June 30, 2009

Someone stole Mr. The Plumber's brain

What a tool...

Referring to the Constitution as "almost like the Bible," Wurzelbacher said of the Founding Fathers: "They knew socialism doesn't work. They knew communism doesn't work."

Yes, they did. Almost 30 years before the author of The Communist Manifesto was even born. What vision!

Mr. The Plumber then went on to discuss progressive taxation (without even mentioning the Ovarian Lottery) which he thinks is immoral though he doesn't really understand the concept, nor the concept of morality. He also declared he was still a member of the Republican Party which will make some of my more affluent Republican friends vomit. Or, rather, it should.

One has to wonder how much the Republicans are paying this sad, pathetic douche of a man. Hopefully it's enough for him to finally realize his dream of owning his own plumbing business. Then he can actually bitch about paying taxes since he really doesn't pay much right now.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Special : Two items worth noting

First item worth noting, this piece from Kronberg regarding what Dunnam is thinking of in terms of a proper duration for the Special...

DUNNAM: NO PLANS TO SLOW ANYTHING DOWN

Wants to be clear on CDA reauthorizations; otherwise plans to expedite speedy session

The Austin rumor mill continues to churn about grand plans by House Democrats to throw a little sand into the gears of the special session.

Not so says House Democratic Leader Jim Dunnam.

"I met with Armbrister and Morrisey on another matter yesterday. I told Armbrister that while we want to be sure we understand what is in the CDA re-authorizations, we were ready to make the session go smoothly."

Dunnam added, "Of course we would like to see CHIP, unemployment insurance and TDI added to the call but we don't have any control over that."

Then there was this in the Statesman on how Sen. Nichols' zeal for open ended CDA renewal could lead us to a much longer session. My question is, simply, CAN WE JUST END THESE AND MOVE ON? The Republicans want CDA's. The Republicans want privatization. The Democrats might be OK with some of it if they know what's going on in the contracts?

Seriously, Rep. Dunnam? The fact that every time y'all vote to continue this garbage it ends up leading to a larger clusterfuck isn't enough of a clue that maybe, just maybe, y'all should just go ahead and be intransigent on the whole thing?

This is a cut and dry issue. Privatization of infrastructure is not an acceptable solution. And now, ahead of an election year, is not the time to play bipartisanship with right wing lunatics like Sen. Nichols. Not when even people in his own district are shopping for primary and general opponents for him.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eat our holes

The Hardee's unit of CKE Restaurants is rolling out a new product which is, no joke, a biscuit hole (whatever that is) that's been deep fried, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar and served to you hot with icing in which to dip the balls of fried dough.

Do you have any idea how much restraint I exercised just there talking about fried dough balls?

There is, however, a small problem. The company has had some issues with a name for what many are calling a delicious product. So, they're asking for your help. Please visit here and feel free to leave your suggestions.

Yes, I own stock in CKE. A lot of stock.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

2010 : Watson and Reality

Paul Burka has a piece up about Sen. Watson's chances in the '10 gubernatorial race. Honestly, it's not a bad read but it's a conventional analysis about an election cycle that's going to be strange in many ways, in state that is anything but conventional, especially right now. Where Burka and I differ on this is that while I think Sen. Watson can easily slide through the primary, I do not think he has the talent to win statewide at the top of the ticket. His best shot is Lt. Gov, but it remains to be seen whether or not his ego can handle not being at the top (insert bad relationship joke here).

Oh, and every politico in and around Austin who thinks Kirk is the golden boy for '10 needs to rethink things a bit. Seriously, they're offbase and don't know the state (outside of Austin) or the mood of it right now. Sorry to rain doodoo on the parade, but reality is reality... and if you think Kirk will sell well in Smith or Gregg Counties, think again. Kirk's only shot is predicated on 39% winning the R primary (not at all a given) AND managing to work the campaign well. Therin lies the problem... his 02 run was pathetic, even worse than the 2006 Van Os run with that retarded 254 county strategy. Even if that's fixed, he's a drag at the top given some of his 'reasonable, but hard to defend' votes in the Senate. Down ballot, there's less pressure and an easier sell for a respected Senate insider that can actually be an amazing Lt. Governor.

Texans are angry. Like a nest of hornets that's been disturbed, the people of this state are looking for someone to blame for the shitty roads, the shitty schools, their economy which is not so great everywhere BUT Austin and their horrendously inflated property taxes driven up by the fact that businesses pay little in taxes. Let's not even mention they have to pay for the most expensive insurance and some of the most expensive electricity in the country.The state, in short, ain't in especially great shape as anyone who's driven on 35 between Austin and Dallas already knows. And the blame is being assigned to 39% and the worthless R's in the Lege. 15 years of Republicans have worked hard to turn Texas into Guatemala.

39% is, of course, trying to make it about 'hating Texas'. What his brill strategists don't seem to get is that Texans already think their guy is a piece of shit. His 39% of the vote in 06 wasn't, you know, an accident. All that's needed is a nasty, drag you through the mud and junk punch you on the way down, fighter to remind them all who's been in charge while the state's been going to hell. Sen. Watson ain't that guy.

They're pissed as hell because they're proud of where they live and what they've accomplished in spite of 39% and the Republicans. They're mad because they see the state circling the drain while 39% gives taxpayer money to big banks, asking nothing in return and who then turn around and screw Texas homeowners with their toxic subprime loans.

Texans are looking for a warrior, someone who can throw a punch into 39% glass jaw, then sit down and have a beer with them but at all times know that he's the kind of guy who doesn't let anything slide. I don't think that guy is Sen. Watson. I think it's Ronnie Earle.

Burka says the 'burbs will be the big battlefield because of toll roads and schools. They're a bigger deal this cycle for D's and easier to pick up in but the real opportunity is East Texas. And this year, with all the TTC 69 bullshit and the R primary, Democrats have the first real shot they've had since the 80's at rebuilding a Democratic base in East Texas.

Now, there are a number of constituencies hoping and praying that Sen. Watson runs statewide. I'm one of them, but where we break is for the office. TTLA and others are rumored to be pushing for Governor and I'd urge them to reconsider. I'd also urge Senator Watson to be realistic about what he really wants and to really think about where he can do the most good.

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

Toll Me Another Story

"Toll" is just another dirty 4-letter word


Telling people not to use toll roads if they don't want to and then building them is almost like telling people not to breathe if they don't want to. They are going to be hurt.

Why? Because we all will be paying toll road TAXES even if we "don't use them".

How? We will pay the extra tolls at the cash register when we purchase goods and services because businesses will divert their toll costs onto the consumer. It's common-sense.

In addition, toll roads are long-term debts that our children's grandchildren will continue to pay.

Lastly, if you think toll roads are the panacea for all our roadway, traffic and pollution ills, you are grossly mistaken. Just look at the long-time toll roads in tolling meccas like CA, NY, FL, etc., and you will see that not only do they still have the same issues and problems, but new ones have been created directly due to the building and maintenance of toll roads and plazas.

Another issue is that of Eminent Domain. Thanks to lackluster laws created by lawmakers and their wealthy special interests, property owners will NOT be compensated properly for the taking of their land.

Obviously, there are MANY reasons NOT to approve toll roads throughout Texas, but the main reasons are that toll roads are NOT cost-effective and why should Texans provide wealthy special interests with more avenues for profiteering at our expense?

The special session starts Wednesday July 1st. Contact your state lawmakers and tell them you do NOT want toll roads and to vote AGAINST private toll road leases and any other pro-toll agendas.

Contacts:

House: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/welcome.php

Senate: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/Members.htm


----

Peter Stern

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

Crush the TTC and Toll Road Agendas at the Capitol

Wednesday starts the Special Interest Special Session

Reprinted by Peter Stern with permission from Terri Hall and TURF


PRESS ADVISORY

Contact: Hank Gilbert, Board Member, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), President of Piney Woods Subregional Planning Commission, (903) 570-3613, WEB: www.TexasTURF.org


Legislature poised to pass largest tax increase in Texas history, sell roads to foreign corporations

Texans reject quick fix, ask lawmakers to slow down and get it right

Austin, TX, July 1, 2009 – The Texas Legislature, at the behest of Texas Governor Rick Perry, convenes Wednesday for a Special Session in order to ram through three bills that will affect Texans for generations. Concerned citizens are hopping mad about lawmakers’ rush to get home for the 4th of July holiday rather than give due consideration to what some have dubbed the largest tax increase in Texas history, selling Texas highways to PRIVATE foreign corporations that charge 75 cents PER MILE in new toll taxes to access PUBLIC roads.

On Wednesday morning, Texans will converge at the capitol to demand Perry’s controversial and virtually universally detested road privatization schemes die a natural death August 31 as scheduled, which will also KILL the mechanism to build the Trans Texas Corridor.

What: Press conference on the citizens’ transportation agenda

Who: The people of Texas through Texas TURF, a non-partisan, grassroots group defending citizens’ concerns with toll roads & Trans Texas Corridor

When: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

Where: South steps of the Texas capitol, Austin, TX


Background:

In 2007 by a combined vote of 169-5, the Texas Legislature passed a bill, SB 792, to put a moratorium on private toll contracts, called comprehensive development agreements (or CDAs) that privatize and sell Texas highways to the highest bidder. The moratorium ends August 31, 2009, and CDAs, except for approximately a dozen projects that were exempted, sunset with it. CDAs are the primary vehicle used to construct the Trans Texas Corridor.

###

Posted by pstern at 08:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2009

100% Disabled Veterans May Apply for Their Total Residential Property Exemptions

Veterans can apply now!


Now that Texas Legislators approved the bill for total home property tax exemptions for 100% Disabled Veterans and Gov. Perry signed the bill into law, the Texas Comptroller's Office is offering a download of the application form.

A 100% Disabled Veteran must complete the application and attach a copy of the letter sent to the veteran by the VA that documents the percent of disability to the appraisal office of the homeowner's district.

Read the directions carefully and note that the application may be completed online but is temporary and must be copied to a printer before closing the site. It will NOT be saved online.

You can go to the site by clicking HERE


--- Peter Stern


Posted by pstern at 04:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Good idea, 39%

As it turns out, turning down the unemployment money from the Feds was one of the dumber decisions ever made by 39% since we'll now have to go begging DC for the money to cover the gap between demand by people out of work and available unemployment funds.

Is there ANYTHING 39% does that isn't a shell game?

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

Thank you, Barney Frank!

The long overdue first shot in the battle to end the War on Drugs has been fired...

Barney Frank's bill may not be the solution. It may even create a whole raft load of new and different problems. Even so, isn't it time that we admit that the pointless, never-ending War on Drugs © just isn't doing what we've convinced ourselves it is? Why is it that we rail against wasteful government spending...and yet never address the moral and financial black hole that is the War on Drugs ©? If any other public policy initiative had been show to be such an abject faiilure, the demands for it to be ended would be legion. Yet the War on Drugs © continues apace, unimpeded by expectations of success. The mere fact of the existence of the War on Drugs © seems to be sufficient, because politicians have come to see it as the third rail of public policy: touch it at your own substantial risk.

I'll begin to think that we're serious about address drug use in this country when we finally begin to address the reality of our national alcohol problem. Until and unless our elected leaders take off their collective blinders, we'll no doubt continue flushing billions more tax dollars down the drain. And nothing will change.


Posted by mcblogger at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gov. Rick Perry Lies to Texans About Home Insurance Premium Costs

Perry is a lying sack of manure

by Peter Stern


We need to ask ourselves, "Why?" [...do Texans continue to pay the highest home insurance premiums in the nation.]

Five years ago with Gov. Rick Perry, then Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner Jose Montemayor, and legislators "looking the other way," lax insurance legislation permitted the industry to double overnight the premiums paid by Texas homeowners. Bear in mind that Gov. Perry will have a tough battle for reelection in 2010 from fellow Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Texans now have some "clout" to demand the governor do something before the election.

In 2004 and during the previous several years, the insurance industry had been experiencing a hard market and was losing revenue; we were told it was caused by excessive claims due to storms, winds, flooding, hail, and mold. The industry collectively had called upon the state informally to help with correcting the market, but few listened to its pleas.

As in many previous years of hard markets, the insurance industry elected to act independently on the problem without waiting any longer for government interaction on its behalf. Virtually overnight, it then over-corrected the market by doubling home insurance premiums. Texas homeowners are still paying those doubled premiums.

In some instances, the industry decreased the coverage and still increased the premiums significantly.

Initially, the reaction of homeowners was disbelief and then anger. Many contacted the offices of the governor, TDI, and various legislators. They were told publicly by Gov. Perry and his appointee Comm. Montemayor that by the next year, the insurance industry would refund up to 14 percent of the increased premiums. To date, that has never occurred. Homeowners must have forgotten the promises made by Perry, Montemayor and now TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin.

So, now it's been 5 years of insurance over-compensation and profiteering, while premiums still are doubled! Texans still are being lied to, while the governor and state officials continue to permit the insurance industry in Texas to maintain the highest home insurance premiums anywhere else in the nation.

Currently, we are in the middle of the 3rd fiscal business quarter of year 2009 and are in a softer market. The industry has been reaping substantial profits for the past several years and is still content to keep premiums at this highest-ever level.

Despite high revenues, there is no sign of legislators providing more oversight and/or regulations on the insurance market, nor is the industry on its own considering lowering the premiums of home insurance to a more reasonable amount.

Periodically, when public opinion and discontent require it, Perry gives the issue some lip service and feigns to leave it up to the Legislature to consider, but no one seriously acts on behalf of overburdened Texas homeowners. With ever-increasing property values via appraisal creep generating escalating taxes annually (whether or not appropriate), home insurance may be a close second as the cause of the record number of foreclosure throughout the state.

Apparently, unless Texans pound on the gubernatorial and legislative doors, communicating via phone and letters that home insurance relief is needed now, no one will do anything about it and Texas homeowners will continue to pay the highest premium costs anywhere in the nation. We can NOT depend on the governor, legislators, current TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin, or the insurance industry to offer homeowners relief. To them, the sweet smell of profits overrides the stench of decay from the American Dream of owning your own home becoming a nightmare for most of us.

We either can remain the docile sheep officials want us to be, or we can move on correcting this unacceptable series of insurance events.

DEMAND REDUCTIONS IN PREMIUM COSTS WITHOUT REDUCING COVERAGE!!!

Naturally, an easier option for fed-up Texans is to vote-out Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary, by voting-in fellow Republican opponent Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Texas taxpayers finally have a viable option in lowering their home insurance premiums by removing a lying and deceitful special interest governor from office.

---


Posted by pstern at 06:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2009

Ditto, Frank Rich.

With the President caving in to Republicans and Blue Dogs unnecessarily, you'd think on some level he'd develop a spine on a simple civil rights issue. But that's not, as Frank Rich astutely points out, the case.

No president possesses that magic wand, but Obama’s inaction on gay civil rights is striking. So is his utterly uncharacteristic inarticulateness. The Justice Department brief defending DOMA has spoken louder for this president than any of his own words on the subject. Chrisler noted that he has given major speeches on race, on abortion and to the Muslim world. “People are waiting for that passionate speech from him on equal rights,” she said, “and the time is now.”

Action would be even better. It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places.

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

Veterans Deserve Our Support

Suicide: A Painful National And Local Community Issue

Veterans are hit hardest.

The media tells us little regarding suicide unless it occurs to a famous individual.

The truth is that suicides occur all too frequently within our society. There has been an increase of teenage suicides and among our elderly population, but the most dramatic increase in suicide has occurred with our returning Veteran population — but we don’t hear about it on the news.

The media was all too quick to jump on the recent possible suicide of actor David Carradine when he was found hung in a Thailand hotel. Too quick because authorities now believe it looks like the actor may have been murdered. Unfortunately, no one is notified that many of our Veterans are having problems reentering our society after serving our nation.

Why aren’t the media writing about the increasing high rate of suicide by our returning Veterans? The suicide rate is the highest among that population than ever before. It’s time we recognize the problem and do something about it.

The increase of suicide by our Veteran population is not just a problem for the federal government, it is a local problem as well and state lawmakers should be doing everything possible to provide needed services, including counseling to help our returning veterans in readjusting to civilian life. As a Disabled Veteran myself, I can tell you that it is not an easy task to acclimate back into our culture after being in a war zone for long periods far away from civilization and loved ones. It is a heck of a return journey.

Reentry is especially difficult during these hard economic times, where Veterans especially have a tough time finding employment. Outsourcing, layoffs and immigrant cheaper labor have taken a toll on available, well-paying jobs for Americans. It is no secret that Americans need jobs and it should not take this long to generate jobs for those who need and want them.

Perhaps the dismal job market is hardest for our returning Veterans because in addition to readjusting to civilian life, there are fewer jobs available for them.

Isn’t it time we provide our Veterans with the services they need and improve job availability, along with a viable means to follow-up on their reentry into American communities? Suicide is a painful alternative and it hurts everyone in our community.

-----

(Peter Stern of Driftwood, Texas, , a former Director of Information Services, university professor and public school administrator, is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a Disabled Vietnam Veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees.)


Posted by pstern at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 27, 2009

I had no idea he was still alive

PhotobucketNoted American retard Stephen Baldwin is,like, apparently still alive and has quit 'I'm a Celebrity...' which is, like, some TV show on the NBC which is, like, some network (it's one of those channels you don't have to, like, pay extra for).

I'm not joking when I said I thought he was dead. I figured he'd been eaten by his brother Daniel in an effort to stay alive after a tragic plane crash in the Andes.

Posted by mcblogger at 05:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lyceum Poll fun

Honestly, this past week was kinda busy at work for the team here at McBlogger. For me, it was actual work. For the rest of the team it was probably taking long lunches and just ignoring my emailed pleas to PLEASE WRITE SOMETHING.

Via Twitter came word of the Lyceum poll on Tuesday. Kuff and EOW have analysis pieces up on the poll that are pretty revealing. The biggest surprise is the sea change in attitudes toward gay and lesbian couples with a solid majority now in support of civil unions.

Unsurprising were the voter ID numbers which are the same voter ID numbers you always get in a poll because, not knowing anything about the issue other than being asked if you think it would be OK to require a photo ID, people think it's fine.

What I'd like, just once, is for the poll to ask if it's a voting issue. I already know it isn't, but it would be nice to finally have real data.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 26, 2009

July 4th Has a Vivid Memory

The Freedom We Won is Still the Freedom We Must Continue to Fight For

by Peter Stern


July 4th 1776 is the victorious celebration of the American Revolution, when the King of England's oppressive rule was overthrown by American colonists.

Today it's good for Americans to remember that time period and the real reason we broke away from such an autocratic ruler:

"No taxation without representation" means you can't be taxed without fair representation and agreeing to it


Freedom of speech


Freedom of religion


Freedom to become educated and to do whatever you want to do as long as it's legal


Freedom to read whatever you want to


Freedom to buy a home and not lose it to foreclosure due to sky-high property taxes and a depressive economy


Freedom to run for political office without having to pay astronomical fees to do so, nor by being bought out by wealthy special interests


The new American government of the Thirteen Colonies would refuse to go into the sort of debt that the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama administrations undertook for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and reconstruction -- $300 Billion!


President George Washington believed in tending to American needs with a more isolationist policy regarding our world neighbors; perhaps he was on to something


Veterans of the Revolutionary War were taken care of by the new American government; our government needs to step-up and do the same


American patriotism was for wealthy, middle class and poor alike.

On July 4th it is important to remember why Americans really celebrate this event in our history and it is equally important to recall the reasons we decided to separate from England and the King's autocratic rule --- including the oppressive taxation prevalent during those times for the King's special interests.

We must remember and honor our Veterans who continue to die to protect America from its enemies and that our tax dollars must go to provide returning Veterans with the services and health care programs they need to be well and to continue to be productive members of our society.

Lastly, we must ensure that our forefathers didn't fight and die in vain.

We must ensure that our government never loses sight of the fact that our officials are in their positions as representatives "of the people, by the people and for the people."

These days it appears that our President and Congress constantly must be reminded of this fact.

---

Posted by pstern at 05:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Phone Call : The Real Housewives of NJ

Posted by mcblogger at 04:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China whines (again) about the dollar

Symbiotic relationships are a bitch. You hate the other party but you need them so much you just can't let go.

Sounds like most of the marriages I know.

China is still casting about for a new reserve currency, using the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights.

"To prevent the deficiencies in the main reserve currency, there's a need to create a new currency that's delinked from the economies of the issuers," the People's Bank of China said in a review of the economy in 2008 released on Friday.

The subtext is "We don't believe the US can balance it's budget and we believe they will monetize their debt by printing ever more currency. This will devalue our already large position in dollars and dollar denominated assets. We are therefore looking for another currency in which we can invest without the fear of depreciation".

Which is kinda dumb since China is effectively tied to the dollar as long as they have an export driven economy. So, good luck with the SDR's, bitches. Realpolitick aside, they do have a valid point. There is zero chance that we will monetize the debt, but there is a real chance we will continue to run structural deficits forever if the cut and spend crowd comes back into power.


Posted by mcblogger at 02:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jonah Goldberg : I want to cut off the Ayatollah's head

Jonah is also unhappy that Obama isn't willing to 'do more' to aid the protesters in Iran. Of course, he doesn't go into specifics, just assaults the President's efforts to keep us out of a third theater of combat operations.

That's the problem with someone like Goldberg. He sits in the shadows, carping and sniping, offering no real solutions. Which is appropriate since he has none.

The funniest thing about the Republicans chastising President Obama for not working harder to 'end the regime' is how it betrays their ignorance of Iran...

If the forces of reform and democracy win, Obama's plan to negotiate with the regime is moot, for the regime will be gone. And if the forces of reform are crushed into submission by the regime, Obama's plan is moot, because the regime will still be there.

Iran is a REPUBLIC with DEMOCRATICALLY elected leaders. The regime is supported by the majority of Iranians who truly believe in the Islamic Republic, despite the corruption of the theocrats who sit atop the state. Most of the protesters don't want to end the Islamic Republic... they're just pissed their candidate didn't win.

Which reminds me of Mr. Goldberg and his gang here in the US.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 25, 2009

The Come To Jesus - Democratic Gov Primary edition

Let me preface this, once again, by saying that neither myself nor anyone who authors on McBlogger has a preference in the Democratic Primary for Governor. I think we're pretty unanimous regarding Perry on the R side but, frankly, we feel like a Democrat can beat Sen. Indecisive Old Bitch, too.

I'm going to be reprising my efforts in 2006 by once again working for Hank Gilbert as he gears up to win the Ag Commissioner's office which is the reason I'm posting this. Not for nothing, but we're playing to win and, frankly, the amateur hour fuckups in the D primary for Governor are giving me indigestion.

KT has a nice discussion post over at BOR regarding the race for Governor. The parts that caught my eye were the referenced quotes like this...

"And also remind people that this is not going to be easy. It's going to be really hard. And if they want to do that, I get to be governor. And if they don't want ot do that, I can go make money, and I've done my civic duty of trying to lay it out."

Well, Geewhiz, Tom. Looks to me like you're saying that we'll either make you Governor or we won't. It's awesome that you can so easily absolve yourself of responsibility. Like it or not, you can't just put your name on a ballot and hope for the best. You're going to have to persuade people to vote for YOU. We can help, but you gotta give us something to work with.

Tom, I like you as a person and I think you might actually make a good Governor. But this was just a fucking stupid thing to say. Of course, that was eclipsed by Mark Thompson. It's always the peanut gallery that chimes in with something pithy...

Tom Schieffer Channeling Sam Rayburn now to run as a Democrat? Didn't he channel Benedict Arnold to sellout the TX Democrat Party with Bush?

All bullshit aside, calling Schieffer a traitor just pisses me the fuck off. The man was asked by the President to represent the United States of America. He wasn't asked to change parties. He wasn't asked to sign off on Bush's policies and this is inexcusable politicking of the worst kind. It makes people hate you, Mark, and it validates the opinion many had of you as an angry, irritating fuck in 2008.

On the subject of also-ran Kinky Friedman, to paraphrase a very good friend of mine up in far North Texas, fuck me to tears. Anyone else remember his halting, ridiculous performance during the 2006 debates? Yeah, that was a real high-water mark for a campaign that featured nothing of any real value. His particular appeal centered on "Why not Kinky?". I'll refresh your memory... he's a miserable attention whore with an ego that comes close in size to AK Governor Sarah Palin's.

Now, let's not make this about keeping people out of the primary. I'm all for people running but they need to take it (and Democratic voters) seriously. So far we have half-assery, snide remarks that are largely buffoonish and off base and a lame comedy routine from the man you brought you 'nigger eggs'. Is it any wonder why no one is real excited right now about the D Gubernatorial field?

Texas Democrats deserve a whole lot better and so do the down ballot candidates. It's time for those who choose to run (don't act like you're doing us a goddamn favor) to straighten the fuck up and run like real people who are serious about doing a good job for their fellow Texans.

And it's 'DEMOCRATIC', Mr. Thompson. Quit channeling Tom Delay.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sad news...

  • Governor 39% has called a special session for July 1st.

    ”Legislation extending the existence of five state agencies that were subject to sunset review by the 81st Legislature that would otherwise be abolished without legislative action, and to change the review schedule for certain state agencies to balance the Sunset Advisory Commission’s workload.”

    Those agencies include the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Racing Commission, Office of Public Insurance Counsel and Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation.

    ”Legislation allowing the Texas Department of Transportation to issue general obligation bonds, which have already been approved by voters, for highway improvement projects, and for the creation, administration, financing and use of a Texas Transportation Revolving Fund to provide financial assistance for transportation projects.”

    •Legislation extending the authority of the Texas Department of Transportation and a regional mobility authority to use comprehensive development agreements to design, finance, build and maintain transportation infrastructure.

    Oh. Goodie. The revolving fund again. This is going to be a fun special, especially in light of the fact that an item on the call, the CDA extensions, will be extended the validity of an instrument the AG has said is unconstitutional.

  • Creekmore Fath, one of the liberal lions of Austin, has passed away
  • Farrah Fawcett died today after her long battle with cancer.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another Texas Progressive Alliance blog roundup.

    President Obama, Bill White, and John Sharp are all in the same sinking DOMA boat. The Texas Cloverleaf comes off of hiatus to tell you why.

    strong>CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme cheers the impeachment of Judge Kent. 4 articles passed without a single nay. Lets hope the Senate is through with him by August.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger finally signed up for Twitter to get updates on the Iran protests. What a day of drama and emotion it brought, Icons and Martyrs – All Day On Twitter Watching Iran. I was really meaning to highlight the regressive influences causing upheaval in personal lives, especially in Texas. Immigration Policies and Gay Rights – Contradictions


    Unlike Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign, Neil at Texas Liberal makes a promise he'll keep - He'll never cheat on his wife! Also, Neil sings the Damned's Wait For The Blackout at the Houston Ship Channel.

    Off the Kuff takes a look, then a second look, at the bills Governor Perry vetoed.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson knows in order to solve big problems it takes leadership, Who is willing to lead, who has enough LBJ in them?.

    Castle Hills Democrats heard candidates Tom Schieffer, John Sharp, Bill White, and Neil Durrance speak at the Dual County Fish Fry in north Texas. The blogger reviews their messages--and reports on feedback from the Dems in the audience.

    WhosPlayin investigated the claim by a former mayoral candidate that the city is hiring illegal aliens for its road projects because one of its contractors doesn't yet use the E-Verify program.

    Teddy at Left of College Station writes about escorting at Planned Parenthood and how what happens in Kansas doesn’t stay in Kansas. Today on Left of College Station: a report from the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Facility and the protest on Saturday (including exclusive photographs).

    Big Gas wants you to believe that regulating hydraulic fracturing is a state's rights issue. The truth: Only one state in the US regulates hydraulic fracturing. TXsharon busts the Big Gas bubble again on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

    Citizen groups opposed to new coal plants being built in Robertson County and near Victoria were given a chance to intervene last week when two of the 12 newly proposed coal plants in Texas had preliminary hearings for their waste water permits. Check out the video over at Public Citizen's Texas Vox.

    Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw tells us that Dumb, Self-serving Politicians Make Dumb, Self-serving Decisions. What a surprise that Governor Goodhair takes the starring role in this little drama. Check out the details.

    Do you love the Real Housewives on Bravo? Were you a little less than impressed by the NJ version? So was Barfly over at McBlogger.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    But, no, Senator Graham. They just want the coverage you get

    Apparently, Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks a true universal coverage plan would be a disaster...

    "The reason you are not going to have a government-run health care pass the Senate is because it will be devastating for this country," he said. "The last thing in the world I think that Democrats and Republicans will do at the end of the day is create a government-run health care system."

    Now, this WAS on Stephanopolous so no one pressed Sweetness to back up his claim. Afterall, the government runs Medicare quite well with little waste and overhead. In fact, it runs far better than ANY private health insurance company. VA runs pretty well as well despite the fact that it's facilities need to be updated which was a funding failure on the part of the Republicans when they were in charge that the Democrats are now rectifying.

    Graham himself also gets really extraordinary health insurance coverage as a member of Congress. Does he really view his coverage as a disaster? If so, would he be willing to forego it and pay for coverage through a private entity? I might have a little more respect for his position then. Right now he just looks like yet another hypocrite.

    Why is it such a disaster to give all Americans access to the same health care that Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John Cornyn enjoy? We WASTE enough in the private system to cover everyone. So why aren't we doing that? Why are the Republicans and a few Democrats playing with lives of Americans?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 24, 2009

    Iran : Did you really think this was a real revolution?

    A little bit about the Iranian election and subsequent protests... I think the election was fraud. The stupid thing is that it was unnecessary, Ahmadinejad would have won anyway. Stratfor has a very nice analysis piece on this and the framework I've been using is that Tehran is to Iran and Austin is to Texas. Just as Austin tends to be more progressive than the rest of the State, Tehran tends to be more progressive (relatively speaking) than the rest of Iran.

    In the global discussion last week outside Iran, there was a great deal of confusion about basic facts. For example, it is said that the urban-rural distinction in Iran is not critical any longer because according to the United Nations, 68 percent of Iranians are urbanized. This is an important point because it implies Iran is homogeneous and the demonstrators representative of the country. The problem is the Iranian definition of urban — and this is quite common around the world — includes very small communities (some with only a few thousand people) as “urban.” But the social difference between someone living in a town with 10,000 people and someone living in Tehran is the difference between someone living in Bastrop, Texas and someone living in New York. We can assure you that that difference is not only vast, but that most of the good people of Bastrop and the fine people of New York would probably not see the world the same way. The failure to understand the dramatic diversity of Iranian society led observers to assume that students at Iran’s elite university somehow spoke for the rest of the country.

    Could these protests evolve? Absolutely. But that would require the various factions to cooperate and not all of them share common goals (they run the gamut from preserving to ending the Islamic Republic with the latter being very small). The one commonality between the groups is their faith in Iranian democracy... they get to vote and elect their leaders just as we do and it's a cherished right that cuts across all classes.

    Which makes me think about the 04 cycle here in the US. A few days before the election, I had a conversation with a friend who thought people would be marching in the streets if Kerry didn't win. I said that was silly and wouldn't happen even if Bush won. Her point was that the people will rise up against a stolen election. In established democracies where the franchise is taken seriously, an egregious theft won't be tolerated which is why there weren't mass protests in the wake of Apocalypse Bush, Redux. You CAN steal an election that's close and you won't run the risk of revolution.

    Iran is a little trickier because there was election fraud but the general consensus is that it Ahmadinejad would have won without it (as a side note, anyone else think someone went a little overboard thinking it would be good to run up the score?). It's the egregiousness of the fraud that drives the protests and it's the fact that he would have won anyway that will, IMHO, drive them to fail as a broad change agent in Iran. However this works out, these will be the first firm seeds of doubt in the theocracy and from those seeds something great could very well grow.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Thank you, Congress and Mr. President

    As a shareholder in Altria, I was THRILLED that Congress passed and the President signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Bringing cigarettes under the control of the FDA is a positive step... and it's one that will lock in the advantage that Altria already enjoys in the market. So, yeah, I'm happy about that.

    I'm also happy that built into this bill is ban on clove cigarettes, which I hate.

    Happy, happy, joy, joy!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2009

    Sen. VDP out, throws support to Draft Watson

    Sen. Van De Putte has decided to opt out of a run for Governor in 2010 (more and more) and has thrown her support to Austin Senator Kirk Watson...

    "That's why I think Senator Kirk Watson should raise his sights and run for Governor. I've watched as Senator Watson has emerged as a leader in the state Senate on the issues of most importance to Texans. While staying true to Democratic values, he is a bipartisan pragmatic leader solidly focused on addressing the priorities of all Texans. I intend to lobby Senator Watson to run for governor, and I'll wholeheartedly support him if he does. But if he declines, Democrats should recruit and support someone who, like Watson, is energetic, pragmatic, focused, and smart; and who can fully energize Democratic supporters while also attracting a broad range of independent voters in every region of the state.

    Being undecided in this race leaves me open. I like Sen. Watson but I don't know if he can really take this race to the Republicans. My issue is his bipartisanship in the Senate which leaves him exposed should he try to mount an aggressive attack on, for example, infrastructure privatization which happens to be one of the many issues where a Democrat can come in and pick up solid Republican support.

    What worries me is the type of campaign he would run. In 2002 he got beat pretty bad and it wasn't just because of illegal contributions. There were a number of things he could have tagged AG Wheelie with but when push came to shove he didn't bring it. How much of that was his fault and how much was the fault of the Sanchez campaign remains to be seen.

    With that aside, I'd be an enthusiastic supporter of Watson since, as of right now, I really don't know how well Schieffer will run. Thompson and Kinky just bore me to tears.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    But who will give out that novelty check?

    So long, Ed. Thanks for the memories.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    39%'s been busy with the vetoes

    First up was this piece in the Austin Chronicle regarding the partisan vintage of the bills 39% has been vetoing. I know it will come as a shock, but the overwhelming majority are Republican bills.

    Just kidding! Nah, they're mostly Democratic and bi-partisan bills which, now that I think about it, is par for the course for a man who could only get 39% of Texans to vote for him. Some of these bills are pretty important. Some of them would have done a lot of good. None of it will receive a lot of attention. What will, however, really burn his ass is the veto of HB 2142 and the signature of SB 882.

    2142 was the bill that put some taxpayer friendly restrictions on the pro-toll propaganda campaign being run b y TXDOT known as Keep Texas Moving. This one will be a huge favorite with the crowds in East Texas along the 69 corridor.

    SB 882 was the bill by Spendthrift John Carona that actually PAID money to firms who bid on TXDOT projects but were not selected. Of course, the whiny refrain is that even bidding on these projects is expensive and without this there would have been fewer bids. Which is a load of crap because a company that can't afford the scratch to put together a proposal shouldn't even be in the damn running for a project. In point of fact, I could set up an engineering firm specifically to bid on TXDOT projects with the expectation that I'd lose every time... but I'd be richly paid for the loss. This process and this bill are an egregious waste of taxpayer funds.

    And 39% took the additional step of signing it. Of course, I doubt the Hutchison crew is smart enough to pick up on this. Democrats, however, are so it'll come up in the general regardless of the R candidate.

    I was ready for a real fight in 2010 but if you mooks are just going to make it easy, then go and keep (to use the words of a friend of mine) tripping over your own dicks.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 22, 2009

    Sen. Coburn brings the dumb

    Sen. Coburn presents to you QUESTIONABLE STIMULUS PROJECTS. Now, considering that the projects funded by stimulus don't matter, one has to wonder why the Senator is wasting taxpayers time to generate this list.

    Seriously, in a deep recession, all that matters is that the government spends money to make up the gap left by retrenching consumers and businesses. As long as they money goes into the domestic economy, you can spend it planting flowers.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Transportation Fun Time!

    Sorry about the title. I didn't know what else to call this post. 'Screeching Rant Time' also came to mind but it didn't really have the.... oh, how to put this... spirit of lightness and frivolity I was seeking.

  • According to our friends over at TURF, AG Wheelie has issued an opinion which calls CDA's 'unconstitutional' which may put an end to privatization schemes in Texas.
  • EOW has a nice little piece about WilCo's road to nowhere...
  • Senator Carona, that stalwart of support for good transportation policy, has apparently decided that fighting for his beloved local option isn't really something he care to do.
  • As Stern reported a few days ago, 39% made a big and useless show of supporting that eminent domain amendment that's set to hit the ballot in November. The funny thing... that amendment has no teeth and provides absolutely no real reform which is why it's supported by 39%... and Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.


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

    June 20, 2009

    The PEC Food Chain

    To protect and to serve?


    One question: Why did it take so long for all this greed, power and corruption to surface and steps taken to punish offenders?

    Many had to enable these actions. I have been writing about PEC for the past 6 years and no one wanted to act on this issue, e.g., the governor, lawmakers, PUC, various DA's, the AG, etc. Those folks are as guilty as are the vermin being tried and also as the ones who still sit as Directors of PEC, who are still manipulating PEC policy and dictating actions.

    It's time to deal with this nonsense correctly. It still is not being done.


    --- Peter Stern


    Posted by pstern at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 19, 2009

    There's being the opposition...

    ... and then there's just being stupid.

    Last week, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said Obama’s handling of the faltering U.S. auto industry is “almost like looking at Putin's Russia.”

    That came as Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was drawing heat from Democrats for saying that he told Chinese leaders that “the budget numbers that the U.S. has put forward should not be believed” and that Congress would spend more than what is contained in the budget.

    Just days before, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said at a fundraising dinner for House and Senate Republicans that Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy and save automakers have “already failed.”

    How the HELL is managing GM's bankruptcy like Putin's Russia, Rep. Cantor? What possible good can come from talking people out of buying US Treasuries, Rep. Kirk? Seriously, if you guys hadn't jacked the budget with ill-advised tax cuts that did nothing to stimulate the economy, we would easily be able to finance bringing the country out of the worst recession since the Depression.

    As for you, Newt, you're just stupid. The stimulus is just now starting to work it's way into the economy. While unemployment is growing, it's not growing nearly as rapidly as it was. Jobs are being saved. Oh, and it's a hell of a lot better than Reagan's tax cut in '81.

    What would be really nice is if Republicans with no real foundation in business or economics would shut up and quit sniping. And, yeah, that means you Pete Sessions...

    And Sessions has drawn some heat for saying to the New York Times last month that the Obama administration deliberately sought to “diminish employment and diminish stock prices” in order to “divide and conquer” in Washington. Prior to that, Sessions suggested Republicans could take lessons about “insurgency” from the Taliban.

    REALLY? The President is rooting for the failure of the nation he leads?

    I can stand argument over policy, but blind stupidity and hatred are just ridiculous. PLEASE keep it up, Republican leadership!


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Grace is Gone... I Wish!

    Libby Montana has become the first place in the country to be labeled an environmental public health disaster. The EPA is going to spend at least $125 million dollars (included in the stimulus package) to clean up the former asbestos mines and proccessing plants that are causing cancer (mesothelioma) at rates higher than anywhere in the country. So, our tax dollars are paying for a major cleanup as well as the associated health costs tax payers have covered for years.

    What makes this story all the more compelling is the company that owned and operated the mines... WR Grace. Some of you might remember they are the same company (one of two) detailed in the movie/book "A Civil Action" concerning the Woburn water pollution up in Massachusetts. This company has knowingly perpetrated some of the greatest environmental crimes of the 20th century and was even brought up on criminal charges for attempting to cover them up (they were acquitted because the judge made many rulings in favor of the defendants).

    Additionally, this company has been amongst the largest donors to the Republican Party and tort reform campaigns across the country (gee, I wonder why!). The former CEO, J. Peter Grace, was friends with Ronald Reagan and led a commission that in 1984 recommended we replace career civil servants with outside contractors. This practice was continued by W, leading to Halliburton, Blackwater, etc.

    So, to sum up, our tax dollars are paying to clean up someone else's mess. This someone is a close Republican ally that has a history of creating messes across the country with reckless disregard for the impact of their dumping practices on the communities they inhabit. Yet Republicans CONTINUE to argue that we need "tort reform" to become more business friendly.

    Posted by MasterConsultant at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Fixing soaring medical costs

    Part of the problem we face as a nation is the soaring cost of medical care which will come as news to exactly no one. I recently posted this on single payer... while it's true that eliminating the bureaucratic overhead will go a long way to arresting cost increases and allow us to insure everyone, it's not the only thing we can do to bring down costs. We have to restrict the ability of doctors to earn excess profits from excess and unnecessary care.

    Oh, but McBlogger! Doctor's know what tests are needed. If they say we need something, we need something. That's the benefit of single payer, the doctor makes the decision on what care is received!

    Sure, you have a point. But let me ask you this... if the doctor gets paid more every time you visit, if they have a financial stake in a testing facility and an imaging facility, how often do you think they'll want you to come in, give blood and urine samples and have an x-ray done?

    And therein lies a part of the problem that no one is really focused on... self dealing. This article in the New Yorker is pretty spot on with analyzing the problem but very weak in suggesting remedies. For me, it's simple. As the representative of a lender, I am prohibited by law from requiring that customers use certain providers for necessary services. I can't steer business, I can't own a part of the company I'm steering business to (without disclosure) and I can't receive kickbacks. As far as the disclosure, it has to very clearly say that I own a stake in the company and that I will benefit financially from the service I'm requiring you to buy in order to obtain financing from me and that there may be cheaper providers of the same service.

    If I can't make money off the downstream, why the fuck should a doctor get to?

    What we need, dear friends, isn't a bunch of gooders doing their best to lead us by example back to integrity as a country. We need laws and we need for them to be enforced. And Congress should start with this garbage.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 18, 2009

    What a bunch of bubbies!

    new jersey.bmpDid you know that a slang term for a vagina was a 'chuckie'? I certainly didn't, but thanks to Dina of the New Jersey Housewives, I do now! In fact, I have a special place in my heart for these little lacquered ruffians!

    I admit I disliked Danielle from the beginning. I thought she looked like a slutty, shady, snobby gold digger who couldn't face the fact that her best days were behind her. And, who knew, I was right! She needs a magazine rack for all her issues. Oh, and the wildly inappropriate way she is raising her daughters! Urgh!!! Because really, why should they get a childhood when their mother needed free therapy? I'm not a mom, but I'm fairly certain you've hit rock bottom when your 15 year old daughter is telling you that men are only interested in your 'goodies'. Pretty girl though. She really dodged a bullet not getting her mom's beak, right? Anyhoo, I found myself kinda feeling sorry for the pathetic sack of bones that is Danielle after her breakup with her younger boyfriend. He was a real prize whose apathy was as glaring as his bald spot. And then the book 'Cop Without A Badge' hit. That's when Danielle became a sampler tray of all different kinds of crazy.

    The main suspect in the diabolical plot to DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE to Danielle was Dina. Yes, petty little Dina with a bubbie-sprouting daughter, an absent husband, and a remarkable resemblance to her own hairless cat. Which makes sense given her exceptional aptitude for catty remarks and backhanded compliments to friends and foes alike. Her partner in crime was her sister Caroline, who was also the actual villain. I really wanted to like Caroline despite her bossy, judgmental, and paranoid behavior that had her looking for a fight in every episode. In the group dynamic she was the big, ugly, mean girl that nobody wanted to fuck with. But her boobs are real. She would want that noted. I'm not clear why/how she came up with the book about Danielle being an alias cloaked, ex-stripping criminal. She was already nauseatingly gross, so it didn't really hurt. If anything it just made her more interesting. And somewhat of a victim.

    Sympathy was what kept poor, sweet Jacqueline tethered to Danielle, regardless of her familial loyalty to her wicked sisters-in-law. In spite of her gullible naiveness, Jacqueline was my fave! Yes, she raised a bratty, ungrateful daughter, but maybe her sons will fare better. She was incredibly sympathetic being so open about her miscarriages. It was very touching. However, what sealed the deal for me was when after toasting enemies with Danielle, saucer-eyed Jacqueline leaned forward and asked 'Who are my enemies?'. That cracked me up! She certainly was the hero of the season finale, as was her husband. Props for backing up his wife! Well done!

    However, I know everyone's favorite moment of the finale was Teresa's meltdown. What a little scene stealer! Too bad her little performing tots had been escorted out. Mommy could have shown them how it's done! It is good they were around earlier to witness their mom say that their excessively horny dad is ALWAYS at it with the sex, even when mom is recovering from a boob job. It's fortunate they have that huge house. I have a feeling there are going to be many revelations that they won't want to be around to hear. Pick out your hiding places now girls! Yes, Teresa proved that not only can she spend insane quantities of money and create matching ensembles for her entire family, she is also pretty scrappy. Way to blow up! Take that you table! In fact, Teresa has given me a new life goal. Before I die, I hope I have the opportunity, and ability, to shout such a guttural 'WHORE' at someone in public. Frankly, it was pretty damn impressive.

    I can't believe the season is already over. I'm really bummed. At least, since the body count was zero, we can be sure they will all be back for season two.

    Posted by barfly at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Weak, Mr. President

    Why aren't we investigating the last eight years? Because It'll make President Obama look bad...

    But by late April Obama had vetoed the idea, fearing that it would look vindictive and, possibly, inflame his predecessor. “It was the President who basically said, ‘If I do this, it will look like I’m trying to go after Cheney and Bush,’ ” Panetta said. “He just didn’t think it made sense. And then everybody kind of backed away from it.”

    Uh, frankly Mr. President, we don't care what it makes YOU look like. Some of us would like some accountability. Some of us would like to really know what happened and who drove us over the cliff. Some of us actually want the catharsis of an investigation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Texas Governor Rick Perry & Eminent Domain

    by Peter Stern


    Slime-Ball Perry Rides Again!

    Governor Rick Perry is scamming the people of Texas (again).

    Perry's recent Press Release conveys the message that he signed an eminent domain bill HJR 14 that gives Texans the right to vote in November on this proposed amendment to protect their homes and property from being taken by the government and given to someone else.

    This is more Perry posturing. The Texas Governor does NOT have to sign for a prospective amendment to go to a public vote. If a majority of the Texas Congress {which it did on this bill] approves a proposed amendment it goes directly [NOT TO THE Governor] to the Secretary of State who will place it on the ballot in the next amendment election.

    Of course Perry [via his spokesperson] will say that in 2005 he signed an eminent domain bill, but it was bogus --- NOT in the best interests of the people.

    In 2007 he vetoed another eminent domain bill because it would have forced government or special interests to pay a more fair. and reasonable reimbursement to property owners for land taken from them.

    Now he is back to the BS that he is pro-eminent domain. He is so full of crap it's pathetic.

    Perry is using this eminent domain issue to try to build support for his reelection. This behavior underscores Perry's irresponsible behavior, his under-handed methodology in his gubernatorial rule and his lack of ethics. Clearly, Texans need to vote in another candidate for governor in November of 2010.

    ---

    Peter Stern of Driftwood, TX is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a Vietnam-era Disabled Veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees. You may contact Peter Stern at: pstern@austin.rr.com

    Posted by pstern at 07:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 17, 2009

    The deficit, debt and a poor understanding of the past

    Are you one of the freaks out there worried about the horrible Federal debt and the amount of paper being shoved out into the market? The recent runup in interest rates has been related to a few things...

    1) Speculation that the US debt rating will be cut because of (wait for it) a possibility that the US will default (just FYI, there is zero chance that will happen)

    2) Speculation that buyers will eventually dry up and no one will be left to purchase the debt.

    Notice that both of these issues are based on speculation, not reality. The first issue is just patently ridiculous. The second assumes that there is enough debt issued by other countries for investors to put their money in and that those investors will shun US debt in favor of debt issued by other countries. Which is silly since collectively, there isn't enough fixed income issuance globally right now to soak up all the available cash. Period. Which is why the Treasury auctions have continued to be oversubscribed (more buyers than securities available)... and will continue to be oversubscribed.

    Other part of this is that the overall fixed income market, globally, has shrunk pretty dramatically. While the amount of excess capital being generated has slowed due to the global slowdown, it has not disappeared. Which means it's looking for a place to be invested at exactly the same time that there are fewer investments available. That, my friends, leaves Treasury debt in a very strong position. Krugman has more (and a lovely chart) describing the decline and how government borrowing hasn't made up the gap. Which leads me to this piece by Reich about fearmongering regarding the debt...

    Odd that it would return right now, when the economy is still mired in the worst depression since the Great one. After all, consumers are still deep in debt and incapable of buying. Unemployment continues to soar. Businesses still are not purchasing or investing, for lack of customers. Exports are still dead, because much of the global economy continues to shrink. So the purchaser of last resort -- the government -- has to create larger deficits if the economy is to get anywhere near full capacity, and start to grow again. ...

    Even odder that the Debt Scare rears its frightening head just as the President’s stimulus is moving into high gear with more spending on infrastructure. Every expert who has looked closely at the nation’s crumbling infrastructure knows how badly it suffers from decades of deferred maintenance -- bridges collapsing, water pipes bursting, sewers backed up, highways impassable, public transit in disrepair. The stimulus, along with the President’s long-term budget, also focus on the nation’s schools, as well as America’s capacity to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These public investments are as important to the nation’s future as are private investments.

    Or, to put it plainly, we're in a period in the economic cycle when you are supposed to lard up with debt. Normally, you'd spend accumulated savings at a time like this but we can't do that because of Republicans who spent us into oblivion over the last eight years. All we have left is to borrow and there's more than enough capacity for us to do so. The awesome thing about this is that, unlike Reagan's massive debt accumulation, we're actually spending the money on things that will help the economy grow. Democrats are making some crucial investments in the infrastructure of this country that will make possible dramatic economic expansion which will grow the economy far in excess of our debt/GDP.

    But there are some people, we'll call them uninformed, who just don't get it. Take this asshat at the Weekly Standard.

    But Obama may have a broader ambition. He wants to be Ronald Reagan in reverse. Running up the debt, creating a host of new budgetary commitments and enlarging the government's role in the economy will take generations to unwind. And the engines of bigger government also require fuel in the form of taxes.

    Reagan did the opposite. He cut taxes to make government expansion harder. Obama is transposing Reagan. He is growing government to make future tax cuts more difficult.

    Wait a second... Obama is running up debt to DO something, Reagan ran up debt and did, well, nothing other than cut taxes which did free up capital since tax rates in the early 80's were pretty far on the right hand side of the Laffer Curve (he also bought some cool military shit which provided a short boost to weapons manufacturing jobs).

    Obama, on the other hand, faces tax rates on the far left hand side of the curve and his deficits will actually provide longer term growth. In point of fact, the Democrats CAN raise taxes from here without causing ANY damage to economic growth prospects because rates are so far to the left of the prime spot that the impact is actually positive given that higher taxes means less government debt issuance and capital being returned to debt holders. It also means that speculative money will be pulled out of the economy forcing investors to make smarter long term decisions which always grow the economy MORE than speculation.

    The rest of the piece in the Standard is really very silly. You should take a moment to read it if you are in the mood for fact-free opinion thoroughly devoid of any basis in reality. The scariest thing about what conservatives know are the things that just aren't so, to paraphrase Twain.

    A few years from now, probably before the 2012 cycle, we'll be out of this mini-depression, the economy will be growing at an aggressive rate and federal surpluses will either be a reality or a reality in the near future. THEN we can worry about paying off the debt. Depending on that election, we may actually get to do that for a while until the country gets fat and happy again... and they decide to elect another compassionate conservative.

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

    Health insurance : Oh, let's just do single payer

    I have to admit, I've not been following the various plans regarding health insurance and how to insure all Americans. EOW has been doing some great work on the subject. I also found this article regarding the 'horrible' Canadian health insurance system. Honestly, there are a few issues I have with this...

    1) Delays in treatment... there is no reason in the world for someone to wait 14 months for a hip replacement. I can see a month or two since it's not a critical surgery but 14 months? That's insane.

    2) Delays in radiation therapy for cancer patients... REALLY? That's intolerable.

    However, these are issues that can be cured if we do this right. For one thing, we already spend so much that just cutting out the insurance companies, we'd still save money with no restrictions on care and full enrollment the program at birth. And that, my friends, is the bottom line... we don't spend too much on health care in this country, we spend too much on overhead and that's gotta stop.

    And the doctors need to get the hell out of the way, something that Congressional D's have been trying to get across to them. Isn't it nice to have some Democrats with balls in Congress?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 16, 2009

    U.S. Health Care Crisis getting bigger than Life

    Americans are Crumbling Under Excessive Health Care & Premium Costs

    Is it too late to help Americans? Is the damage done?

    According to a report by Families USA, April 2009 it is urgent that health care must be made more affordable for all families, regardless of income.

    The diagnosis from the report outlines a dismal view of the current health care system:

    "Long before the current economic crisis began, Americans were already straining under the burden of two related trends: shrinking coverage and rising health care costs. Over the last decade, millions of Americans have joined the ranks of the uninsured, and millions more have become underinsured as the value of their coverage has declined. At the same time, health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs have risen steadily, and the number of families who are facing unmanageably high health care costs has grown. Left unchecked, health care costs will keep going up, forcing more and more American families into debt—and even into bankruptcy and foreclosure.

    To better understand the magnitude of the health care cost crisis, Families USA commissioned The Lewin Group to analyze data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Census Bureau that reveal how many Americans face very high health care costs. This analysis allowed us to determine how many non-elderly people are in families that will spend more than 10 percent of their pre-tax income, and more than 25 percent of their pre-tax income, on health care in 2009.

    Our analysis paints a stark picture: Nearly one in four Americans under the age of 65—some 64.4 million people—will spend more than 10 percent of their family income on health care in 2009. The vast majority of these people (82.6 percent) have health insurance. And 18.7 million non-elderly Americans—more than three-quarters of whom have health insurance—are in families that will spend more than 25 percent of their income on health care in 2009."

    To read more about this report and its findings, see

    http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/publications/reports/too-great-a-burden-2009.html

    The amazing, if not disgusting, point is that health care premiums have risen more than 6 times faster than wages. Add to that the increasing number of unemployed Americans and also companies who have stopped or cut-back on covering their employees and you have a major contagion of an escalating number of Americans who 1) are not insured, 2) can no longer afford to maintain their coverage and 3) are paying up to 30 percent of their pre-taxed income to keep their family insured.

    You don't have to be Einstein to determine that the negative forces have cancelled the worth and success of our health care system and that another more affordable health care system is needed. While the Obama administration tries to work with the medical and health care professions, wealthy lobbies, unions and other related entities there is resistance to positive change and resentment of government "interference"; however, it has been years since any voluntary reforms have been made to the ailing system.

    Will lawmakers and the health care industry learn quickly enough, or will we soon have a similar as occurred within the financial sector, another decay of one of our infrastructures? What happens to private insurance when the government must provide alternative health care services to all those Americans to whom the current antiquated health care system crumbles to the Earth in a pile of dust?

    Apparently, Americans will not have to wait too long to find out.

    --- Peter Stern

    .

    Posted by pstern at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Governor Rick Perry Continues to "flim-flam" Texans and the Media

    The bullshit continues to flow...

    Governor Rick Perry Continues to "flim-flam" Texans and the Media


    The question is "How long will Texans permit Perry to get away with it?"

    Hopefully, Texans had enough and in 2010 will vote in some other candidate. It is long overdue to replace Perry.

    Here, Perry and his PR try to persuade us that he is doing what is best for Texans:


    "IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Texas Ranked Best State for Business by Directorship Magazine


    What puts Texas first? It has a pro-business tax climate that ranks third, a low cost of living, a relatively solid economy, and a litigation environment that ranks 10th on our list. Texas also ranks first in the number of Fortune 500 companies located there. We used the Fortune rankings as one measure of attractiveness to large companies and an indication of strong infrastructure. Texas’ central location and time zone also make it an ideal hub, especially for companies with a national distribution or customer footprint. Recently, companies such as Toyota and Caterpillar have located portions of their business in Texas. “Our commitment to low taxes, predictable regulations, and a fair tort system are setting an example for the nation and creating a magnetic force for the businesses and jobs that are vital to maintaining Texas’ competitive advantage in the global marketplace,” says Texas Governor Rick Perry."

    Texans pay low taxes? What Texas is Perry talking about? The one that he has seceding from the United States?


    FYI, home foreclosures in Texas are at the highest rate ever. Property taxes continue to escalate every year and homeowners also pay the highest insurance premiums anywhere in the nation.

    As for companies doing so well here, this past year Dell Computers lost 40% of its business profit, the auto industry, e.g., Toyota, GM, Chrysler has significantly decreased sales. In addition, GM closed many of its Texas dealerships, etc., etc. Sales tax income is also at a record low.

    All in all, Gov. Perry is far from being truthful. Business is not doing so great in Texas either.

    Once again "Pandering" Perry is lying to his constituents and the media. In addition, Perry has set the pace of lackluster and inept leadership for the Texas Legislature, which appears to do less for the Texas community in each successive legislative session.

    If lying was a criminal offense, Perry would be in court defending his reckless and irresponsible actions. Instead, he is the governor of the largest state inside the continental U.S. who continues to deceive the public and media.

    The Year 2010 election is the means for finally getting rid of this pathetic excuse for a governor. Hopefully, Texas voters will rise up to the occasion.

    --- Peter Stern

    .


    Posted by pstern at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    You have to be kidding me?

    There's bad and then there's bad...

    South Carolina GOP activist and former chairman of the state elections commission Rusty DePass has apologized for saying a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was an "ancestor" of Michelle Obama.

    The controversy started when FITSNews, a local politics Website, obtained a screengrab of DePass's comment on Facebook.

    After an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster detailed the escape of the gorilla from Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo, DePass responded with a comment: "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

    DePass later admitted to WIS News that he was referring to Michelle Obama and said, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

    Well, as long as you were just joking you fat, pasty white, sack of shit...

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Stimulus, the budget and a whole bunch of BS

    Last Friday, Team TinaFish sent out an email talking about how AWESOME it was that the Lege actually reduced the budget, balanced it and didn't touch the rainy day fund...

    There are a lot of people in other states who are still dealing with record deficits and layoffs of employees, while here in Texas, we woke up this morning with a balanced budget and a Rainy Day Fund that remains untouched,” Gov Perry said at a press conference Tuesday.

    This is all well and good except for the omission that the only way we could balance our budget was with $12 billion in federal stimulus money. The same money 39% said he wouldn't take. In fact, Fox just recently gave him a chance to come clean about the budgetary sleight of hand... but he refused.

    Which surprised no one. Nor was anyone surprised that Fox declined to call bullshit, but what more can you expect from a news organization that doesn't really report the actual news. Jason Embry, however, did catch it.

    It’s not really Perry’s job to correct erroneous questioners, and he didn’t. But it is my job. So I will remind you, and them, that the Legislature would have had to dip into the Rainy Day Fund or make sizable cuts in state services were it not for $12 billion in stimulus dollars that went into the budget that lawmakers just finished. That money included $2.5 billion for Medicaid and $3.2 billion for public education.

    Nice job, Jason.

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

    June 15, 2009

    Hey, Dave, grow a pair!

    I stopped watching late night TV years ago, mostly because I started drinking during the evening. When David Letterman first moved to CBS he was still edgy and quite funny. However, he got kinda tamed down by CBS S&P and after a while I just lost interest. Last week, upon hearing that he was making fun of the Palin's, I thought maybe he might be worth another shot.

    And then I saw this.

    Come on, Dave... these people are a goddamn national joke and an embarrassment to the Republican Party. If they were anywhere other than Alaska, they'd be living in a fucking trailer park. Even though you accidentally made the joke about the younger kid, it was still funny and, frankly, these morons don't deserve an apology. If Governor Palin was a Democrat, the Republicans would have been saying far worse about her for years.

    Fuck that cretinous bitch. And FUCK Senator McCain for ever bringing this woman and her brood into the national spotlight.

    Dave, grow some fucking balls.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A very special Special...

    According to multiple sources, 39% will be calling a Special Session which will excite no one, except maybe those who are excited about the prospect of another peerless clusterfuck. I am, of course, referring to the Capitol press corps.

    So, here's MY charge to the Lege upon their return... fucking fix fucking TXDOT. Do NOT listen to Senators Ogden, Carona or Nichols. Let Rep. Leibowitz write the TXDOT authorization bill and just pass that.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Houston Mayor : Loving infrastructure

    PhotobucketDavid Ortez has some information up about Anise Parker's infrastructure plans for Houston. So far, none of the other candidates in the race has said much of anything about moving people in and around Houston.

    Point one, Parker. Seriously, do the other candidate even have anything out about infrastructure beyond vague palliatives?

    But, alas, there is a bit a funny...

    Parker claims, “When our infrastructure is safe, maintained and unobstructed, Houston moves. When it’s dangerous, broken or blocked, Houston grinds to a halt —and that’s not acceptable.”

    I LOVE me some MOTO boilerplate! You mean when two lanes of a 6 lane freeway are blocked up with construction, traffic won't move as fast? THAT explains a lot.

    But seriously, taking a look at the plan, she's got some ideas on funding that, while unique to Houston, are pretty interesting. Then there's the audit which is also a great idea but these things usually end up eating up 12-18 months at a minimum... any way to speed it up?

    The overarching point is long term planning vs. short term, election year stop gaps. This is extremely encouraging and something that the MPO's were designed to provide. Look how well that's working out.

    All in all, I'm impressed with Parker's proposal. It covers the broad strokes and fleshes out her thinking without getting bogged down in minutiae like how many additional lanes she proposes to put on the 45. I wish we'd seen something like this here in Austin during the Mayor's race. The discussion here began and ended with rail which really is a shame as we need it as well as concrete.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Medical tourism, part two

    You know that stupid Republican talking point about how horrible socialized medicine is? The one about how the Canadians are coming over the border in droves to get treatment here in the US? Turns out, it's not really true which I'm sure will come as a HOOOOOOGE surprise to you because you know that Republican politicos are always honest, right?

    The best part...

    Driven by rising health care costs at home, nearly 1 million Californians cross the border each year to seek medical care in Mexico, according a new paper by UCLA researchers and colleagues published today in the journal Medical Care.

    $20 says there are similar numbers in Texas.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 14, 2009

    Having some fun with Rep. Berman

    A friend in Tyler (yes, there are friends of McBlogger in East Texas... when I told you I had people everywhere, I wasn't lying) called recently to chat and I casually asked him about former Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber's announcement/non-announcement that he'll run for Rep. Berman's seat should old Leo really take his long awaited dive off the deep end and make a move toward the Gub race. The source told me that Leo is prevaricating a little on his decision to run, basing it entirely off his ability to raise money for the inevitably brutal Republican primary.

    There is something funny in all this as the R base really doesn't like Perry. From the HPV vaccine to the TTC, he's burned some bridges while Leo has become well known and respected by the mouthbreathers who make up the Republican socio-conservative base. With that support in place, Leo could reasonably run a race without much money and prove a serious threat to Perry and Kay Bailey. And Perry is, evidently, worried and working feverishly to get him not to run.

    The funny part is, according to my source in Tyler, Seeber is going to run regardless of Berman's decision to enter the Governors race. And he's doing it with a lot of institutional support. Which makes me wonder if Leo even knows he's being shown the door.

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

    June 13, 2009

    New movie to kill all joy. Forever. Or just 1 hr 49 min

    So, what do you get when you take bad, mix it with awful, and marinate it in unbearable? Something Precious!



    Coming in November! Gee, can't wait! Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck. I guess I could go see it. And then, when my eyes stopped bleeding, I could drown myself in a bucket. Oh, I know there are people who will say 'It's a challenging piece dealing with difficult subject matter that will ultimately prove uplifting'. Blah, blah, blah. To those I say your punishment is your reward. Enjoy, misery junkies!


    Posted by barfly at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 12, 2009

    Suicide: a painful national and local community issue

    Veterans are hit hardest

    The media tells us little regarding suicide unless it occurs to a famous individual.

    The truth is that suicides occur all too frequently within our society. There has been an increase of teenage suicides and among our elderly population, but the most dramatic increase in suicide has occurred with our returning Veteran population --- but we don't hear about it on the news.

    The media was all too quick to jump on the recent possible suicide of actor David Carradine when he was found hung in a Thailand hotel. Too quick because authorities now believe it looks like the actor may have been murdered. Unfortunately, no one is notified that many of our Veterans are having problems reentering our society after serving our nation.
    Why aren’t the media writing about the increasing high rate of suicide by our returning Veterans? The suicide rate is the highest among that population than ever before. It’s time we recognize the problem and do something about it.

    The increase of suicide by our Veteran population is not just a problem for the federal government, it is a local problem as well and state lawmakers should be doing everything possible to provide needed services, including counseling to help our returning veterans in readjusting to civilian life. As a Disabled Veteran myself, I can tell you that it is not an easy task to acclimate back into our culture after being in a war zone for long periods far away from civilization and loved ones. It is a heck of a return journey.

    Reentry is especially difficult during these hard economic times, where Veterans especially have a tough time finding employment. Outsourcing, layoffs and immigrant cheaper labor have taken a toll on available, well-paying jobs for Americans. It is no secret that Americans need jobs and it should not take this long to generate jobs for those who need and want them.

    Perhaps the dismal job market is hardest for our returning Veterans because in addition to readjusting to civilian life, there are fewer jobs available for them.

    Isn't it time we provide our Veterans with the services they need and improve job availability, along with a viable means to follow-up on their reentry into American communities? Suicide is a painful alternative and it hurts everyone in our community.

    --- Peter Stern

    .


    Posted by pstern at 08:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wonder how the recession is impacting families?

    Just ask Wal-Mart... apparently, they can tell you everything you need to know.

    Food, of course, is high on those lists (discretionary items like clothes and furniture are not). But consumers are cracking their wallets only so far. Many are trading down to private label groceries. At Wal-Mart, sales of refrigerated pizza were up last month compared with a year ago. Lower grades of meat are outselling the higher-grade, pricier cuts. A recession protein hierarchy has emerged, with ground beef trumping steak, and chicken trumping beef. Some consumers are forgoing protein altogether, opting for pasta.

    “We’re seeing a movement away from protein into carbohydrates,” Mr. Fleming said. “It stretches the dollar a lot further.”

    Retailers generally don’t divulge details of their sales by category of goods. But they were willing to discuss trends. One stood out: consumers are discovering there’s no place like home.

    “This whole idea of staying home and entertaining at home, we’re seeing that everywhere,” Mr. Fleming said, “from the ‘take and bake’ pizza to the $5 movies.” Ms. Tesija noted that “sales of popcorn poppers and microwave poppers are very strong.”

    America, I give you your future look...

    Photobucket

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Yahoo Answers Suckage

    fail owned pwned pictures
    see more Fail Blog

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

    Could this kill telecom immunity?

    Ever since Telecom Immunity passed last year, we've been wondering if anyone was working on a way to sue telecom companies for participating in an illegal domestic spying program. And lo and behold, someone has been doing just that.

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

    June 11, 2009

    Remembering Dr. Tiller and some sad news

    Abortion is a really ridiculous and polarizing issue about which every man should really stay quiet. Still, that doesn't stop a seemingly endless parade of fat, old, white men from pontificating endlessly about it. The result is that doctors who perform these operations and their staffs live in a constant state of fear.

    It's so easy to paint one dimensional caricatures of people that will be believed, especially when you don't know the person. Thankfully, someone took the time to write this about Dr. Tiller so you can get an idea who he really was and what he really did.

    The 9-year-old girl had been raped by her father. She was 18 weeks pregnant. Carrying the baby to term, going through labor and delivery, would have ripped her small body apart.

    There was no doctor in her rural Southern town to provide her with an abortion. No area hospital would even consider taking her case.

    Susan Hill, the president of the National Women’s Health Foundation, which operates reproductive health clinics in areas where abortion services are scarce or nonexisistent, called Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita, Kan., ob-gyn who last Sunday was shot to death by an abortion foe in the entry foyer of his church.

    She begged.

    “I only asked him for a favor when it was a really desperate story, not a semi-desperate story,” she told me this week. Tiller was known to abortion providers — and opponents — as the “doctor of last resort” — the one who took the patients no one else would touch.

    “He took her for free,” she said. “He kept her three days. He checked her himself every few hours. She and her sister came back to me and said he couldn’t have been more wonderful. That’s just the way he was.”

    No one likes abortion and anyone who thinks differently is either delusional or stupid. It's necessary, not a necessary evil but a necessary medical procedure best provided in safe, clean environments by professionals. And now that Dr. Tiller's office has closed because of his murder, anti-choice groups are freaking out about how it will make them look... and what they'll do to recruit to new members.

    It's time to put an end to all this nonsense. A woman's right to choose her own course of treatment for a medical condition, like an out of control pregnancy, is unassailable. Any who attempt to interfere with it should be prosecuted under Federal, not state, law. And no protests should be allowed within a 2 mile radius of any facility that performs these procedures.

    No need to moderate what you folks have to say... it's clear you'll say anything to keep money flowing into your groups. But we CAN dictate from where you get to speak. And you shouldn't be anywhere near women who are making a heartbreaking decision.


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Stimulus money being used for toll roads

    The biggest surprise of the week is that federal stimulus dollars are being spent on a tollway, specifically the unfinanceable 290E tollway.

    The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board's approval will add the projects to $107 million in stimulus money for the area that the Texas Transportation Commission awarded three months ago, the bulk of it for the planned U.S. 290 tollway in Northeast Austin.

    So, your income taxes, gas taxes AND toll taxes will be paying for this tollway. Nice, huh?

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

    Congratulations Team Lee!

    Via email today came word that Mayor-elect Leffingwell has selected the following people to serve on his staff...
    Mark Nathan, Nancy Williams, Matt Curtis, Amy Everhart, Janet Jackson. Congratulations and good luck to you all!

    In other city related news, we've heard that Ott had IT kill access to McBlogger from city computers. Can anyone confirm?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 10, 2009

    A challenger for Jackson Lee?

    According to Kuff, SJL has a challenger who apparently can't tell that that 2008 primary is over...

    “The 2008 election demonstrated that the voters in the 18th Congressional District were ready for progress even though some of their leaders were not,” said Roberts. A self-described “Obama-Generation” democrat, Roberts believes the constituents of the district are ready for fresh ideas and new-school leadership that prioritizes economic development and educational opportunities as opposed to seizing on controversies. “Right now, from an appropriations standpoint, District 18 is a forgotten district. I’d like to fix that,” added Roberts.

    This motherfucker is going to get beat like a drum. And I hope Congresswoman Jackson Lee feeds him to the pigs the night of the election.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A real life replicator?

    Scientists in Russia have developed a process of assembling atoms with precision using a nanometer scale pinhole camera. Doesn't sound just real exciting until you realize that, yes, this could mean being able to create things out of random collections of atoms.

    Of course, you probably won't be able to do this sometime in the fall of 2080, but hey... something to look forward to, no?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 09, 2009

    Nothing like a little hyperbole...

    Now, this is some funny...

    Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee urged Christians to get involved in politics to preserve the presence of religion in American life.

    "I think this is one of the most critical moments in American history," Gingrich said. "We are living in a period where we are surrounded by paganism."

    They and other speakers warned about the continuing availability of abortion, the spread of gay rights, and attempts to remove religion from American public life and school history books.

    Disgraced former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich decides to pander to religious conservatives. About how the pagans are taking over. And the gays. And abortionists. And the book editors. I think we should be concerned about serial divorcees with a penchant for making wild accusations.

    Never one to be upstaged, former Gov. Mike Huckabee had this to say...

    Huckabee told the audience he was disturbed to hear President Barack Obama say during his speech in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday that one nation shouldn't be exalted over another.

    "The notion that we are just one of many among equals is nonsense," Huckabee said. The United States is a "blessed" nation, he said, calling American revolutionaries' defeat of the British empire "a miracle from God's hand."

    With a not-so-minor assist from the favorite European punching bag of the Republican Party, France. And the Spanish who went to war with the British opportunistically, but it did help us out here. But don't let facts get in the way of a lovely theocratic soundbite.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Process over principle

    Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Texas Monthly list of the best and worst from the 2009 Session. Two things are clear and the first is that Burka is in LOVE with Sen. Carona, possibly because they share a tailor. The second is that Burka is in love with process over any real substance. There was the Voter ID bullshit which killed the session and earned Rep. Dunnam a spot on the worst list. Burka would have been OK if Dunnam and the Democrats (and a few Republicans) had just accepted a de facto poll tax since then some more legislation could have passed (mostly bad along with some good).

    This part, though, really takes the cake...


    David Leibowitz, Democrat, San Antonio

    For undermining TxDOT reform efforts with a silly proposal for elected highway commissioners.

    Silly? Oh, fuckall, Paul. What are you worried about, the politicization of TXDOT? It's already happened, pal. Not to mention that an appointed board is completely disinterested in what the people of the state actually want but all too eager to fall over themselves to deliver what 39% and his contributors want, namely massive privatization and taxpayers handouts until the end of time.

    There ARE worse things then letting a session go up in flames. Dunnam, Leibowitz and every other legislator that supported the scuttling of the session deserve the thanks of all Texans for doing what Speaker Straus didn't have the goddamn huevos to do. If you can't understand that, Paul, then you should turn in your credentials and start writing your book.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 08, 2009

    Fun and games with Larry Summers

    There's an interesting article in the Times about the economic advisers working for the President, specifically focused on Larry Summers. It's a moderately interesting read... until I came to this part.

    By all accounts, much of the tension derives from the president’s choice of the brilliant but sometimes supercilious Mr. Summers to be the director of the National Economic Council, making him the policy impresario of the team. The widespread assumption, from Washington to Wall Street, was that the job would be Mr. Summers’s way station until the president could name him chairman of the Federal Reserve when Ben S. Bernanke’s term expires early next year.

    Please, God, no. Summers has done a much better than expected job and seems to have a better focus on how the politics will play out with regard to economic policy decisions. Which is precisely what we don't need in a Fed Chair which is supposed to be an ideologically and politically agnostic post.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Curious about North Korea?

    Don't be... there's now a Google Earth complete map of all the high points.

    One has to wonder how much more or less information this provides than what the CIA already has.

    In other news, North Korea has sentenced two American journalists to 12 years in a hard labor prison camp.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 07, 2009

    A Cafeteria of Candidates

    Trying to figure out who is going to run for senator and governor on the Dems side is confusing. This person is too conservative, another too liberal, one too close to Bush, another has no name recognition, this one can’t raise money, one’s just too weird, another has too much baggage. On and on and on.

    Who’s the correct candidate?

    Well, there is one who is a Texas icon, serves our need for fiscal responsibility and a friend to working families on a limited budget, welcomes diversity, known all over the state, has a loyal base, steeped in the entrepreneurial spirit, currently on billboards all over the place, and a champion of fried foods and mac & cheese.

    Here’s hoping Lu Ann Platter throws in.

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 03:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 06, 2009

    A different take on copyright

    Worried about copying tracks from a CD to an iPod? Don't.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 05, 2009

    In local news...

  • Scientists at UT are working on a cheap solar panel made of thin films deposited by a modified ink jet printer. It's not really exciting but it's kinda geeky-cool
  • Mother busted putting feces in small child's feeding tube.

    According to the affidavit, police interviewed McDonald, who confessed to wiping the end of the tube with feces.

    “McDonald advised that she knew her actions would cause her daughter to stay sick,” the affidavit said. “McDonald also explained that rubbing feces on her daughter’s line could cause her to become septic and that it could kill her.”

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

    Better still, you and Mikey move to Florida!

    Someone called to tell me that this happened and I simply couldn't believe it. 39% made an obese drug addict an honorary Texan... then invited him to move here. Then I saw the actual footage over at BOR and yes, that's exactly what he did.

    Oh, sure 39%, go ahead and bring in some more druggies. We LOVE people who 'scrip shop for their hillbilly heroin here. Does this mean you're also fine with the regular heroin addicts, like the ones being churned out daily in Plano? Maybe you'll take it easy with some meth labbers from East Texas? Or is it just the druggies from out of state that make your heart go pitter-patter? Maybe you'll support needle exchange?

    The saddest part about this was that inconsequential little twerp of a Congressman, Rep. Mikey McCaul, standing behind Rush smiling and laughing like it's the best time he's had since he discovered what a glory hole is for. Rush was, after all, in town for Mikey's fundraiser. One has to wonder what Mikey had to do to make that happen. Maybe slip the Round Mound of Sound a little oxy? Seriously, we'd like to fucking know what possessed these morons to bring this felonious, filthy, Floridian fuckball to Texas.

    For those of who are in recovery, my apologies in advance if you found this a little nasty and unsympathetic. I refuse to take it easy on hypocrites who demonize folks for having the same problems they themselves have.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Can you start a fire with your ego?

    PhotobucketYeah, neither can I. But I bet RRC Chair Michael Williams can. Just take a look at his way over the top website.

    One thing... I got this emailed to me from the CAMPAIGN at the address I used to sign up for the Republican Party of Texas' mail list. So, the question that's on the lips of all the pygmies on the R side of the Senate Race That's Not Yet A Race has to be, How Michael got the RPT's list?

    Seriously, if I were that insipid little interior decorator I'd be making some calls to Tina Fish.

    While at Williams' home on the web, I noticed that some conservative bloggers had endorsed Williams to be the R nom for the Senate race. We'd like to add ourselves to that list because of his sheer motherfucking chutzpah. So, yeah, McBlogger would like to officially endorse Michael Williams to be the Republican nominee for KBH's seat should it become vacant.

    As for a nom on the D side, yeah, those of you on Whitmarsh's list already know my thinking on our side of the race. Don't got me wrong, either are better than any of the lackluster, small time 'tards on the R side. However, I'm irritated at both those morons for focusing more on the intramural garbage than the opposition.

    You know, maybe they could focus on Michael Williams. Or FloShap. Or The Decorator.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2009

    I may not know art, but I know what I like...

    I'm a huge fan of impressionism and expressionism (odd, isn't it?), but not so much of surrealism when it comes to art. But what really turns me on, what really gets me going, is a work of art like this...
    bad pic of obama.jpg

    See more here...

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    There but for the grace of God...

    ...go many of us...

    Every day lately, he spends two hours online, trolling job Web sites like Monster.com and e-mailing former colleagues. The leads have dried up, since some of them are laid off themselves. He's contacted headhunters, been on a dozen interviews in the last year and a half, but nothing has come of them.

    "It was a hard reality at first," he says. "I used to see unemployed people and think they were lazy, that it was all on them. Now it's happened to me."

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Texas Politics in Crisis

    .
    Changing Texas Politics

    Whatever happened to "...government of the people, by the people, and for the people." ?

    What does it take to provide good government for the People of Texas? The decade long legislative inertia has permitted the dominant urgent issues to fester and grow. Special interests and political partisan gaming are the norm in the Texas Legislature. Old habits die hard.

    Perhaps, the days are forever gone when the House and Senate work in the best interests of the people of Texas.

    Certainly, the only possible solution to this once every 2-year catastrophe [legislative session] would be to provide real quality salaries to lawmakers and prohibit all private campaign contributions. Maybe then our lawmakers can return to the extinct art of making laws to protect and better the lives of all Texans, instead of continuing the political partisan game playing and special interest pandering. Since lawmakers won't change this on their own, once again it becomes the responsibility of Texas voters and taxpayers to demand it from their legislators.

    Will it ever happen? Probably not in our lifetime.


    -- Peter Stern

    .


    Posted by pstern at 06:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 03, 2009

    The BK blues

    So, GM declares bankruptcy. In November, that's what I and a lot of others were recommending until a few things became clear...

    1) No one wanted to carry the DIP
    2) The previous Administration were going to use BK to break the UAW

    Now we're back to square one, the unions have take their hit and the bondholders have taken their hit. The ironic thing is that if the bondholders had caved and accepted equity, this wouldn't have needed to happen. Now, everyone walks away with less because the government now effectively owns GM.

    That'll teach you to be greedy and intractable.

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

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    This week from the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs, emission from drilling are more than cars and airports, women are running things in Denton County, Liberty University Democrats lose their recognition, President Obama's political coalition leaves out the far-right and the poor, and much more on this weeks TPA Roundup.

    This week’s roundup was compiled by Teddy from Left of College Station.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston says Governor Perry signed a bill to stop electricity deregulation in East Texas while we poor saps continue to be screwed with high electricity rates.

    On Bluedaze: Barnett Shale operators continued to endanger public health and safety by ignoring the peer reviewed study that showed emission from drilling were more than all the cars and airports in the DFW area. Now the TCEQ data supports the findings. Smogforming nitrogen oxides and volatile organic emissions for the entire 19-counties of the Barnett Shale area are approximately 200 tons per day.

    Jesus Hussein Christ, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs agrees with John Cornyn.

    Castle Hills Democrats proclaims that, in Denton County, "The Women Are Running Things Now".

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Republican ambition is messing with Perry, Hutchison and Cornyn. Who cares about Hispanic or female voters?

    DosCentavos is not longer a Blogspot blog, we are now at DosCentavos.net, exclusively!.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out the important issues that are being neglected as the 81st Legislative Session winds down, Lack of leadership in Texas is painfully obvious.

    Teddy at Left of College Station writes about the sexist and racist attacks by the usual conservative voices on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and on Liberty University’s decision to no longer recognize the College Democrats as an official student organization because of their endorsement of pro-choice and pro-gay rights candidates.

    McBlogger takes another look at the dump near Andrews after he finds out it'll be taking not just radioactive waste, but PCB saturated dirt from the Hudson Valley. In New York.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at a wrench in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary named Leo Berman.

    At Texas Kaos, Lightseeker asks the question, What do the powerful do when reform is eminent? (Hint, there's a lotta money to be made in fake reforms...)

    Neil at Texas Liberal says that President Obama's political coalition leaves out the far-right and and the most poor. Neil also reports that he will be master of ceremonies at a huge punk rock blast in Cincinnati this upcoming August 15.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is appalled at the short sighted vision of of Texas Politicians. If you donate to their campaign, you are free to destroy the land, air and water of a great state. You can have the blessings of all the state and federal agencies you need to pull off a hazardous trick. Rick Perry and Friends Welcome Toxic Burritos

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Another privatization failure

    I got some pretty nasty criticism from some people for saying the Lege really didn't know what they were doing when it came to privatization and more specifically the transportation bank. I based my comments on the fact that, well, their efforts to date have been pretty lousy. 3588, 792 and the abysmal HB300. So far, the score is zero for the Lege, three for me.

    As it turns out, you guys and gals aren't the only ones. In Chicago, they underpriced their meter system by almost $1 billion. So, when someone like me questions TXDOT about the value of a CDA, it's because I know TXDOT's folks are idiots when it comes to calculating the value of our infrastructure. When I question you Legislators about the laws you're passing that enable TXDOT to do stupid things, why not take a step back and really look at what you're doing.

    It might help you avoid a Chicago like mistake.

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

    June 02, 2009

    Fashion! A few (mercifully) brief thoughts

    It took me 20 whole minutes, but I went through the June/July 2009 issue of Details which appeared in my mailbox Monday afternoon. My notes...

    1) Skinny Jeans. We discussed this THREE YEARS AGO and, according to Details, they are still essential to any mans wardrobe. Except that most (but not all) of the people I know who wear them are, well, kinda detestable d-bags. With chicken legs. Just sayin'.

    One other thing regarding tight pants... some of you people stink. And you KNOW what I'm talking about. Wearing these too tight jeans will make your cock and balls smell like gorgonzola. Too much sweat and too little air are a 'scrip for a disastrous sexual experience in which I leave, while screaming that your junk smells like the cheese counter at Whole Foods.

    2) Madras. Seriously? FUCKING MADRAS? Why is it that every summer the fashionists tell us that madras is coming back? Did it go some where? I've had a pair of madras shorts every single summer since I'm 2, even though I only wear them occasionally now. It's a classic. It doesn't go away and it wasn't recently 'rediscovered' by Gitman Bros. Fuckers saw me wearing a pair from the Gap.

    3) Seersucker. See #2 except this time it's not Gitman but Etro and Hickey Freeman (love your suits, but your cas shit is, well, shit).

    4) Gingham. Well, you got me there. And they are right, avoid the blue and the red like the goddamn plague lest you look like you're running up your own shirts from tablecloths.

    5) White suits (pg 52). Oh, motherfucker. And why the hell is the cut around the torso so extreme... it's putting less of an emphasis on the taper from the shoulders to the waist and accentuating the womanly hips some of those guys have. Which I guess is nice if you want to look like the kind of guy who can shit out a nine pound kid and be back at work the next day.

    6) Backpacks. Whadup, yo.

    7) Remember trashcan punch? The noxious mix of High C, Vodka, Everclear and fruit chunks served in a giant stainless vat at high school and college parties? Apparently, it's back but dressed up by a real bartender (not that creepy guy whose older brother could score the booze), served in a carafe and made with more top shelf fare.

    But, sadly, it still tastes like punch though maybe not as corn syrupy. I'll leave this for the 'summer is all about blender drinks' crowd and stick with G&T which I'll be switching to in a few short days.

    Embarrassingly, I will admit that I subscribe. After this, though, I won't be renewing.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Really Barney Frank?

    Rep. Frank says not so much to a single financial services regulator...

    "The suggestion that we're going to get to a unilateral bank regulator \something equivalent to the Financial ServicesAuthority is simply wrong," Frank told CNBC on Thursday, referring to the FSA regulator in the United Kingdom.
    Industry sources said that the administration is looking at a way to consolidate the disparate banking regulators, among other sweeping changes to financial laws that the administration will likely propose in the next two weeks.
    The plans remain in flux, and most if not all proposals under discussion would require congressional action before they were to take effect. Frank's committee is scheduled to hold hearings on financial restructuring the second and third weeks in June.
    Other changes under discussion are the creation of a "systemic risk regulator" at the Federal Reserve to oversee large institutions that could threaten the economy; a consolidation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); and a new commission to oversee financial products, sources said. "It's not just the structure of the regulatory authorities but the content of the regulation that is relevant," Frank said. Frank said that he preferred a "dual-track regulation" that combined existing banking regulators and the creation of a new systemic risk regulator.

    OK, I'm with Rep. Frank on the fact that the regs themselves need to be tighter. Where we disagree is the regulators. The current crisis was created in large part not by lack of or lax regulation (like when the Bush SEC allowed the investment banks to leverage up to 30 to 1), though that played a huge part, but by regulator shopping that allowed AIG, a massive global insurer, to buy an S&L and move themselves to OTC regulation which allowed them to set up the Financial Products Group whose activities effectively, through what normal people call 'insurance fraud', bankrupted the company.

    Would a systemic risk regulator have known about it? No and it still won't if Treasury's plan for derivative regulation is enacted. What we need is a single regulator that can't have it's purse strings cut by the Executive Branch and is overseen by Congress.

    And it needs to have the ability to shut down bad actors in the market without nasty calls from Congress or the White House.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 01, 2009

    Secretary Geithner, Plagiarist

    Well, Congress wants to regulate the more than $500 trillion market and asked Treasury to come up with a plan. Secretary Geithner, with tons to do, didn't really have the time. Wall St. had already written a plan that left regulation vague, had no real clearing authority or trade reporting (price quotes). And Geithner decided to just, well, put his name on that plan and submit it.

    Wall Street’s largest banks are getting what they want in the U.S. Treasury’s plan to regulate over-the-counter derivatives by making all market participants adhere to the same capital requirements.

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Barclays Plc sent the Treasury a plan written in February saying the Federal Reserve should extend bank regulation practices to companies and hedge funds, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by the Treasury. Corporations, energy companies and hedge funds don’t face capital and margin levels now, while banks do under central bank oversight.

    “The banks appear to wish to maintain the intra-dealer market and raise barriers to new entrants to keep the OTC business as compartmentalized as possible and to protect their profitable market conditions,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. “The Street’s lobbyists appear to be asking for a ‘club’ structure in OTC trading.”

    So, we get restrictions on entry into the market (meaning if you want to buy or sell, you'll have to go through one of the Wall St. banks), vague regulation AND we don't have to report trade information? What's not to love.

    Excellent work, Timmy.

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

    Holy #@%^*&#@!!! What does it take for Texans to get SMART?

    How much longer will Texans continue to vote in these corrupt and unethical lawmakers?

    How many times must you smack a nail over the head until it sinks in?

    I've been writing about it for the past decade.

    VOTERS!!! Get rid of these special interest varmints! Vote-out all long-time deadwood incumbents during the next several elections and vote-in some new blood!

    What does it take for Texans to get smart?

    Posted by pstern at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Calling Bullshit : The hunt for domestic terrorists

    First off, as a primer, go read this. Then, take a look at this.

    No, this isn't a See, I Was Right post, mostly because I'm wrong about so much shit that crowing about one of the times I was right is a little, well, obnoxious. I wanted to point those two items out because it dovetails with this over at Hullabaloo about still more domestic terrorists. Who happen to also be poor and black.

    This all begs the question, is the FBI actually investigating terrorist activity in the US or trying to create it so they can bust the alleged perps? Hey, don't get me wrong, I like entrapment as much as the next guy. However, this is a waste of time and money. Is this REALLY the best way our resources can be spent? If so, we should ditch and just begin preparing for the aftermath of the next terrorist attack on US soil because we sure as hell won't be able to prevent it.

    What the hell ever happened to infiltration? Wasn't that how we usually busted up mafia families?


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The sun sets on TxDOT

    No sooner did I get the post up about the action over the weekend then my phone starts ringing with the news that HB 300 died... and 1959, the safety net bill, as well thanks to the work of Rep. Leibowitz. Apparently, someone changed the next sunset review from two years to four years and no one was going to let this drag on until 2013.

    Mad props are due Terri Hall, Hank Gilbert and everyone at TURF who, we've heard, kept the phones ringing all day. Not to mention the House D's and more than a few Republicans who finally decided that enough was really enough.

    So, unless something happens tomorrow, the Lege is bound for a special. And won't that be fun.

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

    Just kill it already

    HB 300 has been the source of a lot of consternation today and it appears that everyone kinda agrees... this fucker needs to die.

    I really have to give props to Senator Carona for being a bigger son of a bitch than the other son of a bitch. John, I pray the two of us never meet because then we'll be forced into a contest of petty and honestly, I don't know who'll come out on top. I like my chances but your performance today was brilliant.

    Carona's beloved local taxing option got pulled out of the bill in conference. Apparently, it had something to do with Hegar on the Senate side (big surprise that, Hegar's made an enemy out of just about everyone this session) and Linda Fucking Harper Goddamn Brown, who managed to pull her fat face out of a trough long enough to keep the Republican dream of privatizating everything alive just a little longer. Oh, and fucking all Texans. So, he's threatening to filibuster the bill to death.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not all in love with Carona now. I think his alliance with Nichols is unholy and his decision to filibuster HB 300 is based only on the elimination of the local option, not on the transportation bank. Or privatization in general or converting existing, paid-for highways into private tollways. Or the fact that the reco's of the Sunset Committee (like electing TxDOT officials) has been completely left out. Stripped, in part, by Carona himself. Yes, the loss of local option in conference is irony at it's finest. Still, if the result is the same (the death of HB 300) then it's all good.

    The funniest thing about all this is the Republican opposition to the local option, to giving the voters a direct say in how we fund transportation in this state. They've made it very clear by opposing this that their primary concern is not what's best for Texans... it's enriching investment bankers by privatizing roads.

    So, here's to hoping that either the House kills HB 300, or Carona does. It's a bad bill and it truly needs to die.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack