bring you our Texas Progressive Alliance Gold Stars (one each day through Thursday). Wednesday, we recognized Molly Ivins.

    Don't forget! The Texan Of The Year Will Be Announced On Friday!!!!

    Mario<br />
GallegosState Sen. Mario Gallegos

    We all like to think that when our beliefs and principles are truly put to the test, that we will be able to answer the call and stand up for the things we hold dear, even if it means putting our own well-being at risk. Most of us never find ourselves in that position, and it's often just as well, for as the Apostle Peter could tell us, it's easier said than done. But when it is done, it serves as an inspiration for all of us.

    State Sen. Mario Gallegos was in that position this spring. Having undergone a liver transplant shortly after the legislative session began, he spent most of the rest of the session in Houston recuperating. His absence meant that the Democratic Senate caucus had only ten members in it, which by itself was not enough to block a divisive partisan bill, such as the many that were filed to restrict voting rights by requiring photo ID. Sen. Gallegos asked Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to give him notice if a voter ID bill was going to be on the docket, so he could do his duty and prevent it from passing. Dewhurst made a one-time-only guarantee, so against the advice of his doctor, Gallegos arrived in Austin and vowed to stay there until sine die to protect all voters' rights. And it was a good and necessary thing that he did, as later events proved Dewhurst's willingness to pass such a bill by any means necessary. His health was weak, but his will was strong, and the battle was at a standstill.

    But alas, just as victory seemed assured, his fragile health sent him back to Houston, and it looked like Dewhurst would finally get his chance. And then, when everyone least expected it, he came back, and he left no doubt as to the force of his resolve.

    Ailing state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, has a hospital bed set up in the sergeant's office -- about a 100 feet from Gallegos' Senate chamber desk, Monday so that he could help block a contentious voter ID bill from debate.

    "I'm hurting. I'm hurting," Gallegos said a few minutes ago as the Senate went into session.

    [...]

    In the meantime, Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, is monitoring Gallegos' health. Deuell is a physician.


    In the face of such resistance, Dewhurst finally capitulated, and let Sen. Gallegos return home where he could get the treatment he needed. He left the Senate chamber to a standing ovation, and the lasting gratitude of all Texans who cherish the right to vote.

    For literally putting his life on the line in order to protect democratic principles, State Sen. Mario Gallegos is a deserving winner of a Gold Star from the Texas Progressive Alliance.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Laziest man in politics brings the Zzzzzz

    Remember when Fred Thompson was the Great White Hope of the GOP? Yeah, neither do I, but I swear that was the case a few months ago. Well anyway, the lackluster presidential bid of Ol' Scrotum Face faced another setback today with the announcment that Fred won't be on the GOP Primary ballot in Delaware because his campaign failed to turn in... five HUNDRED valid signatures. That's five---zero---zero.

    With his organization, Zombie Second-Coming-Of-Reagan would trail behind grassroots political dynamo Jennifer Gail.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Joe Horn and the case of the premeditated murder

    Joe Horn recently shot and killed two people who were leaving the scene of a burglary. Sounds OK, right? Well, not really. See it wasn't his house that was burgled and he wasn't in any sort of danger. In fact, he was in his own house, safe behind locked doors, watching the whole thing while on the phone with police who had already dispatched officers. He then left that house, after saying "I'm going to kill them". This clearly wasn't a life or death situation for Horn, it was an ambush.

    Apparently, things have continued to slide downhill in Pasadena which is normally the way things go in the thrid world. Recently, a member of the Black Panthers came to Pasadena to protest in front Joe Horn's house. His neighbors and assorted other trash didn't like that. Counting the fat white people in this video is about like counting stars at night.

    And now, of course, it's in the NYT. Don't think you're too superior, New Yorkers. Pasadena is like our version of Buffalo. Or Rochester.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Slots of Fun

    Priceless-DDthumb.jpg

    Apparently, Rep. Dukes skipped out on a meeting on Medicare/Medicaid and then, on her way back, had what may have been a 24 hour layover in Vegas. Or maybe it was 3 days. No one seems really certain, least of all her campaign manager. What is certain is that she likes the slots and I can't respect anyone who so frivolously throws money away on some blinking lights and noise. I hate slots and the zombies who sit there for hours on end, throwing money away.

    Click the link and go read the comments at BOR which are oddly reminiscent of the comments we got last week when we posted about Dawnna's challenger. Except now, we're being threatened with Dawnna pulling support for Democratic candidates in 2008. Since she did so much in 2006, I'm all about taking that seriously.

    /sarcasm


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Farrar in a primary?

    According to Charles Kuffner, Rep. Farrar will face a primary challenger in March. Perplexing as hell, but Houston politics have always struck me as a little odd. After all, you guys let President Bush I continue to live there.

    Click the link and read Kuffner's comments on why HE'LL be voting to re-elect Rep. Farrar.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 12, 2007

    "Polling Mr. Edwards, polling Mr. Edwards"

    Please come to the qualified booth
    Yeah, yeah, things change, there is still a lot of movement, it's one poll, etc...

    We know the groups with us and against us. The one in political fluctuation who will play a large role in the election is working women, with emphasis on single mothers. Edwards speaks for them, Clinton speaks at them

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    GOP, taxes and the plan to save Phil King's ass

    EOW has a great post up about Rep. Phil King (R - Fucktard) and his brill idea to run the entire state on a sales tax. My take on it is a little simpler and I don't think it's a massive plan to create a tax revolt, mostly because I know that the end result won't be a tax revolt, it'll be a massive Democratic sweep on a simple campaign slogan : We'll get rid of the sales tax and tax the income of the rich. Wanna see some PWT in East Texas jump to straight ticket D? Pass a statewide sales tax.

    Not to mention the fact that it'll crush the economy. That's where this gets interesting.

    The law of unintended consequences is a real son of a bitch. There's no way around it, especially not for stupid people like Phil King who, if I had to guess, has an IQ in the lower 50's. A massive sales tax will simply collapse the economy as more and more people contract for goods and services out of state via the internet. This will, of course, cause retailers and the service industry to suffer and lay off people which will create an economic depression in the State. So many people out of work will create a slump in the housing market, which will deflate home values and cripple homeowners.

    Regressive? Oh, it's that, too. However, pass this thing and watch how busy UPS gets. Thank God Phil has a challenger who will hopefully kick his pathetic ass.

    What we need is for Democrats to start talking about taxes in terms of schools, roads, police, medical care and firefighters. Then Phil King's little brain would go into overload.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Gold Star : Molly Ivins

    [This year, in addition to recognizing its Texan of the Year (which will come this Friday), the Texas Progressive Alliance elected to recognize a number of other Texans who have contributed to Texas politics and the Progressive cause during 2007. This week, leading up to the TOY announcement, we bring you our Texas Progressive Alliance Gold Stars (one each day through Thursday). Yesterday, we recognized Denise Davis. Monday, it was Rick & Melissa Noriega. Our Silver Stars, were announced last week

    Molly Ivins Molly Ivins. Had Molly Ivins been born in 1984 instead of 1944, she might have been a modern-day blogger. Instead, she was an award-winning, best selling journalist, columnist and author. A Texan, a progressive, a feminist, and a survivor, Molly Ivins passing earlier this year marked the end of an era for Texans and those who loved her fiery, populist brand. Molly Ivins gave progressives a prominent, national, voice.

    In honoring someone as distinguished as the late, great Molly Ivins, sometimes it's best to do so in someone else's words. In this case, Molly's:

    I used to say, having once been a card-carrying Sixties radical, that if I had to be called a liberal, I’d just as soon be the worst kind of liberal--a bleeding heart. I wound up being a liberal because I was for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam and that’s what I got called. I missed the New Deal and McCarthyism and all that good business.

    I’ve got more important things to worry about--three-year-old kids getting raped and denied admission to a hospital because their mamas don’t have any money and things like that. I carry neither brief nor guilt for the many sins of liberals past and present: there’s too much to bleed over. And laugh over.


    Indeed, Molly Ivins. Indeed. For this and more, we name you a Texas Progressive Alliance 2007 Gold Star.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    This week around Texas

    Time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    It appears that TX. Sen. Craig Estes is considering recommending an investigation into the egregious negligence and malpractice of the Texas Railroad Commission. However, as TXsharon at Bluedaze reminds us: It's no time to rest! Keep the pressure on with your letters, emails, faxes and calls.

    Now that Williamson County's secret complaint has been dismissed, the Texas Fair Defense Project's class-action lawsuit on behalf of indigent defendants is now back on track. Eye on Williamson's wcnews provides an update on the slowly progressing case in The Upside-Down World of Williamson County.

    The Associated Republicans of Texas met, ate, belched and applauded the most recent venom spewed from the mouth of Karl Rove at an appearance in Austin last week. Grab your can of disinfectant and click over to Brains and Eggs, where PDiddie has the (pooper) scoop.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme enjoyed this headline: 'Where was Hutchison, Valley veterans ask'. Why aren't all US veterans asking where all 'support the troop' Republicans have been?

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston has his take on a Christmas poem T'was the Night Before Impeachment. T'was the night before impeachment it was cold, wet, and rainy Not a creature was testifying, not even Dick Cheney. Impeachment resolutions were hung in the House for appearing Waiting for Conyers and Waxman, and a long awaited hearing.

    BossKitty at Bluebloggin is frustrated with Congress dropping the Hate Crime Bill H.R. 1585 Hate Crime Bill Married To Iraqi War Funding - No Joke

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the lies and errors in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's amucis brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in groundbreaking Voter ID case.

    The Texas Cloverleaf calls out TxDOT for delaying DFW area construction projects even after receiving $3.197 billion from NTTA.

    The Sunset Commission is taking a hard look at TXDOT and McBlogger thinks it's about time. Feel to send in your suggestions on how to fix the ailing agency.

    One week into Filing Season, Off the Kuff reviews the filings he's waiting for.

    The Texas Education Agency made national news after the forced resignation of Chris Comer, its science curriculum director, in the ever-swirling "intelligent design" controversy, reports North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Just what we need... a nutter on the City Council

    Yesterday, Cid Galindo announced his candidacy
    for Austin City Council, Place 4, the seat held by retiring Council member Red Tag Betty. His announcement statement includes such tired cliches as "we can grow the economy and protect the environment" and "we need to come together to find common ground." He also released a business community heavy supporter list which include individuals who've brought us gems like toll roads and million dollar condos no one I know can afford to live in. Well, that's not exactly true... I know some people who could afford them. It's just that none of them are dumb enough to buy one of them.

    What Cid's site does not mention are his ties to radical right wing ideologues. Part of Cid's resume includes his listing as President of the Galindo Group. A quick visit to their site reveals a prominent listing of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The same group that thinks tolls are great AND that creationism should be taught in school. As a scientific theory. They think it's positively wonderful that a foreign corporation will be siphoning money out of the pockets of Texans and sending it overseas. The same group whose answer to everything is 'PRIVATIZE IT' despite the widely available evidence that it's not a good idea for taxpayers. Because it increases net costs to taxpayers and provides little or no service improvement relative to the cost increase.

    The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is funded by the voucher obsessed, Republican mega-donor Jim Leininger, That may help explain their 'Let's Ignore Reality and Concentrate on what we hope will happen' ideology. Until recently, failed Republican and former Chairman of Appropriations Talmadge Heflin was an analyist of this
    nutter think tank before moving over to become the Executive Director of the Texas Republican Party. TPPF's other greatest hits include cutting funding to Medicaid, CHIP, and other necessary social services. Great folks, these people.

    Galindo's strong connections to the far right wing of the Republican Party doesn't end there. A quick look at the Federal Elections Commission and Texas Ethics Commission finds the Galindo family has given over $32,000 to
    Republicans including $10,000 to 39%. Who do you think will return the favor to buy the election for Galindo?

    Austin is a great town with some challenges ahead. Challenges we can meet but not by blindly following the failed Republican agenda. It's done the country and the state absolutely no good and it won't be good for Austin. Galindo may be a stellar guy, but he's obviously a ridiculous choice for the Austin City Council. Unless you want cuts in police, fire and other public services and believe all roads should be sold to the lowest bidder (provided that the bidder gives a lot to his campaign and those of his repulsive friends).


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:28 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Who is the most bored of John Cusack? You, me or him?

    After I first blogged about old Johnny and that sentimental tripe 'Martian Child', I suffered some remorse. Not about that particular movie, which I am fairly certain will be as craptastic as it's trailer. No, days later, I saw the trailer for 'Grace is Gone'.

    I said to myself 'Holy fuck, you've gone and made fun of the asshole, and now he will be nominated for a fucking award.' Not win, mind you, but be nominated for one. As things are going though, that seems pretty far from certain. Anyway, I actually wanted to see this depress'o'rama. However, this gives me pause.

    Now, I understand that nobody wants to be judged by something they did years ago, but COME ON! He is totally dissing 'Better Off Dead'. He sucks! I swear to all that is holy, if I ever run into the motherfucker, however slight that chance may be, he'll be getting another 'Two dollars'! Nothing I like better than pissing someone off, especially pretentious fucks who don't seem to understand that it's the movies he hates that really were his best.

    Oh, Fuck. Don't tell me you thought Must Love Dogs was good.

    Posted by barfly at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 11, 2007

    Cougars on holiday in Kenya

    Just when you thought it was safe to go to Africa...

    Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64.

    They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is "just full of big young boys who like us older girls."

    Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.

    Allie and Bethan -- who both declined to give their full names -- said they planned to spend a whole month touring Kenya's palm-fringed beaches.

    A whole month touring beaches? Like hell. These two cougars are spending all their time sexing up every hot young stud they can find. Which makes me think of Cocoon for some reason.

    And that makes me want to retch. Either that or buy a ticket for Kenya. I honestly can't decide.

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

    Human evolution is accelerating...

    Just in time for the next round of bullshit about intelligent design comes word from scientists (people smarter than you and I) that human evolution is accelerating and that people all over the world are becoming more and more dissimilar to other folks.

    All anyone had to do was look at Connecticut native and current President George Bush to know that was true. He's about as close genetically to normal humans as chimpanzees. Perhaps he's some kind of evolutionary dead end? Wait. I'm kind of off the point, aren't I? Damn, I really need to quit drinking during the day.

    Apparently, some populations are experiencing genetic changes that are mostly related to diet and environment (Europeans are now better able to digest dairy as adults and Africans now have genetic resistance to malaria) far faster than previously thought, providing a real world, historically provable proof for the theory of evolution. It also proves that the political management at TEA is pretty dumb. Why? Because you can track the changes than date them in specific populations.

    Which is something you can't do with intelligent design. That's would be a bit like trying to rationalize the decision make process used by the political leadership at TEA. It would drive you crazy, you'd ultimately fail and it's a rather foolish thing to bother with.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Breaking : Fed cuts Discount, Funds rate 25 bps

    Statement:

    US financial prospects continue to decline as a result of fallout from the mortgage industry. Concerns are biased toward inflation (which is why the cut was only 25 bps). The US economy overall continues to be strong despite the problems in the financial sector.

    The surprising thing is that the discount rate (the Fed to bank lending rate) was only cut 25 bps and not more. The real problem in financial services right now is the lack of liquidity on banks' balance sheets as most of the majors have been forced to move mortgage assets from level one to level three capital. A cut in the discount rate would have allowed banks to leverage off the Fed's balance sheet with oversight. Which would have freed up liquidity and helped liquefy the market.

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

    A very special Special

    Yes, turning the Lege blue is important and voters in Tarrant County have the first opportunity of the new cycle. Early voting has begun in the special election between Dan Barrett and some Republican douche. So, if you're in Tarrant County (and I know some of you are... I CAN traceback your IP's, you know) get out early and vote for the man the Star Telegram endorsed.

    To paraphrase Barrett from a League of Women Voters forum, District 97 voters who think things are hunky-dory in Austin should vote for Shelton.

    Unfortunately, the last legislative session was far from hunky or dory. Although Barrett is a realist in admitting that he alone, as a freshman legislator, can't change the status quo, he just might make a difference as part of a growing body of lawmakers who represent a growing number of Texans who are dissatisfied with House leadership.

    The Star-Telegram recommends Dan Barrett in the Dec. 18 runoff for Texas House District 97.

    Oh, yeah... and the TPA endorsed him as well. The other good news is that military voters are swinging wildly to the Democrats, along with the shift in Latino vote. Two things that bode well for Democrats all over Texas.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Gold Stars - Denise Davis

    [This year, in addition to recognizing its Texan of the Year (which will come this Friday), the Texas Progressive Alliance elected to recognize a number of other Texans who have contributed to Texas politics and the Progressive cause during 2007. This week, leading up to the TOY announcement, we bring you our Texas Progressive Alliance Gold Stars (one each day through Thursday). Yesterday, we recognized Rick & Melissa Noriega. Our Silver Stars, announced last week, may be found here.]

    Denise DavisDenise Davis. Few stories this year enthralled the politically astute like the ongoing turmoil in the Texas House of Representatives. From the Speaker's race at the onset of the 80th Legislative Session to Rep. Pat Haggerty's call for members who wanted to remove House Speaker Tom Craddick to take the keys to their voting machines and follow him out of the chamber at the end of the session, this year was a watershed moment in Texas political history. While there were many elected officials who deserve (and, indeed, will receive) recognition and historical remembrance for the parts they played in the pageant of chaos that was the 80th Texas Legislature, one other individual--who happens not to be an elected official--also deserves to be recognized for the role she played in the unprecedented drama. Denise Davis, the former Parliamentarian of the Texas House of Representatives was never an uncontroversial figure. Throughout her tenure--which lasted for nearly three sessions--some Democrats privately criticized Davis for some of her rulings and believed her to be an unrepentant loyalist to House Speaker Tom Craddick. That changed near midnight on May 25, 2007 when Denise Davis walked out of the Parliamentarian's Office and into the pages of history. Around 9 .m. that night, after House Democratic Leader Jim Dunnam attempted to get Craddick to recognize a motion to vacate the chair, Craddick walked off the dais and left the House in utter chaos, 'adjourned' until 11 p.m. What happened in the interim to some degree remains a blur, although one thing is clear: Parliamentarian Denise Davis (and her deputy, Chris Griesel) resigned, and House Speaker Tom Craddick appointed two enforcer-thugs to take their place. Denise Davis departed House Speaker Tom Craddick's service that night rather than legitimize his dictator-like hold over the Texas House. It is a move that took courage, because the full weight of Craddick's office--in attempts to keep her quiet about what happened in those last days--came down upon her and demanded she say nothing about her tenure publicly. While Davis, for her own reasons, has not spoken about what happened in those last days and hours of her tenure, one thing is sure: when the history of the 80th Legislature is written, amidst the legislators who will occupy the pages of the texts that tell this story, there will be one other person whose part will be recognized, and that person will be Denise Davis--for her courage.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Is it just me...

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket...or is this a really stupid idea? I mean, isn't this what a BlackBerry and/or an IPhone are for?

    And I'm not even going to begin to rip on the assface design or the lack of a color screen. Idiots.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 10, 2007

    Jokes of My Father's : Not Safe For Work

    The email he just sent had the subject line Merry Christmas and in the body it said "Ho, Ho and More Ho". I'm posting the image in the email for the straight boys and lesbians who read the blog. God knows it doesn't do a thing for me, but I'm sure y'all will enjoy it. AGAIN, this is not safe for work...

    breast wishes.jpg

    My father continues to prove that denial is not just a river in Egypt.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Gold Stars - Rick and Melissa Noriega

    This year, in addition to recognizing its Texan of the Year (which will come this Friday), the Texas Progressive Alliance elected to recognize a number of other Texans who have contributed to Texas politics and the Progressive cause during 2007. This week, leading up to the TOY announcement, we bring you our Texas Progressive Alliance Gold Stars (one each day through Thursday).

    Rick & Melissa NoriegaRick and Melissa Noriega. These two Houston Democrats could easily be called Texas' new Political Power Couple. Melissa Noriega made news early this year with her run for the Houston City Council seat vacated by Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who resigned the seat to assume the last six weeks of former Congressman Tom DeLay's term in 2006. Through a special election, a runoff, and a general election battle to win the seat for a full term, Melissa Noriega's progressive message endeared her to Houston voters, earned her statewide media recognition, and helped mark her as part of a new generation of progressive leaders with statewide potential. Rick Noriega's story is one that is also well known. A veteran of the "War on Terror," Rick Noriega started generating buzz early in 2007 as a number of progressive Netroots activists and bricks-and-mortar Democratic activists created a movement to "draft" Noriega into the Democratic Party's race for United States Senate. Rick Noriega answered the call to service and threw his hat into the ring to take on John Cornyn and the Texas Republican machine in the 2008 election in spite of the fact that he could have easily won reelection to his seat in the Texas Legislature or even run for another office where the fight would have been small to none. Instead, he had the courage to stand up for all Texans and say enough is enough. A true people-powered candidate, Rick Noriega, along with Melissa Noriega, have both made significant sacrifices to serve the people of Texas. For this and many other reasons, the Texas Progressive Alliance is pleased to recognize Rick and Melissa Noriega among its 2007 Gold Stars.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Huckabee : Put 'em on uh eyelund

    "My administration will be the first to have an overarching strategy for dealing with HIV and AIDS here in the United States, with a partnership between the public and private sectors that will provide necessary financing and a realistic path toward our goals," Huckabee said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site last month.

    And now we have an idea what that strategy is...


    In 1992, Mike Huckabee, while running for US Senate, said that all AIDS patients should be quarantined and that further federal funding should be frozen because it was already too large compared to federal funding for research on other diseases. He went on to suggest that if celebrities like Madonna and Liz Taylor wanted more research, they should dip into their own wealth to pay for it.

    Now, let's dissect... AIDS research funding has absolutely never come close to what is spent on cancer research annually. That's true today and it was true in 1992. So, why did Mike Huckabee choose to lie about how much we were spending? Could it be he was hoping to make political hay off people who were sick and dying? He certainly wouldn't be the first Republican to do that.

    As for the quarantine... Mike had this to say:

    Huckabee said Saturday that his comments came at a time when "the AIDS crisis was just that — a crisis. We didn't know exactly all the details of how extensive it was going to be. There was just a real panic in this country. If I were making those same comments today, I might make them a little differently."

    Bullshit, Mike. Mike recommended quarantine because doctors were, according to him, uncertain about methods of transmission. In 1992. When it was already common knowledge that it was a fluid borne disease and could only be spread through sexual contact or transfusion. About the only thing we were uncertain about in 1992 was the longevity of grunge. How to control AIDS was already well known.

    You can choose to excuse Huckabee as just another dumb hick from Arkansas but it's not the case. He's not stupid and you shouldn't fault him for being stupid. If anything, he's willfully ignorant, which makes him the perfect representative of the Republican party. You could also say he's bigoted. That would be entirely accurate.

    It's telling that only with a Republican presidential field this weak would this cracker still be on anyones radar.

    (H/T to PinkDome)

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

    "I'll Take Things I Don't Know About American History For A Thousand, Alex"

    Who could make me miss Scotty McLiar and Tony Snowjob?

    Bobo's latest press secetary, Dana "Chicken of the Sea" Perino, that's who.

    Appearing on National Public Radio's quiz show, "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me," this weekend, Perino admitted a story she'd previously only shared in private: When a reporter asked her a question during a White House briefing in which he referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- she didn't know what it was.

    "I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

    Under further questioning, it was learned that Perino remembered the Alamo but had forgotten the Maine. She also recalled the Spirit of St Louis as a short-lived ABC sitcom starring Gavin McLeod.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Hey Big Spender

    Coby over at Bay Area Houston has expanded on his Spending Campaign Cash series and is now working on County Commissioners, specifically, Republican Harris County Commissioner Eversole who likes to spend his campaign cash on fancy leather outfits. So far, Coby hasn't found a sling purchased during his fetish shopping spree.

    Now it appears that the Harris County DA is looking into Mr. Eversole!

    Hey Coby! Take a look at Gerry Daugherty's campaign finance reports! I wonder if you'll find something interesting other than trips to that shitty Mulligan's place in Lakeway.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 09, 2007

    The Big O

    Oprah Winfrey, who, if she was a country would have a GDP larger than that of Belgium, has taken on a new project. Using her marketing juggernaut, which already made James Frey a best-selling author and Doctor Phil the most trusted man in all the land, Oprah has now decided to make Barack Obama the next President of Earth.

    Winfrey hit the campaign trail this weekend with stops in Iowa and South Carolina, drawing enormous crowds anxious to see Oprah, touch the hem of her garment, maybe, who knows, even drive away in a brand new car. Oh yeah, Obama got to say a few words too.

    Will the Oprah campaign succeed in turning the star-struck multitudes into votes? We'll be finding out in about a month. Meanwhile, I'll be pondering a couple of questions:

    Who would win in a knife fight between Oprah and Barbra Streisand?

    And is it too early to be nostalgic for the days when candidates were merely sold like brands of soap?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Just in time for this year's War on Christmas

    I love propaganda clumsily disguised as pop music! By the way... 'God's Law'? I think the real problem in America today is that too many 'Christians' are more familiar with the Old Testament than the New Testament.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 08, 2007

    TPA Awards

    Since 2005, the Texas Progressive Alliance has named a "Texan of the Year" to give recognition to one worthy Texan who has made a significant contribution to the world of politics or the progressive cause.

    For our Third Annual Texan of the Year Awards, the Texas Progressive Alliance elected to not only name a Texan of the Year--the Texan or Texans who contributed the most to the cause of the Progressive movement in 2007--but also recognize other Texans whose contributions were also important to the Progressive cause and worthy of recognition.

    The Texan of the Year will be announced next Friday, December 14. Between now and then, the Texas Progressive Alliance will announce its list of Texans whose contributions to the progressive cause it believed worthy of special recognition. This begins today, with the announcement of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Silver Stars. Starting Monday, four additional "Gold Stars" will be announced followed by the TOY on Friday.

    Without further ado, here are the 2007 Texas Progressive Alliance Silver Stars (in alphabetical order):

    bbTexas Ranger Brian Burzynski. It has been said that persistence is as much a virtue as patience. Inasmuch as that is so, it is also true that persistence pays off. In the case of Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski, persistence also saved thousands of Texas children from a certain Hell at the Texas Youth Commission. For nearly two years, starting in 2005, Burzynski investigated allegations of sexual misconduct in Texas' juvenile prison system. He was rebuffed by state authorities, local prosecutors, and even the United States Department of Justice. In spite of these rebuffs, Burzynski continued to push his case--investigating, making noise, not letting go, and never taking 'no' for an answer. The end result? It broke open one of the largest criminal justice scandals in the history of Texas and brought forward a flood of legislative reforms, and victims. For this and more, the Texas Progressive Alliance is pleased to confer upon Ranger Brian Burzynski a 2007 Texas Progressive Alliance Silver Star.

    hgHank Gilbert. When Hank Gilbert's race for agriculture commissioner ended last November, he kept on going. During his 2006 campaign, Gilbert promised Texans that--win or lose--he wouldcontinue to fight against toll roads, mandatory animal ID legislation, and international corporations that threatened the citizens of Texas. Gilbert organized a Texas Independence Day March on Austin. Working with farmers, ranchers, Democratic activists, and disillusioned landowners, brought nearly 1,000 Texans to Austin to testify against the Trans Texas Corridor at a session of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security the day before the march. Thousands more Texans showed up the next day to continue the fight. Gilbert has been instrumental in forming a statewide umbrella organization of anti-toll groups to continue the fight against toll-enabling legislation. As a director for Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, he continues to travel the state and nation speaking out against the takeover of taxpayer funded infrastructure by private interests. For this and more, the Texas Progressive Alliance proudly names Hank Gilbert recipient of a 2007 Texas Progressive Alliance Silver Star.

    crCongressman Ciro Rodriguez. In 2006, Ciro Rodriguez was the "come back kid" of Texas Politics, winning a seat in congress after a runoff about the time the Texan of the Year for 2006 was announced. This year, Rodriguez took office as part of the first Democratic congress in nearly a generation, and has served his San Antonio-based district honorably. His race is considered one of national Republicans' top targets, although Rodriguez's constituent services and his support from Democratic Leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will no doubt help him retain the district.

    Texas Bloggers Who Made A Difference. This year, for the first time, Texas Bloggers determined that some of their own were worthy of special recognition for their work during 2007: John Cobarruvias (Bay Area Houston Blog); Vince Leibowitz (Capitol Annex); Edmundo "Xicano Power" Roca (XicanoPwr); and Sharon Wilson (TxSharon of BlueDaze). A note on each blogger:

    John Cobarruvias has almost single handedly changed the way Texas legislators use and report their campaign/officeholder expenses. Because he has held their feet to the fire through his Spending Campaign Cash series, organizing a group of volunteers to file complaints against offending legislators and urging media to report on spending abuses, legislators have cleaned up their acts. The Texas Ethics Commission has issued written reminders to legislators about the very problems with reporting expenses that Cobarruvias uncovered.

    vlVince Leibowitz. As the 80th Session of the Texas Legislature ended in turmoil--with parliamentarians resigning, a walk-out, and two stooges of House Speaker Tom Craddick on the dais as officers of the Texas House, Leibowitz decided that the whole story of those final days wasn't being told and started digging. Through public information requests, he uncovered a sheaf of documents from House Speaker Tom Craddick's office that helped piece together exactly what happened in those final hours. No main-stream media outlet had dug into this, and Leibowitz's work broke new ground and proved that House Speaker Tom Craddick's actions were the premeditated acts of a Speaker on the edge.

    Edmundo Rocha. Blending lends heavy-handed social critiques, local and national politics, and a heaping dose of common sense in his blog, Edmundo Rocha tackles heavy topics like imigration, teenage pregnancy, racial and gender politics, and backs up everything with a sense of style and spirit. With a loyal and unwavering audience (his Texan of the Year nomination, in fact, was suggested in the comments of a blog by one of Edmundo's readers), Rocha has rapidly become one of the state's most prominent Latino bloggers. No issue is too tough, and none taboo for this blogger.
    swSharon Wilson. Most Texans don't know what the Texas Railroad Commission is or does. In 2007, one Texas blogger changed that: Sharon Wilson. Wilson's reporting on the injection well drilling in the Barnett Shale region and its impact on the water quality and the environment in Wise County and surrounding areas has been exceedingly important to bringing wider attention to the dangers this practice poses across the state. Wilson has nearly single-handedly stood up to large oil companies and made the companies and state agencies--including the Texas Railroad Commission--take notice. Relentless in her drive to educate the public and elected officials to the damage being done to the Texas environment, Wilson's investigative reporting and blogging is worthy of recognition.


    lsgTexas Legislative Study Group. The policy clearinhouse for Progressives, the Texas Legislative Study Group is full of unsung heroes. Policy analysts who help Legislators keep up with the more than 50 bills that come up a day in the Texas House, the Texas Legislative Study Group and its policy analysts could perhaps be considered the most important behind-the-scenes players in the legislative process when it comes to safeguarding progressive principles. Legislators carry their reports around on the House floor like bibles. Their arguments against the Appropriations Bill, some versions of Jessica Law, and the Castle Doctrine were masterful. Also important to note is that the brilliant minds behind the work of the LSG aren't aged policy veterans, but rather among the best Texas minds of more recent generations, "Generation X" in particular. The men and women who daily toil at the LSG are indeed the men and women who will shape Texas public policy for generations into the future.

    tbpTexBlog PAC. Started by just a handful of Texas progressive bloggers, TexBlog PAC has harnessed the energy of the online community. In a state with one of the largest netroots communities in America--and the most vibrant progressive blogosphere, TexBlog PAC is poised to build on victories bloggers helped happen in 2004 and 2006. Having already raised over $10,000 in its initial months, the PAC will play a key role for Democrats as we try to take back the House in 2008.


    dvoDavid Van Os. Following his defeat in the 2006 Attorney General's race, Van Os made good on his promise to "keep fighting 'em on ice." From helping groups like TURF in their fight against the private takeover of government infrastructure to helping workers who were intimidated when nooses started showing up in their workplace (securing the removal of both the noose and the supervisor), Van Os hasn't stopped fighting for working Texans. In addition, from musicians to probation officers to non-profit workers, Van Os has continued his life's work on behalf of the working men and women of Texas.


    mvState Representative Mike Villarreal. In 2003, many were ready to write Mike Villarreal's political obituary. Fast forward to 2007, and Villarreal has become one of the Progressive leaders in the Texas House of Representatives. Authoring legislation that would have made created contribution limits for political candidates and an independent redistricting commission, Villarreal took a lead with these progressive issues. In addition, Villarreal took a lead on GLBT rights by authoring HB 900, which would have provided protections from discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression for the GLBT community. This, coupled with the compromise he sought to proffer when Republicans tried to take over the House and suspend the constitutional provision concerning the consideration of legislation early in the session, make Villarreal worthy of recognition.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 07, 2007

    Sadun endorses Grant

    Dan Grant gained the endorsement of Lorenzo Sadun on Wednesday. Sadun ran as a write-in for CD 10 in 2004.

    I am happy to endorse Dan Grant for Congress in the 10th District of Texas. Dan's experience makes him supremely qualified to be a Congressman in a time of war, and his temperament will make him a tremendous Representative in peacetime.

    The biggest challenge we face is the war in Iraq. Dan's 18 months under fire in Iraq, helping the Iraqis manage their elections, give him a unique perspective on what can and can't be done. For the last 3 years, Michael McCaul has blindly supported every blunder that the Bush administration has made in Iraq. Dan Grant can see through the lies, and he isn't afraid to speak the truth. In an election with the Iraq war as the central issue, there is no stronger candidate than Dan Grant.

    Serving in Congress means more than just voting against the war. A true Representative listens to his district, does his homework, and acts to help his constituents. Unlike Michael McCaul, whose constituent service is nonexistent, Dan Grant learned constituent service as an aide to the master, Jake Pickle. He is humble enough to learn what he doesn't already know, and he is committed to using his position to help real people with real problems.

    Any Democrat would be a huge improvement on Michael McCaul, but Dan Grant isn't just "any Democrat". His Texas roots and Texas-sized heart, coupled with a world of experience, make him uniquely qualified.

    Lorenzo Sadun
    (former) Democrat for Congress, TX-10
    (always) Democrat for Texas

    This is the third endorsement for Grant that has impressed me. First Hank, then Ted and now Lorenzo. Excellent work, Team Grant!

    CORRECTION 12/10/2007 - I just rec'd word from a reader that 2006 CD 10 Candidate Ted Ankrum has not endorsed in this race and I apologize for the error?

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Economy : No! Don't.Say.The.R.Word!

    'Advanced Manufacturing' is something that Labor Sec'y. Elaine Chao is really excited about. We used to call it final assembly, but Frank Luntz has been hard at work helping the Bush Admin to spin this pig of an economy. Elaine thinks this will save the US economy. Of course, by the time it's clear it won't, Elaine will be off on to a consulting gig. And trust me, no one on Wall St. will miss her or her pollyanna economic analysis.

    Here's what's out today

  • Non farm payrolls are in for November at 94k, full 60k less than the US needs to maintain static employment levels. Which means that over the past 6 months, we haven't hit static levels in any month. Unemployment held steady, mostly because the government is running those #'s in a really funky way. For one, after about 12 weeks you fall off the count whether or not you have a job. Which makes the Admin look good but hides how bad things really are
  • University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment falls from 76.1 in November to 74.5 in December. The dollar falls still further
  • Household income was marginally higher than expected, but still anemic and running behind inflation when you count food and energy prices. Which the Government doesn't.
  • But what about the subprime fix-it from Treasury Sec'y Paulson? Too little, too late. To paraphrase Senator Durbin, you have people drowning 20 feet offshore and the Bush Admin just tossed them a 10 foot rope. Not to mention the onerous guidelines for the freeze that are even tougher than those for an FHA loan. Then you throw in what this will do to the debt maket...

    ``If the government goes in and changes contracts it will definitely have a chilling effect on the securitization of mortgages,'' said Milton Ezrati, senior economist and market strategist at Lord Abbett & Co. in Jersey City, New Jersey, which oversees $120 billion in assets. ``When the government comes in and says you have contracted to have this arrangement and you can no longer have it, I think it opens the door for lawsuits.''

    Don't get it? Let me put it this way... you pay a premium for a bond that will deliver dependable principle and interest payments over time. Then the government steps in and renegotiates the contract, giving you less income. Sound fair, right?

    The bottom line is that a freeze isn't going to work, especially not with the economy spiralling the drain. What's needed to actually help people is to refinance them out of these mortgages. FHA Secure was a good first step, but what we need is FHA Modernization which is trapped in the Senate by some Republicans. Because of the perception that it will hurt the private mortgage insurance companies.

    Thanks, Sen. Dole! Way to put your own narrow interests ahead of the rest of the country.


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Buy Toby's House

    Via the Statesman...

    In the market for a home? Futrell is looking for a buyer

    Austin City Manager Toby Futrell is retiring soon, so she and husband Don have put their Nortwest Austin home on the market.

    The 2,500-square-foot house, with four bedrooms and a big pool in the backyard, is on the market for $349,500.

    The Futrells have lived there since 1992. It was a significant upgrade from their first Central Texas house — a partly finished shell that became a five-year, do-it-yourself project.

    The City Council is on a fast track to name a replacement by Jan. 17.

    We've received word that Toby's portal to hell will not convey with the property. Apparently, she'll still be needing it.

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

    Karl comes to make everyone feel better

    Karl Rove was at the Renaissance last night giving a speech at a fundraiser for the R's. The minimum buy in was $150. What's next, y'all? Democratic-style taco bar fundraisers at Panchos? Y'all are seriously becoming the K-Mart of political parties, always marking shit down.

    Anyway, the article in the Schlockman doesn't say much about what he said, other than that

  • Republicans have to reconnect with the grassroots

  • Hillary is a tax and spend librul

  • Hillary won't win anyway
  • The money quote comes from an interior decorator doing a turn as a Railroad Commissioner, Elizabeth Ames Jones

    "If there's a protester in this room, it's going to be because we don't want Karl to stop talking," said Elizabeth Jones, Texas Railroad Commissioner.

    Seriously, is Lizzy as stupid as she appears? First we have her writing op/ed pieces talking about new Spindletop equivalent oil fields all over the US. Now she's wanting to tear up some crappy hotel in NW over Karl Rove? Lizzy, he's the same Rove that has damn near destroyed your party and is one of the most hated people in America.

    Any of you readers who happen to know her feel free to comment. I honestly want to know if she's a mongo.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    And Matthew Shepard dies again...

    According to the AP, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act which was part of the Iraq War Funding bill, has been cut off and left to die.

    Who could have done this, you ask? The Talipublicans? Not so much, as it turns out. They weren't going to vote for it anyway, which would have given us a beautiful attack line against them next fall. Apparently, anti-war D's who won't vote for any war funding bill, even if something that could help protect millions of Americans is attached, killed it by refusing to vote for it.

    So, the hate crimes legislation was stripped off and now the war funding bill will be passed with full Republican and some Democratic support.

    It's hard for me to come down too hard on these folks. Personally, I never liked the fact that this legislation was attached to war funding. Still, the pragmatic part of me realizes this is not a victory. To the Democrats and line- crossing Republicans who voted for it, you have my thanks. To those Democrats who chose to take a stand on principle, I respect you. I may not agree with your decision, but I can respect your reasons for it. Doesn't change the fact that I'm pissed you threw gays and lesbians under the bus to make your point.

    And thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for trying to make this happen and for not giving up on this bill.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 06, 2007

    Dawnna draws a challenger... finally

    Color me thrilled to no end that Austin's own Dawnna Dukes has finally found a challenger to take her on in the primary next March.

    This summer a faction of Austin Democrats tried - and failed - to find Dukes an early opponent. But Brian Thompson, a lawyer who works at McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore and who serves on the Austin Human Rights Commission, said Friday he is being encouraged by Democratic activists to challenge Dukes.

    "We're tired of being represented by a Republican-funded politician who has pledged absolute loyalty to Republican Speaker Tom Craddick and puts her own political ambition and self-interest ahead of the best interests of the good people of East Austin," Thompson said. (AAS)

    There is already a lot of bullshit flying about how wonderful Dawnna has been for the gay and lesbian community, the east Austin community, the film community, etc. Yeah, it's crap from a bunch of people who simply haven't thought things through. For one thing, while she often ends up voting on an issue the right way, you can't ever forget that she's part of the group that put the leadership team in place. The same leadership team that session after session, continues to bring to the floor and pass legislation that will negatively impact east Austin. It's like someone being the key vote to send a bad bill from committee to the floor, then voting against it. You could have stopped it but you didn't. That's Dawnna. As for her helping out the film community... well, so there's one community in east Austin she hasn't lubed up to fuck.

    Don't worry, it'll happen.

    Think I'm harsh? Hell, it's only because I remember that Dawnna went on vacation to France when school finance was up during the 2005 Special. That and I'm tired of making goddamn excuses for her poor decisions and bullshit. Not to mention her spending a Sunday beating up on Will Wynn and others for their, what was it Dawnna? Their poor response and lack of help for the people who came to Austin from NOLA during Katrina? Yeah, that was it. Funny, I don't remember seeing you down there until you were shamed into it. You were too busy bitching and moaning about the people who were working tooth and nail to help folks who'd just lost their homes and endured the pure hell of post-Katrina NOLA. They deserved better than political grandstanding. They deserved your help.

    Fuck you, Dawnna. Fuck you and your hypocrisy, your poor work ethic and your desire to fuck over your constituents, from whom you still expect support. You could have made a difference in funding for CHIP during the past session but you didn't. Many of your constituents know that. That's why they're pissed as hell.

    For those of you offended by a white guy running against an black woman, get over it. If the color of someone's skin is going to determine your support then you need to rethink the whole 'voting for quality' thing because there are bad people in every racial group. Further, I'd ask why the hell you haven't stepped up to run. This district is very racially diverse and any way you slice it, some of you are going to be represented by someone with a different amount of melanin in their skin. If that bothers you, then run. You've got until just after New Years to make up your mind.

    Oh, and for her campaign manager... a word of advice. This was dumb.

    "That whole line of Dawnna voting for Craddick has no traction. It hasn't come up. This is Austin, probably the most politically aware city in the state, and they have no idea who he is."

    The guy is one of the most hated men in the state. Yeah, we know who he is. So do my friends who live in the district. Instead of trying to spin one of the most politically inept votes in the history of Texas politics, why not focus on a real issue... namely the problems with Dawnna's ethics report.

    One last thing... more than likely, there will be a new Speaker on the dais next session. Whoever it is, Democrat or Republican, they probably won't have much use for one of the Democrats who kept CradDICK in power. If Dawnna stays in office then she'll be a real liability to a community that is finally coming into it's own and seeing some long overdue prosperity.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    It's all in the body language

    ¿Quien es más macho?

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sunset asking for input on TXDOT

    Via Sal Costello

    December 5, 2007

    Dear Recipient:

    The Sunset Advisory Commission would like your help in reviewing and improving the State’s transportation system. The Legislature, through the Texas Sunset Act, has charged our Commission with reviewing the mission and performance of the Texas Department of Transportation.

    In general, the Sunset Commission periodically evaluates state agencies to determine if the agency is needed, if it is operating effectively, and if state funds are well spent. Based on the recommendations of the Sunset Commission, the Texas Legislature ultimately decides whether an agency continues to operate into the future. Additional information on the Sunset Commission can be found on our website.

    As part of this agency’s review, we seek the input of organizations and individuals who have an interest in the agency. Please take some time to comment on the attached preliminary issues identified by the Sunset Commission staff as potential research areas. Also, let us know of other issues of interest to you or your organization. Feel free to share copies of this e-mail and the attachment with any others who may have an interest in the Texas Department of Transportation. To help ensure the free flow of information, anything submitted to Sunset staff during the review until the staff report is released is confidential, and will not be shared with anyone outside of Sunset staff.

    To give the staff time to consider your information during our review of the Texas Department of Transportation, we request you send your response by Monday, January 7, 2008. Please mail, e-mail, or fax your comments to the address or fax number provided in the attached Preliminary Issue List. Also, if you need more information or have questions about our process, please contact Jennifer Jones at (512) 463-1300. We greatly appreciate your assistance and look forward to hearing your ideas.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Levine
    Deputy Director
    Sunset Advisory Commission

    How about this... FIRE ALL THE MANAGEMENT AND HIRE PEOPLE WHO CAN ACTUALLY FIX TRANSPORTATION IN THIS STATE, NOT ABDICATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Speaking of Christmas...

    Kuff has this brill video posted from the College D's.

    I don't so much care about debt forgiveness, mostly because I think todays youth would greatly benefit from the cash management and social engineering experience one gains trying to dodge the loan servicing people and stay in a state of perpetual deferment.

    The rest of it pisses me off.

    While we're on the subject of Christmas, some of you (read: 1) have written to ask what I'd like for Christmas. Actually, I don't want anything other than for you to give some money to a few of the Democratic candidates in your neck of the woods. And some money to Rick Noriega.

    Go on, your family can afford to do without one fruitcake from the Collin St. Bakery. You know y'all just pick that nasty fruit shit out of them anyway.

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

    No, not this guy either.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket According a number of sources, former car salesman turned Republican politician Roger Williams is the guy many in the Republican party are thinking about running for Governor in 2008.

    Just one question for the Republicans in the audience who think this craptacular douche would be a good candidate... have y'all lost your damn minds or are you just trying to make it easy for us??!?! Who's next? That nebbish Staples or the irredeemably stupid Combs?

    Roger, right now(this VERY minute!), is working hard on the laughably named Victory 2008 Republican coordinated campaign. Though his fundraising has been lackluster, he's still pressuring donors just like he would a single mom about clear coat. And credit life.

    What pisses me off most is that if he IS the candidate in 2010 Bill White is going to WALK into the mansion. I did at least want him to work for it. Maybe break a sweat every now and then.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The sweet smell of success

    It's always good to see someone finally change bad policy. Congratulations, Sharon!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 05, 2007

    Card calls out Rove

    Remember last week when we told you about Rove's accusation that Democrats in Congress drove the President to war in Iraq? Yeah, I know... we thought he was drunk, too. Either that or he was trying to be funny which is sad because Karl's got the same sense of humor of the opening act at the Shecky Green show in the Catskills ca. 1955.

    Apparently, former White House CoS Andrew Card just thought Karl was lying.

    Former White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. was asked on MSNBC yesterday about Rove's comments but told only that Rove asserted Democrats pushed Bush into war. Card laughed and said that "sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain."

    So did former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

    Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary at the time, said Daschle had pressed Bush over the summer to bring the matter to Congress but for consultation, not necessarily a vote. Bush decided to seek a vote authorizing force, Fleischer said. "It was definitely the Bush administration that set it in motion and determined the timing, not the Congress," he said. "I think Karl in this instance just has his facts wrong."

    That whistling sound you hear are the last shreds of Krazee Karl's credibility falling out of the sky.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Go help Maldonado!

    With Krusee out, the Republicans are lining up candidates in HD 52. Meanwhile, there is a strong Democrat in the race and tonight she's kicking off her campaign...

    Please Join

    Rep. Valinda Bolton, Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Rep. Donna Howard
    Rep. Elliott Naishtat, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Rep. Mark Strama
    Senator Kirk Watson, Hon. Gonzalo & Emma Barrientos
    Hon. David Escamilla, Hon. Margaret Gomez, Hon. John Sharp


    in supporting


    Diana Maldonado


    for State Representative District 52
    Austin, Georgetown, Hutto, Round Rock, Taylor

    Wednesday, December 5, 5 - 8 PM

    Serrano’s at Symphony Square
    1111 Red River Street, Austin
    hors d’oeuvres & refreshments

    Suggested Donation: $25, $50 or $100 (whatever you can afford!)
    Sponsorships
    $1,000, $500, $250, $125

    For information: 637-7268

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Seriously, you've nothing better to do, CradDICK?

    I've spent some time over the last few days reading about CradDICK's interim charges and among them is a voter ID bill. Goddamn if you Republicans aren't going to waste more of my tax dollars on this issue.

    All of you Republicans voters out there need to be aware of what that fucked-in-the-head old man is wasting your time on. There isn't a damn problem with voter fraud anywhere in Texas, other than in the mind of that nutjob Tax Assessor Collector in Harris County (anyone remember douchie's name?).

    Of course, the interim charges aren't all bad... CradDICK's other hot issue, which he stole from Hank Gilbert, is eminent domain and the TTC. This is the same CradDICK that in 2003 helped push through the legislation that enabled the TTC. It's always good to see he's now coming around to thinking like a Democrat on this but it's a little late in the game. The fact that he worked so hard to push this in 2003, 2005 and then to stand in the way of fixing it in 2007 make his recent conversion more than little suspect. I would call it pandering, but that's kind of insulting to panderers the world over. This is just him trying to salvage his Speakership and his moribund party.

    Speaking of the Republican Party of Texas, what are they concerned about? Making that idiot Railroad Commissioner Mike Williams look good and doing a puff piece on Debbie Riddle. They're trying to rehab Williams by making sure he says nothing about a subject he knows less than nothing about, namely the Railroad Commission on which he sits. In Debbie's case, they are trying to make her sound competent even though everyone knows that Jessica's Law, which the RPT credits to her, was really the work of Hartnett and Gattis who had to jump in and fix the bill that Debbie thoroughly screwed up.

    Seriously, y'all, the Lege is considered by many to be a joke because of people like CradDICK and Debbie Riddle. Now we know the Mongos of Midland aren't going to vote against him. Which means that people of Texas have to. The next step is for the House, during the next session, to shun him. It's up to the members of the Lege to restore the integrity of the body.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Let the filing begin!

    Looks like Texas will finally have a Senator from both parties! Rick Noriega made his campaign for US Senate official Monday...

    We enter this campaign under no illusions. Few people today, if asked, recognize the name Rick Noriega. But when you go beyond the superficial questions, you'll find that millions share what our campaign stands for. This campaign is not about making my name a household name. It's not about a Democrat versus a Republican. It's not about two people, Rick Noriega versus John Cornyn. As we prepare to spend the next 11 months traveling this state, we plan to talk about who this campaign is really for. This campaign is for the moms, dads, and grandparents who are caring for the children of troops who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over and over again. It's for our veterans who have served our country, but return home and carry on without adequate medical care, or health insurance for their children. And it's for the countless Texas families who work hard, yet find that health insurance, and college, and housing remain just out of reach.

    For them, we can no longer call this an Exploratory Campaign. This is a mission to reclaim our United States Senate seat. This is a mission to restore true Texas values. There will be those who sit back and judge from the sidelines. But week-by-week, month-by-month, they will be outnumbered by the regular Texans who are ready to reclaim America's global standing, Texas' true values, and the United States Senate seat that belongs not to the politicians, but to the people.

    Matt has more about others around Texas who filing to run as Democrats and Vince has a great post up about the TPA's endorsement of Dan Barrett in Fort Worth. As a member blog and a board member I'm extremely pleased about this endorsement and hope the special election on the 18th will cement a trend to blue that people in Tarrant County are already seeing.

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

    Xerox needs you (to thank the troops)!

    Via Hal at Half Empty comes a new service from Xerox to let all of us slobs sitting on our asses send a thank you note to the troops in the middle east. Whatever your opinion of Bush and this war, these men and women are doing their jobs as best they can. Take just a moment and say thanks!

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

    December 04, 2007

    United Russia wins but things look bleak

    Yeah, by now you've probably heard that Putin and United Russia (the political party that put him front and center), swept the recent parliamentary elections in Russia with the Communists providing the only serious opposition. Seriously, the communists? Let me get this straight... you guys are voting for the party that fucked y'all up for over 70 years? I guess it proves that there are stupid people in every corner of the world.

    UR swept with 60% of the votes which will allow them to functionally control the Parliament and hands Putin a great big 'Good Job, guy!' as he leaves office early next year. And why shouldn't they be saying 'good job'? Sure, Putin (much like Bush) has curtailed civil liberties but he's also got the economy running and people are doing better than at any time in the past 30 years.

    At least the Russians got broadbased economic growth out of their deal with the devil.

    The interesting thing is that this is truly a high point for Putin and UR. Which means that their 60% isn't quite as strong as it looks.

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

    Rick Noriega in the NYT? Hot Shit.

    It may be a stub but it should be in the dead tree version, too. Great job!

    Rick Noriega, a five-term Democratic state lawmaker, formally began his bid to unseat Senator John Cornyn, making it clear that he would use his stature as a National Guard officer to criticize the Iraq war. “We are in an occupation of a country currently,” Mr. Noriega said. “The American people are tired of being misled and misinformed.” Mr. Noriega, a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard, spent 14 months in Afghanistan.

    Posted by spamburgler at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Vets being shoved aside

    This is some bullshit...Apparently, the numbers of Veterans arrested for drug and alcohol abuse in Travis Count have jumped dramatically. That's the obvious issue but the underlying cause is far more disturbing.

    Because of the symptoms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other psychiatric problems developed while in combat, veterans have succumbed to alcohol or drug abuse. This is frequently an attempt to self medicate the pain. This typically results in a dishonorable discharge, which denies any veteran VA benefits. As such veterans are thrown into the civilian population, their drug and alcohol abuse continues, yet they have no way to seek treatment for the abuse and/or their severe psychiatric problems. Furthermore, it is very difficult for veterans with dishonorable discharges to gain employment. Thus the downward spiral continues with no apparent way out.

    The second problem is equally bad, but much more despicable. What is happening is that veterans returning from combat deployments take the right steps to receive treatment for PTSD and other lingering mental issues. In some of these instances, the military has pressured (coerced) the service members to sign a document stating that their mental condition was pre-existing. Such veterans are then discharged, and again denied access to VA benefits (because their disability is classified as existing prior to the military). The two primary ways these service members have been so coerced are:

    1) Military members are threatened with disciplinary action. Their fragile psychiatric condition makes it very difficult for them to challenge this threat. In addition, they are pressured into signing such papers, with the "promise" that once signed, they will be discharged, and not be in further trouble. (They of course cannot get in legal trouble for having a psychiatric disorder, though when so pressured, they do not realize that this is the case).

    2) The second form of coercion involves a horrible play on the condition of the service member. They are told that if they do not sign the document, their discharge will take longer. The nature of their illness is often such that they see the military as a cause of their pain, and are willing to sign away their benefits so that they can be immediately discharged.

    This is a real problem nationally that's leading to extremely high suicide rates among our returning troops. The sad part is that it seems to be directed from the Administration down through DoD to classify as many Vets as possible this way to cut down on benefit payments over the next 50-60 years.

    This is an absolutely inexcusable situation and one which people in liberal Austin seem to be taking seriously and working to address. The only question is why Republicans think their support of the troops begins and ends with the magnetic ribbon on their car? Is it any wonder that recruitment is going so badly?


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    In which the rationale for invading Iran...

    ...evaporates.

    A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb. Senator Harry Reid said the assessment was “directly challenging some of this administration’s alarming rhetoric” on Iran.

    The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

    The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely to keep its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    All around Texas with the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Also, as a special note, the Texas Progressive Alliance would like to announce that the time has come to announce its 2007 Texan of the Year. This year's Texan of the Year process will be a little different than in years past. We've got a full slate of Texas Silver Stars (our Honorable Mentions), and four runner-ups (Texas Gold Stars) and, of course, a Texan of the Year. We'll start by announcing the Texas Silver Stars on Friday, December 7. Then, each day from December 10 through December 13 we'll announce a Gold Star, followed by our Texan of the Year on Friday, December 14. So be sure to check your favorite TPA blog starting this coming Friday to see who our picks are for our Texan of the Year!

    What happens when it rains and containers holding lethal chemicals overflow into creek beds? See How Are Injection Well and Gas Coupling Inspections Alike? for another example of RRC negligence that puts Texans at risk. Brought to you by TXsharon at Bluedaze.

    Refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left shares his memories of loved one lost to AIDS in his World AIDS Day diary and podcast.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News observes the devolving of Texas Education.

    Jaye at Winding Road asks "What if abortion is outlawed in a Republican administration?"

    Xanthippas at Three Wise Men informs you that when it's the National Football League versus Big Cable, the only loser is you.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the Interim Charges for committees of the Texas House in the 80th Legislature in three posts, as well as Tom Craddick's views on the charges.

    The Texas GOP is gearing up a sophisticated voter suppression effort for the 2008 elections. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs forwards the Lone Star Project's comprehensive report.

    The Texas Cloverleaf tells us that TxDOT can no longer plead poverty! It just received a Christmas gift of $3.197 Billion from NTTA for the rights to build SH 121 Toll.

    Hal at Half Empty reports that the Republican Party of Fort Bend County has taken a radical shift to the right as neoconservative evangelicals have taken over their county party leadership.

    Lightseeker at Texas Kaos looks at the mess Texas Education Agency has become with TEA: We must remain neutral on junk science theory. This should be enough to make parents either vote or move to get their kids out of the Texas school systems.

    Matt Glazer at Burnt Orange Report talks about the Texas Internet Revolution and the good publicity TexBlog PAC has been getting recently.

    Stunned about the tuition increases at UT Law? So was Closet Purist at McBlogger who takes a detailed look at how UT Law compares to Harvard and Yale and asks, what do you get for the money?

    You may have heard the right-wing echo chamber saying that the surge is working in Iraq, or that things are going better now. Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal gives us the real deal in "Some Perspective on the Surge."

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that federal rules allow ferry
    security guards to sleep on the job
    . Republicans say they care about security, but prove they don't.

    Off the Kuff exercises his privilege as a blogger to nitpick an article about the rise of the netroots in Texas.

    Eye On Williamson takes a look at the retirement of Rep. Mike Krusee in Why We Won't Have Mike Krusee To Kick Around Anymore.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Incompetent Leadership

    First, the Republicans screwed up the Ag Commission. Then they moved their people into TXDOT and the appointees only brill idea was to throw up their hands, say 'We can't do the job' and abdicate responsibility for our roads by seeking to privatize public roads, selling them off in most cases to the lowest bidder (or at least trying to...). Let's not even get started about the disastrous effort to privatize HHS and what Susan Combs is doing at the Comptroller's office.

    Now we've found out about all kinds of problems at the TEA, specifically the idiotic political appointees making irrational decisions to fire a long time and highly talented permanent employee. For doing her job. Oh, I'm sorry... she was given the choice to resign or be fired. My bad.

    The state's director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.

    Chris Comer, who has been the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum for more than nine years, offered her resignation this month.

    In documents obtained Wednesday through the Texas Public Information Act, agency officials said they recommended firing Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. But Comer said she thinks political concerns about the teaching of creationism in schools were behind what she describes as a forced resignation.

    Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.

    Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation being given by Barbara Forrest, author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse," a book that says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Forrest was also a key witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case concerning the introduction of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania school district. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities, saying, "FYI."

    Agency officials cited the e-mail in a memo recommending her termination. They said forwarding the e-mail not only violated a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review, "it directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science."

    The memo adds, "Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral."

    Must remain neutral? Why? We already have a federal court on record saying that intelligent design is not science and that evolution is. What's there to be neutral about?

    Yeah, this is all a bunch of crap and this person should be reinstated post haste. And get rid of the idiot that forced her out. Let her go to work with Arlene Wohlgemuth figuring out a way to screw up something else.


    See Kuff, Pink Dome, Capital Annex, Hal at Half Empty and Wired for their takes.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 03, 2007

    Two takes on $100/bbl oil

    Friedman over at the NYT has a brill piece about how much a $1.00 increase in the gas tax would have helped the economy and started the long process of weening us off oil.

    “Think about it,” says Phil Verleger, an energy economist. “We could have replaced the current payroll tax with a gasoline tax. Middle-class consumers would have seen increased take-home pay of between six and nine percent, even though they would have had to pay more at the pump. A stronger foundation for future economic growth would have been laid by keeping more oil revenue home, and we might not now be facing a recession.”

    As a higher gas tax discouraged oil consumption, the Harvard University economist and former Bush adviser N. Gregory Mankiw has argued: “the price of oil would fall in world markets. As a result, the price of gas to [U.S.] consumers would rise by less than the increase in the tax. Some of the tax would in effect be paid by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.”

    But U.S. consumers would have known that, with a higher gasoline tax locked in for good, pump prices would never be going back to the old days, adds Mr. Verleger, so they would have a much stronger incentive to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and Detroit would have had to make more hybrids to survive. This would have put Detroit five years ahead of where it is now. “It’s called the America wins program,” said Mr. Verleger, “instead of the petro-states win program.”

    We simply cannot go on being as dumb as we wanna be. If you hate the war in Iraq, then you want a gasoline tax so you can argue that we can pull out of there without remaining dependent on an even more unstable region. If you want to see us negotiate with Iran, not bomb it, you want a gasoline tax that will give us some real leverage by helping to reduce the income of the ayatollahs.

    This piece dovetailed nicely with this one in the WaPo regarding the geopolitics of $100/bbl oil. Not surprisingly, he thinks that part of this would be solved with higher energy taxes. Because from what we've seen in Europe and Japan, that's what you need to start people on a path to conservation.


    At some point, higher prices will dampen demand; changes in the weather and business cycle could also lead to lower prices. Still, a major turning point has been reached. Until now, oil's main geopolitical threat lay in the concentration of reserves in the unstable Persian Gulf. Supply disruptions (1973, 1979-80, 1990) coincided with wars and revolutions. Otherwise, surplus capacity cushioned losses from accidents and weather. Now, most of that surplus has vanished. The pivotal year was 2004, when global demand, propelled by China, rose about triple the expected rate, says Larry Goldstein of the Energy Policy Research Foundation.

    So the tightened gap between supply and demand has shifted power to producers. "Will competition for scarce resources lead to political or even military clashes among major powers?" asks a report by the National Petroleum Council. "Will bilateral arrangements among nations become common as governments attempt to 'secure' energy supplies outside of traditional market mechanisms?"

    Here is what we might do: Raise fuel economy standards for new cars and trucks; gradually increase the gas tax (possibly offset with tax cuts) to induce people to buy those vehicles; expand oil and natural gas production in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. These steps would, with time, temper the power of oil producers while also checking greenhouse gases. But many liberals, conservatives and environmentalists oppose parts of a sensible compromise. The stalemate hurts mainly us.

    We have absolutely got to find a way out of this mess and we're not going to do it with new drilling and exploration, despite the idiotic opinion of a certain interior decorator who fancies herself knowledgeable about the oil and gas industry.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    John Davis may be able to explain why D's are voting with the R's

    Apparently, there is footage of Rep. John Davis voting for other members of the Texas House. Even the Democrats. Coby over at BAH has the video up.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Crap like this...

    ... is why I won't be voting for Hillary in the primary. Not that it'll matter much but at the very least I'll cancel out McSleaze.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tolls : Farm Bureau in a snit with 39%

    Let me preface this with a gentle reminder...

    Farm Bureau endorsed 39% over Bell despite the fact that 39% was a huge proponent of both the TTC and NAIS, two hot button issues for the FB membership.

    Farm Bureau is all upset because 39% is being a dick. Which is kind of funny to me since everyone already knew he was a dick and yet the FB endorsed him anyway last cycle. At issue now is 39%'s continued support for the TTC which FB continues to oppose. Why not endorse Bell last cycle?

    No, before you go into a ton of laughter, actually ask that question while reflecting on the fact that 39% has NEVER waivered in his support for the Great Texas Land Grab and Rick's-Cronies-Loot-The-State project that IS the TTC. FB and it's membership, though not the political action committee, have always been opposed to the TTC. So, why endorse him? And why continue to bitch and moan about it?

    Make no mistake, I don't have a lot of respect at this point for the political power of the Farm Bureau. They've sold out their own membership and the only way they'll get some respect is if they clean house at the PAC. Even then it's only 50/50 that they'll make the right moves to restore some respect.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 02, 2007

    Everyone Hates Rahm

    We at McBlogger have long thought the strategy of Democrats moving to the right on issues was a stupid one. The reasoning is that if the difference is between an R and a D who both think the same way on key issues, people go with the stronger, more believable candidate who is usually (but not always) an R. It's not that the D is a bad person, it's that you can usually tell they don't really believe what they are saying when they advocate strident right wing positions.

    Dos Centavos agrees and calls bullshit on Rahm Emmanuel's strategy of playing to the right on immigration.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 01, 2007

    Smoke free but fat as hell

    Apparently, the Valley is #1 in fatness. The reason? There's nothing to do but eat. Oh, and they don't smoke.

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

    Just in time for church tomorrow...

    ...it's the automatic confessional.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack