April 30, 2008
I listen to Rev. Wright as much as I listen to any preacher
Rev. Wright does his little song and dance, pisses up the media's leg and predictably they throw a fit about the whole thing. Why the hell does anyone care what this idiot preacher has to say? Is he the one running for President? No? Ok, then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL KVETCHING ABOUT?!?!!
I'm also sick of hearing how Clinton is behind the whole thing. It occurs to me that if the Clinton's were really as evil as some of you morons would have us believe, Bill never would have left office. What you really don't like is that Obama's preacher is a racist weirdo with delusional fantasies. Big deal. That makes him not much different from that freak Hagee whose ass is covered in soft kisses from that sycophantic loser, McCain.
Not all clergy are stupid, but many of the loud obnoxious ones certainly are. I prefer my faith with VERY little religion. Mostly because I don't believe any man speaks for God. Certainly not Rev. Wright and definitely not that fatass Hagee.
Maybe, just maybe, instead of focusing on what some asshole who claims to speak for God (or claims to have THE only legitimate interpretation of the Bible/Koran/Torah) has to say and playing guilt by association, why not take a moment to listen to the candidate?
Really? You're going to stick with that?
Sen. McCain, leaving a Tempe area Cracker Barrell at 5:45 this morning, revealed his brill health care plan which, as it turns out, is little more than the same one President Bush tried to float. Last year.
Apparently, Sen. McCain forgot that people already said not so much to it, just like he forgot that a 5% tip is really not so much a 'tip' as it is a 'pittance'.
So, what IS wrong with his market based plan? For one thing, it's predicated on medical savings accounts (where you pull pretax income from your paycheck and put it into an account for health care costs... the money expires annually, by the way). That works well when people have extra income they can save. Unfortunately, right now more than half the country is literally living paycheck to paycheck. There's not anything to put in these accounts AND save for retirement.
Oh, and delinking health care from the employer and making individuals select (that's called a 'market based approach!'). Because that'll really ignite the market as insurers fight over the healthiest people and refuse to insure the other 200 million of us.
When HMO's first were floated, they were touted as a way of keeping health care affordable. What they really did was juice insurance company profits. This has never been about 'affordability' or the market...which has consistently driven up health care insurance costs...it's about profits to the exclusion of all else. And FAT. Lots and lots of fat in bloated management structures. Who get's screwed? Everyone NOT in administration.
You really want to cut costs? Make insurance cheaper? Help doctors concentrate on medicine and forget the bureaucratic crap? THEN ELIMINATE THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Yesterday, our President had a little press conference which was dutifully transcribed by some little cub reporter at the NYT. During the conference, Bush castigated 'Congress' (read : Congressional Democrats) for not doing enough to alleviate the current economic downturn.
Not like he'd sign any of the legislation anyway... unless it's something that won't help Americans for 5-10 years, like drilling in Alaska. Alternative energy and biofuels? Perish the thought. While I'm not an oil conspiracy nut, you have to admit his fixation on drilling in AK is either enlightened self interest or extreme stupidity.
Anyway, what President Bush failed to mention (and what our intrepid reporter from the Times missed) is that the Republicans have largely been the road block on all the initiatives coming out of Congress. Like FHA Modernization, which is being held up by James Inhofe and Liddy Dole, both of whom are deeply in the pockets of the private mortgage insurance industry which stands to lose a lot should FHA Modernization pass.
The ironic thing? Today we found out just how worthless the one thing Bush did has turned out to be.
April 29, 2008
The Rocket and the Rube
GOP darling and all around creep Roger Clemens is about to see his dreams of entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame go up in smoke because of a myriad of legal and personal problems. This time he allegedly had a “relationship” with then 15 year old country singer bubbette Mindy McCready that lasted a decade. Sources close to the Rocket said that he took her to a motel room, but did not have sex. We all know that they were just discussing the intricacies of the split finger fastball.
Clemens has entered the Michael Jackson realm – alleged sex with the underage, alleged drug use, alleged personality disorder, alleged perjurer, and allegedly living in a fantasy world. Like the King of Pop, the Rocket has a battery of lawyers that will keep him out of jail, and failing that, there are rumors that Dubya will pardon Clemens.
If he’s not careful, the ex-Longhorn pitcher’s personal services contract with Houston Astros’ owner Drayton McLane might be so stripped down and with all the legal fees he is incurring, the Rocket might end up living in the Mickey Mouse Mobile Home Park in Kissimmee, Florida trying to break into the Astros bat boy rotation during the Grapefruit League. There’s quite a few karaoke bars in that state. Of course, there is that Tennessee Department of Corrections work release program.
As for Miss Mindy, her next big hit could be, “The Rocket did it to me all the time.”
The endless construction on Cesar Chavez
If you, like me, are pretty sick of the bullshit construction on Cesar Chavez, the good news is that it will end by the end of the spring, according to Ben Wear. The bad news? Has the City EVER completed a road project on time?
Anyone wanna bet that it'll still be going strong in August?
On another note, does anyone have an idea when 5th Street will stop resembling a road in Kabul?
You thought your parents were embarrassing
Read this and tell you have it bad. Here's an excerpt...
My father is a porn addict. I've known for a while now, but now that I'm older he seems to be pretty comfortable telling me about how much he absolutely loves boobs, and what kind of sites he likes to look at. Almost every movie we watch together has naked women in it.
I'm his daughter.
This one sounds like one of Barfly's dates...
So I was in a play, and part of my costume included very tight pants. Tight enough that one could get a sense of the approximate shape of parts of my anatomy.
I come home after the show, my mom leaves the room. My dad watches her leave, turns to me and says, "The girls better be after you after that show." I ask what he means, and he says, "You've got your old man beat. I'm impressed," and he nods down.
It takes me a second to realize what he's talking about. I stammer off a thank you and pretend to be really, really interested in whatever is on the TV.
Later that night, my dad heads up to bed. My mom waits until she hears the bedroom door closed, and tells me it was a very good performance. She then adds that the pants were noticeably tight on me. A brief pause. I have time to hope that there is nothing else to this conversation.
"You know, you're funny and handsome, but after this girls should be ALL over you."
My thoughts: Dear lord. Dear lord.
"I think I heard some of the girls sitting behind me, they were impressed. Are you embarrassed by this, honey? Don't be! It's part of life, and you're blessed."
I was paralyzed by embarrassment, and excused myself to go to the bathroom.
April 28, 2008
Thanks, Justice Stevens. No. Really. Thanks a lot.
Well, our Supreme Court has decided that Jim Crow is A-OK...
The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next week. It also will give most state legislatures time to revise their voter laws for the November elections.
This was perhaps the biggest voter rights case taken up by the justices since the 2000 dispute over Florida's ballots, in which George W. Bush prevailed to gain the presidency.
At issue was whether state laws designed to stem voter fraud end up disenfranchising large numbers of Americans who might lack proper documents to prove their voting eligibility. The case raised important constitutional questions, but also involved race and partisan politics.
Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said any political issues considered by the state were mitigated by its desire to stop voter fraud.
"The state interests identified as justifications for [the law] are both neutral and sufficiently strong to require us to reject" the lawsuit, he wrote.
But in a toughly worded dissent, Justice David Souter said "Indiana has made no such justification" for the statute "and as to some aspects of its law, it hardly even tried."
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has conceded the state has never presented a case of "voter impersonation," which the law was designed to safeguard against. The 2005 Indiana law requires that a valid photo identification be presented by a person casting a ballot at a polling stations. Previously, most citizens needed only to sign a poll book to vote.
So, though there is no need for it, and in spite of it's cost which makes it a de facto poll tax, voter ID is good idea?
So much for this idea that the Republicans don't like activist judges. All the R appointees were in the majority along with old Justice Stevens. Seriously, man, why couldn't you have retired when Clinton was in office?
At this point, I don't want to hear another goddamn word from anyone about NOT voting for the Democrat in November, regardless of who that person is. Seriously, I'm ready to lose friends over this, mostly because I'm sick of your shit. If I can suck it up, so can you.
It's time y'all realize there's more than some petty soundbite at stake and stop playing the 'I don't like Obama/Hillary' song.
Check Out Robin Cravey's Movie!!! AND dont foget to VOTE!!!
Fun with the columnists
There have been some great columns out recently that you may have missed. You're so lucky I love each and every one of you for now, I will share them with you, my brilliant readers.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding... it's pearls before swine. Here's to hoping some of you learned how to read something more complex than my usual 'kindergarten words'.
First up, this piece in the NYT by David Leonhardt, a brill take down of Lou Dobbs. Make sure you also take a look at his analysis of the 'Bush economic boom' that's bypassed just about, well, everyone you and I know.
In part one of The Sun Rises In The West... Burka thinks it's a bad idea for Perry to run in 2010.
In part two, I agree with Gardner Selby. Well, at least on what a prolonged primary will do to the Democrats... absolutely nothing.
Finally, there's Frank Rich. Seriously, you need more than that to click the link?
April 27, 2008
And So It Goes...
Following Austin City Politics this election cycle has been as informative as it has been entertaining. We certainly have a unique group of candidates doing their part to Keep Austin Weird for sure. However, we are exceptionally lucky in that we have some very strong candidates who are sure to make many positive, progressive changes which our great city so desperately needs.
For starters, Jennifer Gale, a perennial candidate running this time for Austin CIty Council Place 4 has taken her share of the criticizm, in my opinon unfairly so. One of the groups went so far as to disclude her from participating in it's candidate forum where each of the other five candidates were welcome! They claimed that Ms. Gale was not a "serious" candidate however, no one questioned Ken Vasseaus participation...? Dont get me wrong, Jennifer is a character but she is also informed, has held her own in more than one election and is not afraid to tell it like it is. I find her refreshing and must say that she is doing a hell of a lot more than most people in this city. She does'nt whine about what should be she speaks her mind and is'nt afraid to sing about it either!!! Give her a break please!
Yet another important endorsement in the City Council race was announced yesterday as the Austin American Statesman unveiled its choices. I work hard to point out that endorsements are not always the best source of information, I very often disagree with endorsement choices especially AHEM Statesman Endorsements (I will continue to encourage all of you to do your own research and make an informed and wise decision) but today I am going to praise them...I think they may actually be paying attention...Based on their informed and wise choices which you can read about here...
As you may have gathered, Mr. Cravey running for Place 4 is a favorite of mine. I was excited to see him add the Statesman to his list of endrosements (Capital City Young Democrats, South West Austin Democrats, League of Bicycling Voters and Clean Water Action. )
Roundin' up the TPA
Once again, it's time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is compiled by The Texas Cloverleaf.
In honor of Income Tax day, Lightseeker at TexasKaos examines the Republican's tax cut claim here in Texas and discover that what it really amounts to is "tax shifting" and we are the ones getting shafted. Tax Shifting With Bohac's Assessment Cap as Our Example.
WhosPlayin notes that John McCain has proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax, and points out that McCain would do just as well to try to suspend the law of gravity.
The Texas Cloverleaf is helping to save the earth on Earth Day weekend with helpful tips for saving energy and your wallet, as well as picking up trash with Stonewall Democrats. Don't mess with Texas!
CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme wonders if all Republicans are Tom Craddicks in training. Listen to Nueces County Republican chair Mike Bertuzzi ignore all the 'Point of Order' calls at the county convention. Sound familiar?
John Coby of Bay Area Houston has the real press release from Rick Perry about his run for Governor in 2010.
BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Your $300 - $1,200 Economic Stimulus Payment Cost $767 Million
Hal at Half Empty questions whether one person running for President is actually temperamentally fit to be in that office.
Vince at Capitol Annex thinks it is terrible that Texas teacher salaries are so low that that more than a quarter of all teachers must work a second job to make ends meet.
North Texas Liberal reports on a homophobic journalist's question to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, and the smackdown she gave in response.
George Nassar at The Texas Blue takes some time out of Friday's morning news roundup to point out that were the Bush administration to use a logical metric, it would be clear to them that the surge has failed.
Harold And Kumar: Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Lame Sequels
It's a story that writes itself: low budget film becomes a cult classic, leading to Hollywood dropping money into a sequel, which sucks more than all the Hoovers in all the towns in all the world. Someone could make that into a movie, in fact. And then someone else could remake that movie into a sequel, which would suck. It's sort of like reverse recycling, turning good things into garbage.
April 26, 2008
Fun with campaign posters
Don't blame me... blame Something Awful
April 25, 2008
No deal, What's-your-name
What’s-his-name, the editorial page editor for the AAS, drops a response in Wednesday’s op-ed about the CWS Capital Partners “compromise” with neighborhood groups and the city. He thinks it’s wonderful and harmonious.
Let’s see, the city gets 1.5 acres (that’s one point five) and CWS gets to pretty well build whatever they originally asked for. Please remind me not to take what’s-his-name with me when I go to negotiate my next car purchase. I’ll end up paying more than sticker price and signing over the deed of my home to the dealership.
What's-his-name needs to retire from serious journalism and go shill for the chamber of commerce, or better yet, go work as a cub reporter for the Austin Business Journal.
How’s this for negotiating with CWS – Get your sorry ass out of Austin and go to Round Rock or some such place that loves to coddle developers.
Have we lost our freaking collective minds? It’s like existing in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I have to keep checking under my bed for a pod that will change me into “harmony zombie” for developers.
Make no mistake, a bad moon has already risen. This is just a continuation of the slippery slope for complete capitulation to developers. Already weak variances about development on the shores of Lady Bird Lake will be even more diluted.
Don't count on the current city council members or most of the candidates to have your back. Except for Robin Cravey, the rest come across as cookie-cutter clones. Well, maybe not Allen Demling, even though his Kinky Friedman phase is a sticking point. The rest remind me of the song “Cry” by 10CC where morphing faces keep singing the same dreary verses that lull you into a dream-like trance, though the words to the song pretty well sum up what the rest of us think about this election. What we need is a Public Enemy or AC/DC attitude. OK, maybe an angry Springsteen.
Yeah, I can be silly with my disgust. You got a problem with that, slick?
Saturday Night Political Party Time!!!
No plans for Saturday after work? Well I have some help for your lame social life, you can thank me later btw.
Come to Robin Craveys Birthday Party! The party is going to take place at Jovitas on South First from 5 pm to 7 pm. There will be great people, good beer and of course live music. The Regular's will be playing. So come on out have a little fun and dont worry if you cant find a date, no one will talk about you, at least to your face...
A word of advice...
WOW. Who knew there were so many dicks reading the blog? Yesterday, Lovelie99 posted this piece on the city council races. She obvs has some candidates she prefers more than others. In my opinion, she was far more gracious than some of you deserve. Frankly, heaping derision on some of you for even filing would be a great start.
I love democracy. I hate people running for office as some kind of masturbatory exercise. Or business booster. For some of you, the mere fact that you continue to exist, despite my hopes and dreams, is offensive.
So, in answer to your questions, WE (meaning the overall McBlogger staff) have not endorsed. We may do just individual endorsements. You'll know that's what it is because it'll have ENDORSEMENT and CITY COUNCIL in the title. It might be titled "Fred" or "That car that cut me off in traffic that time", but I doubt it because Sister Ruth claims it 'doesn't make any sense'. It's good that she got the nonsensical nature of those titles. It's bad that she doesn't understand metaphors. Needless to say, while she's on vacay, we don't want to trouble her with thinking.
April 24, 2008
Oh, I feel for you straight gals...
This is a video of some lame shot by Mean Rachel at The Ranch. The Mayor recently mentioned their DEE-lightful music in this post on the city council candidates. Needless to say, the temptation to pay them for drinks is not, you know, overwhelming.
A word of advice for you straight gals from my bar going (and bar trash dating) days, most of the obnoxious guys who hit on you know deep down that they've got as much of a chance with you as they do winning the lottery. What they really want, other than what would be, for you, an unsatisfying sexual experience, is a phone number. Give them one.
Barfly and I always used Mr. Gatti's. She only got busted once and I never did.
Time To Make A Decision...
For those of us who have been following the candidates who threw their name's in the hat (some very thoughtlessly) for Austin city positions it's time to put all of our knowledge to good use and make a decision. Yes it is that time again, early voting starts this coming Monday, April 28 and election day is just around the corner on May 10.
So many of us sat through hours worth of candidate forums...ew...At the time it may have felt like we were simply participating in self defeating, even destructive behavior which did little more than suck the life out of us leaving us disturbed and less knowledgable than when we arrived...it did give us some very useful information on just who we should avoid on our trip to the polls next week.
That said, there are a few candidates amongst the bunch of nuts who actually merit some attention and most definitely our votes. Also check out the Austinist.com for some extra great info!
Check out these great candidates, make a good decision and by all means vote at your own risk!
Endless Party Fund To Be Wasted!!!
While protesting in the United States might seem like an act in futility perpetrated by those with too much idle time and no real sense, it can actually end up being very lucrative. How can this be, you may be asking? Well before you head to Wal-Mart and start buying up poster boards and paint, and waste two hours thinking of clever slogans condemning the relocation of your favorite animal shelter, let me tell you the caveats. You will only qualify to receive any kind of monetary reward if you are a foreign citizen protesting against a socialist dictator.
Such is the case with University student Yon Goicoechea who was awarded $500,000 dollars by the U.S. based think tank, Cato Institute. The money is part of the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. So what terrible dictator did Goicoechea organize against? None other than the man who called George Bush “The Devil” at a United Nations General Assembly himself, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The Washington-based think tank said that Goicoechea was the leading force in the student rallies held in protest of Chavez’s proposed constitutional amendments which would allow him to run for re-election indefinitely and granted him great powers to reshape the government and economy into an even more socialist mold.
$500,000 dollars is a lot of money and I mean that could potentially mean endless keg parties. But it seems that all Yon’s protesting has fried his brain and he has chosen to use the prize money to support Venezuela's student parliament, donate to his university and former school, and support a foundation he is helping to set up that will offer training to young leaders who want to play a role in politics. What a crazy guy!
Them's Fightin' Words
And it sounds like most of Prince Charming's beefs are with his own party
Hedge Fund/Private Equity investing made simple!
The mystery shall be revealed! Ever wondered how the financial 'master's of the universe' make their money? Have you been puzzled about what exactly it is that they do?
It's flipping a house. No joke, that's what it is. You take a run down asset (an old house in the case of house flipping; Sears in the case of hedge fund investing), make some improvements (a coat of paint, new floors, landscaping; new management, fire 20% of the workforce, sell off assets to pay off debt incurred in the takeover) wait until the market improves, then sell to some sucker who doesn't look too closely at the goods (usually, a first time homebuyer; mutual fund managers whose performance is so shitty they're lucky to have jobs anywhere other than Carl's Jr.). Of course, hedge funds are a little stranger than pure private equity in that they can invest in anything according to their charters. Even lottery tickets. What they usually do is a short the stock on a company that's having problems, driving it down aggressively not through actual bad news but by piling on massive amounts of debt. Then they magically appear to negotiate a 'rescue' of said company that will give the company a little cash in exchange for 90% dilution of the existing shareholders.
Then, once things have improved, they'll end up selling off the stake. That's how you do things if you're a hedgie which makes them arguably scummier than pure private equity. Usually, the PE folks didn't take a hand in actively destroying the company they are trying to acquire.
And, that my friends, is the 30 second explanation of private equity. And last year, that business plan made these douchebags (well, at least 50 of them) more than $29 Billion. Last year alone.
In the end, these guys work off, at least on the private equity side, a tremendous amount of debt rather than equity. Does it work? As it turns out, not nearly as well.
The ironic thing about all this is that these people serve absolutely no public good. Period. Just like house flippers
(as opposed to true investors), these people are pump and dump artists of the first rank. Unlike the house flippers, they get to do it all with money for big retirement funds. PUBLIC retirement funds.
April 23, 2008
I Got Your Nose! Wait! That Isn't A Nose...
The mark of a good headline is that it compels you to read the story.
Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft
Where's the party?
Just a reminder... BOR is celebrating it's fifth birthday tomorrow at Schulz's.
Oh, you know you're going. You don't really have plans so fuck off with the excuses.
Hillary CRUSHES Obama
How's THAT for an inflammatory headline, mooks?
Hillary won PA. Yes, yes... we're totally excited. Mostly because the Clinton campaign is back to doing what it does best (winning) and also because it rains shit all over the little parade the Obama folks have had going (the more obnoxious ones, anyway) about how she should 'drop out'.
Lookit, folks, if you can't support the Democratic nominee over McCain, whoever it may be, you need to look closely at where you really stand on politics in general. This ain't all or nothing. There are things you have to accept about candidates you may not like. For example, while I love me some Strama (not THAT way, you freak) I have come to terms with some of his more lame ideas. Like his stupidiotic desire to tax cigarettes at $10 per pack.
Some of you clearly hate Hillary and wonder what the hell happened that made me turn to her. It's simple. She's mean. I think Obama is too nice and I can tell you from first hand experience, being the bigger son of a bitch is usually what wins. Or in this case, just simple BITCH.
Whatever your thoughts or fears on Hillary (however rational or irrational they may be), she's sharp, able and she's been an asset in the Senate. Those are three qualities she shares with Sen. Obama and which are completely lacking in Sen. McCain who has spent the better part of this decade as a maverick door mat for the corrupt President Bush.
Tone down the rhetoric. Let the primaries play out. You should be in love with this because the longer this drags out, the more air is sucked out of the McCain's moribund campaign. While our candidates were making national news last night, McCain was having dinner. At a Shoney's in Alabama. And even the local paper ignored it.
Just listen to me this time, K?
Well, folks, we can now say public consensus has made it official: Worst. President. Ever.
Be sure and congratulate all of your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors who hold the distinction of voting once or even twice for the person now officially known as "the president worse than Nixon."
I gotta hand it to you, though. You people might be responsible for bestowing upon our Nation the most colossal failure in the history of the White House - twice - but at least you didn't vote for that guy said to take credit for inventing the internet. Or that other guy who "flipflopped," windsurfed, and looked French. How utterly ruinous to the country would THAT have been? Not to mention embarrassing?
Lest we forget, insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result. Think about that between now and November, my friends.
April 22, 2008
Gibson's capital-gains tax assertion during debate disputed
During the April 16 Democratic presidential debate, Charles Gibson asserted of capital-gains tax cuts that "in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down." In fact, economists dispute Gibson's assertion.
The most interesting thing about this is that it betrays a deep lack of knowledge both of economics and tax policy, a glib and remarkable naive view of what capital gains really represent. For one thing, capital gains are the gains made on assets held for sale. Homes, stocks, bonds and commodities are all examples of assets that can be sold at a capital gain. In other words, they aren't usually considered regular income which is why they are treated differently. Just like all taxes, capital gain taxes are subject to the Laffer Curve meaning that there is a sweet spot at which you maximize revenue to the government with a minimal impact on economic activity. Cut it too far and you're starving the government, our government, of the revenue it needs to be build roads, hire police and firefighters and provide that national defense people are all the time talking about. Increase it too much and you'll stifle economic growth and starve the government. Gibson's ridiculous question ignores this little fact which is understandable since the Republicans have been ignoring the reality of Laffer's research for more than 28 years.
Still, there is another problem with Charlie's little question in that it ignores the very real effect of ultra low cap gain rates, especially on short term profits. They make people more willing to report their income as a capital gain and they increase speculation to near epidemic levels. The same speculation that has helped to drive oil to $117/bbl. The same speculation this is raising prices on a broad basket of commodities. You and I get to experience that at the grocery store. Of course, there's also another behavior which explains Charlie's numbers, namely that when the tax is increased, immediately before the increase goes into effect, revenues shoot up as people take advantage of the old rate. When the rate falls, people hold off on realizing gains until the cut goes into effect. And there's your boost. Over time, though, the revenues always return to nominal levels.
The simple answer is the one from Warren Buffett. His solution is to raise short term capital gain taxes to a very high level in order to starve off speculation and short term thinking in the market. Of course, this would reduce income to the government but it would be offset by longer term employment and a more vibrant economy that is capable of growing faster with less inflation (less speculation = less inflation). Frankly, speculation and the resulting price fluctuations and increases cost American businesses and consumers far more than any tax.
City Council Forum: Notes Scribbled On A Napkin
As our Fearless Leader has already reported, the McBlogger crew attended last week's Keep Austin Blue forum for city council candidates. I've finally gotten my notes back from the lab...
Jason Meeker Memorable Quote: "I don't want to be know as the Angry Guy".
Universal reaction: What an angry guy.
Ken Weiss Makes me think of the goober working the register at Whataburger who gets all the orders wrong.
Sam Osemene Possibly the only candidate this year who has actually read the Federalist Papers. Certainly the only one who finds the right to use a cell phone while driving supported therein.
Lee Leffingwell A year or two ago I was called rude for yelling "Sit down and shut up, Lee!" at another public forum. Tonight I was even ruder by letting him speak. And speak. And speak. And speak. And speak. And speak. Actually, somewhere in there I ducked out to a nearby building site and watched some paint dry for a while until I regained the will to live. Good Lord, is there no way of stopping this human narcolepsy cannon from becoming Mayor next year?
Cid Galindo Strongly supports the right to free chips and salsa; clueless about the Twelfth Cylon.
Jennifer Gale Say what will about this perennial candidate, this year she OWNS the Clean Your Liver Issue.
And finally, isn't it about time the city started licensing cover bands? I realize that the state shouldn't a priori judge original material, but how can any self-respecting Live Music Capital of the World not impose some kind of minimum standards on performing songs that everyone already knows? Whoever it was playing across the street at The Ranch... just dreadful. Too bad they didn't ape The Who and set their instruments on fire. Although in their case, it should have been how they opened their set.
April 21, 2008
Working Class Zero For Obama
Filmmaker-epicure Michael Moore has endorsed the flavor of the month, Barack Obama, for President, much to no one's surprise.
Moore's previous endorsements were instrumental to the electoral victories of Ralph Nader (2000) and
Wesley Clark John Kerry (2004). In between elections, Moore has solved the problems of working class despair, gun violence, and healthcare.
Happy San Jacinto Day!
On an April afternoon, after enduring heartbreaking weeks of disaster and defeat a ragtag army turned against its better-equipped and more numerous foe, scattering them to the winds and changing the course of history.
But enough about the Presidential primary.
Terms like "history's turning point" are thrown about pretty cheaply, but I think that Sam Houston's victory over Santa Ana back in 1836 qualifies for that sobriquet. Had the Mexican army won that day, or had the battle never been fought and the Runaway Scrape continued until the Texian settlers were driven across the Sabine, the North American settlements in Texas might have been forgotten as a historical footnote; another of colonization's deadends like the Norse in Vinland or the Huguenots in Spanish Florida.
As it was, though, San Jacinto was the narrow end of the wedge that let the United States pry away the sparsely-settled and little-known northern half of the former Spanish Viceroyality of New Spain from its successor, Mexico. And in so doing, the annexation of new territory to the south exacerbated the great sectional conflict that led quickly to our Civil War and our national re-foundation on lines quite different from those envisioned by the 1776 Generation.
I don't mean to ignore the effect on Mexico, but imagining how our sister republic would have developed had she retained Texas, and California, and Arizona requires more imagination than I can spare at the moment. "The history of things that never happened has not been written."
So I invite you to take a moment this afternoon and reflect on how much our world is a product of things set in motion by Buffalo Bayou one hundred and seventy-two years ago today.
Roundin' up the TPA
It is time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up.
It would seem that the Republican Party of Texas (Republicans first, Texans last!) is looking for a few sweet young thangs! McBlogger at McBlogger has the story on the RPT's efforts to secure a few good young people.
Bradley at North Texas Liberal takes a look into the possible political aspirations of Condoleezza Rice... and tells us why she may be the Democrats' worst nightmare.The Texas Cloverleaf asks if you're ready to strike over gas prices? Some truck drivers are. They aren't defenders of the Alamo, and are few and far between, but will their message resonate with the rest of America? Some of them say no.
With the resounding defeat of Shelley Sekula Gibbs last Tuesday in the GOP CD 22 runoff, this spells the end of her short-lived political career. Hal at Half Empty has created a video to commemorate the Shelster's last hurrah.
Lightseeker over at Texas Kaos marks the upcoming annual income tax deadline by bringing up a sadly evergreen topic Tax Lies That Republicans Tell. After all, if the didn't find someone to put money in to the treasury, where would the money to pay for their crony politics come from?
Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal Newsis not catching up on sleep this time but reveals the predictions for four years his brother made the day after Bush was reelected. His brother gets the Cassandra Award and the media pundits don't have to worry about their jobs.
nytexan at BlueBloggin points out that most Americans are scrapping to get by, however, some federal employees are having tons of fun with government credit cards. Your Tax Dollars Purchased iPods, Internet Dating, Women’s Lingerie…
April 20, 2008
Excuse me, what did you say?
How Well Do You Know The Republican Playbook?
Take the quiz!
As far as anyone knows, no one who occupies or is running for city council is a panderer and appeaser to developers. Likewise, none of them have ulterior motives or hidden agendas.
Unfortunately, what we have gotten is a disturbing trend of mediocrity of our local office holders toward this town’s environmental heritage.
We talk about how the city needs someone who will come down firmly in the camp of environmentalists and the protection of our resources. So we seek, at least in discussion, a candidate who has a long history in this town of standing up for environmental issues, and who knows what is right about Austin, and a fighter against what is wrong. Once more – a fighter.
Let’s face facts. There is no longer any balance on the city council, no matter what the current occupants say.
When the only fight left is to plead with developers to lower their height requests, we pretty well know who has won the war. Do you think the almost certain demise of SOS is some isolated incident? Token opposition to developers by council members spun as some great adherence to the environment creed is obfuscation at it’s most sophisticated.
Candidates, using sloganeering code terms like, “a city for all”, or building up their past shaky bone-fides with liberal icons and issues, keep us from focusing on who is the real deal, and judging polished style from substance.
Of course, the local media doesn’t help when it paints the decisions that capitulate to developers as a fine compromise and a community blessing, while it subtly dismisses anyone who advocates for strong environmental outcomes as naïve, angry, out of touch, or over the edge.
Maybe our idea of this town has changed. Maybe we have gone over the tipping point. While the term “hybrid” should describe Austin’s energy, transportation, and recreation, the day nears when it will mean Hill Country gated neighborhoods, high-rise condos, and massive shopping corridors.
With this in mind, the candidate that has the passion, experience, and leadership to bring the environmental message to the council is Robin Cravey. His ideas and plans for affordable housing, transportation, and local small businesses are as strong, if not stronger than his opponents. What sets him apart is his commitment to provide a strong voice and advocacy for the environment that has been missing for a long time.
April 18, 2008
EXCLUSIVE : Dildo claims responsibility for 39%'s plans
Yesterday afternoon I, like everyone else in the state, was stunned to learn that 39% intends to run for re-election in 2010. Stunned because, frankly, it's solid gold comedy. I had to read the email a few times just to make sure it wasn't some kind of prank. Then I got a call from The Dildo.
McB : Hello?
Dildo : What's up, bitch?
McB : Oh Fuck...
Dildo : That's right...
McB : I thought you were melted in that fire.
Dildo : Not so much, as it turns out. It was a nice try, though.
McB : What the hell do you want?
Dildo : Oh, come on. I know you've seen the news...
McB : About Perry? I just assumed it was some kind of a joke.
Dildo : Well, it is. But not the kind you think. I made him do it.
McB : Forget the how. Why?
Dildo : Because he's a loser. And I thought it would be funny. You don't?
McB : Funny? How so?
Dildo : You have to ask? 61% of this state hates the man. He's a wholly ineffectual Governor whose balls rest in CradDICK's desk. Well, one of them anyway. The other is with the Dew. You Democrats could run Jennifer Gale against him in '10 and win. However, I don't think he'll get through the Republican primary. Even those mouthbreathers won't vote for him. It will be absolutely devastating to his ego. I'll laugh and laugh...
McB : I keep forgetting what a dick you are. So how?
Dildo : You always were kind of a dumbass. What do I have to do? Paint you a picture?
McB : No, I've seen you do more than enough.
Dildo : How's that quitting smoking thing going?
McB : Fuck you. (screaming) I FUCKING HATE YOU!
Dildo : Nice talking to you, cocksucker. Be seeing you soon! GO MOFO IN '10
It's always been assumed that evil stands behind the actions of malevolent people. Now we know for sure that isn't so much behind them as inside them.
April 17, 2008
The Debate From Hell
Yes, Charlie you moron, the crowd IS turning on you. Wanna know why people are turning to blogs? Because we can strip off your bullshit and just link to you for background, Charlie. FDL has a series of good posts up about the debate last night which we mercifully missed.
Olden Times, thankfully, is learning to keep his mouth shut when it comes to his betters in the Democratic Party. That seems to be the one highlight.
BREAKING: Blogger Calls For ABC Boycott
Some guy on Kos is torqued about something or other.
In solidarity, the Mighty Netroots will be restricted to a 23-letter alphabet until further notice.
City Council Candidates R Teh Phunnee
The ugly stepchild to the Primary (at least this year) is the City Council Election. I capitalize that because really it's quite awful and distinctive. I've been to three candidate forums/endorsement meetings/ tedious wastes of time and there's only one thing of which I'm sure...
Jason Meeker is a DOUCHE
Of course, we'll have endorsements later as we get closer to the start of early voting. I will say this, after last night's KAB forum, I like all the candidates a lot more. You all were excellent in the face of an adverse condition, namely the drunken jr. copywriters from GSD&M. If it's any consolation, they probably won't have jobs much longer and will be moving to Dallas.
I know, it totally makes me cry, too.
April 16, 2008
No, George, you can't invade Iran
BlueBloggin' has the down and dirty on Bush & Co. working their collective asses off to 'catapult the propaganda' to drive public opinion to support an invasion of Iran. He can try as hard as he likes, but there's no way we're going to believe Bush. We already know that the mullah's running Iran know damn well they can't use those nukes without us using ours. And they can't shut off the oil either because it'll collapse their economy.
No, a nuclear Iran does not scare me. And you're an idiot if it scares you. Well, either an idiot or a pussy.
April 15, 2008
Everyone loves a party
The crew at BOR are having a 5th Birthday Party for the blog and you're invited!
April 24th Progressive hang out Scholz Beer Garten 8 p.m. until the music stops Featuring the music of House Leader Jim Dunnam and the Bad Precedents.
Of course, some of you (like me) will be worried about the beer-only venue. If I can deal with it, so can you. Beside, they also have a marvelous selection of shitty wines!
Happy Birthday, BOR!
Uhm, sure... whatev. Obama's still right.
You all know that The Mayor and I endorsed, voted and caucused for Clinton. We are both Clinton delegates to the state convo. So, understand that when I say Obama was spot on about this, it doesn't come from a supportive, "We LOVE us some Obama" place.
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Mr. Obama responded, according to a transcript of the fund-raiser published on Friday on The Huffington Post Web site.
“And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not,” Mr. Obama went on. “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or antitrade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Was it sloppy? Sure. He makes it sound like only the unfortunate would want to keep guns and maintain religious traditions. But that's not what he meant. And you're a real idiot if you think otherwise. Seriously, go get back on the short bus, tardy.
What Sem. Obama meant was that Republicans, and to a lesser extent, Democrats, have left these people behind. They have no economic growth and are in many ways worse off than they were prior to 1980. Sure, they stabilized a bit or even grew their incomes in the 1990's, but all that evaporated rapidly once Bush took office. Not to mention their roads are falling apart, their schools are mostly shitty and gas is eating up an ever larger portion of their incomes. In this type of environment, these people have nothing left but their faith and their Constitutional right to bear arms. And blame. Blame for the immigrants, trade policy (though they are right on this one... Obama's wrong and a wholesale economic neophyte. The only one worse is McCain who doesn't even know they redesigned the $10 bill) and for the faggots wanting to get married. And it IS understandable... how many of YOU have some solid ideas on how to fix the economy that the Republicans have worked so hard to loot over the last 28 years? It's human nature to turn from the real problem that's much harder to solve to something understandable at a gut level.
"I'm voting for a flat tax because it's fair"-from a minimum wage worker who doesn't pay any tax now, but will under a flat tax. "I just want to protect marriage"-from an unemployed guy in rural OH.
These people are so shell shocked, they have no idea how to deal with the very real problems they see on a daily basis. Instead it's easier to focus their anger and frustration on those unlike them. Just ask Karl Rove... he's made a career out of convincing people that nonsense issues are the ones on which they should vote.
Hillary is smart enough to know all this and has decided to read it as a more literal statement. Which is pretty dumb. As for McCain, that old man needs to shut up and stay out of it. Every time he tries playing with the big dogs, he comes off like the ankle biting chihuahua he is. And from the press, the stupijectivity continues. No one's asking you to take a side, media. Just don't make shit up. You knew what he meant, write the story that way. If Hillary and McCain want to change the meaning, don't report it because it's not news.
At some point, this kind of gotcha reporting has to stop. If it doesn't, we'll continue dumbing down the population, making them still more reactionary. And that's where our experiment with democracy ends.
April 14, 2008
Loving the girls from NYC
I don't know if it's just me, but I wasn't really feeling The Real Housewives of NYC. McBlogger asked me to post about it, but I was hesitant. Not because I have developed better taste in TV, but because I found it boring. Perhaps I was too loyal to my little plastic angels of the OC. Then I watched last week's episode. You know, the one with the girl's night out. Yikes. Now I can't believe we only have one episode left. Just when things were starting to get good! For those of you who haven't seen it, you simply must. Bravo is all the time running marathons, just catch one and watch the entire season. You know you have the time. Here's a rundown on the characters to give you a little more incentive...
Jill. It is a good thing that she knows that she is not deep. She is a walking, talking kiddie pool. However, the fact that she owns it made me kinda like her. She has had some of the funniest observations. Yes, obnoxious yet endearing. But what gives with the fucking dog? Does it ever occur to Jill that she is feeding steak to vermin in a designer dog collar?? Seriously, the pint sized monstrosity reminds me of that urban legend. That may be her only flaw.
Well, that and the petty crap with Ramona. First with the cooking party. She should have greeted that situation with relief. The tennis payback was hilarious. Yet she spoiled her advantage by acting like a baby at the fashion show when Ramona got a better seat. She should have stayed and had fun with her gay.
Betthany. Is it just me or does one have to have a husband and/or kid to be a housewife?? Anyway, she seems nice, but, Oy! With the crying. I can not quite figure out, how in the world of reality TV, someone with so many issues can be so boring. She eats/sleeps/breathes her boyfriend, Jason, who I imagine is just frightened of being filleted by her sharp jaw and served in some appetizers. She earned extra points with the sloppy, slurred ultimatum to move in together. Hard to guess why he passed.
Ramona. You know the Bravo casting department was creaming itself when they interviewed this lunatic. Basically her emotions range from fucking insane to unrelentingly deranged. She dresses inappropriately and embarrasses the daughter, Avery. Yep, that little whipper-snapper better look alive and pick a vocation. She is 12 so, you know, tick-tock. How could that little ingrate turn down a life hawking religious jewelry? Kids today!? Anyway, Ramona was great at the girl's night out party at Jill's. I mean, holy fuck, way to have a meltdown. Everyone has been to parties where there was somebody that they did not like. You suck it up! I have found that scotch helps considerably. Anyway, she must know she threw a nutty because she recited an obviously questionable explanation to Betthany. Yes, there is no way to hide her crazy. In fact, she really needs to stay away from the dermatologist. She looks red and chafed. I would not be surprised if by next season the tip of her nose has turned black and begun to fall off.
LuAnn. Or shall I say Mrs. deLesseps?? Or possibly 4th Countess of who gives a shit?? Apart from a few remarks she seems the most sane. Which is like being the smartest kid in special ed. She wears her entitlement as effortlessly as Ramona wears her crazy. And Betthany wears her desperation. It is a good thing LuAnn treasures the title of Countess, because she won't be receiving mother of the year. She treats her children like pets. I would not be surprised if, in the future, LuAnn's Mother's Day flowers find their way to Rosanna's doorstep. Overall she has conducted herself with the minimum of regrettable actions. She seems to mostly just revel in the insanity around her. Although, she could use some work on her tact. On girl's night, she might as well have told Ramona that she did not have any class. The conversation was so transparent that even Jill's dog knew what she
was getting at. Not that I don't agree with her, but she really didn't need to be so obvious.
Alex/Simon. Because they are the same person. No, really. Why would they want to expose themselves as the blatant social climbing poseurs that they are? I don't know. It's truly amazing that they don't suffocate in the huge dog fart of pretension that surrounds them. Perhaps it is because the foul stench permeates even the vast emptiness where their souls should reside. What moral guideposts they are for their two boys. Instead of the golden rule, they can learn how to value others based on what they can do for you... and their possessions (never forget to take a moment to covet). Oh, and something tells me Francois is not a genius. He is just a kid with a built-in high school beat down because of that stupid name. Anyway, they mingled and schemed through this season, but my favorite was girl's night. A concept which puzzled Alex. Let me settle things for those as alarmingly infantile as Alex. Girl's night means 'no men'. Basically, it means no dicks, no matter how minuscule your husband's endowment happens to be. Bring Simon to a girl's night?? Hello?? I totally cracked up when upon hearing the plans, Simon
stretched all reason in order to attend. "It would be strange now if I didn't go." Uh, no Simon. It's fucking strange that you would want to be the only man at a women's dinner party. Oh wait. Maybe Simon thought that after everyone finished eating, they might let him sniff their butts.
Finally, and just a minor point, but WHO THE HELL GOES TO THE CARIBBEAN IN AUGUST?!?!?!?!?! Jill NAILED this when they were at dinner. Next season I'll give anyone 10:1 that Jill figures them out first.
Anyway, I just want to post a reminder to tune into the season finale Tuesday night. That is, if you don't have anything more fun to do. Like a colonoscopy.
April 13, 2008
Roundin' up the TPA
It is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. The weekly round up is compiled from submissions submitted by member bloggers.
Matt Glazer of Burnt Orange Report writes about how the TexBlog PAC shattered expectations to raise $3782.09 from 106 donors over the past week, putting the PAC in position to make a $5,000 donation to a House candidate before the end of summer.
The civil rights movement effected us all, and continues to do so today.
Over at Texas Kaos they're remembering the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King-in ways both large and small.
Corn? Soy beans? Those are for eatin'! The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the next best Texas biodiesel crop-- algae!
XicanoPwr reports on Texas' Child Protective Services (CPS) removal of 183 young women, girls and boy, ages 6 months to 17 years, from the Fundamentalist LDS Church's compound near Eldorado, TX.
Pete Olson, a Texas CD 22 candidate has elevated Hal's blog to that of a "prominent local Democrat blogger" In That's MISTER Half Empty, Bub, we get Hal's take on that.
Stace Medellin of DosCentavos writes about Senate Leader Harry Reid's statement on Cesar Chavez's Birthday. Reid gave the strongest response among Democrats and pointed to GOP obstructionist tactics regarding various issues affecting Latino Americans.
April 12, 2008
Sing a song about the heartland...
Sometimes, on clear sunny mid-spring afternoons, I get a tune stuck in my head and can't get it out. When that tune sucks really hard, in a profoundly trite and soulless kind of way, I know I've stumbled upon a New Country Hit. Well, today it happened again. It's irritating as shit to have a bunch of mullet-capped racket running a feedback loop through one's brain, but why not turn these lemons into some Country Time Lemonade?*
So here's the deal. We'll turn this random and regrettable mental turd into a lucrative business opportunity. We've already got the tune but we still need some lyrics for our Grand Ole Opry gem. Of course, they've got to be commercially viable lyrics if we're going to be able to sell this thing to Nashville. That means they need to be about the superiority of living in an area predominately populated by livestock, tractors and meth labs. Or a sentimental recounting of some pious yet pithy platitude you learned from your PeePaw. Or mindless adherence to "Red State" political orthodoxy.
It just so happens that in the time I've sat here in my office chair typing, I think I may have come up with a chorus that fits into that last category. Send in your suggestions for the verses' lyrics and we'll see if we can't sell it to Nashville. Proceeds will go to the McBlogger staff hospitality fund (direct donations may also be sent c/o Mother Egan's). Here's what we've got so far:
It's called the Patriot Act, so let's act Patriotic
Wave the flag and vote like you're robotic
That dang Saddam Hussein can't commandeer our planes again
(insert krappy kountry guitar lick here as bridge to second part of chorus)
Let's nuke Iran 'til they're back to sticks and rocks
Stay informed with Hume and Hannity on FOX
Support our troops and put a ribbon magnet on your new dualie
(brief fiddle interlude, also crappy, then onto next stanza)
*How many times while driving through rural America do you see small-town restaurants and gift shops, inevitably with "country" in their name, try and get cute by misspelling 'country' with a "k"? Just once I'd like to see somebody sport some faux-illiterate "country" signage that gets the 'C' right but mistakenly omits the 'O' and goes straight to the 'U'. Betcha one of them there Stuckey's pecan rolls it'll never ever happen.
April 11, 2008
An essay on peeing in my pants...
... by David Sedaris
April 10, 2008
You're STILL here?
Two years ago, the mother of some little freakshow (we'll call her Mama Freakshow) tried to sue MySpace because her special princess hooked up with some perv and MySpace DID NOTHING TO PREVENT IT. Because parenting Mama Freakshow's kid was not so much their job.
Who knew?Oh, wait... I DID. So did a judge. Then another one. Now La Familia Freakshow is back, this time in FEDERAL APPEALS COURT fighting for the right to sue MySpace and make sure that they start protecting all the little fat girls who lie and say they are 18 so they can attract an older guy with a mullet and a 1986 Fiero. I'm sure that's it. It has nothing to do with that $30 million they hope to be awarded.
Cause they're totally giving that money away. Just like I'm going to start 'sharing' and 'playing well with others'.
In a new Absolut Vodka ad, there is a map of North America which shows Mexico with territory it lost to the US during the Mexican American War more than 160 years ago. The ad is for the Mexican market and obviously designed to appeal to Mexican consumers. It's a jingoistic thing. Think American flags and Chevy trucks. Get it? You can move a lot of product appealing to national pride. And if you can set the whole thing to a John Cougar Mellencamp song then you, my friend, are about to have a STELLAR quarter.
Michelle Malkin, since she has a say in how Absolut markets it's vodka and is responsible to the owners of the company, feels like she should have a say in how the vodka is marketed. According to her,the ad was in poor taste. She is of course livid about the whole thing. Shelly's also threatening a boycott of the company. Because they'll really be hurting if Malkin and her followers stop taking their annual bird sips of vodka. It's not like they drink Absolut, anyway. They probably like more exotic all-American brands like McCormick or Vladimir. The kind that comes in the plastic bottles.
Malkin, your readers are trash. A boycott by them will have a minimal economic impact. This ad is a sign of a company wanting to sell vodka to people dumb who buy the advert. Nothing more.
April 09, 2008
Balczak Will Stay In Race
It has come to my attention that a document has recently circulated on the Internets which purports to list the SD 14 delegation in its entirety. It appears my name was mistakenly omitted by the document's mysteriously anonymous author. Naturally, this typographical error has created a widespread impression that I am, in fact, NOT going to be a state delegate this year.
Admittedly, this race has changed since late February, back when it seemed my state delegate status seemed all but inevitable. But I have slogged through this long, hard and vigorous campaign and I'm still in it to win it. When my red cell phone rang at 9:45 a.m. last Saturday and some frantic precinct coordinator screamed "Where the !@#$% are you?!?!?!", I dutifully answered the call and drove to the Travis County Expo Center. It didn't matter that I was hella hung over (i took an earlier call on the big white phone at 6:40 a.m., if you know what I mean)...because my precinct needed me. When the vast Obamaniac conspiracy turned out to deny me my rightful spot as a precinct-elected state delegate, I fought back the tears and pushed onward. When I first tried to turn in my at-large candidacy application at the district convention, a large, angry, blinged-out guy with a mohawk beat my ass senseless right there in the middle of the arena floor as a massive throng of onlookers stood and cheered - just like in Rocky III. But I ignored the prevailing sentiment and kept at it. Just like the producers of Rocky IV and V.
Today, I'm here to tell you that I'm still fighting. And I'm not going to let some smoke-filled backroom "nominations committee" (whatever one of those things are) with their antidemocratic closed-door "meetings" and uppity lists of "approved people" decide the fate of my candidacy. I'm in this until EVERYONE not totally and irrevocably opposed to me maybe being a delegate has a chance to weigh in with their opinion, even while my opponents hide behind underhanded technicalities like only counting votes of district delegates living in my precinct, or disregarding people just because they didn't participate in the Democratic primary at all...or did, but not in Texas (can you say "splitting hairs?").
To all my supporters out there, don't give up. I. Will. Not. Quit. This. Race. (and for all you internet readers out there who can't see me, I'm holding out my left hand and doing that remote control clicky gesture as I say this). We will fight all the way to Denver. And stay until December, if necessary. You don't want an inauguration with all that awkward "unsettled business" vibe looming over DC. That's all I'm sayin'. Just give me the damn delegate slot already and no property gets destroyed. Did I mention I'm a lawyering lawyer who litigates lawsuits about law stuff?
The runoff hath passed
Yes, in case you (like most Texans) slept through it, yesterday was the joint primary runoff election. 1.55% of you turned out statewide. The rest of you slobs couldn't be bothered though I'm sure even if you had bothered to back away from the buffet long enough to vote, the results would not have been measurably different.
In the RRC race, Thompson soundly beat Dale Henry. We did not endorse Thompson, so we are of course incredulous at his inexplicable win (you know, since our endorsed candidates in every other race won). We'd like to applaud Dale and Team Henry for running a good campaign and we'd like to extend our congratulations Thompson and urge him to use Dale, if he's willing, as a resource on the proper job of the RRC.
In the DA's race, Lehmberg won. That's all I'm writing about this stupid race.
On the R side, CradDICK had a good night with the defeat of Rep. West out in Odessa. He also earned some solid victories in other races around the state. Those seats will more than likely be won by Democrats in the fall but for now CradDICK appears to be a big winner. Phillip has an excellent analysis on these races.
Lastly, we at McBlogger would like to say goodbye to Dracula-Cunt. Laterz, freakshow.
Saying goodbye...to friends and assholes
On a lighter note, I'm still watching Bad Girls and laughing my ass off since during a show featuring some really nasty bitches, Time Life is advertising Christian music.
April 08, 2008
Anti-Death Penalty Fun
Here are the deets...
A Broken System – Crying out For Justice 2007 – 2008 National Speaking Tour In Austin, April 9, 2008 7 PM at UT, The Texas Union Chicano Culture Room, 4.206 Featuring Mothers of Texas Death Row Prisoners: Sandra Reed – mother of Rodney Reed Anna Terrell - mother of Reginald Blanton Lee Greenwood – mother of Joseph Nichols, killed March 7, 2007 Jeannine Scott – Wife of Michael Scott, in prison for life. A “Live From Death Row” Event, with a call from a death row prisoner. Something is wrong. What can we do? The first step to action is awareness. Come and hear these voices and together let's fight for justice. For more info: 494-0667 or cedpaustin@gmailcom
RPT : Come be our bitch!
The crew over at the Republican Party of Texas ('Sup, playas!?) are giving two very special students a chance to be pages at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. What is a 'page', you ask? Well, a page is a digital or paper document on which words and pictures are placed. That's the nominal definition. 'Page' can also refer to young people who volunteer to give their time to a political party or organization where they will serve as a 'bitch' (i.e., copy bitch, coffee bitch, drycleaning bitch, phone bitch, bar bitch, gotothe711on15thandgetmecigarrettes bitch). In the business world, we call pages 'interns'. And yes, we're totally going to hire you at the end of this internship. Really. All this unpaid work you're doing will pay off big time when we give you a job. Which we're totally going to do. After you come clean and paint my house on the weekend. Now, I really need my dry cleaning and a pack of cigarettes from the 7-11 on 15th.
In Republican circles, 'page' also means 'jailbait'.
Young people can apply for the position by going here. They should understand that they will be required to pay their own airfare and hotel charges. If they happen to be cute young men, they might be able to get some help paying for all this by securing a spot in the Foley Page Program where they will be staying with a Congressman who will teach them about the political process. And rimming.
Yes, we agree with you
Kelso took a swipe at the TSA last week...
Mandi Hamlin, 37, was having a hard time removing a nipple ring as she was going through airport security up in Lubbock. So a TSA agent handed her a pair of pliers to help her get the job done.
If you had an uncle crazy enough to do something like that, would you let him in your house? I know I wouldn't. I'd try to have him committed.
While Hamlin was behind a screen removing the nipple ring, she says, she could hear the male agents tittering. Now there's a Beavis and Butt-Head moment for you. Can't you hear them back there going, "Heh heh. Heh heh heh."
Hamlin should have told the TSA to go suck an egg. Yes, I know she wouldn't be allowed on the plane unless she lost the nipple ring. And I can understand wanting to get out of Lubbock. Boy, can I. But not quite that badly. On the other hand, I could see somebody removing a nipple ring with a pair of pliers to get out of Midland.
When you've got federal officials handing garage tools to passengers to mutilate themselves to get on an airplane, it's pretty obvious that we've lost our minds in this country when it comes to safety. And a nipple ring, for gosh sakes. Did the agent think Hamlin's nipple ring would explode?
Did they think the nipple ring would explode? Probably. These are the same asshats who thought bottle water would explode.
April 07, 2008
Damn The Activist Judiciary!
A Federal Judge has upheld the City's ban on smoking in bars. Where people go to drink. And meet other people. And have drinks with them. LIKE I DO.
A federal appeals court today reinstated Austin’s smoking ban in all public places.
A lower court had parts of overturned the ban, which was approved by Austin voters and took effect Sept. 1, 2005, claiming the law was impermissibly vague. The law had been challenged by several Austin bars, which claimed the ban hurt their business.
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling filed Thursday but released today, said the law conformed to Constitutional provisions. The appeals court also voided an injunction barring Austin from enforcing the law.
Laugh it up, Glen.
April 06, 2008
Roundin' up the TPA
It's time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. The weekly round up is compiled from submissions submitted by member bloggers.
Saturday, TXsharon of Bluedaze attended the Barnett Shale Expo and the lies told by John Tinterra, Texas Railroad Commission, in front of citizens who pay his salary and in front of his boss, Victor Carrillo, reminded TXS of a quote from Cold Mountain: "That man is so full of manure we could plant him and grow another one!".
McBlogger's never been a big fan of tax abatements to lure new companies to Austin. He's even less thrilled with them when they are being used to entice developers, especially developers who can't seem to make their finances work without the abatements.
Hal at Half Empty will vote in the Democratic primary runoff, to be sure, despite the fact that only one race will appear on his ballot. The tables are turned and the Republicans in CD 22 have a much more juicy decision to make. Oh, to be a Republican.
Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News turned it over to his brother Jim for a few odd links as he was getting ready to be tired out at the third step of the Texas Two-Step. Earlier in the week Gary got his dander riled at racist media conservatives.
nytexan at BlueBloggin tells us that keeping 378 delegates and 275 alternates under control is like herding cats in It’s Great To Be A Democrat In Texas at the Senatorial District 18, Bastrop County Convention.
Charlton Heston Dies; Gun Finally Pried From Cold, Dead Hands
Yeah, that was tasteless, but at least Terry "Craddick is God" Keel is unlikely to have me locked up for saying it.
April 05, 2008
This weekend in FUN!
Come join Hank Gilbert and the folks at TURF at the Capitol to let our leaders know that you don't want to pay through the nose for a road to nowhere!
Keel said the report tarnished his reputation.
"The intent was to set up a fraudulent Web site, be able to remain anonymous and make it appear that this was reporting," he said. "I don't care which candidate it's used against; I am not going to be a victim of fraud."
Keel, you stupid bitch. YOU aren't the injured party. You destroyed your own reputation and credibility. Your former constituents mostly think of you much like they do gum on the bottom of an old shoe. Or dogshit. If anyone was injured, it's Mindy. Your precious reputation was worthless BEFORE anyone posted a damn thing about you. Oh, and as for your complaint against Fero, it's bullshit. Nothing more than your pathetic need to play some of sort of part in the process.
And change that stupid haircut, 'tard.
April 04, 2008
The Beautiful People
I recently signed up for news alerts from the Schlockman, mostly because people around me are all the time talking about local things and I'm constantly left out because I never pay attention to local news. I really need to know about the latest person shot by the Round Rock PD? Really? Along with the alerts come links to other bullshit from the paper, including stuff from Austin360 which is the Schlockman's effort to seem hip and cool.
Funny that the NYT can send out Urban Eye and pull off a kind of effortless brilliance, even with a pic of Tori Spelling on the banner. The Schlockman, on the other hand, gives us the 'A List'. Seriously, if I were thinking about relo to Austin and I saw the 'A List', I'd start looking elsewhere. I know there are far more attractive people than this in Austin. I see them out all the time. They just weren't at the Beauty Bar on 27th March.
And I can totally say all this because I'm a goddamn super model.
April 03, 2008
Here's where you're wrong
The primaries this year threw a lot of people off, mostly because it was a much more significant event than anyone realized it would be. Everyone expected record turnout, but no one thought it would be as large as it was. I've waited a month for someone to point out the obvious and damn if it still hasn't happened. Then I read this retarded little analysis and thought "Goddamn, none of the mooks are going to say it". So, allow me.
The Democratic Primary effectively sucked the life out of the majority Republican Party in Texas.
There's a theory floating out there that somehow the non-partisan ParentPAC has lost it's strength. Here's the brill primary analysis...
To make it even worse, best estimates put Parent PAC’s arch nemesis, pro-voucher supporter James Leininger, at 4-2 this primary cycle. And three of his four victories came against Parent PAC backed candidates.
Here’s a closer look at Parent PAC’s primary cycle. In races where they put in 10,000 dollars or more, they managed a mere 2 - 5 record. In their marque race of the season, Parent PAC again targeted a top Craddick Lieutenant in Phil King, but this time they poured over 60,000 dollars into a poor showing with Joe Tison, who got rolled-up by 31 points. Jim Shepherd took 5,000 of their dollars and front-runner status into his quest to not make his run-off to replace Fred Hill. Likewise, Bob Leonard took 7,500 of their dollars only to get trounced by Mark Shelton. But I’m sure that was one they didn’t mind losing, this way Parent PAC is saved the awkward moment of having to chose in the general between Leonard and Democrat Dan Barrett, who they’ve donated to in the past.
The El Paso duo of Moreno and Haggerty took a combined 16,000 Parent PAC dollars and flushed it down the toilet. All in all, in the ten races Parent PAC lost, totaling over 131,000 of their dollars, 6 were by ten points or more. But it’s not all bad news. It only took the badly bruised PAC just 161,000 dollars to squeeze out a 17 vote victory over Nathan Macias.
First, there is a really good reason why some of these races were lost. Democrats pulled people out of the Republican primary all over Texas for the first time in decades. That's the only way Haggerty loses and it's not like that will be a CradDICK win. Moody's going to take that seat with ease in November. As for King, shit... I think even he sees Sean Penn when he looks in a mirror. Even if he survives November, he'll be bloodied, beaten down and shrunken under the weight of knowing that it's going to happen all over again in less than 2 years. I don't think those narrow shoulders can bear that kind of load.
Of course, going into the primary, I like many thought it would be business as usual. But I'm a dumbass blogger. Some of these people are well paid political analysts who should have been able to see in the numbers the trouble ahead. My problem was in thinking this was only a slightly larger Pres primary with a 'slightly larger' universe of voters. I certainly never anticipated it would suck the life out of the Republican party and nothing I saw that night made me think differently. I mean, I live in Travis County. I'm used to dramatically outnumbering the Republicans at precinct conventions. What surprised me was that Democrats were doing it all over the state. And those numbers flipping over weakened the chances that challengers and good incumbents in the R primary had against CradDICK and Leininger opponents.
Just like Grusendork in 2006, King would have gone down this year in the primary from crossover support. So, in large part for no real reason, Leininger looks like he's got his teeth back. But looks can be deceiving. He's still the same neutered dipshit he was just after the 2006 primaries. However, no one will see it until November.
Many people are going to be surprised by how many races Democratic candidates win around the state with seemingly little support. It's because overnight March 4th, the Texas Democratic Party became THE 800 pound gorilla in the room.
So just what DID happen in March?
As I sit with my very first sidecar of the night (ok... you got me. Eighth. And they taste just as good with the bottled lemon juice as they do with fresh, mother) reading letters from some of the you people who are, to be gracious, new to the process, it occurs to me that surely there must be a flowchart that can help explain just what happened from the night of the primary through the 29th. THIS is that flowchart.
April 02, 2008
One thing all candidates have in common
Sister Ruth has a story she likes to tell about being on MoPac in traffic and seeing a bumper sticker that said "Dear Jesus : Please save me from your fan club". I feel the same about the candidates this cycle. It's not so much that y'all suck (some of you do, but only a few), it's your supporters that are, frankly, asshats.
This'll put Lamme's out of business
Ever had a strawberry that tastes like white chocolate?
In the future, no natural food will taste as you remember it now. Because face it: fruits and vegetables are great. But if turnips tasted like Doritos, America wouldn't be so fat that our continent occasionally dips into the ocean, like arm floaties on a grown man.
Tokyo company FCOM is learning how to change food as we know it. Instead of using genetic modification, they're utilizing techniques from other industrial processes. Through freeze-drying fruit, FCOM is then able to replace with water with flavor (or in the case of strawberries, water with white chocolate). But no, they haven't made cocao butter-based white chocolate into a health food.
Or, how about an orange that tastes like yummy cheddar and is fortified with lithium (or Chantix if you, like Barfly and Sister Ruth, are quitting smoking)?
April 01, 2008
This is some bullshit
In February, 2006 a teacher decided to wash out a child's mouth with soap. The child, of course, claimed that he'd been forced to drink soap. The grandparents decided to sue. They recently won.
A state district court jury has awarded the family of a Sims Elementary School student whose teacher was accused of forcing him to drink liquid soap $15,000 in damages in a civil suit, according to court documents.
Tony Lamaro Johnson and Juanita Johnson, grandparents of Tony Lamaro Johnson II, who is now 7, had sued Susan Miller-Smith, the boy's former teacher.
Miller-Smith was accused of putting soap in Lamaro's mouth on Feb. 23, 2006.
A Travis County grand jury later declined to charge Miller-Smith with a crime. She resigned from her job with the Austin Independent School District in March 2006, a district official said.
On Friday, a jury in state district court awarded $5,000 for pain and mental anguish and $10,000 for future mental anguish, the documents said.
Kudos to the GJ, but shit all over the retard jury in the suit. I can only imagine this whiny little fuck coming home complaining about this and Grandma and Grandpa Johnson falling over themselves to baby the poor little lamb.
My mouth was all the time being washed out when I was a kid (I'm kinda slow on the uptake... plus, I kept thinking the bitch teachers were out of earshot) and it wasn't with liquid soap. IT WAS WITH LAVA. I complained about it once when I was 5. My father, being the brilliant jurist he is, decided to spank me because I'd obviously done something bad at school. That and he didn't like whining.