June 26, 2010

Why yes, it's alwasy this humid here

If you're not in Corpus for the convention, then you probably don't know that it's really hot and very humid. According to one of our local experts, IT'S ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Which honestly makes me pretty sure that I won't be coming here ever again.

So far, there's extraordinarily little to report. The caucuses went fairly smoothly with the exception of SD 23 apparently which has always marched to the beat of it's own dysfunctional drummer. Our good friend Lila Valencia now has a seat on the SDEC which is about the only thing that surprising, though in a really good way.

So there's a chair race... Honestly, I'm going for Boyd. The changeover at TDP has been very positive over the last 4 years and I don't think the other folks really understand that while it's nice to pretend we can win without money, it's just not true. Ask me about 2006 sometime.

Then of course there are the speeches from the statewides that I'm looking forward to. Unfortunately, due to the death of his mother, Hank won't be here. Hpwever, Rep. Thompson has agreed to step in for him which is really, really cool.

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June 23, 2010

Hank pwns Todd Staples

Hank has been scoring hit after hit on Toll Road Todd, the magical gnome of the TDA. Here's a brief run down of all the releases the campaign has sent out. Recently, BOR, Brains and Eggs, Dos Centavos and the Austin Chronicle had good write ups on the developing scandal with the decision to award a major TDA contract to an out of state corporation controlled by lobbyists.

Staples response was the relevy attacks made by Kinky Friedman in the primary. Since, you know, they HAVEN'T ALREADY SATURATED THE ELECTORATE. Just as a tip to Staples, you can run crappy oppo like this against an opponent who

1) Has tried to hide it (Hank never has and it's been public record for more than 10 years)
2) Has a difficult time explaining it (Hank can do it in 10 words or less)
3) Won't fight back

Staples, having met an inexperienced and woefully underfinanced Hank in 2006, continues to panic and throw everything against him. Unfortunately for Staples, the only candidate in this race landing hits is Hank who continuously makes Staples look ridiculous and, well, incompetent (which it's increasing clear, he is). Now Hank wants to know what Toll Road Todd is trying to hide...

In light of the scandal surrounding the $3 million dollar contract awarded to a questionable Kentucky non-profit by Staples and the Texas Department of Agriculture, Gilbert said voters need to know what Staples is trying to hide by failing to disclose his tax returns.

“We already know that Staples owns stock in at least two telecommunications companies that are partners with Connected Nation. The big question is, ‘what don’t we know,’” Gilbert said. “At a time when transparency in government and from our elected officials is demanded at every turn, the contrast between Todd Staples and an officeholder that is behaving in a transparent manner is like the difference between chicken salad and chicken–well, you know,” Gilbert concluded.

What kind of side income is Staples trying to hide? What kind of deals has he cut at the expense of Texas taxpayers, other than the ones we already know? Why is Staples hiding behind a 10 year old fight Hank had with the IRS rather than being a man and showing his returns?

What is Toll Road Todd hiding from voters now?


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May 10, 2010

Nicely done, TDP

Lets also not forget that taxpayer dollars are being wasted interjecting the state into a divorce case (which also, strangely, has also included Toll Road Todd, our Agriculture Commissioner). Oh,and there's also this. This money could have been used to help the disabled and elderly (many of whom are Veterans) with food assistance. Instead, we spent it on a program that failed spectacularly. Oh, and Toll Road Todd was involved in taking money from the food program, too.

Can we please just say no mas with the R's? And to the peeps at TDP, damn fine work!

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February 20, 2010

Endorsement : Commissioner of Agriculture

Nothing better explains the rationale for our endorsement of Hank Gilbert over Kinky Friedman than two of Friedman's recent screw ups...

When he reaches the General Election in November, Friedman plans to pull a skeleton out of Staples’ closet that he hopes will serve as the incumbent’s death knell.

“Not many people are aware that Todd Staples wrote the original bill for the Trans-Texas Corridor in the Texas Senate in 2005,” he revealed. "How’s that going to sit with the voters when that comes out?”BCC

Actually, the bill was HB 3588. Staples wasn't the author, FORMER Rep. Mike Krusee was but Staples was on the Senate Committee (as the chair) that sent it to the floor. He also voted for it. And it was 2003, not 2005. Hank knows all this because this was the bill that created the legal framework for the TTC and CDA's. He's been fighting it for years while Kinky has been MIA.

Then there's this. Hank would have landed this attack because he not only knows what really happened, he knows exactly where Staples screwed up. Take, for instance, his decision to take on Staples over cutting the TDA budget for meals provided to the elderly and disabled or his decision to hit Staples for joining AG Abbott and 39% on their ridiculous suit against the EPA, a key point of which the state climatologist affirmed. When Hank throws a punch, it lands and breaks teeth.

The reality is that you have to know something about the office not only to run it, but to win it. Hank does. Which reminds of me Kinky's ridiculous assertion that he'll just hire experts and get out of the way (who does that remind you of) which naturally begs the question... if Hank can do the job with out all these extra people, why the hell do we need Kinky?

Of course, I'm not the only one seeing this. There's more here, here and BOR has their endorsement along with a number of the reasons why Kinky is just unacceptable.

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February 03, 2010

Democratic base vote and Kinky Friedman

Just a quick note... Yesterday on KRLD in Dallas, Kinky decided to hold forth on his views of the office he seeks, His Highness, Commissioner of Agriculture which is apparently not accountable to the Legislature or anyone else once elected. And can set up animal shelters (which another agency controls). And can dictate that Luby's must extend their dinner service to 10 pm, even if all their patrons are cleared out by 6:30.

The interview was little more than a careening mess with Friedman clearly not cognizant that the position really involves more than just name dropping and asking Hightower what he'd do. And, of course, it gave Friedman a chance to misrepresent the DMN for calling him the safe, sane choice (which they did, but only when it comes to driving habits. We think they should check that driving record... someone told me he too doesn't like wearing his seatbelt. And neither does Staples).

But what really got me what was him dropping out there that he'll increase Democratic vote by 7%, according to a good pollster. Which is cool except for one thing... now one knows how much of the Democratic electorate, made up of a large number of the same racial minorities Kinky has used for his insipid comedy routine for years, will decide to come out because he's on the ballot.

On the other side, is Hank Gilbert. He can actually say he's done what Kinky claims he can do. He pulled 7% over the Democratic base vote in 2006 and he's only gotten stronger with Independents and moderate Republicans since through his work to kill the TTC. And, as an added bonus, he doesn't anger the Democratic base.

But, let's look at the numbers. Kinky, in 2006, spent millions to poll 12%. Hank spent just over $100k and proved he could bring in Independent and Republican voters by exceeding the Democratic base vote by 7%. And he doesn't piss off people, like Kinky does.

So much for the case of Kinky bringing in Democratic voters in the general. What's abundantly clear is that every Democrat in a competitive race this year better keep their fingers crossed for Hank.

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February 02, 2010

Gee, Ken, you seem to have missed something

Ken Herman, being the remarkably astute commentator that he wants everyone to think he is, has come across something that is, well, truly shocking.

SOMETIMES CAMPAIGNS SAY MEAN


THINGS ABOUT THEIR OPPONENTS

(ESPECIALLY DURING PRIMARIES) AND

AFTER THEY KISS AND MAKE UP

I know this revelation may come as a shock to people who aren't over the age of 6, but to the rest of us it's kinda par for the course. Ken, being enterprising, made it the meat of an entire column. And even used a quote from yours truly. What he left out were some even juicier quotes from a guy who recently went to work for someone he spent time criticizing. So, in an effort to help Ken out, here's some of the funny...

“Jason Stanford, spokesman for Democrat Chris Bell's campaign, is not impressed – and he doesn't think voters are either. "I haven't heard anyone saying he'd be a great governor," he says. "I think that he's a funny candidate and a hell of an author, but no one comes up [to me] and says, 'If we could only get Kinky Friedman into the governor's office.'" GOP strategist Miller says that Friedman will certainly attract welcome extra attention to the race but agrees that he's facing an uphill battle. "Initially, my view was that Kinky Friedman [would be] treated with humor, and treated lightly, unless and until he gets traction," he says. And Friedman's unlikely to get any traction the way he's campaigning now, says Stanford. "He hasn't gone any farther than to say, 'Hey, look at this!'" he says. In short, he says, Friedman is long on one-liners and short on any meaningful policy positions. "The easy part is convincing people [that Perry has] done a bad job," he says. "Step two is that you've got to convince voters that you know how to do better. And no one is really expecting that from Kinky Friedman."” Austin Chronicle

So he was incompetent then, but now he's suddenly competent? Any chance that change, which only you perceive, is because he's now writing you a check?

Bell campaign consultant Jason Stanford shakes off his candidate's failed run against Perry, muddied as the field was by the populist independent campaigns of Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Stray­horn. "There was a pervasive confusion about that race, but the issue was simple: If Dem­o­crats had voted for the Dem­o­crat, Chris Bell would be the governor," he argued. Austin Chronicle

So Kinky's to blame for Bell's loss? Or the voters?

Ken doesn't get into any of that which, in my opinion, is far more interesting. He also doesn't ask why Kinky's acting like he's never asked Farouk for money, even after he took more than $1.3 million through 2009 from Farouk and his business partner. He does ask why Shami would care about the race for Commissioner of Agriculture since he's a hair magnate. I guess Ken missed that Shami owns three ranches where he grows produce (olives, for one) that's used in the CHI organic line. Maybe that's why he's got an interest in supporting a competent candidate this time around.

Life's full of entirely too much, well, crap. Why is it so surprising to some that even the deadliest of political enemies can forge alliances once they realize they actually have a lot in common? Just look at Bob Bullock vs. everyone else at one time or another.


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January 15, 2010

Fast and Faster

Within an hour of the end of the Republican Debate Lie, Farouk Shami had this out...

Responding to tonight's debate between Governor Rick Perry, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Debra Medina, Farouk Shami's campaign says that the debate was "a childish squabbling match to see who can be the most far right reactionary candidate."

Despite the argumentative nature of the debate with regard to Perry and Hutchison's voting records and prior communication, it appears that the three Republican candidates agree on most issues. For instance, all three candidates endorsed the same failed border policy, which has proven to be an unmitigated disaster. What we need is a candidate with a new approach that embraces an economic partnership with Mexico while cracking down on drug trafficking and gang violence.

Farouk Shami has stated previously, "things in Texas are heading in the wrong direction. The cost of health care and health insurance are out of control, the quality of basic public education is falling, and our air, land and water are under constant threat from polluters. We simply can't settle for more business as usual." Tonight's debate was more business as usual.

What really matters to the average Texan is the state's economy, whether or not they will have a job next month or next year, where their mortgage payment will come from, or what they're going to do when their unemployment benefits run out. Some 800,000 Texans are currently unemployed. We heard from one of them tonight during the debate. Farouk Shami has pledged to bring 100,000 new jobs to the state of Texas during his first two years of office, and he's backing up that pledge with 10 million dollars of his own money. Tonight, none of the Republicans offered a real solution to our record unemployment.

"After tonight's debate, I now feel that it is more important than ever for the other Democratic candidates for Governor to have the opportunity for meaningful dialogue," says Shami. "I hope Bill White will rethink his decision to not debate the other candidates in a public forum."

Bill White also had something to say, but just not quite as fast...

Governor Perry claimed: "I promised I would do everything I could to make this a state where people are proud to live and I think we've done that." I was proud to be a Texan before he was Governor and many of us will be more proud of our state when he's gone. We don't need a Governor who takes credit for all that is good about Texans. His attitude just shows that Perry has been in office too long.

I agree with Senator Hutchison that Texas future is at risk because we are failing to educate so many Texans. Dropout rates are among the highest in the nation and college tuition has been skyrocketing. Education is the biggest job of state government and the largest part of the state's budget. Education is an engine of economic growth and opportunity. How we invest in kids now will determine our economic future. And yet, in a one hour debate, Governor Perry never accepted accountability for the failures of public education or described how we could improve it and bring down skyrocketing college tuition rates. Our state deserves better than that.

Much of the debate consisted of complaints about the federal government, rather than solutions for Texas. I agree with some comments about federal intrusion, but under the Constitution the Governor of Texas does not control the federal government. Under Governor Perry, the State of Texas has time and time again imposed mandates cities and counties, and as Governor that is something I'd stop.

Elections, dear friends, are about drawing contrasts... Shami won the response game last night both on speed and clash.

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December 08, 2009

What's old is new again...

Credit where it's due, BAR has managed to resurrect one of the talking points of the 2005 No Nonsense in November campaign which fought the Texas Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment.

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Yes, it was a specious argument then and it still is now. But Radnofsky is riding it like a bull for all the media she can and I'll applaud that all day long. I'll also applaud anything that gets Kelly Shackelford's panties in a twist, as this evidently did. Because he's an asshat and really belongs trapped in a cage poked with a stick by a child with ADHD.

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November 23, 2009

Schieffer out...

Former Ambassador Tom Schieffer will exit the race for Governor this afternoon... more details will come as they are available. I've just been waiting for a confirmation.

My bet? The man has a bunch of debt and will back Shami to get it paid off.

Update : OR, is the sugar daddy going to be Bill White who is rumored to be entering the Governor's race? If this is some sort of deal and part of it is Schieffer as Lt. Governor, we have a big problem.

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November 20, 2009

TX GOV : Two Man Race

Farouk Shami announces and the race shrinks, effectively, to two. Anyone dazzled by Kinky now folds to Shami and Schieffer hasn't a chance to beat him in a money war (not to mention that Schieffer generates the same buzz and excitement as a bowl of cold vegetable soup) so any remaining support he had will fold over to Hank Gilbert who is building support with a fantastic stump and spot on communications and messaging.

I think we're about to find out if Texas Democrats are ready for a Muslim candidate. For me, I'm sticking with Hank! Of all the candidates, he's the only one bold enough to actually stand up, campaign on issues and win with them. He's the only one with any hope of attracting Independents and moderate R's, something he clearly proved he could do in 2006.

My only fear is that the money from Farouk manages to cloud the reality of Farouk... which reminds me, why was he bringing jobs FROM China to Texas? Why weren't they already here? Farouk was. But back to reality, here's a taste of what's in store for Democrats with Shami at the top of the ticket...

Farouk Shami was an awardee and honoree of the anti-Semitic American Task Force for Palestine (which believes all of Israel is “Palestine”)–the the video below, and he supports illegal alien amnesty. He wants to employ Mexican aliens at his Texas plants and get them “working papers,” he told Houston’s KHOU / 11 News, last week (Watch the Video). He says we Americans have too much, and it’s “not fair” to the Mexicans. Though, I guess he thinks it’s fair and not “too much” to live in his 30,000 square foot mansion. Meet Farouk Al-Hypocrite. Farouk says he’s against building a wall on our border or keeping illegal aliens out. “Why can’t Texas have 30 million or 40 million people?” he asks. Uh, yeah, you wanna pay for it, Farouk?

And this is just a short piece of vitriolic garbage. But this will be everywhere next year. Shami could spend $200 mln and still not best Sanchez's numbers from 2002.

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October 19, 2009

Fox v The White House

For those of us still pissed at the White House for not, you know, working harder on health care reform and instead prostrating themselves to please Sen. Snowe, there is some funny. The campaign to take on FOX continues...

Stick with it, kids. It's time someone finally stated the obvious and cut off their access. It won't kill them since there will always be 2-3% of this county dragging their knuckles in a futile attempt to keep up with the rest of us. However, there's just no reason to pretend they are a real news organization any longer.

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September 29, 2009

Go, Hank, GO!

Hank Gilbert rolled out his campaign and has blown away all the other candidates for the Democratic nomination. This is a great example of what he's been up to...

It's becoming very clear that a Democrat CAN win the race for Governor and that Democrat is Hank Gilbert.

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September 15, 2009

Burka Channels Hank Gilbert?

Apparently, Burka also thought that 39%'s decision to send the Ranger's to the border was more political theater than actual law enforcement. Hank Gilbert only beat him to the punch by 72 hours.

To date, there's still nothing from the other Democrats and the pitiful entertainer in the race (including and not including Ronnie Earle).

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September 11, 2009

Al Franken on Health Care

It's so goddamn sad to think that Sen. Franken is from the same state as Michelle Bachmann

One is unrelentingly crazy, the other so sane it makes even the non-nasty teabagger in the video act nice. Good work, Senator!

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September 09, 2009

Cautiously optomistic

About time, Mr. President...

“I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it,” Mr. Obama said. “I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.”

We want single payer. They want nothing. The compromise is public option. Now, please do that.

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August 27, 2009

You don't bring a .22 to a nuke fight

Well, this happened. It was expected and the only thing that was surprising was the fact that it was done so early in the cycle. Honestly, I have a lot of respect for all these folks and even for Mr. Schieffer and I realize the rollout got pushed because of Hank Gilbert. Still, if this is true, it really pisses me off...

Democratic consultant Jason Stanford, who is not affiliated with a gubernatorial campaign, said the Schieffer endorsement was in the House members' best interest because Schieffer will not turn off the swing voters needed to win close House elections as the party tries to add more seats.

"I think self-interest might be playing a role," Stanford said. "Their goal is to win back the House. It's not to win the Governor's Mansion. It would be nice, but it's not what gets them out of bed in the morning."

Nah, he won't piss off swing voters and, as a result, they'll vote Republican or not vote at all. Gilbert gets them so angry they'll be ready to set their Republican house member (and 39%) on fire. Ask some of the R house members how much fun the Special Session was. Ask them about the phone calls. You think Glen Beck is bad whipping up the teabaggers against health care? Wait until Hank starts whipping up every Texan the way he has Democrats.

This idea that we, as Democrats, need to nominate someone bland, inoffensive and frankly out of their depth when it comes to a statewide campaign in order to win is laughable. It's what we've been doing and it hasn't been working. What really irritates me is the idea that one candidate can bring Republicans and Democrats together, as if that will ever happen. Ask President Obama how that's been working out. Contemporary Republicans are mostly a bunch of vile, rabid dogs. They'll never miss an opportunity to bite and compromise, to them, means you giving up what you want. Running someone like Tom Schieffer against that is beyond stupid.

It's akin to telling the Republicans 'We won't bother you too much so please don't hit us or try to take out seats'. That strategy has allowed us to get within striking distance of retaking the house. But we have to put up some big statewide wins and our best chance, all due respect to the house leadership, is Hank Gilbert.

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July 26, 2009

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

If health care reform and the public option go down in flames, it will, in large measure, be due to the Blue Dogs and their ability to carry water for their corporate donors. Well, that and the leadership's willingness not to stomp on them (looking at you, Hoyer) combined with President Obama yet again hoping to 'change' politics and create 'bipartisanship'.

How many reforms have to go down in flames before this President realizes he's not only losing the country, he's losing his party. That HE needs to work to get things done and that not having clearly defined goals leads to confusion. That not forcing issues just kills us all. That he needs to be persuading voters all over the country, not giving press conferences from the White House.

But, back to the Blue Dogs... Why do we elect these cocksuckers? They'll have aggressive R opposition, so why don't real Democrats in these districts just not vote for these assholes? It's pretty clear right now, they aren't voting their districts... they're voting to get contributions to aid their re-election. So, why let these assholes dilute the brand?

LET THEM DIE. It's should be CRYSTAL fucking clear that a moderate or liberal (what few are left) Republican is a damn site better than a Blue Dog as far as getting something done. And then, when they vote for D bills, it's bipartisanship.

I'm not saying vote for the Republican, just don't vote for a Democrat who walks, talks and acts like a Republican. Throw them under the fucking bus.


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July 09, 2009

Federal Spending, in a lovely pie chart

For those of you looking for a 'fun', yet easy way to visualize Federal spending, here you go.

Thank you, Obama Administration!

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June 30, 2009

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.

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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.


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May 26, 2009

Voter ID and the death of this session

Everyone knew this was going to be a largely acrimonious session of the Lege when the Senate voted to suspend the rules when it came to Voter ID legislation. Let's be clear, this legislation is not about protecting the integrity of the vote, it's about disenfranchising the poor and the elderly, and that's me being nice about it. If you really want to be honest, it's about keeping the blacks and browns from voting.

So, is it little surprise that since the Republicans are recalcitrant on this issue that Democrats are holding their ground on letting everything else die? As Even Smith neatly points out, no it isn't.

But what about the polls, McB, that say 70% of Texans support Voter ID? Well, first off, this poll didn't gauge importance ... the reality is that this a voting issue for less than 5% of Texans and they all vote Republican anyway. Second, this was a push poll with questions geared to generate a response. How the hell do you think they got 70% of Texans to agree on anything? Give me 15k for a poll and I'll show you one that indicates that 70% of Texans believe their mama's should be in jail.

The session is ending badly in the House because the Speaker and the Republicans refuse to put this silly, stupid legislation aside and take up other bills. Which leaves the Democrats with no choice but to use the process to protect the voting rights of the elderly and poor.

And, Speaker Straus, blaming the Democrats for YOUR inability to control YOUR caucus is really stupid.

UPDATE There's a nice post over at EOW on the clusterfuck the session has become. Included in it is some speculation from Rep. Dunnam that the Republicans real objective is the hold up insurance reform by putting forth a bill no one can justify. And, honestly, given the fact that the Democrats offered to suspend the rules and take up insurance reform AHEAD of voter ID, it's looking like that's exactly what this is all about.

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May 13, 2009

Being social. Eating ice cream.

Every year, Travis County Constable Bruce Elfant has an ice cream social to raise money for his campaign war chest since there's always the chance that at some point in the distant future he'll draw a Republican opponent. Since that chance is so slim it would make a long shot junky drool, Constable Elfant usually gives the money to a charity, this year it's the Safe Start Fund For Family Drug Treatment (say that three times fast while spinning).

People from all over the county make ice cream for the event and those who attend vote on their favorite flavor.

Having won the last TWO




years,

I have decided not to compete so as to give one of you other people the opportunity to win. Nice of me, right? The social will be at the AFL-CIO Auditorium @ 1102 Lavaca this Sunday (the 17th for those who are trying to tie dates to days of the week) from 3 to 5. It promises to be an exciting event.


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May 12, 2009

That crying you hear...

... is coming from abstinence-only sex ed advocates and those dependent on the funding of abstinence-only sex ed programs. As it turns out, President Obama is an accomplished magician and he performed a trick wherein he made a lot of their funding disappear.

Because, as it turns out, their programs were worthless.

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May 11, 2009

Making Nice

President Obama is working even greater cooperation between the US, Afghanistan (the parts the Taliban doesn't control) and Pakistan (the parts the Taliban doesn't control).

Which is good and hopefully lead to another post about Afghanistan and Pakistan that doesn't require the parenthetical parts.

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April 24, 2009

Michele Bachmann helps Democrats?

When it comes to fundraising, the answer is yes...

PhotobucketEl Tinklenberg (D), who challenged Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) last year but lost, raised so much money in the final days of his election campaign that he couldn't spend it fast enough, according to CQ Politics.

As a result, Tinklenberg just transferred $250,000 in leftover campaign funds to the DCCC.

Thank YOU, Michele!

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April 13, 2009

President Obama eases restrictions on Cuba

It's not the end of the embargo, but it's a start...

The White House is preparing to announce that it is abandoning longstanding restrictions on family travel, remittances and gifts to Cuba, and is also taking steps to open up telecommunications with the island, a significant shift in policy that fulfills a promise President Obama made during his election campaign.

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April 02, 2009

Run, Hank! RUN!

One thing is damn clear... we need a new Agriculture Commissioner.

A disastrous mistake by the Texas Department of Agriculture raises questions about how well the agency is functioning under Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and could cast a pall over Staples’ future political aspirations.

On Friday, the Associated Press reported that an inspector for the Texas Department of Agriculture failed to note that the Plainview operation of Peanut Corporation of America failed to note that the facility was operating without a state health permit in at least three visits to the plant prior to hundreds of people becoming ill after consuming the company’s products.

Staples was elected in 2006 after defeating Hank Gilbert in the general election. It helped that he outspent Hank more than 20:1. Now, with higher name ID and a broad base of Republican support across the state that's willing to vote for at least one Democrat, he'd easily best Staples in a rematch.

The only question is, WILL HE RUN?


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

March 31, 2009

Fun! Fun! Fun!

  • Tuesday, TexBlogPac, CCYD and University Democrats will be having a drinks party and fundraiser at Cuba Libre. Yes, it does sound like fun and if I didn't already have plans, I would be going, too. Instead, you should go and have drinks.
  • In the tight Place 1 race, we're going for (endorsement spoiler alert) Perla Cavazos. We liked her positions better and her openness to ideas that weren't derived from perceived conventional wisdom. She consistently displays a willingness to think through issues, rather than just repeating what 'everyone already knows'.

    Plus, and this is no minor thing, she's way hotter than her opponent. Go throw her some love in the form of dollar bills!

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

    March 20, 2009

    I would not only have sex with Barney Frank...

    ...I would ENJOY it.

    Here's Rep. Frank's response to Republicans that say he's the one responsible for the credit crisis. You know, because he totally controls them and all.

    PhotobucketFortunately, we have tools to aid memory -- pencil and paper, word processing, transcripts, newspapers, and the Congressional record. And as described in the most reputable published sources, in 2005 I in fact worked together with my Republican colleague Michael Oxley, then Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, to write a bill to increase regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We passed the bill out of committee with an overwhelming majority -- every Democrat voted in favor of the legislation. However, on the House floor the Republican leadership added a poison pill amendment, which would have prevented non-profit institutions with religious affiliations from receiving funds. I voted against the legislation in protest, though I continued to work with Mr. Oxley to encourage the Senate to pass a good bill. But these efforts were defeated because President Bush blocked further consideration of the legislation. In the words of Mr. Oxley, no flaming liberal, the Bush administration gave his efforts 'the one-finger salute.'

    The Republicans can claim some supposed successes despite my awesome power. In 1999 they passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which overturned a Depression-era law preventing commercial banks from acting like investment banks. In 2000, they passed another bill which loosened regulation of derivative markets. I voted against these bills -- but to no avail.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 17, 2009

    Speaker Strauss faces problems (but not from D's)

    Rumors have been floating around for days that there is a movement afoot to oust Speaker Strauss. The ringleaders were said to be Democrats which Rep. Martinez-Fisher and Rep. Dunnam put to bed this morning. Which leaves only the source (Texas Insider - a hard-right Republican blog) thinking there is a movement.

    Speculation now turns to Republicans who may be plotting to unseat the Speaker now that the Democrats have been conclusively ruled out. Rep.'s Bohac, Berman and Brown are just a few of the names I've heard. Pink Dome is reporting that there is a list but that there are only 18 names on it.

    If there IS a move to remove the Speaker, it ain't coming from the Democrats.

    (About damn time you came back, PD)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 19, 2009

    Fucking. Hell.

    You may remember that I, along with a bunch of other bloggers who clean up real purty, recently had dinner with John Sharp. At that dinner, I bet him $50 that the Dow would not break it's November low on the close.

    Which it, of course, did today thanks to the marvelous work being done by the Obama Administration in general and, in particular, the doucheriffic performance of Tim Geithner. Please allow me to eat crow on the bet and Timmy-boy.

    Note that I'm not taking it on the chin about Obama's fuckups. Putting the Democratic JV team in the White House was all you other people. I voted for the varsity in the primary.

    Oh, and if you're a Republican... MCCAIN WOULD HAVE STILL FUCKED THINGS UP EVEN WORSE, SO SHUT THE HELL UP.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 05, 2009

    Welcome to the fight, Mr. President

    THANK YOU!

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

    January 13, 2009

    Mi cena con John Sharp

    A group of Texas bloggers had dinner with John Sharp last night and discussed his candidacy for the US Senate. BOR and EOW already have their recap's up, I'm obviously running a bit behind.

    First off, the restaurant... Sharp selected Sullivan's. Now, bullshit aside about the grassroots, progressives, etc., I like Sullivan's. I go to Eddie V's or Truluck's more often but Sullivan's is good despite it's recent fouling by CradDICK. I especially like it for dates since even if the date is awful, the food won't suck and the bars are around the block. This is obviously less fun when you have to pick up the tab for a date who 'forgot' his wallet. Regardless, it kind of reminded me of Hank Gilbert who could eat every meal at a steakhouse, if we allowed him to.

    Sharp is a personable guy. This was my first time to meet him and he was friendly and unreserved. The dinner was really more of an open ended discussion and for that, I really must say thanks to Sharp. It's goddamn nice not to sit down with some self important candidate who'd like to hold forth on subjects about which he/she has a puddle deep comprehension level. Not that Sharp doesn't have his own weak spots, but he didn't come across as someone with a calcified mind.

    There were two issues I went into the evening wanting to discuss. There ended up being a third which Matt brought up.

    Energy
    I was extremely upset when I wrote this and make no apologies for it. It is clear though, after talking to the man last night, that the piece I linked to was badly done. His proposal isn't to cut taxes on existing production sources and he wants a sunset on it of at most 10 years. His proposal includes everything from a new oil well to a wind turbine. His idea has some merit though he's still not completely sold me on the marginal ability of tax cuts to drive this production increase with so much volatility in the commodities markets. He is still interested in OCS drilling but acknowledges that ANWR is pretty worthless. Obvs, we disagree on OCS. While I think there is a lot of undiscovered oil down there, it's just not enough. He used, as an example, a gas field off the FL coast that has proven gas reserves that would cover one million homes for thirty years. As I pointed out, that's a drop in the well in North America. Where we are running out of gas. Further, we have 10-15 years to continue conversion to alternatives before we start hitting real supply constraints in terms of oil. We've got maybe 5 years in terms of natural gas.

    The Economy and tax policy
    We actually had a few points of agreement here. He made clear his anger that the banks weren't lending. He thought we were in for a much rougher time of it. I disagree... we're set up for a strong upward movement in terms of economic growth. Sharp's of the opinion that stopping home value declines will stop the bleeding in the economy. I think you have to address a far more fundamental issue, wage growth. You can stabilize home prices at whatever arbitrary level you'd like but if people can't afford the homes, they can't afford the homes. Period. While I love the idea of moving interest rates to 4.5%, Treasury is already doing that.

    In the end, we're going to have to shift tax policy so that it stops concentrating wealth at the top. It's not clear he gets that. It's not clear there are many politicos who get that period, in Sharp's defense. Also to give him a little cover, most people don't really understand what's going on with stimulus or the economy. Many, like Sharp, make the fallacious assumption that the government is trying to recover $15 trillion in lost value. That's not what they are trying to do... they are simply trying to make up for lost velocity which is a hell of lot cheaper. Asset prices will recover on their own. To his credit, he did nail it when he said that he thought deflation was a much bigger concern than balanced budgets and inflation.

    On the subject of taxes, we got interrupted when we were discussing actually explaining to people what's going to happen with their tax dollars so I never really knew if he understands that what's needed in a race like this is not just honesty on some issues and tax cuts all around. What's needed is one Democrat and one Republican and the D can't be afraid of calling the R a liar if they use that tired old supply side bullshit.

    Matt brought up the margins tax and the perception that it gave Republicans political cover. I remember thinking the same thing at the time, however, I don't know think that cost Chris Bell the election and Sharp's response was really good: "How do you tell a kid whose school is going to have to be shut that maybe, after the next election, if there are more Democrats you'll open their school back up?". The Republicans have been excellent at just this kind of political brinkmanship and we've done a lousy job of shoving it back at them. I don't know if Sharp's got the meanness to do this.

    Sharp made it clear he was running regardless of what Republicans and other Democrats do. I haven't decided who I'm going to support but I have a much better understanding of John Sharp and where he stands than I did. The rap on Sharp has often been that he's pro-business, which is an insult I've never really understood. The guy I saw last night is conservative, but not one of those bible-thumping freaks. He's an old school fiscal conservative Democrat who just doesn't want money wasted, more Harry Truman than John Connally. He's also someone concerned about the future, especially of entitlement programs. He is so concerned about them that I didn't really want to point out that it's a pretty easy actuarial and budgetary fix. Well, that's not actually true... he knows what needs to happen. What's he's concerned with are the politics. I can't disagree.

    The other issue is a political tin ear. I've experienced it trying to get him to help out Hank in 2006. In his defense, Hank was an unknown that few at the top gave a shit about. Still, he needs a fire and I don't know if he has it or not.

    For other budding candidates, seriously don't feel like you have to take myself or any other blogger out. Frankly, I make more than a lot of you and should really be buying y'all a meal. Sharp picked the place, I went because I wanted to hear what the man had to say. That, and I really like their creamed spinach.

    Finally, for the record, I DID bet Sharp $50 that we'd seen the bottom in the market (meaning the DJIA). He did not accept the bet but I'm leaving the offer open nonetheless. Seriously, John, if I win I'll donate it back to your campaign. You can be among the few who've actually won money off me!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 09, 2009

    Kicking Paulson on the way out

    Most of you are, in fact, really stupid. I mean, take this for example.

    The Treasury secretary has made 174 purchases of banks’ preferred shares that include certificates to buy stock at a later date. He invested $10 billion in Goldman Sachs in October, twice as much as Buffett did the month before, yet gained warrants worth one-fourth as much as the billionaire, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Goldman Sachs terms were repeated in most of the other bank bailouts.

    Paulson’s warrant deals may give U.S. taxpayers, who are funding the bailouts, less profit from any recovery in financial stocks than shareholders such as Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of 4 percent of Citigroup Inc., said Simon Johnson, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund.

    I bet, right about now, you're probably very goddamn upset that Paulson made this kind of deal. So is Joe Stiglitz ...

    “If Paulson was still an employee of Goldman Sachs and he’d done this deal, he would have been fired,” he said.

    And the irredeemably stupid Rep. Brad Miller...

    “I halfway believed that the taxpayers would make money in September, but I really don’t believe it now,” Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat on the House Financial Services committee, said in a telephone interview last month.

    “We have to have confidence in Treasury to run the program in a way that protects taxpayers, and there’s very little in the way they’ve run it that inspires confidence,” he said.

    You're mad, aren't you? You think Hank Paulson has basically screwed taxpayers, right?

    I told you, you're stupid.

    Lookit, the goal of injecting capital into the financial system and the markets was always to stabilize them and, if possible, not leave taxpayers with a gaping wound. That didn't mean the government should go out and assrape these companies much like Buffett did with Goldman. Do you know why?

    BECAUSE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WE WERE GOING TO END UP ON THE HOOK FOR EVERYTHING, ANYWAY. This way, the entire system doesn't collapse, we don't have a depression (provided the President - elect pulls his head from his ass and gins up a real stimulus package) and taxpayers aren't left to pay for TRILLIONS.

    Further, as the government, we have one BIG advantage Buffett never enjoys. We get taxes from the banks. Every quarter. And they pay for their own deposit insurance fund.

    What I find most amusing about all this is that all the people who were bitching about TARP and saying we were never going to recover the money are now irritated because they think we won't be making enough profit. Idiots.

    Finally, if you want to beat Hank Paulson up about anything, this ain't the thing. You SHOULD be up his ass about lending and restrictive underwriting at all the banks, not to mention the massive mound of money on which they are sitting like hens.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 06, 2009

    In other news...

  • Al Franken Wins! The money quote comes from Senator Reid who is really very weak but occasionally witty...

    "I believe that tomorrow the bipartisan state canvassing board will certify Al Franken the winner. After all, early on Senator Coleman criticized Al Franken for wanting a recount and wasting taxpayer money. I would hope now that it is clear he lost, that Senator Coleman follow his own advice and not subject the people of Minnesota to a costly legal battle."
  • Classless Cocksucker Cornyn is acting like the ridiculous bitch he is...
  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 31, 2008

    From your fingers to God's eyes

    Amen, Kirk.

    And we must be more open and honest about how we raise money and make the investments for our future.

    Absolutely. It's time people stop seeing taxes as wasted money and begin to understand that it's an investment in the future success of our state.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 14, 2008

    SD 17 : NOW is the time

    Election Day is Tuesday and the Republicans are desperate, as shown by Joan Huffman's decision to throw integrity and ethics out the proverbial window.

  • First off, she decided to hold a barbecue at one of the early voting locations which is a pretty clear cut violation of election law.
  • Next up, her decision to sell herself to special interests. Her biggest contributors so far are Bob Perry (who likes to contribute to Republicans who will help him with lawsuits from homeowner's he's screwed over) and the insurance lobby which represents the folks who have driven up premiums in this state to some of the highest levels in the nation. One has to wonder what Huffman had to promise to get those bucks
  • Finally, dear Joan has been using a service to smear-dial Chris Bell by calling Democratic voters at odd hours of the night to tell them about some sort of vague ethics issue without naming a candidate or disclosing her own ethics issues.
  • Chris Bell needs you help. And Texans need Chris Bell in that Senate seat!

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

    December 11, 2008

    This week in Teh Gay

  • Wednesday was a Day Without Gays, where gays took the day off to protest Prop 8. Or the return of polyester, I wasn't really sure since I didn't get the memo. PDiddie has more which is funny since he's not Teh Gay and seems to know more about what's going on with my team than I.

    On the subject of Prop 8, here are some good protest pics

    Photobucket

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  • Mike Huckabee was recently on The Daily Show where he got spanked by Jon Stewart. Huckabee wanted to, at one point, make it clear that he was not a homophobe which is exceedingly difficult when you're speaking out against equal rights for gays and lesbians. And, in the case of Prop 8, openly discriminating against them.

    My favorite part is when Stewart asks Huckabee when HE decided not to be gay.

  • Apparently, Teh Gays all need to be in 'education's camps. So say a couple of amateur hour politicos up in Oklahoma. A word of advice for the peeps up in OK, people who scream the loudest about how horrible Teh Gays are usually...

    1) Know only one gay person
    2) Are gay themselves
    3) Are still getting over being rejected by the person in point 1

    Just in case you think I'm exaggerating this...

    We have to get rid of that and start curing those sinners. It's past time that this nation stopped placating sin and start putting them in education programs. Courts can force drug offenders into treatment centers and violent people into anger management. There's no reason our courts can't do that with homos.

    Sure thing... tell you what, you come on down to Texas and pick me up, K? I promise, I won't shoot you with my shotgun, I'll just beat the fucking hell out of you in my front lawn.

    And yeah, you slimy hick, I can do it.


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

    December 07, 2008

    Is That A Filibuster In Your Pocket...

    About all I could think when this picture of Obama's speechwriter Jon Favreau partying with a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton...
    Photobucket
    It's probably a good thing Flat Howard can't talk!

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

    December 01, 2008

    Obama's Economic Team

    The WaPo has a good article up about the economic team that the President-elect is setting up and to be honest, I'm blown away by the quality of the people. Even Larry Summers.

    To fashion the government's response, Obama has turned to people who have been associated with more market-oriented approaches. Timothy F. Geithner, 47, Obama's choice for Treasury secretary, is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has been a key player in negotiations aimed at saving some of the nation's largest financial institutions.

    Lawrence H. Summers, whom Obama tapped to direct his National Economic Council, served eight years in the Clinton administration, including a year and a half as Treasury secretary. He has argued that the economic boom enjoyed during much of Clinton's presidency was largely a consequence of shrinking federal deficits.

    Both Summers and Geithner are proteges of Robert E. Rubin, Summers's predecessor as Treasury secretary and current Citigroup director and counselor, whose views in favor of free trade, deregulation and reduced deficits have come to define the economic approach of the Clinton years.

    Christina D. Romer, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley who is an expert on tax policy and the nation's recovery from the Depression, has been selected to lead Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "She has the principal required characteristic of a CEA chair: the ability to clearly explain unpleasant and somewhat complex truths about the world to powerful people without making them mad," said Bradford DeLong, another Berkeley economist.

    "These are great choices," said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for ChannelCapitalResearch.com, an investment research firm. "Right now, economics is the key thing. He is looking for experienced technocrats, despite the fact that some come from the right or the left."

    What's even more heartening are the specifics. No more bullshit about how raising the minimum wage will kill jobs (It never does. It gets the marginally employed back to work). Massive infrastructure spending to repair our existing roads and build new ones, not to mention dramatically expanding public transportation, providing not only a jumpstart to job growth, but the foundation for the next leg of economic expansion.

    I still think the job growth targets are weak. However, I'm feeling a little better about the direction in which things are heading, especially with Paul Volker taking on a leadership role.

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

    November 18, 2008

    Things you may have missed : Mauro, Bell and more

  • David's in second and has some momentum. Click here to vote on giving a Texan the scholarship!
  • The date for the runoff in SD 17 has been set. Kuff has more here and Muse has links to the campaign and maps to the offices here. No matter where you are in the state, there is something you can do. Give money, phone bank, email your friends in Houston, something.

    Go Chris!

    Photobucket

  • Krusee's DWI case is dismissed.
  • Speaking of WilCo, I give you Diana Maldonado on the TTC...

    “I would obviously support anything that would repeal the Trans-Texas Corridor. We already have (S.H. 130), which is serving its purpose so … if the bill continues to go through, I will support it,” Maldonado said. (Taylor Daily Press)
  • Havagoodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 07, 2008

    Treasury Sec'y : We're not alone in hating on Summers

    PhotobucketApparently, we aren't alone in disliking Larry Summers as Treasury Sec'y.

    It will not be easy to pick up the pieces and get the economy back on its feet, but we would be going in the wrong direction to put one of the people responsible for getting us in this mess in the top economic position in the Obama administration.

    To put it more clearly, anyone so closely aligned to Milton Friedman = super bad choice.

    A few have also mentioned Paul Krugman. While we love us some Paul, he's a master of theory but he's light on market mechanics which is exactly what we don't need at Treasury right now. We pointed it out here. And we aren't the only ones.

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

    November 06, 2008

    Bloomberg : Emanuel accepts COS spot, Bair at FDIC

    PhotobucketPer Bloomberg, Rahm Emanuel has accepted the position of Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration.

    In other Obama Admin news, Rep. Frank is saying that FDIC Chair Sheila Bair will play an important role in the Administration which comes as very good news.

    As for Treasury, former Secretary Bob Rubin has declined to return to the department he ran so well in the 90's. Instead...

    The two leading contenders for Treasury secretary continue to be Lawrence Summers, who held the post in Clinton's Cabinet, and Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve bank.

    I don't like Larry Summers and never have. Geithner would be a great choice but given what he's gone through over the last year as NY Fed President have probably forever turned him from government service.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 04, 2008

    Like a badge of honor

    We are, apparently, not progressive. This will, of course, come as a GREAT BIG SHOCK to those of you who thought we were slaves to ideology rather than intelligent people capable of rational decision making based on actual, you know, facts.

    Some site-related issues: I've added and subtracted on the blogroll.

    It turns out McBlogger is not a progressive. Just a loud and annoying moderate Democrat who happens to be gay and likes to carry water for corporate-interests in the name of Greater Corporatism. Oh well. They don't need my traffic anyway.

    All this because of our decision to vote no on Austin Proposition Two. The HYSTERICAL thing is that this could have been done in August when we very clearly laid out not only our opposition but pointed out what a raving lunatic FUCKTARD Linda Curtis was (and, we're sure, still is).

    Colin, I'll go with you on the loud part, but annoying? Only to people who get their panties in a twist when we don't completely agree with them. As for the 'gay' thing, well, the authors here are gay and straight (I know! Isn't it WILD that we mix people of DIFFERENT SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS?!?!?!? I just know that Father Joel will have something to say about all that) and frankly, we're a little confused why it would even be mentioned.

    So, Colin, we'll be happy to be delisted from your blog since being part of it apparently requires 100% agreement with Colin Kalmbacher Thought. Which would make us dumb if you were actually right about things. We'll wear the delisting like a badge of fucking honor and proudly display it.

    And, just for good measure, all of you 'good' progressives out there upset about us not being for this silly proposition (and vaguely threatening us about going against 'The Party') can kiss our collective asses. YOU'RE WRONG ON THIS. Next time, do a better job writing your proposition. Or, to put it another way, please enjoy this visual aid...

    Photobucket

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    November 03, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It is Monday, November 3, 2008. In less than 24 hours, the United States will have elected a new President and Texas will send Rick Noriega to the U.S. Senate and a host of new State Representatives and Senators to Austin.

    In the meantime, here is your Election Eve edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly roundup.

    Bradley from North Texas Liberal lets us know that you should be careful not to lose your vote if you have to use an electronic voting machine, like TV personality Oprah Winfrey almost did.

    jobsanger believes an avalanche of new voters could produce some surprises on election day, including the possibility that Georgia will turn blue, and even though an amazing 23% of Texans think Obama is muslim, a huge turnout in the urban areas and South Texas could produce some surprises in Texas, and early voting totals show this is happening.

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog is glad that 60% of Asian Americans polled in Harris County support the Democrats. He also is glad that voting this year was not a chore as it often feels. Justinurges everyone to support AAA-Fund's five Texas endorsees: Rick Noriega, Al Green, Nick Lampson, Hubert Vo, and Sandra VuLe.

    It's been an exciting week for Democrats. First up was Hank Gilbert asking a Cornyn staffer to take a walk from a Rick Noriega event. Then there was Texas Blogger (and current TPA Chair) Vince Leibowitz spanking the Mike McCaul campaign for their amateurish content theft. Finally, we at McBlogger received word that Dr. Dobson had traveled to the future and didn't like what he saw. Which is something you'll probably love.

    The Texas Cloverleaf notes that
    Barack Obama leads John McCain in fundraising in Denton County of all places!
    In nonpartisan news, while Obama is raising money, Ron Natinsky is spending it. The Dallas City Councilmember is spending your tax dollars on trinkets bearing his name. In shocking news, a 9 year old is electrocuted by a McCain-Palin yard sign. No, we couldn't make this stuff up if we wanted to.


    Vince at Capitol Annex tells us how State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake) is sending out his wife to attack Netroots backed candidate Sherrie Matula (D-Houston). In return, he opens John Davis' own personal Pandora's Box and tells the world about Davis' record.

    The Texas Cloverleaf notes that Barack Obama leads John McCain in fundraising in Denton County of all places! In nonpartisan news, while Obama is raising money, Ron Natinsky is spending it. The Dallas City Councilmember is spending your tax dollars on trinkets bearing his name. In shocking news, No, we couldn't make this stuff up if we wanted to.

    After record breaking early voting in Williamson County, Eye On Williamson is ready for the general election. The HD-52 race has been the focus of attention this election cycle. The issues concerning voters in HD-52 include the Trans-Texas Corridor, insurance reform, and the economy. No matter the issue Diana Maldonado is the best choice in HD-52.

    WhosPlayin looks at the early voting turnout in Texas' 26th Congressional District, and thinks Ken Leach just might be able to upset incumbent Michael Burgess. WhosPlayin asks you to guess whether this incident of political suppression happened in Liberia or Texas. (Hint: It was Harris County, Texas.) Most of all, WhosPlayin wants Denton County residents to get to the polls and VOTE!

    Off the Kuff takes his last looks at early voting, and makes fun of some whining by Republican enablers Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

    El Paso is going Democratic in a big way. As El Paso goes so should South Texas. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is looking for a blue, blue
    Thanksgiving!

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is laments pre-election jitters, Oh The Stress Of It All - Op Ed, and how many years will it take to recover because, Divided We Fall.

    Neil at Texas Liberal says think about the future when you vote. Don't be like Galveston voters who in 1886, 14 years before the 1900 hurricane, voted no on building a seawall. Texas Liberal also offers up a post on how Texans have voted for President since 1948, and, finally, submits for your review some election predictions.

    Over at TexasKoas, TxSharon tells us that somebody is finally looking at the Barnett Shale Gas Wells . Its called accountability and its about time.

    boadicea provides some excellent resources/talking points on the ACORN non-story. Give a look.

    Txsharon kicks off a lively debate on the the training of 4000 troops in the use of non-lethal weapons for possible domestic use.

    Texas politics is screwed up for at least two obvious reasons this week: because Tom Craddick has his debates sponsored by AT&T -- complete with a lobbyist on the panel, and because 23% of all Texans think Barack Obama is a Muslim. The sad details at Brains and Eggs.

    Nat-Wu discusses the long tradition in the Republican of crying wolf about voter fraud in an effort to minorities from legitimately exercising their right to vote, and Xanthippas rips into anti-woman bloggers for brewing up a faux controversy over their DART bus ads.

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

    November 01, 2008

    Harry Balczak's Reminder To You People, Part 3

    PhotobucketWell folks, I guess it's about time for the finale to this series of installments. Well, maybe not the final finale, because if I know You People, you're going to need continual reminders about all the boneheaded political choices you're known to make.

    Suffice it to say this will be the final installment in the Election '08 Trilogy of the Harry Balczak's Reminder to You People Series (A Balczak Media, L.L.C. Production, all rights reserved, void where prohibited,...and other boilerplate stuff you've been programmed to scan past without reading). I'll admit, this one's tough to write, because to your credit, a lot of You People have really come around lately in a way I didn't think was possible.

    What was it? The negative balance in your 401k giving you nightmares of destitution in your Golden Years? Imagine the shame of having to wash dishes to cover your bill at Luby's, or the torment of having to order biscuits WITHOUT GRAVY at the Cracker Barrel (incidentally, I like to call that establishment "the Honky Bin" - get it? tee hee hee). Winnebago Schminnebago indeed.

    Or maybe it's that an economic shitstorm of these proportions brings into sharp focus what most of You People usually can't see: that most of us are much closer to being jobless and broke than we are to being insanely wealthy and "burdened" with a punishing 38 percent tax rate ("ummm, lessee.....point thirty-eight times unfathomable fuckloads equals.....shit! i'm going to have to start rationing my Dom Perignon baths! There goes my plan to buy a plumbing company, too....").

    Erie-guardless, You People have given me a glimmer of hope. And for that, I thank you. Just the same, I'm not letting you off that easy. Because you see, even as you look hopefully to the future under new leadership, THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP (if you can call it that) IS WORKING 24/7 TO PERPETUATE AND WORSEN THE PROFOUND AND HISTORIC UPFUCKEDNESS OF THE STATUS QUO.

    Hence the old saying, "Elections have consequences". In this case, we can thank You People for the consequences.

    This administration is like the girlfriend/boyfriend you never should have gone out with in the first place, and never should have stayed with after you caught them cheating, and then they leave you an STD on their way out the door so you'll always remember them. There is a giant Q-tip in our nation's future, is what I'm saying. And it's going to sting a little, my friends (damn you, John McCain, for permanently ruining a perfectly good rhetorical crutch).

    So You People should remember, as the take-away lesson of this decade, that qualities like competency, intellect and a genuine concern for the public good are positive qualities to have in a president. Hell, if You People made every day choices according to the same principles you used to vote with back in 2004, Joe would be your Plumber. And there would be a Port-a-John in your backyard next to the kids' swingset. Which would be in a collapsed heap of rusting aluminum because you didn't cotton to those fancy assembly instructions written by eggheaded elitists who make lousy drinkin' buddies.

    But let's not dwell in the past. For now, I'm content to remind You People who have come around that you need to get your ass out there and get it right this time at the polls. As for the rest of You People, don't forget to cast your vote on Wednesday, November 5th.

    Posted by hbalczak at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    UPDATE - RSB 2008

    The Concert For Change is still on but the location has changed from AMH to La Zona Rosa! We hope to see you there!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 30, 2008

    RSB 2008 : Ticket information

    I know you're excited about Red State Blues! We just got an update from the promoter and you can, apparently, get tix at TCDP coordinated HQ (11th@35) for $25. Online there's an additional charge so if you have a chance I'd run over to TCDP and pick up your tix!

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

    October 21, 2008

    Good news in CD 10

    The Statesman has a good piece up about just how competitive CD 10 is...

    Now Democrats are giving McCaul his toughest challenge yet in the form of Washington County lawyer Larry Joe Doherty, the former star of a TV courtroom show.

    McCaul's district, which includes much of northern Travis County, stretches east along U.S. 290 to the western suburbs of Houston. Doherty can expect to run well in Democrat-friendly Travis County but will need to eat into McCaul's sizable advantage in the conservative areas near Houston and between the two big cities.

    Given Larry Joe's roots in the Houston area, it's likely that McCaul's advantage there will be cut down significantly from 2006. If the numbers hold, it should be enough (if LJD can hold on to Ankrum's voters in 2006) to elect LJD.

    Of course, this will help...

    McCaul is an engaging, interesting former prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. But his low profile and support for so much of the Bush administration program over his past two terms makes him an ill fit for Austin. That's one of the reasons we are endorsing Larry Joe Doherty for this seat.

    This is a particularly interesting endorsement given The Statesman's support in the past for McCaul. Of course, most of that was driven by the execrable Rich Oppel who lived in McCaul's colon when he was in town.

    Go help Larry Joe today!

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

    October 20, 2008

    Go, Sherrie, GO!

    Go help Sherrie today!

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

    October 17, 2008

    Baron gets Tysabri

    Wednesday morning we reported that Fred Baron was in bad shape and desperately in need of a drug that could save his life. From Bloomberg comes word that he's now being treated.

    Our best wishes and prayers that what you've fought so hard to get will do the trick and get you back into fighting shape. And to Mr. Baron's family and friends, the best compliment anyone can pay another human being is doing everything in ones power not to lose that friend.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 16, 2008

    It Can't Happen Here

    Or could it?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 03, 2008

    The Sideshow

    At a time when politicians pander, on both the right and left, while the economy hangs in the balance, I can't honestly say I expected much from the Vice Presidential Candidates Debate. I expected no obvious gaffes from Palin and I expected Sen. Biden to show his formidable command of the facts.

    I also expected those ridiculous looking glasses, perched on Governor Palin's face and her silly chrysanthemum hair which looked worse in HD with the highlights than I've ever seen it.

    The debate was Biden's. But there were a few things that struck me as, well, irritating.

    1) Palin's crooked mouth. She's forming it to give her voice that Minnesota tonality. I'd been wondering if maybe that was fake and now I feel pretty sure.

    2) The cutesy, smarmy, Eddie Haskell-like charm she exudes like an odor. Exhibit A, her use of the word 'heckuva'. Coming from her, it's anything but genuine. Exhibit B, her walking out asking Sen. Biden if she could call him 'Joe'. It's always nice when people like Sarah act down to earth and chummy. It's also complete bullshit.

    3) Her thorough command of the financial meltdown as seen through the eyes of the most Americans. And her thorough misunderstanding of taxation in relation to patriotism.

    It's point 3 that gives me the most pause. If it's genuine, then that's scary because most Americans haven't the faintest idea how close THEY are to oblivion. If it's not, then it's nothing more than pandering. Either way, it's pretty scary coming from a person who could be President.

    As for the patriotism and paying taxes, well, you all know how I feel about that. We live in an amazing country that allows us all to live well and financially benefit. We all have opportunities unavailable in other countries around the world. And our tax dollars support that. I find it DEEPLY OFFENSIVE that a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States would denigrate the patriotism of paying your taxes. I thank God every year when I do my return because I did well enough to pay into the country that has, in every way, shaped who I am. And I won't put up with people who say we pay too much or who cheat. The only way this country, our grand collective experiment in self governance, endures is if we all do our part.

    And people like Sarah Palin glibly decide that it's something they shouldn't have to do.

    I'll leave you only with this... Governor Palin at several points made a comment that we NEED oversight of our financial institutions and in damn near the same breath stated that we need LESS government regulation.

    Now, if you can square up that non sequitur, you're a better person than I.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 01, 2008

    Obama to McCain : YA BURNT!

    For those of you who were sad there wasn't a gotcha moment during the debate, this should make you hap, hap, happy!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 27, 2008

    Just a little something to make you laugh...

    Photobucket

    I love jerky nature of animated GIF's.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 10, 2008

    Damn, Obama... that's not the phrase to use!

    As reported earlier, the RETARDS (still looking at you former Governor Swift) at the McCain campaign are demanding an apology from Obama for his comment in reference to McCain's weak effort to label himself as a change agent (you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig) which they interpreted (they're dumb like that) as a slam on their pathetic Veep candidate. In short they thought Obama was calling Sarah Palin a

    Photobucket Image Hosting

    First off, I don't really want to get into a discussion on Governor Palin's sexual proclivities. I do know from experience that people who project a very dominant personality in public tend to be extremely submissive in the bedroom (not to mention being into some pretty gross stuff). AND YES, IT'S DISAPPOINTING.

    Second, a quaint, parochial phrase might be a great idea, but you have to be careful which one you choose. I'd like to recommend

    You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit

    to describe McCain and his worthless ideas.

    What? I want to HEAR Jane Swift actually ask if Sen. Obama is calling Sen. McCain a chickenshit. Then I want her head to explode from the resulting apoplexy when the Obama campaign laughs at her.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    September 06, 2008

    THIS is our VP

    I'll admit, I wasn't super enthusiastic about Sen. Biden. Until now.

    Go get 'em, Joe!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 29, 2008

    Change I believe in...

    ObamaBiden-08.jpgAfter watching Sen. Obama's acceptance speech, it occurred to me that anything I could post would be woefully inadequate. His words were precisely chosen, his delivery was flawless and for 42 minutes he held a crowd of millions with specifics. And with hope.

    I can, without reservation, say I am a tough sell. Yesterday afternoon while talking to Sister Ruth, I told her I wanted to be inspired by his speech. I was going to vote for him, but I wanted to believe that he was what he claimed to be, a candidate who would transcend politics and really talk about issues, frankly and fearlessly. One who would fight, head to head, on every front. Frankly, I didn't see it. Even yesterday afternoon.

    Early this morning, however, I'm still in awe of the man who was willing to stand in front of a crowd of more than 80,000 and speak about real issues, genuine ideas and not worry about the smaller, pettier matters and conflicts. One who was clearly focused on leading his party and his nation back from the brink of oblivion.

    Leader. That's the word that describes the man I saw just a few hours ago. A man I'm proud to say I'm voting for in November.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    August 26, 2008

    Cinton to PUMA's : Really?

    Hillary Clinton asked some of her erstwhile supporters "Do you really want to vote for John McCain?" during her speech tonight at the DNC.

    Now, John McCainis my colleague and my friend. But we don't need four more years of the last eight years. More economic stagnation and less More high gas prices and less energy work. More foreclosures and higher prices and less help for the middle class. More wars and less diplomacy.

    John McCain wants to privatize social security. And in 2008, he still thinks its okay that women don't earn equal pay for equal work. With an agenda like that, it makes sense that John McCain and George Bush will appear together in the Twin Cities -- because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart.

    Yes, ma'am. They are. And in November, I'll join YOU in voting for Barack Obama.

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

    Frank Corte in a box?!

    There IS a structure on the empty lot that Frank Corte calls home. It's a mailbox.

    View image

    Now, the question is, can he live in it? I guess I could have called this post 'DICK (in a box)'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 24, 2008

    Won't you think of the children?

    When you tell the WillCo Republicans to FUCK OFF?

    That's right, kids! We knew it would come sooner or later but now the douchebags at the Williamson County Republican party are asking Diana Maldonado to give money to Fred Barron that she didn't receivefrom Fred Baron.

    John Edwards had an affair. Fred Baron helped the woman in the affair out. It had nothing to do with Annie's List. Or Diana Maldonado.

    Of course the WillCo R's want to talk about this. They can't talk about their record of leadership which has resulted in tolling being the primary method of financing new road construction. Low investment in non-freeway infrastructure, high taxes and developmental disarray that makes Downtown Austin look positively tranquil.

    And let's not forget about T. Don Hutto.

    Much of this failure and inadequacy is directly the result of Ogden, that asshat Gattis and Krusee the Time Traveler. The citizens of Williamson County are making a decision to give Democrats, like Diana Maldonado, a chance to come in and put things right.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 15, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    (Thanks, as always, to Vince)

    The Truth About Texas Republicans, a new blogger-powered website designed to expose the real truth about GOP Texas legislators looks at the stuff State Reps. Dwayne Bohac, Betty Brown, John Davis, Bill Zedler and State Sen. Mike Jackson don't want you to see.

    refinish69 was happy to introduce a real progressive Democrat to the readers of Doing My Part For The Left a few weeks ago but has to wonder how to describe Mike Skelly: Democrat or Republican Lite?

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the Texas State Teacher's Association lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency for giving public funds to private institutions.

    Irony Alert: Mary McDaniels, Manager - Pipeline Safety, Texas Railroad Commission, who lied on camera about the Atmos Energy gas pipeline couplings, spoke in Ft Worth about pipeline safety, inspections and regulations, for Chesapeake Energy's Barnett Shale pipeline, says TXsharon at Bluedaze.

    Julie Pippert at MOMocrats asked, "Offshore drilling---whose issue is it anyway? The people's? Or the politician's?"

    Women who enter the military know they may encounter danger along the way, just as their male counterparts do. Diarist Liberal Texas at Texas Kaos highlights an additional danger they face in Assault on Women in the Military, and calls on all of us to ensure that our fighting women are protected from sexual assault from the companions they should be able to trust.

    WhosPlayin used to think John McCain was worthy of respect, even if wrong on issues. But mocking conservation and lying about Obama raising taxes show who John McCain really is.

    jobsanger thinks Democrats should let Clinton's backers have their vote at the convention, and believes Barack Obama has a chance to win Texas this November.

    Neil at Texas Liberal talks about AIDS and African Americans.

    Due to purchase of McBlogger by a rival blogging firm, the regular writers are on strike. This week, we'd like to introduce you to a new McBlogger, Rose
    Petal
    .

    North Texas Liberal remarks on John McCain's anti-Obama ad comparing the Democratic nominee to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, and also includes Hilton's response ad. Still waiting on Britney's energy policy...

    Off the Kuff takes a look at The Queue behind KBH for her maybe-to-be-abandoned Senate seat.

    YaGottaLoveIt of South Texas Chisme urges Barack Obama to have a fundraiser for money that stays in Texas while urging Hillary Clinton to campaign for Rick Noriega in South Texas.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Williamson County DA's unwillingness to test DNA evidence in a almost 30 year old unsolved murder, Lawsuit Filed Against County For New DNA, Fingerprint Tests.

    Tropical Storm Edouard was more like a decent rainstorm, but that didn't stop the media -- old as well as new, including madcap reporter/Congressman John Culberson -- from building it up to a height it could no more sustain than its winds. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the roundup of the hyperventilating in Houston.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about the economy "Purses Tighten, Small Business Suffers, Families Budget"

    nytexan at BlueBloggin points out, as the Gerogia Russia war continues and Bush plays with U.S. athletes at the Olympics, Could The U.S. Get Pulled Into Georgia’s War?

    XicanoPwr discusses the immigration survey that was sent presidential candidates Obama and McCain put together by The Sanctuary, a web base grassroots community of pro-migrant, human rights, and civil-rights bloggers.

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

    August 14, 2008

    Mr. Ed to deliver the keynote

    Afterward he'll stomp out his age.

    Barack Obama on Wednesday chose Mark Warner, Virginia's Senate candidate and former governor, to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic convention, underscoring Democrats' all-out effort to win the Southern state for the first time since 1964.

    I leave you only with this...

    Photobucket

    And yes, I'll be watching his speech. And I'll be taking a shot every time he whinnys or blows.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 12, 2008

    Rational Radio opens in Dallas

    Don't know a thing about this... just got a note via email...

    Rational Radio, 1360AM is a new 50,000-watt station for the progressives, and those who love them, and quiet frankly, is years past due. (or you can say, and quiet frankly, we need their voices now more than ever.

    My name is Jack E. Jett and I will host a fun, quirky and progressive chat show that
    will begin airing on Rational Radio on September 6, 2008 from 1:00 to 3:00pm. The
    show will air live every Saturday and Sunday with a repeat at midnight.

    I would also like to invite you to our launch party that will take place on
    Saturday, August 16, 2008 at MARDI GRAS in Dallas, located at 2720 Stemmons Freeway
    from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

    There is no cover so please join us for free entertainment, as well as an awesome
    opportunity to mingle with like-minded folks.

    If anyone goes, let us know the deets!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 06, 2008

    What's going on here? What do I do?

    I really don't know what I'm supposed to be doing here... I'm one of the new people hired by ACC to 'blog' here. I'm not even familiar with this site. They have me in front of this computer and I'm supposed to be typing out the thoughts in my head. I really don't think they want ALL the thoughts in my head (like the one about the catfish in my bathtub).

    Of course, I know what a blog is. I maintain one on MySpace.

    I guess I should say I don't really get all this politics stuff. Like these people arguing about drilling for gas? Don't the dummies know all they have to do is just go down to the Valero and get some? Just don't put it in a glass bottle and make sure (if you're driving a pickup) to take whatever you're putting the gas in OUT of the bed. They get really mad about that. Apparently, according to 'them', it can also explode.

    So what do you guys think? Who are you going to vote for in the Presidential race? I'm going for

    Posted by SCAB at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 05, 2008

    ON STRIKE!

    Not too long ago I sold the blog to settle up a bar tab (it was really a very good deal... for me) to Amalgamated Corporate Company. They have, of course, made some changes that we find unbearable, like:

    1) Not allowing us to drink during lunch.
    2) Not allowing us to drink during staff meetings.
    3) Not allowing us to nap in the early afternoon after a big lunch.
    4) Not paying for the aforementioned big lunch.
    5) Requiring that 'happy hour' start at 5, not 10:30.
    6) Threatening to fire us for showing up to work drunk (YOU try staying sober after a pitcher of bloody marys).
    7) Making us actually, you know, blog. And hang out with bloggers.

    So, in an effort to show our new Corporate Masters who is really running things, we're ON STRIKE. In the meantime, we would like to encourage you to contribute to some great candidates. Like Larry Joe Doherty and Valinda Bolton. In fact, if we can raise a significant amount of money, say $100,000, we might be coaxed to come back to work. As long as we get that and the other shit we want. And the kegerator back in the break room.

    And the wet bar in my office.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    August 04, 2008

    TREY FOR TEXAS HOUSE!

    No, not me you jackass... Trey FLEMING...

    I wanted to give you an update on the campaign. You all know that we've knocked on quite a few doors and now we are starting to get a lot of attention as a battleground district in Texas. In a Quorum Report article, a well known GOP political consultant offered a simple turnout ratio as a metric for active battleground races in Texas. A 2:1 Democrat to Republican ratio was a clear Democratic district. Anything at 1.5:1 or lower is leaning towards the Republican. However, everything in between should be considered a battleground district that can be won by a fighting Democrat in November. Texas House District 135 was at nearly a 1.8 : 1 ratio. With the high turnout combined with the Cy Fair ISD financial crisis, our major transportation challenges in Northwest Houston and the recent Texas Ethics Commission complaints against my opponent (for allegedly using campaign funds to pay for his personal property in Austin), this district is now heavily in play! As such, my campaign finance plan has now increased substantially and I need to raise much more money than originally anticipated. Fortunately I have picked up the support of several major contributors in town but I need to reach out to everyone I know for support where possible. I'm contributing a substantial amount of my own money to cover our grassroots costs but we've got to grow the mass media capability. I'm shooting for an additional $30,000 by September 2. That is where each of you come in. If you or anyone you know can help out, be it $25, $250 or more, every dime will help out. I have a link set up whereby you can contribute online, or you can send a check to the Fleming for Texas campaign at the address below. Thanks in advance and let's get fired up for a great run to November!

    Why yes, I will be supporting anyone with the good sense to be named Trey!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 01, 2008

    Sen. Kirk Watson NAILS IT

    Here's a sample of today's WatsonWire...

    But the Mansion fire isn’t only a symbol. It’s a symptom of the self-interested neglect and mismanagement that have come to define those who purport to lead this state. While Texas is blessed with dedicated, hard working, public service-oriented employees, they have been denied the tools and leadership they need.

    Texas, and every Texan, deserves better. It’s time to demand a government that works.

    Read the rest here. Kirk, we need this from you... and we need you desperately to be a leader on transportation funding that won't leave the majority of the state in the slow lane.

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

    July 30, 2008

    I really gotta stop reading Salon

    I, like many of you, am feeling let down by Democrats in Congress and by our own candidate. From FISA to faith based initiatives, the Democrats seems as willing to trash the Constitution as the Republicans. Greenwald thinks it's all because of the Blue Dogs... stop them and you regain a progressive agenda. Basically, we have to target the Blue Dogs or even, God forbid, allow Republicans to win these races to make a point with the leadership and the caucus that taking voters for granted is a super bad idea.

    There is another theory that I like better... simply, we need to put a super majority of Democrats into Congress to completely marginalize the Blue Dogs.

    What are your thoughts? I know where I'm falling on this... and the polling should be showing the Democrats that playing the same old games, instead of actually taking a stand and leading, is their ticket to a loss in November.

    Obama offered his own horse-race assessment ...

    ... while attending a fundraiser in Arlington, Va., Monday night. Talking to about 40 supporters, he opined that when he began his White House quest, "there weren’t too many people who thought we were going to pull this off."

    Now, he said, “We are ... in a position where the odds of us winning are very good. But it’s still going to be difficult.... We’re not going to see a huge gap develop between now and Nov. 4 [in the polls]. This is going to be a close election. I’m new on the national scene. People sort of like what they see, but they’re not sure.”

    Uhm, Senator, the fact that in this environment you're having problems beating a guy who is so close to Bush they smell the same is a pretty clear indication that your strategy isn't working. Seriously, rethink your excuses. You're close because you caved on things that Democrats, Republicans, Independents and even Libertarians can agree on. So, that leaves us all wondering why the hell we should vote for you.

    If you lose this, Senator Obama, you have no one to blame but yourself.

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

    July 24, 2008

    We miss you, Garry Brown

    Hope you're OK and that you'll be back soon! One thing... 39% needs this to be a bigger emergency than it is so he can prove that his leadership is superior, even though we all know that he's a leader in the style of another great Republican, Herbert Hoover.

    Could you at least TRY and make your situation sound a little more dire? That way 39% won't look like an idiot for asking Washington for a preemptive disaster declaration.

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

    July 18, 2008

    What math nerds grow up to smell like

    In a few short minutes I shall bravely overcome cocktail flu, venture downtown and go to Netroots Nation where I will moderate a panel. On sunshine laws.

    That's right, Netroots Nation is here and there are massive numbers of polinerds running around downtown like a tapeworms in someone's ... well, you get the idea. If you ever wondered what happened to that politically aware math nerd you knew in high school who was slightly malodorous, if you'll go hang out downtown you'll probably see him.

    Or her.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    July 17, 2008

    Wendy Davis pwns Brimer

    Wendy Davis responds to dipshit Brimer's pathetic attempts to keep her off ballot.

    "He thinks this lawsuit will hide his 20 years of failed leadership," Davis said. "To the contrary, it has highlighted it."

    "We ask you to stop hiding behind your lawyers and your political consultants and step forward to demand that this lawsuit is handled immediately so we can move on to address the issues important to Tarrant County families," Davis said.

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

    July 11, 2008

    Cornyn the Coward

    You know, I've never really been one to let things go. I get my way usually by being the more obstinate person. It's a trait I picked up from my parents, whose favorite word happens to be 'NO'.

    I'm not letting Telecom Immunity and the cave in on FISA go. Especially not when Junior John, the Cowardly Senator from Texas, has sent out a fundraising email attacking a real patriot and defending his own inexcusable cowardice.

    So, I'm going to make John a deal. Blogging about this isn't really enough, I'd like to see you to personally tell you what a cocksucker I think you are. Think I'm hiding behind the blog? Come see me and see just how nasty I can be to a public official who has failed his constituents and betrayed his oath of office. No threats of violence, I don't want to hit you. I just want to let you know how little I respect you and what I think of your appalling service to the people of Texas.

    I go to Mother Egan's just about every Sunday night. I won't be there this week because I'll be away on business. However, next week and just about every week thereafter, I'll be there having drinks on the patio. Feel free to stop by because I'd love to call you a coward to your face.

    What ever you do, don't EVER say anything nasty about a man who served in the armed forces. YOU didn't, so I'll be damned if I'll sit back while you impugn Lt. Col. Noriega's courage and commitment to defending this country.

    He's actually served in a combat zone. All you've done is weaken the Constitution you swore to uphold. You'd be better served attacking me, douchebag. Rick's way the hell out of your league.

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

    You lazy, no commenting skanks...

    Seriously, all kinds of fun stuff posted up all week by your friends here at McBlogger and you people have nothing to say.

    Yeah, that's right. I called you YOU PEOPLE. Get over it.

    Of course I guess it would help if the 1086 people designated as authors on the site could, you know, occasionally post something.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 10, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up. The roundup is compiled each week based on submissions by TPA member bloggers. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    According to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, if Chris Bell -- in his current inclination toward making a run for the Texas Senate in District 17 -- were to stand next to Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa, it would appear to be at a 90-degree angle compared to him.

    It was a week for new contributors at WhosPlayin. Kit asks a million tough questions about America's interventionism and the illusion of national security, and txdemjen expresses the frustration a lot of us have with Obama's sudden right-ward bend.

    CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme is appalled that special prosecutor, Terry McDonald, gives former Sheriff, Michale Ratcliff, a sweet plea deal for the sexual assault of a minor supposedly under his protection.

    Bay Area Houston says Governor Perry is calling for an investigation into the insurance industry.


    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News now sees his
    Pasadena neighbor Joe Horn saying he is no hero. Will he be subject to the same attacks those who have been saying that all along have experienced? Gary has been on vacation, mostly, but remains ticked off over the stupid.

    Lovelie99 at McBlogger takes some time out of her busy schedule to inform us about the plight of supermodels. Apparently, there is a shortage of H-1B work visas since far too many math nerds are being imported to, you know, make stuff and stuff and program computers and stuff. And make other stuff, such as cellphones, such as. Which means there are too few supermodels who are allowed to work in the US. Well, at least the kind who are emaciated, gaunt and angular. We at McBlogger wondered if possibly there are math nerds who could do double duty. Then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

    The Texas Cloverleaf wonders which is the better place to live...Collin County or New Jersey?. Forbes has the answer.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts the latest toll scam we'll be paying for soon, Going "Cashless" Will Cost Us All.

    Off the Kuff notes a recent CNN Presidential poll and says it's not a dead heat if someone is leading.

    Last week was a great one for evolutionary biology, but sucked if you happen to be a Conservapedia believer. Over at Texas Kaos Boadicea shares the tale of Conservapedia Ignoramous Schooled by Evolutionary Biologist and then discovered a sequel in which Lenski Meets the Naked Scientists.

    refinish69 ponders the American Dream on the 4th of July at Doing My Part For The Left.

    North Texas Liberal reports on Kim Brimer's cowardly move to keep worthy opponent Wendy Davis off the ballot in Fort Worth's SD 10.

    Vince at Capitol Annex tells us about State Rep. Warren Chisum's announcement that he'll be trying again to pass legislation creating a two-year waiting period before couples can divorce.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 09, 2008

    Sen. Hinojosa : Insurance Commissioner should be elected

    Here's the letter... in it, Sen. Hinojosa accurately points out that in states where the insurance commissioner (or equivalent) is elected, insurance rates are on average much lower than they are in Texas. Which has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the nation and the fifth highest health insurance rates.

    The big question now will be if his recommendation to his fellow Sunset Committee members prompts them to recommend the same thing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 01, 2008

    Things in our world...

  • Dingus wins an will face Craddick in November. BEAT.HIS.ASS, BILL!
  • The outing of Beckwith draws to a conclusion, and he has apparently not been fired since Cornyn LOVES incompetence. Truly, it's OK with us. David's a 'tard and will continue to help Cornyn make some really bad decisions. Kuff and Peggy Fikac have more.
  • Speaking of Cornyn, he was in Naconowhere yesterday winning some award for the spirit of enterprise. It's the award given out to the math nerd who builds the most faithful replica of the ORIGINAL Enterprise, not the one from that ass TV show with Will Wheaton. Way to go, Jr. John! You're truly a 28 gauge boy in a world that needs 12 gauge men.
  • After tax incomes increase... because of the stimulus checks. Absent those, inflation is high and wage growth is nonexistent. This article wins the MOTO award for today.
  • John Carter is taking some much deserved flack for his retarded little op/ed about China. Seriously, John, did NO ONE ever teach you about keeping your mouth shut and only being THOUGHT an idiot?
  • TexBlog PAC endorses Sherrie Matula! We love you Sherrrie!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 30, 2008

    Not encouraging...

    I think there's a good chance Obama will lose. Because he fucking sucks.

    Change? My ass.

    (Just FYI... the rant was about the constant 'he said, she said, they said' about Hillary and Obama supporters. Frankly, we don't care what nutters do and say. However, candidates have always been fair game. And always will be. If you're offended by us calling out Obama on something, I suggest you go read another blog. We don't pull punches here and there are no sacred cows.)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    June 29, 2008

    There's Reality... and then there's what Cornyn thinks

    It's been an exciting week for Jr. John... let's just jump right in, shall we?

  • On Friday, Cornyn's brill campaign sent out an email mischaracterizing (or, if you'd rather, outright lying about) Rick Noriega's Energy Plan as continuing our dependency on foreign oil. We thought it was pretty clear Rick was about conservation and alternative fuels, but we have to make allowances for Cornyn and his staffers. After all, they have to be pretty dumb to work for him.

    So, just out of curiosity, you may be wondering what Cornyn has planned. Well, it's basically allowing his friends in the oil and gas industry (to whom he's been VERY generous with our tax dollars) to drill. Which is interesting as hell since they are already can and are. Of course, it's understandable that a US Senator and his idiot staff wouldn't know this and bloggers would.

    Of course, acknowledging that would require Jr. John to admit that there is not, in fact, enough traditional petroleum to get us off foreign sources. Not to mention there's not enough to drop prices. Which makes Cornyn a LIAR.

    None of this is especially surprising when you consider the disorganization and chaos within The 28 Gauge Senator's campaign...

  • There's a rumor that Karen Hughes, just off her unmitigated failure to make us loved in Latin America, is taking an active role in the Cornyn campaign. By firing the dumbass responsible for the Big Bad John video.
  • Senator Cornyn joined with an adulterer and a guy with a wide stance to sponsor an amendment to the Federal Constitution to ban gay marriage. Really, Cornyn? This is the company you want to keep? The guy who got caught trying to hook up with some fattie in a public restroom at MSP?

  • On a sad note, Cornyn also lost the endorsement of Texas Medical Assoc. Which isn't surprising since he was one of the ones who enabled tort reform by promising the doctors they'd get cheaper malpractice insurance. As it turns out, not so much and they're hella pissed. Well, about that and some Medicare thing

    What's going to be really funny is watching all the other R's get tagged on tort reform which was supposed to make health care cheaper, lower insurance costs and increase the number of doctors. It's failed on every count, except increasing the number of doctors, slightly, which was going to happen anyway. We keep churning them outta medical school.

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

    WOW... I hate all of you!

    That's it. Seriously, two posts in one day each about either Hillary Derangement Syndrome or Obama Derangement Syndrome?

    SHUT THE FUCK UP. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER GODDAMN WORD FROM EITHER OF YOU. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, THE OBAMANIACS AND THE HILLRAISERS CAN ALL GO TO MOTHERFUCKING HELL. YOU'RE ALL A SAD BUNCH OF POLITICANERDS.

    I'll be drinking at Mother Egans this evening. If you're coming with a desire to talk about this crap, I'm going to ask you to leave. Seriously, folks, I'm done with all this garbage. You should be as well.

    Posted by barfly at 01:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 27, 2008

    No, really. You really are the suck, John Davis

    Just to let y'all know, this is cut and paste copy from Vince at Capital Annex. I didn't want y'all to think I was plagiarizing. Actually, that's not true. I really don't care what you think.

    If you have been following the videos we released on Monday and Tuesday, no doubt your appetite has been sufficiently whetted and you are eager to know just exactly who the most endangered Republican in the Texas House that you don't know actually is. Wait no longer, as the answer is below:

    What makes John Davis the most endangered Republican in the Texas House? It's a good question, and we've got the answer.

    John Davis is out of touch with his district. HD 129 is a district that includes El Lago, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Shoreacres, Taylor Lake Village, and Webster and parts of Friendswood, Houston, La Porte, League City, Pasadena, and Pearland--all in Harris County.

    A common misconception is that HD 129 is a "silk stocking" House District full of wealthy folks. That's not true, however. While a majority of families do have an annual income of over $50,000 according to the 2000 Census (the most recent numbers broken out by House District), the population of HD 129 is more "middle class" than anything.

    Davis' voting record, however, is pretty shoddy when it comes to the needs of middle class families.

    Davis voted for tuition deregulation. It doesn't take a genius to tell you that middle class families have been impacted significantly by the Legislature's decision in 2003 to deregulate college tuition. It has become very difficult for middle class families to afford to send their kids to college because tuition costs are skyrocketing. Clearly, tuition deregulation is not a middle class value that the people of House District 129 support. Davis has even put the interests of one of his big supporters, Houston home builder Bob Perry, above middle class students who want a college education when it came time to cast votes on the Appropriations Bill on the House floor!

    He's for dirty air. Once again, it doesn't take a genius to tell you that the air quality in Harris county is somewhat lacking. Heck, even the American Journal of Epidemiology has taken note of the fact that lung cancer mortality in Harris County is high--and that isn't because more people in Harris County enjoy the occasional Marlboro or Kool, either. Yet John Davis--time and time again--has voted against improving the air quality in his own district. Here is some of what Davis actually has to say about this topic:

    "It's much cleaner than it was 20-30 years ago. I believe we are on the right track. I don't want to choke off industry.

    You can also watch a YouTube of Davis actually making that statement here.

    Davis also voted for raising taxes on small businesses. Even though Republicans are typically pro-business, Davis is surely no friend of small business. Even others in his own party call the tax John Davis supported an "abject failure." Taxing small businesses out of business isn't exactly a middle class value, either.

    And, there is plenty more where that came from: Davis voted to disenfranchise minorities and the elderly (Voter ID), to waste taxpayer dollars on state-funded lobbyists (more than once), and even allowing the state to seize homes of Medicaid patients (HB 2922).

    Does Davis share his district's values? We think not.

    Davis' failure to reflect the values of his district alone, however, doesn't make him endangered. It is, rather, a variety of factors.

    One of the key factors that makes Davis terribly endangered is the quality of his opponent, Democrat Sherrie Matula, and the campaign she is running down in HD 129.

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

    June 26, 2008

    If you're in Houston tonight

    Here's something fun for you to do!

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

    June 20, 2008

    Carbon and Energy...There's dumb and then there's DUMB

    Here's a nice op/ed piece on global efforts to reduce carbon and switch to green technologies. The bottom line is it's going to cost us about $1trillion/year over 40 years. GLOBALLY. In the US, it'll be around $7 trillion which is really nothing over 40 years. Especially when you consider this will create jobs. And save us money on OIL. In fact, if oil keeps increasing the way it already has, spending this money will actually be cheaper than maintaining the status quo. And I'm not even worrying about the other negative effects of global warming.

    It is not, admittedly, a trifling sum. The International Energy Agency reckons it will cost US$45 trillion to develop and deploy the technologies needed to halve carbon emissions from the energy sector (including transport) by the middle of the century.

    That is about what would be required to stabilize the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million...

    It ought to be enough to keep the rise in average global temperatures below 2.4C and is the target the leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrial powers agreed last year they would seriously consider.

    While $45 trillion is a lot of money, it has to be put in perspective.

    It would be spread over more than 40 years and across the whole world economy. It would equate to just over 1 per cent of global gross domestic product over that period, the IEA estimates.

    And it would be offset by the cost of the fossil-fuel use avoided, which could be of a similar order, the IEA says. As it acknowledges, however, in a world where the oil price can jump $11 in a single day, any estimates of that are "debatable".

    Obvs, Cornyn and the idiots who love him, don't get any of this. Of course, I wouldn't take any of them seriously, after all they think oil is completely fungible and that a barrel pumped out of VZ is the same as one pumped out of the North Sea. I guess no one ever explained assays and that some refineries can only take certain types of oil. It's certain no one ever explained to them that the cheap oil is gone.

    Seriously, what is IT with you Republicans and thinking that we can drill our way out of high prices? Even 39% has jumped into the debate...

    With Texas one of the few states that allows offshore pumping, Perry disagreed with Obama: "One of the fastest ways to bring down prices is good old supply and demand."

    WOW. Just WOW. I couldn't agree more. However, where you've gone off the rails is in thinking that you can drill for the additional supply. All of you Republicans seem to think there's more than enough oil in the ground for infinity. There isn't. Sure, there's a lot of oil all over the place. The problem is, it's not economically recoverable. Which means it's SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ALTERNATIVES THAT THERE'S NO WAY ANYONE WILL EVER BOTHER WITH IT.

    Two years ago, one of our long departed authors posted this...

    America and the world face a real problem... the end of cheap, portable energy. Note I'm not writing about the end of oil because that's just stupid. We will NEVER pump the last bit of crude from the ground. For one, fossil fuels ARE a replenishing resource, they just happen to be created over thousands, sometimes millions of years. The second reason we'll never extract the last drop of oil is that it will simply be too expensive. By the time you get to that point, oil would be at $100,000/barrel in 2006 dollars. At that level, it's probably cheaper to power your car off some kind of nuclear power source.

    Take off the ideological blinders for a second and realize that this is real and that failing to take action will result in TRILLIONS of dollars per year in losses just in our economy.

    One last thing, there seems to be a central objection about 'freeloaders', namely India and China who'll not comply with the treaty. The objection goes that since they aren't going to do it, why should we.

    The answer, for all you supposed conservatives, is that it will be cheaper. For one thing, biofuels are already cheaper than traditional petroleum based fuels. And they take carbon out of the air. Carbon put into the air by India and China. As we convert more and more to biofuels, we'll leave them behind... and get their carbon emissions for free.

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

    June 19, 2008

    Apparently, I'm a douchebag

    Thanks, Vince and SCCS.

    Oh, and, before I forget, “McBlogger is a Douchebag.” I and another blogger (who shall remain nameless) decided that should be blogged somewhere because McBlogger wasn’t in the convention hall being tortured with the rest of us at 8 p.m. on Saturday night as we waited for the Nominations Committee (Secret) Meeting (Behind Locked Doors) That Never Ends to adjourn and return from Narnia through the Magical Wardrobe across the Yellow Brick Road by way of east Nebraska riding very slow and lethargic donkeys. Since she didn’t blog it, I will. Of course, McBlogger had the nerve to call me a “whore” in a text message because I evidently walked passed him somewhere without even noticing he was there, which is the ultimate sin in the Blogosphere.

    Uhm. Fucktard. That was Muse and I asking if you wanted to come have drinks with Jobsanger, CC and the crew from PTS. And don't blame me because y'all were lame.

    Conventions, where we separate the casual drinkers from the hardcore alcis.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Help Democrats TODAY

  • Today you have a chance to help Lt. Col. Noriega... click here to make him Sen. Boxer's Challenger! Keep in mind, Sen. Boxer was the 3rd highest vote recipient in the 2004 election, behind Bush and Kerry.
  • Take Sen. Watson's challenge and help the Travis County Coordinated Campaign
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 17, 2008

    More good polling out of CD10

    Matt over at BOR has some details. When polling head to head with issues, LJD is beating McCaul. Which is some really good news.

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

    June 13, 2008

    Transportation Funding : You're doing it wrong!

    First off, the good news. Congress is looking at a 5 year, $1.5 trn transportation funding package. That should just about be enough to make the improvements we've needed for a long time. How much of that will come to Texas? That will depend on whether or not there is a change in our Congressional delegation. Specifically, the number of Republicans in it. More and we get less money. Fewer and we have Democrats there who, unlike the Republicans, will actually fight to bring more money back home. And then TXDOT will stop poor mouthing.

    However, that may not be enough as it appears that Rep. Johnson has caught a bad case of the stupid.

    Toll roads and privatization are at least part of the answer, said Johnson, who's been working with a handful of members of Congress from Texas since last year to come up with a bipartisan list of recommendations.

    "We cannot see how it can be done with just tax dollars," she said.

    Don't do that, EBJ. Don't think for a minute that this is a good idea. It's ALWAYS the most expensive and least financially efficient way to go (see here, here, here and here). Either way, we're going to be paying a higher cost per mile. ALL roads are going to have tolls if the privatizers have their way. And that will dramatically increase the costs to all of us, from less than 1 cent per mile to more than 15 cents per mile.

    I had this conversation with Rain Minns, the very sharp woman running against Sen. Carona. Her problem was that she thought increasing the gas tax would disproportionately hurt the poor. What Rain didn't realize is that, on average, the poor drive more fuel efficient cars (or don't drive at all). Well, that and the simple fact that TOLLS ARE GOING TO EVERYWHERE AND WILL BE MOSTLY UNAVOIDABLE. In other words, poor and rich will get hit with them.

    We've had this ongoing conversation with Mike Dahmus here in Austin. He's ALWAYS wrong, but it doesn't stop him from carrying on about how tolls are great because they make rich suburbanites pay for their transportation directly. Aside from the obvious seflishness, the reality is that rich people don't live out in the burbs. Sure, there are some nice homes out there but there is a reason the vast majority of the people in the burbs are there... it's all they could afford.

    You could also forget the fact that expansions to existing roads are going to be tolled. We told you they would a long time ago. Now, they're actually building it. This would be a lot easier if y'all would just LISTEN to me... when I tell you this will effect everyone, I'm not making it up. Since that's the case, wouldn't be better off with a solution that increases costs less than 2 cents per mile than one that costs, on average about 44 cents per mile? And where does that extra money go? To a private company. Not to improve your roads.

    Yes, TXDOT lied.

    As for how to pay for this, it's simple. We've been running deficits annually of $300 bn or more. While our financing costs have recently increased (you may have noticed that interest rates are up) and we've been able to sell the paper despite the fact that this is all related to structural issues and a lack of desire on the part of Republicans to actually pay their own way. The first solution is to stop that by increasing taxes. You don't even have to do it to 2000 levels, just take up cap gains and the taxes on the top tax rate from 35-40%. You're still on the good side of the Laffer Curve and the government will finally have enough money to operate. Cut Iraq funding dramatically and all the sudden you're in surplus.

    Then, you sell off transportation infrastructure bonds (call them Series Methuselah... sorry, inside finance nerd joke) with maturities of 50 years. If we're running surpluses, they'll sell out quickly. Then you use THAT money to finance infrastructure improvements and construction, including roads and mass transit. That does create a long term liability for the Federal Government, on which interest must be paid (usually every sixth months to the holders). Depending on how large the surpluses are, and they will grow, we can cover that cost easily just with the surpluses.

    However, we won't need to. Why? Oh, read this. When the state governments pay for infrastructure, that money goes to materials and labor. Sales of materials generate a profit which means it will be taxed. Labor will be paid a wage, which like all wages, will be taxed. Therefore a large percentage of that money is going to find it's way back to the Federal Government, possibley enough to offset our liability on the bonds effectively making this is a self financing project. Of course, we'll have to pay to maintain all this (and the underlying debt) and that's where a gas tax, indexed to inflation, helps put us on the right track now and into the future. So we don't keep having to deal with this every 30 years.

    The best part? We get the roads and transit facilities we need. Which decreases waste in our economy (gas and personal time) and increases productivity which acts as a drag on inflation. It'll also drive up employment, making the jobs market tighter and driving wages up for the average worker at the bottom of the totem pole.

    If you couple this with an investment in true alternative energy, we get rid of the almost $1 trn we are sending out of the country every year for oil and natgas. That money stays in OUR economy which will, again, boost productivity, create employment, etc. And it's also pretty cheap... $100 bn annually vs almost a TRILLION. Get it? Here's one way to do it. Not the best, but it'll work.

    Here's the bad thing... in my district, I've got (at the Federal level) Michael McCaul who is basically a pawn of big oil and the road privatization interests. He has never met a publicly financed transportation bill he likes. But he has met a lot of privatization and toll bills that send him into the kind of orgasmic bliss usually enjoyed by porn stars. And old men on Viagra.

    Needless to say, job number one is getting rid of his stupid ass and putting Larry Joe Doherty in Congress. To do that, you need to give him some money. NOW.

    The other obstacle is, much like McCaul, really in love with privatization at the expense of the taxpayer. It's Jr. John Cornyn, our favorite Senator who loves him some hunting with a ladies shotgun. However, we can easily replace him with Lt. Col. Noriega. All he needs is some of your hard earned money to beat that fossil and replace him in Washington.

    This, my friends, is coming one way or another. Many of you reading this are fairly affluent so you will probably be able to afford the new roads. Some of you will not. At the end of the day, regardless of your financial situation, these roads are a good deal for NO ONE other than the companies who stand to gain from squeezing us for the next 50 years. That, truly, is why I am so adamantly opposed to privatization and tolls. It's not conservative and it's certainly not progressive. It's wasteful and is a diversion of public resources to private greed.

    You have a chance to stop it, but you have to act.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    June 12, 2008

    In other news...

  • Tonight you have an opportunity to meet the man who's running against CradDICK!


    June 12, 2008 * 5:30-7:00
    Scholz Beer Garten
    $20 Donation Suggested


  • Senator Chris Bell? Apparently so. If he'll just decide to run. I'm short on patience and tact this morning, so I'll be brief:

    GET OFF YOUR MOTHERFUCKING ASS AND ANNOUNCE.

    Jesus. If you make us wait again for some lameass kick off speech at UT where you'll talk about video game violence, I will bitchslap you AND Stanford. Either that or I'll run you down with my car. That speech was a BIG part of the reason I ended up supporting Gammage in the primary.

    BE YOURSELF AND RUN. You'll win.

  • Hava goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 10, 2008

    I'm going to Denver!

    No, I'm not going as a delegate. I'm not going as an alternate. I'm just going and probably not during the national convention. I'm going to see a friend.

    In the midst of all the angling for positions, many of us forgot the true purpose of a convention, actually meeting one another and developing those relationships that last far beyond that one weekend. Think about that and take a moment to send an email to that person in another Senate district you met at a bar. Get in touch with them, more fully compare notes and help one another develop strategies and ideas to win in November.

    You probably lost the election for whatever you were running. Sorry about that, but I did warn you. Still, you did gain from the convention. It's up to you to make something out of it.

    And cheer up, you can still go to Denver. Just not with me. Try Southwest.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 07, 2008

    Party Elections goodness

    I'm so over all this... the temp in this room keeps fluctuating. Richie has won another term as Chair. Despite my best efforts, Roy Laverne Brooks was unable to pull it off and Richie was reelected with more than 60% of the vote.

    In the contested DNC race, Lovell destroyed Shorter by winning 74.1% of the vote, per K-T who is sitting next to me right now and, no shit, actually typing the results into a spreadsheet as they were read out. Go see his post here.

    Can we go to the bar now? I mean really, is there anyone else who'd like to masturbate themselves by announcing a run for something?

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    In the spirit of party unity...

    ...let me put my foot up your ass. Of course, we are supporting Obama. Now, will you Obama folks remember that some of us actually, you know, DO THINGS? We've been around for a while and right now we'd really like to be just left alone.

    I rolled down here late yesterday (that real job of mine keeps getting in the way of frivolous things, like political conventions) and got to enjoy the SD 14 caucus. Which was great except for

    1) The new people who didn't know what was going on and didn't trust those who'd done this before.
    2) The people who have done this before who were having none of the efforts to shorten the process. These people have Robert's Rules memorized. You know who you are.

    Needless to say, we didn't get much done before the General Session started. By that time, we were hungry and thirsty so we ditched out on Chelsea, Tim Kaine and the other speakers for Carmelo's. And the bar at the Hilton. Then, later in the evening (after 10) we restarted the caucus and things went downhill from there. By the time everything wrapped up (at 3:30) all I wanted to do was climb in bed.

    I fought the urge and pushed through for another hour with some people from Houston who, much to my surprise, liked alcohol and cigarettes, too. Yes, we brought our own.

    Now, I'm sitting here in the press room with Jobsanger who I finally got to meet face to face. All I want to do is vote for Chair and DNC...woe be to them who would keep us here longer than necessary.

    Finally, I'd like to give a massive shout out to TCDP and TDP. AMAZING job, folks. Seriously, very nicely done.

    .

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 06, 2008

    We went drinking

    And by WE, I mean I. AND I TRIED TO DRINK EVERY THING AT CEDAR DOOR.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely no one. Except Eileen who came late after suffering through the Clinton party.

    I'm sorry for laughing at you.

    OH MY GOD, was I the only one freaking out a little at the number of people at the Blogger's Caucus last night? And, yes! I've already been informed that I was 'a little embarrassing'. I don't need you to remind me.

    Right now there's a song by Eazy E going through my head...

    I gotta get drunk before the day begins before my mother starts bitchin about ma friends

    To whoever 'supplemented' the tab last night at Cedar Door, my thanks.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    If Gene Kelly and Rhett Smith had a child...

    THIS is what that child would grow old to be.

    Like Gene Kelly, he has run for office on a lark a gazillion times. Like Gene Kelly, he is about a gazillion years old. Like Gene Kelly, he has really pissed off a major party by actually winning a primary and fucking up whatever longshot hope they had of maybe winning the general. But notice how he changes parties every damn time he runs for something? That, my friends, is vintage Rhett Smith....

    Or am I thinking of Carole Strayhorn?

    Posted by hbalczak at 08:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 05, 2008

    Bottoms UP

    STILL MORE CONVENTION CRAP...

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Convention Post We Can No Longer Avoid

    Right now, as I write this (and while I'm enjoying MY LAST BOWL OF CAUCUS CRUNCH ... THANK GOD), thousands of people are gleefully packing their bags in preparation for a trip to Austin for the Democratic State Convention. They are earnestly working through their tackiest accessories in an attempt to come up with the most repulsive thing they have which will let all who see them know that THEY ARE DEMOCRATS. Very, very tacky Democrats, but Democrats nonetheless.

    I'm not one of THOSE Democrats. I'm one of the "Oh my God, when can we get done with this so we can get to the bar" Democrats. I really don't look at the convention any differently than, say, Tuesday. But that's me. If you it's you as well, email me at mcblogger@mcblogger.com. I might tell you where we'll be drinking. Or I might email you porn. You wouldn't BELIEVE some of the japscat I have on my blackberry.

  • BOR has the breakdown on the caucuses and meetings. I'm thinking the energy, then transportation and then Stonewall so I can vote. I'd love to go the gun caucus but energy's a little more interesting right now. And I'm expecting no Democrat to advocate taking away my shotgun.
  • There is apparently a Chair's race. We're sticking with Boyd. Why? Because the other candidates haven't even mounted real campaigns for THEMSELVES. Needless to say, we're decidedly unimpressed.
  • Tim Kaine will be speaking. Yeah, THAT Tim Kaine. And no, goddamnit, I don't have to be nice. If he has not improved on his Shatneresque delivery, then you can expect me to heckle.
  • The Blogger's Party
  • See y'all this weekend!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2008

    Thank you, Hillary!

    We couldn't agree more. The only thing we'd add is the hope that Sen. Obama will look to Sen. Clinton for advice on how to trip up Republicans.

    It's not like she hasn't been doing it since 1992.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    TXDOT, Tolls and riding off into the Sunset

    Some interesting things floating 'round the sphere...

  • Both Sal and EOW have the deets on the Sunset Commission's report. All in all, nothing terribly exciting and they're sticking with a Gubernatorial appointment to head the TXDOT, albeit shrinking the number to one person. We're continuing to think three elected officials would be better than any number of appointees, especially if elected to staggered terms.
  • 3 TXDOT officials plead guilty to taking bribes and rumors continue to circulate that Amadeo Saenz is involved.
  • TXDOT, after YEARS of ignoring Texas Democrats in Congress and spending lavishly (and illegally) on some of Tom Delay's former staffers turned lobbyists, is going hat in hand to those very same Representatives. A word of advice to the D's who are about feel the love... disregard it. Stomp on these people and create a federal law banning that unique form of corporate welfare known as the public private partnership
  • Is Perry contemplating a special session to kill 391 commissions (the citizen planning commissions that are right now creating very real problems for infrastructure privatization and the TTC)? In an election year? Are you kidding me? If he does, I'll put my money on the Lege being pissed and not doing much of anything. Which would be absolutely perfect for the Democrats running
  • Finally... proof that toll roads really are made of inferior materials and construction standards. I'll never drive over another toll bridge without thinking about disintegrating, substandard concrete
  • Can Sen. Hinjosa make TXDOT his bitch? One things for sure, he's actually achieving something unlike a certain fatass blowhard we could mention. Good thing the people of North Dallas have a choice this year.
  • Speaking of the Lege, it's pretty clear that 39% and TXDOT really aren't in a moderating mood...

    "While I am looking forward to addressing this issue [transportation] when the Legislature meets in 2009, " Perry said, "the state cannot afford to repeat 2007. Members of the Legislature must understand that 'no' is not a solution to this challenge. It is an abdication of responsibility." Perry made clear his determination to defend the renting of state right-of-way to private companies in exchange for a fee and building and operating a toll road.

    Actually, you ridiculous twerp, selling off your roads IS AN ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITY. Not only that, but you and your appointees are so incompetent or corrupt that you didn't even get us a good price. Probably because you're, again, either too incompetent or corrupt to calculate the present value of a revenue stream over time.

    This preceded their new Statement on Toll Projects which I'll take a moment to summarize and explain.

    1) Not selling the tolls roads... This is pretty dumb since a 50 or more year lease is widely considered a functional sale. In my industry, we call it a leasehold.
    2) No roads will be owned by foreign entities. No, but the leases will be held by them.
    3) We'll have a way to buy back the roads. Sure, but at what price? I don't expect the crack team at TXDOT to do a good job negotiating this. They're completely out of their element, just as former Commissioner Williamson clearly was.
    4) Tolls will be initially set by TXDOT, with formulas and government input for increases. Input isn't control. Nice try, Deidre, but only an idiot would fall for that turn of phrase.
    5) No restrictions or non-competes? I'll believe it when I see it, Deidre.
    6) Freeways not converted... but if we shrink down the freeway lanes to add a lane, we'll call that added capacity and we'll toll it

    This, my friends, is the translation. If you're dumb enough to fall for ANYTHING from this Commission, then you really don't deserve any spot at the table.

    All in all, this pretty solidly leaves corporate welfare proponents in the drivers seat and continues to ignore the most cost effective solution, which Burka NAILED.

    At the end of the day, this is so transparently a 'Let's give a perpetual revenue stream to a campaign contributor (ZACHRY)' that it surprises me so many 'fiscal conservatives' are in favor of it. Wonder if they're getting paid by Zachry as well. I already know 39% is.

  • Hava goodun!

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

    May 22, 2008

    Help Them Help You

  • Annie's List is matching your donation to Diana Maldonado . Go give her some money already!
  • John Sharp is having a fundraiser for Sherrie Matula tonight.
    Thursday, May 22, 5 - 7 PM

    Aquarelle Restaurant, 606 Rio Grande Street, Austin


    hors d'oeuvres & refreshments


    Requested Donation:$50 (but all contributions gratefully accepted)


    Sponsorships$2,500, $1,000, $500, $250, $125


    For information: 512-535-1235

    Or, if you're a good person, you could just click here to donate. I first met Sherrie in 2006 and LOVE her.
  • Until we put these two in the House, they can't do much for you other than complain. Help elect them today by throwing them even $5. You really will feel better about your self. And maybe women (or men) will want to meet you and get to know you 'in a special way'.

    I'm not promising anything but I'll admit I'm more inclined to view someone's advances favorably if they give money to good causes, like Democratic Candidates. If they give money to the GOP, they're worthy of a donkey punch. See how that works?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 21, 2008

    We're done with you

    Is 2008 a transformative year? It's hard to say but I'm thinking that in 20 years we'll look back and see that this was the year where things started to change. No, it's not about Obama or Clinton or the lackluster Democratic Congress constantly stymied by incompetent and petty Republicans and a childish President completely out of touch with the country he leads.

    It's about people waking up and realizing that the 'conservative' agenda of the radical right over the last 28 years was a massive, unadulterated failure, as much if not more than the Great Society which did much but ultimately failed to achieve the goals set for it.

    Reality is a bitch as many are learning on a daily basis when they go to fill up the gas tank or when they try desperately to figure out how they will be able to feed their family. In the harsh light of that reality, two men getting married thousands of miles away is pretty irrelevant. Worry about abortions, the number of which was always grossly exaggerated, is a distant second to how to buy the $7 box of Cheerios. The realization that constant tax cuts lead to deficits and higher interest rates, not to mention a massive failure to invest in our future through new infrastructure, has certainly hit many like a bag of hammers. Every month when the credit card bills come.

    Burka on Sunday posted a memo from some R Congressman who understands just a small fraction of what's happening. Even Rove is apparently getting it. Their solution? Pound on the Democrats about gas prices by pointing out that they don't support drilling in ANWR (with a projected production cost of $50-60/bbl and not enough of it to affect prices) and destruction of the Rocky Mountains to get at oil shale (at a cost of more than $90/bbl and, even when combined with ANWR, not enough to affect prices).

    See how I did that? I'm one blogger, I don't work in the energy sector and even I know how ridiculous the Republicans (especially Cornyn and Hutchison) are on energy policy and what needs to happen to fix the constantly accelerating consumer costs. This isn't hard to understand unless you're incapable of looking at things through anything other than a partisan, ideologically tinted, glass.

    On the economy and tax cuts, the Republicans are decimated by Democrats. On National Security, they poll better but still heavily damaged. Just wait until Americans learn just how much of Afghanistan we really control. The R Congressman Burka posted about wants to talk about FISA, especially if there's another terrorist attack (a prospect he views with glee as he's of the opinion it will help Republican chances in November). For the FISA debate, feel free to bring it up. It's not like we aren't ready. By the time that debate is over, the American people will be looking for convictions of those in the Administration who aided and abetted the illegal wiretapping.

    Again, I'm just one blogger. There are others, like Eye on Williamson, that are seeing the same damn thing.

    There is a baseline from which things will stabilize for the Republicans. We've yet to reach it. You'll see the crescendo this year when angry people confront Republican candidates loudly and unyieldingly. Once one voice is heard, others will chime in and soon it will become a chorus. Many of you are incredibly weak people who have never faced a really angry crowd. You're going to get to this year and, frankly, you deserve every bit of the verbal and written abuse coming to you.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 16, 2008

    Barney Frank doesn't suck

    Barney Frank has been earning some high praise from some of the asshats in the White House who call him (no joke) 'SCARY SMART'.

    Uhm. Fellas. It's not that he's all THAT smart, it's that you're really ALL THAT DUMB.

    A veteran of parliamentary battles, Mr. Frank is a master of procedural weaponry. When a tactic by Republicans backfired and stripped out provisions that they had wanted, Mr. Frank initially refused to let them fix it.

    “If you want to look at this as one big circus, today is the day that the gentleman from Alabama gets to clean up after the elephants,” he said, referring to Representative Spencer Bachus, the ranking Republican on his committee. “And I mean elephants.”

    During debate on the bill, a measure to provide debt relief to impoverished countries, he won praise from Republicans.

    “Barney has been very fair,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California and one of the most conservative members of the House. “I think that I have been treated more fairly, and a number of my Republican colleagues have been treated more fairly, since the Democrats have become the majority than I was treated by my own leadership.”

    Mr. Frank politely interjected, “I know the gentleman joins me in looking forward to continued years of such treatment.”

    Then there's this...

    Other times, though, Mr. Frank’s impatience and sharp tongue take over.

    When Representative Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, criticized a component of the housing bill that would give money to local governments to buy and repair foreclosed properties, saying it would not protect homeowners from foreclosure, Mr. Frank fired back that preventing foreclosures was the goal of a different bill.

    “The notion that this bill doesn’t keep people out of foreclosure is true,” he said. “It doesn’t combat global warming. It doesn’t get troops out of Iraq. It won’t help me lose weight. There are a lot of things this bill won’t do that I very much want to do. None of them are a reason to vote against a bill that doesn’t do what it doesn’t say it’s going to do but does what it does. What it does is go to the aid of cities that have been victimized.”

    While I'm still pissed about some of his dumbass attempts to drop mortgage brokers in the grease, I am impressed that he's at least trying to make something happen. It's a far cry from the underwhelming attempts by the White House to alleviate the problems we face as a nation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bless Junior John's Heart!

    Poor, stupid, pathetic idiot...

  • Cornyn's staff has been busy. First, there was this email

    Recent polls have claimed Senator Cornyn is in a much tighter race than many of you may have thought possible.

    We don’t put much validity in either poll, but Democrats certainly are. Liberal bloggers and Democrat partisans alike have pounced on the results, claiming they spell doom for Senator Cornyn this fall.

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, lead by liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer, proclaimed in an email that the polls show “John Cornyn in serious trouble…”

    Ultra-liberal blogger Daily Kos, who commissioned and paid for the second poll, called the results “nothing short of remarkable,” and claimed they “hint that this may be a top-tier race before long…”

    No one can deny that our opponent and his allies are in desperate need of anything to help them raise resources and give national Democrats reason to invest untold millions into the race, and we must stop them.

    Please contribute $10, $25 or $50 to help debunk the myths our opponent and his liberal allies are trying to tell about Senator Cornyn.

    The facts are clear, the extreme left is energized and unscrupulous, and our opponent is shamelessly aligned with them and will say and do anything it takes to gain much needed relevance and resources.

    Your contribution of $10, $25 or $50 will go a long way towards setting the record straight. It will also send a loud and clear message to national Democrats that Texans won’t fall for their dirty tricks, deceit and deviousness.

    Please give what you can to make sure we re-elect John Cornyn and ensure our true Texas values are represented in Washington!

    This is funny as hell since Junior John already has a significant funding advantage over Noriega. Even with that money, we have two solid polls that make it clear this election is about getting rid of old caca. And of course Junior John is scared. Just watch this video which makes it pretty clear they ARE taking the polls seriously.

  • Then there was CA's Supreme Court saying that bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. Which prompted Cornyn to go into full tilt pander and start discussing (you knew it was coming) a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

    Thursday's California court ruling striking down that state's ban on gay marriage will spark a fresh push to add a nationwide ban to the U.S. Constitution, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said shortly after the ruling was announced.

    "It's certainly surprising. Many of us thought that the efforts to overturn the tradition marriage laws would be confined just to Massachusetts," said Mr. Cornyn, a chief backer of a push to enact a constitutional ban, which failed in 2004.

    The California Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling Thursday that overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage, finding that domestic partnerships laws are an inadequate substitute for allowing same-sex couples to enter into formal marriages.(DMN via Texas Blue)

    Here's the thing... I don't think, if the election were held today, that an anti-gay marriage amendment would pass in Texas again. Oh sure, folks in East and West Texas are just as homophobic as they always were (don't get mad at them, they don't know gay people and it's all strange and foreign to them). The difference is, THEY'RE ALL SICK OF PANDERING AND NONSENSE ISSUES. With gas near $4.00 a gallon, people know there are more important things to worry about. They also know that they can't afford six more years of fancy John Cornyn taking care of himself while he lets important business slide by.

  • Hava Goodun! Junior John sure as hell won't!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 14, 2008

    Defending Obama... Again.

    You know, some of you so busily tracking 'how Obama can definitely win the nomination' and projecting an easy win in November need to understand that victory is far from assured. In fact, if you're telling yourself that 'Hope Changes Everything', then come closer and let me hit you. In the head.

    I do that from time to time with stupid people who refuse to realize there's nothing new under the sun.

    Many of you are worried about quasi-racist attacks that imply Sen. Obama is some sort of ultra-black nationalist. Or a strident Muslim. Or the love child of Malcolm X and Mary Tyler Moore. Just to alleviate some of your worry and concern, these are stupid things you don't need to worry about. They'll persuade 5% of the electorate and those people weren't going to vote for him anyway.

    What you need to watch out for are ginger columnists in swing states like Will Manly. Will got his panties in a twist over the small town comment but there's so much more there...

    I couldn’t vote for you — but not because of your funny name or your lunatic pastor. I couldn’t vote for you because you say we should raise taxes (even on the rich, who I’m convinced already pay too much), and because you say we should abandon Iraq (which I’m convinced would be surrendering a war we must win), and because you don’t respect the Second Amendment (which I’m convinced should disqualify any politician from any office).

    Still, I’ve liked your message of unity and your ability to inspire. And, since your rise I’ve hunted, quite frantically, for young conservative leaders with your talent. (To my relief, I found Bobby Jindal.)

    Whoa. Where to begin... First off, Taxes. Will's obvs unaware that the rich pay less than him or me. Wait. What am I thinking? HE'S a newspaper columnist and they don't make shit. Let me rephrase...

    THE RICH PAY LESS THAN ME.

    On average, the rich pay around 18-20% of their income in taxes. On average, most of us pay 25-30%. Which makes our current tax system regressive, not progressive. However, let's forget all that for a second and just acknowledge one critical reality. We need a massive amount of investment in public infrastructure and services. From public schools to mass transit, we need to set ourselves up for the next 30-50 years of economic growth. That means higher taxes. Why would we want to pay higher taxes? Because that investment in our future makes sure that we're able to enjoy prosperity in 2025. That's what this debate is about... higher taxes and long term prosperity and growth or lower taxes and poverty well into the future.

    And don't get me started on higher taxes being necessary just to balance the budget. But then, Will's a Republican so he's not real concerned with balancing the books... why should he be when he can keep running up Daddy's credit card? I love it when 'fiscal conservatives' are more worried about taxes than the deficit. I guess no one ever bothered to explain the linkage between interest rates, federal debt and real disposable income. I should throw the value of the dollar and oil prices in there as well but I don't want to fry little Will's rat brain.

    As for abandoning Iraq, what's left to achieve? A military force is good at one thing... eliminating an enemy. Ours did that. Everything that has followed has been a waste of time. Still, none of us can turn our back on Bush's mistake. However, that doesn't mean we have to be trapped there for a generation. It's time for the Iraqi's to stand up and the only way that will happen is if we start to leave.

    On the subject of the Second Amendment, why not use the Fourth Amendment as your yardstick for holding public office? Bush has trampled all over that one. Or the First which Bush has also used to neatly wipe his ass? Just curious, but what I really want to know is exactly WHERE Sen. Obama talked about not respecting the Second Amendment. Will would be the only one who has the story since I couldn't find anything except a speculative "what if..." work of fiction masquerading as news on NewsMax. So, Will's made the accusation, now we want to see his evidence. Cough it up, Manly.

    As for finding Bobby Jindal, I wouldn't get too excited, Will. He's way more our style than yours. For one thing, he's not a nut.

    Just in case you thought Will was done, he goes on to discuss some areas where he's been disappointed with Obama...

    First came your wife’s comment about being proud of America for the first time — conveniently, right after you started winning primaries. Then came your own words about your grandmother, who is just a “typical white person” — a racist, or at least someone with racist tendencies. (I’m a “typical white person,” I suppose, and I’m no racist. In fact, little makes me angrier than when it’s insinuated I am.)

    Don't you just know that Will's the kind of guy who has said "some of my best friends are black" in the past to deflect calls that he's a bit of a racist?

    The rest of his piece is a rambling defense of small town America from someone who obviously views the world in start black and white. It's also clear he's completely unfamiliar with Peyton Place. Still, followers of the Obamessiah, this is the kind of attack you're going to have to learn to defend against.

    That's why I'm supporting Clinton. There's a reason this little prick hates her and it's because she'd eat him alive.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 08, 2008

    Crushing Dreams : I'm totally going to be a nominee to national!

    So you went to your precinct convention, got a spot at county and from there managed to finagle a delegate seat at state. Congratulations. You're like the other 500+ of us in SD14. Welcome. Here are a few tips

    1) Most of the people there (even some of the volunteers) will be delegates. Seriously, you're nothing special, so drop the 'tude.

    2) Don't act like you know everything. If you have a question, just ask. Please don't bullshit your way through it.

    And finally...

    3) Don't be crushed when your dream of going to Denver dies in the caucus. Oh, and yeah... that IS what's going to happen.

    Over the last few weeks I've rec'd emails and snail mail from people I don't know and have never seen at anything who are DEDICATED to running for national delegate. And by God, they think THEY and they alone deserve the slot. Even though prior to the primary this year, no one even knew they existed.

    Yeah... if this is your first real involvement no one is going to vote for you. There's a bunch of other people who been active and involved for 10, 20, 30 or, in some cases, 40 years. While we're thrilled you're helping out now, you're kind of Johnny (or Jane) Come Lately. And we're not sending you to national.

    Let me let you all in on a secret... The delegate slots will be decided before we walk into the caucus. Don't get mad... it's a meritocracy and you just haven't done as much as others. Don't get depressed and don't get angry. This is just the way it works. Stay active, stay involved and don't be petty. We need you because, frankly, some of us are getting pretty burned out.

    We know this message won't dissuade you from running. But, if we could ask a favor, don't give a speech. It's just holding us up from getting to the bar Friday night and the booze I'll have with me isn't going to last us all evening.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:18 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    April 30, 2008

    I listen to Rev. Wright as much as I listen to any preacher

    Rev. Wright does his little song and dance, pisses up the media's leg and predictably they throw a fit about the whole thing. Why the hell does anyone care what this idiot preacher has to say? Is he the one running for President? No? Ok, then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL KVETCHING ABOUT?!?!!

    I'm also sick of hearing how Clinton is behind the whole thing. It occurs to me that if the Clinton's were really as evil as some of you morons would have us believe, Bill never would have left office. What you really don't like is that Obama's preacher is a racist weirdo with delusional fantasies. Big deal. That makes him not much different from that freak Hagee whose ass is covered in soft kisses from that sycophantic loser, McCain.

    Not all clergy are stupid, but many of the loud obnoxious ones certainly are. I prefer my faith with VERY little religion. Mostly because I don't believe any man speaks for God. Certainly not Rev. Wright and definitely not that fatass Hagee.

    Maybe, just maybe, instead of focusing on what some asshole who claims to speak for God (or claims to have THE only legitimate interpretation of the Bible/Koran/Torah) has to say and playing guilt by association, why not take a moment to listen to the candidate?


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 28, 2008

    Fun with the columnists

    There have been some great columns out recently that you may have missed. You're so lucky I love each and every one of you for now, I will share them with you, my brilliant readers.

    Oh, who the hell am I kidding... it's pearls before swine. Here's to hoping some of you learned how to read something more complex than my usual 'kindergarten words'.

    First up, this piece in the NYT by David Leonhardt, a brill take down of Lou Dobbs. Make sure you also take a look at his analysis of the 'Bush economic boom' that's bypassed just about, well, everyone you and I know.

    In part one of The Sun Rises In The West... Burka thinks it's a bad idea for Perry to run in 2010.

    In part two, I agree with Gardner Selby. Well, at least on what a prolonged primary will do to the Democrats... absolutely nothing.

    Finally, there's Frank Rich. Seriously, you need more than that to click the link?


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

    April 27, 2008

    And So It Goes...

    Following Austin City Politics this election cycle has been as informative as it has been entertaining. We certainly have a unique group of candidates doing their part to Keep Austin Weird for sure. However, we are exceptionally lucky in that we have some very strong candidates who are sure to make many positive, progressive changes which our great city so desperately needs.

    For starters, Jennifer Gale, a perennial candidate running this time for Austin CIty Council Place 4 has taken her share of the criticizm, in my opinon unfairly so. One of the groups went so far as to disclude her from participating in it's candidate forum where each of the other five candidates were welcome! They claimed that Ms. Gale was not a "serious" candidate however, no one questioned Ken Vasseaus participation...? Dont get me wrong, Jennifer is a character but she is also informed, has held her own in more than one election and is not afraid to tell it like it is. I find her refreshing and must say that she is doing a hell of a lot more than most people in this city. She does'nt whine about what should be she speaks her mind and is'nt afraid to sing about it either!!! Give her a break please!

    Yet another important endorsement in the City Council race was announced yesterday as the Austin American Statesman unveiled its choices. I work hard to point out that endorsements are not always the best source of information, I very often disagree with endorsement choices especially AHEM Statesman Endorsements (I will continue to encourage all of you to do your own research and make an informed and wise decision) but today I am going to praise them...I think they may actually be paying attention...Based on their informed and wise choices which you can read about here...

    As you may have gathered, Mr. Cravey running for Place 4 is a favorite of mine. I was excited to see him add the Statesman to his list of endrosements (Capital City Young Democrats, South West Austin Democrats, League of Bicycling Voters and Clean Water Action. )

    Dont forget that early voting starts tomorrow at 7am, you can vote at various locations all around the city so inconveninece is NO EXCUSE! Election Day is May 10!

    Posted by Lovelie99 at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 21, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up.

    It would seem that the Republican Party of Texas (Republicans first, Texans last!) is looking for a few sweet young thangs! McBlogger at McBlogger has the story on the RPT's efforts to secure a few good young people.

    Bradley at North Texas Liberal takes a look into the possible political aspirations of Condoleezza Rice... and tells us why she may be the Democrats' worst nightmare.The Texas Cloverleaf asks if you're ready to strike over gas prices? Some truck drivers are. They aren't defenders of the Alamo, and are few and far between, but will their message resonate with the rest of America? Some of them say no.

    With the resounding defeat of Shelley Sekula Gibbs last Tuesday in the GOP CD 22 runoff, this spells the end of her short-lived political career. Hal at Half Empty has created a video to commemorate the Shelster's last hurrah.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme suspects U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez will be looking for a new job. Soon. Seems that Carlos spoke the truth about that d*mn fence!

    Lightseeker over at Texas Kaos marks the upcoming annual income tax deadline by bringing up a sadly evergreen topic Tax Lies That Republicans Tell. After all, if the didn't find someone to put money in to the treasury, where would the money to pay for their crony politics come from?

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal Newsis not catching up on sleep this time but reveals the predictions for four years his brother made the day after Bush was reelected. His brother gets the Cassandra Award and the media pundits don't have to worry about their jobs.

    Doing My Part For The Left warns that voter suppression is not just a Texas problem.

    Off the Kuff makes the case for investing in transit in Houston.

    IVR polled the Skelly-Culberson CD-07 race, as well as Noriega-Cornyn, and came up with some interesting results. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged it.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin points out that most Americans are scrapping to get by, however, some federal employees are having tons of fun with government credit cards. Your Tax Dollars Purchased iPods, Internet Dating, Women’s Lingerie…

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

    April 18, 2008

    EXCLUSIVE : Dildo claims responsibility for 39%'s plans

    Yesterday afternoon I, like everyone else in the state, was stunned to learn that 39% intends to run for re-election in 2010. Stunned because, frankly, it's solid gold comedy. I had to read the email a few times just to make sure it wasn't some kind of prank. Then I got a call from The Dildo.

    dildo.jpg McB : Hello?
    Dildo : What's up, bitch?
    McB : Oh Fuck...
    Dildo : That's right...
    McB : I thought you were melted in that fire.
    Dildo : Not so much, as it turns out. It was a nice try, though.
    McB : What the hell do you want?
    Dildo : Oh, come on. I know you've seen the news...
    McB : About Perry? I just assumed it was some kind of a joke.
    Dildo : Well, it is. But not the kind you think. I made him do it.
    McB : Forget the how. Why?
    Dildo : Because he's a loser. And I thought it would be funny. You don't?
    McB : Funny? How so?
    Dildo : You have to ask? 61% of this state hates the man. He's a wholly ineffectual Governor whose balls rest in CradDICK's desk. Well, one of them anyway. The other is with the Dew. You Democrats could run Jennifer Gale against him in '10 and win. However, I don't think he'll get through the Republican primary. Even those mouthbreathers won't vote for him. It will be absolutely devastating to his ego. I'll laugh and laugh...
    McB : I keep forgetting what a dick you are. So how?
    Dildo : You always were kind of a dumbass. What do I have to do? Paint you a picture?
    McB : No, I've seen you do more than enough.
    Dildo : How's that quitting smoking thing going?
    McB : Fuck you. (screaming) I FUCKING HATE YOU!
    Dildo : Nice talking to you, cocksucker. Be seeing you soon! GO MOFO IN '10

    It's always been assumed that evil stands behind the actions of malevolent people. Now we know for sure that isn't so much behind them as inside them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    April 17, 2008

    The Debate From Hell

    Yes, Charlie you moron, the crowd IS turning on you. Wanna know why people are turning to blogs? Because we can strip off your bullshit and just link to you for background, Charlie. FDL has a series of good posts up about the debate last night which we mercifully missed.

    Olden Times, thankfully, is learning to keep his mouth shut when it comes to his betters in the Democratic Party. That seems to be the one highlight.

    Phillip has more on the reaction nationwide.

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

    April 15, 2008

    Everyone loves a party

    The crew at BOR are having a 5th Birthday Party for the blog and you're invited!

    April 24th Progressive hang out Scholz Beer Garten 8 p.m. until the music stops Featuring the music of House Leader Jim Dunnam and the Bad Precedents.

    Of course, some of you (like me) will be worried about the beer-only venue. If I can deal with it, so can you. Beside, they also have a marvelous selection of shitty wines!

    Happy Birthday, BOR!

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

    April 09, 2008

    Balczak Will Stay In Race

    It has come to my attention that a document has recently circulated on the Internets which purports to list the SD 14 delegation in its entirety. It appears my name was mistakenly omitted by the document's mysteriously anonymous author. Naturally, this typographical error has created a widespread impression that I am, in fact, NOT going to be a state delegate this year.

    Admittedly, this race has changed since late February, back when it seemed my state delegate status seemed all but inevitable. But I have slogged through this long, hard and vigorous campaign and I'm still in it to win it. When my red cell phone rang at 9:45 a.m. last Saturday and some frantic precinct coordinator screamed "Where the !@#$% are you?!?!?!", I dutifully answered the call and drove to the Travis County Expo Center. It didn't matter that I was hella hung over (i took an earlier call on the big white phone at 6:40 a.m., if you know what I mean)...because my precinct needed me. When the vast Obamaniac conspiracy turned out to deny me my rightful spot as a precinct-elected state delegate, I fought back the tears and pushed onward. When I first tried to turn in my at-large candidacy application at the district convention, a large, angry, blinged-out guy with a mohawk beat my ass senseless right there in the middle of the arena floor as a massive throng of onlookers stood and cheered - just like in Rocky III. But I ignored the prevailing sentiment and kept at it. Just like the producers of Rocky IV and V.

    Today, I'm here to tell you that I'm still fighting. And I'm not going to let some smoke-filled backroom "nominations committee" (whatever one of those things are) with their antidemocratic closed-door "meetings" and uppity lists of "approved people" decide the fate of my candidacy. I'm in this until EVERYONE not totally and irrevocably opposed to me maybe being a delegate has a chance to weigh in with their opinion, even while my opponents hide behind underhanded technicalities like only counting votes of district delegates living in my precinct, or disregarding people just because they didn't participate in the Democratic primary at all...or did, but not in Texas (can you say "splitting hairs?").

    To all my supporters out there, don't give up. I. Will. Not. Quit. This. Race. (and for all you internet readers out there who can't see me, I'm holding out my left hand and doing that remote control clicky gesture as I say this). We will fight all the way to Denver. And stay until December, if necessary. You don't want an inauguration with all that awkward "unsettled business" vibe looming over DC. That's all I'm sayin'. Just give me the damn delegate slot already and no property gets destroyed. Did I mention I'm a lawyering lawyer who litigates lawsuits about law stuff?

    Posted by hbalczak at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The runoff hath passed

    Yes, in case you (like most Texans) slept through it, yesterday was the joint primary runoff election. 1.55% of you turned out statewide. The rest of you slobs couldn't be bothered though I'm sure even if you had bothered to back away from the buffet long enough to vote, the results would not have been measurably different.

    In the RRC race, Thompson soundly beat Dale Henry. We did not endorse Thompson, so we are of course incredulous at his inexplicable win (you know, since our endorsed candidates in every other race won). We'd like to applaud Dale and Team Henry for running a good campaign and we'd like to extend our congratulations Thompson and urge him to use Dale, if he's willing, as a resource on the proper job of the RRC.

    In the DA's race, Lehmberg won. That's all I'm writing about this stupid race.

    On the R side, CradDICK had a good night with the defeat of Rep. West out in Odessa. He also earned some solid victories in other races around the state. Those seats will more than likely be won by Democrats in the fall but for now CradDICK appears to be a big winner. Phillip has an excellent analysis on these races.

    Lastly, we at McBlogger would like to say goodbye to Dracula-Cunt. Laterz, freakshow.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 06, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. The weekly round up is compiled from submissions submitted by member bloggers.

    Saturday, TXsharon of Bluedaze attended the Barnett Shale Expo and the lies told by John Tinterra, Texas Railroad Commission, in front of citizens who pay his salary and in front of his boss, Victor Carrillo, reminded TXS of a quote from Cold Mountain: "That man is so full of manure we could plant him and grow another one!".

    McBlogger's never been a big fan of tax abatements to lure new companies to Austin. He's even less thrilled with them when they are being used to entice developers, especially developers who can't seem to make their finances work without the abatements.

    Off the Kuff takes one last look at primary voting in Harris County, this time examining Democratic turnout by State Rep district.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson previews the GOP runoff in HD-52, The Same Only Different.

    Over a thousand Harris County voters took "vote twice" too seriously, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    Hal at Half Empty will vote in the Democratic primary runoff, to be sure, despite the fact that only one race will appear on his ballot. The tables are turned and the Republicans in CD 22 have a much more juicy decision to make. Oh, to be a Republican.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News turned it over to his brother Jim for a few odd links as he was getting ready to be tired out at the third step of the Texas Two-Step. Earlier in the week Gary got his dander riled at racist media conservatives.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin tells us that keeping 378 delegates and 275 alternates under control is like herding cats in It’s Great To Be A Democrat In Texas at the Senatorial District 18, Bastrop County Convention.

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

    April 05, 2008

    This weekend in FUN!

  • Nothing on today? Hate toll roads and/or the TTC?
    Come join Hank Gilbert and the folks at TURF at the Capitol to let our leaders know that you don't want to pay through the nose for a road to nowhere!
  • Speaking of leadership, do you want to help support, even in a small way, changes at the top? Then take a moment today to give a few bucks to the TexBlog PAC. We're looking for 50 donors and $1500, the deadline is tonight and we're only 9 short! Help out some candidates and take action to end the corrupt leadership of Tom CradDICK!
  • Who IS Austin Political Report? Who cares? The site is good, well written and usually pretty well researched. Apparently, there is some controversy now regarding Terry Keel (R-Worthless Parliamentarian) allegedly supporting Mindy Montford. Montford says it's not true. Keel says it's not true. Keel goes on to act totally indignant about the whole thing...

    Keel said the report tarnished his reputation.

    "The intent was to set up a fraudulent Web site, be able to remain anonymous and make it appear that this was reporting," he said. "I don't care which candidate it's used against; I am not going to be a victim of fraud."

    Keel, you stupid bitch. YOU aren't the injured party. You destroyed your own reputation and credibility. Your former constituents mostly think of you much like they do gum on the bottom of an old shoe. Or dogshit. If anyone was injured, it's Mindy. Your precious reputation was worthless BEFORE anyone posted a damn thing about you. Oh, and as for your complaint against Fero, it's bullshit. Nothing more than your pathetic need to play some of sort of part in the process.

    And change that stupid haircut, 'tard.

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

    April 03, 2008

    So just what DID happen in March?

    As I sit with my very first sidecar of the night (ok... you got me. Eighth. And they taste just as good with the bottled lemon juice as they do with fresh, mother) reading letters from some of the you people who are, to be gracious, new to the process, it occurs to me that surely there must be a flowchart that can help explain just what happened from the night of the primary through the 29th. THIS is that flowchart.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 29, 2008

    I'm so excited

    Yes, that's right. The Pointer Sisters. Playing in a constant loop in my head because the county convention is today. 13,000 people all of whom are anxious and excited to do something positive to help elect Democrats.

    I'm also looking forward to the fruition of the super secret plan to take over the conventions for Hillary. Yes, they totally exist. Of course, that excitement is tempered by the knowledge that the Obama campaign also has a super secret plan to take things over of their own. They're such copycats.

    A word of advice? Stop it. Stop the rhetoric, stop the bluster, stop your insane little plans. We're going to get through today in great shape and we're going to be united going into November. So be nice to each other tomorrow.

    For those of you hellbent on acting like assholes, remember that I'll cut a motherfucker.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 27, 2008

    Gearing up for more voucher crap...

    The reality is that vouchers are not a panacea. They aren't even working where they've been tried.

    Voucher students' test scores in the year the study covered were roughly the same as public school students'; the study also found voucher students scored below the national average, between the 28th and 39th percentile, on national reading, math, and science tests.

    A frequent argument made against them, that the vouchers won't provide enough money to the poor to put their kids in anything but a parochial school, is in fact true. Even the Catholics can't run schools as cheap as the public education system which is really the crux of the entire 'how to improve education' debate. There are two things you need. One, is a change in what teachers are teaching and a return to a more formalistic curriculum. The other is more money.

    What? You too are tired of the kids getting a Wal Mart education? Well, here's what we need to do. Pump money into schools and restandardize the curriculum. The pennies we save by underfunding public education end up costing us billions in lost wages, productivity and taxes down the road. It's time for conservatives to realize that conservatism is about more than just cutting taxes and spending. It's about spending money on things that matter.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 21, 2008

    Runoff - Henry and Lehmberg

    Remember that primary a few weeks ago? Well, some of the candidates are in a runoff. Here are two you need to support:

    Dale Henry has secured the endorsement of Burnt Orange Report and a re-endorsement from Brains and Eggs.

    Here in Travis County, Rosemary Lehmberg recently received the endorsement of former DA candidate Gary Cobb. We urge you to support her. Because she rocks. And because... well, there's this on her opponent.

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

    March 20, 2008

    Noriega : A Progressive Patriot

    Sen. Feingold (who has an 'order' (more like a suggestion, really) saying that Sister Ruth must stay more than 100 feet away from him at all times) needs to know that Rick Noriega IS a Progressive Patriot. Go tell him here.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 14, 2008

    More positive news from the GOP

    The Republicans have hired Carly Fiorina to run Victory 2008!, the GOP's fundraising effort to benefit Olden Times. Carly will also be acting as an economic advisor to and evangelist for the economic policies of Olden Times. Conservatives in the GOP are unhappy about all this.

    It's probably because they, like myself, remember Carly's last big job which was destroying shareholder value while CEO of Hewlett Packard.

    No, Carly, buying Compaq was a piss poor idea.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 12, 2008

    FISA - We were right

    Well, it appears more is happening in the House on the FISA front and it's not going the White House's way. I know, I'm really sad about that, too. It's always disheartening to me when I hear about something bad happening to someone I really don't like.

    As it turns out, the victory of Bill Foster in Illinois was due, in part, to his stand for the rights of Americans against the telecom companies. Foster was against granting telecom companies immunity for their illegal actions in complying with President Bush's illegal wiretap order. So much for the scare tactics of the Republicans and beating the national security drum. If you people couldn't win on this in Hastert's district, you aren't going to win with it. Anywhere. In fact, people may actually boo your candidates. That, you definitely don't want. We did warn you about all this, Republicans. You really should have known better.

    One side note, as DKOS points out, is that Mark Klein (the AT&T employee who blew the whistle on NSA eavesdropping) has not been called to testify. If anyone would know about this dragnet intelligence gathering technique, and the laws the telcos broke, it's him.

    Meanwhile, back to the debate at hand... Leahy and Conyers are joining forces to take down Sen. Lawn Chair (he's always folding up) and the Administration. Help them push back on Bush by clicking here. The sad part is that it's not just the Republicans pushing to protect the telecoms and the President from well deserved prosecution, it's also a group of 21 blue dogs. Jane Hamsher is thinking it's time to take them down. In case you were wondering, none of them are from Texas. Which makes me hella proud.

    Long story short, you need to get involved. This is real, this is totalitarian and we have to stop it. We've got some people in Washington who are refusing to compromise and we have to get their backs.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    CradDICK and Dewhearse SPRING into action

    You know, it DOES make me laugh a little to think of tweedle dee and tweedle dum 'springing into action' on anything. Far more likely that they'd be moving with all deliberate sloth. However, this time they are actually being aggressive on transportation funding... and it has nothing to do with tolling.

    The short letter — signed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick, Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden and House Appropriations Chairman Warren Chisum — recommends that TxDOT borrow another $1.5 billion against future gas tax revenue to bridge a temporary financial tight spot. The Legislature, the letter promises, will make sure that some of the gas tax money now diverted to other, nonhighway-construction needs will be returned to the agency to back the bonds.

    Left unsaid? An increase of (and indexing) the gas tax which is what the majority of Texans want and what will likely happen as tolling falls completely off the cliff.

    TXDOT, predictably, shifted the response on the letter back to the Governor. Retard Rick's spokesman, Robert Black, said that 39% wasn't interested in any of this and that the Lege would have to reopen road privatization 'to the lowest bidder'.

    "What this letter is asking TxDOT to do is a two-year stopgap, two years of going further into debt," Black said. "A long-term solution comes first. Last year the Legislature came in and all they did was say 'no.' With the rate this state is growing and the needs and challenges we have in transportation, we can't afford to say 'no' anymore."

    Just as a side note, does Black rock or what? I mean, the guy goes to work for a terrible pig of a man who spends an inordinate amount of time pandering to every special interest that will listen and who may be one of the worst Governors in the history of the State of Texas. Seriously, when we look at his association with privatization interests and the political contributions from them coupled with his support for their cause... well, it looks an awful lot like corruption. And this is what Black has to work with. Robert, I know we used to make fun of you but I've developed a new kind of respect for you. What's your trick? Anti-anxiety meds with a vodka chaser?

    But back to the issue at hand... TXDOT's 'financial crises'. TXDOT said it was cutting all constructions projects because of a lack in future years of money to pay for them. Money that the Lege has simply not appropriated. Which is a bit like me saying I won't do my job now because I may or may not get my expense reimbursement in June, 2010. I got news for the folks at TXDOT... you let the Lege worry about your funding. You build the damn roads.

    I guess that's a big part of the problem with TXDOT right now. It's controlled by our idiot Governor, Retard Rick, and overly politicized. These folks don't really do their jobs, they don't know how. They're mostly political hacks. The other big problem is that THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO COUNT.

    TxDOT had announced the construction slowdown in November, citing inflation in construction costs and cutbacks in federal grants. In early February, at a hearing called by two Senate committees, TxDOT revealed that it had double-counted $1.1 billion in scheduling construction projects. That mistake, officials said at the time, had a lot to do with the crunch.

    The state auditor is now looking at TxDOT's finances.

    There's your funding gap, morons. GET. TO. WORK.

    And to our friends at the Lege who will no doubt read this, y'all need to go hyper aggressive against TXDOT. How about dismantling them next year and reconstituting the TTC to make it composed of statewide elected officials, like the RRC?

    Seriously, we can't afford to wait out Retard Rick. Hope Andrade alone could do some serious damage and not even realize it.


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

    March 07, 2008

    Thompson concedes

    Many candidates impressed those of us at McBlogger. Wednesday, we got an email from one of them, Brian Thompson, congratulating his opponent, Dawnna Dukes. Full text is in the supersize.

    Brian, from all of us, thank you. Whether you realize it or not, you made a difference.

    I want to congratulate my opponent on her victory yesterday. This was a tough campaign, and she deserves congratulations for her victory. It is incredibly humbling and gratifying to know that in 80 short days were able to convince 8001 people to vote for our campaign for change. I believe that the nearly 40% of voters who voted for me were sending a clear message that they want better representation. Assuming that message was communicated, the real winners are the people of HD 46. I am so proud of what our campaign has accomplished in 80 short days. Regardless of the outcome, our fight for better schools, health care for kids, affordable home ownership, a cleaner environment, and ethical leadership from our elected officials has just begun. I want to thank the hundreds of people who have helped make our campaign the most humbling and rewarding experience of my life. I want to thank every single one of our incredible volunteers, who have given so generously of their time and effort and energy, block walking, phone banking, hanging signs and talking to voters. I want to thank every single one of the 350+ individuals who made financial contributions to our campaign. I want to thank each and every one of the 20+ Democratic, progressive, environmental, and news organizations that entrusted us with their endorsements. And I want to thank every HD 46 constituent who took the time to vote in the Democratic Primary. Whether you voted for me or for my opponent, I want to thank you for participating in our Democratic process. Now we turn our attention to November, and begin the process of capitalizing on the enormous momentum the Democratic Party currently enjoys to win 5 seats in the Texas House and end the reign of Republican Speaker Tom Craddick. I hope Rep. Dukes will join with me in this fight, and I congratulate her once again on her victory yesterday. Sincerely, Brian Thompson For more information contact the campaign office at (512) 524-5682 or e-mail info@electbrianthompson.com [mailto:info@electbrianthompson.com]. Please click here to donate or click here to volunteer

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

    R in the D

    Kuff has an article up about all that talk going on in R circles regarding Hillary's win in Texas. Apparently, some of these mooks think that people were

    A) Listening to Rush Limbaugh, and
    B) Doing what he says

    Now, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Royal Masset. These other children I don't know and they seem to be a little stupid. However, I will take issue with Masset's estimate that 500k of the D voters were really Republicans. I'd place it at about 300k. And Masset should really be thinking of them as 'former Republicans'. That's the situation in Texas today. There's one other problem with his 500k number... that would mean that people in certain heavily R areas just decided not to have their votes counted since in many East Texas counties (for example) there are races decided in the R primary.

    Not very likely.

    The reality on the ground is that D turnout was, in fact, way up. It was more than double that of Republicans and was massive EVEN IF there were 300k Republicans in the D primary. The interesting thing? They were voting for Obama, not Hillary (which, coincidentally, Kuff points out it in his piece with the breakdown in some of the heavily Republicans counties).

    Finally, Republican attempts to 'drive voters to Clinton', if reality, would have to be based on the idea that she can be beaten more easily that Obama. I'd have to disagree with that. After all, the Clintons have beaten Republicans four times since 1992. And she'll handily retire Grandpa McCain to make it five wins.

    Lookit, if these theories were right, Clinton wouldn't be anywhere near McCain in Texas. Neither would Obama. And they both are.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 05, 2008

    Lieberman loses

    Well, not an election unfortunately. Just his status as a superdelegate in the Democratic Party. YAY!

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

    March 04, 2008

    Going To Your Precinct Convention? Screw This Presidential Stuff, Please Introduce And Pass This Resolution!

    WHEREAS the cuisine known as "Tex-Mex" is one of the crowning cultural glories of the Great State of Texas, and

    WHEREAS the provision of chips and salsa is an essential part of the ambiance of the Tex-Mex restaurant dining experience, encouraging conviviality and promoting the consumption of refreshing beverages, and

    WHEREAS there has been a trend at some establishments to charge for chips and salsa, thereby eroding our traditions and promoting a fast-food mentality among patrons;

    NOW, THEREFOR BE IT RESOLVED that the State of Texas recognize the inalienable right of access to free chips and salsa for patrons of Tex-Mex restaurants, and

    THEREFOR BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Texas Legislature be directed to support this right by appropriate legislation.

    Adopted this 4th day of March, 2008 at the Democratic Precinct Convention of Precinct____, ____________County of the State of Texas.

    Convention Chair____________________________________

    Convention Secretary________________________________

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 01, 2008

    Color me impressed

    What many of you know is that we at Team McBlogger seldom unanimously agree on anything. Even when it comes to drinking we're wildly divergent. Some people prefer beer, others prefer real drinks. Obvs, the scotch drinkers are usually right. About everything. The gin and beer drinkers delude themselves into thinking they are right. Mostly because they're dumb (I offer, as evidence of their stupidity, their taste in alcoholic beverage).

    However, one thing we can all agree on is the need to acknowledge when one of our own does something incredible. Mike Nicholson has been hard at work for the Obama campaign making television spots. Really good spots.

    During elections we're inundated with bad TV ads. The good ones really stand out and the people that make those ads need to be acknowledged.

    Take a well deserved bow, Mike!

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

    February 29, 2008

    The Bush Legacy and telecom immunity

    Love me some Richard Clarke. He's got the best take on the FISA bill I've seen so far:

    Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, he again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.

    Let me be clear: Our ability to track and monitor terrorists overseas would not cease should the Protect America Act expire. If this were true, the president would not threaten to terminate any temporary extension with his veto pen. All surveillance currently occurring would continue even after legislative provisions lapsed because authorizations issued under the act are in effect up to a full year.

    Simply put, it was wrong for the president to suggest that warrants issued in compliance with FISA would suddenly evaporate with congressional inaction. Instead - even though Congress extended the Protect America Act by two weeks - he is using the existence of the sunset provision to cast his political opponents in a negative light.

    For this president, fear is an easier political tactic than compromise. With FISA, he is attempting to rattle Congress into hastily expanding his own executive powers at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional protections.

    I spent most of my career in government fighting to protect this country in order to defend these very rights. And I know every member of Congress - whether Democrat or Republican - holds public office in the same pursuit.

    That is why in 2001, I presented this president with a comprehensive analysis regarding the threat from al-Qaeda. It was obvious to me then - and remains a fateful reality now - that this enemy sought to attack our country. Then, the president ignored the warnings and played down the threats. Ironically, it is the fear from these extremely real threats that the president today uses as a wedge in a vast and partisan political game. This is - and has been - a very reckless way to pursue the very ominous dangers our country faces. And once again, during the current debate over FISA, he continues to place political objectives above the practical steps needed to defeat this threat.

    Of course, this is all about Telecom Immunity. That's the real objective. That's what must be stopped. So, to all the members of Congress who are thinking about voting for this bill (we see your IP's so we know you're paying attention), think again. It will be a campaign issue.

    Bush is sticking with his "I'll veto to protect 'merican's" bullshit. Just as an FYI to any Republican thinking of sticking with our douchebag President, you're toast.

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

    UPDATE - CD10 : Endorsement Fun

    Dan Grant has been rolling on with the endorsements. He picked up the Tejano Democrats in Harris County and he picked up the Austin American Statesman. This is, of course, in addition to the plethora he's already received. He also picked up, earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle endorsement.

    U.S. Congress, District 10, Democrat Dan Grant - A graduate of the London School of Economics and Georgetown University, Grant has deep foreign policy experience earned as a U.S. Agency for International Development official in Afghanistan and Iraq. He favors an immediate pullout of the bulk of American troops from Iraq. Closer to home, Grant says his domestic priorities will be supporting policies geared to economic recovery and health care reform.

    Finally, I just heard that Dan had received the endorsement of long time Travis County DA, Ronnie Earle.

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

    Hillary says "not so much" to corporate welfare

    Senator Clinton (who ROCKS, by the way) is cosponsoring legislation in the Senate to ban the use of private military contractors in Iraq. Some call it the privatization/mercenarization of our armed forces. We call it corporate welfare since prior to Uncle Sam's large checks, Blackwater was a little organization providing corporate security and training to police officers. Full text in the supersize.

    In other Hillary news, the campaign announced it raised $35 million. In February. Mostly from small donors. So much for the accusation that Hillary's only raising money from rich lobbyists.

    Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that she has cosponsored legislation to ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq. "From this war's very beginning, this administration has permitted thousands of heavily-armed military contractors to march through Iraq without any law or court to rein them in or hold them accountable. These private security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our mission in Iraq. The time to show these contractors the door is long past due. We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq, and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the U.S. government and follow the chain of command," said Senator Clinton. The legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel. It also includes a whistleblower clause to protect contract personnel who uncover contract violations, criminal actions, or human rights abuses.

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

    Cornyn fights back (with a 28 gauge)

    Sorry, just couldn't resist another dig at an adult who claims to be a MAN and a TEXAN who hunts with a goddamn 28 gauge shotgun. What's the problem, princess? You afraid your shoulder will get sore? Of course, he's worried about more than that. He has to fight someone for re-election. Someone who's already making him his bitch. Which is why his dippy little campaign manager sent out an email talking about Rick going 'over the line'. See, Rick criticized his lame attempt to swiftboat him. He also thought Cornyn was pretty weak for voting against armor for our troops. Cornyn's not happy with that... he doesn't refute the fact that he voted against the armor, he just thinks Rick's mean for bringing it up. He'll of course claim this is patently untrue. Media Matters looked into it and concluded it was true. So did Vote Vets. None of that matters to Cornyn's campaign manager who thinks it's all really mean.

    Hon, this is Texas. EVERYTHING is over the line. Maybe you'd be more comfortable running a race in North Dakota.

    Lookit, R's. With every email you piss us and EVERY TEXAN off. You wanna play this as politics as usual, go ahead. However you're just going to come away beaten down like a baby seal. We're meaner than you and we know damn well this country and this state can't afford more of your mistakes. Our troops can't afford another WMD goose chase. Our people can't afford higher interest rates because you refuse to tax your buddies. Our economy can't handle your singular focus on high oil prices to help your friends in the energy industry.

    We're going to elect Rick. Period. We're going to bloody you while we do it. We're going to be ugly, nasty and downright mean. And the brill part is that all we have to do is tell the truth. We'll call out every lie and we'll make sure the rest of this state knows just what kind of a coward you are for voting to protect telcos and the President over the rights of your constituents.

    We'll never let them forget about their fancy Senator who hunts with a 28 gauge shotgun.

    While you're good and pissed off at Senator John Cornyn, go take his little poll.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 28, 2008

    Dawnna Dukes and the art of lying like a rug

    Dawnna Dukes, unable to refute the arguments made against her re-election and without a leg to stand on, has resorted to out and out lies about her opponent, Brian Thompson.

    Oh, and she STILL HASN'T FILED AN ACCURATE ETHICS REPORT. STILL. WE'VE BEEN WAITING BUT THERE'S BEEN NOTHING. Much like what she's done for her constituents, there has been


    NOTHING.

    Full text of the release from the Thompson campaign is after the jump. When you're done seething about all this, feel free to volunteer for Thompson or send him a few bucks. He needs it and District 46 desperately needs new leadership.

    Desperate Dukes Lies in Ads Thompson to File Temporary Restraining Order, Says, "I won't be swift-boated" In a desperate move eerily reminiscent of the Republican tactics that characterize her 'Swift Boat' donors, Craddick Democrat Dawnna Dukes has resorted to bald-faced lies to smear her Democratic challenger, Brian Thompson.

    "Dawnna Dukes is following the same script of lies and deception authored by the Republican 'Swift Boat' donors who just happen to be funding her campaign," said Democratic challenger Brian Thompson. "It is pathetic that a 14-year incumbent has such a dismal record that she has to rely on bald-faced lies to try and save her job, a job that apparently kept her from paying her taxes but didn't keep her from taking a luxury vacation to France when Republicans were passing a tax bill by one vote."

    Here are the undisputed, irrefutable facts about Brian Thompson's voting record.

    FACT: Democrat Brian Thompson voted in Travis County in 2002.
    FACT: Democrat Brian Thompson voted in Travis County in 2005.
    FACT: Democrat Brian Thompson voted in Travis County in 2006.
    FACT: Democrat Brian Thompson voted in Travis County in 2007.
    FACT: Democrat Brian Thompson voted in the Democratic Primary eight days ago, on 2/19/2008 at the Fiesta on 381/2 Street, just a few feet from his East Austin home.

    The television ad that Dawnna Dukes is continuing to air says, "her opponent, well, he never even bothered to vote ever."

    That is nothing more than a bald-faced lie that is quickly proven totally incorrect and inaccurate by the most cursory glance at any number of publicly available documents. These documents proving Thompson's voting record have already been presented to Dukes, and every television station airing these totally false ads.

    Apparently, Dukes simply refuses to let the truth or any semblance of decency get in the way of her desperate campaign to totally misrepresent Thompson's voting record.

    On Monday, Thompson sent a letter to Dukes, KXAN, KVUE, KEYE, KTBC, Time Warner Cable, and the Austin American-Statesman alerting them to the blatant lies in the Dukes campaign ad. Because those ads are still running, Thompson has been left with no choice but to seek a temporary restraining order to have the inaccurate ads pulled.

    This afternoon, Thompson will seek injunctive relief from a Travis County judge, and ask that the inaccurate ads be thrown off the air.

    Thompson personally informed Dukes that her ads were blatant lies at the Cherrywood Neighborhood Association meeting on Thursday, February 21, 2008. After that meeting, Dukes had personal knowledge that her ads lied about Thompson's voting record. Dukes decided to run the false ads anyway, despite their total inaccuracies.

    "Ms. Duke's intentional effort to score cheap political points by lying about my voting record is merely the latest example in a long line of troubling yet deliberate attempts she has engaged in to mislead the public," Thompson said.

    Dukes has acknowledged misreporting 8 years (and approximately $89,000) worth of expenses charged on 18 different campaign credit cards. Even though she promised multiple news outlets more than two months ago that she would fix these mistakes, she still has yet to do so. She continues to mislead her constituents and deny them the opportunity to see exactly how she spent $89,000 worth of campaign funds before they have the chance to vote on March 4.

    In addition, according to a KEYE News report titled, "Records show Texas State Rep. Dawnna Dukes failed to pay taxes," she misled her constituents by failing to pay her own taxes and follow the very laws she has been entrusted to pass. Rather than accept responsibility for her tax troubles, she offered three contradictory excuses on three different occasions, misleading the public again about why she refused to pay her taxes. Despite her unwillingness to fulfill her tax obligations in a timely manner, she still managed to pay for a luxury trip to Paris while skipping a crucial school finance vote on the Texas House floor.

    Now, Dukes has chosen to focus her pattern of deception on Thompson, and intentionally lie about his voting record to score cheap political points.

    "I'm not going to be swift-boated by a Craddick Democrat who just pocketed a $24,000 check from the largest Republican donor in Texas; the same man who gave more than $4,000,000 to the reprehensible 'Swift Boat' attack ads," Thompson said.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 27, 2008

    Tina Fey is making me watch SNL again...

    An open letter to Tina Fey:

    OK. You got me. I'm not happy about it, but you do. First, it's 30 Rock to which I am thoroughly addicted (it was easier giving up cigarettes... you are making the sitcom equivalent of H... I hope you're happy). Now you're back on SNL talking up Hillary and doing some awesome bit, pleading with Texas and Ohio to vote for her.

    I DO things on Saturday night. Now I have to make sure and watch SNL? Damn, you Tina Fey... but thanks for endorsing Hillary!

    Bitch is the new black, yo!

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

    February 26, 2008

    Texas House News O The Day - Thompson and Betty Brown

  • Dawnna Dukes is still, despite her protests to the contrary, taking money from forces aligned with Speaker CradDICK. Some of her contributors include Bob Perry And Harold Simmons (of Swiftboat fame) and Michael Stevens who is one of the largest Republican donors in Texas (in terms of dollars, not physical size)

    Brian Thompson could seriously use some of your help... financial or volunteer. If you want better government, then you gotta work to make it happen, folks!

    Just for fun, here's a great video from Thomspon and the endorsement from the Slag (hey! Everyone gets one right every now and then!)

  • Betty Brown up in HD 4 has a serious challenger named Wade Gent. Yeah, they're both Republicans. However, like with some Democrats, there are good and bad Republicans. Gent is a good one who genuinely cares about the people in the district and wants to serve them. Betty Brown would rather toll the whole district, which is exactly what the big business funded Empower Texans wants.

    ET has sent out a mailer on Betty's behalf claiming that her opponent has taken money from 'librul casino interests'. It's all a lie since the family in question, The LaMantia's, have given a ton of money to mostly Republicans... like Speaker CradDICK and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, both of whom are supported by none other than Betty Brown. Which makes Betty a pretty big hypocrite.

    The letter claims that Betty is a leader in the Texas House but the reality is that she's, at best, a back bencher with no real power despite being an ardent supporter of Speaker CradDICK. Why else would it take so long for necessary transportation projects in her district to get done? The reality is that the projects now being built were shoved through by former State Rep. Clyde Alexander who was far and away more effective than the tired, old Brown.

    They've even gone so far as to cast Betty Brown as a reformer. Which she most certainly is not. Of course, the M Q Sullivan of ET would never want anyone to know about how Betty Brown voted to raise taxes on the middle class and reduce them on the wealthy in some kind trickle down experiment that did exactly what Democrats said it would do... PROVIDE NO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF. Further, her stupid experiments in reforming school funding have resulted in little additional money going to schools. Betty's answer? Throw up your hands, abandon responsibility and talk about how great vouchers would be.

    That's pretty ballsy, Betty... to admit you're such a screw up that you can't fix the problem you were hired to solve but STILL want to keep your job? Wouldn't it be great if we could all abandon our responsibilities and give up, yet still get to keep our jobs like Betty Brown of Terrell?

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

    EV through the roof

    Wanna see something impressive? Here's EV up huge in Harris County. Here it is in Travis County. All over Texas, the EV is overwhelmingly Democratic and far higher than ever.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 22, 2008

    Tolls : Dunnam calls out TXDOT

    Spot.On.

    Jim Dunnam Waco Tribune-Herald Copyright 2008

    Take the toll route?

    Tolling Interstate 35 lanes through Waco is a terrible idea, and I’m committed to stopping it.

    The Texas Transportation Department is claiming budget shortfalls over the next 25 years. Its claims are exaggerated.

    One independent analysis says the agency is overestimating the shortfall by $30 billion. In addition, the 2007 state auditor’s report identified an $8.6 billion error in the shortfall and questioned another $37 billion because of improper documentation.

    At a recent Senate committee hearing, TxDOT admitted to another billion-dollar “accounting error.”

    At that Senate hearing, Sen. Steve Ogden expressed dismay at TxDOT’s financials, calling them “screwed up.”

    More diplomatic, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wrote that TxDOT “does not show the complete financial picture.”

    Sen. Kirk Watson summed it up best, stating Texans “cannot trust the Texas Department of Transportation or the policies that are consigning Texas to inadequate roads and privatized tollways.”

    Even a cursory look at the facts proves the senators right. The current state budget appropriates $16.9 billion to TxDOT — that’s a $1.8 billion (12 percent) increase over its previous budget. In fact, the 2007 Legislature gave TxDOT over $200 million more than TxDOT even requested.

    In addition, TxDOT’s planning process doesn’t factor another $9 billion in revenue — $3 billion in State Highway Fund bonds, $5 billion in voter-approved general obligation bonds and the possibility of $1.3 billion in Mobility Fund bonds.

    At the Senate hearing, Sen. Judith Zaffirini suggested the “funding crisis” and the “solution” of toll roads is simply TxDOT “scheming to promote its own political agenda.”

    So what is that agenda?

    Gov. Rick Perry and his appointees overseeing TxDOT make no secret they want to make Texas a toll road state.

    Their ultimate goal is to create a new privatized source of money that will be free from public accountability.

    Tolling Texas roads was an idea sold by Perry in 2003 as a limited tool for communities that wanted tolls. However, once voters said OK, Perry revealed his true plans — a Spanish-run Trans-Texas Corridor and a series of toll roads crisscrossing Texas.

    The first phase would take 71,661 acres and 8,036 other parcels of private land to build a road that would cost Texans more than $20 to travel one-way from Dallas to Austin.

    Once this real agenda came out, the Legislature promptly stopped it, overwhelmingly passing a moratorium on most toll road projects.

    Threatening Waco

    Perry’s reaction was to have TxDOT start threatening local cities. That’s exactly what just happened to Waco — either “agree” to toll I-35 lanes or TxDOT will cancel existing projects and delay all plans to expand I-35.

    While threatening Waco with “toll lanes or no lanes,” TxDOT chose to award more than $84 million from “Strategic Priority Funds” to Grayson County for local projects — that’s most of the cost of putting eight full lanes on I-35 through Waco.

    While undoubtedly important to Grayson County, these projects are not statewide “strategic priorities” like I-35.

    This just shows that the tolls agenda is one of choice, not necessity.

    Money from Perry’s toll lanes will go to issue bonds for other projects. The bond money will be separate from the main state budget, meaning there will be almost no legislative accountability.

    And lack of legislative accountability is the exact reason TxDOT feels safe in threatening our communities and thumbing its nose at the Legislature. TxDOT’s main funding, the gas tax, is dedicated by the Texas Constitution.

    That means TxDOT can ignore the Legislature and still know it will get its money.

    Bonds from toll roads will be like another dedicated revenue source, making TxDOT autonomous and the situation worse.

    TxDOT needs to be reined in and made accountable. TxDOT should provide the Legislature with accurate information; but how to pay for the roads should be decided by the Legislature.

    The Legislature will work to address Texas transportation needs responsibly through cooperation at the federal, state and local levels. But in order to do that, TxDOT must be an honest and accountable partner.

    Our forefathers gave us great free roads in Texas. Our legacy should not mean our children have to pay an extra $3 to drive from Lorena on I-35 to buy a Health Camp burger. Instead, Central Texans need to stand up and say “no” to toll lanes on I-35 — and I intend to do just that.

    Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, is State Representative for District 57.

    (Via TTC Archives)

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Loving me some Hillary

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    Hill's opening statement and her closing statement. Honestly, The Mayor and I were impressed and the crowd tonight was pretty clearly divided. We did, of course, differ on the impact of this statement...

    Hillary just said, "If your campaign is going to be based on words, I think they should be your own." Best line of the night. She added, "If you talk about change, it's not change you can believe in, it's change you can xerox." It's a good line, but... ooh. Ouch. Even the media didn't like that one.

    Does she have a tin ear? Or do people just love Obama and don't want to hear it?

    When she starts saying things like that, the first reaction is "there's a good line;" the second thing you think is, "ooh, I'm glad my wife isn't like that."

    For us, we were thinking..."Damn, I hope she gets to use something like that against Old Grandpa 100 Years In Iraq." Frankly, THAT'S the bite in the knife we need in this country. We need someone who cares enough about winning this election to pull out the stops and call bullshit.

    Obama came across as tired and irritable. Hillary had a sharp tongue and used it to great effect. The gooders watching the debate with us of course thought she was over the top. Get over it. Politics ain't an ice cream social in Texas. Feel good crap is only going to get you so far and then you better have something there. Obama's weak on that and that's where Hillary has her impact. She gets it. She knows how to fight and win.

    One last note... we got to see some OLD friends tonight, Mike, Melissa and Todd from our Austin For Kerry days. They're all about Obama. We love them anyway!

    (Photo : WMM - Taken at Guero's)

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 21, 2008

    It's crowded and I'm not liveblogging

    Mother Egans is packed like a package of tuna. Many old KAB people and some folks who are on the mail list who haven't been in months. Wow. The turnout is amazing all over town... Austin has effectively shut down to watch this debate (which may help explain the extraordinary EV turnout...more on that later).

    I'm quitting this now because liveblogging this from a BlackBerry is torture when there are two drinks in front of me.

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

    Debate-O-Rama

    As you no doubt are aware, the D Presidential candidates (GO HILLARY!) are in town tonight for a debate. I'll, of course, be watching at a bar with a scotch in one hand and a cigarette in the other that I'll be gesturing wildly with to show my support for HILLARY while other, lesser people (Obama people who drink beer, natch) will try to stay out of the way, lest they get burned.

    So who is covering all the madness? KXAN, of course! You can access their coverage here. They also have a cool new poll out showing a dead heat here in Texas.

    In other Presidential primary news some people endorsed Obama and Todd Hill over at BOR has a great piece up on the Obamathon in Dallas yesterday. Muse over at Musings is loving some Bill (so do I, but not in THAT way).

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Having Drinks with the Debaters

    This evening I'll be going to Mother Egan's on 6th@West to watch The Debate with my peeps from Keep Austin Blue. Anyone who doesn't have drinks while watching a lame debate is just setting themselves up for mindnumbing boredom.

    I'll be cheering for our girl even if SOME OTHERS are going for that man.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 20, 2008

    LEAVE KIRK WATSON ALONE!!!

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    LEAVE HIM ALONE! You are lucky he even endorsed Obama for you BASTARDS! LEAVE KIRK WATSON ALONE!…..Please.

    How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Kirk Watson after all he has been through!

    Chris Matthews kept him waiting in the studio for hours!

    HE’S A HUMAN! What you don’t realize is that Kirk is being on TV for YOU and all you do is write a bunch of crap about him.

    Chris Matthews talked about accomplishments and said if Obama had any accomplishments he would’ve listed them off no matter what.

    Speaking of accomplishments, when is it an accomplishment to publicly humiliate someone who doesn't have anything to say?

    Leave Kirk Alone Please…. !

    Leave Kirk Watson alone!…right now!….I mean it.!

    Anyone that has a problem with him you deal with me, because he is working on his weekly newsletter email right now.

    LEAVE HIM ALONE!


    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Video of Watson v. Matthews

    We love Senator Watson but this is just some funny shit. Mostly because we're going for Sen. Clinton.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 19, 2008

    Kirk Watson v. Chris Matthews

    Just now, on MSNBC... Chris Matthews put TX Sen. Kirk Watson on the spot by asking him to name ANY of Senator Obama's accomplishments in the Senate. He couldn't name one.

    Rep. Jones from Ohio promptly jumped in and talked about what Senator Clinton had actually done. Kirk then tried to jump in and pile onto Hillary which went over Rep. Jones the wrong way and Matthews then once again reminded Sen. Watson that the issue was his inability to name Obama's accomplishments. Watson stammered and again talked about vague feelings about Obama (he unites people, he inspires people, he's the candidate of flowers, rainbows and pretty things).

    This, of course, follows Sen. Obama stepping on Sen. Clinton's speech after her loss in the Wisconsin primary. Nicely done, Sen. Obama. Good to see that your kindler, gentler politics applies more to Republicans than your fellow Democrats. Keep it civil, Senator. You don't want to get on our bad side. We're meaner than Clinton AND the Republicans and we haven't even been drinking yet.

    And Sen. Watson... find out something about the people you endorse! That was just damn embarrassing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    CD10 : NAIS on the brain

    Remember this post? It prompted this, this, this and this all in a very short timeframe. So what's the dealio?

    Well, for one thing, the information WAS up on Doherty's website. For another, KUT did pull it down after being asked by the Doherty campaign. The campaign itself has not, to my knowledge, distanced itself from the comment.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dale Henry collecting the endorsements

    We've long said that Dale Henry is the most qualified person to serve on the Railroad Commission. Apparently, others are saying the same thing. First, there was the endorsement in the Austin Chronicle. Then Star-Telegram. Now the Brian/College Station Eagle.

    Add to them all the Daily Texan at UT. Nice work, Dale!

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

    February 18, 2008

    Touble ahead for Dukes

    Matt's at BOR has been doing some great work keeping the spotlight on Dukes. now it turns out we haven't been the only ones looking at her. It appears that KEYE is also getting it on the action...

    Tonight at 10:00pm, investigative reporter Nanci Wilson of KEYE News will be airing an expose on Craddick Democrat, Dawnna Dukes. Yesterday, KEYE teased the story repeatedly. According to the previews aired yesterday, Dukes is running a defunct company that has accepted state dollars, her car has been repossessed, and subcontractors have sued her for non-payment.

    Perhaps she couldn't find a way to pay those bills with her campaign credit card.

    Tune in to KEYE Channel 42, or for cable subscribers on Channel 5 or in High Definition on 305 tonight at 10:00 to watch.

    And remember, Dukes's opponent Brian Thompson is having his final fundraiser tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Belmont on 6th. We are only $300 away from getting the $1,000 match from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous until the 8 day out report. Help raise $300 today.

    Could this be yet another in a series of questionable practices by Dukes? Can't wait to see what the people at KEYE have come up with.

    Finally, I'd just like to ask once again... where is that damn ethics report, Dawnna? It's been almost 10 weeks and nada.

    Posted by barfly at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    FISA... where lies and exaggeration come to live

    Unlike the rubber stamps in the Senate, the House Democrats handed a HUGE victory to citizens in this country when they decided to put off consideration of the Senate FISA bill until they were damn well ready. Which means the temporary law passed in August will expire this weekend.

    Bush is already claiming that it leaves us open to terrorist attack. Which is bullshit because the taps already in place have a year to run and new ones can be obtained, instantly, with a 72 hour window in which the government can then seek a warrant from the FISA Court. That's the old law. It gives the government 72 hours to obtain a warrant AFTER a tap has been initiated. Needless to say, Bush's argument is pretty weak that this is about 'protecting 'merucans'. The reality is that this is all about protecting the corporations that cooperated illegally with the government on the illegal wiretaps Bush authorized between 2001 and 2005. See, without immunity, these companies are going to be sued. And during discovery, the people of the US will find out just how it goes up the executive branch. That could leave Bush himself open to prosecution AFTER leaving office.

    The funny thing about this? These companies claim they were just doing their patriotic duty which is crap. They knew they were doing something illegal and, in the case of Qwest, some refused because the government wouldn't give the companies a letter from the AG saying this was all legal. THAT'S what they need to be immune from prosecution and lay this all off on the executive branch. They didn't get it because the program wasn't legal which means the boards of these companies should fire and sue the executives and legal advisers who allowed the taps to happen.

    Yes, this is all about protecting the illegal actions of telecom companies and the President. Not protecting Americans. Even Cornyn got in on the action...

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Cybercast News Service the expiration of the law does in fact present a clear and present danger. "It is a fact that 3,000 people died on September 11. It is a fact we have been able to use this [FISA] capability to stop further terrorist attacks. Now I know it's a little hard to prove something that didn't happen, but the testimony from highly placed officials within the intelligence community, the director of national intelligence, and others say this is an essential activity that will save lives."

    Oh, but Senator Cornyn, DNI McConnell directly contradicts you on this. He says this will have no effect on intelligence gathering, other than making the Administration do things legally. Which means, Junior John, that your gutless defense of an illegal program is making you look weak as hell. What kind of a Texan are you, Senator? One of the cowardly ones?

    For that matter, what kind of Texans is Hans Klinger of the Texas GOP? Friday afternoon he issued a press release going after Lampson, Rodriguez and Edwards for leaving along with the rest of Congress when it was clear there was an impasse. I guess no one told Hans that the nation IS still protected by wiretapping laws and that the real issue is an immunity deal for companies and President Bush. Wait... just reread the first part.

    Hans, bubie, let me clue you in on something since you're evidently smart enough to write but not to keep your mouth closed when you breathe. Lampson is the only one you've got a prayer of beating and considering that only a nutter will get through the R primary in FBC, you're probably screwed there. Rodriguez is in a strong position and Chet Edwards... well, Chet's going to beat down whoever you run against him like Ali did Frazier in Manilla.

    Texans know these Congressman did the right thing. It's the President and Congressional Republicans who are off the reservation. And we all know it.

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

    KUT interviews The Boys in CD10

    Both Dan Grant and Larry Joe Doherty were interviewed by Ben Philpott at KUT. Both do a good job, but Grant's idea about how to do the stimulus package the right way was spot on.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 17, 2008

    Pics From HillaryFest

    Okay, my fingers have finally thawed out enough for me to be able to plug my camera into the computer, so here are a few images from last night.

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    Early in the evening, inside, while it was still possible to move. Soon afterwords, McBlogger and went outside in search of breathable air (which we found) and strong drink (which was sadly lacking.)

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    Attorney General Jim Mattox warms up the outdoors crowd with a reprise of William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Actually, I'm not sure what he was doing. We could see him, but the sound being piped out was of a woman speaking inside. An odd juxtaposition.

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    The obligatory "Anonymous hands holding rally sign" shot required by the FEC in all series of political rally pictures.

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    The Big Dog brings it home. We luv yah, Bill!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 16, 2008

    Clinton ... too many people

    Rep. Eddie R is speaking now. I can hear him but I can't see him because the event has split in two due to overcrowding... Too many people, too many fire marshalls.

    No joke.

    Everything's going smoothly and people are waiting patiently, but very enthusiastically for the President. If you're coming down, would you PLEASE bring me some scotch? I'm thirsty.

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

    live from HillaryFest!

    The Mayor and I are here and the turnout is AMAZING! The President hasn't made it yet and there's no booze (damn you, broken flask), but I have run into a ton of people. There's a very strong organization in Austin I didn't know existed.

    Yeah, The Mayor and I were feeling a little out in the woods with our endorsement. Tonight, though, it's clear there are lot of people who think as we do.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    live from HillaryFest!

    The Mayor and I are here and the turnout is AMAZING! The President hasn't made it yet and there's no booze (damn you, broken flask), but I have run into a ton of people. There's a very strong organization in Austin I didn't know existed.

    Yeah, The Mayor and I were feeling a little out in the woods with our endorsement. Tonight, though, it's clear there are lot of people who think as we do.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    If it talks like a Republican and thinks like a Republican

    It must be Nelda Wells-Spears. The reality, as Spears should know, is that illegal immigrants voting is a non-existent problem. However, requiring a photo ID to vote, instead of just a card, is a de facto POLL TAX. So then, the question becomes what does Spears have to gain from keeping the poorest among us from voting?

    In a time when gas is $3.00/gallon, why heap another cost on to the backs of our poor?

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

    February 15, 2008

    How underwhelming...

    Hightower, in an effort to stay relevant outside of his weekly column, has endorsed Obama and pledged to campaign for him. This would make it the first time in years he's actually done anything. Remember how much he helped the Democrats in 2006?

    Yeah, neither do I. Oh sure, it was promised but there was never any follow through. But maybe this time will be different, Obama people!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 14, 2008

    Presidential Endorsement

    Leadership is a word bandied about endlessly by politicians today. All say they have it while campaigning. All candidates claim to be the leader for whom voters are searching. All of them are usually wrong. Living in Texas, we've become absolutely disgusted by the word 'leadership', especially when used by Republicans for whom it is more a punchline than a true description of character. A leader does what's right, regardless of political repercussions, and stands up to defend their actions. We see it more and more from Democrats today, but even in
    our party it's still distressingly rare. That's why when we see it, we are so overwhelmed; it causes us to instantly want to pick up a sheaf of slate cards and begin walking door to door.

    That, and that alone, is what has made this decision so hard. Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are leaders in the highest and truest sense of the word. However, like all voters we must pick one. This year, we pick Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    We realize this country is still, to an extent, polarized on significant issues. However, glossing over them will not make the polarization disappear. Neither will wishful thinking or hope. Hard work, communication and defending ideas aggressively will change minds, open dialog and eliminate the vacuum in which bad policy flourishes. While we have been impressed with Sen. Obama's rhetorical skills, we find his substance lacking. We do not find a similar problem with Clinton. On policy, the two are virtually identical having been driven to the center by John Edwards and his balanced proposals, supported by the vast majority of Americans. Preparedness is another factor but none of us view this as a clear indicator of a better candidate. Both Clinton and Obama are prepared, despite what idiotic pundits on Sunday morning entertainment programs may say. No, in the end, it comes down to leadership style and tenacity. While it's wonderful that Sen. Obama has inspired so many, it's also naive to believe that real change can come so easily.

    Voters in the United States, Democratic and Republican, want change. Obama has interpreted that to mean that voters want a kindler, gentler politics with the ultimate end being compromise, not consensus. History has proven this position resoundingly wrong. People want to be fought over. People want to be persuaded. Yes, people even want to hear attacks. If it did not work, candidates and strategists would not employ them. Voters want change but the change they want is a return to the rule of law, to fiscal sanity, to policies that make sense for and benefit the majority of our country. Wishful thinking and 'compromising' with the baser impulses of the radical right won't put our listing ship of state on an even keel. A single minded focus on solving problems, gradually if needed, is the only thing that can correct us and keep us sailing into the 21st century. We need a leader who will not back down in the face of intense opposition to the entrenched forces that threaten to destroy our country with their greed and monomaniacal fixation on maintaining the status quo.

    Obama's pitch for being the nominee involves the premise that the only way we'll win is to give voters something to vote for. We've also heard the argument that voters will come out in droves to vote against Hillary. As many of us discovered on November 3rd, 2004, having a reason to vote against someone is not enough. Neither is voting exclusively for someone. There must be a synthesis, a reason to support our candidate and a reason to vote against the candidate of the Republicans. If anyone can clearly establish that message, it's Clinton.

    Hope and transcendence are all well and good, but we need solid, results-oriented leadership. We need a fighter willing to put herself between them and us, someone who will help restore our rights and prepare our nation for a bright and prosperous future. While we greatly respect the Senator from Illinois, our endorsement and support go to Senator Hillary Clinton.

    (This represents the endorsement of The Mayor, Boobilicious and I)

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:23 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    February 13, 2008

    Tolls : A week of fun

  • Carona comes out in favor of raising the gas tax. He still won't commit to ending toll deals which is a real concern. The reality is that tolling isn't a good way to raise money. Period. It's not good for taxpayers and it's certainly not good for invesotrs.
  • Speaking of investors, they're taking a bath on the Central Texas toll roads...

    According to that statement, the three roads will make $8.7 billion in toll revenue through 2042. In that same time, there will be $7.2 billion in debt payments for that borrowed $2.2 billion, $1.1 billion in operations costs, $752 million in routine maintenance and $388 million for long-term maintenance. The net of all that? Almost $750 million in the hole over 35 years.

    More like an economic jalopy.

    Yeah, the traffic projections aren't panning out either. Traffic is about 73% of the projections. Didn't see that one coming

  • TURF's suit moves ahead with depositions due this week from TTC Commissioners Saenz and Houghton. Good luck, TURF!
  • In other privatization news, the Camino Columbia toll road (the first private 'superhighway' in Texas) was sold... to one of it's original investors. The road was built for $90million and sold for $12million. What a great investment! If you're looking for other great investments with a similar return, you might try Bear Stearns. I hear they are trying to unload some SIV's chock full of subprime paper.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 11, 2008

    Notes on the TAC race

  • Oh, this isn't good at all. Recently, and after the recent Voter ID hearing, Nelda Wells Spears, our current TAC, was asked why she'd never taken the time to defend the right to vote in testimony to the Lege on their idiotic Voter ID bills. Her response is chilling...

    Ms. Spears response was shocking. She said she thought requiring ID and proof of citizenship when registering to vote was a great idea and something we needed.

    No one is sure if Nelda knows she was tacitly supporting Jim Crow laws and poll taxes. I would assume she does but lets be honest, so much has come out about her this cycle that it really wouldn't surprise me if she didn't realize she was actively supporting the disenfranchisement of minorities.

  • I didn't realize it but there IS a Republican who has filed to run against either Glen or Nelda, Don Zimmerman. His ass website can be found here. If you even think of voting for this guy you are out of your mind. Why? He takes publicity shots with people like Ron Paul and Gerald the Gargantuan. Oh, and he's a PaulTard, one of those people so in love with the Austrian School that they are blind to the fact that it's mostly a massive load. Of doodie.

    He also fought valiantly asked a bond issue that would have helped RRISD expand it's strained school system. He was operating under the assumption that portabuildings are good enough for the poor kids who have to go to public school. You're one hell of a guy, Zimmerman! Fighting to keep kids from going to good schools and receiving a good education. Here's a pic of him with his gross pals.


  • Posted by mcblogger at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    There's a debate a comin'

    This Wednesday, Keep Austin Blue and the University Democrats will co-host a debate between Ray McMurrey and Rep. Rick Noriega. Here are the deets...

    The debate will be Wednesday, February 13th. Doors (Jester Center A121A) will open at 8:00 and the debate will start promptly at 8:15. Here's a link to maps of the area near Jester.

    The Brazos Garage is at the corner of MLK and Brazos, the Dobie Garage is at Whitis and 21st and there is a Central Lot at University and 20th and another at 20th and Whitis. Here is a map of the immediate vicinity.

    What is needed right now are some questions for the moderators (Karen Brooks of the DMN and Eileen Smith of Texas Monthly) to select. Please email yours here.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Endorsement vomit

    I thought I would wait and just do one post about all the recent endorsements out... It's like some rank tasting medicine. Better all at once.

  • Rick Noriega was endorsed on the D side of the US Senate race by the Texas State Teachers Assoc. over Ray McMurrey who is a teacher
  • CapCity YD's also announced their endorsements. I'd join this if I could find someone who'd take my money. I thought y'all loves alcoholic bloggers? Where's the love, Kim?
    U.S. Senate: Richard J. (Rick) Noriega
    U.S. House of Representatives, District 10: Dan Grant
    Texas Railroad Commissioner: Art Hall
    Texas Supreme Court, Seat 7: Sam Houston
    Texas Supreme Court, Seat 8: Susan Criss (in a runoff with Linda Reyna Yanez)
    Texas State Rep. Dist. 46: Brian T. Thompson (unanimously)
    353rd District Court Judge: Scott Ozmun
    427th District Court Judge: Jim Coronado
    Judge, 98th District Court: Andy Hathcock
    Judge, County Court at Law #8: John Lipscombe
    Travis County District Attorney: Rosemary Lehmberg (in a runoff with Gary Cobb)
    Travis County Tax Assessor/Collector: Glen Maxey
    Travis County Democratic Party Chair: Andy Brown
    Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 3: Karen Huber
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 1: Willie Joe Madison
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 2: Paul Labuda
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 3: Richard McCain
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 4: Maria Canchola
  • Dan Grant was endorsed by Rep. Senfronia Thompson. This is a huge deal for us, at least, because we love us some Senfronia!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 10, 2008

    This is what I do for you...

    ...I give. I share. I bring you the best political cheese.

    Photobucket

    You people owe me so big. I want drinks from all of you when I see you next.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    February 09, 2008

    Obama wins NE, WA, LA

    Taking a stand for banality, people in Nebraska, Washington State and Louisiana (it's still a state?!?) voted to make Obama the Democratic candidate.

    Obama won NE (both precincts!) as well as Wasington State (well, Seattle but what's the diff) by large margins. No one's told me the differential in Louisiana.

    And now, I'm going back to my drinking. And please, Hillary people, don't cry. You'll just piss me off.

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

    Obama wins NE, WA, LA

    Taking a stand for banality, people in Nebraska, Washington State and Louisiana (it's still a state?!?) voted to make Obama the Democratic candidate.

    Obama won NE (both precincts!) as well as Wasington State (well, Seattle but what's the diff) by large margins. No one's told me the differential in Louisiana.

    And now, I'm going back to my drinking. And please, Hillary people, don't cry. You'll just piss me off.

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

    We hear rumors...

    ... and then we report them to you.


    Today's super fun rumor is that Art Hall is dodging and weaving on plans for a debate/discussion in Houston in Late February between himself and Dale Henry. Wonder what gives? I mean, even Noriega is debating McMurrey. What's Art afraid of?

    In other RRC election news, Art Hall was apparently confused about what exactly the RRC does. Just FYI to all of you undecided peeps out there, it would be nice if our candidate actually knew what the office does. It would certainly set him apart from the Republican in the race.

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

    February 08, 2008

    Thank you, Senate Democrats (and FU Sen. Gregg)

    By a wide margin, the stimulus package has passed both the House and Senate. It's now on it's way to Bush who has been waiting for it, crayon in hand (make your mark here, Mr. President!).

    Senate Republicans blocked a measure Wednesday that would have expanded aid to the elderly and disabled vets. It would have also given subsidies for heating oil and coal to people desperately pinched by the increase in oil prices and would have extended unemployment benefits to those whose benefits had already expired. Senate Republicans didn't like helping out the poor and elderly. Especially our own Senator John Cornyn who was congratulated on the vote by the tone deaf folks over at Lone Star Times (read the comments if you want to see some true 'compassionate' conservatism). Let's hope the senior citizens of Texas don't forget that while they've been going broke on a fixed income paying for gasoline, Sen. Cornyn's more concerned with keeping oil company tax cuts in place than helping them out 'the little people'.

    What IS it with you Republicans? You're OK with corporate welfare but extend a helping hand to your fellow citizens and you throw a fit? Damn. And here I thought only Cheney was heartless. You people are so full of hate you'll drive the whole damn country into a depression just to make your damn point. To wit, this from Senator Gregg

    "We have to remember that every dollar being spent on the stimulus package is being borrowed from our children. And our children's children," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., who voted against the bill.

    Gee, Senator, I don't remember you voting against any of those tax cuts that gave us massive deficits and dramatically increased federal debt. Methinks your 'conversion' to fiscal conservatism is a little late in coming.

    The good news? Sen. Reid in his first decent act of the new year has decided to bring the extended benefits up over and over again. Good on you, Harry. Now drop this telecom immunity BS and let's get this country working again!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    You ROCK, Lloyd Doggett

    For no other reason than trying to help more families get help to afford college. Thank you from all of us at McBlogger.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 07, 2008

    Why solve problems when you can transcend them?

    If only it were as easy as Obama wants to think it is. If only there weren't nasty, hateful people in the world (they're known as 'bloggers' and their lesser opposition 'Republican Consultants'). Maybe then we could transcend and take our politics to a higher level.

    Or, then again, maybe we could tell the feel good shitheel to shut the fuck up and start talking like a US Senator, not Deepak Chopra. Since my preferred candidate has dropped out of the Presidential race, I'm left having to pick between Clinton and Obama. Neither thrill me but either are infinitely preferable to any of the fucktards on the R side.

    I want to like Obama. I loved him in 2004. But this 'new kind of politics' is some of the most cynical bullshit I've ever heard. And people are buying it like discounted gasoline. Dionne nails it over at the WaPo...my favorite part

    The larger difference between Clinton and Obama is in their respective theories of change. Implicit in the Clinton narrative, as she put it on the stump last weekend, is the idea that "making change is hard." Only someone with carefully laid plans and the toughness to go toe-to-toe with the Republicans in the daily and weekly Washington slog can hope to achieve reform.

    Obama agrees to an extent. "I know how hard change is," he says. But he promises to transcend the old fights -- the liberation narrative again -- by building a "bottom-up" movement to create inexorable pressure for reform that would draw in even Republicans.

    Uhm. Yeah. I totally see the people supporting Huckabee just clamoring to join your fight.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    February 06, 2008

    Voter ID and Voter Registration : The party never stops

    OK, so first off we have Greg Abbott continuing to persecute minority Democrats for helping people vote.

    Hebert complained to Berman's committee last week that Abbott has prosecuted Texans "who appear to have done little more than mistakenly help senior citizens by delivering already completed and sealed ballots to the post office or an elections administrative office."

    Of 13 voter fraud-related indictments, virtually all are African Americans or Hispanic senior citizens, Hebert noted.

    He told the committee: "What is especially troubling is that while Greg Abbott's office has prosecuted minority seniors for simply mailing ballots, he has not prosecuted anyone on the other side of the aisle for what appear to be open and shut cases of real voter fraud."

    Hebert told the committee about alleged voter fraud in heavily Republican Highland Park involving the mishandling of over 100 ballots and a memo from local prosecutors calling on Abbott to investigate the 2005 complaint. He explained that the attorney general's office handed off the complaint to the Texas secretary of state "for evaluation of as potential criminal prosecution."

    He called that "a stalling tactic" because it is the AG's office that evaluates criminal prosecution.

    Nothing has happened, according to Hebert.(HouChron)

    This came out during a recent hearing on, AGAIN, voter ID laws that we don't need. Harris County TAC Bettencourt was there. Noticeably absent was Travis County's TAC, Nelda Wells-Spears. She's busy trying to keep her elected office in the face of strong opposition from former Rep. Glen Maxey. Maxey recently released an ad regarding her offices purging of thousands of voters. She blames it on the state. Maxey calls bullshit. The Statesman doesn't really know what to make of all this...

    Maxey is widely considered an expert on voter registration and has focused his campaign on that task, which is handled by the tax office. He has accused Spears of mishandling two separate issues.

    One involves the possibility that hundreds or thousands of Travis County residents' registrations may have been canceled when a new statewide voter-registration database came online last year.

    Spears sent letters to 8,500 county residents warning of a potential problem. She and the secretary of state's office blamed each other for the situation.

    Meanwhile, Maxey sent out fliers accusing Spears of being more eager to point fingers than to solve the problem.

    On Wednesday, Spears and Scott Haywood, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said that they had worked things out.

    So there was a problem but it's been fixed? How did it become a problem in the first place? How did the SOS get pulled into what is a in fact a function of the county? The only thing that's clear is that Nelda ISN'T on top of this. While we understand that the TAC can't just register people out of thin air, if a mistake was made, why not send out letters to those who were purged along with a new registration card?

    Apparently, no one thought that about. Spears thought the problem would be self evident.

    Spears, quoting state law, said she is not allowed to restore those purged voters unless they re-register or the county clerk's office can produce paperwork it says it doesn't have.

    She added that those voters had clues that they were not properly signed up, such as not getting a registration card in the mail.

    No, ma'am. When something gets screwed up or when a mistake is made, you don't wait for someone to catch it. Unless you're either lazy, immature or stupid. These folks had no idea what was happening and your solution was to just sit back and let those who were purged catch the mistake? You never heard of being proactive when it comes to solving a problem?

    It's never been more clear than now that we need a new TAC. Period.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The TXDOT hearing... doodie aflyin'

    Well, it's been interesting. First off was this article in the Star-T detailing out the problems with TXDOT's claims of poverty.

    Poor planning inside the Texas Department of Transportation -- and not a shortage of state or federal funding -- is to blame for an ongoing cash crunch that led the agency to stop most road work in 2008, members of two state Senate committees said.

    "I think we have an agency in turmoil. I think we have an agency in chaos," state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, said during a joint meeting of the Senate finance and transportation committees in Austin. "I think it's intellectually dishonest to blame Congress or the state Legislature for problems caused by poor planning."

    Then we moved on to the Trans hearing yesterday during which TXDOT got bitchslapped. Or did they? Sources have told us that members of the Senate Trans Committee met with TXDOT officials the day before the hearing a closed door session. Additionally, other's have called the Republicans on the commission 'chummy' with TXDOT officials during the meeting yesterday with the exception of Sen. Ogden who is really feeling the heat from anti-privatization forces. Not from the Stahls, of course, because they have lost all influence as a result of their sellout during the session last year on a toll moratorium.

    CapAnnex has their own take and a great quote from Zaffrini

    “The impression out there is that, really, this is a ploy to put pressure on us to go back to the toll road plan,” said Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who said the Texas Department of Transportation is scheming to promote its own agenda.(DMN)

    Then there was this one from Ogden...

    “This is screwed up,” said Sen. Steve Ogden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “I understand how to do a cash flow statement. I understand how to do an income statement. This isn’t one of them. This is really bad.”

    EOW brings the point home by pointing out (again) that the Republicans who've stood in the way of gas tax increases repeatedly since 1993 are the ones who should bear the blame. These same folks then pushed through the privatization legislation in this first place.

    Finally, in what I'd like to call "To MOTO, with love", I'd like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to Sen.'s Watson and Zaffirini. Glad to know you guys are finally seeing through the bullshit and the lies. Welcome back to the light, kids!

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

    February 05, 2008

    Give Brian Some Love

    PhotobucketTravis County is the bluest county in Texas and on March 4th, voters have a chance to make it a TRUE BLUE Delegation in the Texas Legislature. Brian Thompson is running against Dawwna Dukes for District 46. Brian has received every major endorsement in the Travis County area and for good reason. He cares about the district and is willing to vote for the people of Texas instead of supporting Tom Craddick and his minions who have thrown children of SCHIP, stolen women's rights away each legislative session, sold out Texas land owners for the Trans Texas Corridor, and were instrumental in writing legalized discrimination into the Texas Constitution.

    Click here to help Brian beat Dawnna Dukes.

    Brian Thompson has been endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance. He has also been endorsed by :

    Austin Progressive Coalition
    University Democrats
    Victory Fund
    Central Austin Democrats
    Texas Environmental Democrats
    Southwest Austin Democrats
    Capital Area Progressive Democrats
    Teamsters Local 657
    Capital Area Asian American Democrats
    Austin Stonewall Democrats
    South Austin Democrats
    Austin Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus

    Brain has also been endorsed by Lon Burnam
    House District 80

    Lon Burnam is the only Democrat in the House who has voted against Craddick from the beginning. It is time we had more strong Democrats in the Texas Legislature who are not afraid to speak out against the autocratic rule of
    Tom Craddick and the devastation which is being wrought on Texas and our quality of life. The time has come to hold our elected officials accountable for their action and non-action when it comes to taking care of their districts and the rest of Texas.

    Brian is willing to work to make the quality of life better for all Texans and not just a select few. Teachers and students alike will have a strong advocate in the Ledge once Brian is elected. Women and children will not
    have to worry about their rights being stolen from them by the privileged who can buy their way out of any problem and are willing to let the rest of Texas suffer. Our retired teachers will not see Brian vote against a raise in their pension. Brian will be at the forefront leading the charge for changes and fighting injustice as an elected officials should be instead of skipping votes or voting the right way but not speaking out. It is time for strong leadership in HD46. Brian will be a welcome addition to some of the already strong voices for Texas and Travis County!

    Go help Brian today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    See Dawnna Vote

    You've heard time and time again why Dawnna Dukes is wrong for her district. However, much of that has centered around her absenteeism, campaign finance reports, and "Vegas Vacation."

    But, what about her voting record? Dukes apologists claim that her voting record is in line with her district. But, it isn't. Here are a large number of reasons you should support TexRoots candidate Brian Thompson in the House District 46 race.

    Dawnna Dukes has voted against renewable energy. Dukes voted against requiring that a certain portion of money from Governor Perry's slush funds, (aka the Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund) be required to be spent on companies that develop renewable energy technologies. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 8, Record Vote 220, House Journal, p. 1275 & House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 12, Record Vote 221, House Journal, p. 1277.]

    Dawnna Dukes has voted against Texas children. Dawnna Dukes thought that making sure Governor Perry could give corporate welfare to his campaign contributors was more important than at-risk youth. She voted against taking money from the Emerging Technology Fund to fund programs for at-risk youth prevention with the Department of Family and Protective Services, and voted against additional funding for the same program in another instance on the same day. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 18, Record Vote 223, House Journal, p. 1283 & House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 21, Record Vote 226, House Journal, p. 1278].

    Dawnna Dukes voted against HIV/AIDS Prevention. Dawnna Dukes betrayed hundreds of thousands of Texans who need to be educated about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 29, Record Vote 228, House Journal, p. 1291.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Quality Schools & College Students. Dawnna Dukes thought it was more important for the Office of State Federal Relations' budget to have enough money to hire Washington lobbyists than to put more money in the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Program, which serves to recruit and retain quality public school teachers and help college graduates who are over-burdened with student loans. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 76, Record Vote 236, House Journal, p. 1324]

    Dwanna Dukes Voted Against Halting Public Corruption. Dukes didn't believe it was important to fund the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County DA's office (which prosecutes public officials) at higher levels. She thought courthouse preservation was more important. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 84, Record Vote 240, House Journal, p. 1331.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Clean Air. Dawnna Dukes voted against additional funding for the Texas Emission Reduction Plan grants. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 98, Record Vote 242, House Journal, p. 1345.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted For State Funding For Washington Lobbyists. Dawnna Dukes voted against restrictions that would have prevented state funding being used for hiring Washington Lobbyists. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 132, Record Vote 246, House Journal, p. 1363.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Restoring CHIP To Pre-2003 Levels. Dawnna Dukes voted against restoring CHIP to pre-2003 levels and voted against using all federal funds appropriated to the state for the Children's Health Insurance Program to actually insure children. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 23, Record Vote 279, House Journal, p. 1522.] She also voted against paying providers for care provided to eligible CHIP recipients in the event of a state error that led to a child being dropped or denied coverage. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 24, Record Vote 280, House Journal, p. 1523.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Infant Children. Dawnna Dukes voted to require infant children to be subjected to a waiting period for CHIP qualification. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 26, Record Vote 282, House Journal, p. 1525]

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

    February 04, 2008

    Paul Moreno - Progressive Leadership for Texas

    (McBlogger's note : We're doing something new to promote TexRoots candidates. Today, It's Rep. Moreno)

    This election season, Tom Craddick and his allies are playing a skillful game of chess. Recognizing that he is unlikely to gain any votes for his continued Speakership in the general election--as Republicans are projected to fall like flies across the state--Craddick has, in effect moved all of his pawns on the chessboard into Democratic districts in an attempt to defeat progressive, anti-Craddick state representatives.

    One district where Tom Craddick has deployed his pawns is Texas House District 77, against none other than the Dean and Conscience of the Texas House--Rep. Paul Moreno (D-El Paso).

    Paul Moreno was born in El Paso. He served six years as a U.S. Marine in Korea, and was awarded the Silver Star and numerous Bronze Stars. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas Western College (now UT-El Paso), and a law degree from UT School of Law. He was first elected to the Texas House in 1967, and is among the longest serving members of that body, and the longest serving Latino elected official in America.

    Paul Moreno has a distinguished record of public service to his district, and the entire state. He has been endorsed as part of the Texas Progressive Alliance's TexRoots 08 slate, and needs our support.

    Some of the most important legislation of the past three decades bears Moreno's fingerprints, such as The Bilingual Education Act of 1983-84. Moreno, along with the Mexical American Legislative Caucus (of which he was the first Chair in 1975), helped push this legislation through the House. He fought to add farmworkers to the unemployment compensation legislation for the first time since 1913 in 1985. In 1987, he fought for a minimum wage bill for farm workers and helped end conservative attempts to alter House Bill 72 (comprehensive education reform).

    Too, in more than four decades in the House, Moreno has worked hard to provide El Paso's citizens with a quality public education system.

    Moreno was key to the passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program, and has fought for teacher pay raises and teacher retirement.

    Moreno has also brought billions of dollars in appropriations to the el Paso Community. The University of Texas-El Paso, Texas Tech Academic Health Science Center, and Franklin Mountain State Park are only a few institutions which have seen the benefit of Moreno's tenure.

    A member of the "Dirty Thirty" and the "Killer Ds," Paul Moreno is a true Progressive. He is a true champion for the poor, the working poor, the elderly, students, teachers, minorities, the handicapped, and more.

    Moreno is often called two things, "The Conscience of the Texas House" and "Kill Bill." He's called "Kill Bill" because, over the years, he has killed more anti-Progressive legislation than most any other members. He's called the "Conscience of the Texas House" because he is that not-so-little voice who speaks up when that body goes down the wrong path and does things that aren't in the best interest of ordinary Texans.

    Last session, following a hate-filled personal privilege speech by Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler), Rep. Moreno took the floor for a point of personal privilege. Many thought it would be the moment he announced his retirement. Instead, he renewed his commitment to the people of El Paso and the people of Texas:

    I heard that yesterday, my city, my beloved city of El Paso, was accused of having a bond issue of $240 million, or something like that, and that we were doing nothing but educating illegal aliens. When I heard that, that really hurt me. When you talk about the city of El Paso, educating illegal aliens, you're talking about my children.

    My family has been in El Paso for seven generations. Five of my brothers, and many of you have heard this, five of my brothers have served in the military. Five of my six brothers have served in the military. Two of my brothers-in-law, one of them was severely wounded in Europe. My other brother-in-law died as a result of agent orange, suffered in Vietnam. I have a cousin that was killed in Korea with me, died, from Denver. In El Paso, a very good friend of mine received the medal of honor. His name is Sandrocio Guillen, we call him El Mocho. And when they say that they're teaching illegal aliens, that hurts. That hurts very, very, very, very much. We should have the respect and the dignity that we as humans should give other people.

    We had a good government here when Pete Laney was speaker. When he was elected the first election, I voted against him. I voted against Pete Laney because I thought he wasn't liberal enough, and I voted against him, and I think I'm the only one who's ever voted against Pete Laney. But most of you members that were here, during the Pete Laney era remember the appropriations bill that we had. Pete Laney placed me in the appropriations committee and we were able to bring an appropriations bill to this house. I opened up the debate in favor of the appropriations bill, thanks to my good friend Representative Pitts. He asked me to open the debate for the approval of the appropriations bill. We passed that appropriations bill without one dissent. At that time I said, "Paul, we're doing a good job." This is Texas, this is finally America, this is finally what you've been looking for—then something happened.

    Leadership changed, and please, please, Mr. Speaker, don't take anything personal, but you have your deep political beliefs, and so does your group, and I noticed a lot of changes that happened. And when those changes happened, we started going down. Tonight I was determined to make a decision, and none of my friends changed my opinion. This country, this state, is in a worse position for Mexican Americans than it was when I first got elected. When I first got elected, there were eight of us, eight Mexican Americans. Yes, we knew—we knew our stand, we knew where we belonged. But there was respect. Now, the respect, in my opinion, has somewhat diminished. And in those days, the Mexican Americans were low in numbers, but we were still satisfied because we knew that there were very little of us and we were glad we were getting at least a little bit of it. Now things are changing.


    If you have any doubt that Paul Moreno deserves re-election to the House, you should read his personal privilege speech.

    Paul Moreno is a true progressive champion. He deserves our support, which is why he is endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance. Please join us in supporting Rep. Moreno by making your contribution to his campaign today, via the TPA's Act Blue page for TexRoots.

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

    Granger has an opponent

    Kay Granger (R - Really Bad Margaritas) has a challenger according to Vince over at Cap Annex.

    Tracey Smith (D-Fort Worth), a former TV and newspaper report in the DF/W Metroplex has stepped up to challenge former Fort Worth Mayor Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) in her bid for another term as the district’s Congresswoman.

    Mr. Smith, we hope the people of Fort Worth send you Congress. It'll be a huge improvement over Kay and her hair.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 01, 2008

    Tolls : Polls are fun!

    As part of TURF's successful lawsuit against TXDOT, a number of embarrassing documents have been recovered. Among them is a poll conducted last year regarding the TTC. It's a push poll, meant to 'educate' respondents about all the amazing benefits of the TTC and then ask them how they fell about it.

    It's a bit like calling someone, saying that President Bush is going to give them $1,000 and asking how they feel about President Bush. I'd bet $100 that his approval would be in the mid to high 50s, instead of the 20's where he currently sits.

    The best part about it... TXDOT PAID FOR IT WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS! The second best part, the poll is tainted and couldn't be used anyway.

    1) The sample is HEAVILY Anglo
    2) The sample was obviously concentrated into three geographic areas, Dallas Metro, Houston Metro and possibly Austin Metro.
    3) Privatization is not mentioned. Not one single time.
    4) Tolling is mentioned only in the abstract.
    5) There's no mention of the fact that TXDOT will NOT be able to make major improvements to 35 due to the special provisions of the TTC privatization agreement.
    6) There's nothing in the poll regarding TXDOT being forced by CintraZachry/Bluebonnet to drop speed limits on 35 to make the TTC more attractive.
    7) There's no mention of the fact that should the traffic figures fail to materialize, the taxpayers will be responsible for paying off the bonds... and the profits of CintraZachry/Bluebonnet
    8) The sample was not representative of average Texans in terms of party ID, income or education

    Of those that actually knew something about TTC35 or TTC69, 18% were likely to support which contrasts nicely to the 28% that were less likely. The remaining people wanted to know what was going on with Britney and K-Fed who were in a custody battle at the time.

    One thing is for sure, the more Texans find out about the TTC and the alternatives to it, the less they like the TTC. This was the Governors best shot to put perfume on this pig and it failed.

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

    January 28, 2008

    FISA SHOWDOWN ALERT

    The FISA bill is headed for a cloture vote in about 40 minutes in the Senate. Greenwald has a story up about it and FDL is going to be liveblogging it. We won't because we have day jobs. However, we will be making calls to Senators about it from our personal phones. You should as well!

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

    January 26, 2008

    AFL-CIO endorses Grant

    Matt at BOR has the post up...very good news for Dan!

    In other Grant related news, it appears that Dan did have a role in the Kerry campaign in 2004. Which puts a lie to the rumors circulating around to the contrary.

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

    January 25, 2008

    Loving the news Edwards video

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Telecom immunity again?

    That's right, kids! Much like that horrible casserole your mother LOVED making as a child, telecom immunity is back. This time, the shriveled little troll Harry Reid has joined with Cracker McConnell to shove this through...Greenwald has the text of their convo on the floor yesterday...

    We have to finish FISA this week. Everyone should be aware of that point. We have to finish it this week. I know there are important trips people want to take. We have the very important economic conference in Davos that Democrats and Republicans alike would like to go to.

    I say, unless we finish the bill Thursday -- and we will not be able to get to it until tomorrow night-- unless we finish the bill on Thursday, then we are going to have to continue working this week until we finish this bill. We have to finish this bill. It is not fair to the House to jam them so that they have 1 day to act on this legislation.

    If we finish it this week, I have spoken to the Speaker today and they will work to complete this matter next week. It would be to everyone's advantage if we had more time to do this.

    I respect what the Republican leader has said, but everyone here should understand all weekend activities have to be put on hold until we finish this bill. Now, it is possible we could finish it fairly quickly. We are going to work from the Intelligence bill, and if amendments are offered that people don't like, I would suggest they move to table those amendments. Because if people think they are going to talk this to death, we are going to be in here all night. This is not something we are going to have a silent filibuster on. If someone wants to filibuster this bill, they are going to do it in the openness of the Senate.

    No, no... that wasn't McConnell. That was OUR Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Makes you feel good to have a Democrat in the Senate who's working so hard to make the President's life easy. Who else but Harry Reid would take

  • Absolving telecom companies for their illegal actions

  • Extending Presidential power to dramatic new highs

  • Creating, down the road, one hell of a Constitutional quagmire
  • so seriously?

    We at McBlogger would like to take a moment to thank Senators Dodd, Feingold and Kennedy for standing up to the little old man from Nevada.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Senator Watson talks to YOU

    Note from McBlogger: State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) was kind enough to write a guest blog for the Texas Progressive Alliance as we continue to push our TexRoots 2008 Slate of Candidates. Texas Progressive Alliance Blogs are publishing this guest blog today. We have a special place in our heart for this piece... click here to find out why. While we do get irritated with our Senator from Travis County from time to time, we do love him to death.

    A few months back, a certain progressive blogger took note of a piece I had published. This writer responded with an entry that was mostly complementary – I'd guess we agree about 90 percent of the time. But then, after hitting a point I thought was pretty inarguable, the writer called me a "MOTO."

    Most of you who read Texas' great progressive blogs probably know what a "MOTO" is. I, on the other hand, had to turn to my 18-year-old son (and pop culture crutch) Preston, who steered me to something called urbandictionary.com. There, I finally learned the truth:

    I am, it seems, a "Master Of The Obvious".

    It was kind of a frustrating revelation, partly because it's true. But if I've learned anything at all in my year as a State Senator, it's that what's so obvious to me (and to acronym-wielding bloggers) seems downright foreign to so many others – particularly the Republican leadership in the Texas Capitol.

    Here are just a few MOTO moments from the past few months:

    •It's wrong for a governor to use a 39 percent mandate to rig state agencies in ways that benefit corporate contributors, privatize public roads, and ignore the real health and educational needs of this state.

    •It's wrong for a lieutenant governor to wage a partisan campaign to ram through a voter screening bill that targets Hispanics and the elderly. It's worse to force a very ill senator set up a sick bed outside the Senate Chamber simply to block such a terrible, discriminatory proposal.

    •It's wrong for a speaker of the House to stand before a body of democratically elected officials who gave him his office, and then declare he has absolute power to ignore them.

    •It's wrong for Supreme Court justices to stretch campaign finance laws, or to ignore law and precedent in rulings that protect political contributors, or to take advantage of a politicized criminal justice process.

    •And it's very wrong for a high court judge to slam shut the doors of justice as early as possible, even when it means sending a man to his death.

    All pretty obvious, right? Well, not to the people who've run this state for all these years. And that's where we all have work to do.

    We are right. We are anxious to do great things for Texas, to restore opportunity, and to create reasons to hope for a better future.

    But we can't just know that. We can't just talk to ourselves.

    We can't assume it's obvious.

    We must make it apparent to anyone who cares about this state and where it's headed, and we must remind them of the most obvious statement of all: Texans cannot trust the Republican leadership.

    I'm talking about the political bosses, bullies, ideologues and figure heads that control the agenda, bury the opposition, and block any bill that runs counter to their dogma.

    I'm talking about the folks who are more interested in taking irresponsible pledges than in solving Texas' challenges, who will deny the most verifiable fact if it doesn't conform to their ideology, and who will embrace every budget trick before they level with Texans about what people are worth to them.

    I'm talking about the select group that's denied children health care at any cost, that's allowed our colleges and universities to become overcrowded, underfunded and inadequate, that's watched our highways deteriorate while forcing Texans to choose between crushing traffic and private toll roads, and that's denied and deferred environmental problems, leaving our children to fix them.

    Here's what's most obvious: only the Democratic Party will bring about the positive changes that Texans need and demand.

    That means we have to do all we can this year -- we must make it obvious -- that the people of Texas must challenge the so-called absolute power of the Republican leadership. Once we make MOTOs out of everyone, Texas will elect strong Democrats in 2008.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 24, 2008

    Juan Escobar has an opponent with CradDICK connections

    Well, it would appear that Juan Escobar's opponent is being helped by none other than Joe Garcia, the Republican Leininger lobbyist who is actively supporting Mindy Montford in the Democratic Primary. I met Mindy last night (Burberry shirt, Mindy) at UDems and honestly found her to be an intelligent person who would make a great DA. Anywhere BUT Travis County.

    The unique nature of the Travis County DA's office makes this an important post in statewide politics. I'm sure there's no quid pro quo between her and her R supporters. However, politics is all about perception and the perception is damn hard to shake. Especially when you have a major supporter and contributor pushing hard to take out a good member of the Democratic Caucus in the House.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 21, 2008

    Happy MLK Day 2008, Y'all!

    First off, for all of you who don't have to work, I'm really envious. Working for an evil, capitalist bank is not so much fun on holidays. When you have to work. Phillip Martin over at BOR has a video up of Dr. King's 'I have a dream...' speech. It's well worth watching if for no other reason than just to see how far we've come... and how far we have to go.

    On a sad note, DON'T use the day we set aside to remember Dr. King as a damn fundraising effort. It's tacky as hell. Nice job, Team Spears. One last thing, as for 'special agenda's', we all know what you're talking about. Oh, and don't worry about the mess, we're sending someone new to clean it up.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    January 20, 2008

    Maldonado wins the fundraising race

    Providing further proof that HD 52 is about to turn bright blue, Diana Maldonado's fundraising is dramatically outpacing that of her potential Republican opponents. In fact, she's raised more than twice as much as her Republican opponents. Combined.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 18, 2008

    Transportation funding in the spotlight...

    Raising the gax tax is the answer to the transportation funding crisis? Color me surprised...From the DMN

    A federal commission created by Congress called for big increases to the federal gas tax on Tuesday as part of a sweeping overhaul of how America builds and pays for its highways, bridges and transit systems.

    The proposal for a 40-cent increase over five years touched off a stormy debate in Washington that is expected to last until at least 2009, when legislation governing scores of transportation programs expires and must be rewritten.

    Gee whiz! Who would have thought that increasing the gas tax was a better idea than tolling? Oh, that's right. We've been through this, haven't we?

    39% is VERY upset about all this, as is Empower Texas, which is little more than a poor man's Cato Institute. Here's 39%'s take...

    “Raising taxes is seldom the right answer and sending more of Texans’ money to Washington, D.C. only to have it earmarked, redistributed to other states or locked into outmoded bureaucratic programs will do very little if anything to relieve congestion on Texas roads,” said Gov. Perry.

    Uhm... Governor... for YEARS the Republicans from Texas in Congress let Texas get shortchanged on federal funding for roads. This is what is particularly sad about 39%. He's so stuck on his ideological bent and his need to funnel taxpayer money to his campaign contributors that even when a MOSTLY REPUBLICAN body thinks raising the gas tax is a good idea, he just can't accept it. Yeah, the group that issued the report was appointed by the Republican Congress in 2005 and was heavy with them...

    Congress in 2005 created the — deep breath — National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission to help it understand what to do about the increasing financial starvation of the nation’s transportation system.

    Congress in 2005, you’ll remember, was still controlled by Republicans, so the commission was hardly a nest of fuzzy-headed Demotaxers, right? Well, the commission put out its long-awaited study Tuesday. Its solution for the money shortage: raise more money. The board recommended basically a tripling of the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gas tax over the next five years, and suggested that states consider raising their gas taxes as well

    One of the members of the commission, one of the ones who agreed that raising the gas tax was the best idea, was Paul Weyrich. He's one of the founders of the Heritage Foundation and has much better conservative credentials than 39%. At least Weyrich doesn't believe in crony capitalism.

    Let's not forget that Perry's brill idea was to build massive tollways in the middle of nowhere, spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, rather that using our existing right of way. Nice work, 39%. Just a like a good Republican, you've managed to find the most expensive, least effective solution and you've done it in such a way that your cronies can benefit. Marvelous.

    We've been a little behind on this for the last couple of days, but we're catching up. Eye on Williamson, Sal Costello, TTC and Dig Deeper Texas all have great articles up about this.

    So now we have a Federal commission, chock full of conservative Republicans AND a bunch of Aggies at the TTI telling us raising the gas tax is the best way to fund transportation? What more do you want, 39%? For Jesus himself to come tell you that raising the damn tax is the right thing to do?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Endorsements, The Recap

    Wednesday night, most of Team McBlogger went to the megaendorsement meeting at the AFL-CIO here in Austin. YES! We're not only assholes with a blog, we're also voting members of many organizations that endorse candidates in primaries. We take our responsibilities very seriously. In fact, we needed to concentrate on our votes so we adjourned to a quieter place, The Cloak Room, to ponder the proper decisions.

    After much deliberation, we had a consensus. Biden for President. I kid... We all voted for Kucinich because we're a bunch of nuts. On the rest of the candidates... well, let's just say the endorsements that came out were mostly representative of our votes. Either we're really smart or everyone is just as irritated as us.

    Afterward, Sister Ruth and I made our way to Player's to hang out with the UDems who were being harassed by some crazy person to block walk for Dawnna Dukes. He was doing pretty well, which makes me wonder if maybe the coveted UDems endorsement will be split on HD 46. Before last night, I would have given it a 1 in 5 chance. Now, I'm giving it 50/50. It likely won't help given Thompson's sweep of the endorsements on Wednesday.

    For those of you who haven't met her, Rosemary Lehmberg rocks. SR and I had a conversation with her before the kids got to Player's and she's very funny. Yeah, yeah... she's knowledgeable and competent, but she's also funny. That goes a long way with those of us who prefer our absurd political bullshit with a side of laughter. All I'm saying is that some of you people take yourselves WAY too seriously. At the end of the day, you're candidates. Which makes you decidedly less special than the person who brings me my drinks. Now get out of their way.

    Finally, Dan Grant swept the clubs that endorsed in the CD10 race (along with an endorsement from Ted Ankrum). As did Rick Noriega. Maxey managed to nail a couple of the endorsements while Spears got SWAD which is understandable given that the founder of SWAD likes Glen about as much as I like lime in my scotch. Which is my nice way of saying get that damn fruit out of my drink.


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

    January 16, 2008

    Vicki stands by her man

    You gotta love it when people have the integrity to stand up and boldy declare they are FOR pay to play politics, greed and yes, a smattering of corruption. It shows gumption if nothing else, which is what Rep. Vicki Truitt is really all about. Well, that and rank stupidity...

    "I have not seen or experienced the injustice that you write about," Truitt said, referring to journalists who she said have unfairly portrayed Craddick as a tyrant.

    Rep. Truitt... a word of advice. You RUN from things that can hurt you. In case you didn't realize it, just the mere mention of CradDICK in a race has become enough to swing voters over to a Democrat. In a heavily Republican area. In fact, here in Texas he's become the equivalent of calling your opponent a librul. Texans hate CradDICK more than they hate libruls. Even the man's chief of staff is jumping ship.

    Granted, you may well be safe. But then again, Moffat may make this an issue and pull that seat right out from under you. Just sayin' is all.

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

    January 15, 2008

    Presidential Race...Is it just me?

    I'm watching the D debate in Nevada right now. They are flashing up the big news that Romney has won Michigan (who cares?) and McCain has come in second (again, big deal). Meanwhile, Tim Russert is talking and it occurs to me that he's kind of an intentional mongo. Am I just being too harsh or is he really just a dumbass in a cheap suit?

    If NBC is paying him more than $1000/wk, they are dramatically overpaying.

    Meanwhile, the polling in Nevada is basically 30/30/30. Is there anyone out there who still thinks we'll be all done on the 5th of February? But what of the Republicans, you ask (why ARE you asking that)?

    John McCain: 22 percent Rudy Giuliani: 18 percent Mike Huckabee: 16 percent Mitt Romney: 15 percent Fred Thompson: 11 percent Ron Paul: 6 percent Duncan Hunter: 1 percent

    You know, when the front runner is at 22%, maybe you Republicans should start thinking about laying down for a nap this year.

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

    A note about races in Travis County...

    For those of you who were unaware, the R's have decided to run people against Representatives Bolton and Howard. Here's Burka's CW take on things...

    Valinda Bolton (D) -- She won a Republican district in 06 but has serious opposition from Donna Keel, Terry's sister-in-law. A huge race.

    Donna Howard (D) -- Like Bolton, Howard wrested her district from Rs in 06. She faces Leander school board member Pam Waggoner. Also huge.

    Let's go with Bolton first. I know the Mayor and Captain Kroc will have more on this race. In the meantime, please keep in mind that Rep. Bolton beat a VERY well funded R in 2006 and the last name Keel means, after Terry's performance as Parliamentarian last May, corruption and part of the pay to play system. Everyone knows Keel will be supported by the Speaker and will no doubt follow his agenda which will make her about as popular in the district as someone trying to sell Amway in Lakeway. Let's also not forget that the massively unpopular Commissioner Daugherty is up for reelect this year and has a good D opponent. It'll be easier than ever for people in SW Travis County to vote for a solid D ticket.

    As for Howard, actually, Todd Baxter did a fabulous job turning this district into a Democratic one. Not to mention that Donna's done a great job for her constituents given her options. I frankly can't believe there is a Republican dumb enough to take this on but I'm obvs wrong. Look for Pam to get spanked just like Ben Bentzin.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 11, 2008

    Kerry endorses Obama...

    Long time readers know that I think Sen. John Kerry is a kind of a douche. When people talk about Democrats being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, they are talking about the horrendous 2004 campaign. That being said, I do respect the man's service and appreciate what he does for the country in the Senate.

    I also think his endorsement is largely meaningless, though I must admit I look forward to removing myself from his mailing list when the first one from the Obama campaign comes through. I may respect the man but I don't feel a need to vote for the person he endorses. If anything, it may have hardened my opposition. Which kinda makes this guy look stupid.

    Aside from those two practical components, Kerry's support for Obama could have powerful symbolic weight as well. One of the central questions still surrounding Obama is whether he is up to the job of president, whether he carries the requisite experience after just a few years in the Senate to serve as commander in chief. Kerry, a decorated military man and experienced hand in foreign affairs, can help to validate that Obama is indeed up to the challenge.

    "Rank and file Democrats view [Kerry] favorably and see him as a serious person," said one source close to the Massachusetts senator. "If he says Obama is 'ready' it will reassure many who were unsure."

    No, it will make us think of the miserable 2004 campaign.

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

    January 10, 2008

    Jay Coxlie is yo mama

    (Word to the wise... be careful with the Cornyn links... not all of them go where you think they go)

    Apparently, someone tried to social engineer a schedule out of Sen. Cornyn's office and told them they were with McBlogger. Not so much, but to be honest I would have called to get a copy of it if someone had just asked. I'm as curious as the next guy about who Cornyn is sucking off up to for political donations.

    Yes, Senator Cornyn, we know fundraising has been tough. CradDICK is having the same problem. Really sorry about all that. It kills us. Really. Now, about that schedule, you can email that bad boy to mcblogger@mcblogger.com.

    All this makes me wonder if Selby's out of the loop on the R side or just not interested in doing stories that aren't fed to him. On a plate with a side of pork fat. The really interesting thing is that Sen. Cornyn's fundraising has been pretty lousy. We'll see it on paper soon enough. Maybe Gardner's waiting for that. He sure isn't interested in getting a URL right.

    It's WWW.MCBLOGGER.COM

    Lucky for Gardner that my server autocreates subdomains on the fly. Like this...

    www.senatorjohncornyn.mcblogger.com

    www.wgardnerselby.mcblogger.com

    www.tomcraddick.mcblogger.com

    Cool, no? Personally. I thought the whole thing was kind of a joke, much like Junior John's tenure in office. The sad thing is how the Cornyn people handled it... the boring nerds called Gardner. Had it been me, I would have sent a fake schedule. That would have been funny. Instead, the not-so-clever folks at Senator Cornyn's office decided to report it to Selby. Morons.

    ANYWAY, in other Cornyn related news, our Senator has agreed to debate that whacko Kilgore. Of course, they've yet to set a date and I'd be willing to bet $100 that one just won't come up prior to the primary. Because he'll have to be in Washington or something. Though, I have to admit... I'd love to see them out pander each other on their 'Christian' values. Especially since both of them are about as Christian as the Romans who crucified Jesus.

    Finally, we're going to have another episode of Cornyn The Author. In this edition, our very earnest but truly unfortunate Senator is talking about pecans which we're thinking he pronounces Pea-CANS. Because he's damn near a yankee (you did catch that he uses a 28 gauge shotgun, right?) and can't pronounce the word correctly anymore.

    Declared “the only tree nuts native to North America,” pecans appear early in the recorded history of Texas. Soon after landing on the Texas coast in 1528, explorer Cabeza de Vaca met the Mariame Indians—Native Americans who came to the lower Guadalupe River each fall “when the ripe nuts began to drop like manna,” according to historian Paul Schneider.

    Newly arriving Texas pioneers would later discover pecans to be a steadfast friend, creating enjoyment when other food was scarce.

    Early Texas publisher William A. Trenckmann remembered a childhood holiday season during the Civil War when the family Christmas tree was a “young wild peach tree.” Its ornaments included nuts and Christmas cookies created despite wartime shortages of wheat flour. “The baking was accomplished with corn meal and honey,” and “scalded peach kernels and shelled pecans were used for decorations.”

    The rest of the thing rambles on for a while about pecans in Texas history. Something about Governor Hogg wanting one at the head of his grave. Texas grows a lot of pecans (along with Georgia). Pecans are good for you (master of the obvious, this guy). Pecans are an important part of our history.

    See, I got that out in one paragraph. It took Senator John Cornyn paragraph after mind numbingly bad paragraph. My condensed version is way better. You'll die of boredom before you finish reading his tome.


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

    January 09, 2008

    Dodd : Two issues, one right and one wrong

    Sen. Dodd has two items coming up this year, one is a reform of the horrendous 2005 Bankruptcy Act that made it extremely easy for lenders to foreclose on the homes of ordinary people, not to mention the millions with medical collections who would be forced to give up their homes should they be forced to file bankruptcy.

    Let me put it this way... when a banker tells you that a bill which makes it hard for a person to declare bankruptcy is bad, then it's pretty damn bad. This was a Republican kiss to the credit card companies and collection agencies, two groups that aren't exactly beloved in the US (from McClatchy via Somervell County Salon)

    In 2005, Congress passed a new law aimed at making it harder for people to file for bankruptcy and walk away from their debts.

    With the tougher requirements, the number of bankruptcies declined in 2006 but surged by nearly 40 percent in 2007, according to statistics released Thursday. And experts predict the numbers will go higher this year.

    The issue is gaining plenty of attention on Capitol Hill, where leading Democrats are proposing to roll back the landmark bankruptcy law. As the number of foreclosures rise, backers of an overhaul say it's needed to prevent more Americans from losing their homes.

    "You ought to never lose your home in a bankruptcy proceeding," Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd said during a presidential debate in Iowa last month.

    Here's a little illustration. Let's say you're married and your spouse catches something bad, but curable. They go in for very expensive treatment and are cured. Of course, you're left with massive medical bills, even if you have insurance. Normally, you'd declare bankruptcy if you're unable to work out a payment plan. Under the Republican law, the bankruptcy judge has very little leeway and can force you to liquidate your assets, including your home. See how much fun this is? Maybe you decide not to file BK but instead just ignore the bills. The collection company then decides to take you to court and they get a lien against your home, effectively giving them ownership. Needless to say, Dodd reworking this legislation is nothing but a good thing.

    Unfortunately, we can't say the same for his version of the Home Ownership Protection and Preservation Act styled as S.2452. This legislation will, in effect, remove the majority of the originators from the market. Those that remain will either work for mega banks like BofA, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank OR they'll fold into mortgage banking companies. The fun part will be that what is transparent today, Yield Spread Premium, will be hidden forever since banks don't have to disclose what they make. This will, of course, make it more expensive for consumers AND remove capacity from the market at the precise time the market needs it. Click the link and see what I wrote about this mistake of a bill back in November. What I said then stands today and this thing, in it's current form, should be put in a drawer and forgotten.

    Trust me, there are a few bad brokers and they are slowly but surely being removed from the marketplace. This bill won't accomplish the goal of cleaning up the origination market. All it will do is hide more from the consumer and increase their costs to buy a home. For those of you who think I'm self dealing (I'm a wholesale banker) more than half of my clients are banks. I'll just shift the rest over so this bill will have no impact on my business. It will be shitty deal for consumers.

    And who's pushing this? Why none other than Wells Fargo, Bank of America and the other large banks who are tired of competing against the Third Party Originator (broker) market. Many of these banks have recently terminated their wholesale lending divisions in an effort to squeeze brokers and force consumers to their retail divisions. Further, they've been lobbying through community reinvestment groups for the elimination of brokers en masse. And the Democrats are actually falling for it.

    Take a second, contact Senator Dodd today and let him know we love the Bankruptcy reform but hate the mortgage reform.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 08, 2008

    A tale of two Candidates

    Ratcliffe has some video up of the Democratic event in Sun City - Georgetown last week. It features two of the Democratic candidate, Ray McMurrey and Rep. Rick Noriega. Go watch them as see what you think about them. My opinion has still not changed especially since McMurrey found it perfectly OK to waste some of the time he should be using to talk about himself to discuss 'party politics' and allude to Rick being the preferred candidate of the party leadership.

    "This is not about who deserves the seat. This is not about who is connected to the party. This is not about the party bosses picking the next senator," McMurrey said.

    William and Ray, how many times do you think I'll have to goddamn explain this before you pull your heads out of your goddamn asses and FUCKING LISTEN? The party leadership tried to get Rick out of the race when Watts was still in it. Myself and many others begged Rick to run and he finally made the decision even though some of the same leaders you deride were telling him not to run. Do you get it? There is no massive conspiracy... the netroots and the grassroots, the people for whom you claim to speak, asked REPRESENTATIVE RICK NORIEGA to run.

    As for not giving you a chance, when did you announce your exploratory committee, Ray? In June? No, I would have remembered that. It was after Watts dropped out, wasn't it? If you were really serious about running, you need to start gathering support about 10 months out from the primary. So, what you're in effect asking for is a 'do-over' based on your lack of knowledge and skill? Not so much.

    On the topic of issues, as we've discussed before, an issues page does not a candidate make. I would also say that you're probably closer on issues than you think. However, none of that will matter as you'll no doubt argue even the smallest difference.

    Not to mention being completely irrational when it comes to troop withdrawal from Iraq. You and Richardson live in this fantasy world where no one will take potshots at the troops as they leave. Things have to gradual and they will take time.

    What really pisses you off, Ray (or should) is that we all know more about the issues than you. And we're supporting another candidate.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    New Edwards Ad

    Via BlueBloggin'

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

    January 07, 2008

    Polling in HD46

    Wednesday night I got a call from one of my close friends in HD46 who asked me if I knew who was running a push poll in the district. We didn't get to talk long because I was with some great people having drinks, however, we talked again Saturday and he told me it wasn't a push poll.

    We're speculating it was Dawnna trying to find out about her negatives. How deeply has information penetrated regarding the fact that most of her funding comes from Republicans like HillCo, for example. And how many people in the district know about her support of CradDICK.

    It did not ask if people knew CradDICK was a Republican. It also didn't ask if they knew about her lack of support for fully funding CHIP. It also didn't ask how folks felt about tolling their freeways.

    Wonder when that call is coming?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 06, 2008

    Austinite Of The Year, McBlogger style

    The other day, as I was stalking yet another foreigner who cut me off on MoPac, I realized there had to be a better way. I also started thinking about, aside from traffic, how blessed I am to live in Austin. One of the things that makes this city so amazing are the wonderful people we've elected to represent us. From the Bolton to Strama, there is some real talent and, dare I say it, genuine goodness to the people we've elected.

    Naturally, I thought of an award post. I talked to The Mayor about and he was less than enthusiastic. I mentioned that I wanted it to be Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and he perked up a bit. Then he read my original post which was all about the toll road vote and demanded (yes! DEMANDED) that I at least mention all the other good stuff Rep. Rodriguez has done. Like going to Ardmore, OK when the Democrats in the House broke quorum in 2003 in an effort to stop redistricting. He, and the others, exiled themselves to Oklahoma... the Cleveland of states... in an effort to stop the unprecedented mid-decade redistricting that gave the Republicans control of the Congressional delegation from Texas.

    Over the years, he's also worked hard to keep CHIP fully funded (unlike others we could mention), create real school finance reform, stop the insidious voter ID plans of that fatass Linda Harper-Brown and, in general, stymie all the bad policy coming from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

    That aside, what happened in October was something altogether different. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in and to serve the citizens you represent. Never was that clearer to me than in October during CAMPO's vote on the Phase Two Toll Roads. There were a bunch of people who caved in to the Chamber (a politically devastating move) and there were a few who stood up and said 'Not to so much with this bullshit'.

    One of them was Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.

    We know for a fact Rep. Rodriguez was receiving a lot of outside pressure. Honestly, he could have voted for it and not hurt his chances at re-election. Yet he did what was right, something very uncommon in our coldly calculating politicians. As more and more of us begin paying attention and shining a light on things, this will hopefully become more common. Either that or we'll replace more people in elected office.

    For standing up for the people of Austin, we say thank you to our Austinite of the Year, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    January 04, 2008

    Michael Skelly v. A Douche Named Culberson

    There's a dumbass named John Culberson in Congress right now who is embarrassing himself and his fellow Texans. It's because he's stupid and has, in the words of Michael Skelly, the man who has filed to run against him, "...Never Met A Problem He Couldn't Make Worse".

    You thought I was just being tacky when I called him a dumbass, didn't you? Those of you in Houston metro know what I'm talking about. He's fucked up or attempted to fuck up light rail and mass transit in Houston more times than Britney's been pregnant. Is it any wonder so many in Houston hate him?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 03, 2008

    Economic populism and just how off base the pundits are

    David Sirota has a brill piece up at HuffPo regarding hor freaked out the pundits in DC are about Edwards and Huckabee...

    Klein's silliness is eclipsed only by Stu Rothenberg - who reliably hands us the old adage that any candidates challenging the status quo will destroy America. Here's his take today:
    "[John Edwards] is also portraying himself as fighting for the middle class and able to appeal to swing voters and even Republicans in a general election...His approach to problems is likely to frighten many voters, including most middle class Americans and virtually all Republicans...Given the North Carolina Democrat's rhetoric and agenda, an Edwards Presidency would likely rip the nation apart - even further apart than Bush has torn it."

    Rothenberg's entire career is predicated on his supposed ability to analyze polling data - which is stunning in juxtaposition to his statements today. After all, polls show Edwards performing the best of any Democrat against any Republican presidential candidate. More importantly, polls also show the vast majority of the country - including Republicans - behind his populist economic positions.

    For instance, Edwards has staked his candidacy on guaranteeing health care to every American and on raising the minimum wage - two positions the majority of Americans - and a huge chunk of Republicans - strong support. As I noted in a 2005 Washington Post article, a 2005 public opinion survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center showed that about half the GOP's core voters support the "government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes" and an astounding three-quarters support an increase in the minimum wage. Pew recently updated these numbers to show that 4 in 10 Republican voters nationally "favor universal health coverage, even if it means higher taxes."

    Trade? Same thing. Edwards has been demanding an end to Washington's lobbyist-written, job-killing trade agenda - a demand that the majority of Americans (and Republicans) support. The Wall Street Journal was only the most recent publication to note this fact. "By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy," the Journal noted, adding that voters in both parties want our trade policies reformed.

    Knowing these number, it is difficult to understand how a professional poll-watcher like Rothenberg could say that an economic populist platform "is likely to frighten many voters, including most middle class Americans and virtually all Republicans." It is even more difficult to understand when you consider that the leading Republican candidate right now is Mike Huckabee - a guy being grossly outspent but who is nonetheless surging among Republican voters on the strength of his economic populist themes. In short, all of the actual facts point to exactly the opposite of Rothenberg's conclusions: That power-challenging economic populism is exciting most voters, including most middle class Americans and many Republicans.

    The reality is that people are ANGRY and that's really what has the chattering class upset. It's not that they can't read the mood of the country, it's that they refuse to see it because they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. There's only one problem... sooner or later things have to change. If they'd changed in 2005 then we'd be talking about something entirely different. It didn't and the longer you drag on the shift back to economic rationality and a fair trade environment, the more massively dislocating the shift will become.

    In other words, if you want to avoid a revolution, you want Edwards (for the D's) and, God help us, Huckabee (for the R's).

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 02, 2008

    Edwards coming on strong...

    The Iowa Caucus is manana and Edwards looks poised to repeat his strong 2004 performance. Recently, Ralph Nader announced his endorsement of Edwards which is, IMHO, kind of a double edged sword since many progressives still blame him for the 2000 debacle that gave us el Presidente Arbusto. I guess it will be telling to see how many progessives, greens and liberals heed Nader's call... or follow Denny The Fucktard to Obama.

    The next endorsement is a little close to home. The Agonist, one of the major US blogs, has endorsed Edwards. The great part are the comments, specifically the one regarding what a 'hard worker' Obama is. Some of you may remember his questioning of Petraeus. That's a good example of why I think Obama is all hat and no cattle.

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

    December 30, 2007

    Saving al-Maliki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 28, 2007

    Looks like hard work to me...

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

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

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

    Help Maldonado

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

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

    December 27, 2007

    A joke welcomes another joke to the primary

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 21, 2007

    Gerry gets a D opponent

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

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

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

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

    Dodd for Majority Leader?

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

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

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

    December 20, 2007

    Sign Wexler's impeachment petition

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

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

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

    Dale Henry rolls ahead!

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

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

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

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

    Noriega update

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

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

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

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

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

    December 19, 2007

    Edwards leads in Iowa (first and second choice)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 18, 2007

    Welcome another newly elected Democratic State Rep

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

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

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

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

    Dodd wins but we need to get him some help!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Go help Rick!

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

    December 17, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bullshit.

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

    On impeaching Cheney

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

    A CASE FOR HEARINGS

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    Krugman takes Obama down a notch

    Exactly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So what happens if Mr. Obama is the nominee?

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

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

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

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

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

    December 14, 2007

    Texans of the Year - House Democratic Leadership

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


    07TOY


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

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

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

    State Rep. Jim Dunnam

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

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

    State Rep. Garnet Coleman

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

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

    State Rep. Pete Gallego

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

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

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

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

    Telecom Immunity again?!

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

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

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

    December 13, 2007

    Slots of Fun

    Priceless-DDthumb.jpg

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

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

    /sarcasm


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

    December 11, 2007

    A very special Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 07, 2007

    Sadun endorses Grant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 06, 2007

    Dawnna draws a challenger... finally

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

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

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

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

    Don't worry, it'll happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Speaking of Christmas...

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

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

    The rest of it pisses me off.

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

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

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

    December 05, 2007

    Go help Maldonado!

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

    Please Join

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


    in supporting


    Diana Maldonado


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

    Wednesday, December 5, 5 - 8 PM

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

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

    For information: 637-7268

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

    Let the filing begin!

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

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

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

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

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

    November 26, 2007

    Lott to retire

    Now, both of Mississippi's Senate seats are in play...

    Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi plans to resign from Congress by the end of the year, a person close to Lott said.

    The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Lott, 66, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, had stayed in office to help his state recover from Hurricane Katrina and now believes the work has progressed enough that he can leave office. Lott won a fourth term last year with 64 percent of the vote.

    Lott scheduled two news conferences in his home state today to discuss his plans.

    ``This is no time for me or any of us to think about quitting,'' Lott said in January 2006. ``I want you to know that as long as Mississippi is hurting and needs help, I'll be there for this state.''

    The lawmaker had fed speculation that he might retire by telling a local newspaper in 2005 that he needed ``a little more income'' after the hurricane destroyed his home in Pascagoula.

    Lott sued his insurer, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., to force it to pay for rebuilding after the company said Lott's policy didn't cover the damages. Lott in 2005 told the Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald that the waterfront home was his ``nest egg.''

    Yes, yes... I know this is Mississippi and the likelihood of those morons electing a Democrat is pretty low. Still, it would be nice if these dumb hicks would pull head out of ass and realize that they're getting screwed by the people they are electing.

    Oh, and that last bit about Lott suing State Farm is quite the funny, no? After voting to cut insurance companies slack, you get caught in their trap. Nice.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 24, 2007

    Way to miss the point, Cal...

    Cal Thomas seems to think that the President has pulled off some kind of miracle in Iraq. At least, he seems to in his column this week talking about how good the news is from Iraq and how it's all great for the GOP.

    What Cal doesn't remember is that the Democrats and the American people FORCED the President to change strategy to something that might finally make things better. They also forced the Iraqi government to finally step up to the plate and get in gear. If Democrats hadn't started holding their ground on troop withdrawal in the face of patriotism-baiting attacks from the White House and Republicans, the Iraqi's would have no need to do anything other than occasionally telling Bush not to worry and asking for still more money.

    Of course, the reality of the situation in Iraq is far easier to understand when you actually look at Iraq for what it's been, not what Cal and Bush want it to be. We won the initial invasion, then screwed up the pacification (we're still screwing that up). In the meantime, a civil war started which our President refused to acknowledge and decided to keep our troops in the middle of. That war is beginning to wind down since in many cases, one side or another has been victorious. Just look at Anbar... fighting has stopped there because one side killed the other. That's the kind of success Cal calls a homerun. Only problem is, we didn't need to be there for it.

    Let's not even talk about the re-Baathification of the government in which we effectively bought off the remaining members of Saddam's regime with posts in the new government. Let's never forget that it was Bush's appointee Bremer who famously de-Baathified the Iraqi government and created the initial insurgency, which would later become what Bush and others have called al Qaida in Iraq. Bush, time and time again, creates his own problems while folks like Cal Thomas cheer lead from the pages of papers across the country.

    Nah, the reality here at home is that people like Cal have been so wrong, so many times, that they just can't sit still when it appears that things are going their way, even though their designs had absolutely nothing to do with it. In all honesty, we could have had this result in late 2004. Instead we had 3 wasted years of our soldier's lives and our country's treasure.

    As for the notion that the Democrats are all about defeat, WE HAVEN'T BEEN DEFEATED. We never were. Our troops toppled the dictator we were told was soon to have WMD's capable of reaching the US. Every thing since has been a waste of our time.

    That's what Democrats are sick of, Cal. Wasting lives, money and time on a situation which the locals have to make better for themselves. They appear to finally be doing that, if for no other reason than that the majority of people in this country finally demanded a clock be put on this thing.

    And we'll not forget your part in all this, Cal. Don't ask us to take you seriously since it's frankly just not possible for us to suffer fools gladly. Especially not those dumb enough to fooled by a charlatan of a leader who happens to be our President.

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

    November 20, 2007

    Why we can't impeach...

    I was told recently by an attorney I trust that impeachment and removal from office absolves a President for crimes committed. I can't think of a better reason to wait until January 22, 2009 to bring Bush and his minions to justice.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    CD 10 : Fundraising going strong

    Both Dan Grant and Larry Doherty had great fundraising reports for the 3rd quarter. Doherty announced $53,765.00
    and Grant announced $45,247.00. Cash on hand, less debt, left both in a VERY good position relative to the incumbent, Mike McCaul (R - Clear Channel) who enters Q4 in the red by $45,982.98. Both Democrats show more than $70,000 in the black with Grant ahead of Doherty by a little over $1,000.

    Yeah, yeah... I know I'm a little behind. However, I did notice that some endorsements are out. Radnofsky gave her coveted endorsement to Doherty. You may recall that Hank Gilbert endorsed Grant in September.

    Obvs, you know which one I think is more important.


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

    November 17, 2007

    Speaking of polls

    New numbers for Texas are in and they make for some interesting reading over on BOR. The Clinton juggernaut continues its relentless progress, with Hillary for the first time winning the support of over half---51%---of voters with a history of participating in the Democratic primary. The Barack boomlet seems to be history, with Obama trailing badly at 17 percent. And John Edwards' eleven percent just barely lets him hang on to third place, beating Bill Richardson by less than the margin of error.

    One of the fascinating things about this is that Edwards, in spite of his slide toward the political event horizon is the preferred candidate of many state Democratic activists as well of much of the self-styled progressive blogosphere. How is it that our community of "opinion leaders" is so out of touch with our actual base? A couple of explanations come up frequently. "People really aren't paying attention, they're still undecided," and "The average person really isn't very well-informed." Well, since March the Undecideds have shrunk from twenty percent to eight today, so it sure looks like someone has been paying attention and making decisions. Most of those choices have accrued to Hillary's column. And the votes of the Great Uninformed count just as much as those of the smugocracy with all their superior knowledge.

    Of course, it's still November. No real votes have been cast, and the public's perception may change once there are some real results to digest. But for the moment, if the Anybody But Hillary crowd is serious about stopping Clinton, maybe they should look around for a more credible candidate.

    Anyone know what Gene Kelly is up to these days?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 02:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Edwards tops in Iowa Independent rankings

    The news is starting to get better for Team Edwards...

    John Edwards — Edwards started about a year ago with the best organization in Iowa, and most of the foundation he built here is still in place. Although concerns persist that his sharpening rhetoric may be alienating a few of his earliest supporters, his solid performance at the Jefferson Jackson dinner, his endorsement from Caucus 4 Priorities (and the potential 10,000 caucus-goers it could bring him), and his ongoing commitment to retail politicking keep him in the top spot — for now.

    I did have one little rant I wanted to throw in here regarding public financing... why they hell are people beating up Edwards for using it, then bitching about how money is corrosive to politics? Why aren't we all beating the shit out of the rest of the field, R and D, to start taking public money?

    We all bitch about wanting change, but when it comes we act like it's the bastard at a family reunion.

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

    November 16, 2007

    Are you ready to rumble?

    The high point of last night's Democratic debate had to be the moment in Sudden Death Overtime when Dennis Kucinich smacked John Edwards on the head with a folding chair while referee Wolf Blitzer was distracted by Chris Dodd's recitation of a limerick about a young lass from Nantucket...

    Yeah, like McBlogger and most other Americans, I didn't actually watch the debate. I watched real television instead. Which was clearly running on fumes even before the writers' strike pulled the plug on new shows. Is it just me, or does 30 Rock, which was brilliant last year, stink like week-old fish this season? If Tina Fey had a Hungarian accent, it would be indistinguishable from Green Acres.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Democratic Presidential Debates

    No, I didn't watch them. Recaps are here and here. Enjoy.

    Can we be done with these now?

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    FISA and Telecom Immunity update

    Feinstein's still being a mad old cow about telecom immunity but the bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee today, without telecom immunity.

    Now the bill goes to the floor where amendments will be added, including one from Sen. Specter

    When the full Senate takes up the bill, Specter is likely to offer a compromise that would shield the companies from financial ruin but allow lawsuits to go forward by having the federal government stand in for the companies at trial.

    I appreciate what Sen. Specter is doing and it will help us finally find out just how far the Administration went, but these companies have to be held accountable. The only way it'll happen is if they bear the brunt of all this.

    The really great news is that the Democrats in the House passed their version of the bill tonight, without telecom immunity. And our own Lamar Smith, ever the douchebag, is still cheerleading to let them off the hook. Just so you know, one of his constituents is AT&T.

    "These companies deserve our thanks, not a flurry of harassing litigation," said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican.

    The bill, though not perfect, is still better than what we had which was that horrible bill that allowed the President to do whatever he wanted. It didn't stop the White House from saying something stupid...

    In a statement after the vote, the White House said, "This evening House Democrats passed legislation that would dangerously weaken our ability to protect the nation from foreign threats." It reiterated Bush's intention to veto the legislation in its current form.

    Oh, hell. Show me an instance where you've been able to do something with this intelligence, something good enough to over ride the impact on our Constitution, then maybe we can talk. Otherwise, shut up you ineffectual douche. In case you hadn't realized it, the Democrats in Congress are finally showing some spine... and they're working hard to protect us from you and your insane desires.

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

    November 14, 2007

    This. This is the right move

    Now this is some good news...

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, announced today that the Senate will not approve war funding this calender year unless it is a $50 billion measure that calls for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The supplemental proposal put forward by Reid - which will likely be introduced as legislation within a matter of weeks, maybe sooner - will mimic a version crafted by Democrats in the House of Representatives, an official with Reid's office confirmed. The cohesion between the chambers, said one Democratic aide, will help reinforce that the war is President Bush's responsibility, not Congress'.

    "This keeps the pressure on the president," the source said. "This is something the American people want done. This is representative democracy."

    Our insane President, Connecticut native George W. Bush, has already threatened to veto the bill, just like the one he vetoed Tuesday. Honestly, that's fine because it puts pressure on vulnerable Republicans and Democrats to cave in and support the override of the veto. It's a fight they, and he, can't win.

    Oh, sure, some will see this as replay of Congress vs. The President, 1996. Those folks are wrong. Bill Clinton wasn't insane. George Bush is and the American people know it. Republicans better be ready to cave fast on these votes or there will be hell to pay at the ballot box. Just in case you were wondering, his reason was 'fiscal responsiblity'. The budget sent by Congress was about 1.6% off what the President proposed, or about $10 billion. Bush, the fiscal conservative, increased DoD's NON-WAR budget by almost 10% and still wants almost $200 bn more for the war in Iraq.

    His next veto? He's saying it will be the tax bill that passed the House last week. It's the one that saves middle class taxpayers from the AMT and increases taxes on fund managers and Wall Street folks. That'll play well in the heartland.

    You Republicans really don't need to make things easy for us. We'll step on you like cockroaches, anyway.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 13, 2007

    You're dumb. Enjoy the NASCAR

    Chris Bell NAILS it...

    There's a great scene in "Night at the Museum" when Ben Stiller is trying to get the North and South to stop fighting the Civil War every night. He goes ahead and tells the North that they win and, as for the South, "You all get the Allman Brothers and NASCAR."

    While clearly intended for laughs, the South's legacy really might be rather dismal, if we don't change our attitude toward education.

    The Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation released a report last week that showed for the first time in more than 40 years, the majority of children in public schools in the South are poor. In Texas, 56 percent of the public school pupils come from low-income families.

    "The South has a crisis of the first order of magnitude," said Lynn Huntley, SEF president. "The region is in the throes of a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle where poverty and low incomes are begetting a lack of education and, in turn, the lack of education is perpetuating and creating poverty and inequality."

    Every study shows that kids from poorer families have a much more difficult time in school. According to the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores, lower income fourth- and eighth-graders lagged 20 to 30 points behind their peers on math and reading tests. High school graduation and college attendance is also greatly reduced among lower income individuals.

    An SEF coordinator says that whether the South has an educated population in the future depends on the educational process being improved for poor children. School officials are certainly aware of the problem and, all across the country, there is an effort to improve teaching methods for economically disadvantaged youngsters.

    However, much of the same attitude still exists that has dragged down education in the South for years. As a region, the South spends less per pupil on education than other parts of the country. Texas continually ranks in the bottom third in this category.

    Look at the disparity in the funds spent on education in the North and South. Then look at the disparity in academic performance between the two regions. Despite the obvious correlation, we still hear the same tired argument that it's not about the money. I just received a mailer from the group opposing the Houston Independent School District bond issue trying to make that same sad case.

    The unfortunate reality is that it is about the money. Whether you're talking about new programs aimed at helping economically disadvantaged kids, teacher salaries big enough to ensure quality individuals choosing and staying in the profession or comfortable surroundings in which to learn, there's a price tag attached. In the South, we've been trying to get by on the cheap for years, and the old adage that you get what you pay for has never been truer.

    If the South is going to flourish economically in the future, our public school product is going to have to improve. An uneducated work force simply won't cut it going forward and will take its toll on everyone.

    With the challenge becoming more difficult for public schools because of the low-income status of so many pupils, the time to invest and give them what they need is now.

    No offense to fans of the Allman Brothers and NASCAR, but I want the South to be remembered for much more in the future.

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

    November 11, 2007

    A massive week for Rick Noriega!

    While Cornyn was planning his fundraiser with Connecticut native George W. Bush, Rick Noriega was busy lining up endorsements from

    John Kerry

    VoteVets.org

    Democracy for America

    Gen. Wesley Clark

    VoteVets and Clark really caught my eye. It's important to note that military voters have, over the last two cycles, begun shifting to the Democrats. Good to see Noriega is continuing that trend.

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

    November 09, 2007

    House moves one step closer to contempt charges

    The White House is still stonewalling the House Judiciary Committee and it looks like the next step is contempt of Congress.

    The House Judiciary Committee sent a final warning to the White House yesterday to provide Democrats with access to disputed documents and testimony, pushing the House closer to a vote on contempt citations for two administration officials.

    In a letter to White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), gave the Bush administration until Friday to work out a deal on documents and testimony relating to last year's controversial removal of nine U.S. attorneys. If Fielding refuses the latest request, the House could vote as early as next week on the contempt charges, Democratic aides said.

    The committee also filed a formal, 102-page contempt report with the House clerk that lays out its request for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers and for documents controlled by White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten.

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

    November 07, 2007

    You're a imPeach, Congressman!

    You know, I wasn't all that thrilled with Steny Hoyer as Majority Leader in the House but I gotta tell you, after yesterday's performance he's earned some major respect. Blue Bloggin has the deets on Kucinich bringing his inane Cheney impeachment bill to the floor. There were enough votes to table, until the rat brain R's (led by the colossally inept Boehner) flipped and decided it was time for a debate on the issue. Johnny on the spot Hoyer immediately made a motion to send the bill to Conyer's Judiciary Committee and the House promptly voted to do so. Where there will be hearings. Endless hearings that will embarrass the Vice President.

    Here's the thing... Boehner wanted the debate.

    Republicans gleefully said they wanted the debate to show the public how many Democrats would actually support impeaching Cheney, which they consider a move supported only by a fringe element of anti-war activists.

    Uhm... 54% of this country is not an 'anti-war' fringe. It's the majority. The fringe are the people who don't want Cheney impeached. That being said, Hoyer, Pelosi and Conyers are right. There are better things for Congress to do. But once those things are done, they should move forward with impeachment.

    Not to be cynical, but politically it's a great move. We all intensely dislike Cheney. Even Gerald Ford thought he was a douche. People in Vermont would like to set him on fire. Needless to say, this isn't an issue a Republican looking to get re-elected should be looking to take on. Got that, Boehner?

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

    November 05, 2007

    Go Melissa! Two more years!

    Melissa Noriega, who won a spot on the Houston City Council earlier this year, is running for the full two year term and the election is tomorrow. So, if you're in Houston and haven't early voted, get thine ass in gear!

    Head over to Melissa's fabulous website if you have questions or need to know polling locations!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Calling Bullshit : Bush on Iran...

    Frank Rich's piece in the Times this AM is a nice starter for this, discussing the Democratic response to the ridiculous marketing campaign being advanced by The Nutmegger Cowboy to persuade Americans that Iran is a real danger.

    But what happens if President Bush does not bomb Iran? That is good news for the world, but potentially terrible news for the Democrats. If we do go to war in Iran, the election will indeed be a referendum on the results, which the Republican Party will own no matter whom it nominates for president. But if we don’t, the Democratic standard-bearer will have to take a clear stand on the defining issue of the race. As we saw once again at Tuesday night’s debate, the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, does not have one.

    The reason so many Democrats believe war with Iran is inevitable, of course, is that the administration is so flagrantly rerunning the sales campaign that gave us Iraq. The same old scare tactic — a Middle East Hitler plotting a nuclear holocaust — has been recycled with a fresh arsenal of hyped, loosey-goosey intelligence and outright falsehoods that are sometimes regurgitated without corroboration by the press.

    Currently, after YEARS of this relentless assault, a BARE majority of Americans support action against Iran specifically to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. How do you overcome that? By not accepting the premise. For one, the Iranians are YEARS away from nukes, if ever. Further, no one in the region wants them to have them. However, they're more than prepared to sit back and let Bush turn us, yet again, into fools for political gain.

    So what's a Democrat to do? Call the lie a lie and do it loudly. Challenge the liar for real, actionable intel. Theory isn't enough. Then explain that even if they were able to dig up something, Bush isn't the one to act because, much like his work in Afghanistan and Iraq, he'd just mess it up. Republicans can't be trusted with military force because they simply do not know how to apply it in an overwhelming way. This is where D's need to go on offense... and be BRUTAL.

    The numbers in Alabama, a solidly Republican state, are the most interesting... 59% say it should be the UN that takes this on. Slightly less think that Bush is handling things well. Two years ago, this number would have been 80+% in this W04 stronghold. Now, it's less than 60%. This presents a unique opportunity for Democrats to step up and beat the Republicans down so badly they'll never again think winning is everything.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 31, 2007

    Travis County Chair's race... and then there were two

    What was looking to be a three way race for Travis County Democratic Party Chair has evolved into a two way race with the withdrawal of local CPA and longtime Democratic activist, Rosie Mendoza

    That is why I wanted to be the first to inform you that after much deliberation, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate for Travis County Democratic Party Chair. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I wholeheartedly believe that it is the right decision for the future of our Party.

    In recent elections, there has not been a contested race for Chair of the TCDP but this year there are three declared candidates, including myself. The race has already caused divisions in a community that should be united as we move into the 2008 election year. Current developments put us on a course for a highly contested Democratic primary, plus a likely primary run-off in April. With that in mind, even conservative estimates show that we (the three candidates) will end up spending several hundred thousand dollars combined to win this campaign.

    I cannot, in good conscience, contribute to a campaign that risks fracturing us on the eve of the most important election in our lifetime nor can I justify spending tens-of-thousands of dollars from donors for an intra-Party campaign while some of our incredible incumbent Democrats like Representatives Donna Howard and Valinda Bolton need every available dollar to win re-election over well-funded Republican opponents next Fall.

    When families disagree (and we are family, bound by our shared values) we must consider the consequences of our actions. We must be prepared to place the success of our Party over the success of the individuals. Today, I am taking that individual first step, and I sincerely hope that the two remaining candidates - Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo - will consider our shared vision and values before continuing toward a costly race in March.

    The 2008 election presents enormous opportunities and challenges for Democrats across Texas. The next Chair must enter his/her term with the credibility to unify the Party, keep it on solid financial ground, clearly communicate our vision and values and substantially increase voter turnout in all the communities of our Democratic base. Then, and only then, Travis County can live up to its full potential as not just a blue oasis in a red state, but as a driving force behind statewide Democratic victories in 2008 and 2010!

    I gotta tell you, I met her and I loved her. She's extremely genuine and has a fantastic reputation. So why did I choose to support Andy? Mostly because I know him better and I love his giant novelty checks. I also have a lot of respect for Fidel 'Ace' Acevedo. The real deciding factor, at least for me (and I know many others)? Kirk Watson. Mendoza was seen by many as his preferred candidate. The only thing that could have been worse these days in Travis County Dem circles was support from CradDICK The Whiney himself. Kirk's got a ton of fence mending to do.

    I did want to take some time thought to thank (I know, I know...serious moments are lame) Andy, Fidel and Rosie for putting themselves out there for Travis County Democrats. Win, lose or withdraw, you're all amazing people.

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

    October 30, 2007

    Cleland v. Chambliss... the rematch?

    Saxby Chambliss (R-Chickenhawk) beat Sen Max Cleland in 2002 due mostly to a series of ads that questioned Cleland's patriotism and called him everything, including Osama bin Laden's best friend. Cleland lost both legs and one arm as a result of his service in Vietnam. Saxby didn't serve in the military. He didn't have to because of people like Max.

    Needless to say, Chambliss isn't someone you'd want to dine with. He'd probably stab you with a fork, blame the terrorists and then accuse you of cooperating with them. The interesting thing is that someone is doing polling on a rematch for next year... and Chambliss could be in trouble.

    A new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion survey in Georgia finds that a rematch of Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) versus former Sen. Max Cleland (D), who lost to Chambliss in 2002, might be the Democratic Party’s strongest hope for reclaiming the Senate seat.

    The poll found Chambliss leading Cleland 36% to 24%, with 40% undecided.

    Said pollster Matt Towery: "The key to this survey versus other surveys that have been conducted with other potential U.S. Senate candidates is that when you add Cleland to the mix, the undecided vote soars, leaving Chambliss well below the 50 percent mark."

    Wonder if people in GA realize that good ole Saxby voted to allow the Administration to tap their phones?

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

    There are smart people in Longview

    And one of them is named Sarah White...

    Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, was one of the members of Congress who voted against SCHIP reauthorization this month — despite recent polls showing about 80 percent of Americans support it nationwide.

    Gohmert declares, "Low-income children should not be left without health care ..." But he excuses his no vote by criticizing "earmarks" in the bill and claiming that it "included a dramatic expansion of the program to many children who are not from poor families ..."

    I guess it all depends on what you mean by "poor." A single parent with one child who makes $13,690 per year qualifies as poor

    in America. That child would actually qualify for Medicaid. But CHIP was designed for children from families whose incomes are just above that level — it subsidizes private coverage for low-income working families so that kids can go to a primary-care physician, not just the ER. Earmarks, unfortunately are routinely added to all kinds of bills for such pork-barrel projects as Alaska's infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." Congress could and should end the practice of earmarks altogether — as one of several necessary steps to make itself accountable to voters again. But they make a lame excuse for voting against SCHIP.

    Gohmert and others seem to be trying to scare us Americans into just accepting the status quo — expensive and inequitable private health insurance policies (if you can get one). Yet you don't hear them propose abolishing the generous government plan for their health care — a plan most Americans would feel fortunate to have.

    Remember when the insurance industry first rolled out HMOs in the 80s? They promised that we would enjoy lower health care costs — and it would be easier to get in to see the doctor.

    Instead, costs have soared and today's health insurance industry has become a gargantuan gatekeeper — fighting to keep our health care claims from storming the castle and raiding its treasure.

    Gohmert claims that the Democrats "have taken the SCHIP program designed for poor children and used it to expand Hillary-care to unbelievable proportions." This 'ad feminem' attack seems to refer to his objection that states could enroll children of families who earn up to three times the poverty level. That's still only a total of $41,070 for a single parent and child to live on — and it may take a fourth of that to pay for private health insurance.

    If recent history is any guide, the cost of private insurance will keep going up — and more working and middle class people will be unable to buy it. Yet anything that could cut into profits for the financial sector will usually get labeled "socialistic, communistic" or downright left-handed by some detractors.

    Despite the mudslinging against so-called "Washington-controlled" health care, there's nothing really so scary about a government-supported health care program. Since the 1960s Medicare has helped secure health care for America's seniors. Our children deserve the same kind of concern.

    Won't someone, ANYONE, run against the absurdly stupid Gohmert?

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

    October 26, 2007

    Oversight... Waxman at work

    For those of you who, like me, have been disapointed in the Democratic Congress not taking on the Administration directly, the WaPo reminds us that investigations are ongoing. Lot's of them. And we have Henry Waxman to thank for finally forcing Congress to do it's job by checking Presidential power...

    Waxman has become the Bush administration's worst nightmare: a Democrat in the majority with subpoena power and the inclination to overturn rocks. But in Waxman the White House also faces an indefatigable capital veteran -- with a staff renowned for its depth and experience -- who has been waiting for this for 14 years.

    These days, the 16-term congressman is always ready with a hearing, a fresh crop of internal administration e-mails or a new explosive report. And he has more than two dozen investigations underway, on such issues as the politicization of the entire federal government, formaldehyde in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers, global warming, and safety concerns about the diabetes drug Avandia.

    "We have to let people know they have someone watching them after six years with no oversight at all," said Waxman, 68. "And we've got a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick."

    Republicans have their share of complaints. They say that Waxman's staff cuts corners, plays "gotcha" with witnesses and committee Republicans, bypasses GOP staff members by interviewing witnesses rather than depositioning them, and would rather investigate than legislate. But even some of them speak with grudging admiration.

    "For the administration, and for a lot of others, people need to be careful now," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), the ranking Republican on the committee. "Someone is looking over their shoulder."

    Republicans and Democrats say that Waxman has marshaled three ingredients from his staff -- tenacity, experience and loyalty -- to make it one of the brightest spots on the new Congress's otherwise mixed record. The number of Democratic staff members has doubled, to about 75, since the party took control. About 25 investigators make up the core of Waxman's team.

    We all have to remember that oversight is a painstaking process and the American people are lucky to have someone like Henry Waxman taking on the task. When the final chapter is written in the book on the history of Republican incompetence during this era, it'll be Waxman who comes out the hero. Not just for saving taxpayers billions, but by taking those responsible to task for their illegal actions.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oversight... Waxman at work

    For those of you who, like me, have been disapointed in the Democratic Congress not taking on the Administration directly, the WaPo reminds us that investigations are ongoing. Lot's of them. And we have Henry Waxman to thank for finally forcing Congress to do it's job by checking Presidential power...

    Waxman has become the Bush administration's worst nightmare: a Democrat in the majority with subpoena power and the inclination to overturn rocks. But in Waxman the White House also faces an indefatigable capital veteran -- with a staff renowned for its depth and experience -- who has been waiting for this for 14 years.

    These days, the 16-term congressman is always ready with a hearing, a fresh crop of internal administration e-mails or a new explosive report. And he has more than two dozen investigations underway, on such issues as the politicization of the entire federal government, formaldehyde in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers, global warming, and safety concerns about the diabetes drug Avandia.

    "We have to let people know they have someone watching them after six years with no oversight at all," said Waxman, 68. "And we've got a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick."

    Republicans have their share of complaints. They say that Waxman's staff cuts corners, plays "gotcha" with witnesses and committee Republicans, bypasses GOP staff members by interviewing witnesses rather than depositioning them, and would rather investigate than legislate. But even some of them speak with grudging admiration.

    "For the administration, and for a lot of others, people need to be careful now," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), the ranking Republican on the committee. "Someone is looking over their shoulder."

    Republicans and Democrats say that Waxman has marshaled three ingredients from his staff -- tenacity, experience and loyalty -- to make it one of the brightest spots on the new Congress's otherwise mixed record. The number of Democratic staff members has doubled, to about 75, since the party took control. About 25 investigators make up the core of Waxman's team.

    We all have to remember that oversight is a painstaking process and the American people are lucky to have someone like Henry Waxman taking on the task. When the final chapter is written in the book on the history of Republican incompetence during this era, it'll be Waxman who comes out the hero. Not just for saving taxpayers billions, but by taking those responsible to task for their illegal actions.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Democrats roll out S-CHIP, Part 2

    With some slight modifications to make Connecticut native George W. Bush and his Republican killjoy's happy, the Democrats are advancing S-CHIP v. 2.1

    Just one week after failing to override President Bush's veto, House Democrats will put a new version of their $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program to a vote today, hoping that minor changes will win enough Republicans to beat Bush this round.

    The new version will underscore that illegal immigrants will not have access to the expanded program. It will ease adults off the program in one year, rather than the two in the vetoed version. And it establishes a firmer eligibility cap at 300 percent of the federal poverty line, just more than $60,000 for a family of four.

    The move took Republican leaders by surprise. Bush administration officials yesterday voiced conciliation, suggesting the president could accept legislation that would expand the program by about $20 billion over five years, far bigger than the $5 billion expansion that Bush initially proposed. At the same time, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has been meeting with House and Senate Republicans, urging them to hold the line against an even larger bill. And Bush continues to oppose the tobacco tax increase that Democrats want to fund the measure.

    House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) has been meeting all week with some of the 45 House Republicans who voted for the first bill, looking for ways to win the dozen or so votes that supporters needed to override another veto. But Democratic leaders have yet to reach out to the Republicans who voted against the measure.

    "When they need my vote, they don't even have the courage to ask me for it," complained Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.), who has suffered through a barrage of advertisements from Democratic allies accusing him of forsaking children.

    Oh, Congressman Keller... you have no idea how bad it can get. Think those ads are bad? Just wait for the ones that'll roll next summer. Real tear jerkers.

    EOW wants to know how fatass John Carter is going to vote (oh, don't look at me that way... bitchboy is starting to look like a bleached out version of Rerun from What's Happening!) and I want to know how Mike McCaul (R-ClearChannel Communications) will be voting. Will Mike vote for the health of children AND lower property tax bills for his constituents, or will he vote to make some idiot from Connecticut happy?

    People are watching...

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

    October 25, 2007

    Rangel's tax bill : EXCELLENT WORK

    FINALLY, the Democrats roll out a great tax bill that fixes the AMT, closes corporate loopholes (while dropping corporate rates a little to keep job growth good) and fairly distributes the tax burden by cutting taxes on the middle class and raising them on the rich and super rich.

    Under the plan unveiled today, tax burdens would be altered through an array of changes affecting ordinary households and businesses. Some of the highlights:

    * Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. This proposal is intended to prevent the AMT from hitting 23 million households this year. The AMT was imposed in the late 1960s to make sure that the wealthiest Americans paid at least some tax, but it has applied to a growing number of households because it is not indexed for inflation. Given the difficulty of passing his overall plan, Rangel plans to move forward with a short-term bill to defuse the AMT for this year.

    * Impose a surcharge on higher-income people. The most affluent taxpayers, earning at least $200,000 for couples filing joint returns, would face a new surcharge of 4%, moving up to 4.6% for those earning over $500,000.

    * Reduce the corporate income tax. The top rate for the corporate income tax would fall from 35% to 30.5%, a move supported by the Bush administration to enhance U.S. competitiveness. At the same time, the plan would seek to end a range of provisions that Rangel views as loopholes.

    * Ease burdens for working families. To accomplish this, the plan would increase the standard deduction, make the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor more generous, and increase the amount of the refundable child tax credit.

    * Increase taxes for managers of private-equity funds, the investment pools that often buy publicly traded companies and take them private. Executives of these funds have claimed earnings at a 15% capital gains tax rate, rather than the 35% they might otherwise pay for ordinary income. Rangel said today that such favorable treatment was not justified.

    Stick with this plan, Democrats. Across the board. No one listens to the Republicans tax policies. Why? Because they are all geared toward income stratification (concentrating money with the richest Americans). Further, we have got to start paying the debt and reining in future deficits which are about to balloon back up because of the Bush tax cuts. It's the only way to secure the long term future of the United States.

    Now we'll be able to talk about infrastructure improvements and securing entitlement programs, two things that'll help the economy and business more than a tax cut.

    Fantastic job, Congressman Rangel!

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

    Help us help the children

    Well, sort of, in a rather circuitous way. By donating to these worthy Democratic causes you can help children around the United States. Your pennies a day, less than the cost of a cup of coffee, will help elect Democrats who will help the children in America. For less than the cost of your after work tallboy at 7-11, you can help elect people who actually care about their constituents. So, take a moment and do something for your kids and the ones I hope to purchase (if I can find a variety that haven't already been adopted by some ridiculous celebrity).

  • TexBlog PAC is having a fundraiser in Houston next week!


    Monday, October 29th, 2007 - 5:30 to 7:30 pm


    At the Home of David Mincberg


    5406 Braeburn, Bellaire, 77401


    For additional information, or to sponsor the event, call Charles Kuffner at 713-825-0013.


    Contributions and sponsorships can be completed online.
  • TDP is asking for a help in raising $6,000 for candidate recruitment and training to take the 6 seats we need for a majority in the Texas House of Representatives. From Boyd Richie...

    I am writing today to ask for your assistance in raising $6,000 online to help win those six seats, take back the House in 2008 and elect more Democrats up and down the ballot. I'll give you my word: every dollar we raise in this effort will go toward training Democratic candidates to run winning campaigns.
  • Won't you please help? Help the children?

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

    Obama and Hillary stick with Dodd

    At least, on immunity for the illegal actions of some telecom companies they are supporting Dodd.

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

    October 23, 2007

    Watts Withdraws

    Per the release...

    "For the last five months I have been exploring a race for the United States Senate because I believe that our junior senator, John Cornyn, has let Texas down and is more concerned with his cronies and friends in Washington than with what's best for Texas.

    "After spending the last several months putting everything into this
    campaign, I have seen the toll this effort has taken on my young children.
    For these reasons, my wife and I have made the decision that I will not be
    seeking the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in 2008. I
    was brought up to believe that public service is a noble endeavor and I will
    continue to be involved at some level in the future. However, I realize that
    my time now should be devoted to serving my children so they may grow up in
    a healthy environment with both parents at home to meet their needs.

    "The reasons for creating my exploratory committee still exist. As I have
    criss-crossed the state and met and talked with tens of thousands of good
    Texans, it is evident how much the people of Texas want and need a Senator
    who will fight every day for their interests and not the special interests.
    We need to elect a new Senator in Texas and I will personally do everything
    possible to support the Democratic nominee.

    "It is hard to express the gratitude I feel for all the support my family
    and I have received as we have pursued this effort. I know that our vision
    for the future of Texas is one that all of our friends and supporters share.
    It's been one of the greatest blessings of my life for their faith in me,
    and for all of their hard work over the past months. While the decision not
    to seek the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate has been a
    difficult one, I know that it is the right one for my family at this time."

    I gotta tell you, running for office is a pain in the ass, especially statewide. It is unbelievably hard on families and I can completely understand this, especially since he has younger children. While I didn't like him as a candidate for Senate against Cornyn, I do have a tremendous amount of respect for the man and what he's accomplished in this life.

    Thank you, Mikal, for exiting as gracefully as you entered and for helping to bring attention to this race.

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

    October 20, 2007

    Fundraising going well for Noriega...

    So sayeth the Q3 reports and Hal at Half Empty...

    Electronic filings came screaming in on the deadline, and now that the dust has settled, it looks like Rick Noriega’s campaign pulled in 508 kilodollars to Watts’ 443. That’s a very nearly 13% margin.

    Now that’s saying something. That’s saying something that a lot of people thought would ever be said. Watts claimed that he was the candidate who could pull in the necessary contributions needed to defeat Cornyn in ’08, what with his 30-day $1.1 million blitz, implying that “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.

    Exactly.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Another Republican leaves the dark side...

    This time, in Colorado. John Coby over at Bay Area Houston has the story on the why...

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

    October 19, 2007

    Bush discovers fiscal responsibility?

    Reid and Pelosi need to eat this son of a bitch alive...CT Native Bush is threatening to veto the budget bills and he's still lying through his teeth about tax revenues since his tax cuts took effect, further proving that he understands the Laffer Curve as well as I understand the vagina.

    Not to mention the fact that his new found 'fiscal responsibility' is all BS.

    Stanley Collender, managing director of Qorvis Communications and a federal budget specialist, said the debate is disconnected from the improving deficit numbers. "It's purely a power play by the White House," he said. "If these spending bills were coming from a Republican-controlled Congress, the president would be signing them and applauding the House and Senate for their fiscal responsibility."

    Democrats are just as eager to fight over spending proposals, particularly the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Bush, who did not veto a single appropriations bill while Republicans controlled Congress, rejected a bipartisan proposal to more than double spending on SCHIP over the next five years. Polls show Bush on the wrong side of public opinion, and many congressional Republicans have opposed him on the issue, although not enough to override the veto.

    "What happened to compassionate conservatism?" Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean asked in a statement Monday. "President Bush and his Republican friends are willing to spend billions of dollars on their failed Iraq strategy, but they have no problem denying our children the health care they need and deserve. That's just plain wrong."

    White House aides recognize that the SCHIP fight is, in many ways, a political loser, but they hope to portray it as part of a broader struggle over spending and taxes.

    We need roads. We need schools. We need police. All these things will grow the economy and the tax base. THESE projects are reasons to run a deficit and Congress should get to it. You don't run a deficit to send money overseas so you can invade a country and fail at rebuilding it.

    Let him veto... then beat the hell out of the Republicans until they override. Don't let yesterday be the end.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Now they're concerned about bin Laden?

    Well, the Republican shenanigans on the FISA reform bill were nothing more than a straw man (NYT)...

    But after an afternoon of partisan sniping, Democratic leaders put off that vote because of a competing measure from Republicans that . . . declared that nothing in the broader bill should be construed as prohibiting intelligence officials from conducting the surveillance needed to prevent Mr. bin Laden or Al Qaeda “from attacking the United States.” Had it passed, it threatened to derail the Democratic measure altogether.

    Democrats denounced the Republicans’ poison pill on Mr. bin Laden as a cynical political ploy and “a cheap shot.” But Democratic leaders realized that they were at risk of losing the votes of a contingent of more moderate Democrats who did not want to be left vulnerable for voting against a resolution to stop Al Qaeda, officials said. So the leaders pulled the measure, promising to take it up again next week once they could solidify support.

    Let's see... the Republicans had year after interminable year to find bin Laden and they failed. Bush even joked about it. FAILED. Even still, some of the D's in the House got all flustered like a bunch of kids...instead of beating the Republicans down. Girls and boys, let me tell you a little secret : Bullies will keep needling you until you throw a punch. They are losing the PR debate. No one listens to or believes them any more. They have to do this. You have to fight back. It's that simple.

    In the Senate, Leahy sniped at the W. Va. Lawnchair and Dumbass Feinstein bleated on about how wonderful bipartisanship is, even when it tramples over the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans...

    At the second day of confirmation hearings for President Bush’s Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey, Leahy warned that “the Intelligence Committee is about to cave on this,” citing pressure from the White House and press reports suggesting the administration had gotten its way.

    “[Administration officials] know that it was illegal conduct and that there is no saving grace for the president to say, ‘Well, I was acting with authority,’ ” said Leahy. “Otherwise there wouldn't be so much pressure on us to immunize illegal conduct by either people acting within our government or within the private industry.”

    Leahy’s remarks signal that a bipartisan accord to overhaul the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), reached Wednesday by the Intelligence panel’s leaders and the White House, could divide Democrats and hit a roadblock on his panel as well. The Intelligence Committee marks up the bill Thursday afternoon, after which it will be referred to Judiciary, where more Democrats have openly opposed retroactive immunity language.

    His comments also come as House Democratic efforts to overhaul the law are falling into disarray, after House Republicans used parliamentary maneuvers to force leaders to pull the Democrats’ FISA rewrite from the floor late Wednesday.

    Attempting to resolve a central point of contention, Senate Intelligence panel Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) reportedly reached a deal Wednesday with Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to give full retroactive immunity to telephone companies if they can demonstrate they were cooperating lawfully with the secret wiretapping program when suits were levied against them.

    Not all Democrats on the Judiciary Committee appeared to share Leahy’s concerns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sits on both the Judiciary and Intelligence panels, signaled she was likely to support the bipartisan approach.

    “At this stage, it is a bipartisan bill,” Feinstein said. “I’m absolutely convinced that the only way we can legislate on this is on a bipartisan basis. This bill so far is bipartisan — that’s good news.”

    So, bipartisanship for the sake of being bipartisan? Yeah, just because you guys caved into the demands of the Republicans doesn't mean it's 'bipartisan'. You might want to check with your constituents in CA, Diane.

    The bottom line on this is that even AG Ashcroft wouldn't sign a letter releasing the telco's from liability. They had no 'get out of jail free' card. FISA even gave the Administration 48 hours to obtain a warrant, AFTER the tap had been initiated. Under current law, there is no reason for the Administration to have done anything illegal. Further, there is no reason for a private company to have cooperated with the illegal activity.

    Sen. Dodd's hold may not be enough if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has his way(CQ)...

    Tim Starks of Congressional Quarterly reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bring the Senate’s surveillance bill up for floor debate in mid-November. That’s despite the hold that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) plans to place on the measure — something first reported by Election Central’s Greg Sargent.

    The Senate intelligence committee is still marking up the bill behind closed doors, according to staffers. A joint statement from committee leaders Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Kit Bond (R-MO) will follow when the mark-up concludes, but that may not occur today.

    Click here to support Senator Dodd. This bill needs to die and the Democrats in Congress need to run the debate.

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

    October 18, 2007

    Chris Dodd with the save!

    Chris Dodd is putting a hold on the wiretapping bill because of the telco immunity. More to come...

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Chris Dodd with the save!

    Chris Dodd is putting a hold on the wiretapping bill because of the telco immunity. More to come...

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The 'Weak' Nancy Pelosi

    It's been difficult to criticize Speaker Pelosi, mostly because I realize she's in a tough spot as far as policy. However, both she and Reid have done an abysmal job of controlling the debate and messaging. On that, I don't think there is any disagreement.

    Darin Murphy has a great piece up on Pelosi's performance on the View. It's obvious, she's not tough enough.

    If there was any doubt before, which there wasn't, it's gone now. Watching Nancy Pelosi on The View yesterday morning provided the final proof that the backbone of the House is only as strong as its speaker. Her body language said it all. There she sat in the center of the table, sandwiched between Elizabeth Hasselbeck and the "Is the world flat? I don't know" lady, looking anxious and devoid of stately confidence. She could barely look in the eyes of America's Favorite True Believer on her left, who immediately smelled fear and pounced on her prey. "If the violence in Iraq had gone up," she started in (I'm paraphrasing), "you would be insisting that the surge was a failure. Now that the reports say it's gone down drastically, aren't you willing to admit that the surge is a success?" So what does Pelosi do? Does she make like Bill Clinton versus Chris Wallace, lean into her face and retort "young lady, don't try that little conservative hit job on me. You obviously don't know fudged numbers when you see them"? No. Instead she looks somewhere in Hasselbeck's general direction and squeaks meekly, "But that's still a lot of deaths." (I'm not paraphrasing). She then quickly changes the subject as she spends the rest of the interview leaning away from Hasselbeck and focusing on the three women on her right, wishing to God they had sat her down beside Whoopi.

    Come on, Nancy! Stick it to them and start rolling bill after bill to the floor. Let Bush veto and keep bringing them back. It's time to take a stand and bury these losers. Have some fun with the S-CHIP override and make. them. cave.

    I know you got it, Madame Speaker. I know you can do it. But please, for the love of God, don't let an idiot like Elizabeth Hasselbeck fluster you. Even if you come across as mean, put the bitch in her place.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 17, 2007

    Signing Statements and the Democrats

    You know how Bush has been adding signing statements to almost every piece of legislation he's signed? My question is when are the Democrats going to pass a law overriding all those signing statements, retroactively? That's one piece of legislation that even the current crop of Republicans will be hard pressed not to vote for.

    The statements are, after all, unconstitutional.

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

    Grassley : Bush is lying like a motherfucker

    In this mornings press conference, the Nutmegger Cowboy declared that he wasn't included in the discussions on S-CHIP. Sen. Charles Grassley, during an interview on CNBC, said that he had a list of names and times when Senators and Representatives met with Administration officials to discuss the bill. I guess Bush meant to say that Democrats in Congress chose not to do what he wanted them to do.

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

    Another D files for Supreme Court

    According to Hal at Half Empty, Attorney Sam Houston has filed to run against some douche named Wainwright. Which, to me, sounds like a totally made-up name.

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

    October 13, 2007

    A tax proposal that makes sense...

    Steve over at Who's Playin' has the deets on an upcoming Democratic proposal for a new surcharge to pay for the Iraq Occupation and the ongoing War on Terror.

    If this war is important enough to fight, then it ought to be important enough to pay for.

    We know that this proposal is going to be controversial – I don’t expect to get the support of our leadership or the support of our caucus at this point – but by putting together this bill we hope people will stop ignoring what this war is costing American taxpayers and call the President’s bluff on fiscal responsibility.

    And please realize, that if such a proposal is not passed, and the war continues, one of two things will happen. We will either run up insurmountable debts, or we will drain the treasury dry of funds that are essential to making the domestic investments in education, health, medical research, science, law enforcement, that our crucial to creating a stronger country and more prosperous families.

    It is time for the President and the Congress to face up to some really hard choices. It is time for all of us to face up to the consequences of the President’s actions.

    I'm all for it. The Republicans have financed everything on a credit card and the result is declining economic prospects in the US and a substantially weakened dollar. It's up to the Demcorats to fix it. And woe be to any Republican who dares to call them tax and spend liberals. At least we don't pass our debts to our kids.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 11, 2007

    Don't forget...

    The HDCC thing tonight... 6:30 at Scholz.

    Go on and put it in your outlook and on your blackberry. Now. No, I'm not terribly excited about the beer-only venue but it's for a good cause!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 05, 2007

    It's about time...

    Rep. Dunnam has a great post up over at BOR regarding the friendliness in the Lege between members of different parties and the consideration that Democrats have had for their Republican colleagues. It appears that's finally breaking down...

    Recently, Rep. Allen Vaught politely declined to meet with a potential opponent of Dan Branch. Allen explained that, in the greater interest of Dallas County, he did not think he should be personally involved in county House races. This is Allen's choice, and certainly understandable.

    Imagine Allen's surprise when he received a copy of the invitation to former Rep. Bill Keffer's fundraiser this month. Of course, you can guess correctly that Linda Harper-Brown's name is on it; heck, she did the same against Republican incumbents during the 2006 primaries. But you might be surprised by some of the other host names: Joe Driver, Ken Paxton, Jim Jackson, and Jodie Laubenberg. Oh, and Rep. Dan Branch. But wait, you say, Joe Driver isn't like Harper-Brown? And Paxton has always treated other members with respect, hasn't he? And this is how Mr. Branch says thank you to Allen Vaught?

    This is being duplicated across the state. These incidents are neither isolated nor uncalculated. We must recognize the great effort our Republican colleagues are making, as incumbent elected officials, to actively campaign against Democratic House members. We must understand that when our Republican colleagues go after one of us, they are going after all of us. You might be in a safe district and say to yourself, "Well, they are not coming after me," but the truth is that when they attack one of us, they attack all of us. Their goal is to weaken our collective voice by defeating us one by one.

    And who is leading the attack against Democratic members of the Lege? None other than that old crone Arlene Wohlgemuth (the dumbass who tried to beat Chet Edwards in 2004), Linda Harper-Brown (who is interrupting her busy Crisco and bacon sandwich eating schedule) and our old friend CradDICK the Best Mud Salesman in Midland.

    The reality is that the Democrat's goodwill has never been reciprocated. Further, the idea that 'you don't campaign against other members' is just patently absurd and Vaught's an idiot for thinking it. Those seats belong to the people of the State of Texas, not to some member. Regardless, the Democrats are going to have to realize, especially the new guys, that Texas politics ain't pretty and it ain't nice. If you need friends while in the Lege, may I suggest a nice bartender?

    This is a knife fight and my daddy always told me the one who wins a knife fight is the guy who brings the gun. We, the thousands of activists around the state, are your gun. Don't be in the way and quit trying to protect, via action or inaction, your 'friends'.

    And someone needs to be helping the guy running against Branch. Y'all up in Dallas Co... there is no goddamn reason why a Republican should be representing the gayborhood. HP and UP aren't that damn red. No more excuses... we got rid of Stick and Baxter. Y'all get on the stick and retire that dipshit Branch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 04, 2007

    Edwards blows them away in KY

    Senator Edwards today held a town hall in Kentucky which I'm informed is a real state just like Texas. Except smaller and with more toothless people. I think they make bourbon there and have some kind of horse race? Does that sound right?

    Anyway, Edwards comes to Columbus, KY to have a chat with folks. Columbus has a population of 229 people. However, more than 1200 people showed up to hear what Edwards had to say. Not bad for a guy the media has already said is out of the game.

    “The establishment wants you to believe that a candidate who says no to lobbyists and rejects the financial arms race that is drowning our democracy in waves of corporate money can’t be elected,” said Edwards. “I think that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

    Edwards continued: “The press, the pundits, the career politicians – they all think the most electable candidate is the one with the most money and the most ties to Washington. I think the most electable candidate is the one with the best ideas, who can go to every corner of America and tell the truth about how badly Washington is broken.

    “If this race comes down to a corporate Democratic politician against a corporate Republican, all bets are off. But if our party – the Democratic Party – rejects the broken system, says no to the corporate interests and stands once and for all with the people, we’re going to win in small towns, we’re going to win in Kentucky and we’re going to win all across America.”

    Columbus, a small town in rural Kentucky, won Edwards’ visit through an online competition organized by the campaign through the website Eventful.com. Residents from Columbus, population 229, used Eventful.com to lobby for Edwards’ visit, organizing a national effort that generated thousands of votes and successfully outbid competition from more populous communities.

    Shawn Dixon, a 24-year old Columbus native, who, like Edwards, was the first in his family to attend college, led the drive to bring Edwards to his home town. “When John Edwards said he’d visit any town in America that demanded him the most, I don’t think there’s anyone who would have guessed he’d end up in Columbus, Kentucky,” said Dixon, who is now a first-year student at the NYU School of Law. “To us, it means a lot to see a candidate you can trust to make good on a promise – it’s a good indication of what kind of president he’ll be. I am supporting John Edwards because he understands the challenges facing small towns like Columbus, and he has the strength and the vision we need to bring real change not only to rural America, but to all of America.”

    Edwards attended a community barbeque and hosted a town hall forum with Columbus residents. Located on the banks of the Mississippi on the far western edge of Kentucky, Columbus is roughly a three-hour drive from the nearest urban areas, Memphis, Nashville or St. Louis.



    Also, take a at the reaffirmation of an endorsement
    if you're worried about his decision to use public financing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Rally for S-CHIP

    Rally for Kids Health


    Outside Chase Tower (Location of Sen. Cornyn's office)


    221 West Sixth Street


    Austin, TX 78701


    Thursday, 4 Oct 2007, 6:00 PM

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

    Housing : Democrats go after Bush

    Yesterday, the Democrats went on the offensive regarding the foreclosure increase in the housing industry...

    The effort by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others is an attempt by Democrats to step up pressure on the White House to respond to the troubles in the housing market.

    Democrats have been critical of the Bush administration's response to the mortgage market problems, which started among loans made to borrowers with weak credit and has spread to other loans.

    At an 11:30 a.m. press conference, the lawmakers are expected to reiterate calls for more funding to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. To alleviate strain in the mortgage market, they will also ask the Bush administration to further increase the investment portfolio caps for home-loan finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Bush Admin said that HUD Secretary Jackson was on top of it but we all know that's not true. To date, all the Administration has done is block Congressional initiatives, even those with bipartisan support. They've also rolled out FHA Secured. Which is a great program. Problem is, no one is offering it.

    No, I'm completely serious. My company is one of many that has survived this mess and will NOT be purchasing these mortgages via our TPO relationships. Why? Because we can't find anyone to take them from us. Bush was hoping that the market would react well to FHA Secured. Instead, the market has said, 'No Thanks'. Connecticut native Bush needs to realize that sometimes there are problems created BY a free market that simply can't be fixed by the free market. Government must create additional incentive if they ask private business to take on astronomically more risk.

    It would also be nice if he'd stop being such and asshole about Agency expansion and let Congress get to work...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 03, 2007

    Noriega's got the big MO!

    Kuff has more on the numbers in the Texas Senate race... the short version is that Cornyn is in trouble with around 50% to re-elect. Cornyn is well known around the state and the remainder of his number (30%) is more than likely Yellow Cat Republicans. As the race heats up and Noriega becomes the clear challenger, expect the name ID to rise dramatically, as well as his polling numbers. This number is similar to what Perry had going into 2006 and we all remember how that ended up. The difference this time? No C4N3P and Kinky.

    In other news, Noriega announced his Q3 fundraising numbers and they are, in a word, great. Not to mention more than $140k from Bloggers for Rick. Thanks to EVERYONE who donated! You made a VERY real difference!

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

    October 02, 2007

    HDCC Fundraiser for a Democratic Majority

    The Texas House Democratic Campaign Caucus is having a fundraiser at Scholz Garden on the 11th and you should really go. I probably will, but that don't let that stop you. Now it's never been more important to support them. Next year we have to take back the House. Texas simply can't afford more Republican failure.

    Click here for the details!

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

    September 28, 2007

    Student Loan Goodness - The Democrats start kicking some ass!

    After screwing up student loans when they controlled Congress, the Republicans finally gave in to a Democratic plan to slash subsidies for private loan servicers and drop the interest rates on Government loans... as well as providing more money for Pell Grants. What does all this do? It makes college more affordable to more people.

    Bush is, of course, pissy about having to sign it.

    Nicely done, Democrats! And here's some video to help illustrate how this will help you. If you're a student. Which I'm not.

    Now that this is out of the way, what's up with redesigning FHA and the Agencies? Give us mortgage lenders some love so we can start bailing people out of crappy subprime loans!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 27, 2007

    Noriega wins!

    We're a little behind here, mostly because it's the end of month and I'm busy. I know, I know... it's a real pain when my real job competes with blogging.

    The big news is that Noriega won the Democracy for Texas poll. By a WIDE margin, even counting some questionable votes for Mikal Watts.

    We're a four days away from the end of the quarter and we need your help! Even a dollar will make a difference! Just in case you need a little motivation, click here...

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Noriega wins!

    We're a little behind here, mostly because it's the end of month and I'm busy. I know, I know... it's a real pain when my real job competes with blogging.

    The big news is that Noriega won the Democracy for Texas poll. By a WIDE margin, even counting some questionable votes for Mikal Watts.

    We're a four days away from the end of the quarter and we need your help! Even a dollar will make a difference! Just in case you need a little motivation, click here...

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Clinton nails Republicans and getting rid of a weak sister

    We need more Democrats like this in the Senate

    And we really need to primary out idiots like this...

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 26, 2007

    SCHIP, or Why I'm proud to be a Democrat

    More than month ago, we talked about changes to S-CHIP. The bill has continued to move forward and Bush has threatened to veto it. To veto health care for kids. You might be asking why he'd do such a thing. Simple:

    1) He doesn't care about the health of kids. He cares about the profits of private insurers who stand to lose if people finally discover that a government run health care system is a hell of a lot cheaper and more effective than that of the private sector due to one simple thing... less managerial overhead.

    2) He's always gone with the most expensive option, the one that soaks taxpayers the most. Vetoing S-CHIP just creates another hole that taxpayers will have to fill.

    In 2000, I left the Republican Party. I was never going to vote for Bush who I thought was an idiot and only looked good because of the hard work of Democrats in the Lege. It took me 2 more years and the invasion of Iraq to finally switch parties completely. The ridiculous tax cuts in 2001 actually did the trick on economic policy, but the rest of it came over the next couple of years.

    I'd love to say that the Republican Party left me... it did in some ways, especially when it comes to the religiosity that's come to define modern Republicanism. The reality though is that the crazies didn't take over, they were always there and I refused to see them. As for the stance on economic policy, I finally realized that the Friedmanite bullshit being spouted by Ranroids was deeply flawed. That awakening began in 1996. It did take a while to finally settle in. Sometimes it takes people a while to realize that what they bought into was a load of crap. It always helps when it's the partner at the fund where your working who clues you in.

    It's really the economics... only true believers would think that it's cheaper to spend money on emergency care than preventative care. True believers who are as dumb as a box of rocks, but true believers none the less.

    Don't get me wrong, the Democrats frustrate the hell out of me at times with their weak messaging and occasionally self-aggrandizing behavior. However, I'm proud to be a member of a party that actually, on balance, tries to do the right thing.

    I'm also proud so many others see this as a fight that needs to be won. This is where the Democrats need to take a stand and force this down Bush's throat. Check out BOR, EOW and BlueBloggin for more.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 24, 2007

    Edwards and the SEIU

    I'm posting the video to his speech in the supersize and David Mizner at MyDD has this update

    The news generated by Edwards has been consistently good of late. Not earth-shattering, not race-changing, just good. His sharp populist message is breaking into the dominant media narrative, and he's challenging Clinton, making Obama seem suddenly less relevant.

    Last week Obama was supposed to recapture his antiwar cred, but his "major policy address" fell flat. He couldn't even bring himself to support a timeline for withdrawal (a position he'd already taken!) Meanwhile Edwards bought time on MSNBC to rebut Bush's address on Iraq, stealing the week from Obama in terms of antiwar cred. The expensive, risky move brought Edwards good coverage. For example, he was included in a discussion on Larry King from which he otherwise would have been excluded. And what a discussion it was. For months we Edwards supporters have argued that the strength and clarity of his positions would produce political benefits. The Atlantic's James Fallows--who usually focuses on policy instead of politics--was taken aback as he saw the candidates anew.

    Of the three Democratic responses to the president in this hour on CNN -- Jack Reed, Barack Obama, plus Edwards -- Edwards was by a mile the most impressive. To apply the Man from Mars perspective: if you'd heard of none of these politicians before, based on this sequence you'd immediately assume that Edwards was the dominant one from either party (including the actual president).

    Reed was fine, and it's always good to have a West Point grad and former Army officer in this role. But he was long on "we Democrats will offer a plan" as opposed to very crisp arguments about what was wrong with the Bush plan.

    Those crisp arguments were all, and only, what Edwards presented. I don't have a transcript, but the gist was: we're patrolling a civil war, nothing matters without political progress, and that's not happening; it's shameful to keep making the link to 9/11 that does not exist, etc. Compared with the last time I'd seen Edwards handling foreign policy questions on live TV, he has come a very long way in knowledgeability and confidence..

    From Obama, the opposite surprise: when did he start sounding like a Senator? So many vagued-up sentences and so little pith?

    Then this weekend the candidates went to Iowa for the Harkin Steakfry, which is a test of organization first and intensity of support second. By all accounts, no candidate had more supporters there than Edwards, and anyone who watched it on TV knows his supporters were the most vocal. Newsweek's Howard Fineman said he won the day. Don't get me wrong: I don't trust Fineman (although as mainstream jounalists go, he's pretty sharp.) But it's significant that the mainstream press, which has long treated this is as a two-person race, is waking up to discover a "convincing man of the people populist" with surprising "polish."

    Like Fallows, Fineman was surprised to discover how unimpressive Obama was. Indeed, sitting at home in my living room, I saw few sparks. Iowa has always presented a challenge for Obama, and he seems not to be taking the necessary steps to mitigate his weaknesses there. For example, this week he's skipping the AARP forum in Davenport--a strange decision for someone lagging behind among seniors. And he's yet to present a comprehensive plan to fight rural poverty. At this relatively late date his support remains concentrated in cities and college towns--a recipe for a poor finish in a contest that rewards well-distributed support. Let me be the first to say what's on the tip of conventional opinion's tongue: Obama's in trouble in Iowa.

    That's perhaps why Edwards seems more concerned with Clinton. Yesteday she planned to dominate the day with the release of her health care plan (a good plan for which the country should thank Edwards.) But Edwards crashed the picnic by announcing that on his first day in office he would present a bill that would take away the health insurance of Congresspeople unless they passed universal coverage. This confounded elitists and other non-populists. David Brooks said Edwards was shrill, and Obama supporters over at Kos were besides themselves, citing an amendment to the constitution (one that most of them had never heard of till that morning) in a desperate attempt to blunt the political force of Edwards's move. What Edwards was doing was good old-fashioned brassknucke politics--something Obama and his supporters neither understand nor like.

    In the afternoon came the candidates' speeches to the SEIU, a powerful, politically active union, the only one that might endorse Obama. And after Obama thrilled the crowd with his speech (let's face it, the guy can bring it, occasionally), it seemed as if he might have stolen the endorsement away from Edwards. Then reality set in. Edwards rocked the house himself, and some actual reporting found that the passion for Edwards among the service workers is deep. Either Edwards gets SEIU or no one does.

    Finally, today the Edwards campaign went after Hillary Clinton for--well, for being Hillary Clinton, a corporate Dem to the core. I'll let Joe Trippi tell you the bad news:

    If you want to know why we need change in Washington - and I mean real change, not just trading corporate Republican insiders with corporate Democratic insiders - then just look at Senator Clinton's schedule for today. Today at noon, Hillary Clinton will be hosting a fundraiser in Washington, DC for a select group of lobbyists with an interest in homeland security.

    Tickets for the Clinton fundraiser are $1,000 a ticket and $25,000 per bundler. And for that money you get more than a meal - you get to attend one-hour breakout sessions in four different areas of homeland security that will include House Committee Chairs and members of Congress who sit on the very committees that will be voting on homeland security legislation.

    Today's Clinton fundraising event is a "poster child" for what is wrong with Washington and what should never happen again with a candidate running for the highest office in the land.

    That no one in the Clinton campaign - including the candidate - found anything wrong with holding this fundraiser is an indication of just how bad things have gotten in Washington - because there isn't an American outside of Washington who would not be sickened by it.

    Just last month, John Edwards asked Senator Clinton to join him in taking the Democratic Party on the first step towards real reform - to become the first party to refuse and reject the money of Washington lobbyists.

    But one of the nice things about being an establishment pol like Clinton is that when populists criticize you, an establishment journalist like Ben Smith comes to your aid. Here Smith, who's clearly in awe of Clinton's political skills, "tsk-tsks" Edwards for going negative, calls him "angry," and claims without evidence that this is a gift to Hillary. Never mind assessing the substance of the charge. And feel free to ignore the polls suggesting that this is a huge vulnerability for Hillary. Just keep on doing her bidding, BS. Maybe she'll give you an interview if and when you help her get elected. You're so far up the establishment's ass you can't see daylight, much less the truth.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 21, 2007

    Do this, Chris Bell...

    Gardner Selby (whose new picture on the Schlockman website is a marked improvement) wrote an interesting article about some polling being done... for the 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary. I know! I was totally thinking about that just the other day since thinking about the 2008 election is already old hat. The Mayor is LIGHT YEARS ahead of us, though... he's focusing on the 2068 Presidential election that will be between the disembodied head (in a jar) of Steven Cojocaru and Donny, a thinking machine. The great-great-grandchildren of Ralph Nader will also run their chihuahua, Fredo.

    The future totally sounds cool, doesn't it? I know, you'd like to hear more about it. However, that's not going to happen. The Mayor would tell you more but honestly, you wouldn't understand. It's because you're stupid.

    Back to Gardner and the race for the the manse in 2010, the Democratic Primary field (at least, for this poll) includes Kinky Friedman who I predict will have been killed by those derelict animals he has on his place in the Hill Country. That narrows it down to...


    Chris Bell at 22%
    Tony Sanchez at 15%
    John Sharp at 13%
    Bill White at 12%


    Tony Sanchez? He's not even a Democrat any more, is he? The name that did catch my eye was Chris Bell. As a commenter at BOR noted, why not run for Supreme Court? Everyone knows he's more qualified that any of the Republicans currently sitting on the Court. His name recognition is good thanks to the run last year and his name is synonymous with ethics, something the Texas Supreme Court could use.

    Come on, Chris! We need you!


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Excellent job, Congressman Doggett

    Couldn't agree more...

    The President's surge is as successful as the President's boast to capture Osama bin Laden 'dead or alive.'

    Now Congress must respond to the President's propaganda surge with a truth surge, with a memory surge that reminds America of repeated false cries of progress and phony excuses that have only brought our families more insecurity. Congress must learn from the courage of our troops. Appeasement will not stop this wrongheaded administration policy. More blank checks will only drain our national treasury while fueling more death and destruction that only endangers our families.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 19, 2007

    HD 106 Flips...and and urgent plea to Harper-Brown and Nelson

    BOR, FWST and DMN are all reporting that Rep. Kirk England, who first won a seat in the Texas House during a special election in March, 2006, has made the decision to run for re-election as a Democrat.

    State Rep. Kirk England of Grand Prairie is switching to the Democratic Party, the first such switch by a Texas legislator in decades.

    England, the son of longtime Republican and Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England, first won the seat representing District 106 in a special election in March 2006, after the retirement of state Rep. Ray Allen. The district includes most of Grand Prairie and south Irving.

    "After one session in the House, I found that the Republican leadership in Austin had no tolerance for the values and priorities of the folks I represent," England said in a statement released Wednesday. "That is why [Thursday] at 10 a.m., I will announce my intention to seek re-election to the Texas House as a Democrat."

    Theresa Huchingson, a spokeswoman for England, said England would explain his decision in greater detail at the news conference.

    Other reasons given for the switch included CradDICK's horrendous halitosis and the constant threat of being consumed in a snacking frenzy by either Linda Harper-Brown or Jane Nelson. Which reminds me...

    Dear Jane and Linda,

    We think you should both lose weight. We're thinking if you do you'll have sex again and then you'll stop worrying so much about all the gays having sex. Oh and do something about that goddamn hair. BOTH OF YOU. Granted, this will be a mixed blessing since you'll live longer, too. But as long as that gets you to stop thinking about hot man on man action, we'll be OK with it. Just stay out of our way on MoPac.

    XXXOOO

    McB

    Sorry about that... it's needed to be said for a while.

    Welcome to the party, Kirk! Trust us... it's a hell of lot better inside the big tent!


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 13, 2007

    Now PinkLady can get giddy again...

    Mark 'Seabiscuit' Warner has announced he's a candidate for Senate from the Gret Stet of Virginny.

    No, really, we like Mark Warner (which is to say our feelings have softened considerably) and we're thrilled to death he's decided to run for Senate. As one of 100, there's comparitively little he can do other than embarrass himself, which the current Senator Warner already does exceptionally well. Cornyn is functionally retarded, so even a slightly buffoonish Democrat from VA should be OK. Can't be worse than any of the current Retardicans who make Lenny from Of Mice and Men look positively deep and complex.

    My only problem remains that face! Bless his heart!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 12, 2007

    TexBlog PAC keeps rolling ahead

    Join TexBlog PAC for the Inaugural Fundraiser with special guests

    State Rep. Jim Dunnam State Rep. Pete P. Gallego State Rep. Lon Burnam State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez State Rep. Mark Strama State Rep. Valinda Bolton

    Special thanks to our sponsors who include: The Texas Democratic Party
    Texas Progress Council
    The Lone Star Project
    The House Democratic Campaign Committee
    State Rep. Garnet Coleman
    State Rep. Stephen Frost
    State Rep. Abel Herrero
    State Rep. Chuck Hopson
    State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon
    State Rep. Dora Olivo
    Hugh Brady
    Rick Cofer
    Dan Grant
    Sandie Haverlah
    John Lipscombe
    Joe Madden
    Amy Clark Meachum
    Glenn Smith


    Monday, September 24th, 2007 6:00 to 8:00 pm

    At the home of Kurt and Amy Clark Meachum 5103 Cedro Trail, Austin, Texas, 78731
    For additional information, or to sponsor the event, call Christine Simmons at 512-292-3000.
    Contributions and sponsorships can be completed online here.

    You should contribute for two important reasons...

    1) Texas Republicans think it's a joke and it's time to prove them wrong...

    Hans Klingler, the political director of the Texas Republican Party, is not convinced. Texas voters have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994, and Republicans have been steadily whittling down the Democrats' advantage at the county level, the one stage in Texas that they still control, Klingler said.

    Klingler also suggested that the Democratic bloggers are less of a grassroots movement and more of an echo chamber, where the handful of writers and readers talk almost exclusively to one another.

    "Maybe they're a majority in the virtual world," he quipped.

    2) Texas Republicans are losing faith in the party and it's time to give them a reason to have some faith in ours... by creating a PAC that's not about big business, but about common sense and good policy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 10, 2007

    Just say thank you...

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to this guy...

    Rogers says, "When those private lives are in direct conflict with the public policy that these officials espouse, I think it's fair game that their private lives be brought into this. And I have to blog to do that with. Here's the question: What community is expected to protect its own enemies? Don't beat up the gay community, and then expect us to protect your secrets and your double life. It's just not right."

    Yes, all of you who worked diligently vilifying gays and lesbians to secure an electoral victory for Republicans (and just happen to be gay) can expect similar treatment. As Sen. Craig found out, being a US Senator isn't all that impressive and people have long memories.

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

    September 05, 2007

    Public Citizen and the Teamsters join up!

    I don't know about you, but if I was a legislator, I wouldn't be too scared of Public Citizen. Don't get me wrong, it's a great group but it's been unable to make much of an impact in recent years. However, I would be scared as hell of the Teamsters. The two forces together? Forget about it. Apparently, NAFTA is being used to force us to allow Mexican truckers to deliver goods in the US on a long haul basis, something that will severely impact safety on our highways here in Texas especially.

    The suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, maintains that the Bush administration’s pilot program, which authorizes up to 100 carriers based in Mexico to perform long-haul operations within the U.S., violates several key congressional requirements. The groups filing suit include Public Citizen; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Sierra Club; Environmental Law Foundation; and the Brotherhood of Teamsters, Auto and Truck Drivers, Local 70. The groups filed an emergency motion asking the court to delay the pilot program before it goes into effect in a matter of days...

    In 2001, a NAFTA tribunal ordered the U.S. to fully open its border to Mexico-domiciled trucking companies. In response, the Bush administration said it would implement a pilot program to allow up to 100 motor carriers from Mexico full access to U.S. highways. However, the project violated U.S. laws governing the conduct of pilot programs, in addition to a 2001 congressional mandate that Mexico-domiciled trucking companies meet U.S. safety standards regarding hours of service, driver training and licensing, and vehicle safety before being allowed access to the nation’s roadways.

    Congress this year held hearings examining the plan to allow trucks from Mexico to travel beyond the border zones. Lawmakers uncovered serious safety deficiencies and deemed the pilot program a sham and in violation of existing law. In response, Congress passed a measure designed to ensure that any pilot program does not circumvent safety standards or congressional oversight and that such a program is conducted within strict parameters designed to facilitate informed decision making.

    On Aug. 6, the Department of Transportation Inspector General released a report finding that the system used to monitor Mexico-domiciled carrier drivers with license convictions is not yet adequate. Officials still don’t have the data necessary to identify drivers not permitted to operate on U.S. highways. Further, the system designed to ensure that Mexico-domiciled carriers comply with U.S. motor vehicle manufacturing safety standards is incomplete, and it is not clear whether the drug and alcohol testing program is functional, the inspector general found.

    I'm fine with competition... just as soon as the Mexicans implement the same standards we have the in US. Failing that, I don't give a damn what a free trade tribunal says. We should not be forced to open our roads up to people and transports that haven't had to pass the same safety and environmental standards that US truckers and vehicles have to pass.

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

    September 04, 2007

    Edwards books major labor endorsements

    Good news for Team Edwards...

    For a candidate seeking to be the workingman's president, it was a good place to be on Labor Day. John Edwards, fresh from an early-morning flight from Iowa, stepped out of a minivan clad in a union-logo windbreaker, with his wife, Elizabeth, beside him. Bruce Springsteen's "The Promised Land" blasted from loudspeakers. On stage, the chiefs of the United Steelworkers and United Mine Workers of America belted out their unions' endorsements of Edwards. Then they yielded the mike to a man on crutches, Steve Skvara, 60, a former steelworker from Indiana who gained national attention at last month's union-sponsored Democratic debate in Chicago when he asked the candidates about his plight -- a career-ending car accident followed by the loss of his family's health insurance when LTV Steel went under.

    "There rose a young man whose family comes from mills, and he's stood with working people his whole life," Skvara said. "I believe in this man and what he can do for this country."

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    TDP's Presidential poll is open!

    This is pretty cool... click here to vote for the primary candidate of your choice!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 29, 2007

    Noriega endorsed by some heavy hitters

    OK, this impresses me...

    (Houston, TX) — Texas Democratic icons Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, who briefly served as Lt. Governor as well, today joined Houston’s Paul Hobby in endorsing Rick Noriega as the next United States Senator from Texas.

    Standing together at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where Noriega served as Incident Commander when the facility was turned into a shelter and emergency support network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, these icons that represent over three decades of Texas leadership called for a restoration of forward looking leadership that responds to the needs of the people.

    “What we have here today is more than a list of endorsements,” Noriega declared. "It is a history lesson that teaches us that Texas stands at its greatest when we plan for the future, bring people together, and hold our government accountable.”

    Under the weather with a fever, Governor Dolph Briscoe, who occupied the Governor’s Mansion from 1973 – 1979, sent a written statement that paid tribute to Noriega’s service in the military and humanitarian leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “These times call for a leader like Rick Noriega, a leader with character, a leader who understands Texans are not afraid of the future, and we’re not followers.”

    State Senator Rodney Ellis recalled how Noriega has lived out the warrior’s ethos — leave no man behind — from the battlefield to the legislature and in the community. “In the legislature, Rick fought to all Texas children had health insurance. And here in this very building, the George R. Brown Convention Center, he proved that compassion is not a weakness, but part of the very fabric of who we are as Texans,” Ellis explained. “That’s the type of leadership we need in the United States Senate.”

    Lt. Governor Bill Hobby, who served Texas from 1973 to 1991, spoke directly to Noriega’s appeal statewide, “It’s time for a US Senator who can bring Texans together,” Governor Hobby declared. “Rick Noriega earns respect for the strength of his convictions, for rejecting the politics of personal destruction, and for his courage to speak to a higher calling in all of us, “Hobby added.

    Noriega openly questioned whether John Cornyn’s voting record reflects the values of ordinary Texans, noting that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) rated Cornyn 85th out of 100 Senators in support for veterans and their families.

    “The standard for leadership and service has been set by the gentlemen behind me; not by the man who occupies one of Texas’ two US Senate seats,” Noriega concluded.

    Noriega promised that as his exploratory campaign continues to gain momentum, “Texans will get a chance to see the many faces and many perspectives that our campaign represents.”

    Feel free to take a moment and drop some dough on Lt. Col. Noriega! Why wouldn't you want to support a guy who has the support of some of our oldest and most respected leaders... as well as many Texas Bloggers?

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

    Having fun with the Stonewall D's

    I gotta hand it to the Dallas Delegation to the caucus. Y'all stood by your man on Saturday and it was clear you had a lot of respect for Shannon. What was also clear was that you were ready to put the organization behind the man.

    That makes no sense.

    Just to save you some curiosity, the Board of Texas Stonewall Democrats voted Saturday to send a letter to Shannon Bailey asking him to resign while his legal problems are ongoing. The Board did not follow up this action with a decision to remove him in 7 days should he refuse to resign. Basically, the board is now on record. The next step is Shannon's.

    I gotta tell you, being in that room was tense. No one wanted to be there and everyone that was there to ask the board to remove him was pissed at Shannon for forcing them into that position. All summer, people have been asking Shannon to step down so as not to damage the organization or our position within the Texas Democratic Party. His steadfast refusal to acknowledge the political reality of his situation forced that meeting to happen.

    It was not a mistake. We were not judging Shannon or his actions back in June and we know the legal system will work it's way to probably dismissing the charges against him. However, in the meantime, he's burning the credibility of the organization. And that can't be tolerated.


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

    August 16, 2007

    Kuff and FDL have an idea...

    ...on how to welcome Karl Rove back to Texas. Additionally, NoriegaBlog has the skinny on the required income disclosures from the candidates and PDiddie has the update on the netroots efforts to raise money and support for Noriega... half way to the end of the Q, we're more than half way to the goal!

    Take a moment to give what you can and show your support for the next Senator from Texas!

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

    August 11, 2007

    NORIEGA KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK

    The interview is done and it was, in a word, tremendous... go check it out here and while your at, show your support here for the next Senator from Texas!

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 28, 2007

    Edwards : The Hair Video

    Damn. Nice work, y'all!

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

    July 27, 2007

    35E Freeway in Lewisville during rush hour

    YOU GO WHO'S PLAYIN'!

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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

    Edwards is leading the debate

    From the WSJ no less...

    This week, the former North Carolina senator has made his most prominent bid yet to place the oft-ignored issue of poverty prominently on the 2008 agenda, with a four-day tour of some of the most run-down parts of the South and Midwest, beginning with his sixth trip this campaign to this city, devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He has talked about the issue more than any of his rivals, and was the first to craft a "poverty" plank in his platform.

    About the time Mr. Edwards announced plans for his tour, one of his better-positioned rivals, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, posted a poverty plan on his Website. Mr. Edwards ended his tour -- wending through a poultry plant and an industrial neighborhood hit by factory closing -- Wednesday in Kentucky. On that day, Mr. Obama delivered a major speech on the subject in Washington, D.C.

    An Obama campaign official dismissed as "absurd" the notion that Mr. Edwards drove the debate on poverty or any other issues. But some voters feel otherwise. "I appreciate Edwards because he's at least talking about poverty," said Scott Myers-Lipton, a San Jose State University professor who caught Mr. Edwards speaking in New Orleans. "He's the only one talking about it."

    "He's a serious candidate and he's not to be discounted just because he lags in the national polls," says Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who is neutral in the nomination contest. "It's a smart strategy for the front-runners to follow him."

    Say what you will about the other contenders, Edwards is the one bringing the party as a whole back to progressive ideals that appeal to the vast majority of Americans.

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

    July 26, 2007

    Dan Grant's strong fundraising numbers

    Kuff has more on Dan Grant's strong fundraising number for Q2. In it, he raised basically on par with the other declared candidate for the Democratic nomination in CD 10, Larry Joe Doherty. Both raised just under $80m in Q2, putting both in a great position vs. the Republican incumbent, Mike McCaul.

    The interesting thing? Larry Joe was the odds on favorite for fundraising, given his status as a television personality. However, Grant's take over the quarter proves he's going to be in this for the long run and has what it takes to raise enough to beat McCaul.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dregs : Speakers Race Opinions; Noriega slams Cornyn

  • So, former Speaker Rayford Price sent in a scathing opinion on CradDICK's dictatorial hold on the Speakership. Harvey 'Sure, I'll show up!' Kronberg has the PDF of the letter... the bottom line? The House should have been able to free themselves of this albatross at any time during the session. CradDICK overstepped his authority. Duh.
  • The Rio Grande Guardian caught quite a bit of Rick's visit to the valley...
    Noriega joked that he ought to come down more often to the Valley, so that the region gets more attention from Cornyn. He said it was quite remarkable that Cornyn would announce a bill for a VA hospital in the Valley within days of confirming his decision to set up an exploratory committee.

    "I need to come back more often so the Valley can, maybe, get their levees fixed, get their interstate built, get better health care," Noriega said. "I'll keep coming back so that the Valley can finally be paid attention, after six years of the junior Senator not knowing where the Valley was on the map. If it holds people's feet to the fire, I am coming down here more often."

    Noriega said his intention was to "speak truth to power" over the coming months on behalf of millions of Texans who have not had proper representation in the U.S. Senate for the past six years. "This senator decided early on to represent one Texan - the President of the United States. He has carried George Bush's brief case. He has not represented the 22 million people that live in the state of Texas," Noriega said.

    Noriega offered an example of what he believes is inadequate representation. "You have a united border leadership saying that a border wall will not work. Not to listen to that advice is not to represent the people of South Texas," Noriega said. "The question is will Texas voters hold him (Cornyn) accountable for voting for the border wall on two occasions? No one is holding his feet to the fire."

    [...]

    Noriega was just as critical of Cornyn over his help for Valley veterans. Last week, Cornyn announced he was filing legislation that would require the VA to report on the inpatient care needs of Valley veterans.

    `The veterans have been screaming for a VA hospital for years. It has taken Mr. Cornyn six years and the threat of opposition to finally speak up on the issue," Noriega said. "A veterans' hospital would have been my issue the first year, not the sixth year. Not when it is election time."

    Noriega said his duties in the National Guard in the Valley have included "putting people on buses, either to Kingsville, to El Paso, or to Sam Houston, so some poor guy can get an appointment he made four months ago." He said more people need to realize that Texas does not end in San Antonio.

    "This is one of the most patriotic parts of the state. You look at the number of people who serve from the Valley, it is quite impressive. It's powerful and it's moving. The people should have a voice," Noriega said.

    Now would be a great time to go and drop a $1 or two to Rick... go on, it'll make you feel good!


  • Posted by mcblogger at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 25, 2007

    Dregs : 39% in another scandal; Ciro has a weak opponent; Judge Criss and Noriega takes command

  • Vince at Capitol Annex has more on the newest scandal to hit 39%, that of poor Republican management at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

    Hundreds of residents at Texas’ state schools for the mentally retarded have suffered serious abuse and neglect at the hands of those paid to watch over them, a Dallas Morning News review shows.

    Documents released by all but three of the 12 state schools operated by the state Department of Aging and Disability Services outline everything from horrific physical violence and neglect to frightening verbal threats, derogatory slurs and pranks.(DMN)

  • Matt at BOR has a great piece up about Ciro Rodriguez's presumed Republican opponent, Francisco Canseco, and his fuzzy fundraising. Apparently, Canseco is loaning himself money, then talking about what a brilliant fundraiser he is. Anyone seen a picture of this clown? Does he have an L on his forehead?
  • Finally, Judge Susan Criss has a new website up as part of her campaign for the Texas Supreme Court! If elected, Judge Criss will make the first rational, intelligent person elected to the Court since Bob Gammage. She'll also be the first Democrat to serve since Gammage. Wait... I'm being redundant.
  • You're invited to witness the Change of Command Ceremony when Lt. Col. Rick Noriega (yes, THAT Rick Noriega) will take charge of the 1st Battalion 141st Infantry Regiment (The First Texas) on Saturday, August 4th at 9:00 AM. As in the morning. People in the military do shit WAY too early in the day.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 23, 2007

    Puente has a challenger and other primary news

    Word on the street in SA is that CradDICK D Robert Puente will be facing a challenger in the primary next year. Can't wait to see how this one plays out.

    In other SA related news, rumors are STILL flying about a challenger toVan de Putte but no names are as yet being mentioned seriously. I personally know of many people who were very disappointed with her performance during the last session, especially related to transportation and tolling which is WILDLY unpopular in SA. If a challenger arises and pins that on her effectively, they'll win. It's really a shame because she's served her constituents well on many other issues. However, on this one she's really fucking them hard without vasoline or a kiss.

    And yeah, Leti, they know it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 20, 2007

    Webb puts the smack down on Lindsay Graham

    Hal at Half Empty has the transcript of Senator Webb bitch slapping Senator Graham on MTP...

    SEN. WEBB: You know, this is one thing I really—this is one thing I really take objection to...

    SEN. GRAHAM: ...the soldiers are speaking, my friend. Let them win.

    SEN. WEBB: ...is politicians who—at the...

    SEN. GRAHAM: Let them win.

    SEN. WEBB: Politicians who—may I speak?

    SEN. GRAHAM: They want to win, let them win.

    SEN. WEBB: Is politicians who try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers. You can look at poll after poll, and the political views of the United States military are no different than the country at large. Go take a look at The New York Times today.

    That's right, Lindsay... quit putting words into the troops mouths.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 18, 2007

    Moving to impeach Cheney

    It's a waste of time and yet another effort on the part of Kucinich to draw attention to himself (Look at me! Look at me! I can fling poop, too!), however, more Representatives have signed on the impeachment bill.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love nothing more than to see Cheney booted from office in disgrace. However, I still don't know the legal basis for it. And the fact that this is more about Presidential politics than it is reality just irritates me as I know it will lead no where. Just having a majority of Americans 'for it' doesn't mean it will happen.

    It's not nice to provide false hope, Denny.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2007

    Help put Rick over the top!

    (McBlogger notes : I'm endorsing Rick Noriega and requesting your help. This is my personal endorsement, not an endorsement by the entire blog.)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    800 Donors in 4 weeks. 200 donors a week. 29 a day. That is our lofty goal. Change the equation. Power a political revolution. We need your help!

    Lt Col. Rick Noriega is my candidate and I'm not asking for your money, I'm only asking for your support. 800 donors is a statement that we are tired of politics as usual in Texas.

    Be one of the first 800 to change Texas forever. Donate any amount today!

    Candidates should not be allowed to buy elections or allow special interests to buy the nomination $1,000 at a time. 800 donors sends a message that we are ready to crash the gate and take back our party. 800 donors shows support across a cross-section of Texans who are ready to take control of their lives and make a change for the better.

    You can tell the state and country you are ready for a change by donating any amount. I'm joining forces with other Texas Bloggers to say that a dollar is as important as $1,000.

    Donate today!

    Texas bloggers throughout the state are working together to support Rick Noriega, not by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, but saying it is time to support a people powered revolution. I'm one of them.

    Now all we need is you. Donate. Get your friends to donate. A donation of any amount changes the equation.

    Change the Equation with any donation.

    Today we are asking for you to help us change the political landscape in Texas. We are asking for you to sign up with the team, not buy influence. Campaigns should be about people and ideas, not bank accounts and millionaires.

    With your donation, of any amount, we can not only stop Cornyn, but we will change the face of politics in Texas forever.

    Donate Today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Help put Rick over the top!

    (McBlogger notes : I'm endorsing Rick Noriega and requesting your help. This is my personal endorsement, not an endorsement by the entire blog.)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    800 Donors in 4 weeks. 200 donors a week. 29 a day. That is our lofty goal. Change the equation. Power a political revolution. We need your help!

    Lt Col. Rick Noriega is my candidate and I'm not asking for your money, I'm only asking for your support. 800 donors is a statement that we are tired of politics as usual in Texas.

    Be one of the first 800 to change Texas forever. Donate any amount today!

    Candidates should not be allowed to buy elections or allow special interests to buy the nomination $1,000 at a time. 800 donors sends a message that we are ready to crash the gate and take back our party. 800 donors shows support across a cross-section of Texans who are ready to take control of their lives and make a change for the better.

    You can tell the state and country you are ready for a change by donating any amount. I'm joining forces with other Texas Bloggers to say that a dollar is as important as $1,000.

    Donate today!

    Texas bloggers throughout the state are working together to support Rick Noriega, not by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, but saying it is time to support a people powered revolution. I'm one of them.

    Now all we need is you. Donate. Get your friends to donate. A donation of any amount changes the equation.

    Change the Equation with any donation.

    Today we are asking for you to help us change the political landscape in Texas. We are asking for you to sign up with the team, not buy influence. Campaigns should be about people and ideas, not bank accounts and millionaires.

    With your donation, of any amount, we can not only stop Cornyn, but we will change the face of politics in Texas forever.

    Donate Today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Editorial Wrap Up : Get us OUT of Iraq, fuckers!

    Two editorials stood out to me today, both had the same point: Congress needs to get us out of Iraq now since the President has continued to follow is own insane advice and refuses to acknowledge reality.

    This is NOT a 'let's beat up on the Congressional Democrats' post. They've done all they can to date. It's been up to the President to change and adapt. That hasn't happened. So, the only choice we have left is to put a terrific amount of pressure on Republican Senators and Representatives to flip and override a Bush veto on a withdrawal. In short, it's time for Congress to fully emasculate the crazy man in the White House.

    To that end, the Star-Trib in Minneapolis-St. Paul is calling on Senator Norm Coleman to flip and join Senate Democrats in this effort.

    President Bush, having dispatched top officials to Capitol Hill to shore up support on Iraq, saw defections occurring instead and ended up in a high-stakes power showdown on Thursday. After lecturing Congress on its role (consultation, by his lights), he emphasized his power as chief decider. But it's way past time for all that. Members of Congress must counter his stance with a strong new, and newly bipartisan, effort to responsibly end this war. ... Since Bush is having his logic all ways and clearly is in denial about the state of affairs in Iraq, senior members of Congress -- despite Bush's implication that they are overstepping their authority -- must get beyond their party interests and/or 2008 campaign maneuvering and craft a firm, joint message to Bush. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who has shown at least a limited willingness to differ with the president on Iraq policy, is in the right position to be a player in such an effort. But it can't be Sen. Levin this and Sen. Warner that. Just as it took truly bipartisan cohesion to get out of Vietnam, it will take more than a determined majority and a few straggling Republicans to turn Bush around.

    Then this from the Sac Bee, for those Democrats out there who still want to beat up on the Speaker...

    Three significant events happened last week regarding U.S. policy in Iraq.

    First, the president issued a preliminary report required by Congress on progress in Iraq. It offers unwarranted optimism and no adjustments to Bush's current strategy. It states that the "overall trajectory" has "begun to stabilize" compared to the "deteriorating trajectory" in 2006. But, the administration notes, none of 18 benchmarks has been reached. In eight, "satisfactory" progress has been made; in 10, only "unsatisfactory" or "mixed" progress.

    Second was the 223-201 vote in the House in favor of a bill (HR 2956) to require U.S. combat forces to start leaving Iraq within 120 days. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will bring back similar bills "as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues, until pressure from the American people causes the president to change his mind and change his policy."

    Third, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., have drafted legislation that admits reality: A "unified, pluralist, democratic government" is "not likely to be achieved in the near future" in Iraq, and the U.S. military cannot "interpose itself indefinitely between sectarian factions." It rejects a "poorly planned or precipitous" pullout, but requires Bush to come up with a plan by Oct. 16 to keep U.S. troops from "policing the civil strife or sectarian violence in Iraq" and focus instead on protecting Iraq's borders, targeting terrorists and defending U.S. assets. Implementation would begin by Dec. 31.

    The President has already shut the door on the Republican proposal, proving once more than he has no intention of working with Congress or acknowledging reality. Now you can be mad the Speaker for not bringing up impeachment (personally, I'd love nothing more but the investigations have not yet uncovered enough evidence to prosecute, nor are there the essential Republican votes to impeach... we don't have THAT large a majority) but don't jump up her ass over this. Call Republican members of Congress. ANY Republican member of Congress. Bitch them out.


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

    July 14, 2007

    Clinton and Edwards team up?

    Oh, I don't know what I think about this...

    ABC News' Teddy Davis and Lindsey Ellerson Report: Democratic rivals Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., were caught on tape Thursday privately conferring and agreeing to have their campaigns collaborate.

    "Our guys should talk," Clinton said to Edwards.

    The former first lady's remarks were picked up by an open microphone following a Democratic presidential candidates forum held at the annual NAACP convention.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 13, 2007

    Making fun of the Campaign for America's Future

    OK, remember the video from the CPAC convention? Well, the folks at CAF loved it so much they screened it at their convention... then asked the guy to produce one about their convention. Upon viewing it, the people running the convention decided not to show it. Why? Because it made fun of them. Turns out, people don't like others poking fun at them (something liberals AND conservatives have in common).

    I went to The Nation and watched the video, fully intending to find something funny about people who take themselves WAY too seriously. Instead, I found something horrible. I found an unfunny video.

    Sorry, Max... it blows. Calling it 'edgy' don't make it so. It's honestly a rather mediocre effort given the target rich environment (and all you could come up with was asking over and over again about the Obama girl?).

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 12, 2007

    Noriega's announcement gets pushed

    It's sad to say, but the reason is solid. Out of respect for Lady Bird and her family, Rep. Noriega has postponed his Senate announcement until Monday at 11. On a less somber note, Mike Hailey at Capitol Inside has a great article Noriega's shrewd use of earned media

    Noriega - a lieutenant colonel who spent 14 months on active duty in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard in the war on terror - confirmed in newspaper interviews this past weekend that he would be forming an exploratory committee this week to gauge support for a possible campaign for the seat that Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn plans to seek again next year. Noriega announced Tuesday that he will formally announce at a Texas Capitol press conference on Thursday that he's filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for the exploratory effort. That's three potential press hits in less than a week. In this day and age, exploratory committees are formed after the water has been tested, the trial balloons floated and the campaign machinery put in place. Potential candidates don't organize exploratory committees to help them decide whether or not they really want to run. With scattered possible exceptions, candidates form exploratory committees to guarantee a double-dose of publicity to use as a campaign springboard once they've decided that they're running.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 10, 2007

    Texas Round-Up

    It's 11:30, do you know where your blogger is?

    McBloggersees "little Patty Rose" at one of his favorite Austin bars.

    Taking Texas Back

    Texas Kaos continues its podcast series,
    hosted by Refinish69.

    This week features an interview with Mike Engelhart, who is running for
    151st District Court Judge in Harris County.

    Going Public

    Capitol Annex takes a look at the implications the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of equity firm Kolberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which is
    presently negotiating to purchase utility giant TXU.

    Do you want Blackwater types patroling our border?

    STXC tells the story of DynCorp International, a Virginia-based military security firm, stating it could train and deploy 1,000 private
    agents to the U.S.-Mexico border within 13 months, offering a quick surge of law enforcement officers to a region struggling to clamp down on illegal immigration.

    Don¹t Forget that Senate Race

    Burnt
    Orange Report
    reminds us that Cornyn is awful and either Watts or Noriega are an improvement to Junior Cornyn.

    Half Empty explores the idea of another draft movement.
    Why not draft Mikal Watts For Chief Justice of Texas 3rd Court of Appeals?

    Border sheriffs ask: "Where's our money?"

    Remember all that money that was allocated by the Lege for border security? Border sheriffs want to know why their buddy Rick Perry isn't giving more of it to them.
    Off the Kuff takes a look.

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

    July 04, 2007

    Happy Independence Day!

    That's all... nothing more to say. Enjoy the rain...

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

    July 03, 2007

    Balancing on abortion

    I find myself thinking Greg is mellowing out and making sense. Which really pisses me off. He's got a great post up about a piece in the NYT about differing views on abortion and why Democrats should look seriously at the issue itself, rather than getting stuck on pro-life/pro-choice debate that goes nowhere.

    The standard response from Democratic leaders has been that anyone lost to them over this issue is not coming back - and that regrettable as that might be, there is nothing to be done. But that is not what I heard from these voters.

    Many of them, Catholic women in particular, are liberal, deep-in-their-heart Democrats who support social spending, who opposed the war from the start and who cross their arms over their chests reflexively when they say the word “Republican.” Some could fairly be described as desperate to find a way home. And if the party they’d prefer doesn’t send a car for them, with a really polite driver, it will have only itself to blame

    The reality? Both sides need to STFU. The VAST majority of Americans do not fall into one camp or another. Sorry to both of you but you're as delusional as Bush if you think most people agree with you. You might try associating with people outside of church (you pro-lifers) and outside of your club meeting ( OK, pro-choicers?). You'll find that most people, if given the option, would make the choice to carry to term except in cases of incest or rape. Most people want few, if any, restrictions placed on women in those circumstances. Further, after about the first trimester, support falls off dramatically for abortion rights, even among women.

    Now, for you pro-life nutters out there, you should be PRAYING for oral EC solutions, not trying to stop them.

    This is a damn divisive issue, not least of which because some old white men have inserted themselves into a debate that's really about a medical procedure THEY WILL NEVER HAVE. That being said, it's the women on the pro-life side that need to be listened to. It's time we start talking and come to some sort of compromise so people will stop making voting decisions based on this one issue.

    That is the reality with which our party is confronted and it's time we addressed it, rather than calling those on the left and the right who vote on only that issue stupid.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Chris Bell brings the funny

    Apparently, Congressman Bell had the same experience I've had with the not-too-smart folks at TSA. Granted, these people are just doing their jobs, but I gotta tell you what Chris details here reminds me a lot of my last trip to MN.

    Damn, Chris! Why couldn't you have been more like this on the campaign trail?!?!?

    Travelers on Flight 1859Y probably didn't know just how safe they were. It was the keen eyesight of two Transportation Safety Administration workers at Reagan National Airport in Washington that led to the discovery. Thanks to them, the offending bottle of shampoo that exceeded four ounces did not make it on board the plane and the skin cream, hair gel, cologne, shaving cream, style ointment, breath spray and eye drops were carefully inspected and placed in a plastic bag. It's just that kind of attention to detail that's winning the war against terror and that makes us all breathe a little easier when flying these days.

    I must admit at first the TSA workers' heroism was lost on me since it was my bag and my shampoo. But then, after having time to reflect, I could see exactly why they were bound and determined to enforce the rules against containers with more than four ounces of fluid.

    Sure, to the average lay person, it seems ludicrous that even the cleverest terrorist could carry out some evil plot with just a bottle of shampoo. But those are the same naysayers who probably couldn't see how a plane could easily be overtaken with just a pair of nail clippers.

    See, the folks at TSA have to constantly think outside the box. Granted, they rarely engage in that sort of thinking until after someone has already attempted a new form of terrorism. But who wants to quibble about motivation?

    The fact is that after a plot has been uncovered, widely publicized and will quite likely never be attempted again, TSA officials don't just sit back and do nothing. They react!

    The terrorists used box cutters on 9/11. Instead of just addressing the insanity that had led to box cutters being allowed on planes in the first place, TSA went a step further.

    With their unique vision, they could see the same plot being carried out with instruments usually reserved for manicures. Instead of just waiting for someone to commit "clip havoc," they took action. Bravo!

    The same was true for shoes. After the attempted shoe bombing plot was foiled a few years ago, TSA went to work.

    Sure, there was technology available that would have allowed people to simply step onto a scanning device with their shoes still on. But why spend millions of taxpayer dollars on that sort of convenience?

    People act like flying is supposed to be enjoyable just because they're spending hundreds of dollars on tickets. Welcome to the new world.
    And now fluids. To the untrained eye, it might look like a harmless bottle of shampoo. But why do you think it says "no more tears" on some bottles? A lot of people obviously don't see what shampoo in the wrong hands can do. But I'm glad we have the TSA to think through all of this for us.

    Do you really want to have to read about an entire flight crew being blinded and disabled by a large bottle of Pantene? I didn't think so. Now stop your complaining.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Noriega gets some attention...

    ... this time from the Texas Observer

    It’s easy to see Noriega’s appeal to the netroots: besides his politics, he’s served in both Afghanistan and on the Texas-Mexico border, immediately giving him authority on two issues that Cornyn could use to bully a different opponent. A run-down of many of the widely read blogs is available at Brains and Eggs. There’s also detailed information going up on the Draft Rick Noriega site, where it looks like they’ll be tracking primary opponents like Watts or maybe (emphasis on maybe) U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards.

    At the same time, these draft movements don’t exactly have the best track record. When we checked in with Charles Kuffner, the author of Off the Kuff and a member of the Draft Noriega squad, he laid out some ways this might be different. For one, the candidate is an actual politician. “It’s not like we’re trying to persuade someone to come out and run. We know Rick Noriega is seriously considering it,” Kuffner said. Additionally, Kuffner is friends with Rick’s wife Melissa Noriega, who was recently elected to the Houston city council. Kuffner knows Rick. And while he’s not part of the campaign, he is in touch with them.

    Of course, many bloggers around the state including Muse, Coby and Todd have been keeping track of the guy I hope to help persuade to run for Senate. Check 'em out! Then head over to Half Empty where Hal has taken the time to post about some of Rick's legislative accomplishments. Gee, wouldn't it be nice to elect someone to the Senate who actually has legislative experience? You know, instead of some jackass who made a really shitty AG?

    Finally, Rick has received support from his fellow Texas Representatives as well as a separate note from Rep. Gallego.

    While certain politicians were talking about the “war on terror”, Lt. Col. Noriega was actually fighting it by serving a 14-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. While certain politicians were failing the test of leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina, Lt. Col. Noriega was brought in to serve as Incident Commander and direct logistics at the George Brown Convention Center, helping thousands of Katrina evacuees. While certain politicians were talking about the need for immigration reform and border security, Lt. Col. Noriega was actually securing the border as the Commander for the Laredo Border Sector. Texas needs leadership by example, the type of leadership Rick Noriega has given his state and country.

    For more than a decade, Rick has also been on the front lines fighting for a better Texas. He and I have stood side by side to protect and defend our children by providing children’s health insurance. We have worked together to give teachers a necessary and needed pay raise, and put more resources into public education. We have worked together to protect our environment and clean up our air, especially in places like Houston.

    All in all, looks like we're not the only runs saying Run, Rick. Run!

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

    June 29, 2007

    I'm sorry to announce...

    ...that The Mayor has been arrested in Israel for assaulting 39% with pastry. The Mayor, on a business trip to purchase land for a manufacturing plant in the Palestinian Authority, ran into 39% in Tel Aviv. Upon seeing the Governor, he asked the child of an associate what would be an appropriate greeting for someone you hate and, after the suggestion was made to throw rocks, proceeded instead to hurl pies at 39%. And Robert Black.

    Via phone, Mayor McSleaze said, "The kid suggested throwing rocks but to me, that was just a little too 'Third World'. So, with the help of a nearby bakery, I was able to instead throw date and fig fried pies at 39%. Truth be told, I think they were probably harder than rocks, anyway."

    We're taking up a collection for his bail and legal fees. Currently, after only 20 minutes of fundraising, we have raised close to $22 million. Just by telling people that we're raising money to help someone who threw a pie at 39%.

    Of course, Mayor McSleaze, being incredibly wealthy, can afford his own bail. However, his thinking is that Texans should step up and pay him for actually doing what they all want to do.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 28, 2007

    Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    Equality Texas and Atticus Circle have sent out a request to sign a petition asking members of Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Whatever your feelings about us homos, the reality is that the military is losing men and women, because of this stupid policy, that could be of tremendous benefit to our country. These people only want to serve and the only reason they are barred from that service is their sexual orientation.

    Yeah, yeah... petitions are worthless. If that's true, then what can it possibly hurt to sign the damn thing? Take 30 seconds out of your life and do it.

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

    June 27, 2007

    Clinton a fundraising machine...

    Oh, if money were all it took...

    With four days left for fundraising in the second quarter of 2007, it appears that Mrs. Clinton is almost certainly going to raise more money this period than a leaked Clinton campaign memo originally estimated. Just last night she raised $1 million at an event where the campaign memo had projected raising $400,000 to $500,000.

    That memo, which was provided to The Times last month by an uncommitted Democrat unaffiliated with any campaign, estimated that the Clinton campaign would raise roughly $27 million this quarter, which ends June 30. Some of her advisers have predicted raising $27-$30 million for the quarter.

    But in recent interviews, several Democrats raising money on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf said that they were exceeding their own goals in the memo by tens of thousands of dollars, some even by hundreds of thousands. Some small-dollar fundrasiers were left off the memo, meanwhile, while a few events did not have any dollar figure attached.

    The best part? She had a big event last night in NYC hosted by private equity fund and hedge fund managers. The very same people Congress is about to tax. And they don't seem concerned about a Democrat at all. Of course, Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America, has always been more for Democrats than Republicans. He had the money quote for the evening...

    “Hillary Clinton is the person to run this country;” “she’s a real bargain and I’m a bargain hunter;” and, referring to the future stocks and bonds markets if Mrs. Clinton is elected, “10 years out they will be far more up than with any of the Republicans who are running now.”

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

    June 25, 2007

    Chet goes for redemption...

    OK, this is a great start.

    "For weeks, the White House budget office threatened to veto this bill, because it was above their request," Edwards said in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Fortunately, the president finally backed down on his threat to this historic veterans' bill, but only after it was clear that Congress would override a veto."

    But it doesn't nearly make up for this. Speaking of, you ready to vote to restore habeas corpus? Chet?

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Angry mob confronts Rep. Pena!

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Just kidding... it's a pic from his blog of folks he was talking with at the Rio Grande Valley Townhall with TDP Chair Richie.

    Hey Aaron! We're still pissed at you about that dumb ass CradDICK vote, but we do still like you! No, not enough to help you out should a primary opponent surface, but as a person we think you're swell!

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

    June 19, 2007

    Recapping Edwards in Austin

    (sorry about the delay in posting this...)

    I gotta say, I was impressed with Sen. Edwards at the grassroots event last week. I like his stance on environmental issues and his commitment to clean energy. Actually, I'm not going to do a summary of the policy points because I'm not all that lazy today and others have already done it. What about impressions... OK, here goes.

    It was the first time I was really impressed with one of the Democratic Presidential candidates. Seriously, I like them all but until last Monday I hadn't had a WOW moment. Truth be told, I had one at the fundraiser. It was brief, but it was palpable, a sense that this is someone I can get behind (not that way, perv), fully support and KNOW won't let me down by going lame in the general election.

    Considering that we are nine months from the TX primary, I've not been paying a lot of attention to the presidential race because the R side is full of people who need a maintenance dose of thorazine and the D side is full of really capable people. It's been one of those rare times when I haven't really cared one way or another. I care now. I think Edwards will be the best choice.

    That doesn't mean I'm not going to keep listening and watching. Hell, by the end of it all I may be voting for McSleaze as a write in. However, what I saw last week impressed me. For the first time in the still nascent 2008 cycle.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 18, 2007

    Run, Rick... RUN!

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIt's not often I'll jump out for a candidate this far away from the Primary. It's also somewhat rare that the Mayor and I will disagree on anything. However, I'm doing something a little unusual because I'm ready to make some waves and I'm ready for candidate that will

    BEAT THE SHIT OUT


    OF CORNYN.

    IMHO, that guy is Rick Noriega. Now, if we can only get him to run... Draft Rick Noriega is a great start and I invite you all to participate. Noriega is the only candidate with the combination of legislative and life experience that will allow him to challenge Cornyn on a level over and above anything he's ever faced.

    You'll notice I said it's rare that the Mayor and I disagree. On this, I'm speaking only for myself. I think Spamburgler and Boobilicious are on board with Noriega as well, but I haven't been able to reach them since they've been on a month long bender at some ersatz resort near the Salton Sea. The Mayor's minimum requirement for a candidate is that they look 'vaguely humanoid'. So far, Emil Reichstadt and Mikal Watts have announced a run and both, clearly, fall within the parameters of what the Mayor considers a 'good candidate'. Why such low requirements? Whoever the nominee is, he/she will have to face Cornyn who looks like a cadaver. From an Ed Wood movie.

    Whatever happens, Texas Democrats will have a much better looking candidate than the Republicans. Don't laugh, it's more important than you think.

    So, the Mayor has opted to withhold his endorsement until he's able to meet all the candidates. It's the sensible thing to do so you know I want none of it.

    For me, I'm with Noriega. Now all he has to do is file. Come on, Rick! Texas needs you! I like Mikal fine, but it's you I want to be our candidate. Don't make me settle for less!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 16, 2007

    Noriega stomps Morales; Leppertsy wins

    In Houston, Melissa Noriega solidly beat down Nutter Morales for Houston City Council! Awesome job, Team Noriega!

    In Dallas, some guys who builds hospitals named Leppertsy won. The people of Dallas have once again opted for style over substance. Which is why their city sucks balls.

    Good luck stopping the Trinity Toll Road now, peeps! I still love y'all (whatup, Dallas Progress!) but I know Leppertsy's kind. Y'all are going to get screwed without vasoline or a kiss.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Noriega stomps Morales; Leppertsy wins

    In Houston, Melissa Noriega solidly beat down Nutter Morales for Houston City Council! Awesome job, Team Noriega!

    In Dallas, some guys who builds hospitals named Leppertsy won. The people of Dallas have once again opted for style over substance. Which is why their city sucks balls.

    Good luck stopping the Trinity Toll Road now, peeps! I still love y'all (whatup, Dallas Progress!) but I know Leppertsy's kind. Y'all are going to get screwed without vasoline or a kiss.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 14, 2007

    Help Melissa Noriega on Saturday!

    OK, Houston folks...time to get your asses in gear and elect a great leader to the Houston City Council! With just a few days left until the election on Saturday, it's time to pull out all the stops and take down the bizarre Morales.

    Click here to go to the site and make sure you sign up to phonebank. The R's are pulling out all the stops to get their nutter, Roy Morales, elected. As Richard Morrison points out, this is massively important to Houston and the rest of Texas.

    You guys in Houston are all the time talking about how good we have it in Austin with all these great Democrats in office. Trust us, you can have the same thing with a little work and keep another right wing crazy from the public office for which he's very much unqualified. Not to mention that damn near everyone in Houston political circles has endorsed Melissa.

    Roy's also a douche. Kinda like that Leppertsy guy in Dallas. However, that's just my opinion. I'm not saying he's actually a plastic bottle of liquid that comes in a box labeled MASSENGILL. It's the act of using the bottle that most resembles Roy Morales.

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

    Hey Babe... I was just watching you on C-SPAN

    I got a crush on Obama

    Posted by sister ruth at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 12, 2007

    Hank endorses Edwards

    At today's grassroots fundraiser for John Edwards here in Austin, the Edwards campaign announced the endorsement of widely popular 2006 Democratic Ag Commissioner candidate, Hank Gilbert. More to follow.

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

    Hank endorses Edwards

    At today's grassroots fundraiser for John Edwards here in Austin, the Edwards campaign announced the endorsement of widely popular 2006 Democratic Ag Commissioner candidate, Hank Gilbert. More to follow.

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

    McSleaze announces platform for TDP Chair's race

    Part of McSleaze's plan to remake Texas acknowledges the fact that little can be done until Democrats control the Lege and the Governorship. However, once that's accomplished, he'll focus on setting an agenda which all Texans can get behind, including:

    1) Making it a felony for a restaurant to charge for chips and salsa
    2) Mandating that all persons who move to Texas take at least 24 classroom hours of "How to drive in Texas"
    3) Liquor Parity Law which will require all establishments that serve beer to also serve liquor (the McBlogger Assistance Act)
    4) Setting a minimum speed limit of 65 on all Texas highways and freeways
    5) Reverse ALL non-smoking laws
    6) Incinerate Larry The Cable Guy in an oven of his own design

    McSleaze is committing to support all candidates in the 2008 cycle and beyond, with his personal funds if necessary, to create a new Democratic majority in Texas. He also vowed to import, on temporary work visas, up to 10,000 of his 'employees' to block walk in 2008 for Democrats.

    "The time for caution has passed. Now is the time for bold action if we are to take the initiative and turn Texas blue! I ask for and frankly expect your support."

    Mayor McSleaze then announced he'd received a key endorsement from Princess Stephanie


    I've known Mayor McSleaze for years and he is, in my opinion, the best person to lead Texas Democrats to victory.

    More endorsements will be forthcoming.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 09, 2007

    down at The Pride

    Sitting at the Stonewall Dems booth at The Gay Pride right now. Mark McCulloch just told that Ann Richards is, in fact, alive and performing with the Austin Babtist Women.

    Damn y'all... Is it just me or is it hot as balls?

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

    down at The Pride

    Sitting at the Stonewall Dems booth at The Gay Pride right now. Mark McCulloch just told that Ann Richards is, in fact, alive and performing with the Austin Babtist Women.

    Damn y'all... Is it just me or is it hot as balls?

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

    Stop Cornyn goes live...

    An enterprising group has put up StopCornyn, a blog dedicated to ridding Texans of their albatross of a Senator, John 'Zombie' Cornyn. I've been calling him Corpsyn for a while but The Mayor is all the time telling me to stop it. So I've decided to just call him what he most appears to be, a zombie. Do I really think that the junior Senator from Texas is a flesh-eating member of the living dead?

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket






    Absolutely








    PDiddie over at Brains and Eggs (which is, coincidentally, one of the grossest breakfasts in the world) has a Zombie greatest hits list up of all the retarded things the assclown has said over the years.

    StopCornyn is not attached to any campaign and it's not part of the Democratic Party. Just a few well meaning Texans who aim to make sure that in January, 2009 there is a real Texan in the Senate not some whiny bitch.

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

    May 31, 2007

    Thank you, Rep. Burnam

    With all the crap circling Saddam CradDICK and the Fun with Tolling tragedy, we haven't had much of a chance to thank Rep. Burnam of Fort Worth for doing his best to kill 39%'s horrendous political policing bill which was masquerading as a homeland security bill. In the end, Carona of Dallas (in the Senate), with the help of Corte and Escobar (in the House) managed to get an even worse, more abusive bill passed.

    Let me make this clear... no one is doubting that we need to enhance homeland security. However, the way you are going about it is traitorous. You've betrayed the people of Texas if you voted for this bill... you've helped concentrate political power in the Office of the Governor. Where it certainly shouldn't be.

    Thank you again, Rep. Burnam, for standing up for civil liberties and the Constitution. You, Sir, are a true Texan.

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

    Thank you, Rep. Burnam

    With all the crap circling Saddam CradDICK and the Fun with Tolling tragedy, we haven't had much of a chance to thank Rep. Burnam of Fort Worth for doing his best to kill 39%'s horrendous political policing bill which was masquerading as a homeland security bill. In the end, Carona of Dallas (in the Senate), with the help of Corte and Escobar (in the House) managed to get an even worse, more abusive bill passed.

    Let me make this clear... no one is doubting that we need to enhance homeland security. However, the way you are going about it is traitorous. You've betrayed the people of Texas if you voted for this bill... you've helped concentrate political power in the Office of the Governor. Where it certainly shouldn't be.

    Thank you again, Rep. Burnam, for standing up for civil liberties and the Constitution. You, Sir, are a true Texan.

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

    Watts announces exploratory effort

    Hot on the heels of Lampson's announcement that he's going to run for re-election in CD 22, Mikal Watt's announced that he is 'exploring' running to be the Democratic nominee to run for Senate next year and finally put Sen . Corpsyn where he belongs (out on the street, natch).

    I gotta say, I'm really very proud of Lampson. While I thought he was the wrong person to run against Corpsyn, I think he'll be a great candidate against Dermatologist DraculaCunt. Please run more aggressively this time, Congressman and beat the shit outta that retard!

    As for Watts... I know next to nothing about him. Oh, I know the basics. What I don't know is what kind of a candidate he'll be? Any fire there or will he be Lametina Navritolova?

    Anyone care to chime in here?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 24, 2007

    Congressional Democrats on the hot seat

    I love Keith Olbermann's special comment. So much, in fact, that I'm going to post it.

    You know, there is something to be said for being as obstinate as Bush and cutting off all funding from the DoD. It's brinksmanship and it's a game the Democrats will likely lose. I like Olbermann's commentary because it fully encapsulates all the anger and frustration I and many others feel. I don't like it because it misplaces that anger and frustration which should rightfully be directed at two places... Connecticut native George Bush who vetoed the bill that placed a deadline on our involvement in Iraq and the Congressional Republicans who let that veto stand.

    It is to them that I say 'We're done'. The American people see past your pathetic and cynical attempt to hold the men and women of the US Armed Services hostage to your failed policies and misguided attempts to remake the world. While we would LOVE nothing more than for Congressional Democrats to throw a giant wrench in everything, we know that isn't possible as long as Congressional Republicans feel free to continue enabling the disastrous President Bush. Just as they've done since 2000.

    Congressional Democrats have held the good of the country above all since they assumed control in January, a marked departure from the actions of the far more partisan Republicans. Maybe it's time to let them really take the bitches on. And crush them. It apparently is the only way we're going to end our involvement in a civil war and bring our troops home. Go ahead, Nancy. Make Boehner cry.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Thank you, Senator Gallego

    HB 218, Rep. Betty Brown's odious voter suppression bill, has died. Finally. Senator Gallego penned a brilliant op/ed on the topic over at the Chronicle that I'm posting in the supersize.

    Thank you again, Senator and all of us at McBlogger wish you a speedy recovery!

    Why right to vote, without an ID, is worth fighting for This lawmaker counts his grandmother among reasons

    By STATE SEN. MARIO GALLEGOS

    In my community in Houston, thousands of first- and second-generation Americans came of age in the "greatest generation." They volunteered to protect our freedom in World War II. Many who came home had to fight to build a life for their families and exercise the rights they earned with their blood and tears.

    As a firefighter, I was trained to protect their lives and property. As a state senator today, it's the least I can do to honor their sacrifices by being in Austin to protect their right to vote.

    Every nonpartisan, academic study on the impact of voter ID laws in other states shows they suppress voter turnout among the elderly, low-income citizens, Hispanics, African-Americans and the disabled. But I don't need a study to know why voter ID proposals like House Bill 218 are bad; I just have to think about my grandmother.

    My grandmother came from Mexico, played by the rules, became a citizen and earned her right to vote. She didn't have a driver's license, but she had her voter registration card, went to the polls where the workers knew her, and voted. If the voter ID law were in effect, I'm not sure she or others like her could have voted.

    This year, close to 120 burdensome voter identification proposals were introduced in state legislatures across the nation. Not one of them has passed yet, and I want to make sure Texas isn't the only state to pass one. For many folks, a voter ID requirement doesn't sound like a big deal, but it would prevent many eligible voters from voting. Many elderly voters don't have a driver's license. Others who are disabled or work two jobs don't have the time, money or ability to get an ID card or documents they would need to vote. And new voter ID requirements would create confusion and long lines at the polls that would discourage many from voting.

    When more people vote for American Idol contestants than vote for president, we should make it easier for people to vote, not harder. Voter ID proponents say it's necessary to combat "voter fraud" and raise the specter of "illegal aliens" voting, but no one has documented a single case of "voter impersonation" that HB 218 would solve. And common sense tells us noncitizens are not going to risk deportation by voting.

    The bottom line is that voter ID is about politics, not fraud. In a 2004 election contest for a Harris County state House seat, a Texas House committee chaired by a conservative Republican found charges that hundreds of noncitizens voted were false. The Bush Justice Department's "Voting Access and Integrity Initiative," which directed U.S. attorneys to prioritize alleged voter fraud cases, resulted in only 24 convictions from 2002 to 2005. And the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found "that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified."

    Voter ID laws passed in Georgia and Missouri were struck down by the courts, which concluded that the cost of obtaining the ID and necessary documents amounts to a 21st century poll tax.

    In my community, there are veterans and people like my grandmother who earned their right to vote and shouldn't be forced to pay the modern day version of a poll tax. They are the real heroes in this story. I'm in Austin because it's my job to protect their right to vote.

    Gallegos, a Democrat, represents Houston.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 22, 2007

    Go, Melissa, Go!

    K-T at BOR has a great piece up on a new TPA project, Melissa Monday, which is what I was supposed to have published earlier. For obvious reasons.

    Melissa Noriega is running for an At Large seat on the Houston City Council and we love her. She's one of many candidates running across the state who will be in a June runoff. Soon we should have something on the mayoral race in Dallas which features a douche vs. a non-douche (seriously, that's about as much as we know at this point). Until then, go check out Melissa if you're in Houston. We think you'll like her! She's exactly what Houston needs after the disastrous Dracula-Cunt.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 18, 2007

    Ice cream is yummy... come have some on Sunday

    On Sunday, Team McBlogger, in an effort to 'do something for the community' will be participating in Constable Bruce Elfant's Ice Cream Social.

    Yes. An Ice Cream Social. And we'll be S-O-B-E-R... well, The Mayor and I will. I can't speak for Sister Ruth. Sure, I've written derisively about Ice Cream Socials in the past but that was only in reference to Ice Cream Socials at political conventions. And I know, you're probably thinking that the only ice cream I like comes in a high ball with ice, soda, scotch and no ice cream. I did mention this was for charity, right?

    ANYWAY, the event is Sunday, May 20th, from 3-5 PM at the AFL-CIO Auditorium (1102 Lavaca). Students are $5, general admission is $15 with sponsorships from $25 to $500.

    Oh, and we'll be making some of the ice cream. Trust us, you'll love it.

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

    May 16, 2007

    Obama says bluster isn't tough...

    via Political Wire

    Sen. Barack Obama "mocked President Bush for constantly 'talking tough' as the Illinois senator spoke about judgment in a crisis during a television interview aired Sunday," the Chicago Tribune reports.

    Said Obama: "It's not just talking tough, because the truth is nobody's talked tougher than George Bush over the last six years. Being tough means, first of all, not having to talk about it all the time."

    Yeah. The people running for President in the Democratic Primary totally kick ass while the Republican primary contenders are, well, lame.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 15, 2007

    Boxing Lindsey

    Damn, I love me some Barbara Boxer...on CNN's Late Edition Sunday, Barbara Boxer thoroughly bitchslapped Sen. Lindsey Graham who wins the dumbass of the year award for still not getting that his talking points and bullshit are going to be met with force.

    BOXER: I don't know anyone who opposes this war that ever said our troops are losers. Our troopers are winners.

    GRAHAM: Harry Reid did.

    BOXER: Excuse me. He never said our troops are losers. Now, Lindsey, just be careful what you say. The bottom line here is, the losers are the ones who have, you know, engineered this war, made a huge mistake, Dick Cheney, we're in the last throes, the war will last six months, and all of you who have supported this escalation and have turned us away from fighting al Qaida into putting us in the middle of a civil war.

    Now, the fact is I want to be very clear on this, Wolf. I've lost in California 21 percent of the dead troops. You understand that? Twenty-one percent either were born in California or were stationed in California.

    I have their names listed in the front of my office. If you come and see my office, they are all on these charts. And you know what, Lindsey? I have to keep making the print on the charts smaller and smaller to fit all the names on four full charts.

    BLITZER: Senator?

    BOXER: So don't say anyone calls them losers. They're winners. The loser is the commander in chief who has not led our country well

    Crooks and Liars has the video up... it's worth a watch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 09, 2007

    Great VR/Voter ID idea

    Stace over at Dos Centavos has a great post up about a fantastic idea for voter registration AND ID. Make Texas ID cards free and make voter registration automatic with getting or renewing a license or getting a TX ID card. No more separate cards and one simple database to handle everything. Great idea, Stace!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:38 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Great VR/Voter ID idea

    Stace over at Dos Centavos has a great post up about a fantastic idea for voter registration AND ID. Make Texas ID cards free and make voter registration automatic with getting or renewing a license or getting a TX ID card. No more separate cards and one simple database to handle everything. Great idea, Stace!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:38 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    May 08, 2007

    Just a hypothetical...

    But hearing about all these voter challenge thugs has made me think of something... does anyone shout them down? Does anyone assault them? I mean pull back and really slug the fucker hard enough to loosen some teeth? Normally that's what happens when someone starts acting an asshole in Texas. I've been on the giving and receiving end a few times.

    I wonder how many people the Republicans would be able to pull in to watch the polls if voters started making it uncomfortable for them? Maybe then we wouldn't have a problem with voter intimidation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 05, 2007

    Draft McSleaze for TDP Chair

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Recently, while at a meeting here in Austin it was suggested that I should run for TDP Chair. This drew raucous laughter, but it made me think. Maybe someone should run for TDP Chair. That someone should not be me, obviously... I'm way too nice. What's needed is a real asshole, someone who can whip everyone into shape while turning TinaFish into his very own pony. There's only one person who can do that. One person with the kind of personal will and evil genius that can make grown men weep, women swoon and turn Texas blue again.

    That person is Mayor McSleaze. We're going to draft him to run because TDP needs some change. And some cheap labor imported from overseas through McSleaze's sweatshop contacts. No doubt some of the more liberal elements of the party will have a problem with the fact that McSleaze likes to move his businesses into areas where labor is cheapest and weakest. However, he's just bringing them up to our standards. For example, he recently implemented a 20 minute break per 12 hour shift! He's also instituted a wonderful prescription drug program in conjunction with PPDPharmaco. Needless to say, McSleaze is the real deal... true progressive leadership for the 21st century and beyond.

    Truly, 2008 will be an historic realignment cycle where all that we've come to know will be put in question. The Republicans have their evil genius, isn't it best we have our own? While we may revile him for his invention of the boy band, it's just that kind of vengefulness that will restore Texas Democrats to control of government.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 02, 2007

    In which I say something nice about Joe Biden

    Via the AP

    Anticipating President Bush's veto of an Iraq-funding bill that would set a timeline for troops to be removed, Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware told a South Carolina voter that Congress should "shove it down his throat."

    Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, made the comment Friday at a South Carolina political event. The remark was captured by a C-SPAN television camera and first reported on The Politico Web site.

    I know his staff, boneheaded fucks that they are, will try to walk this back. However, this is the first thing that shitheel Biden has said that I actually think shows some fucking guts. Reality is reality... the surge ISN'T fucking working any better than anything else because our troops are now in the middle of a civil war. There are no 'terrorists' to fight, there are only Iraqi's wanting to fight it out. At the end of the day, only they can solve their problems. Saddam is gone. Let's move the hell on out of this fucking mess.

    And now, I shall go back to remembering Biden's vote on the Bankruptcy Bill... a vote I will never forgive.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 27, 2007

    Edwards statement on NH Civil Unions vote

    OK, I've still not made a decision but I gotta say, this is ballsy for a southern Senator looking for the support religious conservatives and Reagan Democrats...

    "Today, Gov. Lynch and the state of New Hampshire showed us that the idea of America -- fairness, justice and equal opportunity -- can become a reality when we have the courage to stand up for what is right. New Hampshire's decision to recognize civil unions and grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights granted to heterosexual married couples is an important step in the fight for justice. This is an issue of fundamental fairness, and by passing this law, New Hampshire's leaders chose fairness over discrimination."

    Win, lose or draw Edwards appears to be running balls out and from the heart. It would be nice if some of the other Dem's chose that path rather than play it safe bullshit.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 13, 2007

    Democrats want to help with the subprime mess

    I hate the term 'bailout'... it reeks of the Resolution Trust Corporation and assets being sold for pennies on the dollar, while taxpayers bear the brunt. However, that is exactly what some Democrats in Congress are proposing. Some of this is good, some of it is bad. What I dislike is the blanket assumption that all these people were taken advantage of. It's bullshit. 95-98% of this is bad acts on the parts of mortgage brokers and banks. The rest is pure and simple greed and stupidity on the part of borrowers. So, what to do to minimize the damage, especially going forward. I've got some ideas:

    McBlogger's Handy Tips for fixing the


    subprime mess...

    1) Disclosure, Compliance and Regulations... Don't add, enforce what's there already. Trust me, I've worked throughout the lending industry and there are more rules and regulations than anyone realizes. The problem is, enforcement is LACKING. It's like Congress made the rules, patted themselves on the back and then zero'd out the funding to enforce them. Predictably, not everyone complies. The solution here is a massive funding increase to HUD and the state agencies that oversee brokers and banks.

    2) No damn Bailout. Keep in mind, many of these people KNEW what they were getting into. They made the decision assuming that their homes would appreciate astronomically allowing them to sell, realize the gain and move on to a more affordable place.

    3) Borrowers... don't buy more than you can afford. If you're spending more than 40% of your gross income on TOTAL housing expense (mortgage, taxes and insurance) then you're just setting yourself up for trouble. Make sure you have at least six months of the payment in the bank at a maximum or three months at a minimum. When you own a home, you're responsible for the air conditioner, the water heater, etc. Make sure you have the ability to pay for repairs that may become necessary.

    4) Require that borrowers with scores below 600 being credit counseling as part of the mortgage, coupled with credit repair. How the hell some of these people expect to refinance without improving their credit is beyond me.

    5) Expand and modernize the Federal Housing Administration. Drop the 3% down payment requirement, raise the MIP cost slightly to compensate on new originations and raise the loan limits to 75% of conforming. Finally, streamline the lender approval and annual audit process. Make it easy for the brokers to set up for FHA and they'll do that rather than send borrowers to subprime.

    Keep in mind that the real estate market is always driven by speculation and that periodically, there is a spike. Couple that with some irrational lending and you have the problems we have today. To fix it, return stability to the market. Which brings me to my final suggestion... implement an immediate 75% capital gains tax on all profits made from the sale of a home that's been owned for less than 2 years.

    If you want to drive out speculators, tax the hell out of their profits. Speculation always ends up hurting people and when the final chapter is written on this particular bubble, they will be the ones that bear the majority of the blame.

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

    April 12, 2007

    Help Melissa Noriega!

    Wanna elect an excellent candidate to Houston City Council? Sure you do... you people in Houston are just one step away from chaos and anarchy, with only Melissa Noriega standing between you and unmitigated disaster.

    Help.Her.Out.

    ('you people'... did y'all like my Imus impression?)

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

    April 07, 2007

    Support for Hillary erodes everywhere...except CA

    Via Political Wire, it appears that Hillary's early name recognition driven lead is beginning to finally evaporate.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton's once double-digit lead in New Hampshire "has eroded substantially since February, while rival John Edwards has made a run toward the front of the pack," according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

    The survey found that Clinton leads with 27% of likely Democratic voters in the Granite State, down from 35% in the same poll in February. Meanwhile, Edwards, who was the choice of just 16% in February, saw his support jump to 21%, vaulting him past Sen. Barack Obama into second place.

    ...and there's more...

    A new University of Iowa poll finds John Edwards leading the other Democratic candidates in the first caucus state. Edwards was ahead with 34%, followed by Clinton with 28% and Obama with 19%. No other Democrat reached 2%.

    On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) edged out Rudy Giuliani, 21% to 20%. Mitt Romney trailed with 17%.

    ...and more.

    A new University of Iowa poll finds John Edwards leading the other Democratic candidates in the first caucus state. Edwards was ahead with 34%, followed by Clinton with 28% and Obama with 19%. No other Democrat reached 2%.

    On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) edged out Rudy Giuliani, 21% to 20%. Mitt Romney trailed with 17%.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Support for Hillary erodes everywhere...except CA

    Via Political Wire, it appears that Hillary's early name recognition driven lead is beginning to finally evaporate.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton's once double-digit lead in New Hampshire "has eroded substantially since February, while rival John Edwards has made a run toward the front of the pack," according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

    The survey found that Clinton leads with 27% of likely Democratic voters in the Granite State, down from 35% in the same poll in February. Meanwhile, Edwards, who was the choice of just 16% in February, saw his support jump to 21%, vaulting him past Sen. Barack Obama into second place.

    ...and there's more...

    A new University of Iowa poll finds John Edwards leading the other Democratic candidates in the first caucus state. Edwards was ahead with 34%, followed by Clinton with 28% and Obama with 19%. No other Democrat reached 2%.

    On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) edged out Rudy Giuliani, 21% to 20%. Mitt Romney trailed with 17%.

    ...and more.

    A new University of Iowa poll finds John Edwards leading the other Democratic candidates in the first caucus state. Edwards was ahead with 34%, followed by Clinton with 28% and Obama with 19%. No other Democrat reached 2%.

    On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) edged out Rudy Giuliani, 21% to 20%. Mitt Romney trailed with 17%.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack