July 12, 2010

If Brevity Be The Soul Of Wit, TDP Isn't Earning Any Smiles

The 2010 Texas Democratic Platform is forty-three freaking pages long (that's just a few less than the Bible) but contains not ONE line about our inalienable right to free chips and salsa.

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

April 20, 2010

I wasn't going to say anything...

Seriously, news that Kinky Friedman was raising money for Republicans really didn't have much of an effect on us here at McBlogger. We never thought Kinky was a Democrat anyway, so it wasn't at all shocking. We also knew he was a shameless opportunist and it occurred to us that he'd probably appear at a weekend for Neo-Nazi's as long as they were paying him enough. I mean, let's get real here... Kinky doesn't do a damn thing without money attached to it.

Needless to say, we were all good to leave well enough alone since Hank won and who the fuck cares about the smelly old drunk minge any more...until we found out that this PAC has supported REP. MICHELE BACHMANN.

This is like hosting a fundraiser for Idi Amin or Joe Stalin, not that he ever really needed money. With most of our friends on the right, we can at least reason and find common ground. But Bachmann is a rarity in that she's really, truly, fuckall crazy as a shithouse rat.

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

March 15, 2010

Quit whining, Kesha...

Kesha Rogers, one of the more articulate LaRouchebags I've ever seen, won the Democratic primary in CD 22. She ran on a platform that included impeaching the President (don't ever underestimate how pissed EVERYONE is at the President, especially the libs and moderate who were jerking themselves off last year over the prospect of an African American President only to find out that in reality the man is damn near as white as Ward Cleaver. And the Beav), pulling troops out of the Middle East, restoring NASA and building roads. She wrapped herself up in FDR and JFK, talking about a restoration of the economy in vague, nonspecific terms with no clear understanding of exactly what would happen if the LaRouchebag plan were followed (except for building infrastructure, which I'm all about).

In other words, a platform TAILOR FUCKING MADE for CD 22. So, it should come as no surprise that, combined with an active and engaged campaign, allowed her to win the Democratic nom. Unfortunately, like most LaRouchebags, she's also batshit crazy. As a side note, Kesha, WHY THE HELL MILITARIZE SPACE?!?!

Now for those of you that don't know, LaRouche hates pretty much everyone who isn't straight and Christian. Until recently, I don't think he was all that fond of African Americans but apparently the old fucker is warming up to them. He also thinks we're still at war with the British.

Up until this weekend, it was clear this would be a solid loss and we'd just wait for next cycle to run a real candidate (no offense, Kesha, but you're still batshit crazy). I had hoped we'd all be able to ignore the crazy.

Alas, the SDEC saw to it that wouldn't happen. They passed a resolution declaiming Kesha and letting everyone know that it's OK not to help or support her (and you can't support the R either). As if most of us hadn't already decided there was no way in hell we'd ever vote for a LaRouchebag.

Not for nothing, y'all, but I really wish y'all had just left well enough alone. Now she's whining and so is DVO. Kesha's threatening to sue which will, of course, go nowhere. And in the end all it does is focus still more attention on Kesha, who desperately craves it.

Now all I want to do is throw the fuck up.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:26 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 01, 2010

Party Resolutions: Waste of Time or Exercise in Futility?

You say you want a resolution
We-ell you know
We all want to change the world

And what better way to change the world than showing up at your precinct convention Tuesday evening and passing a bunch of resolutions exhorting your party to support this and that? To tell the truth, practically anything else this side of holding up signs in congressional hearings while dressed like a clown, but that won't plenty of earnest party activists from climbing the first step in the great Resolution Process. The next step, of course comes later in March at the County Conventions, when the resolutions passed at the lower level will again be debated and, should they pass muster, be delivered into the hands of the high and mighty State Convention for consideration at the most exalted level. And from here? Well, nothing much.

See, party resolutions are a lot like writing letters to Santa Claus. Except in this case there's no chance the parental units will sneak a peek and discover the unsettling news you'd prefer a set of Ninja throwing stars instead of that lame Easy Bake Oven.

Oh, I hear some ask, can you really be so cynical? After all, didn't Abraham Lincoln say all politics is local? Or was it Joey Bishop? Well, to be honest, this scarcely scratches the surface of my cynicism. But as Pliny the Elder wrote, "Don't hate the playa, hate the game." So in the spirit of unity I again offer the official McBlogger Precinct Resolution:

RESOLUTION

SUPPORTING FREE CHIPS AND SALSA

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 that the Texas Legislature be directed to support this right by appropriate legislation.

Adopted by Precinct #__________in Senatorial District # __________of ____________County, Texas, on March 2, 2010.

Precinct Convention Secretary__________________________

Telephone________________________

For your convenience, you can download a PDF here.

Finally, I'd like to point out to the Republicans who read this blog (yes, we know you're out there and, thanks to the just-renewed Patriot Act Comrade Obama has your IP addresses) that there's nothing in the way this resolution is written that would prevent it from being introduced at your precinct conventions. After all, chips and salsa is not a party issue, they're a fundamental right we share as Texans.

So, if you must, have at it.

Abandon the creeping meatball!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

¡Salsa o muerte!

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2010

What a stupid asshole

Well, it turns out the President is falling for the fiscal conservative bullshit coming from Summers, Sen.'s Bayh and Conrad as well as a whole collection of other idiots who think they know best. He's decided to freeze discretionary spending at 2010 levels for the next three years.

IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING RECESSION.

Now, of course we could blame the Republicans, Blue Dogs and Teabaggers for all this shit, but the reality is that at any given time, in any given situation, there are going to be stupid people who tell you to do stupid things. The task of a leader is to tell those people to fuck off because they're simply too stupid to understand what they're talking about. Instead, the President is going to try to placate them (it won't work, bullies always demand more) and here will be the result

1) We'll still have deficits... at this point, Bush tax cuts aside, the only thing creating the deficit IS the recession which has resulted in less people paying taxes.
2) We'll still have high unemployment
3) Even the nicest, most forgiving Democrats are going to say ENOUGH
4) Republicans will sweep the midterms

I'll be saying a prayer that this retarded idea was the result someone who will be thrown under the bus. I was so hopeful after Friday's speech... I'm still hoping the President has rediscovered hardball.


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

January 20, 2010

Heck of a job, Brownie!

The polls hadn't even closed in the Massachusetts senate race when shots began to be exchanged by the traditional Democratic circular firing squad. "Martha Coakley was a terrible candidate!" "It was the fault of the DNC/DSCC/DLC/Tim Kaine/Harry Reid/Rahm Emanuel/Joe Lieberman!" "It was a referendum on Obama/health care reform/the economy!" "This never would have happened if Howard Dean was running things!" "The Obama Administration is over!"

Apparently the old saying is wrong. Failure can have many fathers too.

Left out of all the intramural poo flinging is the fact that Scott Brown ran a good campaign, talking to voters, winning them over, and getting them to the polls. Without that, none of Coakley's mistakes would have mattered.

Democrats need to take a chill pill and focus on getting some things accomplished this year. We still have commanding majorities in both houses of Congress. If the GOP is blocking progress, we need to fight them and make their obstructionism an issue in November. And Obama needs to step up to the podium more often and play the "fierce advocate" he claimed he would be. I always thought he was far more skilled as a speaker than as a nuts and bolts politician. It's way past time for him to be using that skill.

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

January 04, 2010

No, it won't. And the President can go fuck himself

More from Jane on the President's decision to fuck the vast majority of people in this country who wanted a public option. And it's all based on this...

Given that the public dislikes the Senate bill--which, right now, looks like the only feasible framework for health reform--and that Americans probably won't be getting what they said they wanted in poll after poll throughout the health care debate--namely, a public option--it could be a challenge for Democrats to sell this bill to the American people once it's over and done with. But the debate over health care has worn on, and it wouldn't be too surprising to see a sigh of relief get expressed in poll results, with health care receiving a bump as it nears and achieves legislative completion.

Actually, no... that's not at all what's happening. The problem is that up until very recently the public option WAS going to have to happen. It wasn't until recently that Senator Reid decided to fold up. And the President is looking, as Jane says, at a strategy that brings his numbers up by dropping his base in the grease... it all appears to be going so well and will continue to do so until the moment of discontinuity when people realize they've been screwed and that there's no public option coming... just a mandate to buy health insurance.

Then watch the President's poll numbers become comparable to President Bush's numbers just prior to leaving office.


Posted by mcblogger at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2009

Marc Katz files for Lite Guv

But who really gives a rat's ass? Especially when you can watch this instead.

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

December 23, 2009

Who's up for dropping President Obama?

Actually, not just him but let's primary every blue dog cocksucker and DINO in the country...Sure, we'll lose some of these fuckers, but the reality is it's time for a wake up to these clowns.

First up, there is another too-small stimulus program. Krugman says it needs to be at least $200 billion AFTER it's whittled down by the carping R's, DINO's and blue dogs. Now, we all know it won't be that large (which, not-coincidentally, dovetails with the low end of the numbers for what the size of the stimulus provided earlier this year SHOULD have been... which is my way of saying "a bunch of smart people, including myself, TOLD THAT IT NEEDED TO BE BIGGER. But, NO... you ran off and listened to the same people who told you first that tax cuts wouldn't cause deficits and then that deficits didn't matter in a normal economy. The same idiots who are telling you now that the deficit is too large. Here's the thing... THEY'RE WRONG. One point about this asshole, he never tells you that it actually makes sense to raise taxes once the economy turns... he'd rather scare you.) For more on our 'crushing' debt, see here.

Then there's this...which makes it pretty clear compromise for the sake of compromise, even when we're totally in the right and they are totally in the wrong, is really the nature of our electeds.

Oh, and why even bother fixing our broken financial system? It's obvious our folks lack the will even though Wall St. itself admits that without effective and enforced regulation, they'll run wild once again (and thank you, John Mack, for having the balls to admit that).

Unfortunately, we can't sit out elections. What we can do is start working on another candidate to rid ourselves of President Obama. Oh, shut up and grow a pair. I told y'all throughout 2007 and early 2008 that this asshole wasn't transcendent. That he was always looking for compromise even when it wasn't necessary. I mean, come on, did you really have any doubt that the FISA vote wasn't a prelude of things to come.

This isn't about broken campaign promises and whining. This is about the fact that we elected a man whose will is too weak to accomplish even the simplest things. We needed a fighter and instead we got a version of Mr. Rogers without pesky morality. Now, let's correct the mistake and put someone on the ballot in 2012 who won't fuck us over.

Oh, but you're worried about the Republicans? Don't. We're still overwhelmingly the majority. What's dragging down the numbers for Dems is the near constant capitulation to the weakest Republican Party since January, 1965.
When that stops, you'll see the numbers come back up, wildly.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 16, 2009

REALLY?!

Farouk Shami is putting $10 mln into his run to be the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate. I just wish he'd spend some of it on his website. Specifically, on simple things like spell check (suport?!?) and the legally required campaign disclosure that's usually at the bottom.

Sure, we have typos and misspellings on an ongoing basis. We're a blog. And I certainly don't have $10 mln to spend on this.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2009

Oh... one other thing

On the 20th, I posted this about comments made by Tom Schieffer on health care reform. I realized this morning that I left out one additional comment regarding his remarks...

Schieffer was asked where he stood on the public option. Supporters argue that private insurance companies will not lower premiums unless and until there is a government-run alternative. Schieffer said he does not believe the public option is the be all and end all of health care reform.

Really? Well then, Tom, absent strongly enforced regulation, how would you guarantee competition in an industry which is known for concentration? In the health insurance industry, where some insurers control up to 75% of the market in a state, the only certain way to make sure that consumers stop getting screwed is a public option insurer. It will force the private insurers to either become more efficient or go out of a business. Either way, they stop killing people.

This is what galls me... in a vacuum, the electorate doesn't realize that Republicans are doing nothing but defend the insurance companies. We've done a really poor job of messaging on health care reform and it's only recently started to turn. The polling, despite jacked Democratic messaging and weak as hell bluedogs, is actually very good for a public option. Most people, even in Texas, see it as important to very important. Yet here's one of our candidates for Governor talking about it like it's just not a big deal.

Guess what, Tom? IT IS. Why the hell wouldn't you drop these useless companies in the grease??! From a messaging standpoint, they are the perfect punching bag... wasteful, greedy and guilty. They've done nothing but fuck over shareholders AND customers, something I always thought would be exceedingly difficult. The only people health insurance companies help are their own worthless management teams. And Tom Schieffer is out carrying their water.

You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit. And the longer Tom Schieffer's campaign goes on, the more that becomes abundantly clear.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 22, 2009

Gee, ya think?

E.J. Dionne over at the WaPo has a very interesting article up today about the problems Democrats may have in 2010 with young voters. It seems the Under-30 vote may be cooling to the Obamessiah and congressional Dems.

As someone who is safely out of that demographic, my initial reaction to the lede was "So what? Those snot-nosed young punks can't be counted on to consistently vote anyway, what with their autotuned hiphop music and Guitar Hero and what-have-ye' " (my internal voice is much more rural, cranky and out of touch than my talking voice)

But as Dionne's article notes, the under-30 vote was a significant factor in Obama's election. It's the only demographic that is decidedly more liberal than conservative. Yet pollsters are sensing this wave of promising young progressive voters might sit out in 2010. Know why? For one reason, because they perceive that Obama and the national Democrats aren't serious about following through on last year's campaign promises.

Another interesting point in Dionne's article is how the different demographic groups act on their dissatisfaction with politicians. Old voters get pissed off and vote. Young voters say 'Fuck it" and stay home.

This holds good news and bad news. The bad news is that the White House and Congressional Dems appear poised to give the under-30 vote an excuse to stay home next year with some half-assed health care bill that doesn't fundamentally change anything. The good news is, if the news out of Washington these days sometimes makes you fantasize about staying home on Election Day in 2010 as some kind of protest against mambypamby Democrats like Baucus and Nellie, it just means you're young at heart.

Of course, us older and wiser folk know that's counterproductive. But for you Democrats out there who think you're playing to the "middle", I would ask this: Who's going to support you in the primaries if the young voters stay at home and the old voters are pissed at you?

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

October 20, 2009

Dumbass. This is why your idea sucks balls.

Working for Hank has restricted some of the blogging I can do... however, this just had to be said. I did manage to clean up my language. Somewhat.

Last week Tom Schieffer, who is running for the Democratic nomination, had a nice chat with the Rio Grande Guardian. He was so impressed with it, he even sent it out to his mail list and posted it on his website. Here's the part that caught my eye...

“The situation we have right now is unsustainable and what we have right now is fewer and fewer people being covered and higher and higher costs. That does not work. What the president is trying to do is give people access to a system in which they can get coverage and I think it will eventually lower health insurance premiums because everybody will be covered.”

Schieffer said what is happening right now is the people who are paying for health insurance are paying for all the people who are not insured. He said they are paying it in the form of higher taxes at the county level and they are paying for it in the form of higher insurance rates. “Someone has to pick up the indigent health care costs and the uncovered costs. That is why the costs are so high right now,” he said.

Schieffer was asked where he stood on the public option. Supporters argue that private insurance companies will not lower premiums unless and until there is a government-run alternative. Schieffer said he does not believe the public option is the be all and end all of health care reform.

“I look at it like we have mandatory automobile coverage. Everybody has to have it and you have what they call an Assigned Risk Pool and people compete for the business,” Schieffer said.

“When we first started mandatory auto insurance in Texas there were hundreds of thousands of people who were not covered. We have got that down to less than 100,000. I do not think that having the public option or not having the public option is critical. I think it is all about access. When people have access they will feel a lot better and it will work better than it is right now. Right now the system is broken.”

We do not pay sky-high premiums because there too few insured. We pay higher property taxes and that's the only accurate thing he said. Everything else is complete bullshit. Hank Gilbert nails it here, but I wanted to point out some things in my own special way. Mostly because it pisses me off badly as a Texan and a Democrat that a man who wants to be Governor would be so casual about one of the biggest problems we face as a nation.

Health care reform ISN'T about access to private insurance. Everyone has access but an ever growing number can not afford the premium. And this isn't auto insurance, it's far more complex and dominated by some extremely large players. In other words, THERE IS NO GODDAMN EFFECTIVE MARKET. Further, just having more people in the pool isn't going to lower the premium... that's not the way insurance works today. NOW, with real time analysis tools and risk management systems, premiums are often based not on the pool, but on the effective risk of the individual in non-negotiated (individual) insurance plans.

Even if it were still the 70's and what Schieffer said was true (assuming it ever really was), this is saying 'let's create a legal obligation to buy health insurance and put no restrictions on the insurers to lower rates'. I'm not real comfortable trusting an insurance company that thinks being a woman is a pre-existing condition. Or that uses credit scores to determine price, not actual risk (and don't come at me with that ridiculous little study from UT that was based on industry data).

A candidate for Governor should know all this. And that's why I'm supporting one who does.

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

September 24, 2009

In other news...

  • From Quorum Report (via Carl Whitmarsh) comes word that Don Yarborough passed away yesterday. Don was one of the leaders of the progressive movement in Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
  • Farouk Shami, the Houston Hair Honcho, has hired a campaign manager and a pollster to fine tune messaging for his expected run for Texas Governor. Which should make the 2010 Democratic primary the most expensive in history. And I, personally, can't wait to see the message they come up with!
  • A stupid, doe-eyed reporter for the WSJ wrote this about 39%. Among the errors is the omission of the fact that we balanced the budget with stimulus money and that we actually had to borrow money from the Feds to cover unemployment benes and that 39% is, in general, a roundly hated douchebag. Just sayin'
  • Speaking of stupid conservative idolatry, here's a nice piece from Bruce Bartlett that can be rather neatly summarized as 'Clinton was better than Bush'. Bruce was on Reagan's economic team, just so you know where he's coming from.
  • Y'all have yourselves a goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 23, 2009

    Some people hate Sen. Harry Reid...

    ... and his son, Rory. So, the question becomes, why exactly are these two assholes running for re-election and election, respectively?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 24, 2009

    Why do we even care about Joe Lieberman?

    Sen. Lieberman is once again fulfilling his role as douchbag of the Congress.

    Joe Lieberman's love of spending hundreds of billions on freedom through explosions knows no bounds. There are no limits to how much Lieberman would ask the American tax-payer over generations to pay for his beloved wars. If Obama, for some reason, called Joe up some evening and asked him to vote for $100 billion so as to bomb Tehran he'd have the supportive Op-Ed in Fred Hiatt's hands by the next morning.

    But when it comes to providing policies that actually benefit Americans, in America of all places, like health care; no matter how small the relative price, it is too much for Senator "He's with us on everything except the War" (thanks Harry Reid).

    We still care about this jackass because Sen Reid, our inestimably valueless Majority Leader, decided to leave him with his power intact. Despite the fact that he campaigned against the nominee of the party with which he caucuses.

    Even after the country vomited President Bush out of DC and back to Texas, we still have to deal with his enablers? No. Not so much.

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

    August 14, 2009

    Crossing Over

    All must not be well with the braintrusts of the Texas Democratic Party. It's only August and already from the Lone Star Project comes a warning to Democrats to not even think about voting for Senator Barbie in the 2010 Republican primary.

    The 2008 election featured a Presidential campaign, attracting broad attention and a record turnout for both parties. In 2010, there will be no Presidential buzz or national attention.

    Even with the expected sucker-punching, name-calling brawl between Perry and Hutchison, Republican Primary turnout will likely be close to 2006, when 655,919 voters turned out for Republicans. So, even if the ratio of crossover voters in 2010 equals that of the 2008 Democratic Primary and all of the crossover votes go to Hutchison, she will garner only about 7,215 more votes - not nearly enough to significantly affect the results.

    As the 2010 Republican primary race develops, both Perry and Hutchison will appeal to hard line Republican primary voters, touting their allegiance to causes and policies that are opposed by both Democrats and many independent Texas voters.

    Oh dear

    Clearly, any Democrat who participates in the 2010 Republican Primary will be squandering their vote.

    On the other hand, if the choice on the other side is between Tom Schieffer and Kinky Friedman it's hard not to feel the same way about voting in the Democratic primary,

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 27, 2009

    Rep. Polis, I'm gonna need my money back. Thanks.

    So earlier this year Rep. Jared Polis was in Austin for the Texas Stonewall meeting. I went to a fundraiser for him at Parkside and, thinking he was a going to be a good Congressman, I gave him $50. Granted, not a lot (for him or me). However, it was my money, contributed in good faith to a man I thought would help solve the problems facing this country.

    And I want it back.

    Congressman Polis, If you're going to lead this bullshit, then I'm going to need that money back. There IS a class war and it's being fought by the rich against the poor and middle class, not vice versa. The biggest lie ever told was that the rich were ever not in control of this country. They've managed to convince a majority that any public option health plan is socialism. Which is funny because it's basically just putting people on Medicare/Medicaid.

    They've also worked hard to convince people that the rich are getting soaked. How much will someone making $1mn per year pay in extra taxes? $9,000. That's the horrible burden we're putting on folks that absorb a disproportionate amount of income and control an outsized amount of the nations wealth. What these folks would spend on a really nice brunch (just ask the folks at Bagatelle in NYC) would allow us to fix health care in the US.

    People have also heard a lot of crap about how horrible medicine is in Canada (which is completely untrue) and about how many Canadians come to the US for care (it's not many... MORE CALIFORNIANS GO TO MEXICO FOR AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE). However, none of that stops the talking heads in the Republican Party who are eager to fuck this up, not to prevent harm but simply for a political victory.

    Completely left out of this debate is the fact that under the Democrats' reform proposal, doctors will choose the course of treatment for patients, not some insurance company bureaucrat. Or that it will cut out the waste in the private insurance oligopoly (don't kid yourself, what we have now isn't a free market). Or that it will stop self-dealing by doctors profiting from the care they prescribe for patients.

    And Rep. Polis, like the Republicans and more than a few Democrats, is helping to destroy the best ideas and finest solutions. Just another rich guy looking to preserve his ridiculously low taxes and hoping to shift the burden to people poorer than himself. Let's not forget, Rep. Polis probably pays less in taxes as a percentage of total income than you or I.

    So, Jared, I'd like my money back. You can self-finance when you run for re-election.

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

    June 10, 2009

    A challenger for Jackson Lee?

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

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

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

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

    June 02, 2009

    Really Barney Frank?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 08, 2009

    A bunch of little piggies

    Or, as we've been calling them, the Blue Dogs...

    U.S. Representative Jim Marshall is a Georgia Democrat and a member of his party’s Blue Dog Coalition, a group of lawmakers bound by a desire to restrain federal spending. The Blue Dogs have something else in common: a fondness for funding pet projects.

    Marshall alone requested more than $12 billion worth of the so-called earmarks in the 2010 federal budget. His proposals range from $388,850 to aid 14 local farmers’ markets to $4.2 billion to purchase C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft.

    ahem... it would be GREAT if you guys could just, you know, start being REAL Democrats and quit being hypocritical pseudo-Republicans.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 28, 2009

    Making Friends with Senator Ellis

    Isn't it AWESOME how smoking can bring together such diverse and strange groups as this...

    Senator Rodney Ellis; Representative Myra Crownover; Cass Wheeler, retired CEO, American Heart Association; Mayor Jody Smith, City of Flower Mound; Bick Brown, owner of Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Austin; Reverend Leslie Smith, CEO Families Under Urban and Social Attack

    And REALLY, why should we let private property owners decide whether or not they want to allow smoking in their establishments? Why on earth would we even allow voters to decide this issue?! It really is better left to people like Croneover and Ellis, who are really, truly, paragons of excellent public service. We've even heard that Myra's been actually working this session.

    And, of course, it truly warms our hearts to see this bipartisan embrace of the MommyState!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 09, 2009

    SB 220 - Senate D's galatic fuck up.

    To start with, I should be honest. SB 220, or as it's been more aptly named by a number of folks, THE TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED CONVERSION OF PUBLIC ROADS TO TOLL ROADS BILL, passed the Senate with a vote of all 31 Senators last Wednesday. Not a single Democrat or Republican stood in opposition. Which really makes them all 39%'s bitch. Or Cintra-Zachry/Bluebonnet's, depending on who exactly is lubing them up.

    Our own Senator Watson, whom I've tried to give the benefit of the doubt, voted FOR this piece of legislation which allows TXDOT to very easily turn existing, taxpayer funded, public roads into a toll roads. It does nothing to fix the long term funding hole in Texas for infrastructure. It does make it infinitely easier to convert an existing highway into a toll road. Why would Senator Watson do such a thing? My guess would be it's because we need roads and rather than standing up for our long term interests, he's caving to the shallow desires of toll interests and the short sighted Greater Austin Chamber crowd dying to get the roads built as tollways now. Sounds great until you realize you can't just get out of this a few years later... this is one horrendous marriage we're going to be trapped in.

    I've given Senator Watson almost two weeks to just TELL US WHY he voted for the bill. He failed to respond, probably because he was working on another craptastic edition of his hokey 'what's up' email, the Watson Wire. Either that or he was thinking of taking another gutsy stand on giving poor kids insurance, which is really gutsy here in Austin where we give the homeless health insurance. Or, maybe he was just grandstanding on the budget. Speaking of, here's my favorite part...

    "It's just kicking the can down the road without making the structural changes we need to in the budget," said Watson.

    Yeah, no foolin' you, is there Kirk? Shame you couldn't pick up on how much 220 was doing, functionally, the same goddamn thing and soaking Texas taxpayers in the process.

    There's an old saying that Democrats are their own worst enemies. It's true as hell in this case as they are alienating the very voters they need to be swinging towards us. Good job, Senate D's! What, you really thought no one would notice? Or did you just buy Sen. Nichols sales pitch hook, line and sinker?

    The worst part is that you denied us an issue with which to browbeat Republicans in 2010. Now, you'll try to cover your ass by whining about bipartisanship and getting something done to help alleviate infrastructure problems. But it's all bullshit and you're a bunch of weak goddamn sisters who've done far too little research.

    Actually, that may be going a bit too far. We'll still beat the R's with it, but some of y'all are going to get hit as well. It's called collateral damage. And if you don't get hit with SB 220, you will sure as hell get hit with SB 17.

    You folks are supposed to be SMARTER than the Republicans. ACT LIKE IT.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 06, 2009

    What a bunch of damn bullshit...Part 2

    "The American public understands something must be askew if every single Republican votes against something."

    -- Minority Whip Eric Cantor, when asked by reporters why Republicans have said "no" to nearly everything the Democrats have proposed.

    This is a post about the deficit and the irrational thinking of Senators Nelson and Bayh. I included this quote from that twerp Cantor because the Republicans aren't principled when they talk about deficits. To a man and woman, they helped Bush turn a surplus into ever expanding deficits. Their sudden conversion to fiscal responsibility is craven and opportunistic. It's also EXACTLY the wrong thing, and the American people know it. This isn't about them, though. The Republicans in Congress are a lost cause and our only way through as a nation will involve removing them from office, cycle by cycle.

    This is about two Democrats who are thoroughly out of their minds if they think their path is the right one. We have seen, in stark relief, that we will be needing a lot more in terms of stimulus. And in terms of making desperately needed improvements and upgrades to our education, transportation and public safety infrastructure. Making these improvements gives us greater room for faster economic growth with low inflation which in turn helps cut the debt we build up now by running deficits.

    Real unemployment in this country is 12.5%-19%, depending on whose estimate is used off the BLS numbers. That makes this the worst economic downturn since the Depression. In an environment like this, your focus should be on alleviating pain and suffering while pushing every lever possible to build into a recovery. Which you can do with debt. It's this that has Bayh so worried:

    "[U]nder this budget, our national debt skyrockets from $11.1 trillion today to an estimated $17 trillion in 2014. As a percentage of our gross domestic product, it reaches a precarious 66.5 percent. The deficit remains larger than our projected economic growth, an unsustainable state of affairs. This budget will increase our borrowing from and dependence upon foreign nations. I cannot support such results. We can do better, and for the sake of our nation and our children’s future, we must."

    What is so stunning about this statement from Senator Bayh is just how utterly clueless it shows him to be. Whether willful or genuine ignorance is the reason, it's shocking coming from someone in a position of power. The projections to which Bayh refers are based on low or no growth over the next few years. They do not take into account resurgent economic growth or the effects of improved infrastructure on economic efficiency (which, by the way, allows the economy to grow at a rapid click with real wage growth and low inflation, kind of a Goldilocks economy we should be so lucky to enjoy).

    This is not the time to use scare tactics or play politics in a vain attempt to make yourself appear more important than your colleagues. It would be great if Bayh and Nelson would pick something else to stand out on.

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

    March 31, 2009

    ...and introducing Sen. Bayh and the Ballbusters

    Hal NAILS it

    Witness a new coalition of 16 moderate Democratic senators headed by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. This group threatens to undo the progressive budget supported by Barack Obama’s administration as well as the Americans who support Obama in his efforts to put America back on the track to economic recovery (64% last time I looked). ... If so, these conservative Democrats need to take measure of themselves and their positions, and ask whether they want to go down in history as the ones who drove their country over the economic brink. The ones who are responsible for millions of Americans being put out of work with no health insurance. The ones who condemn another generation of children to a life without hope of attaining a college education.

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

    March 26, 2009

    With friends like these...

    Some Senate Democrats are working hard to derail President Obama's budget, claiming that it's too expensive and the additional debt will be too large. Which is silly considering that we're in the middle of a recession and have a lot of problems we have to put behind us before we can get back on our feet.

    It's a bit like worrying about the cost of putting out the fire WHILE the house is burning. Just in case you miss the point, it's FUCKING STUPID. But, this really shouldn't come as a surprise since we're talking about Sen. Bayh.

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

    March 11, 2009

    Teh Baby Jesus Weeps Because Of The Stupid

    I'm used to Republicans being dumb. What I'm not used to are Democrats being dumb. But first, the Republicans...

    Boehner said Americans want government to practice the same financial restraint they have been forced to exercise: “It’s time for government to tighten their belts and show the American people that we ‘get’ it.”(CBS)

    Uhm, actually, Americans want an expansionist fiscal and monetary policy. What Boehner is saying is "Let's fill the whole in the economy, by creating an even bigger one by cutting government spending!" Honestly, this would make sense if there was too much demand and the government was soaking up capital that could be better used by private companies. But that's not the case right now and we need government spending MUCH, MUCH MORE. As we've noted before though, Boehner is a stupid, ignorant little man whose brain is calcified by the ideological equivalent of shit. I can excuse him (even if I do think CBS is retarded for airing anything the moron had to say) because he comes by his stupidity naturally.

    Sen. Bayh, on the other hand, really should know better than to paraphrase the House minority leader...

    “The American people and businesses are tightening their belts,” Bayh added. “I think we need to show that the government can economize as well.”

    A couple of things...

    1) The Democratic Party IS the goddamn moderate party. The damn thing is made up of centrists. The entire party. The Greens are to our left and the Republicans are too the far right. WE'RE THE MIDDLE. So we don't need Senators from flyover states (and VA... we noticed you,Horse Face) to act as if they are the center of the party. Collectively, you represent fewer people than Sen. Boxer.

    2) 'Belt tightening' isn't going to get us out of the economic hole. The Depression finally evaporated when WWII came and kicked off the largest public spending project in history. The US debt went to 140% of GDP. Right now, we're at 65%. We have a long way to go if needed. It will be nice to know that we'll have you chickenshits wringing your hands all the way up.


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

    Just what we need, Part 2...

    Oh, damn. NO.

    “I’m the only (prospective candidate) since Ann Richards who can excite the grass roots,” Friedman said. “If we run a generic Democrat, we’re going to get beat again.” Richards was governor from 1991 to 1995.

    NO

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

    February 05, 2009

    Circling the goddamn drain...

    I read this yesterday...

    I used to be optimistic about the capacity of our political leaders and central bankers to avoid the policy mistakes that could turn the current global recession into a deep and lasting global depression. Now I’m not so sure.

    I'm not quite as worried about some of Buiter's concerns, least of all protectionism (mostly because there's going to be so much demand from China's infrastructure stimulus that basic materials are going to rebound sharply, even in the US). However, I AM concerned about the weakness in Washington. And the more I think about it, the more I'm ready to say, simply, FUCK IT. I can do that. I have money and I can survive a two year depression. Most of you can't.

    In fact, a real depression would probably be good for me as it would allow me too pick up some great assets at 90% off their real value. Hell, I might just bail and leave you all here to rot. Maybe I'll be back when you fucks get your heads screwed on right.

    Why am I saying all this? Because the public has turned against the stimulus bill. Democrats are actively working against their party and their President with the Republicans on more of this tax cut nonsense. The Republicans are easy... any failure of this bill will lead to a lot of economic pain and Democrats are going to get blamed. The Democrats working against this? They're harder to explain... I think it has something to do with a fundamental inability to understand economics and how to maintain a capitalist economy. I also think they're as goddamn stupid as this guy. Or this idiot who seems to think TARP was a bailout for the wealthy. Guess he wasn't paying attention nor does he seem to care that's it's left the Treasury with actual assets. Because he and those like him never understood TARP or TAF, they've been beating a political drum about it for a while. Now that beat has started to poison the Stimulus Bill.

    It's kinda understandable, especially since the media is doing such a bang up job explaining all this to the American people. It almost makes me want to embrace what I see happening, the impoverishment of whole swaths of the country.

    All the while our President sits on the sidelines, going on TV, seemingly content to let the whole thing go down the drain while the partisan bitterness he refuses to engage in consumes the Capital. Of course, he could step in and really decimate the Republicans. Maybe he will. But I certainly doubt it. My question, for now, is the same as this one... WHY ON EARTH WOULD OBAMA HAVE EMPOWERED THE GODDAMN STUPID REPUBLICANS??!?!?!?!?!?! Or, WHY THROW THEM ANY BONES IN THE FORM OF TAX CUTS THAT DON'T WORK? Has it occurred to anyone other than myself that President Obama and the Democrats are wasting our money on Republican ideas we know damn well won't work?!?!?!

    Maybe, just maybe, the CHANGE we could believe in was nothing more than ineptitude. Not that asshat McCain would have been any better. I'm thinking more along the lines of Clinton or Edwards. God knows either of them would have already passed a much better bill and they would have browbeat the Republicans to do it.

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

    January 22, 2009

    Different voices on Voter ID...

    ...all saying basically the same thing...

  • Coby on Texas Newspapers
  • Burka on the idiocy of doing away with the 2/3 rule and the stupidity of Voter ID
  • And just in case you were wondering if maybe, just MAYBE the Republicans were overreacting, there's ample evidence here that was exactly what they did
  • Finally, there's Glenn Smith over at BOR
  • And kudo's to Dan Patrick for supporting a nasty, partisan bill that will NOT stop illegals from voting but will certainly disenfranchise hundreds of thousands.

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

    January 19, 2009

    It's time to acknowledge reality...

    Like many African Americans, it's pretty clear our President-Elect isn't a big fan of Teh Gays. Oh sure, he talks a great game and gives a nice speech, but his actions directly contradict his words.

    If the economic package and this are any indication, PEBO is going to be pretty worthless. Which will set the Republicans up for a stellar 2010.

    You heard it here first, folks.

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

    January 07, 2009

    Designated Crackpot

    Someone has to do it, so I’ll take ownership.


    Unfortunately, Texas Democratic State Reps as a whole still have not grown a pair

    With an opportunity to bring some serious noise, the Dems instead blew a chance to have one of their own become speaker. The notion that dems can not unite around one candidate was dispelled by the fact that they rallied around a Republican. Are you freaking kidding me?

    Exactly who would’ve they alienated by making a bold stance by fighting to get a Dem as speaker of the Texas House? By showing the hundreds of thousands of voters who came out for the primary and stuck around for the general that Dems are willing to stand up for their values, we could have seen an avalanche of support by many of those who are still uncertain about what party to follow. That’s change in Texas we can believe. Instead we get the audacity of feigned pragmatism.

    Incrementalism is all fine and dandy unless you have that rare monumental event that shakes foundations and creates an upheaval. Rather than taking advantage, Dems ran for cover. Also remember that gradual shifts can be halted by forces that have a vested interest in maintaining their territory, or can delay a movement for so long that momentum stops and people move on. Have we already forgotten that since 1980 many of these shifts were reversed because we had lost our fighting spirit?

    Please don’t bring up the notion that Craddick had to go because there are too many important issues in this session. Every session has important issues. Yes, we must remember the CHIP children, but many groups are underrepresented and marginalized, and their hardships are no less under any Republican rule.

    What is the big deal with bi-partisanship and “reaching across the aisle?” Why find compromise with a Republican Party, and conservative philosophy that for the last three decades have lead to the devastation of this country’s economy, values, and prestige.

    By backing down from this fight, Dems have dishonored those long-time political warriors who have given their time, money, and effort to get this state to this point.

    For all those who choose puppies, daisies, and pretty things over getting your nose blooded, you get what you deserve.

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 08:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Stimulus, post-partisanship and shitting blood

    Even in 2007 during his irritating announcement, non-announcement phase I liked Obama. HOWEVER, I hated the retarded bullshit about 'the coarseness of our politics'. I hated, even more, the dimwitted fools who diligently tried to convince me that he was REALLY was just so awesome that Republicans would work with him and be his friend; that he would persuade them.

    Oh, how much I agree with Barney Frank...

    I think he overestimates his ability to take people — particularly our colleagues on the Right — and sort of charm them into being nice. I know he talks about being post-partisan. But I’ve worked frankly with Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, and the current Republican leadership. … When he talks about being post partisan, having seen these people and knowing what they would do in that situation, I suffer from post partisan depression.

    This is, of course, all about the stimulus package. Krugman has pointed out that the plan rolled out does too much on the tax cut side and too little on the actual, you know, infrastructure and job building side. Why on Earth would Obama do that? why to get the support of Republicans in the Senate like everyone's favorite obstructionist, Mitch McConnell

    Look, Republicans are not going to come on board. Make 40% of the package tax cuts, they’ll demand 100%. Then they’ll start the thing about how you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes (with only income taxes counting, of course) and demand that the plan focus on the affluent. Then they’ll demand cuts in corporate taxes. And Mitch McConnell is already saying that state and local governments should get loans, not aid — which would undermine that part of the plan, too.

    While it's true that infrastructure spending takes longer to hit the economy than tax cuts, the velocity of infrastructure spending is FAR higher. Further, it leaves behind hard assets that will be desperately needed for the next leg of economic growth. Just in case you think Pauli is wrong, take a look at this work (and here's something else for good measure).

    Tax cuts are going to spur some spending but it's going to be on imports and the balance will be saved or used to pay down debt. This would be great if you were talking about $2000 or more per individual. However, we're talking about $500. And this is all to get the economy moving again while the little bit of infrastructure spending takes effect.

    Which is, simply, CRAPTASTIC. Lookit, what's really dragging on the economy is all the money on the sidelines. The Fed's have done a great job of stop gapping it but at some point banks have got to get back to lending. What Obama needs to be talking about is, on the afternoon of January 20th, nationalizing Bank of America as a warning to every other bank in the US to quit acting like scared children and get back to work. With credit loosened, people will start to get comfortable and start spending. That spending will drive job creation and we won't have to give everyone a stupid tax cut that will amount to $40 per paycheck and do fuckall to stimulate real economic growth.

    DDay has this take and it's spot on. Obama promised, Obama delivers stupidly. And, as an added bonus, it's all to chase after some insanely stupid bipartisan agenda he doesn't need.

    What's most dangerous about this is the effort to corral 75-80% support just for the sake of doing so. Not only is it unlikely, it will end up really eroding Obama's ability to draw on popular support to govern.

    One last point... when Obama talked about cutting taxes on the middle class, I thought he was talking about increasing deductions, maybe lowering the rates. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought it would all be about giving me an extra $500 which I'll use to buy something from another country out of spite.

    I absolutely can not believe this is what the team he assembled came up with. It's just too stupid. And then, you have the deficit hawks (like, again, McConnell) who are screaming about the debt burden "we're putting on our children" which is funny as hell because they were completely unconcerned with deficits and debt from 2001 until now. But still, let's look at this burden.

    We are going to finance job creation and infrastructure improvement (which will hopefully be much more robust than currently envisioned) at historically low rates. That's right, folks, people are effective PAYING the Federal Government to take their money. Why? Because in a deflationary spiral, where everything loses value, your focus changes from making money to just preserving. And the way you do that is in government securities.

    Sure, we'll have to pay this money back but we're paying for it at a rate of interest that's less than long term inflation. It's free money and we'd be stupid not to take it. The hawks, Democrats and Republicans both, ARE COMPLETELY IGNORANT OF MODERN FINANCE. Frankly, they're almost as stupid as the asshats bleating on about tax cuts as a panacea.

    The bottom line is that what's being proposed here is like crushing up glass and putting it in a meal. Sure, it'll fill you up and you won't be hungry, but within an hour or so you're going to be shitting blood.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 18, 2008

    This? This is hope?

    Rick Warren will be giving the invocation at the Inaugural. This Rick Warren.

    Here’s Rick’s FOX commentary:

    Hannity: Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, wants to wipe Israel off the map, is seeking nuclear weapons…I think we need to take him out.

    WARREN: Yes.

    HANNITY: Am I advocating something dark, evil, or something righteous?

    WARREN: Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped. And I believe…

    HANNITY: By force?

    WARREN: Well, if necessary. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers…

    Just in case you were wondering, he considers the gays evil as well. It's funny what you can consider evil if you just put your mind to it.

    Thanks, Mr. President-elect.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 14, 2008

    Around Texas

  • PhotobucketRon Kirk for Transportation Secretary? He wasn't a great Mayor of Dallas. He wasn't a good Senate candidate. Now the President-elect wants to put him in charge of the Transportation Department? Let's keep in mind this is the same Ron Kirk who thinks tolls are just nifty. His point is the same one most of the 'thinking liberals' make, namely that gas taxes disproportionately effect the poor. What these well intentioned people never pick up on is that when you're tolling damn near every road, you drive up the costs for all consumers creating the very problem your tolls were meant to avoid. Either in terms of paying the toll or sitting in traffic on a surface road or increased costs at stores that sell good transported by trucks that paid the tolls, the poor (even those who don't drive) end up getting soaked. As Democrats, we've always been pragmatic when looking at problems, costs associated with those problems and how best to fund them.

    Unfortunately, it's become accepted as gospel that tolls are the best funding solution in Democratic circles, no matter how wrong that thesis is. Kirk is a part of that problem and that makes him a very unsuitable choice.

    The reality is we need someone dedicated to transportation who can come at our infrastructure problems with innovative, multimodal solutions. We need someone who can recommend sensible, long term financial structures not someone who will simply kick the can down the road, soaking taxpayers in the process.

  • PhotobucketElizabeth Ames Jones has decided to run for Senate. Lucky, aren't we?

    Am I the only one who thinks this bitch is the candidate equivalent of fruitcake? Pretty but absolutely worthless? And trust me, this isn't a Democrat vs. Republican thing. This bitch is as dumb as a box of fucking rocks. Click the goddamn links.

  • For you Dallasites, there's a delay in the plans to reconstruct LBJ. Apparently, the firms need some more time to figure out how to dig out 6 additional toll lanes underneath the freeway. And rebuild the free part of the road. I feel for y'all... you're actually going to have to use surface roads for about five years.

    Oh and the Trinity Toll Road is kinda moving forward. But not really.

  • Austin has low electric rates. Who knew?
  • Posted by mcblogger at 11:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    December 12, 2008

    So, I hear there's this Senate seat available, but it's pricey!

    Who's an idiot scumbag with a really bad sense of propriety, decency and ethics? Oh, and some hellishly bad hair?


    THIS GUY


    Photobucket

    Sure, he was trying to parlay his ability to appoint Sen. Obama's replacement into money. Or a job. Or something nice for his wife. Wouldn't you? No? Yeah, me neither. And just before you think this douche can't sink any lower, there's this...

    For example, according to the affidavit, Mr. Blagojevich discussed whether he could strip a Chicago children’s hospital of $8 million in state money after a hospital executive declined to make a $50,000 contribution. He also discussed withholding state assistance from the financially struggling Tribune Company, which owns The Chicago Tribune, unless the newspaper dismissed unfriendly editorial writers.

    Oh, and for all you Republicans out there feeling holier than thou, Governor Ryan (a Republican), Blagojevich's predecessor, is now serving a 6 year sentence for public corruption at the Club Fed in Terre Haute.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 25, 2008

    This is fucking weak...

    The President-Elect has apparently decided that change equals more of the same. Or, in the case of his nascent economic recovery plan, change equals not doing much at all.

    President-elect Barack Obama announces he has directed his economic team to assemble an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011.

    WOW. 2.5 million jobs?!?!? That sounds like a lot until you realize that population growth creates more than 150k more workers EVERY MONTH. Which means that while President Obama is busily creating 2.5 million jobs, that will leave 1.1mn more people out of work than right now. So, if he's not interested in actually growing employment, what IS he planning? For one thing, there's a rumor that he's planning to appoint Larry Summers as Fed Chair. Ian rather neatly points out that it's a really, really, REALLY bad decision.

    This is disappointing as hell considering how many economists are saying we need some significant stimulus and we need it sooner, rather than later. Geithner was a good start, but more is necessary to foreclose the possibility of disaster.

    And yeah, I used 'foreclose' for a reason in that sentence.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 24, 2008

    Pissed off about Lieberman?

    If you're angry that Joe Lieberman basically got to fuck the Democratic Party and get away with it, do more than bitch. Click here and DO SOMETHING.

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

    November 18, 2008

    That first mistake...

    Two weeks after the election that made him the President-Elect, Sen. Obama helped use his influence to make sure Sen. Lieberman didn't receive anything other than a slap on the wrist for being a douchebag.

    Photobucket“He’s part of this caucus,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said after the Democratic caucus voted behind closed doors. “We are not looking back. We are looking forward.”

    Mr. Lieberman, who had angered many Democrats by campaigning for Mr. McCain, his longtime friend, emerged from the private session looking pleased. He called the result “fair and forward-looking” and one of “reconciliation and not retribution.”

    He said he was looking forward to working with President-elect Barack Obama — whom he criticized during the campaign — “to keep the American people secure at home” as well as abroad.

    Before the meeting, Mr. Lieberman said he was optimistic. “I’m going into a roomful of friends,” he told The Associated Press

    Jane has her take on it here... I think there's an element of 'fuck them, this is our decision' in this but I don't think it's the whole story. I think this is Obama genuinely being dumb enough to think this motherfucker won't bite him in the ass. I'm almost certain some kind of a deal was made. If that's the case, then it's only a matter of time until Lieberman breaks the promise.

    Is it any wonder the vast majority of Americans think Joe sucks?


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 10, 2008

    Al Edwards v2.0 vs Al Edwards v1.0

    Meet the new Al Edwards. Same as the old Al Edwards.
    Photobucket
    Except this one is fatter.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 09, 2008

    Hangin' on with Joe Lieberman

    Joe Lieberman is hanging on to his committee chairmanship like a puppy does a sock... by his teeth.

    Let's not spend any time returning to Lieberman's past betrayals or assholish acts. I think we all remember them rather well and I think we can all agree that Sen. Reid is on the right track. However, what infuriates me is this...

    Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) ... said he disagreed with stripping Lieberman of his chair. "No, I don't think there should be retribution," he said. "I think reconciliation is in order, not revenge or retribution."

    Bayh suggested that Lieberman apologize and "let bygones be bygones."

    Sen. Bayh, if I may ask, HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO KICK YOU IN THE GODDAMN TEETH BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO FUCK THEM UP?

    THIS is why people consider Democrats weak. It's one thing to reconcile with someone who has wronged you but can still be trusted. It's another to reconcile with someone who'd hurt themselves just to fuck you. And let's not forget, Joe has been WORTHLESS as a the Chair of Homeland Security and Gov't. Oversight...

    As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman's House counterpart -- Rep. Henry Waxman's Oversight Committee -- was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.

    And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn't used? I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

    Lieberman didn't want to hold Bush accountable, but he seems exceedingly anxious to keep the committee that would go after Obama with a vengeance, effectively becoming a Waxman-like figure -- holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching investigations against the Democratic president.

    So, he won't investigate the illegal actions of an out of control President but he will try to hurt the guy we just hired to fix things and restore the Presidency?

    NO MORE JOE!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 28, 2008

    Sometimes Democrats do bad things

    With all the dumb effluent filling our ears and heads this past week, we missed that Congress had passed a bill strengthening copyright laws in the US. The first version was interesting because it actually allowed the Justice Dept. to go after infringement ON BEHALF OF private interests, basically turning the DoJ into the MPAA's rottweiler (because pittbull's are shit).

    The DEMOCRATIC Congress wanted this provision. It was the Bush DoJ that demanded it be stripped out. How's that for a little irony? And while we're on the subject of copyright and patent enforcement, these laws were meant to protect the creators and inventors from abuse and allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They were not meant for a corporation (I'm looking at you, Disney) to enjoy in perpetuity.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 23, 2008

    The good news...

    ... is that The Obama did not pick Chet Edwards (still hating on you, douchebag! Are we the only people in the Tex-o-sphere who really think this guy is a walking, talking, pile of pond scum?) to be our Vice Presidential nominee.

    He did (and you had to know the bad news was coming, right?) pick the Senator from MBNA, Joe Biden of Delaware. Mostly because of his foreign relations experience since he's all the time negotiating cease-fires, treaties and trade pacts. But let's focus on his previous life as the Senator for the Credit Card issuers...

    Keep in mind that Biden wasn't intimidated into voting for the Bankruptcy Bill in 2005. The guy OWNS his seat and will until he either retires or dies. He not only voted for it, he actually worked to bring other D votes to it in an effort to reach a bipartisan consensus with the Republicans on a bill that allowed a hospital or doctor to take your home for unpaid (and grossly inflated) medical bills. It also made sure that unsecured creditors could take your house as well. Isn't that nice?

    The real jewel was making it almost impossible to obtain a bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the code. For the uninitiated, that's the type of bankruptcy that allows an overwhelmed debtor to wipe the slate clean and start over. It's a cornerstone of our country, the ability to a debtor to seek the relief of bankruptcy. Of course, there were always those who abused and gamed the system. Rather than going after those people by giving courts more latitude, Congress (including Joe Biden) decided instead to go the other way and restrict everyone's access to the courts.

    Some say Joe is a fighter. That remains to be seen. What we do know is that he's been an unabashed defender of financial corporations vs. consumers for decades. But then, of course, so has McCain. At least The Obama doesn't have that baggage.

    No, I'm not excited. How can you be over an old man who eats soup at lunch with reporters?


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 15, 2008

    (Not so) Great Ideas

    Bad Decision

    Mixing bourbon, vodka and gin with root beer (in my defense, I was 12)

    SUPER Bad Decision

    Making Chet Edwards the nominee of the Democratic Party for Vice-President.

    Seriously, I'm not going to go on some asinine rant about how Chet's not liberal enough. Or progressive enough. Or attractive enough. Or interesting enough. He's not enough of any of those things, but at the end of the day, he's perfect for Waco and it's environs. He's conservative, he's moderately attractive, boring as a motherfucker and basically a perfect fit to represent people who voted for Bush. Four times.

    And I'm certainly not going to beat up on a Democrat who can get re-elected, cycle after cycle, in the red territory most us only know as the asshole on the 35 between Austin and Dallas. Seriously, voting for the bankruptcy bill was THE right thing to do, mostly because those yokels are too stupid to realize he worked to restrict their Constitutional right to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start in their lives. They're not too bright, much like their asshat Congressman.

    However, while all this not great, it's not the end of the world. Chet votes his district. However, there is one issue which makes Chettie boy as goddamn unacceptable as John McCain. On several occasions he's voted for actions and laws that were unconstitutional. He's voted to give up our rights, freedoms and disregarded his duties as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Needless to say, having a man so willing to surrender what makes us Americans a heartbeat away from the Presidency shouldn't make anyone excited.

    Of course, having the endlessly spineless Pelosi pulling strings for him also makes him pretty unacceptable. Let's face it... when the American people put the Democrats in the majority they expected the Executive Branch to be held accountable. They expected a restoration of the Constitutional power of Congress. They expected Democrats to stand up and say that prosecuting the War on Terror does not mean we have to abandon what makes the US the land of the free. I'm one of millions not willing to give up my privacy so Democrats in Congress can act tough and I'm certainly not one of these crazies who thinks an imperial Executive is a good thing. I was one of the millions who helped put Democrats into office in 2006 and we expected to see accountability in Washington.

    What we got, instead, were Democrats like Chet Edwards caving on issues large and small, joining with the minority Republicans to form a majority and pass bad legislation. Maybe that's why the approval rating for Congress is so low.

    I refuse to stand up and endorse a man who thinks compromising his Oath of Office is good politics. I won't do it for McCain and I certainly won't cut the Bastard Of The Brazos any slack for being a Democrat. If anything, he gets double black marks for voting give up what makes this country great to add perceived safety and security.

    And we all know what Benjamin Franklin had to say about those people.

    As for me, I'll just call him worthless... well, except for his work for Veterans. However, given his district, is it any wonder that someone looking to get re-elected would be a big believer in giving Veterans a voice? However, maybe that is the one thing he does purely because it's the right thing to do.

    Oh, and let's remember that the DMN has been Chet's biggest booster in Texas. You should keep in mind that in 2000 and 2004 the bright Ed Board at the DMN decided to endorse Bush over the Democratic nominee. The same people who see in Edwards the same things, apparently, that they saw in Bush.

    Don't say you weren't warned.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 14, 2008

    What Have We Learned?

    When I came back to my desk at McBlogger Tower after last week's unpleasantness, I found this taped to my monitor...

    Some leftwing writer named Jack London once wrote

    After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made a scab.

    A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.

    When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out.

    No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with. Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his master, he had character enough to hang himself. A scab has not.

    Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commision in the british army. The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife, his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled promise from his employer.

    Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class.

    Pretty strong stuff, ain't it? But after reading what passes for progressive blogging in these parts...

    I may be a scab, but at least I ain't a shill for Chet Edwards

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 13, 2008

    What A Crock

    Today's email from the Travis County Democratic Party begins...

    This election year promises to be one of the most exciting years in American history. Barack Obama and Rick Noriega have inspired Texas Democrats like never before, but if we are to achieve our goal of turning Travis County 100% blue, then we also need to focus on the important down-ballot races.

    Just to inject a note of reality into this lovefest, on March 4 a hundred thousand more Texans were inspired to vote for Hillary Clinton than were for Prince Charming. And while Rick Noriega did manage to avoid a runoff by eking out 51 percent of the primary vote, his three opponents were a teacher who had never run for anything before, a conspiracy theorist, and a perennial candidate whose preferred method of communication is reputed to be notes left in a potted plant on his porch. And all three combined didn't have two dimes to rub together in financing. So while I hope Rick does send Big Bad Boxturtle into retirement, he's not exactly pulling Roger Staubach or Willie Nelson numbers on the inspirationmeter.

    Yes, we need to get out the vote and win our downballot races. But please, TCDP, if you want my help, don't insult my intelligence with this sort of horseshit.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 10, 2008

    FISA and the dumb things people do

    Well, to start Digby has a good recap and some information on the folks who voted against cloture in the Senate. Obama's not one of them so don't freak out. He lost his balls in a tragic polling accident (well, tragic because he didn't have the huevos to stand up to a President with a 28% approval rating). The NYT ran a great op/ed about this but, sadly, the Republicans in the Senate decided to ignore it. As well as a minority of the Democrats.

    A few thoughts...

  • We don't need this bill to modernize FISA. Forget the fact that we have a FOURTH AMENDMENT protection against unreasonable searches and seizures without warrants. The reality is that the terrorist threat we face NOW is not that much different than the threat we face from drug cartels. Or the threat we faced from organized crime. We can fight it with the same tools we've always used... signal and human intelligence.

    This bill allows for a dragnet, broad access to telecom infrastructure in the US, in an effort to capture terrorists communicating. So, let me tell you how this'll go... One terrorist decides to have some fun. He makes calls to 200 people, at random, in the US, using IP phones. He uses a voice activated computer program and peppers the conversation with bits and pieces of code, code the government is looking for. The next thing you know, there are thousands of federal agents combing the US picking up these people and asking them questions. If you're one of them it's going to suck.

    And it's going to waste resources we don't have, looking for a threat that's not there, and doing nothing to stop real threats. Sleep well, kids

  • The political implications are enormous... Congress just caved into a crazed, weak President. Including our nominee. How DO you handle something like this? Easy. You pass the bill without immunity and with restrictions on unconstitutional wiretapping. Bush, true to form, vetoes it. Congress overrides the veto by beating the hell out of Republicans in a PR war. Like they did on Medicare which Junior John just caved on after Rick Noriega beat the hell out of him. THAT'S how you do things.
  • Let's all take a moment to remember that this shields the illegal actions of Bush and the telecom companies. It does so by creating a precedent... Let's call it the Nuremberg Precedent. The Nazi's at Nuremberg claimed they were not responsible for their actions because they were just following orders. Though not as severe as killing 6 million people, the telecoms DID violate the constitutional rights of millions. And their excuse was that they were doing it under the orders of Bush which they, reasonably, should have known were illegal. So, ANYONE can claim an 'acting under orders' defense.
  • The ACLU has already pledged to take this to court. Throw them some money and support, the same money and support you were going to throw to Obama. He'll win anyway but we can't afford not to stand up for our rights. Since it's clear he won't.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 05, 2008

    Take action on FISA

    Well, as individual citizens who are not members of the US Senate, there's very little we can do to stop the freight train of telecom immunity and the ultimate effect of it, to protect Bush from ever having to answer for his illegal actions.

    However, sometimes 'very little' is enough. Sign the petition here, donate a few bucks here and, if you're on Sen. Obama's campaign site, click here to ask him to join the filibuster.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Whining? No, this is ANGER.

    I've heard from a brave few of you, and one of you posted, about my 'whining' about Obama's cave in on FISA. And Faith Based Initiatives. You're brave because you know I can be, to be perfectly honest, a little volcanic in response to criticism.

    First off, let me make one thing perfectly, crystal clear. IT'S NOT WHINING. IT'S ANGER.

    Let's make something else crystal clear, we live in a REPUBLIC. We elect officials to serve us. We do not need them to 'carry a banner', especially not on these issues. We need them to do the right thing and when they don't we express our displeasure in a number of ways. Finally, they are the ones we have placed in positions to effect change. If they don't do it, what the hell are we supposed to do?

    These are Constitutional issues. There is NO compromise on them. This isn't a litmus test issue, like gay marriage, abortion or any of the other issues that people vote on. THIS IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL OUR LAWS AND OF OUR COUNTRY.

    My question to you is why the hell YOU aren't as mad as I am. Make no mistake, this isn't about a lingering primary that still festering. This is about OUR candidate for President blithely agreeing with, even extending, some of the most ridiculous programs of the Bush regime.

    I have been opposed to wiretapping since it was discovered in December, 2005. I have ALWAYS been opposed to faith based initiatives. I did not oppose these programs because they came from President Bush's rotten brain. I opposed them because they violated the Constitution of the United States (and, in the case of the wiretapping, because it was also a violation of federal law). I would have opposed them just as ardently had Bush been a Democrat. Integrity demands nothing less.

    Take me to task over my very solid criticism? Like hell. Why aren't YOU fighting alongside me?

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

    June 29, 2008

    Blues For Allah

    If Jeff Foxworthy ever tires of his redneck shtick and decides to move into political humor, he'll find a trailer park's worth of material in today's New York Times.

    Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.

    "Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.

    With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.

    You might be a cult member if...

    The article is careful to point out that this is not being encouraged by the official Obama campaign and is so far limited to individual Baracksheviks (although I can't imagine that a nice writeup in the Newspaper of Record will do anything to discourage its spread.) Still, as Uppity Woman wrote recently, among the factors that sank George McGovern's 1972 campaign were the antics of his youthful supporters. In a word, they scared their elders shitless and drove them over to Richard Nixon's column, from which many never returned.

    While Obama now begins his own tack to the right in what is already becoming the most sickening display of appeasement since Neville Chamberlain gift-wrapped the Sudetenland, the idiotic actions of the Facebookers will do nothing to reassure centrist voters. Already troubled that that slander that he might be a secret Muslim, how will the older generation react to the notion that Obama is turning their own kids to the Crescent? Not well, I predict.

    Ah well, as Hegal said, we learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

    Some said they were inspired by movies, including “Spartacus,” the 1960 epic about a Roman slave whose peers protect him by calling out “I am Spartacus!” to Roman soldiers

    Of course, those of us who've seen the movie might recall just how the Romans, with their ever-wry sense of humor, dealt with that particular bit of servile impertinence.

    At least there's no actual evidence that Obama is the Antichrist, since the pod people aren't having his name tattooed on their foreheads. (Be sure to shoot me an email when that starts to happen, m'kay?)

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 20, 2008

    I have but one question...

    HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID, DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP??!?!?!

    Here's how this going to go... You candidates all write constantly asking for support. For you, I have only one question: Will support our current corrupt leadership or will you support leadership changes that will return this country to the rule of law?

    How about it, Larry Joe? What are YOU going to do Michael Skelly? Rick Noriega? If you're going to support the absurd leadership of Pelosi and Reid, then there is really no point in electing you.

    WHERE DO YOU STAND?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    May 01, 2008

    I've got gas (tax relief) like a mother!

    So, Sen McThuselah proposes a gas tax holiday during the summer without proposing any way to pay for it. I know. It IS rather shocking that I've already given up on calling him Olden Times. I blame the media. And Hillary. Speaking of, she decided to AGREE with McThuselah about the gas tax holiday.

    But wait... before you jump all over her for bad economic policy, at least she bothered to pay for it. That's a huge step up from McThuselah who apparently thinks his road to the White House should be paved with promises of FREE MONEY (cue Matthew Lesko). Of course, a gas tax holiday is just going to end up in Exxon's quarterly dividend (that's when GIANT oil companies send shareholders, the owners, some of the profit. It's one of only four times a year my father smiles) which kind of mitigates that whole 'we're helping people thing' since the savings won't, you know, be passed on to people.

    Pandering? Yes. An empty gesture? Absolutely. Should they be focusing on this or this? Sure... well, that is, if you wanted to actually mitigate the economic costs of high fuel prices and stop using food to make fuel.

    Meanwhile, Clinton and McCain criticized Obama for not going along with their little scheme.

    Would someone please tell the Clinton folks that Obama is right? That'd be great! And then, could you fire the idiot on her policy team that keeps copying shit McCain does? It's embarrassing to those of us who, you know, SUPPORT HER.

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

    April 21, 2008

    Working Class Zero For Obama

    Photobucket

    Filmmaker-epicure Michael Moore has endorsed the flavor of the month, Barack Obama, for President, much to no one's surprise.

    Moore's previous endorsements were instrumental to the electoral victories of Ralph Nader (2000) and Wesley Clark John Kerry (2004). In between elections, Moore has solved the problems of working class despair, gun violence, and healthcare.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 27, 2008

    Note To The Hillary Campaign

    Yes, I am a delegate.

    Yes, I plan to attend my county convention on Saturday, March 29.

    Yes, I plan to support Hillary Clinton.

    The only thing that could change my mind is if you don't stop the freaking phone calls!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 06:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 24, 2008

    Democrats are the new suck

    I'm calling on all of the people who went to your precinct convention to once again give a good Goddamn about this. I feel like I'm herding cats with some of you dipshits. You were SOOOOO adamant about going to the county convention and now you're all whining about 'having a meeting'. FUCKALL, you weak fucking sisters.

    Pull your head out of your goddamn ass and realize that YOU have a chance to make a fucking difference.

    I miss the times when there were only 4 of us at the damn precinct convention. At least we CARED enough. The rest of you are just a bunch of poseurshits.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 17, 2008

    Well Fuck Me To Tears

    Gary Mauro, head of the Clinton campaign in Texas, has been making noises about suing the Texas Democratic Party to delay the next step in the convention process that began on the evening of March 4. (Full text of Mauro's letter to TDP Chair Boyd Richie in the supersize.)

    Seriously, a lawsuit? I cannot imagine any action that would cause more harm to Texas Democrats while availing the Clinton campaign little.

    Make no mistake, I continue to support Hillary Clinton for President. She is far more ready to lead this country through the difficult times we will be inheriting from the Bush regime next January. Experience does matter. Hope is not a political philosophy nor a strategy for governance. I fear that an Obama Presidency would become a replay of Carter's: a well-meaning boob without the skill to get anything done who paved the way to an era of GOP tyranny.

    That said, the sad fact is that Hillary Clinton's campaign has been one of the worst-run in history. Honestly, who could imagine a candidate with carefully-honed political skills, widespread name recognition, the backing of the party of the Party Establishment, and more fundraising potential than God standing on the brink of defeat as the primary season begins to wind down? (And as an aside, remember all the pundits who spent 2007 talking about "Hillary's flawless campaign"? Why do they still have jobs?)

    Nowhere is the incompetence of the Clinton campaign more blatant than their inability to win caucus states. Caucuses are made to order for Establishment candidates to have their way. Unlike primary elections, a process familiar to the voting public, caucuses involve showing up for a few hours, are governed by arcane rules, and involve actually stating where you stand politically in front of your neighbors. No wonder many people don't even know caucuses exist, fewer still actually participate, and even many of those who do barely know what happened. For an insurgent candidate's supporters to win not just one of these contests, but caucus after caucus speaks to their skill and enthusiasm and to utter failure from the Establishment.

    So now we come to Texas. For months Texans for Obama had been building a grassroots organization, identifying supporters. The Clinton campaign did nothing of note until it became clear that the primary race would not be decided on February 5. Of course, when the Clinton bandwagon did roll into Texas, they did pull out all the stops, recruiting volunteers, major advertising buys, and Hillary, Bill and Chelsea all barnstorming across the state. It was enough to eke out a narrow victory in the Primary, but in the race to identify supporters and motivate them to come back to their precinct conventions in the evening the Obama campaign had a lead that could not be erased in a few weeks.

    Gary Mauro's letter is an insult to all us Texas Democrats who guided their conventions through that Category 5 political storm. Were mistakes made? Undoubtedly. Was there confusion? Of course? Did some ineligible people participate? It would not surprise me. But I am convinced that given the overwhelming turnout that night the percentages were small, the mistakes mostly honest ones and distributed in favor of both candidates so their overall effect on the results pretty close to zero. And for anything beyond that, that's why conventions have Credentials Committees.

    Leading up to March 4th, both national campaigns did a great job of promoting paranoia and distrust of the "other side". Gary Mauro's letter continues that harmful process. It should be withdrawn and all plans for legal action that would interfere with our county and district conventions abandoned.

    March 14, 2008

    BY FEDERAL EXPRESS, EMAIL AND FACSIMILE TO (512) 480-2500

    Mr. Boyd L. Richie
    Chairman, Texas Democratic Party
    State Democratic Executive Committee
    505 W. 12th Street, Suite 200
    Austin, Texas 78701

    Dear Chairman Richie:

    We want to congratulate you on the extraordinary turnout of voters across the State of Texas who participated in the March 4 Democratic presidential primary and precinct conventions. We appreciate the unprecedented administrative challenges the high turnout presented. Fortunately, the Texas Democratic Party has under its Rules and the Texas Delegate Selection Plan requirements designed to ensure that the process in which eligible voters participate is fair and one in which they can have confidence, and when there are deficiencies, requirements to ensure that those deficiencies are rectified.

    In this regard we are writing to express our concerns regarding the review and tally of the official results of the State Party's precinct conventions on March 4. As you are no doubt aware, there are significant questions about whether the precinct conventions were conducted in accordance with the Party's Delegate Selection Plan and Rules. On the night of the caucus itself we brought many instances of these irregularities to the attention of the State Party. The campaign received in excess of 2,000 complaints of rules violations, indicating widespread violations of the Party's rules, including the following specific occurrences that are clear violations of specific rules:

    • Temporary Chair packets were released by the election judge prior to 7:00 pm
    • Sign-in sheets were filled out before 7:00 pm
    • Precincts were consolidated for purposes of holding a convention
    • Precinct caucuses began before polls closed for the primary
    • Ineligible participants voted or ineligible delegates were elected, including participants who were not registered voters, participants who did not vote in the primary, provisional voters whose votes were counted, and no verification was made of the eligibility of participants or delegates
    • Accurate written records of participants, presidential preferences, and elected delegates were not kept
    • Participants' names and presidential preference were entered on sign-in sheets by someone other than the eligible individual participant
    • Results were taken from a head count or hand count rather than the written roll
    • Delegate votes were not ratified by the precinct convention
    • Failure to follow Robert's Rules of Order at the precinct convention

    We have had several conversations with the State Party since March 4, including conversations with Chad Dunn, regarding the procedures that the State Party intends to follow to insure that the rules were followed and that only the votes of eligible participants would be considered. We understood that we were to receive a memorandum regarding that process, but were advised yesterday that instead we would be invited to a briefing on Monday, March 17.

    Last week our Counsel, Lyn Utrecht, was told by Mr. Dunn that the State Party intended to verify the eligibility of participants and that the Party's IT people were working on a system for doing that electronically. On Tuesday the 11th, when Ms. Utrecht contacted Mr. Dunn to inquire about the status of the memorandum regarding the procedures, she was advised that the State Party no longer intended to verify the eligibility of participants or delegates because the Party would not have the ability to do that before the County Conventions. This was confirmed by Mr. Dunn yesterday.

    Therefore, it is our understanding that the results will be counted and delegates awarded based on a count of votes without any determination by the State Party of eligibility of the participants, and without any certification by the Precinct Chairs or County and Senate District Chairs that they completed a thorough review of the eligibility of participants and delegate candidates.

    Thus it will be left to the campaigns to file credentials challenges against those delegates awarded based on the votes of ineligible participants, without the State Party making any effort to identify ineligible participants. We were advised yesterday that we will begin to receive copies of the scanned sign-in sheets sometime early next week and that it will not be until the end of next week when we will receive all of this data. In order to review this, the campaigns will also need access to the voter rolls to determine who voted in the primary held that day. While the State Party has indicated that it will request this information from the larger counties and provide it, it is unclear how soon that information will be available. For the smaller counties, the campaigns must request it from each county.

    We believe this is in direct contravention of the Rules, which require that the Party determine the eligibility of participants and that only the votes of eligible participants are counted. Moreover, if the Party's reason for not ensuring that only eligible participants are counted is based on the fact that the Party cannot complete the review process prior to the scheduled date of the County and Senate District Conventions, the campaigns can't possibly complete this review in a timely fashion. Credentials challenges are presently due March 26.

    We believe that (1) it is a violation of the Party's Delegate Selection Plan and Rules for the Party not to ensure that the eligibility of participants was determined before their votes are counted; and (2) if the Party cannot complete this task in time to hold the next level conventions on March 29, those conventions must be postponed until such time as accurate presidential preference counts can be made based on a review of each and every sign in sheet to determine eligibility of participants and delegates.

    It is a violation of the rights of legitimate participants to have their true vote count distorted by violations of the Party's Rules. It is the Party's responsibility to ensure the integrity of the precinct convention process by making sure that the Rules were followed and that the final official results of the precinct conventions are accurate and in compliance with the Rules.

    Therefore, we respectfully request that the Party explain to both campaigns what procedures will be followed to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the precinct convention results and agree to postpone the County and Senate District Conventions until such time as that process can be completed.

    We look forward to working with you to ensure that the votes of the people who participated in the March 4 primary and precinct conventions are accurately counted.

    Sincerely,

    /s/

    Garry Mauro

    Authorized Representative

    Guy Cecil

    National Political and Field Director

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 14, 2008

    Keeping things in perspective

    While Elliot Spitzer's actions are sad and all, let's keep things in perspective...

    o Democratic president consorts with intern: Impeachment, no conviction.

    o Democratic governor consorts with prostitutes (overtones of unsafe sex): Choice of resignation or impeachment.

    o Republican senator consorts with prostitutes (overtones of diaper-wearing): No big deal.

    o Republican senator solicits gay sex in men's room: Human punchline, Ethics Committee admonishment.

    o Republican vice president shoots hunting buddy in the face: No big deal. Victim apologizes.

    o Republican president starts war under false pretenses, tortures prisoners, wiretaps American citizens without warrants, etc, etc, etc.: Impeachment "off the table."

    o Republican-appointed CENTCOM commander displays sound tactical and strategic judgment that stands in the way of Dubya's shiny new war: Forced to resign.

    And let's not forget this bitch (here and here) whose return to the OK House of Reps was treated like a homecoming after doing something brave. Instead of the shunning she richly deserves for being just another badly dressed bigot who thinks homosexuals are a bigger threat than, well... anything. According to her. I guess she doesn't realize that the people who should feel threatened by gays are the badly dressed and coiffed.

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

    March 12, 2008

    Buying the best

    Harold Meyerson has a pretty good article about Gov. Spitzer's premium-brand vice in today's Washington Post. The gist being "$5500? I don't think I could come up with a fantasy worth that much. But of course, really it's all about being rich enough that you can shell out that kind of coin without flinching, because you're Mister Big Time So Rich Can Afford Fitty-Fie-Dollah-Hoes Man."

    I'm paraphrasing the point of the article, of course. Harold isn't down with the youth street lingo these days like I am. But he makes a point. The same instinct that led Gov. Spitzer to drop major coin on high caliber chickage-for-hire compels me to purchase expensive dijon mustard at Central Market. It's way overpriced and I'm pretty sure its liberal proportion of horseradish is going to leave me without any nasal mucous membrane in my old age, but I can take comfort in knowing that my success in life allows me to buy it instead of Hill Country mustard from HEB; which, to be honest, probably tastes better. (...especially when applied to the exquisite thighs of a $5500 Ho, I'll bet). Some wildly successful men are all about the finest and best hos. I'm all about the fanciest mustard. That's just how I roll.

    How about y'all? What do you pay too much for in order to conspicuously highlight your achievements in life?

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

    March 11, 2008

    Oh, Really? You sure you want to go there?

    Some Republican with no concept of hubris and obvs thinking there are points to be made has called on Governor Spitzer to resign. We're sure 39% will chime in soon which will give us ANOTHER opportunity to discuss rumors about HIS sexuality.

    You know what? Unlike a Republican, he's not been accused of influence peddling or accepting bribes or impersonating a public official (here and here). He had sex with a girl which is far more than can be said about most of you (yes, we're looking at you, Retard Rick).

    I know now that Republicans were the geeks who never got laid in high school. Maybe that's why they cry after sex.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 10, 2008

    Big Pimpin' NY Gov Sptizer

    According the LAT, NY Governor Elliot Spitzer implicated as a part of a prostitution ring. He said during his press conference that he was sorry to disappoint his family and the people of NY. He also said something about not living up to his personal standards. He didn't really admit more than that, according to Bloomberg.

    ABC-NY is reporting Spitzer will resign but so far there's been no confirmation. Apparently, all this stems from an FBI wiretap that allegedly captured him on tape requesting a prostitute while on a recent trip to Washington.

    Which means that this 'ring' isn't so much a ring as it is 'solicitation'. Which means he's still a better person than 90% of the Republicans in Congress.At least he wasn't accepting bribes for military appropriations.

    Personally, we at McBlogger would have been more impressed with him if he'd actually been THE PIMP.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    February 29, 2008

    Matzo endorses Rick Reed; McBlogger spits scotch all over his dinner

    Normally, I'd be out to drinks on a Friday night. However, work was pretty evil today and after running errands I came back to finish up some stuff before going out later. While eating dinner I saw this and thus, the post.

    I like Rick Reed. I really think he's a nice guy. Now his campaign is crowing about being endorsed by this racist cracker.

    Photobucket“Rick Reed is the only candidate for Travis County District Attorney who has had the courage to stand up and candidly tell the voters of Travis County that, if elected, he will uniformly seek imprisonment for life without parole, rather than the death penalty, in all capital murder cases.”

    Now If you'll pardon me, I have a show to do and a fifth of Jamisons to choke down.

    This is what really angers me...

    “I am honored to have the endorsement of Kinky Friedman,” remarked Reed. “Kinky and I have both given considerable thought to this issue, he as a potential 2010 gubernatorial candidate, and I as a candidate for Travis County District Attorney.”

    OH REALLY, Rick? You're honored to have the endorsement of a man who made a joke about African-American children AND fucked up the Gubernatorial race last year, guaranteeing (with a little help from Team Bell and C4N3P) the re-election of 39%. If you're HONORED to have the endorsement of this douche then I seriously have to question your judgment.

    And I shit in Matzo's hat.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    The Candidate. Brought to you by Valero

    (Lotsa posts today... I have more than $4 million wired out that I have to bird dog. SO, while I'm stuck in the office ALL DAY, I'll going to take occasional breaks and give you something fun to read. I'm large like that)

    Only in Texas would a candidate for the Railroad Commission ask for ethics guidance from one of the companies said candidate will be regulating if elected. This year the candidate is Art Hall.

    Former San Antonio City Councilman Art Hall has accepted more than $5,000 in contributions from Valero Energy's political action committee and several of its employees, according to records from the Texas Ethics Commission.

    On February 8, Hall received a $5,000 contribution from the Valero Political Action Committee, a PAC notorious for giving thousands of dollars to Texas' most conservative Republicans-- and Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams, the man Hall and Dale Henry (D-Lampasas) seek to replace in the November general election.

    In addition to the $5,000 from Valero's PAC, Hall also took more than $2,000 from Valero employees and attorneys in late January and February. According to Hall's most recent filing with the Texas Ethics Commission, he received the following contributions from Valero employees and attorneys:

    Robert Bower, Valero Attorney, $500 2/23
    Theodore Guidry, Valero employee, $500, 1/26
    Diane Hirsch, Valero Attorney, $300, 2/23
    Martin Loeber, Valero Attorney, $500, 2/23
    Rich Walsh, Valero Attorney, $1,500, 2/23
    Parker Wilson, Valero Attorney, $500, 2/23

    "The money that Art Hall has accepted from Valero's PAC and its employees is especially troubling given the fact that he is very connected to Valero through the fact that his wife is an attorney for Valero," said Vince Leibowitz, campaign director for Dale Henry, Hall's principal opponent.

    According to Hall's Personal Financial Statement on file with the Texas Ethics Commission, Hall's wife owns between 5,000 and 9,999 shares of stock in Valero which, if sold, would represent a net gain of $10,000 to $24,999.

    "All of this is especially disturbing given the fact that Art Hall is actually getting advice from Valero on what constitutes a conflict of interest for his campaign," said Leibowitz.

    Do yourself a favor, vote for Dale Henry. He'll have an easier time beating Michael Williams. Not to mention that with Henry on the RRC, Texans will finally have someone looking out for them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 27, 2008

    A word of advice... Keep your vote to yourself

    I've received a few emails today from good hearted people who wanted to let me know why they were voting against some of the endorsements we made.

    Keep in mind, I'd have absolutely no way of knowing HOW they voted, they could have lied to me or just kept their mouths shut. Nevertheless, they went out of their way to let me know about individual candidates where we differ.

    Frankly, I don't care. Vote for whom you want. We didn't publish (yes, WE, not just ME) endorsements as some kind of demand, we published them because they were the candidates we were supporting. Should you go with someone else, just keep it to yourself. We seriously DON'T NEED TO KNOW. And we're sure as hell not going to smooth things over and salve your conscience. If you did something you feel bad about, then feel bad about it.

    Don't look to us for redemption or forgiveness.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:52 PM | 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

    February 24, 2008

    Sign War in Sector 11-W

    Cameron Loop is one of those obscure two lane roads in Southwest Austin left over from a time when the land, now being covered by subdivisions and apartments, grazed goats and cattle. And one of the sure harbingers of a forthcoming election is the appearance of candidates' signs. One or two will show up here and there, like the first hesitant buds of Spring, then, in a week or two, signs are popping up everywhere like a field of political wildflowers.

    Normally, all the signs manage to co-exist with one another, so imagine my surprise when I drove by the spot where one of Gary Cobb's signs had stood for the last few weeks. Overnight, a Mindy Montford (one of Cobb's rivals in the DA race) sign had sprouted, and right in front of his!

    Photobucket
    Exhibit 'A'

    Well, that was rather rude, thought I, but as a continued down the road, I saw that ALL the Gary Cobb signs now had Montford signs in front of them.

    Photobucket
    Exhibit 'B'

    All quite uncalled for, since as you can see, there's plenty of space for signs.

    Photobucket
    Exhibit 'C'

    Now, I'm not going to blame Mindy Montford personally for this. It's not like she was driving around in the middle of the night with a trunk full of yardsigns and a hammer. Nor am I going to suggest that this should have any effect on how anyone should vote in the DA's race. But it would be nice if Mindy Montford would ask her supporters to not act like douchebags.

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

    February 20, 2008

    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

    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

    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

    Sandra Rodriguez is NOT Kino Flores

    Matt over at BOR has a great piece up about the Flores/Rodriguez race. I know it will surprise none of you, but we're for Sandra Rodriguez. We support her in large part because she's intelligent, talented and will be an excellent representative for the people of HD 36. We also think she'll be much better than Kino Flores by virtue of the fact (and we've confirmed this) that she's NOT Kino Flores.

    Kino was one of the members of the Iscariot Caucus. His proudest achievement is continuing the corrupt Speakership of Tom Craddick. So, if you want to help Sandra out, click here. Needless to say, it's a bit like giving money to someone doing God's work.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 12, 2008

    FISA ... this is just sad

    Final passage of the bill is still hours away, but all the amendments to the bill to strip away telecom immunity (basically, giving the telecom companies a pass for their past illegal actions) and restore the rule of law failed overwhelmingly. With help from the Democrats.

    More here at FDL, KOS and from Greenwald. You can click here to sign a petition asking the House not to give in on telecom immunity.

    In case you were wondering, our own Senator's John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison voted to keep OFF the amendments protecting the Constitution from the bill. None of this is particularly surprising since Cornyn and Hutchison are well known as nothing more than rubber stamps for President Bush. They've abdicated their responsibility to Texans (and violated their Oath of Office) by voting against these amendments. It's good to see that AT&T's money buys folks that stay bought. You're a real asset to the people of Texas, Senators. Way to sell out your constituents.

    Oh, but it was about protecting 'Mericans, right? Not really. The only reason this bill was needed was to strip the requirement that you actually have to obtain a warrant to tap communications so that you can eavesdrop on a US citizen. Now the President can do that at will. The other reason was to protect telecom companies (like SATX based AT&T) from being sued by people whose rights were violated by the company.

    Finally, at the end of the day, Cornyn may have actually believed that this was the right thing to do protect us from terrorists. Which makes him a coward. As Franklin said more than 200 years ago, he that would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserves neither.

    Just FYI... exclusivity, the provision within the bill establishing that this bill IS the law and that the Executive must obey it, was stripped. The original FISA had exclusivity which is why Bush and the telco's were afraid of prosecution for their illegal actions. The Senate has now given them a pass on prosecution AND the ability to ignore the provisions of the new law when they feel like it.

    PLEASE take a 20 seconds out of your day and sign the petition. If you want to restore the rule of law in the United States, it's one thing you can. Aside from electing BETTER DEMOCRATS and, as it turns out, BETTER REPUBLICANS.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Larry Joe Doherty supports NAIS?

    According to the candidate profile over at KUT...

    Doherty supports the National Animal Identification System. Opponents of the program claim it is designed to benefit major agricultural software campaign donors. His opponent, Mr. Grant, is fighting against it.

    This is interesting because CD10 is composed of a lot of rural area and a large number of farmers and ranchers, none of whom support NAIS. Not to mention that one of the main reasons people in the rural areas are interested in supporting a Democrat in the general is that McCaul (R - Clear Channel Communications) loves him some NAIS. The fact that it will cause small farmers and ranchers to go out of business and drive up the cost of food at the store is irrelevant to a millionaire like McCaul. Apparently, it is to Mr. Doherty as well.

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

    February 11, 2008

    News From The O-Cult

    I received the following in an email from a person who, to avoid embarrassment, shall remain unidentified beyond the information that, in 2006, this person actually ran for elected office as a candidate of the Democratic Party.

    However, my 6 year old has been supporting Barack from the beginning-that he could inspire a 6 year old from a TV speech was pretty amazing. He was my second choice by a hair- I was hoping for an Edwards/Obama ticket.

    Just think, if the kid was a couple of years younger we might be hearing about the political merits of a Barney/Edwards ticket.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:46 PM | 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 05, 2008

    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

    January 30, 2008

    Art Hall and a real conflict of interest

    Let me first state that despite his age and his lack of skill as a politico, I'm voting for Dale Henry for RR Commissioner. He knows the oil and gas industry from the ground up and will do an excellent job both for industry and consumers. The RR Commission regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas and we've had nothing but industry rubber stamps on it. It's time that we have someone there who'll actually do a good job for Texans and our environment.

    That said, I didn't have much of problem with his opponent. Until now. Last night in Decatur, during a candidate forum, Art Hall was asked a direct question about a possible conflict of interest should he win. Specifically, he was asked if it was a conflict of interest for his wife to work for Valero Energy, one of the companies he would be regulating if elected. He stated that it wasn't and he knew it wasn't because he contacted Valero and asked them.

    Wait... Art, you contacted Valero and asked them, the company you'd be regulating, if it was a conflict of interest? Hall is a bright guy so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say it wasn't an issue of a lack of knowledge. So, then what was it? What is the explanation for contacting the wolf about whether or not it was OK to allow them to eat the sheep? Was it so easy to accept that her job (working on international issues for Valero) wouldn't be at risk should you vote the wrong way?

    BUT, that's not all... the TTC is once again becoming a significant campaign issue and Art was asked directly about his support for tolls and the TTC. His response, to the say the least, was lacking. While the RRC won't have direct authority over privatizing our roads, it is a serious question for a candidate as it can show a willingness to privatize public assets at taxpayer expense. It's not clear where Hall stands on this and until it is, I'd feel a lot better not having him in office.

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

    January 29, 2008

    Help wanted

    Dawnna Dukes is having problems getting volunteers. So, she's turned to Craigs List. While this is about as big a deal as how Ina Garten makes a tart tartine (with plums! OMG!), the funny is in the reaction from the Dukes campaign to questions about it. Well, that and the fact that an eight term incumbent can't find blockwalkers. I'm sure there's some way for some one to blame Glen Maxey for that.

    In other Dukes news, someone has finally filed an ethics complaint against Dawnna over those credit card charges. According to Copelin over at the Statesman, Dukes has STILL not committed to correcting the reports prior to the primary. Watch them get filed on March 4th.

    Finally, a little late but still relevant, Brian Thompson nailed the UDEMS/CAD endorsement over the weekend. Overwhelmingly. Please go help him today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:23 PM | 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 25, 2008

    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

    January 23, 2008

    Big news on the the TURF front

    This isn't good...as part of the discovery process in TURF's lawsuit against TXDOT, they've uncovered massive payments and retainers to lobbyists who were used to 'sell' toll roads to elected officials. Just to clarify, taxpayer dollars are being used to lobby elected officials to support something that taxpayers don't want. Check out the link for the names and amounts.

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

    January 22, 2008

    A Fundraiser for Mindy

    There's a fundraiser for Mindy Montford next week... here are the deets:

    Dear fellow friends: You are cordially invited to join Chuck Mains and Joe Garcia for a fundraising event for the election of
    Mindy Montford Candidate for Travis County District Attorney
    Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Ringside at Sullivan's 300 Colorado Street
    Cash Bar
    Thank you for your consideration.

    My problems with this...

  • Sullivan;s. I mean come on! The place is a joke and the food compares well only to Ryan's Steakhouse Buffet. That place jumped the shark YEARS ago. I evaluate potential dates by their restaurant choices... if they pick Sullivan's, I know they're all flash and no substance. Or stamina.
  • Cash Bar?!?!! What. The. Fuck. A tab at Sullivan's isn't that bad... maybe $200-300. How much are y'all planning to raise?
  • Chuck Mains and Joe Garcia. Who are they? Glad you asked... Joe Garcia works as a lobbyist for Dr. Hospital Bed Leininger and is a partner of Mike Toomey (39%'s former CoS) and chief lobbyist for Texans for Lawsuit Reform (the group that gave us HIGH insurance rates and the inability to collect from bad doctors). He's also close to Bill Messer, who is a BFF of Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick.

    Chuck Mains is a member of Senator Eltife's (R - Tyler) staff.

  • You know, I wasn't so much for this 'the Republicans are trying to sneak one in one us' paranoia going around, but now I'm all about it. Which is why I'm pointing you to this link from Vince.

    Finally... am I the only one who has a problem with a DA named 'Mindy'? It's like a sheriff named 'Pickles'. Mindy, thrilled you got away from the monomaniacal McCracken. However, you're too close to some people who need to STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THIS RACE. Oh, and if anyone goes to the fundraiser, please let me know. I'll meet you for drinks later to debrief. And I'LL BUY.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 19, 2008

    Oh, my... this isn't at all good for Dawnna

    Since the recent revelation that Dawnna's now uncommitted in the Speakers race (which is about as believable as me saying I have a 12" cock), we've been looking for an article in the Statesman regarding Dawnna's true intention to stand by her man and finally found it courtesy of a comment by Matt to a thread about Dawnna's fundraising.

    A pro-Craddick Democrat, Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin, said she's sticking with him. She cited her success on measures offering incentives to companies to make movies and TV shows in Texas
    >

    Yes, her legislative initiatives to help the film industry. Turns out, she stood to personally gain on that, according to CapAnnex...

    Here’s a fact pattern that would make any 1st year law student with the intent of becoming a District Attorney froth at the mouth. And every bullet is footnoted so that you don’t have to take our word for it, you can see for yourself.

    *Dukes’s company, DM Dukes & Associates, gets hired by a company named Catellus Development Group sometime during or before 2006. (1)

    *Catellus is the developer who is redeveloping the old Robert Mueller Airport, in Dukes’s East Austin district.(2)

    *Dukes is listed on Catellus brochures as a contact. (3)

    *Dukes’s company, DM Dukes & Associates is listed on the Robert Meuller web site as a contact for Catellus. (4)

    *Dukes attends neighborhood association meetings, not in her capacity as a State Representative, but in her capacity as an agent of Catellus.(5)

    *One of the anchor tenants and crown jewels of the new Mueller Development is The Austin Film Society. (6)

    *During the legislative session in 2007, Dukes passed HB 1634, a bill that provided a mechanism for $22 million in incentives for the film industry and the Austin Film Society.(7)

    *Dukes and one of her Republican pals, Rick Perry, appeared together at a press conference and bill signing ceremony at the Austin Film Studios.(8)

    *Dukes issues a press release bragging about her bill that explicitly states that her bill will benefit the Austin Film Studios. “Film Incentive legislation will not only benefit the Austin Film Studios presently located at Robert Mueller in District 46 but also the planned $2.5 billion Villa Muse studio development to be located in District 46.” (9)

    *Dukes potentially violates Texas House Rules and the Texas Constitution by never disclosing her personal or business interest with Catellus Development.

    *Article 3 Section 22 of the Texas Constitution requires “A member who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill, proposed, or pending before the Legislature, shall disclose the fact to the House, of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.”(10)

    *Rule 5 Section 42 of the Texas House Rules sets out this same requirement

    We are that the mainstream media has not picked up on this story!

    Here you have an elected official working for a multi-million dollar developer as a consultant, who then goes and gets $22 million taxpayer dollars for an incentive program that benefits one of the developers anchor tenants.

    Gee. And here we were thinking that she was at least smart enough just to steer the contracts to her sister. Go help Brian Thompson today.

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

    January 18, 2008

    Landing a solid hit

    The Thompson campaign's latest email details out just how many kids have been left off CHIP as a result of what Rep. Dukes and a bunch of Republicans did. Full text in the supersize

    Meanwhile, Elise Hu over at KVUE has more on Dawnna's Republican-heavy finance report. Bill Miller and Hillco have been busy writing checks to keep Dawnna in the style to which she's become accustomed. She's also got a rather insignificant fundraising advantage... insignificant since, because of his late entry, Brian has put a chunk of his savings into the race which leaves them pretty evenly matched as far as cash on hand. And Brian's fundraising is just now getting into gear.

    The really amusing part of Elise's article is that Dawnna is apparently uncommitted in the Speaker's race. She won't come out and commit to not voting for CradDICK, but her consultant says...

    "Dawnna is uncommitted in the speaker's race. She has not signed a pledge card for any candidate. Any assumptions or assertions by Brian to the contrary are complete lies."

    Uhm... yeah. Sure. Whatev. I guess the Speaker vote had a bit more traction than anticipated.

    If you really want change in the Lege, go throw some support to Brian Thompson.

    January HHSC Report Shows Dukes's Vote Against Fully Funding CHIP Leaves 3422 Travis County Children Without Health Care Thompson: "I'll never compromise the health care needs of Travis County kids" According to a recent report from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), at least 3422 Travis County children remain uninsured through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a result of the draconian budget cuts enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2003. When given the opportunity to rectify this injustice, Rep. Dawnna Dukes joined 74 House Republicans and seven Craddick Democrats to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have fully funded the Children's Health Insurance Program.

    "Rep. Dukes's vote against fully funding the Children's Health Insurance Program is a perfect example of why her allegiance to Republican Speaker Tom Craddick is an issue in this campaign," said Brian Thompson, Democratic candidate for House District 46. "Rep. Dukes's vote against fully funding CHIP proves that pledging your absolute loyalty to this Republican Speaker means voting against the best interests of your district and denying at least 3422 Travis County children the health care they need."

    Amendment 4 to House Bill 109 would have restored all of the children removed from CHIP in 2003 and would have reverted Texas to pre-2003 CHIP enrollment levels of at least 507,259 children by adding an estimated 200,000 kids back to the CHIP program.

    "There are at least 3422 children in Travis County who will go to sleep tonight without health care because Rep. Dukes joined 74 Republicans and seven Craddick D's to vote against fully funding the Children's Health Insurance Program," Thompson said.

    According to official HHSC statistics, 12,635 children in Travis County were enrolled in CHIP in September of 2003. Today, 3422 of those children still do not have health care coverage. The January, 2008, CHIP enrollment for Travis County was only 9,213, meaning Rep. Dukes's vote against fully funding CHIP continues to leave thousands of Travis County children uninsured.

    One of the most pressing issues for East Austin families is health care for our children. Texas has the highest number of uninsured children in the nation at 1.5 million. More than half of the uninsured children in Texas are Hispanic. Of the 1.5 million children uninsured in Texas, approximately 850,000 of these children are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid.

    "It is immoral to deny a child the health care he or she needs," Thompson said. "When my opponent voted against fully funding CHIP, she turned her back on at least 3422 kids in Travis County. If the people of HD 46 vote for change on March 4, I want them to know that I will never compromise the health care needs of Travis County kids."

    Rep. Dukes's Record of Failure: denying children health care and voting against making more children eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)


    * FACT: Rep. Dukes voted against fully funding CHIP. Rep. Dukes joined 74 House Republicans and 7 Craddick Democrats to kill a proposal that would have restored CHIP funding to the pre-2003 levels of at least 507,259 Texas kids. (Amendment No. 4 to HB 109, Record vote #267, Tuesday, April 3, 2007, HOUSE JOURNAL PAGE #1505)
    * FACT: Rep. Dukes voted against making more families eligible for CHIP, twice. (Amendment No. 5 to HB 109, Record vote #268 on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, HOUSE JOURNAL PAGE #1506, and Amendment No. 6 to HB 109, Record vote #269 on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, HOUSE JOURNAL PAGE #1507)
    * FACT: Rep. Dukes voted against allowing thousands of Texas children to qualify for CHIP. (Amendment No. 10 to HB 109, Record vote #271 on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, HOUSE JOURNAL PAGE #1511)
    * FACT: Rep. Dukes voted against including enrollment and renewal policies that allow for coverage under the perinatal program. (Amendment No. 17 to HB 109, Record vote #274 on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, HOUSE JOURNAL PAGE #1515)
    About CHIP

    The Children's Health Insurance Program is designed for families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance for their children. The principal goal of CHIP is to provide primary and preventive care to the uninsured children of Texas families including children with special healthcare needs. CHIP is funded jointly at the federal and state level. For every $1.00 of funding provided by Texas, Texas receives a federal match of over $2.50. The CHIP program was put in place to support the working poor, not the unemployed. Fully funding CHIP is the right, moral, decent, and economically sensible thing to do.

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

    January 15, 2008

    LJD and The Case Of The Very Nasty Push Poll

    You know, I'm a HUGE fan of push polls, especially when Democrats employ them against Republicans. Though I'm not much of a fan when used in a primary, I also realize they are sometimes a necessity. Only problem is, you better not get caught because the damn things backfire painfully. Let's hope they do for Larry Joe Doherty.

    Many of us have been subjected in recent days to a telephone push poll paid for by Doherty in which he spreads personal smears about his primary opponent, Austin's own Dan Grant. This sleazy tactic is straight out of Karl Rove's playbook for negative campaigns. It's also sloppy as hell and everyone who knows Dan realizes it's about as far from the truth as one can get. In fact, much of it is the same crap that a certain former member of the SDEC has been spreading all over Austin. We've all heard it and we all know it's not true.

    As far as I'm concerned, the push poll disqualifies Larry Joe for serious consideration as our representative in Congress, mostly because a real push poll would have been about real issues. Not, for example, a bunch of patently false information. That ain't the kind of strategy that's going to be beat the Congressman from Clear Channel.

    This transgression is just the latest from the Houston lawyer and former TV judge. Earlier this month, Doherty’s dalliance with rightwing Congressman Lamar Smith was uncovered in a bizarre fundraiser for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Larry Joe’s own finance chairman, Jim ‘Mattress Mac” McIngvale, co-sponsored the fundraiser.

    But it doesn’t end even there. Last fall, Austin Political Report uncovered a clip from the late Anna Nicole Smith’s reality show in which Larry Joe, the host of his own (cancelled) show on Fox, invites the troubled socialite to be a judge. Enough said about his judgment.

    Serious times call for serious candidates. Larry Joe Doherty isn’t serious.

    Check out Dan Grant’s plan for addressing the economic woes that McCaul and his allies in the White House are inflicting on low-income and middle-class families. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Congressman who wants to do something other than campaign. Badly?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 14, 2008

    Could Somebody 'Splain Something To Me Please?

    What is this fascination some people have with the notion of a brokered national convention this year? Lord knows the primary system isn't perfect, and the result may or may not be to your liking... But the notion that the Boyd Richies and Matt Angles of the fifty states would go into a (nowadays smoke-free) room with the Beltway crowd and somehow anoint a nominee worthy of the hosannas of the progressive crowd seems as fantastic to me as the cargo cults of the South Seas.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:42 PM | Comments (1) | 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

    What do Larry Joe Doherty and Mitt Romney have in common?

    Apparently, a fundraiser. Via CapAnnex

    In a Republican primary, this wouldn’t make much difference. But, in a Democratic primary, it’s another story.

    However, the revelation that Larry Joe Doherty’s finance chair Jim McIngvale hosted a reception for Mitt Romney in mid-December could change the dynamic of the CD 10 primary–and not in Doherty’s favor.

    Not much of a political story but hey, it's a slow news day. LJD also did well, according to the campaign, in Q4 fundraising. What's surprising is that he's burned through more than 34% of his total funds, which included $100k from himself.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 07, 2008

    FISA coming back...

    The Republicans and the Administration (along with, unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) are still pushing for FISA reform to take away your rights and gut the Constitution they've all sworn to uphold.

    With a lot of help, Senator Dodd beat them back late last year. Now they're coming back. Just for shits and grins, I thought we'd recap something I found while doing some research last week. What the government wants to do is wiretap at least tens of millions of Americans. What they are doing, because they have credible intelligence, is wiretapping about 100.

    What, of course, has never been explained is why they want to violate the privacy of millions. At the end of the day, they are hoping all of us will be more skeered of the terrarists than our government in the hands of the same people who brought you Gitmo! The Holiday Hotspot!. Actually, we're not scared of terrorists or the government.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 06, 2008

    Al Edwards still in love with Al Edwards

    Via Whitmarsh's list comes a press release from Al Edwards the former Representative from Houston who hates him some cheerleaders and is, as we all know, a thoroughgoing loser. Remember? He lost to Borris Miles.

    Honestly, I thought Edwards had killed himself with some cheap booze but apparently that didn't happen. One has to wonder if Sly Turner, who's enough of a dumbass to think he'll be Speaker, was also enough of a dumbass to ask Edwards to step in for a 2006 rematch against Miles.

    I don't think it's possible for me to really deride this in the manner it deserves, but I'm willing to try. Full text of the release and my comments are in the supersize.

    ----- Original Message ----- From: Al Edwards Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2008 1:17 PM Subject: Democratic-Al Edwards-State Representative District 146

    WTF is up with that subject?!?

    "WE CAN DO BETTER!"

    WE can, but you can't as you proved during your tenure as Representative. That's why the folks in your district sent Miles to Austin instead of you. They realized they could do better.



    RE-ELECT AL EDWARDS on TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2008 as STATE REPRESENTATIVE for DISTRICT 146

    Al Edwards will return to Texas Capitol with over 27 years of committed experience,
    dignity, and integrity.


    DIGNITY? Oh, fuckall, Al. You have to be kidding me! As for re-electing you, if the voters have already rid themselves of you but you want to come back, shouldn't you be asking them to 'elect' you?

    I am running for State Representative of District 146 again because I understand that redistricting will have a dramatic event on all of us. I know we need a strong Democrat to keep a Republican from controlling District 146. I want to help save and preserve TSU, Texas History more importantly Emancipation-JUNETEENTH and all of Texas culture. I am that unbiased individual who is willing to fight for the betterment of all citizens, especially for the improvement of our educational system. I have strived to reduce taxes and to protect every citizen form being abused by the eminent domain law. I am a strong supporter for the growth and development of the businesses in District 146.
    The people in District 146 obviously need a 'strong Democrat', unfortunately, Al, you're neither. Oh, and it's a good idea to run spell check before you send things out.
    Donations can be made to "Al Edwards Campaign." Volunteers please call 713.741.8800. www.aledwards.com, P.O. Box 321472, Houston, TX 77021

    If I give you a quarter, will you promise to buy yourself a clue, Al?

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 02, 2008

    Lame endorses Lame

    With the Iowa Caucus just a day away, we find out that the irrepressibly lame Kucinich has endorsed Obama.

    It's exciting, isn't it? Well, maybe it is to the oatmeal-eating set.

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

    December 22, 2007

    OK. Now you pissed me off...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And this is where things get really nasty.

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

    December 17, 2007

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

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

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

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

    December 16, 2007

    Lieberman endorses McCain

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

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

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

    This is just weak

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 14, 2007

    Dukes to file amended reports after being busted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Telecom Immunity again?!

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

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

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

    Dead Beat Dutton

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

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

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

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

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

    December 13, 2007

    Slots of Fun

    Priceless-DDthumb.jpg

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

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

    /sarcasm


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

    Farrar in a primary?

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

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

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

    December 07, 2007

    And Matthew Shepard dies again...

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 03, 2007

    Crap like this...

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

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

    December 02, 2007

    Everyone Hates Rahm

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

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

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

    November 23, 2007

    A campaign planted questions? Say it isn't so...

    I'm not a terribly big fan of Hillary but is this really surprising to anyone? Not to be rude, but campaigns DO this kind of thing all the time. The Republicans are just better at it and use it more frequently.

    Really, it's not that big a deal.

    However, this is really fucking shitty. She can't leave her own damn tips?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 19, 2007

    HR 3915 passes and other mortgage news

    Yes, HR 3915 has passed the House and is off to what one can only hope will be a rocky reception in either the Senate or with, God forbid, President Bush.

    Seriously, we need reform. The market needs regulation and consumers have to be protected. This doesn't do that AND it cripples the marketplace. Do you have any idea how depressing it is not only to see your party fuck up brilliantly but to be forced into agreement with douchebag's like Kenny Marchant and Patrick McHenry? I hate those guys.

    Still, they were right on this one. I guess it had to happen. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    In other mortgage related news, FHA Modernization was stalled out in the Senate by Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma (doesn't that make him a double retard?)

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

    November 15, 2007

    HR 3915 : A solution that creates bigger problems

    Reality is never an easy thing to acknowledge, especially when it becomes clear that our intention to help people will, instead, fail them. That's the case with Representative Brad Miller's bill, HR 3915. It's also hard for me, as a Democrat, to believe that a member of my party, serving his constituents, would propose this horrendously bad, consumer harmful legislation. Last night I finally realized that he didn't do this to help out big banks, the special interest that will most benefit from the passage of HR 3915.

    It's my belief that Rep. Miller had nothing but good, even noble, intentions. He wanted to protect consumers from being taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous mortgage brokers. Fortunately for Rep. Miller of North Carolina, his bill does exactly that, by killing the entire mortgage brokerage industry. Unfortunately, it still leaves consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous mortgage bankers and builder/Realtor controlled mortgage companies.

    It also removes 25% of Americans from even the possibility of owning a home because they will not able to obtain financing.

    This entire meltdown in the credit market is really nothing more than bad press and stupidity. For one thing, more than 80% of even the riskiest sub-prime mortgages are performing. That means that 80% of the people who obtained financing for a home outside of conventional (good credit, easy to document income and assets - the overwhelming majority of mortgage loans in US) guidelines still own their homes and will continue to. The reason the market has slowed down to a crawl (and why subprime has already disappeared) is that the loans packaged as securities and sold to investors were priced as if they bore no credit risk. In short, investors got panicked when they realized that the B/C credits they paid A prices for actually performed like, well, B/C credits.

    The market has already corrected the underwriting criteria available to brokers and frozen out subprime options. This has effectively removed 25% of Americans from the marketplace for mortgage financing. Rep. Miller's bill won't change that. What it will do is make sure that these people will never buy a home by making it illegal to underwrite loans to lenient, high risk, characteristics. They may be able to refinance into FHA, some may even clean their credit to the point where they will be able to see and buy a home. However, that basket will go away and many people with poor credit will never be able to achieve the American Dream.

    Of course, some of these people will able to obtain FHA or conventional financing with larger than usual down payments. However, at the very least, 15% of Americans will never own a home if Rep. Miller's bill passes.

    The saddest thing about this that Rep. Miller is trying to do through legislation what should more properly be done through regulation. Mortgage brokers think national licensing, standards and regulation is a great idea. However, it has to be funded. Rep. Miller's bill tasks the same old people with implementing the new rules. As we've all seen from the anecdotal cases of broker-initiated mortgage fraud in the US, those agencies just aren't up to the task of enforcing the rules we have now.

    The reality that Rep. Miller doesn't want to acknowledge is that more than 98% of brokers are good, decent professionals, a fact which no one has sought to question because more than 60% of the loans originated in the US are originated by brokers. These people who have close relationships with their borrowers. In many case, they have replaced the community banker and basically become the George Bailey's of the 21st century.

    What's needed is a better bill that creates a level mortgage loan origination playing field between banks and brokers, creating an even more vibrant and competitive market. A bill that ends the ability of builders and Realtors to own mortgage companies or profit from them. A bill that protects consumers without crushing them or destroying their options.

    What's needed is a do-over. We ask every Democrat in the House to vote against this horrible piece of legislation. And start over again on something that will actually do something to strengthen the market, not kill it.

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

    November 13, 2007

    3915 : A market in the balance

    3915 left committee, albeit in a much changed form. According to the rumors flying around there are many more changes to come prior to the bills arrival on the floor.

    So how did all this happen? The story I've heard from several sources involves a lobbying effort led by banks and consumer advocacy groups who thought this bill would actually do something good for consumers. There is an effort being rolled out to touch these consumer groups and help the to understand just how much power they are handing over to banks and how much competition will be lost with the shutdown of the TPO industry.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Democratic voter backlash?

    Voters unsatisfied with Democratic efforts to remove us from Iraq are really pissed and threatening not to vote or voting for primary challengers. Duh.

    When the Democratic Party called up recently to ask Myrna Burgess for a campaign contribution, she answered with an emphatic ``no.''

    ``Nothing has been done as far as the war is concerned,'' said Burgess, 72, an Amtrak worker from Levittown, Pennsylvania.

    More than a year after anti-war voters like Burgess helped give Democrats control of Congress, there are more troops in Iraq, lawmakers have approved almost $100 billion in new war spending and congressional approval ratings are at record lows.

    Democrats now worry that their inability to make good on campaign promises to end or slow the war in Iraq will have consequences. The disaffection has already fueled at least four anti-war primary challenges to party incumbents, raising fears among some lawmakers of an intra-party fight that could drain momentum before next year's elections.

    ``They want someone to be held accountable,'' said Representative Lynn Woolsey of California, a leading anti-war Democrat in the House.

    Actually, it's not just Iraq, it's also AG Mukasey, restoration of Habeas Corpus, telecom immunity and the other issues on which the Democrats have decided to compromise with the Administration. Which is a nice way of saying 'Democrats let Bush have what he wanted because they were afraid of soft-on-terror campaign ads'. The political reality, which no one in Washington on the D side seems to get, is that it's better to pass bills you know Bush will veto so you can hold them up and say, 'Look. Look at what Republicans are doing to the country!'

    Part of the reason D's are in the majority now is to act as a roadblock to Bush and the Republicans until 2008 when we can replace the rest of them, if needed. Sure, originally (early in the year) we thought there might be some things the chastened Republicans would go for. They did and some good legislation got passed. However, we're now at the big ticket items and you don't compromise on those. You BEAT the Republicans to death with them and let voters know that if they want real, substantive progress we need a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President.

    If you can't get them to help pass good legislation, you stop them (and Bush) cold. Sometimes the biggest part job of a Member of Congress is just stopping bad things from happening. Apparently Schumer and Feinstein forgot that.

    Last note... keep Pelosi away from the press...

    Democratic leaders acknowledge that these stalemates may be eroding their support with the party's anti-war wing, and say they are aware of the potential for a voter backlash.

    ``We haven't been effective in ending the war in Iraq,'' Pelosi told reporters Nov. 1. ``If you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well.''

    Madam Speaker, it would have killed you to blame this all on the Republicans??!?!? Maybe take 5 seconds to explain that they are blocking good legislation by backing up Bush's vetos? Nancy, quit accepting blame for something you didn't do. It doesn't make you look humble, it makes you look stupid and meek.

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

    Dregs : Some things you missed

  • Bush refused to allow a Marine Corps lawyer to testify on waterboarding.
  • Speaking of waterboarding, the Senate voted to confirm 'Let's-Take-A-Bath' Mukasey as our new Attorney General! Frank Rich wrote a brill piece on why this was not such a good idea for our esteemed sellouts, Senators Schumer and Feinstein. Just as a reminder, give money to Senate candidates. Don't bother giving to the DSCC because Schumer will waste it on losers. Like himself and Feinstein.
  • Ahead of still more protests in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto is once again under arrest. By order of our good friend and ally in the war on terror, General Musharraf (the same one Frank Rich also said some things about in the piece I linked above),
  • The really big winner from last Tuesday's election? No, it's not our good friends at Zachry Construction, it's none other than T. Boone Picken's who created his own water district so he could use tax payer subsidized funding to transfer water from the depleted panhandle wells to Dallas/Fort Worth. You're the suck, Boone.No, really, you are. I know suck and you, my friend, are defintely the SUCK.
  • ELLN has a good post up about the IEA's conversion to environmental concerns, not to mention their questions about the feasibility of making the investments necessary to continue running the world off fossil fuels. Their estimate? It'll cost $22 trillion, or far more than it'll cost to convert the planet to biofuels.
  • Texas Monthly calls for the impeachment of Sharon Keller
  • Oh, there's more...

  • Dungeon Diary has a post up about a whistleblower at AT&T who's coming clean about the Administration's illegal wiretapping.
  • Jenny Hoff over at KXAN is doing an interesting series on her trip to Afghanistan
  • Once again, Texas ranks #1 in the nation for the most expensive home owner's insurance. And that's after all the tort reform 'savings'. You can thank the Republicans for that. I suggest you do it when you go to vote next year.
  • Congrats to the D's in Congress who voted for the Tax Relief Act... to those who voted along with the Republicans, we're hating on y'all.
  • Have a goodun!

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

    November 08, 2007

    If I gave Schumer $20 would he not tax me?

    Man, oh man... Chuck Schumer just can't stop dropping himself in the grease.

    In early June, as the Senate Finance Committee began examining how a new breed of Wall Street titan could be paying a special low tax rate on executives' salaries, one of the richest of them, hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, cut the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee a check for $28,500.

    Just days later, with DSCC Chairman Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) equivocating on legislation to raise taxes on publicly traded equity firms, hedge fund giant James H. Simons, who earned $1.7 billion last year at his Renaissance Technologies LLC, donated another $28,500 to the DSCC.

    By late July, Schumer was off the fence -- and on the side of the hedge funds and private-equity firms in opposing the Democratic legislation.

    We talked about this a few months ago. At the time I imagined it was the pig headed supply side Republicans who were blocking things. Turns out, they are only part of the problem. Schumer is the other. Sounds familiar, right?

    Seriously, Chuck, these guys aren't going to cut the purse strings. They know this is coming and it's time to balance the books.

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

    November 06, 2007

    Why is Barney Frank pimping for big banks?

    This morning, HR 3915 goes to markup in the Financial Services Committee. I know this sounds about as thrilling as clipping your toe nails, but the reality is that this bill will effect your life in a number of ways, especially if you want to buy or refinance a home. If this bill becomes law the mortgage industry, already suffering under a difficult credit cycle, will cease to exist as we know it.

    In it's place will return the bad old days of mortgage lending, when it was impossible to buy a home with less than 10% down and when big banks set the interest rate, not the market. This isn't a return to local lending, something that already exists with the millions of mortgage brokers that provide financing to Americans today. This is a return to big corporate banking and unless your credit is perfect, get ready to rent for a long, long time. The only question is, why would Barney Frank do this?

    Here's the skinny on what's so wrong...

  • 3915 will effectively eliminate the ability of 30-35% of Americans to buy a home. By legislating underwriting guidelines, Congress will end the ability of lenders to establish their own underwriting guidelines and risk tolerances. More than 30% of Americans have either hard to document income/assets OR have poor or no credit. Under 3915, there will be no way to lend these otherwise good borrowers the money they need to purchase a home.
  • 3915 will destroy the competitive origination market by effectively eliminating third party originators (TPO's, or Brokers). This will leave only consumer banks who have, in the past, taken advantage of borrowers. Competition in the mortgage market is essential to making sure that the vast majority of Americans can obtain the best financing for their particular situation.
  • Low or no down payment options other than FHA insured/VA guaranteed loans will disappear from the market as retail banks will not need to be competitive with brokers. Borrowers who can't pay their own closing costs will find it very difficult to obtain a loan since brokers will no longer be able to buy out the fee with YSP.
  • Eliminating the ability of TPO’s to receive Yield Spread Premium will create an unbalanced playing field since retail banks will be able to make YSP and not have to disclose to their borrowers that they are being paid. That's the reality of every mortgage... each and every one has YSP or it's kissing cousin Service Release Premium. Most brokers make YSP which is a combination of rate and released servicing.
  • The bill does nothing to address the abuses of builder controlled mortgage entities, including steering borrowers to their captive subsidiaries and/or ABA’s.
  • HR 3915 will have a deleterious effect on the thousands of minority owned and operated mortgage brokerages around the country. These are small businesses that are truly the backbone of our economy. If this bill becomes law, millions across this country will find themselves out of work.
  • HR 3915 does nothing to fund enforcement which has been desperately needed for years. It does set up licensing and registration requirements, which most brokers actually favor (usually because they are licensed by their state government.
  • There has, admittedly, been tons of bad coverage about mortgages going bad in the US. Basically, an entire industry is being dragged down by a few bad actors, less than 2% of the brokers in the US. The real problem is with builders like DR Horton who own their own mortgage companies and steer home buyers to them by offering incentives... but only if the buyers use THEIR mortgage company.

    In reality, this bill will do little to stop bad lending practices. The only thing it will do is make sure that there isn't anyone to keep the banks honest. Without mortgage brokers keeping the market competitive, there's no one to help you. Further, the laws and regulations we have now are enough but, like the EPA, the money to enforce them is lacking. Why isn't Frank concentrating on that? He can propose an appropriations bill as easily as any other member of Congress.

    Chairman Frank and the other co-sponsors may not realize the damage they are about to do. That's why it's important to LET them know.

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

    November 04, 2007

    Schumer and Feinstein cave

    Political reality is not something that Chuckie Schumer is comfortable with. Neither is Diane Feinstein who has functionally become the Western Joe Lieberman. Torture, on the other hand, is A-OK with the Senators who are now falling over themselves to support AG candidate Mukasey whose prevarication on torture is a real cause for concern.

    Not to mention that politically it's a loser because it hands a victory to what should be a wholly irrelevant President. Some have said 'Bush is attacking them for doing nothing on Mukasey! They had to do something!'. Those people are idiots... SHOW me the polling that says Bush's hits are landing. Show me a poll that says anything other than 'Disregard the President'. You wanna know why Congressional approval numbers, even for D's, are in the toilet? WEAKNESS.

    Needless to say, if you want to know why a solid Democratic agenda is not moving forward and why Bush seems able now, at will, to slap Congress around, you have only to look at Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein.

    So, I'd like to ask your help... it's not so much but it'll at least help me feel like I'm doing something. Hopefully you'll feel the same way. Cut support for the DCCC and DSCC. Support individual candidates in elections. Ask them, point blank, how they feel about compromise for the sake of compromise? Ask them if they know how to fight when something is important. It's obvious Schumer and Feinstein don't. Let's not forget that marginalizing the DCCC and DSCC won't have much of an impact... it's not like their brill strategies won 2006. It was people being fed up that won 2006. Don't ever make the mistake of confusing luck with skill. There is precious little of the latter at either organization.

    So, there is always, the why. Well, Mukasey was Schumer's compromise candidate. Problem is, like most things Chuck Schumer does, he did a piss poor job vetting this guy and now has to stick with him lest he lose face. Seriously, you think bloggers and activists are petty? Try a member of Congress, especially a Senator like Chuckie who wants to think of himself as the intellectual heir to Daniel Patrick Moynihan (he's the only who thinks that, by the way). As for Feinstein, she's just senile. Seriously, someone ask that old woman to retire. She needs to be in assisted living, not Congress. But I digress... what was the issue on this? Was there another reason for being 'terrified of this debate'? Terrorism and the Democratic fear of that debate. Wimps.

    Many Republicans, however, are happy to have the Mukasey debate turn into a high-profile showdown over the treatment of terrorism suspects and contended that this is profitable terrain for the party. "Democrats are demonstrating their weaknesses on security matters, which will work to their disadvantage," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.).

    Norman Ornstein, a scholar on Congress at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed that Republicans would "much rather be dealing with who's tougher on terrorists." But he also noted that Mukasey, who has no political ties to Bush, could turn into an independent force within the administration. Bush has won, Ornstein said, without being able to know precisely what he will get.

    Y'all, we gotta get Cornyn out of Washington. He's just too old and too scared of terrorists. He'll give up anything, any right, for the illusion of protection from terrorism. He's the very definition of cowardice. And while we're on the subject of cowardice, what the hell is hte Washington Post doing referring to ANYONE who works at the American Enterprise Institute as a scholar? Heres how the first sentence of the second graf should have read...

    "Norman Ornstein, a spokesperson on Congress for the right wing American Enterprise Institute, agreed that Republicans would "much rather be dealing with who's tougher on terrorists." "

    Soooo not hard. But, again, I'm off topic.

    Until the Democrats in Congress learn to speak with one voice and understand that compromise, while not a dirty word, is only acceptable after you beat the holy shit out of your opponent, we're going to keep being marginalized. While the Republicans are uniformly cowards, willing to hand over freedom for the illusion of security, there are a few Democrats who are weak and unable to really fight for what's important. Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein are two of those people. Support candidate who will pledge to marginalize these two, seniority be damned.

    And quit being scared to have the terrorism debate. Whether you believe it or not, more than 50% of the voters in this country get it and we're tired of watching you cave in for assumed political expediency. Make the Republicans eat their cowardice and fear.

    We're done being scared. You should be too, Chuck.

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

    November 01, 2007

    HR 3915 and how it might get harder to buy a house

    I'm kinda having a warm fuzzy when it comes to the Dem's in the US House... until I read about HR 3915 which is currently in the Financial Services Committee. I keep thinking someone is going to shut this piece of crap down but it hasn't happened yet. So, I'm taking time out of my life (no, it's more than OK... I wasn't doing anything anyway) to let you know what's about to happen.

    This horrible bill is one of these geared toward addressing the sub-prime credit crunch. It's well intentioned and it'll do absolutely nothing to fix the problem.

    Here's the breakdown...

    Title 1 will create a federal duty of care and outlaw steering. The anti-steering language will outlaw incentive compensation and YSP that varies with the terms of a loan. The section will allow indirect compensation if disclosed early in the process. This section also creates a minimum licensing standard for all originators and net worth or bond requirements of $100,000.

    Sounds reasonable, right? Not so much... YSP is what brokers get paid for delivering loans at set interest rates. They vary from lender to lender and even with YSP built into the rate, brokers are still cheaper than traditional banks. YSP is ALWAYS disclosed on the Reg Z Good Faith Estimate. This law will ban it outright and have the perverse effect of INCREASING the cost of financing. FYI - whether you go to a bank or or a broker, someone is getting paid YSP.

    The national licensing and bonding is fine by me... just make sure there is a good migration path over the next few years so as not to create any shocks in the system. Further, and this is essential, REGULATION must be funded. Without that, all the laws in the world are useless. Finally, let's apply this to ALL originators in the market, even those that work at banks, credit unions, etc.

    Title 2 creates an ability to repay standard and hardwires underwriting guidelines. Underwriting will include a verified ability to repay and take into account amortizing payments. Guidelines will also include taxes and insurance payments when calculating ratios. For refinancing, the act will define and require a net tangible benefit. For prime loans, there is a safe harbor. However, for subprime there is assignee liability and expanded rescission rights. Standards will also create a defense to foreclosure. Severe restrictions will be placed upon first-time homebuyer mortgages with negative amortization features.

    Here's the meat of the stupid... putting underwriting guidelines into law and removing any flexibility on the part of the lender. This is potentially the most devastating thing as it will effectively remove 30-35% of Americans from even being able to own a home. I'm fine with additional disclosures and notices to the borrower. However, don't kill the product as it will just make it hard for people to buy homes. Don't make it so that we can't make common sense exceptions which are a lot more common than predatory lending.

    Title 3 will expand the existing Section 32 of TILA by reducing the points and fees triggers and expand lender liability. Prohibitions include no balloon loans, no lending without regard to ability to repay, prohibit a pattern or practice of making such loans, restrict late fees, and prohibit the financing of any points/fees. Taken together, the expansive liability and prohibited terms and conditions will make Section 32 lending practically impossible.

    I'm OK with national guides regarding section 32. However, reducing point and fee triggers is largely pointless since the vast majority of loans already conform to section 32 limits (more than 95%). The remainder are usually the way they are because of particular issues related to the borrower. Removing that removes that buyer from the marketplace.

    As for balloons, no or limited documentation loans, etc. making changes here is a unsettling. For some people it IS the best way to finance a home. A better way to making sure that brokers don't try to steer people in one direction or another is to rework the disclosures to make it crystal clear to the borrower that they are taking out what has historically been high risk financing.

    If you really want to protect us, make originator licensing and regulation effective for all parties. Forbid Realtors and Builders from owning mortgage companies and or having affiliated business arrangements/agreements with mortgage companies and fully fund regulation. It's easier and it will actually fix the problem, Barney.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 29, 2007

    Checking up on the Iscariot Caucus

    Phillip at BOR has a post up about what's happening with the Iscariot Caucus. Apparently, only 5 five remain solidly behind CradDICK, many have primary opponents and a few have come back from the dark side.

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

    October 25, 2007

    Weak sisters kill a DREAM

    Well, the cloture vote on the DREAM Act failed... Dos Centavos has the deets. Honestly, this is really getting old. Has anyone thought about what we're going to do when these dummies get their way and remove 11 million people from the workforce?

    Republicans (and a few D's) are really, really stupid.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 21, 2007

    Uhm, Nancy, you really don't get this PR stuff do you?

    Last week, after Republicans stopped the veto override on S-CHIP, Rep. Stark made this comment...

    "You don't have money to fund the war or children," Stark accused Republicans. "But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

    After numerous Republicans called on him to apologize, Stark said it was they who should be apologizing, for failing to provide the votes to override Bush's veto.

    Nancy Pelosi took the time to slap Stark on the wrist...

    "While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand _ providing health care for America's children," Pelosi said.

    Nance... seriously, what he said WASN'T over the top. More than 70% of this country is pissed as hell about Bush's veto and the obstinate Republicans who continue to support him. Further, it's not a distraction. IT'S REALITY. We either spend money on ourselves or spend money on another contract with Halliburton and Blackwater. Which is more important, Madam Speaker?

    Instead of beating up on members of your caucus, why don't you try focusing all your energies on the Republicans who are the real obstacle to progress in this country?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 18, 2007

    Expansion of FISA...

    I'm pretty pissed after reading this so let me summarize what's going on with FISA expansion.

    Rockefeller, Chair of the Senate Intel Committee, supports a compromise version that includes immunity for companies that cooperated with Bush's illegal wiretapping. The bill still has to get through Senate Judiciary and Leahy and Specter have both said they want more information. We can only hope they don't fold up like the West Virginia Lawnchair. The House version of the bill isn't that bad and does provide some protections. It was pulled from the floor yesterday because of Republican shenanigans. The Senate compromise version hasn't been seen yet. However, we do not it includes immunity for telcos that cooperated with Bush's illegal wiretaps.

    I'm as pragmatic as the next guy but Constitutional protections are something you don't play politics with, especially when you have such broad support on the issue. So why would the D's cave? Fear...

    But conservative Democrats worried about Republicans' charges that the Democratic bill extended too many rights to suspected terrorists. "There is absolutely no reason our intelligence officials should have to consult government lawyers before listening in to terrorist communications with the likes of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and other foreign terror groups," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

    The measure "extends our Constitution beyond American soil to our enemies who want to cut the heads off Americans," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.).

    If you people are going to be intimidated by Gohmert then what kind of Democrats are you? This is a guy who speaks in nothing but hyperbole. It's so bad that his own constituents laugh at him. In East Texas. You wanna get him to shut up? Shout. His. Ass. Down.

    As for Boehner, why is it so important for Republicans to protect companies that engaged in illegal activity and didn't obey the law? What do YOU get out of it, John? Campaign contributions? What IS your payoff, Rep. Boehner? We already know that there are Republicans who can be bought. The only question is if you're one of them. If you're not then why the hell support giving these folks immunity?

    Why is it so important for you to not protect the citizens of this country, John? Wiretap restrictions aren't hurting our troops. Why is it necessary for you to hamper the Fourth Amendment Rights of the citizens of this nation?

    These companies broke the law. I don't care what they thought they had by way of protection from the Federal Government. Don't give them immunity under any circumstances. Unless they produce, as law proscribes, a neat letter from AG Ashcroft.

    What? They didn't get that? Then they don't get immunity.

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

    ENDA and pragmatism...

    I'm changing my opinion... it doesn't happen often but it's happening now. I think Congress should pass ENDA any way it can, even if it means dropping out protections for the transgendered.

    The WaPo has a great article up on this. I'm not thrilled about the fact that so many members of even my own party won't vote to protect the transgendered, in fact I'm hugely dismayed. However, I'm loathe to attack people who are at least willing to support ENDA without the TG protections because the alternative (the REALISTIC one) features a large number of people that would like to see myself and every other LGBT person incinerated.

    While not a perfect bill, it does go a long way to protecting gay and lesbian people who are, every day, fired from jobs without any cause other than being gay or lesbian. At the end of the day, you have to think about them. Is it fair to ignore them when we know that including TG protections will kill the bill outright?

    Advancing Civil rights has always been a halting march toward more freedom. What we are seeing is that sexuality is no different than race. There is no reason for us to give up the fight and I know Democrats in Congress will continue to fight for TG protections.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 17, 2007

    Bush is playing Congress like a fiddle

    He's on right now beating them up on the slow pace of bills, not having the budget ready, S-CHIP, etc. Says the S-CHIP override vote won't succeed and he's right... problem is, politically, it's going to kill Republicans in 2008. The rest of it, like the Armenian genocide vote, is spot the fuck on. Congress is failing like a motherfucker, mostly because of the Republicans.

    The budget is a punch that lands. Congress has to get off it's ass and that starts with the leadership. This press conference is a broadside attack. Congress needs to answer it forcefully and with no mercy for any of the Republicans. It's their fault nothing is being done.

    And kill his candidate for AG. In fact, don't act on ANY of the nominees from the Executive Branch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 11, 2007

    Draw your own conclusions...

    Naomi Klein has written a thoroughgoing indictment of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of economic theory which is functionally supply-side with a penchant for what Friedman called 'economic shock treatment'. Basically, you create the conditions that allow the economy to get sooo bad that the people will accept a change, any change, that promises to fix the problems. In theory, it should expand services and create wealth across every economic level. In practice, it creates massive stratification and does little to fix or create critical services. It also makes everyone not already wealthy destitute...

    Klein argues that Friedmanian free market rules do exactly what they were designed to do: they don’t create a perfectly harmonious economy, complete with the much-lauded “trickle-down” effect, but rather, turn the already wealthy into the super-rich and the organized working class into the disposable poor. Further, she describes these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, like war, as exciting marketing opportunities or “disaster capitalism.”

    So, why even mention this? Simple. This is about to happen to us and you might as well be prepared for it. Since the supply-side revolution Reagan ushered in more than 26 years ago, we've seen economic stratification climb to alarming levels not seen since the Gilded Age. Despite the fact that it doesn't really help anyone other than those already rich.

    Which brings us to the tax issue we mentioned yesterday. The supply siders will tell you that cutting taxes will increase economic growth and create surplus revenues. That's actually not true since it's dependent on the Laffer Curve and even it is subject to the law of diminishing returns. What's needed is a balance in marginal tax rates and efficient use of the money by the government, not endless deficits, mounting debt and low taxes for the already rich. That and the fact that tax policy has less of an impact on business conditions than interest rates.

    Think, for a second, about our crumbling infrastructure, our rising deficit, underfunded entitlement programs... it's all leading up to a situation in which things will spin violently out of the control. Of course, when that happens, then we'll be ready for shock treatment.

    Think it can't happen here? Cause a massive economic disruption in the US and people will accept anything that will fix it.

    They elected Reagan, didn't they? Think of that as a dry run.

    One other note about investments and taxes... I'm a HUGE fan of massive capital gains taxes, especially on gains realized in less than two years. Why? Because I hate traders and speculators. I'm a long term investor...THAT more than anything done by private equity companies actually provides long term stability and growth in businesses. It also stabilizes the retirements of hundreds of millions of people.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 09, 2007

    Someone tell Harry Reid to get the dick out of his ass

    According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, making private equity managers pay the same taxes the rest of us pay isn't even going to come up this year.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has told private-equity firms in recent weeks that a tax-hike proposal they have spent millions of dollars to defeat will not get through the Senate this year, according to executives and lobbyists.

    Reid's assurance all but ends the year's highest-profile battle over a major tax increase. Democratic lawmakers, including some presidential candidates, had been pushing to more than double the tax rate on the massive earnings of private-equity managers, who the Democrats say have been chronically undertaxed.

    Harry, a word of advice... GET A BILL ON THE FLOOR. RECORD THE VOTES. MAKE THE REPUBLICANS TAKE A STAND AGAINST ORDINARY AMERICANS. I know you're kind of sloppy at PR, but not even bringing the thing to battle is just stupid. This could be a wonderful campaign issue, but if you don't let it come up then we can't use it as effectively. Damn, I know you're smart as a whip so why the fuck can't you see this?

    This is a debate we're ready for. This is one we can win and crush the Republicans on economic issues. Get something, ANYTHING, moving and let's take the fuckers head on.

    On the lighter side, Senator Obama has come out, chiding the lobbyists who kept this legislation down and trumpeted his intention (if elected) to close the loopholes that let private equity managers get away with this. My question? Why not do something now since you are, you know, IN THE FUCKING SENATE.

    Idiots.

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

    October 08, 2007

    National inSecurity

    Why even play this game? The Democrats are proposing next week a sweeping bill to give surveillance powers to the Administration. Granted, the laws are more restrictive than those passed in August. Still, it's clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And that's only the surveillance part of the bill.

    The bill would require the Justice Department inspector general to audit the use of the umbrella warrant and issue quarterly reports to a special FISA court and to Congress, according to congressional aides involved in drafting the legislation. It would clarify that no court order is required for intercepting communications between people overseas that are routed through the United States. It would specify that the collections of e-mails and phone calls could come only from communications service providers -- as opposed to hospitals, libraries or advocacy groups. And it would require a court order when the government is seeking communications of a person inside the United States, but only if that person is the target.

    A target is defined as a person, group, cell or government of interest to a foreign intelligence investigation.

    "Democrats have made huge strides in making improvements over the Protect America Act," said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "Yet we think that the Constitution requires as a minimum that an individualized warrant is required whenever an American's communications are targeted. This is going to be the big sticking point."

    Democrats are wary of being called weak on national security. That concern is exacerbated by the government's withholding of details on its surveillance activities that would enable Congress to gauge whether expanded powers are needed, said Mark Agrast, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

    The Administration also wants blanket immunity to telecom companies that aided the Administration in their illegal surveillance...

    The bill would not include a key administrative objective: immunity for telecommunications firms facing lawsuits in connection with the administration's post-Sept. 11 surveillance program. House Democrats have said that as long as the administration withholds requested documents explaining the basis for the warrantless surveillance program, they cannot consider immunity for firms alleged to have facilitated it.

    The White House on Friday evening told the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence and judiciary committees that it would put together that information by Oct. 22 but would not say when or whether it would make the information available to lawmakers.

    "We have told the White House for weeks that the House plans to consider FISA legislation on October 17," said a senior Democratic congressional aide involved in the White House negotiations. "How can members of Congress consider any proposal for immunity if the documents relating to the company's conduct aren't even being assembled by White House lawyers until October 22?"

    Good question... why not let the existing law stand instead of writing a law that violates the Fourth Amendment? Why buy into the R frame on national security? Why not actually fight this and make the R's look like they are taking people's rights (which is exactly what they are doing)?

    In the Senate, Democrats are working with Republican colleagues on a bill to be introduced this month that probably will contain some form of relief for telecom companies -- an issue that was sidestepped in August to help win passage of the Protect America Act.

    Four possibilities are being discussed, said a Senate aide familiar with the discussions. The broadest would be blanket immunity, which would immunize anyone, including government officials, who had anything to do with any surveillance program. That is the approach the government favors and is strongly opposed by civil liberties advocates.

    The second is targeted immunity, in which companies that can prove they were acting in good faith would be granted immunity from prosecution. The third is substitution, in which the government would replace the defendant in the lawsuit. Finally, there is indemnification. The cases would proceed through the court system, and if there were financial penalties, the government would assume them, the aide said.

    Aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the record.

    How about this... MASSIVE, billion dollar penalties for companies that complied, regardless of the reason. It's the only way to punish these entities for not respecting the privacy of their customers. Further, it's only way to keep this from happening again.

    Adding a new perspective on the debate, a group of prominent computer scientists from organizations including Sun Microsystems, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania recently warned that the current emergency law opens doors to the interception of purely domestic communications without a warrant. The computer scientists are concerned that the government's actions could threaten the privacy and security of U.S. communications.

    Administration officials have testified that any information gathered that involves an American who is not a target will be "minimized" -- their identities blacked out -- so that their privacy is protected.

    Oh, sure. Just 'trust us'. Yeah, not so much.

    Check out Somervell County Salon for their take...

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Geopolitics and the stupid, irrational candidates

    I have to tell you, when it comes to policy in the middle east, the Democratic candidates are about as dumb as the Republican candidates.

    None of the top three can say they'll have the troops out by January, 2013, a little more than five years from now. Does that mean we should support Gravel? It just might because crazy old man bullshit aside, he's the only one who seems to get it. Kucinich is just pretending and those of you who think differently are a bunch of tools. Kucinich is an even bigger egomaniac than Bush.

    The political reality in the region is that the Saudis don't want the Iranians in control of Iraq. Neither do the Syrians. Neither do the Turks. The Syrians don't want the Turks in control of Iraq. Neither do the Saudis and Iranians. Get the picture? It's a complex balance of multiple forces and we could pull out tomorrow and no faction would be able to move in. Should the Iranians start pumping up the Shia, the other powers will aid the Sunnis. There is no risk, despite what our idiot President says, of an Iranian or 'al Qaida' takeover of Iraq.

    The Democrats need to get that through their obstinate heads and realize they CAN pull troops out of Iraq, certainly before 2013. There is a civil war going on in Iraq. One power or another will eventually be victorious. None of the players in the region will allow anything other than a fully independent Iraqi state to be created, probably around a strongman. Let's hope he's more like Putin and less like Hussein.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 04, 2007

    Edwards Tells Olbermann Hillary's 33% Lead Is "Superficial"

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Just a flesh wound!

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

    September 29, 2007

    Cornyn Ally Puts Hometown Paper On Double Secret Probation

    Vanity Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who joined with Texas Senator John Cornyn in voting against the SCHIP bill to increase medical coverage for sick and injured children, has apparently put his hometown newspaper on his personal blacklist. Blogs the Cleveland Plain Dealer's equivalent of Gardner Selby:

    Kucinich has not returned calls for several weeks to the newspaper's Washington bureau, which covers his actions in Congress and his presidential campaign. As noted in Monday's newspaper, he uttered a string of non sequiturs -- albeit pleasant ones -- when a Plain Dealer reporter attempted to interview him outside the House of Representatives chamber.

    His presidential campaign staff for weeks has not returned Plain Dealer calls and e-mail.

    Natalie Laber, Kucinich's publicly paid spokeswoman in Congress, also has not returned phone calls and e-mail during this timeframe. That includes multiple inquries from reporters asking about Kucinich's votes in the House, his positions on congressional issues and matters unrelated to his presidential campaign.

    Laber apparently has attempted to exclude Plain Dealer reporters another way, removing them from her list of media contacts who receive Kucinich news releases, news alerts, hearing schedules and notices of public appearances via e-mail. We use the word "apparently" here because we cannot confirm this from Laber. She won't return our calls and e-mail. But we know she sends them to others, as we have obtained bootleg copies. (Under normal circumstances, we might request them under the Freedom of Information Act, but Congress, perhaps anticipating the day that Kucinich would wish to shut out the press, exempted itself from the public records law.)

    So far unreported in the dead tree media are other examples of Koo Koo's increasingly bizarre behavior. Print journalists are required to type their questions on narrow strips of paper and deliver them to the candidate's office baked inside of fortune cookies. And plans for an appearance on Meet The Press were scrapped when Tim Russert refused to sign an affidavit promising that he would not use the word "walnuts" at any point in the program.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 25, 2007

    Look! Up in the Sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a---thirty-second campaign spot!

    So McBlogger and get word that the Bill Richardson campaign will have a major announcement at noon on Monday. What, he's dropping out already? Seriously, what other major announcement could there be? Turns out he was just rolling out a TV spot they're going to start running in New Hampshire... lucky, lucky Granite Staters!

    Now, I have nothing against Bill Richardson. Apparently he's been a decent governor of New Mexico, and if he should win the presidential nomination I'm sure he'd give James Garfield a real run for the money. But seriously... a major campaign announcement? How excited will they be if campaign HQ ever gets a soda machine that takes dollar bills?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 22, 2007

    SD 10 : Candidates galore

    A little over a month ago, Todd Hill at BOR posted on the candidates possibly considering a race for SD 10. This has become an important race because it's winnable (the Republican incumbent is Brimer. Seriously, running against him is like running against a pile of nuclear waste) and, as Fort Worth begins it's demographic shift, it's holdable.

    Here are the canidates we've heard of so far.

  • Wendy Davis - While we don't know much about Wendy, we do know she's a TTC shill and big advocate for irresponsible toll road financing schemes that bleed taxpayers dry. As bad as Brimer according to some sources, Wendy is formerly of the Fort Worth City Council where she was very undistinguished (kind of like Austin's own Brewster McCracken). In 2002 readers of the Fort Worth Weekly chose her as the most likely Candidate for Alien Abduction. They also chose her as the Politician Most Likely To Sell Grandma To The Highest Bidder.

    Who can forget her tear jerking performance in defense of the sale of TX-121 to Cintra? Apparently, the prospect of not selling a toll road to foreign entity was just soooo upsetting to dear sweet Wendy that she just broke down and cried. Just what we need, another Pat Schroeder.

  • Art Brender - Current Chair, Tarrant County Democratic Party. Has been chair for years. Does not appear to have any substantial grassroots support which will, of course, be essential in winning this race. From sources familiar with him, I've heard he's everything from 'wonderful' to 'an idiot' which is par for the course. He is focusing on whether or not Davis is, in fact, a Republican. Given her stance on transportation finance, that's not hard to understand. Yeah, Wendy, that's how bad it is.
  • Terri Moore - Currently, ADA for Dallas County but lives in the district. Well liked and respected by a wide range of folks in Tarrant County. Not sure of stands on issues, but people seem sure she would be the best candidate given her intelligence and status as a prosecuting attorney. Is the one potential candidate that has not announced a run. May have to be dragged kicking and screaming which apparently some North Texas folks are willing to do if it's necessary to get her to run.
  • Of course, it's still early and I'm sure we'll hear more in endless candidate forums and tedious press hits. However, this is appears to be how things stand now...anyone with some more information in North Texas care to chime in?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 19, 2007

    Low Wattage

    Opposition research is a bit like a nuclear weapon. Both sides have it and once used they fuck everything up. They make the environment nasty and, in general keep real issues from coming to the surface. Granted, voting records are legitimate, but using the dirty bomb of oppo, the partial quote and taking things out of context, is still the weapon of choice and a real pain in the ass. The problem with it is, if you're going to do it you better hope to God that you're meaner than the other person.

    Which makes this really sad for the Watts Campaign.

    Recently, Rick Noriega has been taken to task by cloaked Watt's operatives for giving money to his employers PAC, a common practice (I give money to my employer's PAC and to my industry association's PAC). His reason is the same as mine... we want to advance and giving to the PAC is something management looks favorably on. Do I like it? No, because occasionally that money makes it into the hands of those I would spend a lifetime opposing. Still, I gave that money in large part not just because of professional obligations, I gave because I believe in the mission of the PAC to advocate for my company and my industry.

    I'd love for no PAC's to exist. However, as long as they do, I've no problem giving money to help advance my short and long term professional life. Noriega's done the same thing.

    The crux of the argument is that Noriega gave money to his PAC which gave it to some horrible Republicans. This is different from Mikal Watts who just decided to give directly, through his Good Government PAC, MASSIVE amounts of money to Republicans last cycle. He then gave nothing to many of the statewide Democrats. I know because I worked for one of them.

    The next piece to hit, the contributions from Bob Perry...The blogger that has endorsed Watts and has been all over many Texas Blogs talking about the unsolicited contributions Noriega has received from Bob Perry finally got the response he said he wanted. We talked about that here and Melissa Noriega, who he misquoted, responds to him here. To me, it's a non-issue. We're talking about less money than Mikal Watts gave Attorney General Greg 'The Gimp' Abbott.

    What? Can't believe I wrote that? The only thing I find more offensive than Attorney General Wheelie is the fact that a Democrat who wants my vote in a primary gave money to help him stay there.

    These are the two main oppo hits facing Noriega... What about Watts?

  • Did you hear about his penchant for bragging about buying judges? Oh, I'll give him that it was a device to intimidate an opponent into settling a suit. However, it was so unbelievably stupid to put it in writing that I can't believe he hasn't dropped out of the race yet. The lack of judgment in writing something like that, hell, the lack of INTELLIGENCE, is stunning.

    Mikal, if you're going to put a gun to someone's head, you tell them about it. You don't write them a memo.

  • He's apparently been involved in some kind of cabal in Corpus Christi working hard to elect their preferred candidates to the bench. Personally, I don't think it's wrong for an attorney to get together with other attorneys and agree to support the same candidate. However, it's probably pretty damn close to collusion. Then you've got a problem which is apparently the case in Nueces County. Let's not even get into the fact that all this was decided via email... seriously, y'all, you never thought about picking up a phone?
  • Let's not forget the donations, individually and through his Good Government PAC, to some really nasty Republican candidates. We get playing both sides of the fence, but Mikal... could you wait until the general election is over and the money can't be used to beat down good Democrats? Either that or give an equal amount to the Democrat in the race? Failing all that, could you at least not give to the people who voted for the mid-decade redistricting?
  • Yeah, in case you were wondering, I don't have a lot of respect for the man. Love me some lawyers, but this guy is a disaster of a candidate.

    The DFT Texas Senate Race poll is up... take a moment and fill out a ballot...


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 17, 2007

    Obama's a tool

    Oh, come on... couldn't he have put politics aside long enough to actually focus on the task at hand, namely questioning General Petraeus?

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

    September 14, 2007

    Little Patty Rose shopping for statewide

    On September 9th, my birthday, the little fucker had the temerity to host a fundraiser. Oh, he didn't take people away from my event since no one who would come to my party likes Patty Rose. They'd rather eat their money than give it to the most unreliable state representative in the Lege. Seriously, he makes Kino Flores look positively trustworthy.

    Apparently, his fundraiser didn't go so well...

    Patrick Rose bought 1,500 barbecue dinners for his fundraiser at the Salt Lick this weekend and told the local newspaper that he had fallen one-third short of that goal when only 1,000 supporters attended.

    It turns out that only 312 dinners were actually served.

    Either Rose’s support base is majority Hays County Herbivore or the Salt Lick cuisine has gone way down hill since the last time we were there.

    As if that wasn't enough, he didn't print the invites at a union shop which is the equivalent, to many Democratic voters, of setting their hair on fire. The good news in all this? There's at least one Democrat lining up to beat him. There will also be a Republican in the race, apparently. Which is funny since the Republicans have no chance of winning.

    Seriously, those people in Hays may not care much for Patty but they sure as hell don't want a Republican.

    Then this morning, someone over at BOR posted about a possible White/Rose 'dream team' in 2010. Someone in Houston needs to tell White that he's hitching his wagon to the wrong horse. Guilt by association is a motherfucking bitch.

    Sure, redemption is possible, but it's going to have to be something incredible. Like parting the Gulf or raining tempura shrimp on Austin.

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

    September 04, 2007

    Shannon Bailey puts himself before TSDC

    In response to the Texas Stonewall Democrats Board request that he resign, Shannon Bailey has said... no. Click here to view his response.

    It's always good to see someone put themselves before a statewide organization.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:18 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    August 20, 2007

    These are your reasons?

    Watts is going around listing the reasons HE should the Democratic nominee...

    1. He (Mikal) has already put forward incredible effort through a constant travel and fundraising schedule, and will continue to do so.
    2. He can respond fast and well to the Karl Rove attack machine that will be coming with Cornyn’s campaign.
    3. He will compete and win in ALL areas of Texas, not just the historically Democratic areas.

    Let's do the point by point, shall we?

    1. You don't get bonus points for doing what every candidate does, which is traveling all over the state. If that were a significant voting issue we'd have AG Van Os and Ag Commissioner Gilbert because those guys busted ass traveling in 2006. Regardless, Noriega has been booking a lot of miles as well. It's not like this is something exclusive to Watts.

    2. Best equipped to respond to Rovian attacks? Hell, Watts thinks OUR criticism is mean. And we're pulling punches. Watts, through surrogates, is already whining about bloggers calling out some of his obvious flaws. If you can't handle us, do you really expect to be able to handle Rove? Noriega's already got a seasoned messaging team and they ARE ready for primetime.

    3 Any Democrat will compete in ALL areas of Texas. Why? Because people are pissed as hell at Republican incompetence and our rubber stamp Senator. Cornyn is going to have problems fundraising, not to mention getting people to blockwalk for him. Any Democrat can take advantage of that.

    What Watts leaves unsaid is that he enjoys none of Noriega's advantages (legislative experience, military experience, etc.). Its on those advantages Texas Democrats should be focusing, not on fundraising. Don't get me wrong, money is important, but over 7-8 million and things get lost in the shuffle. Noriega can raise that... maybe not as easily as Watts, but an important thing to remember is that should he be the nominee and turn on his internal money spigot, he unleashes the caps on Cornyn's fundraising. Noriega won't have that problem.

    One last thing... Noriega is going to have an easy time fundraising from the business community who are increasingly sick of Cornyn. That's like a one-two punch to the Republicans and an important thing to consider if money is your focus. Don't laugh... the RPT is already having problems raising money from traditional business sources and that's not going to stop anytime soon.

    When was the last time you heard of business in Texas willingly giving much money to a trial lawyer?

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 19, 2007

    Apres Nelda, Le Deluge?

    Who would have guessed that a race for Tax Assessor-Collector could turn so nasty so quickly? And who would have imagined that in a race between Nelda Wells-Spears and Glen Maxey it would be Nelda flinging most all the poo so far?

    Of course, Wells-Spears has so far seemed above the fray, presumably spending her time going to church, visiting her grandchildren, and of course going to work every single day while sending her flying monkeys out to spread the slime. And slime it is. Why, to hear them tell it, if Maxey is elected taxes will cease to be collected, people will fall dead in the streets and civilization itself will be at risk. Who knows, even cats and dogs may start living together.

    The latest flying monkey is none other than (Hayes County resident) Charles Soechting, who was head of the Texas Democratic Party when the brilliant decision was made to not bother recruiting any credible statewide candidates for the 2006 elections. He resigned as chair before the end of his term, handing over power to Boyd Richie in a backroom deal. Richie of course continued the strategy of pretending there was no statewide ticket, resulting in a sweep for Governor 39% and the rest of his minions on the same day republicans in the other forty-nine states of the Federal Union got their asses whipped. Soechting now has the unbelieveable gall to write a letter on Nelda's stationary:

    Unfortunately, Glen Maxey says he's planning to run against Nelda in the primary next March. So now the Republicans are actively recruiting a candidate of their own in case Glenn (sic) wins our party's nomination. They are raising money and getting ready to turn what shouldn't even have been a race into an expensive campaign. The last thing they want is a partisan political consultant in charge of the county's voter rolls.

    That's a pretty impressive paragraph there, isn't it? Soechting manages to play both the "Partisan" card and the "Political consultant" card while insinuating that somehow or other Maxey can't be trusted. Nice work for a carpetbagger.

    Well, Chuck, here's what I have to say to you. Let's leave the Swiftboating to the Republicans, m'kay? And, rather than being frightened that the GOPers may be recruiting some sadsack candidate of their own, we Travis County Democrats feel like Colonel Sanders did while "recruiting" a chicken.

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

    August 09, 2007

    Lieberman to endorse Republican Presidential nom?

    Jobsanger has a post up about whether or not Lieberman, ostensibly a Democrat, will endorse the Republican nominee for President next year. If that happens, will the Dems in Congress FINALLY shun his sorry ass? He's already abandoned Democrats on so many other issues, why bother allowing him to caucus with Senate Democrats?

    I mean come on... the guy has all the integrity of a used car salesman, what's the point of keeping him on board?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Lieberman to endorse Republican Presidential nom?

    Jobsanger has a post up about whether or not Lieberman, ostensibly a Democrat, will endorse the Republican nominee for President next year. If that happens, will the Dems in Congress FINALLY shun his sorry ass? He's already abandoned Democrats on so many other issues, why bother allowing him to caucus with Senate Democrats?

    I mean come on... the guy has all the integrity of a used car salesman, what's the point of keeping him on board?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 07, 2007

    Weak sisters

    Congress, on Friday, approved warrantless wiretapping. Which is great and all because that was one of the issues that Democrats used in 2006. An issue which created broad support for Democrats across the country, mostly because people don't like the government eavesdropping without probable cause and, you know, a warrant. Which Bush was doing illegally. Now, Congress has made it legal. Probably not Constitutional, but legal.

    How DID this happen? Well, let's just say the Republicans continued to vote to make '1984' the real world and a few Democrats helped that along. Democrats like Chet Edwards and Nick Lampson who voted for the bill, ostensibly, because they are from conservative districts and their constituents demanded it. Demanded that the government be GIVEN unprecedented authority to tap your phones and listen into your conversations. Yeah, I'm totally buying that.

    This is about Bush's ridiculous failure in the war on terror and a LOT of Republicans and a few Democrats too scared of negative advertising. Everyone already knows that Bush is a fuckup. Everyone knows that He's failed abysmally. What they didn't know was just how willing the Congress would be to cave in and surrender OUR rights to an out of control executive.

    You were scared, Chet and Nick, and you got bad advice from staffers who are obviously just as out of touch with reality as the President. That makes you weak sisters. Here's to hoping you both have opponents in the primary that actually believe in the Constitution. You're not only bad Democrats, you're bad Americans. You've betrayed your constituents and the millions who've fought to protect and defend this country and it's Constitution. I would expect this from a Republican, but not from a Democrat.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Oh, yes. Let's overreact.

    Thank you, Senator Clinton, for stepping up to the plate and underwhelming the crowd. Even though you're thoroughly unqualified to address the issue, you took the time out of your busy schedule to talk about what you would do to fix the mortgage market:

  • Candy for the kids!

  • A $1bn pool to help borrowers in trouble

  • Beating up on the horrible, predatory brokers

  • No pre-payment penalties

  • Free puppies and kittens

  • Southern special... take you mind off your troubles with NASCAR or Monster Truck tix!
  • Obvs, the first one and the last two aren't real, they're palliatives and they would actually do as much as Clinton's plan. For one thing, the HelpPool... this could be eaten up in Kansas alone, forget about CA, TX, FL, NY AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. Even if it was large enough, you still are providing a leaky bandaid, not fixing the problem which is people in mortgages they can't afford because of resetting ARMs.

    How do you do that? It's called 'government insurance' and there is already a program in place that would, if modified slightly, allow people to refinance into more affordable mortgages. It's called FHA. Clinton would know that had she actually spent any time researching the issue. No, sorry... had her policy team actually spent time on the issue. Not only will it take care of the immediate problem, it's a long term solution that is largely self-financing and won't require taxpayers to take it on the chin.

    As for beating up on predatory brokers, GO FOR IT. Every broker and banker I know would love nothing more than to see the few scummy shitheels in the business forced out. However, don't do it by squeezing the shit out of good people... do it by fully funding enforcement of the codes on the books. Texas, for example, has an excellent regulatory team that is chronically underfunded. They have the tools necessary to force the bad actors out of business, but they don't have the manpower. Rather than create new set of burdensome and ultimately confusing laws and regs, why not just enforce the perfectly good ones you have on the books now?

    On the subject of pre-payment penalties, curbing abusive practices is a one page guidance letter from the Fed. However, eliminating them altogether will have a deleterious effect on the market and will end up driving up prices to consumers. Why? The debt market (which the mortgage market depends on) LOVES stability and will pay a premium for it. That means better rates for consumers. While this is well intentioned (you're trying to stop people from putting a 5 year pre-pay on someone with a 2 year ARM), you're going to end up hurting more people than you help. Pre-payment penalties also have a stabilizing effect on the real estate market because they put a damper on transactions known as flips which do a lot of damage to the overall values in an area when the pyramid finally collapses.

    Next time, why not actually talk to someone in the industry. They'll tell you that the market is in panic mode because of lax underwriting guidelines driven by Wall Street, too much liquidity in the market, too little wage growth which has caused higher slow pays and default rates than anticipated. They'll also tell you how to fix things the right way.

    Then you won't look like such an uninformed fool, Senator.


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

    August 02, 2007

    Get it together, kids!

    Apparently, the Democrats are at odds with one another about energy legislation. Can y'all please stop acting like Republicans, work this out and get a good bill passed?

    Oh, and if ANY of you are listening to the Reps from Michigan or those in the pockets of oil producers, then you're dumb as fucking hell.

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

    July 17, 2007

    Stonewall Texas... there's dumb and then there is dumb

    Members of the Texas Stonewall Democrats Caucus board met via conference call and NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE WITH REGARD TO PRESIDENT SHANNON BAILEY. Shannon, you may recall, was arrested in Dallas June 15, 2007 for indecent exposure. We've not commented on this because we, being stupid, keep expecting Shannon to do the right thing.

    HOWEVER, that hasn't happened yet. What's it going to take, Shannon? And no, I don't want to hear about how the police in Dallas are 'targeting gays'. The reality is they are targeting public fucking. Gay or straight, it doesn't matter.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Stonewall Texas... there's dumb and then there is dumb

    Members of the Texas Stonewall Democrats Caucus board met via conference call and NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE WITH REGARD TO PRESIDENT SHANNON BAILEY. Shannon, you may recall, was arrested in Dallas June 15, 2007 for indecent exposure. We've not commented on this because we, being stupid, keep expecting Shannon to do the right thing.

    HOWEVER, that hasn't happened yet. What's it going to take, Shannon? And no, I don't want to hear about how the police in Dallas are 'targeting gays'. The reality is they are targeting public fucking. Gay or straight, it doesn't matter.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 06, 2007

    Tolls : Kirk Watson is a really decent guy

    You know, it's rare that a Senator who disagrees with so many of his colleagues will run interference for them, but that's exactly what Kirk is doing. This last session, there was a tremendous amount of momentum to rejuvenate transportation funding in this state and really address our problems. All that enthusiasm turned to shit by the end of the session because of two issues:

    1) Republicans are pussies when it comes to doing the right thing and raising the damn gas tax. They'd rather us all have to deal with unreasonably high corporate toll taxes.
    2) Republicans from DFW Metro are a bunch of fat candy asses (yeah, you Fatass McFaterson) when it comes to dealing with the RMA's who just happen to INTIMIDATE THEM.

    Still, Watson doesn't drop them in the grease. He takes time out of his busy summer schedule to pen an op/ed piece in the Schlockman basically saying we need to stop fighting over the 'funding tools' out our disposal and start making decisions. I couldn't agree more.

    If the environment was ever ripe for the creation of tools other than toll roads, it was during the past six months. It didn't happen. If you want less traffic and dislike toll roads, you should be disappointed.

    Instead, the state budget effectively decreased funding for the Department of Transportation, since it didn't provide enough money to keep up with double-digit inflation in the cost of road building. There was talk about raising the gas tax, or at least indexing it to inflation, and reducing the need for toll roads. But tax bills must start in the state House of Representatives, and a potential increase never made it to the floor.

    Note that he doesn't single out Krusee, CradDICK or that simpleton Chisum, all of whom played a roll in keeping that bill off the floor. And all of whom happen to be Republican. For those Republicans out there always pissed off about partisanship on the part of the Democrats, here's one Democrat who's not pointing fingers and assigning blame, no matter how richly that blame may be deserved.

    Kirk is, of course, right and honestly a bit of a MOTO for writing shit like this...

    It costs money to increase road capacity and enhance mobility. There are no free roads. And it will take generations to pay for our current needs — not to mention our future ones — using only the financing tools we've been given. That means we'll spend more and more of our lives sitting in traffic, and our children will have to fix the problems we'll leave them.

    I fear for our economy, our air quality and our quality of life if Central Texas becomes a gridlocked mess where every highway is like Interstate 35, every surface street is like Lamar Boulevard at rush hour, and every neighborhood needs speed bumps because so many drivers are desperate for a short cut.

    We have too much traffic. More people are coming. And they'll be driving cars.

    But more roads and road capacity are not coming for all of those people and cars — not without more money. And the only possibilities are gas taxes (which the Legislature has rejected), property taxes (which are unfair and already too high), toll roads and innovative growth strategies that give people options besides their cars.

    We all have a lot of work to do on this issue. We can't just pretend we can get something for nothing. Nor can we defer to an almost instinctive distaste for things like toll roads or land-use planning.

    It's time for us to honestly assess our needs and come together around tools that will meet them.

    Yes we need infrastructure. If you want to be brutally honest, we should have had this discussion in 1995. However, Laney and Bullock didn't want it and then Governor Bush was too hopped up on the exotic chemicals coming from Karl Rove's mouth to even think straight. However, we don't need to jump into a 40 year contract. We can more than afford to wait another year or two. Here are some suggestions for either the next session or, if by some miracle, a transportation special.

    1) Let the voters decide... indexed gas tax to meet transportation goals or STATE controlled and operated toll roads.
    2) Restructure TXDoT and make all transportation related offices elected, not appointed, including the metro and county levels.

    The first idea will put the decision in the hands of voters, not the Lege which is too full of stupid Republicans to ever acknowledge that taxes aren't a waste of money. It also eliminates the corporate middleman (that's called disintermediation for all you non-B school folks) who will exist not to protect taxpayers from liability, but instead to increase their liability while demanding hefty profits for a service that should be provided at cost.

    The second will make TXDoT more responsive to the people of this state. Plus, it creates a much more public platform from which a commissioner can call out the bad actions of the Lege. Or the Governor.

    The bottom line question was, is and should always be What is best for the people of Texas? The reality is that it's a broad based fuels tax that will allow the state to borrow at much cheaper rates than those available to private companies. This will allow TXDoT to dramatically expand the building of roads around the state, providing jobs and a massive amount of economic growth that will create the kind of broad-based prosperity Texans deserve. It'll also take care of pollution and traffic delays, which both Watson and I agree would be a good thing (I don't like sitting in traffic either, Kirk).

    The reality that Senator Watson is trying to make clear is that given the current republican-saturated nature of the Lege, none of this is likely to happen. We need to get him some help and we need to make sure that we don't jump from one bad situation to another.

    (h/t to EOW which has a slightly different take)

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 28, 2007

    Fucking hell I hate Dennis Kucinich

    I'm watching the debate on PBS which is, as I thought it would be, LAMER THAN WATCHING MY HOUSEMATE'S DOG LICK THE CARPET. Kucinich was just on... I'd like to beat him up sometime. I really hate him. Sorry Kucinich fans, the guy is annoying, not altogether there and ugly as fucking hell.

    I don't care to hear your thoughts on him. Please don't share them in the comments. Seriously, I feel that strongly about him. I want him out of the race because he's a fucktard. Here are the others who are POINTLESS:

    Richardson - Fuckall, is there a way for him to NOT be condescending?

    Biden - Two words, asshole... Bankruptcy Bill. If you don't drop out soon, the next time you're in Texas I'm going to put my foot up your ass. Then I'm going to send you a bill for the shoe.

    Gravel - Actually, I'm liking his 'gruff old man/GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU ROTTEN KIDS' routine. I also like his plan to end the worthless War on Drugs. However, reality is a reality and no one wants to elect Grandpa Cranky.

    /rant

    Sorry, y'all, just had to get that off my chest.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    June 22, 2007

    So how effective were the members of the Iscariot Caucus?

    Turns out, not so much. The Observer has a great piece up on the their questionable claims of success and their outright lies. Long story short, they fucked over the rest of us and their constituents for nothing.

    In all, the Craddick Ds estimate they passed roughly 80 percent of their
    proposals. Other Democrats such as Coleman contest that math. An
    increase in Medicaid rates for providers and hospitals—which the
    Craddick Ds listed among their successes—came about when a decades-old
    lawsuit was settled. On higher education, numerous Democrats and rural
    Republicans worked to kill a bill that limited the Top 10 Percent
    university admissions rule. And it was a bipartisan coalition that
    increased funding for state parks, not just Craddick Ds.
    ...
    Then there are the items that the Craddick Ds utterly failed to deliver.
    They had hoped to repeal the deregulation of university tuition that has
    led to such high prices at Texas colleges. That will never happen as
    long as Craddick, who maintains close ties to the University of Texas
    System Board of Regents, remains speaker.
    ...
    For Democrats who gave their support to the speaker, a day of reckoning
    has yet to come. Three of the Craddick Ds—Kevin Bailey of Houston,
    Robert Puente of San Antonio, and Peña—already have likely primary
    challengers.

    Great report, but master of the obvious when it comes to the end result. He also left out quite a few people. There are people IN LINE to take a swipe at Dukes, that douche Dutton and little Patty Rose. Giddings also has some issues and even Turner may be facing an opponent. The message is clear... DEMOCRATS ALL OVER THE STATE ARE SICK OF YOUR SELF-SERVING SHIT.

    Yeah, things have changed. We started paying attention and realized many of you don't have a clue what the hell you're doing.

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

    He was a lousy tipper

    Oh, come on, Whitmire!

    Her manager later told her that "we never refuse the senators," according to a conversation that was recorded, the lawsuit says.

    Whitmire could not be reached for comment Wednesday because he was traveling, said Lara Wendler, Whitmire's legislative director.

    Wendler, who said she was present that night at the bar, said Lear's allegations against the senator were "complete fabrication."

    The owner of the bar could not be reached for comment Wednesday by telephone or on a visit to the Cloak Room.

    A bartender refused to comment. Lear and her lawyer also could not be reached for comment.

    According to the lawsuit, Whitmire walked into the bar March 8 and asked for a "J&B and water" when Lear was working alone. She served him the drink, but the senator had a "glazed look in his eyes" and was "acting intoxicated," the lawsuit says.

    When Whitmire asked for another scotch, Lear gave him a glass of water, telling him she could not legally serve him another drink because he was intoxicated, according to the lawsuit.

    Whitmire said he would call the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and have Lear fired for refusing to serve him, the lawsuit says.

    Whitmire also got out of his chair and approached Lear, saying he "would have her job," according to the lawsuit.

    Lear told the senator that she would call the police if he continued acting that way, the lawsuit says.

    "He responded that the police would not come because all he would have to do was to make a phone call," according to the lawsuit.

    Whitmire made more threats and then left, the lawsuit says.

    The place is a shithole, but I kinda like it mostly because I get to smoke inside (sorry, Eileen). Honestly, the only time I ever go there is when I'm near the Capitol (rare), meeting people who work at the Capitol (very rare) and occasionally when I'm meeting people downtown who are too lazy to make it to LaLa's (rarer still) mostly because it's a nasty, dank little place and I'm tempted to venture into Charlie's afterward, which is always a mistake. Still, that doesn't excuse treating the staff badly. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO HIRE SOMEONE WHO'LL PUT UP WITH YOUR ASS, WHITMIRE?!?!?!?!!?

    And don't ever think YOU can keep the city cops at bay. The last one who thought that was Nixon. Where's he now, John?

    Note to members of the Legislature that aren't representing Austin Metro... don't fuck up. We barely tolerate y'all as things stand now.

    Especially the Republicans.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 18, 2007

    Uhm... yeah. What Pink Dome said...

    Sums it up quite nicely

    Watts may have trouble getting the Democratic nomination with his anti-abortion rhetoric. "I personally have the view: I hold the pro-life position with three exceptions: one for rape, one for incest, one for the life of the mother," Watts said. Seriously? I know abortion is the wedgiest of wedge issues, but come on. We've already got old white men trying to take away women's rights...why do we need yet another one?

    I hope you folks over at the TDP are paying attention and trying to find us someone that's not retarded to run for office, because quite frankly, some of the candidates running so far have been piss poor.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 13, 2007

    Suggestive Email Subjects

    Recieved from Barack Obama (yeah, like he really knows me) just moments ago:

    What does a movement look like?

    A little personal, isn't it, Senator?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 08, 2007

    Lieberman visits Iraq

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    And says everything is wonderful!

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2007

    Lincoln-Douglas it ain't

    Did anyone happen to catch the debate last night? My favorite part was when Mike Gravel bit the head off the bat. Finally the Democrats have a fourth-tier candidate who isn't afraid to stand up to the powerful winged mammal lobby.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 01, 2007

    Sly Turner's ego is once again threatening Texans

    Oh, I really hate this guy.

    There is also a looming concern that the demand for electricity is growing at a faster rate than the growth in generation capacity. That possibility threatens not only residential consumers but also the vitality of Texas' economy. The nation watched in 2000 and 2001 as California suffered from blackouts and it is imperative that Texas does everything in its power to prevent such an occurrence here.

    The 80th Regular Session ended without any legislation to assist residential consumers. The bipartisan compromise bill, Senate Bill 482, passed the Senate and would have overwhelmingly passed in the House if not for a technical error. I believe that the Legislature has the will to codify consumer protections.

    Sly, you're an idiot. Today, tomorrow, next week and years from now you'll still be an idiot. The CA power crises was caused by only one thing... manipulation of a supposedly open market in the West. I guess Sly didn't know that during some of the worst times that summer almost 25% of the generating capacity in CA was deliberately taken off line.

    In Texas, we don't need coal plants. We need solar and wind. We need transmission lines from wind farms in the west. We need capacitors and batteries to hold the electricity generated. None of this is impossible but it's going to take forcing the utilities to realize that they are going to have to change things if they want to avoid heavy-duty regulation.

    We don't need a special session to do that. We need the PUC to get off it's ass. We certainly don't need to open the door to a special session in which Voter Suppression could come back up. Dewhearse, who is still shitting out of his mouth about Voter Suppression, would love that too much.

    Don't be a dick, Sly. Put your ego aside for once, you self-aggrandizing douche.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sly Turner's ego is once again threatening Texans

    Oh, I really hate this guy.

    There is also a looming concern that the demand for electricity is growing at a faster rate than the growth in generation capacity. That possibility threatens not only residential consumers but also the vitality of Texas' economy. The nation watched in 2000 and 2001 as California suffered from blackouts and it is imperative that Texas does everything in its power to prevent such an occurrence here.

    The 80th Regular Session ended without any legislation to assist residential consumers. The bipartisan compromise bill, Senate Bill 482, passed the Senate and would have overwhelmingly passed in the House if not for a technical error. I believe that the Legislature has the will to codify consumer protections.

    Sly, you're an idiot. Today, tomorrow, next week and years from now you'll still be an idiot. The CA power crises was caused by only one thing... manipulation of a supposedly open market in the West. I guess Sly didn't know that during some of the worst times that summer almost 25% of the generating capacity in CA was deliberately taken off line.

    In Texas, we don't need coal plants. We need solar and wind. We need transmission lines from wind farms in the west. We need capacitors and batteries to hold the electricity generated. None of this is impossible but it's going to take forcing the utilities to realize that they are going to have to change things if they want to avoid heavy-duty regulation.

    We don't need a special session to do that. We need the PUC to get off it's ass. We certainly don't need to open the door to a special session in which Voter Suppression could come back up. Dewhearse, who is still shitting out of his mouth about Voter Suppression, would love that too much.

    Don't be a dick, Sly. Put your ego aside for once, you self-aggrandizing douche.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 30, 2007

    BREAKING: SLY TURNER FILES FOR SPEAKER

    No joke, we're getting this from a reliable source.

    Go ahead, laugh. We certainly are.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 24, 2007

    Adding insult to injury

    Just a few hours after the passage of a supplemental funding bill widely interpreted as a huge defeat for congressional democrats and a betrayal of an electorate longing for an end to a dreadful, failed war, what sort of fucking idiot would send out a fundraising email? Well, a fucking idiot like Brian Wolff, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    Today marks a new beginning for America. We took a step forward together as a nation - away from the failures of the President's policies and toward a more hopeful time. Democrats are committed to redeploying our troops and ending the war in Iraq once and for all. Our commitment will never change and our dedication will never stop.

    Just what color is the sky in your world, Brian?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 23, 2007

    A bitch to the end...

    Dawnna, at least, has some integrity. She's decided to stick with CradDICK, my guess is that's it's a final 'Fuck You' to the district she's abused for years.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 22, 2007

    Oh, Patty, you giant fuckup

    BOR is reporting that Patty Rose and Douchie Lucio (the young one) have decided to back a change in leadership in the House.

    I respect the Speaker and his family but I believe the House has to be governed from the middle.

    Uhm... yeah. Whatev. In case you hadn't noticed, we needed you on a whole bunch of shit this session, starting with the Speaker's race, and you were there for none of it. You're still dead to us. You and Douchie should know that THE ANTI-CRADDICK FOLKS DON'T NEED YOU AND NEITHER DO WE.

    Patty, you're not in a swing district any more. Whether it happens next year or 2010, you'll be out of politics for good. And good riddance. Maybe you can find a used car lot in Dripping. That's really more fitting for a scummy little bastard like you.

    Fuck you and your change of fucking heart, you dippy little twerp. You too, Lucio.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 17, 2007

    Lame-apolooza

    You Have The Power!

    Thanks, Hillary! Now I know what empowerment feels like!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 02, 2007

    Joe Lieberman's tofu-scarfing twin

    Pretty much to no one's surprise, the US House of Representatives failed to override the Supreme Warlord's veto of the Iraq supplemental spending bill. Some eyebrows were however raised by the leader of Congress's Holier-Than-Thou Caucus Dennis Kucinich's vote of "present".
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    The diminutive Ohioan then flapped his arms and flew away to Neverneverland.

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

    Oh my god... do y'all ever suck!

    Allen, we'll be talking soon.

    PDiddie in a comment to this post on BOR by Matt Glazer names the Demos who voted FOR HB 626. Which apparently passed the House today. Ok, when I get back from Louisiana we're all gonna have a long talk because y'all are fucking up left and right. This was as dumb as Betty Brown's bill and it should go no where. Dewhearse be damned, this shit is going no where in the Senate.

    AND Y'ALL NEED TO PULL HEAD OUT OF ASS.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 29, 2007

    Fun with quotes

  • Via Kuffner (who's all about the funny today, apparently)

    "The information that we have is that there have been individuals who have crossed, and some that have been apprehended, that have ties back to the al-Qaida network," Perry told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on a trip to the city to speak at a Boy Scouts dinner.

    "I don't get confused that with the lack of manpower and the lack of resources that the federal government has made available that you can cross the border, and you can cross the border with enough frequency and with enough items to create a lot of havoc," he said.

    BULLSHIT, 39%. You're completely full of shit. This would have been your first campaign ad if last year if it was true. What's next, 39%? You gonna tell an audience in Cleveland that you personally foiled an al qaida plan to nuke Dallas, a la Jack Bauer?

    Pathetic slob...

  • Bill Miller's a smart guy...

    "You're kidding," Bill Miller, an Austin political consultant who works with Democrats and Republicans, said when told of a possible Lampson bid. "If Lampson is known by 5 percent of the people in the state, I'd be shocked." (which is my problem with this whole concept - TX-22 goes back to red, we do not knock off Cornyn)

    I'm still hearing bullshit about Lampson and staff trying to 'muscle people out of the primary'. Fuck that. I'll file to run for the damn office even knowing that being a blogger will hurt me. However, I'll make it up for it by not being Nick Lampson. Which is my funny way of saying I'M not lame.

    Don't kid yourself boys and girls. Lampson as the candidate for Senate is going to suck ass. Sorry, but this is too important to let anyone fuck up. We need to get rid of Cornyn and Lampson can't do it.

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

    April 23, 2007

    Where's YOUR Representative?

    We've heard the Poll Tax is going to floor of the House today. We've also heard that it's going to pass because certain members will not be present. Some of them aren't even in Austin. Any wonder that some of them happen to be members of the Iscariot Caucus?

    Democrats who enable these bills are no better than the Republicans who vote for them. I can't believe some of these people want to play on the same team as the ridiculous and old (and ridiculously old) Betty Brown.

    Again, this is a stupid solution to a non-existent problem. Even Royal Masset thinks so. Why? Because he's thinking the same thing I am... it's going to affect both parties in horrible ways and reduce turnout and interest in government.

    While Democrats will lose poor voters under this pitiful legislation, the Republicans will lose the elderly, a solid Republican camp. Honestly, I think this will end up causing more problems for them in the short term than Democrats. From that prospective, I'm all about letting the R's cut their throats. HOWEVER, at the end of the day, PARTICIPATION trumps all concerns. We should be making it easier for people to vote.

    Instead, Republicans with the help of a few Democrats are making it harder. Nice work, y'all. Oh, and Betty... you aren't too popular these days. You're really going to hate 2008 because the same thing that's happening to Leo Berman is about to happen to you. It really sucks when people back home start planning to challenge you. In your own primary.

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

    April 20, 2007

    Would someone turn off the Lampson?

    Lampson, you unbelievable 'tard...

    "It sickens me to know that I am a part of this body that would rather play politics rather than come up with the right kind of solution that this country can go forward with," he said. "This isn't a game of gotcha. This is real war, with real people dying every day."

    Don't worry, Congressman. You probably won't be part of the 'body' much longer.

    The problem I have with the D and R electeds in both chambers who are throwing a fit about the timeline is that they are STILL not seeing reality. Bush will keep troops there and try to put more in unless some kind of restraint is put in place. The American people are demanding it. Lampson claims this timetable is motivated by politics and it's just not true. It's motivated by an out of control executive who got us into a war based on doctored intelligence, hyperbole and, in some cases, outright lies.

    In doing this Lampson is alienating not only his Democratic base but any Republicans he could have pulled who know damn well it's time to get the hell out of Iraq. I gotta hand it to whomever is running strategy for the Cogressman, they've found that difficult spot on policy where NO ONE IS HAPPY WITH THE POSITION.

    Kuff's post on this summed up things rather well...

    Look, it's very simple. George Bush is not going to do anything different in Iraq. His plan is to keep the troops there until he's out of office. The one thing he will never do on his own is begin a withdrawal of any kind. The only way to make that happen is to pass a law mandating troops withdrawals. There is no compromise here because he isn't going to budge. The only option to a "showdown" is to acquiesce to what he wants. I can't think of any good reason to do that, and as every national poll indicates, neither can a solid majority of Americans.

    Kuff's always more diplomatic that I am, however on this we are in lock step agreement. Nick is looking for a compromise that does not exist. Like many foolish people, he is willing to give up his control over a situation in a vain attempt to compromise with someone who is thoroughly out of touch with reality. It would be nice if Lampson would realize that and another fact 'o' the day... that the best way to help the troops is to bring them the hell home.

    And this is guy some want to run for Senate? Fuck a bunch of that. It's not like Nick would have a chance in Texas anyway... even against Corpsyn. Those of you living in CD 22 better start working on a primary challenger now, just in case Lampson does decide to run again in 22. If you want to be represented by a Democrat, you've really no other choice.

    (while we do disagree completely with Congressman Lampson on this issue, we do wish him a speedy recovery...)

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 10, 2007

    Fat bastard says what?

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSenator Levin says that if Bush vetoes the supplemental spending bill, the Democrats will simply pull the timeline.

    "We can keep the benchmarks part of the bill without saying that the troops must begin to come back within four months," Levin said. "If that doesn't work and the president vetoes because of that, and he will, then that part of it is removed, because we're going to fund the troops.

    Carl, the President has y'all between a rock and a hard place. The reality is that the American people handed control of Congress to the Democrats to stop President Bush from needlessly prolonging this conflict. The only way you're going to do that is to put a timetable in and hold to it. The only mechanism Congress has to control the President is the power of the budget. So, you're going to have to suck it up and end this thing.

    The hard to face truth, at least for some, is that we've taken this as far as it's going to go. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more likely it becomes that a real force will materialize and remove our troops. We are not an army of liberation, we are an army of occupation and that NEVER works out well. There is no mission left to accomplish... there is only pain and suffering for the troops and their families. The only way you are going to end that, Senator Levin, is to put the brakes on a maniacal, out of control President.

    Cut the funding. Make him come to you.

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

    April 04, 2007

    Pathetic...

    Well, it would seem the Iscariot Caucus isn't quite done yet carrying water for Speaker CradDICK. Former State Representative Glen Maxey has a great post up about the fine work of the Iscariot Caucus in partially restoring CHIP after the drastic and pointless 2003 cuts. How'd they accomplish such a miracle? By voting against an amendment to the bill that would have restored the program FULLY.

    How low can y'all go? Even Republicans jumped the fence on this one and there you are making sure that the only health care available to the least among us is that which is most expensive for taxpayers, the emergency room.

    Oh and as for the Republicans who didn't vote for the amendment, there are too many of you to single out. Don't worry though, no one's being forgotten. You bunch of Bulllshit Fiscal Conservatives who can't grasp the basic fact that spending a $1 at the state level is better than spending $4 at the local level are all in trouble and you don't even realize it. You're all a bunch of chickenshits and when we force even more of you out in 2008, this will be one of the reasons voters turn against you. Listening, Linda? Dwayne? Vicki? It's going to hurt like hell when people start realizing that you're nothing more than empty slogans and higher property taxes.

    Just wait. You bitches haven't seen mean.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 30, 2007

    Thanks for the stupid idea. Now here's what we're going to do...

    Right from the get-go, there have been whispers and bullshit-a-flying about who is going to run against Corpsyn. It's a gimme seat but you still need the right candidate. You can't have some lamer with a bad, weak, ridiculous strategy. I've heard of two candidates, in particular, that I like. Gallego and Noreiga. I've been hearing over the last few days that Hank may get in the race. I've talked to Hank about it and (having worked with him last year) know that he dislikes Corpsyn with the heat of 1,000 suns.

    Hank told me that people have talked to him but that he hasn't made a decision. Honestly, I don't think he'll run as he really wants to be Agriculture Commissioner. However, he also realizes he could do a lot for agriculture in the Senate that isn't being done. Still, my bet is that he's hoping someone with some legislative experience will run. It IS nice to know that if all else fails Hank will step in. God knows, if any Democrat can pull Republicans, it's Hank and out of all the people that have been mentioned so far he has the best name ID and the highest likelihood of sailing through a primary, even without much money. Should he decide to run, he's going to be the one to beat.

    That aside, the fact remains that no one has announced yet and summer just around the corner. It's obvious someone needs to step up.

    That someone should not be Congressman Nick Lampson. As has been widely reported, the Beltway folks and certain elements in Texas are actively persuading candidates NOT to get into the race. Their preferred candidate is Nick Lampson. The same Nick Lampson who beat a Republican write-in by, what, 10% of the vote? The same Nick Lampson who will more than likely be unable to hold his congressional seat for the Democrats. This is the Nick Lampson they want to run against Corpsyn.

    Before you say, 'Hey, McBlogger, these guys are in their positions for a reason. They are bright and they must know something you don't' keep in mind that these are some of the same strategists who brought us resounding Democratic victories in Texas in 1994,1996, 1998, 2002, 2006. The same people who made it impossible for Hank to raise money and only AFTER the election did any of them say 'Hey. He coulda won. Who'd have thunk it?' The same people who decided not to help the other statewide D candidates at all.

    Needless to say, their ability to pick good candidates is kinda the suck. And now they've picked Nick Lampson.

    The reality is that it's going to take money, buzz and a good candidate for anyone to beat Corpsyn. Nick may have the money, but he's not a good candidate. I've seen him speak and it's frankly uninspiring. Do I think he's a bad guy? No. Do I think he tries to play it safe. Yes, and that's precisely what will help Corpsyn hold his seat. We need someone to run hard, aggressive and right in Corpsyn's face. Someone who will break him down month after month and never let up.

    Don't get me wrong. I like Nick. I think he's a great Congressman, probably second only to Austin's Lloyd Doggett in constituent services. His voting record is great and I don't want this to come across as 'bashing Nick Lampson'. It's not bashing to point out that someone would not make a good candidate. That's reality.

    A good candidate is someone who doesn't try to play on the fears and worries of the people they're hoping will vote for them. Someone who doesn't pander but instead convinces folks that they're right. Someone who makes a solid case for why they should be elected, as opposed to someone who'll merely work off polling and determine what issues they'll address based on which appear to be the ones most important to voters. Most of the time the most important issues are the ones people don't know about. Issues where they've gotten so used to be screwed they don't think anything better is possible. The candidate who will convince them that better is possible is the one for this race because that's the person who will win. Corpsyn will pander. Let our candidate inspire.

    That guy ain't Nick and the consultants pushing this are just plain wrong. We'll be supporting someone else.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 28, 2007

    Could Richardson be more pathetic...

    via Political Wire

    According to the New York Observer, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is pursuing a second choice strategy in his presidential campaign fundraising.

    Said Richardson: "I appeal to funders that say, 'I’m for Senator Clinton,' and I say, 'O.K., that’s fine. But make me your second choice. Help me out too.'"

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    March 27, 2007

    Bailout

    You may have missed this, but last week washed-up presidential candidate Tom Vilsack threw his support to Hillary Clinton. This endorsement, which has the potential of influencing literally dozens of votes, now seems to have paid off for the former Iowa governor.

    Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton has agreed to help one-time candidate Tom Vilsack, who endorsed her on Monday, as he seeks to retire a campaign debt of more than $400,000.

    Clinton spokesman Mark Daley said he was uncertain how Clinton would go about raising money for Vilsack, but he conceded that at some point, she would have to contact her supporters. "Someone in her shop is going to have to reach out," Daley said.

    Vilsack's campaign lasted a couple of weeks and he's Four Hundred Thousand Dollars in debt? I guess that campaign zeppelin was a bad investment.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 13, 2007

    Almost 60% of us want the troops home. Are you listening, Congress?

    Americans (58%) want troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Further, 52% oppose President Bush on the surge and actually support Congress blocking the funding, a la Murtha. A speech on Monday, Cheney talked about the terrorists waiting us out.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, shot back that Cheney and Bush are advocating an "open-ended commitment" of U.S. troops against the advice of military leaders.

    The White House and congressional Republicans have warned Democratic leaders against plans that would "micromanage" U.S. commanders in Iraq.

    But the latest survey finds Americans more receptive to having Congress take the lead, with 47 percent saying the lawmakers should be "primarily responsible" for setting war policy. Thirty-three percent said the president should be primarily responsible for setting the country's course.

    Oh, Congressional Republicans. They still want to abdicate their constitutional duty and be a rubber stamp for an out of control President. Stupid people do stupid things.

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

    Everybody's a critic

    Pity the poor voters of Houston's HD-146. For years they were represented by Al Edwards, who became a nationally-known buffoon with his crusade against sexy cheerleaders. His replacement is Boris Miles, who came across something in the Capitol Extension that he did not care for.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    I was greeted with these images as I walked through the halls of the Extension this morning with my two children, ages five and eight. I consider them to be extremely inappropriate and highly objectionable. Capitol exhibits are supposed to serve a public purpose or be informational in nature. These pictures were hung with no accompanying text or explanation.

    I have spoken with staff at the State Preservation Board regarding the process for selecting exhibits and the oversight responsibility for items selected for display. I am sending these for your review and comment on the pictures and the process by which items for public display in the Capitol and Extension Buildings are selected and approved.

    State Rep. Borris L. Miles

    The ironic thing about this is that the exhibition of disturbing images of executions was timed to coincide with a series of actions AGAINST the death penalty as part of something called Alternative Spring Break. Some people find the death penalty offensive. Some find images offensive. And some of us find state legislators calling for the removal of images pretty offensive, too.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 11, 2007

    They shoot horses, don't they?

    Unfortunately, lame failed candidates not only don't end up at the glue factory, they're actually allowed to try to keep a hoof in the game by forming political action committees. Matt Glazer has stirred things up over at BOR with a post about Chris Bell's new attempt to appear relevent, some nebulous project called Faith In Texas.You remember Chris Bell, don't you? He's the guy who bragged to the LA Times

    I can be a corpse and get 31% just based on the straight Democratic vote."

    Who would guessed that just drawing breath could cost him 53,669 votes?

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

    March 06, 2007

    Would you like a little cheese with your whine?

    So, there I was, reading some political discussion board while at work HEY! It's called multitasking! and what should I come across but a thread complaining about how unfair somebody on YouTube was to that nice Mrs. Clinton lady and how Barack Obama needed to drop whatever he was doing and denounce it. So as a consequence, I watched this video which I probably never would have seen otherwise and now you have the chance to repeat my experience.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 23, 2007

    Vilsack departs the field...

    ... even though we've had nothing but nice things to say about him.

    OK, maybe we've not been as supportive as we could have been. However, how the hell can I get charged up over a former Governor from a flyover state who thinks corn-based ethanol is hugely important? Can you say, captive of agribusiness? I knew you could.

    Tom, don't feel bad about dropping out of the race. You were cursed with an unfortunate surname for a country that likes things simple and familiar. Don't let it get to you...a guy named Roosevelt probably couldn't win in this day and age either.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 19, 2007

    Time to sac up...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Jeez, Joe. Did you have to screw us?


    Hat tip to Truth Serum

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 18, 2007

    Allow TSA to unionize?!? Oh, please no!

    I love me some unions. Seriously, I like them all. I think everyone should be able to join a union.

    Except people who work for TSA.

    The American Federation of Government Employees, which has pushed hard to bring TSA screeners into the union fold, praised the committee's decision and predicted the measure would improve working conditions for screeners.

    "It is good news," said John Gage, the union president. AFGE plans to bring about 800 members to Washington near the end of this month to lobby Congress on behalf of the screeners, he said. "We have some work to do with the Republican side of the aisle, and I think we will be successful."

    These people have always been obnoxious jackasses. Now they'll be able to collectively bargain? For what? The ability to suck more? At this point you're probably asking, "Who, McBlogger, should we blame for this?"

    Joe Fucking Lieberman.

    Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, proposed the union-rights amendment to the Senate bill that would implement unfinished recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. He prevailed on a party-line vote of 9 to 8.

    As part of the response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress created the TSA to take charge of passenger and baggage screening at the nation's airports. It also provided the head of the TSA with leeway to set personnel rules and ban unions.

    The TSA later merged into the Department of Homeland Security, where unions filed suit to stop proposed curbs to bargaining rights.

    But Lieberman said "personnel management has been troubled at TSA" and concluded that "it is time to give TSA screeners parity with other security officers within TSA and DHS in terms of their employment rights and protections."

    You're a dick, Joe Lieberman. By doing this, the TSA will feel embolded to achieve new levels of evil. I dread my next trip through security when a pimply faced kid with a union card decides to pull me into the happy fun screening area.

    And I will silently damn Joe Lieberman. Over and over again as the wand sweeps over my body.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 14, 2007

    The tyranny of high expectations

    Harold Meyerson has an interesting column in the WaPo today, calling up the ghost of Ed Muskie.

    As the ancient or merely studious among us will recall, the Democratic senator from Maine, who'd been Hubert Humphrey's running mate in 1968, entered his party's presidential contest in 1972 as the front-runner. His prospects were dashed in the New Hampshire snows, however. As popular memory has it, an indignant Muskie started crying while refuting a silly attack on him (though whether he was genuinely upset or merely sniffling during a frigid outdoor news conference was never authoritatively resolved). Muskie's more serious problem, however, was the Vietnam War, which he opposed.

    His opposition, though, had none of the fervor or long-term consistency of another Democratic senator and presidential aspirant, George McGovern. By 1972, seven years had elapsed since the United States had sent ground forces to Vietnam, and Richard Nixon, through his invasion of Cambodia and stepped-up bombing campaigns, had made clear that the road to de-escalation would entail periodic escalations, at least as long as he was president. The Democratic base was in no mood for temporizing on Vietnam.

    Party voters wanted out, and they wanted a nominee who'd been right on the war (almost) from the start: McGovern. Sic transit gloria Muskie.

    Today, Hillary Clinton seems almost uncannily positioned to become the Ed Muskie of 2008. She opposes the U.S. military presence in Iraq but not with the specificity, fervor or bona fides of her leading Democratic rivals. As Muskie did with Vietnam, she supported the legislation enabling the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and she has been slower and more inconstant than her party rivals in coming around to opposing the continued U.S. occupation.

    Meyerson glosses over a bit of history here, I think. You might get the impression that it was all over after New Hampshire, that there was a rush to McGovern by the party faithful something like the stampede to Kerry that began as the 2004 Iowa Caucus results came in. As it happened, in 1972 Hubert Humphrey jumped into the race as the "Anybody But McGovern" candidate after Muskie's collapse. George Wallace was also a factor until he was shot by a would-be assassin; the bitter fight over the nomination wasn't decided until June.

    But bringing up the spectre of Edmund Muskie reminds me of another interesting tidbit. You might think that McGovern won, and Muskie lost the primary. Not so. Muskie actually won in New Hampshire, but his margin of victory was lower than that touted for the annointed frontrunner. A media gaffe, a smaller than expected victory, and Muskie was history.

    We're still almost a year away from the first actual election of delegates in 2008, but at this point Hillary Clinton looks like the overwhelming favorite. The question no one can answer yet, will she be overwhelming enough?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 08, 2007

    Is Edwards already fucking up?

    Sean-Paul over at the Agonist has more about Edwards firing/non-firing of two staffers who also write blogs. Edwards people, if you're reading, don't listen to some nutter group on this. Don't fire these bloggers... keep in mind, despite our need to be

    provocative, crude, opinionated, vulgar trash talking bigots, incendiary in their language, sarcastic, profane . . .and use explicit and inflammatory language.

    We'll actually vote FOR you. These people don't give a shit about you.

    I don't get the 'bigot' part but we're totally all of these other things. Further, we are just as much people of faith as this ostensibly 'Catholic' group. Plus, they're fucking crazy. They don't speak for us and their voters are steadily declining. Punch them back, Edwards and do it HARD. It's time these nutjobs know that they take on one of us, they take on all of us. In that vein, Pandagon itself has a great post up on Amanda Marcotte's attackers.

    Either that or your candidacy is dead. Seriously, if you can't sac up and take these fuckers on then you're not the guy. Amanda and many other bloggers are actually expressing the general mood of the country. We're all pissed at elected officials for fucking up so much over the last 6 years. We're also tired of a bunch of wingnuts working diligently to swing debate their way and turn this country into a theocracy. Fuck them. We're done with all that. Neither blogger is anti-religious... they are anti-nutter. Unapologetically so.

    We are too.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 06, 2007

    To primary or not to primary...challenging the Iscariot Caucus

    Vince and Hal both have excellent posts against primary challengers for the DemocradDICKS who voted against the Geren Amendment. Their underlying point is that the Democratic Party is the party of the big tent and I agree.

    Except when it comes to leadership votes. And that's what this is all about... had these Democrats stood with the rest of the caucus, CradDICK would not now be speaker and the Democrats would have a stronger position from which to benefit their constituents and the state as a whole. As it stands now, the DemocradDICKS benefited alone and it remains to be seen whether anyone else will reap a reward. My money is on probably not, at least not on anything really important. There isn't a kindly, gentler CradDICK despite the claims to the contrary.

    There are a number of Democrats who hold positions I don't respect While I like them personally, I think they are far from being the leaders this party desperately needs. LBJ was a leader, forcing as many Democrats as possible to vote for the CRA and VRA even though he knew he was asking them to vote 'against their districts'. The Democrats who voted for HJR 6 during the 2005 session voted their districts because they weren't brave enough to do the right thing and fight against bigotry. Would it still have passed during the election? Of course. However, it's that first step to make right a tremendous wrong. Would they have been defeated? Possibly a few but not all. However, they would have done the right thing and possibly changed some rather calcified minds. It's speaking to the electorate that makes the difference. It's how progress begins.

    Even still, while I may not be overcome with love for these people, I'm also pragmatic. I knew there was no way in hell Chuck Hopson was going to vote to against making gays second class citizens. I would also never support a primary challenger to him. While I personally think it was a gutless decision, he voted his district and what he believed. As a Democrat, I expect nothing less. And that's really the point... people carp and bitch about DINO's but in the end they are with us more often than against us. Further, when it comes to leadership, they stick with the caucus. THAT IS WHAT DEFINES A DEMOCRAT. Yes, it was one Republican vs. another (everyone knew someone from the majority party was going to be speaker). However, it would have been a Republican we could have worked with and who didn't put greed before the people of Texas.

    Vince wants this to be about a payoff for the DemocradDICK's districts and that's fine. However, this time they could have had their payoff and not fucked the rest of us over. Which is why this won't end well for any of them.

    None of us are stupid. We know this is a multi-cycle project and will likely take years. However, it's going to be done and let me assure those out there who wring their hands over the loss of the district to a Republican that it ain't going to happen. If there's one thing I know about Texas Democrats today it's that they are tougher than anyone imagines. If Republicans come playing in our sandbox they'll have their balls cut off and shoved in their mouths just to remind others that people who try to take advantage of events usually get screwed.

    We aren't all like Dennis Kucinich. We're mostly more like LBJ... only meaner. Oh, sure, occasionally we'll sing Kum Ba Yah. However, we'll only do it while dancing on a Republican grave.

    Stace over at Dos Centavos has more about the real world impact of the vote for CradDICK.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 31, 2007

    Oh, Biden... you'll never be the nominee

    Joe Biden spent some time with a reporter recently carping about his betters. I say betters because the man is pretty damn scummy. Yeah, a Democrat who voted for the Bankruptcy bill is pretty low and Joe's been voting with Republicans against the middle class for years.

    He takes time to tear into Edwards, Obama, and Clinton while eating soup. Because that's what old men have for lunch. I happen to think he's nailed it on Obama though it doesn't make me happy to acknowledge he's correct on anything. Clinton, less so and with Edwards it's just jealousy. Biden's plan to partition Iraq is receiving no traction and likely won't (things have spun too far out of control). Pulling back troops is the one thing we can do to force the Iraqis to step up and start beating the radicals themselves... we can't do it for them. We could dump 1,000,000 troops into Iraq and it wouldn't do anything other than polarize all Iraqi's against us.

    As for his comment that Iraq will descend into chaos with 40,000 less US troops, the Senator must not be aware that things are pretty chaotic now anyway. Maybe senility has already set in to join the mindnumbing stupidity that has apparently been there since the 1980s.

    Biden represents some of the darker aspects of the Democratic party, specifically a failed past (think more DLC and less FDR). Let's not forget that he's been around for what, 30 years? Maybe the people of Delaware would be better served with a new Senator. The man is nothing more than a sellout. Joe Biden is a proof of just how false 'The worst Democrats is better than the best Republican' has become.

    (hat tip to Greg)

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

    January 29, 2007

    Poverty and the Democraddicks

    Al Stanley has a great post up over at Kaos about poverty in Texas and specifically in whose districts. It's worth the read to familiarize yourself with some of the poorer districts in Texas... and their Representatives, many of whom are DemocradDICKS. One has to wonder, exactly what their support will earn them, other than plum committee assignments. Are we looking at full funding for CHIP which would have a tremendously positive impact on these districts?

    Nah, I didn't think so either. Also, there is a rumor that in return for the chairmanship that Patrick Rose just landed, he's got to switch parties by 2008. Let me break things down for y'all out in the hinterlands who think that Rose's district is chock full of conservative nutters. You don't win this district without Hays County and you can't win as a Republican in Hays County.

    Period. I certainly don't think Rose wants to run off and practice law right now. He wants to stay an elected as long as he can and he knows he'll fare better in a Democratic primary than he will as a Republican in the general. This isn't to say the D primary is going to be easy for him...

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 23, 2007

    Here's the next bad idea coming to Texas

    It's always good to look at other states and see what kind of stupid things their leaders are doing. It's a nice way of finding out, many times, what's going to come out of the mouth of some idiot Republican here in Austin. Like Dan Patrick. Or Mike Krusee.

    Illinois is thinking about privatizing their lottery organization to raise money for schools.

    The state of Illinois is hoping to attract investors to pay as much as $10 billion in a jackpot bid for its lottery system, according to a newspaper report.

    The sale of the system is likely to be one of the biggest privatizations of a state-run program and may occur as soon as the spring, The New York Times reported.

    Illinois will receive a multibillion dollar one-time payment as the sale is expected to raise more than $1 billion with annual payments of $200 million, the Times said.

    "Gambling is getting so competitive around the world that we're worried our revenues could go down unless there is retail expertise," John Flilan, chief operating officer of Illinois, said to the paper. "This is fundamentally a retail business and governments are not equipped to manage retail business."

    Last year, the lottery collected revenue of nearly $2 billion and profits around $630 million. The new owner would receive all revenue and profit for 75 year, the Times said.

    So, you're going to give up $430 Mn annually for a one time payment of $1 Bn? Gee, this seems really smart. Oh, but then there is the fear that if we don't give it up, they will start losing revenue because of a lack of retail expertise, per Joe Flilan. I guess Joe never thought of hiring someone with retail expertise? You know, to walk him through the complexities of running a lottery as a retail business...

    Let me say it again... selling off assets only makes sense if you can do so at a premium. That's not the case here and it won't be in Texas, either.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 21, 2007

    The company you keep...

    You know, I don't usually sit down for a beverage with someone who holds views to which I'm diametrically opposed.

    Then again, I'm not Chris Bell.

    Yeah, yeah, I get that it's always good to talk to reasonable folks. However, Perry is far from reasonable. He's an ideologue despite his recent turn on a number of issues. That being said, am I the only one who thinks sometimes it's better to decline an invitation?

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

    The company you keep...

    You know, I don't usually sit down for a beverage with someone who holds views to which I'm diametrically opposed.

    Then again, I'm not Chris Bell.

    Yeah, yeah, I get that it's always good to talk to reasonable folks. However, Perry is far from reasonable. He's an ideologue despite his recent turn on a number of issues. That being said, am I the only one who thinks sometimes it's better to decline an invitation?

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

    January 20, 2007

    In which we may be required to file... as lobbysists

    WOW! I guess some of the old guard is a little pissed.

    An outfit called GrassRootsFreedom.com is reporting that the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would require political bloggers with readership over 500 to register as lobbyists. If they fail to register, they could face criminal penalties up to one year in jail.

    WAIT. The Democrats love them some blogs. And who the fuck is GrassRootsFreedom? Oh, that guy... I guess this isn't so much related to us.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    In which we may be required to file... as lobbysists

    WOW! I guess some of the old guard is a little pissed.

    An outfit called GrassRootsFreedom.com is reporting that the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would require political bloggers with readership over 500 to register as lobbyists. If they fail to register, they could face criminal penalties up to one year in jail.

    WAIT. The Democrats love them some blogs. And who the fuck is GrassRootsFreedom? Oh, that guy... I guess this isn't so much related to us.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 18, 2007

    On electing challengers...

    We've talked a lot about unseating Republicans and members of the Iscariot Caucus. It's going to happen, probably not all at once, but you're all marked. I thought it would be good idea to discuss a little bit about the process there.

    A successful challenge has to be fought from the ground up. There will be no BSD/P in Austin who decides on the challenger, consultants, media strategy, etc. It has to be at the local level. Obviously, some Democrats are too popular in their districts for it to happen in 2008. So we move them to 2010. However the work begins now.

    Some of them, like Patrick Rose, are not terribly popular in their districts. People keep giving Patrick chance, after chance, after chance and he keeps taking the good will and shitting all over it. No one really knows why, but there is one certain outcome. Eventually people shit on you. Sure, there are people that like Patrick in Hays County (apparently, the Statesman got their information from the Patrick Rose Fan Club), but there are many more who are really pissed at him over a variety of things, and the Speaker's race was the last straw. Especially when they find out how pivotal Patrick was to holding the Iscariot Caucus to voting for CradDICK.

    So, while everyone out in the world is watching their votes, people in their districts are slowing sowing the seeds of discontent and steadily building support. It won't be too much longer until candidates start being mentioned and that, combined with seed money, is what it takes to really start the ball rolling.

    Obviously, while people are angry about Rose and his constant apologies and promises to 'do better next time' , they've not settled on a candidate. Some of the districts are further along in the process than others but the fact remains, it's happening. Well funded, aggressive challenges to weak incumbents usually win. Especially when it's not someone from outside the district calling the shots. One thing to note, any incumbent can be weakened. Once the dissent begins, you can't rebottle it. Anyone who grew up in a small town knows what I'm talking about... when the long knives come out they don't get re sheathed

    Which brings me to a post at FireDogLake (via Vince at Capitol Annex) talking about a primary challenger to Cuellar. While Cuellar is liked in his district, he's beatable by someone in the primary this coming cycle. As long as they follow the rules. It has to be the people on the ground that make the decisions. While the blogs are good at reporting and discussing what folks are talking about, they aren't good at creating an insurgency. They are, however, extremely good at driving one to success.

    I don't see that happening with Cuellar, though. He earned a lot of goodwill with his support of Ciro. Of course, it could happen if it's done right. A challenge is a challenge, after all.

    In the end, it's not just the Iscariot Caucus that should be worried. The Republicans have given Democrats a marvelous bludgeon. Don't think it won't get used. Branch, for example, is weaker than people realize and that's a good example of a target. Why go after moderate Republicans... they vote to do what's best most of the time. It's the guns and gays conservative nutters that really aren't doing their jobs. Take Berman for instance. I know people are already lining up to take a piece out of him. Much like Krusee, he should really look into lobbying jobs. He's gone in 2008.

    I told y'all CradDICK was not the one to fear. And lest you think I'm suffering from a vastly overinflated ego, it's not me either. Ask Congressional Republicans what it's like when everything turns against you. Then realize it's not just fate, it's engineering.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 16, 2007

    Calling Bullshit : Obama announces (and navel gazes)

    Here's the video...

    Our biggest problem is the smallness of our politics? With that one simple message and his announcement/non-announcement (No plans? No info? You're not going to talk until FEBRUARY?), Senator Obama shows brilliantly why he's the wrong choice to be the Democratic nominee. Yes, I know many progressives will disagree with me. I'm not saying Sen. Obama is a bad guy, in fact I think given a few years he could develop into the leader I know he can be. However, I've not seen any evidence of it. Seriously, watch the video and really listen to the words... he chalks everything up to partisanship, which, to everyone other than Sen. Obama, IS political reality in this country. Always has been, always will be. We're in the middle of what amounts to a battle for the soul of the United States against ideologues (as opposed to certain Republicans who've seen the light and have been voting with the Democrats) and Sen. Obama wants to make it all about partisanship.

    Not so much, hermano.

    This is exactly the kind of meaningless political pap he's been spewing for months. It's a salve and doesn't really cure any of the rifts in this county. It's the kind of feel good bullshit that pollsters say people love but, in reality, everyone with a brain sees through like a plate glass window.Where's the heart? Where's the soul? People want passion. Where the hell is yours?

    WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE OUR PRESIDENT, SENATOR OBAMA? What do you hope to achieve, aside from tea parties with Radical Republicans? Do you really think by taking this presumed 'high road' they won't line up to take a piece out of you?

    This guy makes me think of Kerry more and more each day. 2004 Kerry. He'll do well in a primary and get crushed in the general when the media finally asks him THE question.

    He's right about one thing... the grassroots are pointing in the direction of a win. Edwards is paying attention... why isn't Obama?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 14, 2007

    Well, that's just wrong...

    B and B has an interesting take up on the Speaker's race...

    I believe it was a mistake for progressives to try to turn the choice of Pitts (and earlier, Republican Brian McCall) into a litmus test for Democratic legislators, an effort which many of my fellow Texas political bloggers drove. In fact, this effort may have contributed to Pitts' defeat, as it likely helped make Republican legislators wary of publicly joining the Pitts forces. These GOPers may have feared a primary challenge funded by Craddick allies, but such a challenge would have been more likely to succeed due to the vocally Democratic nature of the McCall/Pitts coalition.

    While I can't speak for other bloggers, I can elaborate on what I hoped to achieve. This race was important and everyone that voted for CradDICK should be targeted. They voted for a continuation of pay to play politics, for partisanship over common sense and for self-interest over what's best for Texas. I warned Republicans and Democrats alike and told them both CradDICK wasn't the one they should fear.

    Just FYI, he still isn't.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 11, 2007

    Oh, Nancy...

    No smoking in the Capitol...

    If House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, quits smoking, he might have to thank his political rival.

    In one of her first acts as the new head of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has banned smoking in the Speaker's Lobby. The room, right off the House floor, has been one of the last refuges for lawmakers and journalists to light-up during votes.

    EVIL, Nancy. E-V-I-L!

    "The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over," Pelosi said Wednesday in a statement released by her office. "Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example."

    Blah, blah, 'secondhand smoke' blar-blah-dee-blee. If there is a silver lining, and I like to think there is... it's that Boehner will have to stand out in the cold for a cigarette. WHERE HE BELONGS.

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

    January 10, 2007

    Poisoning the well...

    Word on the street over the last few days is that several groups are to begin work on 'poisoning the Bob Perry well'. This is similar to what was done with Lieninger (the mere mention of which will turn most Republican voters to a Democrat) and his donations since 2004.

    Anyone else picking up on this?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 09, 2007

    Profiles in Cowardice, Texas House Edition

    OK, here's the recap. Geren's Amendment for a secret ballot (that would have been revealed after committee assignments) failed by 80-68 with the CradDICKHEAD Democrats (or, as The Mayor has begun calling them, the Iscariot Caucus) making the difference. With that, Merritt's Amendment went down in flames and shortly thereafter Pitts withdrew so as not to force any of his pledges to commit certain suicide.

    You're kind of a gimp, Pitts, but honorable at least. That bit about letting 'the healing begin', though, was class A pussy. I haven't heard that kind of chickenshit weakness since Brian (#3) was in my life.

    K-T has the Iscariot Caucus named...

    1. Joe Deshotel (512) 463-0662
    2. Kino Flores (512) 463-0704
    3. Ryan Guillen (512) 463-0416
    4. Aaron Pena (512) 463-0426
    5. Helen Giddings (512) 463-0953
    6. Sylvester Turner (512) 463-0554
    7. Dawnna Dukes (512) 463-0506
    8. Ruth Jones McClendon (512) 463-0708
    9. Norma Chavez (512) 463-0622
    10. Patrick Rose (512) 463-0647
    11. Kevin Bailey (512) 463-0924
    12. Tracy King (512) 463-0194
    13. Robert Puente (512) 463-0452
    14. Harold Dutton (512) 463-0510

    One wonders of what their 30 pieces of silver will consist... the med school in El Paso for Chavez? A tollway for Pena? A pair of lifts for Patrick Rose (who, by the way, wins the contest for who can suck up most... it takes a brave man, Patrick, to actually blow the Speaker on the floor during your seconding speech)? Another useless title for Sylvester Turner and Dawnna?

    The bottom line is that those who considered this a largely irrelevant vote are wrong. This was hugely relevant because CradDICK has been the prime mover on a lot of bad work and harmful legislation. From redistricting to killing ethics bills, CradDICK has been the one who made things happen. A vote for him was a vote for pulling kids off CHIP, for selling off public infrastructure, for privatizing our state services and wasting tax dollars, for unfair taxation, for poor funding of education, for screwing teachers.

    I'm not the type of Democrat who demands elected officials agree with me 100%. However, I do expect them to do what's best for Texas and their constituents. Some members of our party failed that test today. I expected the overwhelming majority of Republicans to fail it, but the Craddickcrats were extremely disappointing.

    Would Pitts have been better? From talking to those who know him, yes. Unfortunately, we'll never know because a sliver of Democrats voted with the majority of Republicans and fucked the state of Texas for the next two years.

    For those Republican who hung with Pitts until the very end... my thanks. To those Democrats who held their noses while voting for Pitts... my eternal gratitude. All of you did what was right for your state when you crossed party lines to work together.

    The rest of you can clean my ass with your tongue after I've taken a nasty shit.

    (Muse and Annatopia both have up excellent wraps of their own...)

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

    January 04, 2007

    Too close to CradDICK

    YAY ALFRED STANLEY!

    Finally, one of the old school Democratic leaders/consultants is going to go after those who are a little too close to a certain Republican from Midland.

    Austin consultant Alfred Stanley plans to kick off the New Year with a new political action committee, Too Close to Craddick, and an accompanying Web site that takes aim at House Democrats who are way too chummy with Speaker Tom Craddick. "I intend to lose some friends over this," Stanley said. Yet Stanley believes there are enough House members on both sides of the aisle who are ready and willing to overthrow Craddick. Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, has mounted a serious campaign to try to do just that. Before McCall publicly confirmed his intentions over the Christmas break, Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson had been the only candidate running for speaker but was not regarded as a serious threat to Craddick. Democrats are now looking to McCall as the person to beat Craddick. It matters little that McCall is a conservative Republican, Democrats say. What's important is that he works and plays well with others. It it happens that Craddick wins re-election when House members cast their votes on Jan. 9, watch for Stanley to go after Craddick's Democratic allies with metal tongs at the yet-to-be-launched www.tooclosetocraddick.com

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Too close to CradDICK

    YAY ALFRED STANLEY!

    Finally, one of the old school Democratic leaders/consultants is going to go after those who are a little too close to a certain Republican from Midland.

    Austin consultant Alfred Stanley plans to kick off the New Year with a new political action committee, Too Close to Craddick, and an accompanying Web site that takes aim at House Democrats who are way too chummy with Speaker Tom Craddick. "I intend to lose some friends over this," Stanley said. Yet Stanley believes there are enough House members on both sides of the aisle who are ready and willing to overthrow Craddick. Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, has mounted a serious campaign to try to do just that. Before McCall publicly confirmed his intentions over the Christmas break, Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson had been the only candidate running for speaker but was not regarded as a serious threat to Craddick. Democrats are now looking to McCall as the person to beat Craddick. It matters little that McCall is a conservative Republican, Democrats say. What's important is that he works and plays well with others. It it happens that Craddick wins re-election when House members cast their votes on Jan. 9, watch for Stanley to go after Craddick's Democratic allies with metal tongs at the yet-to-be-launched www.tooclosetocraddick.com

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 03, 2007

    I bought cigarettes yesterday...

    ... and came to the conclusion that I really super hate Mark Strama.

    If I didn't believe that the children were, indeed, our future, then I would sooo quit smoking. As it is, schools have to be paid for, I think they actually need more money and since they cut my property taxes a bit the least I can do as a patriotic American is keep lighting up.

    Children are wonderful and I intend to purchase some soon. I also know they need to be educated and that doing that requires money which I'm more than happy to pay. That doesn't stop me from still hating Mark Strama.

    What's next, Mark? Maybe you and Naishtat can get together and tax the hell out of my other favorite vice?

    (if you haven't clicked the 'our future' link, do it now)

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

    January 02, 2007

    Who's off the reservation in Central Texas

    Selby publishes a great piece on the Speaker's race, telling us who in Central Texas has committed to which candidate and who (Strama, Howard) is undecided. Here's the interesting part:

    Rep. Dawnna Dukes appears to be alone in the soon-to-be entirely Democratic Travis County delegation in pledging to Craddick.

    "The choice is between two Republicans," Dukes said Friday. "If I flip-flopped from one Republican candidate in this race to another Republican, what value would that have, other than for someone to say you're weak and don't stand up for your beliefs?"

    Dukes stressed Craddick's past decision giving her a leadership role on the House Appropriations Committee, where she has focused on health and human services.

    Craddick, she said, "is going to win the race. I need to position myself to best serve my constituency again."

    Republican Reps. Mike Krusee of Williamson County and Dan Gattis of Georgetown support Craddick, along with Democratic Rep. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs.

    First off, CradDICK hasn't really helped any of you. In fact, he's hurt you by forcing you to vote for things that are incredibly harmful to your constituents. Granted, you've all had some of your own fuckups (Dawnna's absenteeism; Krusee's love of 'toll road time machines' and being, in general, a 'tard) but supporting CradDICK is going to be one of your biggest. Rose is probably the most surprising of all since he's in a relatively safe district that is steadily trending D (are there any countywide R's left in Hays County?). He still thinks he needs to vote like an R but needs to quickly realize the winds of change are blowing. For someone as astute as Rose, it's shocking to realize how badly he's misreading the situation.

    Secondly, Dawnna, how best are you serving your constituents? How many freeways are being constructed in Eastern Travis County? You mention Health and Human Services and that's interesting since apparently CradDICK didn't listen to you before making changes that eliminated thousands from CHIP and granted Accenture their disastrous contract. How do you think that supporting him again will change that?

    Third, you're all tacitly in support of ethics reform and we all know that CradDICK takes that about as seriously as I take the warning label on a pack of cigarettes. If I were you, I would consider this a vote on ethics reform... choose the wrong side and you'll more than likely have a challenger who is going to be merciless about that issue.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    January 01, 2007

    In which someone has a differing opinion

    It's good to see differing opinions... it gives readers (AKA, You People) a chance to see the wrong side along with the right side.

    Sorry, Hal, Norma is being extremely petty and protective of what little power she has been given by CradDICK. Again, I'm going to listen to Rep. Moreno before your justifications or Norma's excuses. And I'll keep blogging about it, because I don't own a cat. And I've got all this great material.

    Anyone who thinks the Texas Progressive Alliance is monolithic is way wrong.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 31, 2006

    Weak sister

    When I worked for a hedge fund, we used the phrase 'weak sister' to describe assets that were not performing well. That came to mind recently when I read this article at the El Paso Times. Norma Chavez is our weak sister

    Her name was one of 84 remaining on a pledge list Craddick released Thursday. Before other Republican speaker candidates came forward, 109 House members were on that list.

    Last week, Craddick told Chávez and state Rep. Chente Quintanilla that $43 million for the Texas Tech University medical school would be in the budget next year.

    Money for the school has been in the budget before but has been cut out by House leaders. In 2005, the medical school money was stripped at the same time $13 million was appropriated to a clinic in Craddick's hometown.

    Asked why she believes the money will stay in the budget this year, Chávez said, "I have (Craddick's) word this time, and in previous sessions there were broader discussions, not the commitment I see this time."

    State Reps. Quintanilla, Pat Haggerty and Joe Pickett were on the older list supporting Craddick, but they did not appear as supporters Thursday.

    Haggerty said he told Craddick he had not yet decided who would get his vote. He said he has been unsatisfied with current House leadership and would vote for the candidate who promised a more inclusive administration.

    Craddick has a reputation for wielding vise-like control over the House and quickly stifling opposing viewpoints while forcing members to vote in line with his agenda.

    Pickett and Quintanilla did not return repeated calls requesting comment on the speaker race.

    State Rep. Paul Moreno, D-El Paso, said he planned to stick by Plano Republican McCall's bid to lead the House.

    He said that money for the medical school would come no matter who leads the House but that his constituents and poorer Texans would benefit from less-partisan leadership. "That medical school (funding) is just wiggling a carrot, that's all," he said.

    Norma... the loyalty? How about loyalty to your constituents, all of whom could, as Rep. Moreno elegantly put, benefit from less-partisan leadership? The money for the med school is finally going to come but after all the lies and bullshit, you're still going to stick with CradDICK? What's he have to do to get you stop carrying water for him Norma? Set your hair on fire?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 26, 2006

    Uhm... Sen.-Elect Brown... Habeas Corpus IS important

    Amy Goodman, who writes for Democracy NOW (found viaAs Ohio Goes) did an interview with Senator-elect Brown...

    AMY GOODMAN: Right before the election, you voted for the Military Commissions Act, which stripped habeas corpus. Why?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: I think that if we had done nothing, the prisoners would continue in Guantanamo Bay with no resolution. That will at least move the process forward. They’re either tried, or they’re freed. I didn’t think they should be given more rights than American troops who are court-martialed. I think we can fix that. I think we can make the bill better. I think we ought to go back and do that, come this year.

    AMY GOODMAN: Restore habeas corpus?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Yeah.

    AMY GOODMAN: You would support that?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: I would support that.

    AMY GOODMAN: Would you introduce that?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Probably not.

    AMY GOODMAN: Why not?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Because I have other priorities.

    AMY GOODMAN: What are your priorities?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: My priorities are a fair trade policy in this country, increasing the minimum wage, going after the drug companies for the way that they charge and their whole pricing structure that have put absolutely amazing drugs out of reach for so many Americans.

    Senator Brown, you really need to make THIS a priority. It's a large part of the reason so many libertarians and republicans switched sides this cycle. Don't let them down!

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

    Uhm... Sen.-Elect Brown... Habeas Corpus IS important

    Amy Goodman, who writes for Democracy NOW (found viaAs Ohio Goes) did an interview with Senator-elect Brown...

    AMY GOODMAN: Right before the election, you voted for the Military Commissions Act, which stripped habeas corpus. Why?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: I think that if we had done nothing, the prisoners would continue in Guantanamo Bay with no resolution. That will at least move the process forward. They’re either tried, or they’re freed. I didn’t think they should be given more rights than American troops who are court-martialed. I think we can fix that. I think we can make the bill better. I think we ought to go back and do that, come this year.

    AMY GOODMAN: Restore habeas corpus?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Yeah.

    AMY GOODMAN: You would support that?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: I would support that.

    AMY GOODMAN: Would you introduce that?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Probably not.

    AMY GOODMAN: Why not?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: Because I have other priorities.

    AMY GOODMAN: What are your priorities?

    REP. SHERROD BROWN: My priorities are a fair trade policy in this country, increasing the minimum wage, going after the drug companies for the way that they charge and their whole pricing structure that have put absolutely amazing drugs out of reach for so many Americans.

    Senator Brown, you really need to make THIS a priority. It's a large part of the reason so many libertarians and republicans switched sides this cycle. Don't let them down!

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

    December 22, 2006

    Bitch has a street named after her?

    I gotta say, on the list of Things I Don't Get naming buildings, roads, aircraft carriers, etc. after people BEFORE they are dead is pretty high. There's a reason you wait on something like that... what if the person you're honoring turns out to be some kind of freak? Case in point, Cynthia McKinney has a street named after her. I like Cynthia. I think she's comical in the same way anyone who is basically batshit crazy is comical. I'm weird like that. Right on Target has alerted me to the fact that she DID have a street named after her. Now someone is trying to get her name removed from that street because

    "She has a history of bad behavior and it's not reflected well upon the people of Georgia," Walker said.

    Well, if the metric for naming something is reflecting well upon the people you serve, can we assume that no Republican will try to name crap after Connecticut native George W. Bush? I guess, if you have to name something after him, I'd be OK with a toilet. At the Bellmead Exxon.

    (Welcome to the Tex-O-Sphere, RoT!)

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

    December 18, 2006

    Feelings... nothing more than feelings...

    James Boyce has a great piece up at the Huffington Post regarding what Democrats have to do in 2008 to win. The short version? Concentrate less on policy and more on appearance, public perception and most of all, how the electorate feels about the candidate.

    Democrats spend millions on polling in Presidential Elections so they think they know what the people want. Then, the consultants tell the candidates that if they speak to these issues, they win. They spend millions more, minus the consultants cut, on commercials with speaking head candidates talking about the issues that the polling showed were important and then they focus group the commercials and then they march to victory.

    How'd that theory work President Kerry?

    When the moment calls to pull the lever in a Presidential election, it comes down to feelings, perceptions and emotions - it is not a purely logical decision and that's why the Republicans spend millions, tens of millions, smearing Democratic and Progressive leaders and selling the myths of their heroes. Which, by the way, works incredibly well. Not just on the majority of voters who are people who don't really pay attention but to many who do.

    You should also check it out because it rips on Bob Shrum and I love anything that can do that AND make a solid point.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The bloom is off the rose called Obama...

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingObama regrets land deal with a friend... now that said friend has been indicted. You know, this goes to the core of what I don't like about Obama. He doesn't OWN himself. Here's the skinny...

    The WaPo has an article up (going for two pages no less) about a land deal involving Sen. Obama and an Illinois fundraiser and developer named Tony Rezko who has been indicted for influence peddling. The transaction? Apparently, Obama and Rezko's wife bought contiguous property in Chicago last year near UoC (Obama bought a large house, Mrs. Rezko bought the vacant lot next door). Obama then wanted to expand his yard, so he paid 1/6 of the price of the land for 1/6 of the land, more than double what an appraiser thought it was worth.

    Does it look bad? If you think so, tell me why. Seriously. Other than the fact that this Rezko guy has been indicted for something UNRELATED to Sen. Obama, tell me what looks bad about this. I've heard of similar deals being struck in Hyde Park and Tarrytown. None of this is unusual in urban real estate. All of this occured BEFORE the indictment.

    Which brings me to the point. This was a straight up deal. Sure, he overpaid for the land to a limited extent. The appraiser may have valued it at 40k+, but the reality is that Rezko might not have been willing to part with such a large chunk of the lot for that amount. In that case, the 100k Obama paid may have been a steal.

    Which leaves me wondering what about all this Obama 'regrets'? Nothing illegal took place. Nothing even looks bad except to those with an overactive imagination (and mouths to match). Why not sac up and own this, Obama? And WaPo, I mean really... way to tie in a Democratic Senator with a bunch of bad, unrelated shit about Rezko. Nice work, Peter. Where were you in 1999 and 2000 when people were talking about some of Connecticut native George W. Bush's deals here in Texas?

    Now that the first hit is in, and Obama caved, expect more to follow for the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time-Senator.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 15, 2006

    Way to go, Marc Campos. Nice and petty.

    So, 39% has decided to direct the TRS to invest money in the Emerging Technology Fund, basically a state-funded venture program with all the risk that implies. It's a bad idea, to be sure, and educators are rightly pissed as well. They are asking for help to fight it. Houston's Marc Campos responded this way:

    You know, it’s hard for Commentary to feel sorry for them. I’m talking about Texas teacher groups that are mad because Guv Dude is directing the state’s teacher pension fund investments. Well, teacher groups should have thought about this before they supported Lady Foghorn’s MI 2006. Rank and file teachers that are worried about their retirement checks ought to direct their ire at their leaders that followed Foghorn’s yellow brick road to nowhere. Ringing Da Bell would have been the better play. It looks like that teacher commercial wasn’t that effective after all.

    Trust me, I understand this kind of humor. I was sitting around election night contemplating an investment in TXI and Cintra. However, then reality sets in and even if people are dumb in an election it doesn't change the fact that bad policy is bad policy and you should do everything you can do defeat it. To sit back while someone who may not have stood with you in an election is fucked over is just petty.

    Yes, Marc, the teachers unions made a huge mistake endorsing Strayhorn but you have to remember that the regular teachers actually voted for Bell. They shouldn't have to pay for the mistake of their union leadership with their retirement incomes. Have a heart, hermano.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 11, 2006

    One less question to ponder

    It's still way to early to predict who will win the Democratic nomination for President in 2008, but we now have a pretty good idea who will finish last.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 04:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    November 30, 2006

    Grab the Vilmentum!

    ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

    Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack launched his long-shot bid for the presidency Thursday, calling for an end to U.S. dependence on foreign oil in favor of alternative energy sources.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:23 AM

    November 21, 2006

    McCain and Kerry continue to be delusional

    Obviously oblivious to the fact that the large majority of people in this country think that they are

    a) one small step up from carnival scum
    b) stupid
    c) pitiable

    Sens McCain and Kerry continue to think they are viable candidates in 2008. Yeah. Let me cut to the chase for the Democrats and Republicans in the hizzle: YOU CAN NOMINATE EITHER OR BOTH OF THESE LOSERS. However, once you do that, you're going to lose the White House. Even if it was McCain v. Hillary. Allow me to detail the objections:

    KERRY

  • Piss poor public speaker. Even when telling jokes, he consistently flubs up in such way that you're embarrassed watching him. Of course, until recently, he would have flubbed even his response. Though he did a decent job with handling this last incident, wouldn't it be better just to nominate someone who can speak clearly without fucking up the text?

  • Looks kinda horsey. Seriously, why the long face, JK? Also, let us never forget the R catcalls of 'lurch'. Why put ourselves in that spot again?

  • HE LOST THE FUCKING ELECTION IN 2004, THEN THREW EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED HIM UNDER A BUS BY NOT ASKING FOR A RECOUNT. That's right, HE LOST IT. By not stomping on that swift boats crap early on, he made himself look weak and pathetic. Which he kinda is... I know he's a decorated war hero. However, the Senator I see today is a far cry from the guy who so ably represented vets when he came home from Vietnam

  • Really thinks he has a shot...

    "Not in the least," Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, said when asked if the furor over his comment had caused him to reconsider a 2008 race. "The parlor game of who's up, who's down, today or tomorrow, if I listened to that stuff, I would never have won the nomination."

    Hermano, if you only knew how many of us had to hold our noses when we voted for you in 2004. No way do you get through a primary in 2008. We'll ask Lady Bird if we can run LBJ's corpse first

  • MCCAIN

  • Please. Dude, you should be retiring, maybe prepping for your next career as a Wal-Mart greeter. YOU'RE FUCKING OLD. Get it?

  • Claims to be a Federalist but sounds like a Dixiecrat

    "I'm a federalist," McCain said. "Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade."

    Do we really want someone as President who contradicts himself in the same thought? Let's not even get into the whole issue of how involved the Federalists think ordinary Americans should be in government. It's kinda pointless since McCain doesn't really know what the hell he is.


  • Bitchslapped by Bush in 2000, works hard over last 6 years to be his obsequious bitch. Abdicates Constitutional responsibilities and assumes roles as part of the Republican Rubber Stamp

  • Actively using Roves strategy of division by lining up support from noted bigots and homophobes like Televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
  • Both Kerry and McCain are like punchlines to the same bad joke. Please, let's not tell it again because it won't be funnier this time.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 19, 2006

    If I ever needed another reason to hate John Kerry

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI now have one.

    If you haven't watched Hacking Democracy, you really should. If you come away from it thinking that the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections were legitimate, then you weren't paying attention. Or you're retarded.

    But why beat up on Kerry? Well, in the movie there is a scene in which one of the 'election attorneys' Kerry had in Ohio tells a story about a call from Kerry the night of the election. During that call Kerry said that independent of demographics and other voting indicators, all precincts in New Mexico that had either electronic or optical scan systems were reporting for Bush.

    Now, if that isn't enough of a reason to call bullshit, pull in the attorney's and delay your concession, I have no idea what is. I have a feeling he was trying to do what was best for the country. However, that's nothing more than bullshit ego and noblesse oblige. He dropped us in the grease.

    Considering that he only recently regained his spine, one has to wonder if maybe now he'll contest the results of the 2004 election.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    November 15, 2006

    My God... I find myself agreeing with Greg

    It's snowing in hell.

    The so-called political leadership (such that it is) on our side in this beloved state, has a black mark for the missed opportunities in 2006. Fred Baron no only stayed out of the early stages of the statewide races, but he openly signalled that the Democratic Trust would not be actively involved in statewide contests, declaring them all but won by the GOP. Great recruitment effort there.

    And, apparently, krazypuppy over at TexasKaos

    Accountability.

    How the hell are we going to insist that Republicans uphold the laws if they are the ones interpreting it?!? Want to know why no one held Tom Delay accountable for the longest time than look no further than that fact alone.

    Today, the Texas Democratic Party not only has inactive district offices where new activists are greeted with bewilderment ("um, you sure you ain't looking for the other party??"), but we are seeing countless reports of new Democratic activists actually being discouraged to get active.

    I laughed at the idea before but I'm joining those who wonder if the Republicans filled up local Democratic offices to discourage Democrats. How else do you explain why State Democratic Executive Committeeman Ben Alexander (SD-19) openly supported Republican Rep. Lamar Smith over Democrat John Courage?

    But you know it could be as simple as Democratic dead wood and greed. Sometimes people want power and sometimes people get used to things being the way they are.

    Well, time for them wake up or get the hell out the way.

    A-fucking-men, partner. Lack of accountability is one of the things that has disgusted me with Democratic politics ever since I got involved.

    Of course, it doesn't stop there as PDiddie over at Brains and Eggs also chimed in...

    The state party -- the tattered shards of it, anyway -- was so impotent that it gave up on all of the statewide races long before the party's convention in June of this year. All of the enthusiasm generated by the grassroots in Fort Worth for the slate of populist candidates was wasted on the small band of elitists and insiders pulling the strings and moving the money around, who had long since determined -- and telegraphed to the media -- that there was no hope this year.

    They didn't even do a good job of going through the motions. Their overt acts of capitulation contradicted their mealy-mouthed expressions of support. Well, most of the time that was the case, though I frequently heard the following:

    "We have limited resources." "We can't concentrate on every race." "This is a rebuilding year." "We need more staff and better databases in order to rebuild our infrastructure so we can be competitive in (pick one: 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)."

    In that respect, the men in charge of the Texas Democratic Party -- that would be Fred Baron and Matt Angle -- did exactly what they said they would do.

    Performance met expectations. I suppose congratulations are in order. What do you think, Boyd?

    "There's enough credit for everyone involved in the effort," state Democratic Party chairman Boyd Richie said. "But certainly the (Texas Democratic) trust created an atmosphere where we could organize, plan and execute."

    You know, it's this last part that really gets me. I like Chairman Nabisco. He's an affable guy and that's great when you don't need party building and someone to kick ass. What we need now is someone who is less interested in his press than in the party. Someone who is focused on building the party from the ground up (hey, don't get me wrong... money is essential. The problem is, without a ground game it won't materialize). Someone who can get people moving and working. That's not what we have with Boyd.

    We could spend days and weeks going on and on about what TDP did wrong this cycle. Honestly, they DID do some things right, and that shouldn't go without notice. However, the lack of support for all candidates (email updates to the lists, coordination of volunteers, etc.) is inexcusable.

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

    November 14, 2006

    Passive Pelosi

    Oh, come on, Nancy. You better get tougher than this...

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 12, 2006

    Damnit, Russ...

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOne of my hopes for a spectacular candidate in 2008 met with a disasterous end today when Senator Russ Feingold announced he wasn't seeking the nomination. Because he's having an affair with a page. Wait. That's some Republican I'm thinking of. Feingold dropped out because he wants to concentrate on his needlepoint. I kid. He's really dropping out because of some shady Manischewitz connection. And as we all know, you just don't talk about Manischewitz.

    I'm really pissed off because I LOVE me some Russ and think he's one of the strongest, most competent and best spoken Senate Dems. Name and religion aside (which really aren't now the giant issues they were in 1960) he would have been a fantastic contrast to 2004's abyssmal Kerry campaign.

    You kinda suck, Russ. If this means I have to turn to white bread (Edwards, Clark) I guess I will. However, I will always wish for Jewish rye.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    November 10, 2006

    Amid yawning, Vilsack launches race for the White House

    UHM... not to tbe rude, but vain much?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 03, 2006

    More Kerry Bullshit : Shelly chimes in...

    Y'all, being out of pocket as been a pain in the ass. HOWEVER, I still have some time in the evenings to entertain y'all. More shit on Kerry's comment came out recently, including this from Shelly who's obviously as stupid as Connecticut native George Bush (or, as The Mayor has taken to calling him, the Nutmegger Cowboy). Yeah, Shelly's always been a 'tard but COME ON! I can excuse Bush's staff (they work for Bush... I'm assuming some of the stupid has rubbed off) for not getting it, but Kerry clearly was ripping on your boss, NOT the troops.

    Granted, Shelly is as crazy as a bag of hammers. Let's hear what the White House had to say... on second thought, why bother? It's going to be Tony or Bush's bitch Senator John McCain who still labors under the delusion that he'll one day be President.

    Like the Republicans would ever let that happen.

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

    November 01, 2006

    Once more into the online popularity contest dear friends

    God, will this election cycle never end?

    Okay, everybody needs to go to John Kerry's website and vote one last time for our favorite Texas candidate John Courage. There is a deadline of 6 PM Central Time for voting! One lucky senatorial candidate and two lucky congressional hopefuls will win a fundraising blast out to Kerry's three million address email list. Help bring a few bucks more to Texas to kick Lamar Smith's sorry ass out of Congress.

    And I'm going to recommend that you choose Jim Webb as you Senate pick. I know that Ned Lamont is a sentimental favorite of the netroots and we'd all love to see him win, but let's face it, that's not going to happen unless Jpe Lieberman is turned into a pillar of salt in the next six days. Webb is running a strong, winnable race against George Macaca Allen... retiring that dirtbag will be a real service to humanity. If you need any more convincing, watch some of Allen's thugs beat up a Webb supporter in Charlottesville yesterday in the supersize.

    UPDATE

    We're pleased to report that the following candidates won our "3 at the buzzer" contest to help take back Congress. Senate candidate Jim Webb (VA), House candidate Dan Seals (IL-10), and House candidate John Courage (TX-21). They were the netroots candidates to receive the most votes on JohnKerry.com, and they will be the beneficiaries of the final JohnKerry.com fundraising email of the cycle. Many thanks to all of you who participated. We now challenge our 3 million person online community to get these fighters over the top in the last few days!

    Congratulations John Courage! And thanks to all who participated!

    Allen... on the stomp.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:54 AM | Comments (1)

    October 25, 2006

    A little lesson for you youngsters out there

    This is why you don't send out press releases while you're drunk.

    Who's the world's fastest BlackBerry typist? ABC World News Webcast is going to find out on Wednesday, October 25.

    With 1.5 million downloads a day, this global daily newscast is going to feature Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate from Texas, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, as she competes against veteran ABC political editor Mark Halperin to see who's got the world's fastest BlackBerry digits.

    The Radnofsky campaign contacted ABC and said that not only was Barbara Ann the fastest BlackBerry typist in the world, but that we'd love to prove it on TV pitted against the best they had to offer.

    ABC webcast producers Tom Johnson and Nick Schifrin loved the idea and immediately got the gears turning on the world's first BlackBerry type-off. The Radnofsky campaign, cameras rolling, received the challenge text via fax, and placed the paper in front of Barbara Ann, who then proceeded to type it out. You'll have to tune in to see her winning time and to hear her message for opponent Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as to find out the name of the first world BlackBerry typing champ.

    Speaking of BAR's message--- Shudder.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:33 AM

    September 29, 2006

    Traitors

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting In the supersize I am posting all the Texas Delegation votes on the bill that seeks to gut the individual rights of Americans and destroy the Constitution of the United States of America. Make no mistake, that WAS what happened yesterday, 'detainee/torture bill' be damned. The Congress of the United States decided to unilaterally end the rule of law which has existed for 217 years in this country and opted to surrender an unprecedented amount of power (functionally, dictatorial power) to the Executive Branch and it's current occupant, George W. Bush.

    Every Republican and Democrat who voted for this is a traitor who violated their oath of office, betrayed their constituents and are now active participants in the effort to destroy the United States from within. While we can not vote against the supposed servants this year, we must NEVER FORGET THEIR BETRAYAL. That means we must re-elect the Democrats this year and we must eliminate them in the Primary. We simply can not trust Republicans, so it's essential that we re-elect these men and women. However, we must get rid of them in the next primary (for the members of the House of Representatives, in 2008 and for members of the senate in 2012).

    The Democrats who allowed this to happen are the scum of the earth. Instead of protecting the people of the United States they, out of fear, turned their backs on us and handed power to a madman.

    Mr. Bush attacked Democrats for voting against the legislation even before the vote began, signaling Republicans’ intention to use it as a hammer in their efforts to portray themselves as the party of strength on national security.

    We would have stood behind you. We would have shouted down ANY Republican with the guts to defend this bill. Now, if didn't need your miserable asses, we would abandon you en masse. Unfortunately, we need control of Congress restored to the people so we will support you against the Republicans. For now.

    This can not be forgiven. Not by a long shot. No excuse is good enough. There is no salve that will heal the wound inflicted on the citizens of the United States. My only hope now rests with the Supreme Court. May they strike down this wicked law and restore Constitutional rights to the citizens of the United States.

    In the House of Representatives of the United States of America:

    NAY Votes(TRUE AMERICANS):

    Lloyd Doggett, Charles Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Rubén Hinojosa, Eddie
    Johnson, Solomon Ortiz, Ron Paul, Silvestre Reyes

    NV:

    Sheila Jackson-Lee


    YEA votes (TRAITORS):

    Joe Barton, Henry Bonilla, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter,
    Michael Conaway, Henry Cuellar, John Culberson, Chet Edwards, Louie Gohmert,
    Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Kenny Marchant,
    Michael McCaul, Randy Neugebauer, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith, Mac
    Thornberry

    In the Senate of the United States of America, both Senator Cornyn and Senator Hutchison voted FOR torture, FOR rape, AGAINST the Constitution and AGAINST their constituents, the people of Texas by voting YEA on this bill.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    September 22, 2006

    This is the part when vomit comes out of my mouth...

    Perry's ads suck cock, but they are pretty good at agitating the hell out of people who are already pissed off and in no damn mood to hear a bunch of bullshit excuses and lies from a miserable failure like Rick Perry.

    OSB's ads are probably the biggest dissapointment. Message to Brad: Find the people that did those ads after the election. Then kill them.

    Dick (or Matzo as I've taken to calling him) has those feel good 'Of Mice and Men' ads with all the damn animals. I felt like at some point he was gonna ask if it was OK to pet the bunny.

    THEN THERE'S GODDAMN BELL.

    Everyone else has dropped themselves in the grease with their television, but Team Bell doesn't learn from their mistakes. Come ON! These ads suck ass. Chris, you CAN be funny and wonky at the same time. Ever heard of self-deprecation? Even showing some personality would have been nice.

    The thing that pisses me off is that if Bell wins, awful media like this is going to get a lot of the credit.

    I'm going to drink my way into a coma now.

    I will say this one is better... but it's still so ordinary.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    September 20, 2006

    Burka:Strayhorn is dead in the water

    OK, so now that MOTO is saying it can we all agree? As for you folks out there who are voting for Dick, let's talk. Seriously, because I think some of you believe Kinky stands for something other than politics as usual. Problem is, he's really just the last in a long line of gimmick candidates going way back in Texas politics. They've all sucked ass.

    The recent poll shows one thing clearly... Perry will be re-elected is nothing changes. The Bellraisers will blame the Dicky-ites. The Dicky-ites will blame the Bellraisers. The end result will be the same, a worthless, piece of shit governor will have been re-elected.

    So, it's time to get down to brass tacks. I like Bell. Yeah, I think he's cheesey as all get out. However, I think when it comes down to it, he's the best candidate for the job. He's smart, articulate, and has some great ideas about education, business development and infrastructure improvement.

    I think Dick is a joke. What will he do, if elected, to see that infrastructure in this state is renovated and expanded, maintaining the freeway system that has helped Texas grow into the economic power it is today? Was he serious about that 'five general's plan'? You see, I have real problems with what Dick wants to do. I do NOT want the Ten Commandments in public places. I do not want prayer in schools. That's NOT the damn problem with the schools and anyone who thinks it is should TALK to educators before listening to ANY of the candidates.

    Not to mention that I think Dick's gross.

    So, let's talk about this... I want to know why you're supporting him other than 'novelty'. Help me to understand... if not, maybe I can persuade you to vote for Bell. One way or the other, we have to start talking.

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

    September 08, 2006

    What kind of a game is Sylvester Reyes playing?

    WTF is going on in El Paso?

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPink Dome got an anonymous tip that Congressman Reyes was trying to 'dissuade' Governor Bill Richardson from helping out Senator Shapleigh by hosting a fundraiser for him. Of course, the Governor DID host the fundraiser, so obviously the Congressman's call didn't do much good. However, it begs the question... what IS Reyes up to? Why try to hurt a fellow Democrat, especially one we desperately need?

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

    September 01, 2006

    WTF?!?!?!

    I leave town for a few days and the whole world goes to hell.

    Case in point: The Slag has a story about next week's competing campaign kickoffs for the Travis County Democrats and the Forces of Darkness...

    Sandra Ramos, coordinator for the Dems' fall campaign, said many of the more than 25 Travis County Democrats on the November ballot are expected at the plaza. "We wanted to be somewhere accessible to the whole community," Ramos said. "Ours (also) isn't about drinking."

    Not about drinking? I haven't left the Democratic Party, but it sounds like the Democratic Party has left me.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:49 PM | Comments (4)

    August 29, 2006

    Let's beat up on the Texas Trust, shall we?

    Many people, especially the entrenched losers in the Democratic Party who refuse to understand that things change, are fond of talking about circular firing squads. Of course, just as they are wrong about campaign issues, messaging, press and everything else, they are wrong about the nature of the firing squad. It's not a circle, it's a line and the guns are all pointed in one direction... unfortunately for them, it's usually at their hearts.

    Let's take the Texas Democratic Trust, the group of trial lawyers and their consultant hangers-on who have managed over the years, by listening to bad advice and making horrific strategic blunders(John Sharp's 2002 Urban Only Strategy, for example), to make the Democratic Party the minority in Texas. Their latest decision has a number of tongues wagging across Texas.

    The Trust, ably represented by Fred Baron and Matt Angle, presented their plans at this past weekend's SDEC meeting. While they committed to funding TDP and SOME Lege races this year, they made it clear (as one source put it) that they could give less of a damn about the 2006 Statewide Ticket. Of course, many of them have already thrown their support behind OSB so it's no real suprise and at the end of the day, it's their money. Still, to hear so many within the TDP heirarchy talking about this as a good decision is, for me at least, irritating beyond belief.

    This year we have a fantastic slate of statewide candidates all of whom stand a good chance of winning their races. However, even today there are those who don't want to see it because pessimism is so much easier. The Trust has been a valuable ally and the consultants tied to them are not uniformly bad. Still, there is a profound lack of wisdom in their decision making, as well as an attitude that the only thing Democrats can do is throw up their hands and wait for demographic changes that will begin to positively effect us in 2010. The only problem with that is that already those changes are being counterbalanced by R outreach to those communities. In short, the demographic change the Trust and their consultants predict will sweep Democrats into office in 2010 and beyond is unlikely have much of an effect.

    The alternative? Be competitive in every race, every cycle and never again let a Republican candidate walk into office with unfunded Democratic opponents. However, yet again, this is what the Trust is doing.

    It's futile to get mad at the Trust for deciding to use their money the way they see fit. Of course, it's also futile to whine about it and cast about with a 'woe is me' attitude. What we have to keep doing is working hard to elect Democrats and help out every single one, no matter how hopeless the race may look. Keep in mind that since 1994 the Trust has been very wrong on a lot of races and the best revenge is winning. As for those within the Party heirarchy... we've already stopped listening to those of you that haven't been replaced. That's why we started winning again and why we'll continue to do so in 2006.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    August 16, 2006

    The real immigration debate...

    While a few have been distracted by the DSCC ad, Congressman Mikey McCaul (R-ClearChannel Communications) is going to be in Houston scapegoating illegals and making the entire border sound like it's as violent as the OK Corral. During the shootout with the Clantons.

    Not to mention the standard R talking point that Anna was lucky enough to hear recently at a town hall with Smokey Joe Barton that 'them damn messicans are driving up health care costs'. Luckily, there will actually be a panelist who can poke holes in that:

    Another panelist, Dr. Lovell Jones, said immigrants are not to blame for today's health care crisis. He said the bulk of the nation's uninsured are Anglo. He blames the small-business owners who do not provide their employees with insurance.

    (thanks to PinkLady)

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

    August 15, 2006

    I'm fucking pissed...

    What the fuck is wrong with y'all? Over the last several days I've heard complaints from people in damn near every ethnic, gender, sexuality and interest group about how the Democratic Party doesn't recognize them and how they may just stay at home in November.

    Seriously, whatever your problem happens to be I'm going to give you some great advice: QUIT COMPLAINING AND GET TO WORK BECAUSE WHAT NONE OF YOU SEEM TO REALIZE IS, IF WE DON'T WIN THEN YOU HAVE EVEN LESS POWER. How much do you think an R Congressman is going to care about your problem? How much do you think a Democrat who is depending on you for re-election is going to care? Get it now? Think things are bad now? Just make sure R's continue control of Congress... then you'll see just how bad things can get. Do you have grandparents who remember the Depression? Ask them for how they got through it because you're going to need it.

    If the Democratic Party is nothing more than a bunch of different groups all fighting with one another for power then we really are lost. As long as we refuse to join together and take positive action, we're going to keep losing. Everyone can not always get everything they want 100% of the time. Compromise must start from within.

    Oh, and for those of you who want to take ME to task (because I obviously don't understand your position) I'm a gay man and I still intend to vote straight ticket D in November EVEN AFTER JUST ABOUT EVERY DEMOCRAT IN THE LEGE VOTED TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ME.

    At least YOU can get married.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:30 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

    Lay off, Campos...

    The DSCC has produced a web ad about R failures in securing America and the war on terror. Marc Campos, whose Daily Commentary I normally enjoy except when he goes on a jag about the Astrochokers (yeah, I wrote it), mentions it in his post today and rips into them for beating up on immigrants.

    Please watch the ad here and tell me exactly where they place blame on illegal immigrants for terrorism? Seems to me the ad is pointing out the failures of Republicans to secure the borders not, as Marc is all upset about, beating up on immigrants.

    Marc, there is nothing wrong with securing the border or working to improve the domestic economy in Mexico. Republicans have failed to do both. Hyerbole about the DSCC dissing Latino voters does nothing to add to the debate either within the Party or the country.

    Seriously, if you want to go down that road let's talk about how many Latino voters dissed Democrats and voted for R's because of gay marriage.

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

    August 11, 2006

    FIVE bucks for a yard sign?

    Holy fuck! Are the goddamn things made of gasoline?

    Hello Austin Area Democrats!

    I am very happy to announce that the Austin Headquarters currently has yard signs! We are asking for a $5 contribution to help off-set the production cost. So, pool your money for your area or drop by yourself, we would love to see signs all across Austin supporting our gubernatorial candidate. I am suspecting that these will go fast, so act now! But, do not worry, soon all of Texas will be able to go on-line to get yards signs, which will be shipped to you. If you could be so kind as to pass this information along to your friends, it would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions.

    Austin Headquarters Location
    2520 Longview St., Suite 410
    Austin, TX 78705
    Sarah Hudson
    Deputy Finance Director
    Chris Bell for Governor
    e-mail: sarah@chrisbell.com

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 04:31 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    August 02, 2006

    ¡Joementum sί! ¡Venceremos!

    Wha's next for Joe Lieberman, who may lose his place on the Connecticut ballot to challenger Ned Lamont next Tuesday?

    Given the overlapping developments of troublesome polls in Connecticut, and the sudden illness of Fidel Castro, Senator Joe Lieberman announced today that if he fails to beat Ned Lamont in next week’s Democratic primary, he intends to run for the position of El Commandante in Cuba.

    Lieberman emphasized that he would look forward to running under Cuba’s electoral system, where he wouldn’t be subjected to the type of degrading primary challenges that a three-term U.S. Senator has to put up with.

    Senator Lieberman also discounted any problems created by cultural differences, saying that as an orthodox Jew, he would have no problem growing a Castro-like beard.

    “Besides,” Lieberman added, “the Cuban and Jewish people have a lot in common; they both prefer Florida to their home countries.”

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Some days it's hard to be good

    Especially when people like Maria Luisa Alvarado send out campaign emails that include juicy targets like

    In 2002, due of [sic] President Bush’s popularity and coattails, a gubernatorial candidate with a hefty treasury lost to Rick Perry. This year things are different.

    Yeah, this year we hardly have two dimes to rub together.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 14, 2006

    Hillary Dances

    Dance, Hillary. Dance.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 06, 2006

    Madness : Minorities screwing Minorities

    I'm posting this under Stupid Democratic Tricks because the whole damn thing is stupid. You've got blacks who won't work with hispanics, hispanics who won't work with blacks, members of both groups who won't work with whites and vice versa and none of them particularly want to work with gays and lesbians (not to mention the fact that gays and lesbians sometimes don't get along so well). While all these different groups are angling for positions and power, nothing gets done and the Republicans continue to strengthen. One of the things that attracted me to the Democratic Party was a theme of (don't laugh) togetherness despite difference. WE'RE ALL FIGHTING TOGETHER. Does that mean that every interest group is going to get everything they want? No, not entirely and certainly not all at once. However, when we all work together, we get something for all until eventually we do achieve our objectives.

    I once thought only Republican's were dedicated to 'me first, then screw you'. Now I realize it holds true even in the Democratic Party. It's time to put that aside, and realize that only by working together will we get the better government and greater freedom we all want.


    This article on MSNBC's site is just one of the many that are out there right now about conflicts between minorities.


    Leticia Vasquez calls hers a "typical immigrant story." Her parents, poor strivers from Mexico, raised five splendidly thriving children—one of whom, Leticia, 34, is now mayor of Lynwood, Calif., the small town where she grew up. It is a heartwarming tale that readily brings to mind a host of clichés about the American dream. But the story does not end with wine, roses and applause. Instead it segues into the troubled terrain of race, corruption and polarization.

    Of late, Vasquez has been pilloried by fellow Mexican-Americans for being—in her estimation, at least—too sympathetic to black constituents. Her foes, whose attempt to recall her failed last week when their petitions were found to be lacking, claim race has nothing to do with their discontent. Armando Rea, a former mayor and prominent critic, says the problem is that Vasquez, a "pathological liar," is intent on levying taxes the community cannot afford. Fliers circulated by recall proponents also portray her as the puppet of a former mayor, Paul Richards, who is black and is currently in prison for siphoning off city funds. Vasquez, who says she barely knows Richards, sees the charges as nothing but a smoke screen for racism: "There is this mind-set that if you support someone outside of your ethnicity, you must not like who you are."

    Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of ethnic politics in the 21st century, when blacks and Latinos, once presumed to be natural allies, increasingly find themselves competing for power and where promotion of racial harmony is as likely to evoke anger as admiration. Lynwood is a case study in the power of prejudice, the pitfalls of ethnic conflict and, perhaps, ultimately, the potential for interethnic cooperation. It may also foreshadow America's future—one that will increasingly see blacks and Latinos fighting, sometimes together and sometimes each other, to overcome a history of marginalization.

    Lynwood's ethnic tensions stem, in part, from the town's rapid ethnic transformation. In the 1970s, blacks began to arrive in significant numbers in the small, largely white, bedroom community of Los Angeles. In 1983, Lynwood elected its first black council member, Robert Henning, who was joined two years later by Evelyn Wells—a black female, who promptly nominated Henning to be mayor. The council (which names the mayor) went along. Blacks quickly came to dominate the political power structure. Meanwhile, Latinos were growing in number. Rea, the first Latino council member, was elected in 1989. In 1997, Latinos (who now comprise 82 percent of the city's 72,000 residents) gained control of the five-member council. Vasquez, who was not then active in politics, remembers "people knocking on the door saying we needed to get rid of black city-council members."

    With Rea installed as mayor, the city fired several blacks and dismissed some black contractors. "They got rid of 15 people at one time. Thirteen of those people were black," claims the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, a Vasquez ally currently on the council. Three black contractors filed suit accusing Rea and his allies of rampant racial discrimination. Rea adamantly rejected the allegations. "There is no color in my council," he declared at the time. No one currently in government seems to know exactly how much ultimately was paid out to settle discrimination complaints or how many people were affected, but Vasquez and Johnson insist that the amount was substantial and the experience traumatic. A former schoolteacher elected in 2003, Vasquez sees herself as a bridge between the two communities. Johnson sees Vasquez as a godsend: "The unique thing about her [is] ... she has this huge affinity for black people." Many longtime black residents are grateful. "We need somebody, regardless of what race they are, to speak for us, too," said Dorothy Smith, a retired teacher and social worker. "A lot of them [Latinos] want to shut us out completely."

    As Latinos increasingly become the ethnic majority in once proudly black venues (including Compton, a hip-hop capital, and Watts, formerly L.A.'s black mecca), and as headlines tout them as America's hot, and largest, minority group, many blacks share Smith's fear of being "shut out." Earl Ofari Hutchinson, an L.A.-based writer and activist, recalls the bitter reaction he got for writing a series of articles sympathetic to Latino immigrants: "I have never received so much hate mail from blacks. It touched a nerve among black folks, a raw nerve."

    Against the backdrop of Latino-black violence in Los Angeles County jails (which resulted in the deaths of two black inmates), and interethnic fighting in the schools, Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope, organized a so-called black-Latino summit earlier this month. There, Christine Chavez, the granddaughter of legendary farmworker leader Cesar Chavez, spoke movingly of her grandfather's patterning his work on Martin Luther King's movement. "In order for a movement for mostly Latino workers to be successful," she said, "we had to reach out to other communities."

    After May's massive and largely Latino demonstrations for immigration reform, some believe that era may have passed. "I turned on the TV and saw millions of people nationally and [felt] a sense of fear," confided Ali. "We were now being marginalized." Upon reflection, Ali concluded that the protest paved the way for blacks and Latinos together to "demand a bigger piece of the pie." Many who came to his summit agreed. Blacks and Latinos, they argued, should focus on the powerful interests exploiting both groups instead of squabbling with each other. As California state Sen. Gloria Romero put it, "Nobody walks into a field and says, 'Move over, bro, I'm working now.' These jobs are offered, they are not taken."

    That message resonates in Tar Hill, N.C., where black and Latino workers at the colossal Smithfield pork-processing plant originally had little to say to each other. To help break down walls, the United Food and Commercial Workers union organized a monthly potluck dinner. "People started bringing all kinds of food ... from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, and they shared their stories," said union organizer Eduardo Piña. "People that usually don't trust each other" are recognizing "how similar their situations are."

    Ted Shaw, head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, thinks it is in blacks' self-interest to embrace Latinos struggling to survive. "I think black folks should think long and hard before we ... alienate a growing and powerful community [with] many interests in common," he says.

    No one really disagrees with the idea of focusing on common problems instead of retreating into ethnic enclaves. Still, it is anyone's guess how well the black-Latino unity message ultimately will play. Uncontroversial as the principle may be, it is rather difficult to practice; it is almost always easier to see the things that divide Americans than to see what binds—or should bind—us together. What the new demographics are making very clear is that not only whites can have vision problems, but so, too, can blacks and Latinos.

    With Andrew Murr
    © 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

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

    July 04, 2006

    Senator Suck starting a petition

    I fucking knew I should have started drinking early this morning, continuing the party from last night that the Mayor and I had with K-T and Muse.

    We told you a couple of weeks ago that Sore Loserman is worried about his chances in the upcoming primary against Ned Lamont. Well, today Bush's (or The Connecticut, if you prefer) Cockwipe announced that he has decided to gather signatures to have himself added to the ballot as an 'independent Democrat' should he lose the primary he is currently favored to win by 15 points. That's right kids, even if he loses he'll likely be on the ballot anyway.

    Good luck to the people of Connecticut getting rid of this albatross. You're gonna need it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 30, 2006

    Gee, Obama, way to beat us over the head

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe People's Republic of Seabrook has a great post up about Senator Barack Obama's admonishment of his fellow Democrats over faith. E.J. Dionne also as an op/ed up about his comments that I'm posting in full in the SuperSize.

    As a Methodist I'm one of these people of faith that Obama asks Democrats to reach out to. However, make no mistake about how I feel on the issue of Separation of Church and State for while I'm a Christian, I am an avid supporter of the secular nature of Government. While I have no problem with the 1950's addition of 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance, I do have a huge problem with my tax dollars going to fund a religious school (like Falwell's Liberty University).

    Government combined with religion has historically had disasterous consequences which is the reason that the First Amendment was written to protect government and religion FROM one another. Both can be extraordinarily corrupting. Ask any Evangelical if they would be happy with Catholicism as the official religion of the United States. I'd be willing to bet they'd become instant converts to the correct interpretation of the First Amendment.

    Still, while it's important to let 'people of faith' know that there are Democrats who believe, we shouldn't compromise to their views and interpretations. Here's a quote from Jack Cluth's post over at PRoS

    I would agree with Obama that Democrats need to reach out to the Evangelical community, but let’s not be stupid about it. Let’s not compromise our principles and our beliefs in the basic humanity of ALL Americans in a cheap, transparent effort to woo a few more votes come November. Our greatest strength is that we’re NOT Conservative Republicans. We believe that the spectrum of human belief and morality is a wide and varied thing. That doesn’t make people who think and live differently by definition bad or wrong. It just makes them different…and those differences have always helped to make this great country what it is today.

    Couldn't agree more.

    Obama's Eloquent Faith

    By E. J. Dionne Jr.
    Friday, June 30, 2006; A27

    Many Democrats discovered God in the 2004 exit polls.

    Specifically, they looked at the importance of religious voters to President Bush's majority and decided: We need some of those folks. Off Democrats went to their Bibles, finding every verse they could -- there are many -- describing the imperative to help the poor, battle injustice and set the oppressed free.

    Now, human beings often find God in unexpected places, so why shouldn't the exit polls be this era's answer to the burning bush? And a lot of Democrats insist, fairly, that they were people of faith long before the results of 2004 were tabulated.

    Yet there is often a terrible awkwardness among Democratic politicians when their talk turns to God, partly because they also know how important secular voters are to their coalition. When it comes to God, it's hard to triangulate.

    So, when a religious Democrat speaks seriously about the relationship of faith to politics, the understandable temptation is to see him as counting not his blessings but his votes. Thus did the Associated Press headline its early stories about Barack Obama's speech to religious progressives on Wednesday: "Obama: Democrats Must Court Evangelicals."

    Well, yes, Obama, the senator from Illinois who causes all kinds of Democrats to swoon, did indeed criticize "liberals who dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant." But a purely electoral reading of Obama's speech to the Call to Renewal conference here misses the point of what may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy's Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican. (You can decide on Obama's speech yourself: The text can be found at http://www.obama.senate.gov/speech .)

    Here's what stands out. First, Obama offers the first faith testimony I have heard from any politician that speaks honestly about the uncertainties of belief. "Faith doesn't mean that you don't have doubts," Obama declared. "You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it."

    In an interview yesterday, Obama didn't back away. "By definition, faith admits doubt," he said. "Otherwise, it isn't faith. . . . If we don't sometimes feel hopeless, then we're really insulating ourselves from the world around us."

    On the matter of church-state separation, Obama doesn't propose some contrived balancing act but embraces religion's need for independence from government. In a direct challenge to "conservative leaders," he argued that "they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice."

    "Folks tend to forget," he continued, "that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment," but "persecuted minorities" such as Baptists "who didn't want the established churches to impose their views."

    Like most liberals who are religious, Obama finds a powerful demand for social justice embedded in the great faith traditions. He took a swipe at those who would repeal the estate tax, saying this entailed "a trillion dollars being taken out of social programs to go to a handful of folks who don't need and weren't even asking for it."

    But he insisted that social improvement also requires individual transformation. When a gang member "shoots indiscriminately into a crowd . . . there's a hole in that young man's heart -- a hole that the government alone cannot fix." Contraception can reduce teen pregnancy rates, but so can "faith and guidance" which "help fortify a young woman's sense of self, a young man's sense of responsibility and a sense of reverence that all young people should have for the act of sexual intimacy."

    And if you think this sounds preachy, Obama has an answer: "Our fear of getting 'preachy' may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems."

    Obama's talk will inevitably be read as a road map for Democrats struggling to speak authentically to people of faith. It's certainly that, but it would be better read as a suggestion that both parties begin to think differently about the power of faith.

    "No matter how religious they may or may not be," Obama said, "people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack. They don't want faith used to belittle or to divide. They're tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon."

    I think I hear some rousing "Amens!" out there -- from Republicans no less than from Democrats.

    postchat@aol.com

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2006

    You know, I love the Lone Star Project, but...

    ... I have to ask: Is writing memoranda like this

    MEMO
    To: Interested Parties
    From: Matt Angle, Lone Star Project Director
    Date: June 22, 2006
    Contact Information: (202) 547-7610 - Fax (202) 547-8258
    On the web at http://www.lonestarproject.net/

    Re: Texas Redistricting and US Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court did not issue its opinion on Texas redistricting today. The next most likely days for a decision are Monday, June 26 and Thursday, June 29. The Lone Star Project will continue to monitor the case closely and keep you informed.


    REALLY the best use of Matt Angle's considerable talents?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:12 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    June 12, 2006

    Oh my Gawd!

    Can this possibly be true? Can a former SDEC member, who was administered a firm boot in the ass by his district's caucus, actually be trying to slink his way back onto the party's governing body dressed in treehugger drag?

    It seems that as part of the wheeling and dealing that went on Fort Worth over the past few days an agreement was reached to add four seats to the SDEC, two of which will be allocated to environmentalists and two to Asian-Americans. Who chooses the SDEC members for constituency groups? Usually they're named by the appropriate caucus in the party, which in this case might mean Texas Environmental Democrats. Of course, in these days of universal brouhaha, who knows what promises have already been made? For all we know, one of those seats could end up going to Lamar Smith, who was in town today to announce his heart-warming conversion to the wonders of solar energy.

    And that, boys and girls, is what happens when you don't pound the stake all the way through the heart.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2006

    Grassroots support rolls in for Boyd Richie

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    The Richie camp hailed the endorsement of a roll of astroturf, proclaiming it showed widespread grassroots support for the interim chair's sixteen-point inaction plan to make the Texas Democratic Party a strong second place contender.

    Healthy astroturf is just what this party needs. After the installation is complete in about a week, I'll be able to pretty much forget about it... except when I want to walk all over it.

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

    May 24, 2006

    State Chair Cheese : Bell Endorses Richie

    WOW. I know we're only a little over two weeks out from the TDP Convention, but am I the only one already tired of the campaign emails? Boyd, hermano, por favor no mas! I now have 7 pieces of collateral and one email to tell me Bell has endorsed you. All this is making my hole bleed.

    I have been on the campaign trail for more than a year, crisscrossing this great state to share my optimistic New Mainstream vision about building the best public schools in the country, creating a more ethical government and returning bold leadership to a state clearly crying out for it. All along the way, I have seen one candidate for Texas Democratic Party Chair show up time and time again: at the Donkey Fest in Gainesville; the annual Democratic banquet in Lubbock; Mexican American Democrats convention in El Paso; Tejano Democrats convention in Houston; the Rural Summit in Tyler - the list goes on and on. That candidate is Boyd Richie, and he is the leader who I have seen building the kind of statewide base that we will need to mobilize our party in the future and create a winning majority.” Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting “Texas Democrats are ready to lead again and Boyd Richie is ready to lead everyone in the Texas Democratic Party. Boyd has reached out beyond his political and geographic base to create important alliances with leaders in the minority communities - alliances he will work hard to strengthen going forward. He understands the challenges faced by working men and women in this day and age and will make sure that the labor movement continues to play a vital role in the Democratic Party. And he understands something incredibly important for our future: that we must attract more young people, give them opportunities to grow and make them active participants in the Texas Democratic Party!”

    “Boyd Richie and his wife, DNC Member Betty Richie, love the Texas Democratic Party and are completely devoted to seeing it thrive again. There are no two individuals I have enjoyed meeting more over the last twelve months; Boyd and Betty bring a warmth and dedication from which our party can greatly benefit and which we greatly need. As we move forward toward victory in November, I ask you as your party’s nominee for Governor to support Boyd Richie for Texas Democratic Party Chairman.”


    -Chris Bell, Democratic Nominee for Texas Governor

    Seriously. I'm voting for Chris, I'll even be one of the thousands across the State working for him this summer and fall. But please, Chris, keep out of the Chair's race. Win or lose in November, we have to work seriously on rebuilding the party and Boyd's not that guy. This is one of the those times when you have to put feelings aside and go with the person who can achieve the objective. While I like Richie, he's not the right person this time around.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    May 20, 2006

    Congressional Democrats should be on the offensive

    TNR has a good piece up (supersize for the full text) regarding calls for a presumptive Democratic majority in Congress next year to begin impeachment proceedings against el Presidente. While I would love to see the man gone, as TNR astutely points out, it's far more important to restore Congressional oversight of the Executive.

    What oversight Republicans have performed has been woefully inadequate. As documented by CQ Weekly in 2004, nearly every time a Republican chairman promises to pursue an investigation, he suddenly loses interest once the cameras turn away. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, once swore to "let the chips fall where they may" in his investigation of prewar intelligence. He then all but gave up on the probe until he was shamed into acting by Democrats. Even self-styled Republican mavericks have been timid. Richard Lugar once promised to use the Foreign Relations Committee to grill senior administration officials about their plan for Iraq. According to CQ, he "declared himself satisfied with lower-level administration witnesses after the higher-ranking ones he wanted refused to show." John McCain, the one Republican who tackled the Jack Abramoff investigation, essentially gave up on the inquiry once it started to threaten his party's pooh-bahs.

    Hear Me Now
    by the Editors
    Post date: 05.19.06
    Issue date: 05.29.06

    Nancy Pelosi, dare we say, did something smart last week. She told her Democratic colleagues, several of whom have become enamored with the idea of impeaching the president, that, if their party gains control of Congress, impeachment is verboten. "We want oversight and checks and balances," Pelosi's flack told reporters. "Impeachment was never her interest."

    These are dismal times for Republicans, and now they are even worse. Pelosi has effectively banished the specter of crazed Democrats returning to power to impeach President Bush, a handy bogeyman for Republican fund-raisers. The truth is, it is not impeachment Republicans fear; it's simply oversight. Since 2001, Congress has sat idle as the executive branch gradually proclaimed new powers for itself, and it has aided and abetted Bush's every failure by refusing to operate as a check on his administration. So, while Democrats are wise to distance themselves from the I-word, they shouldn't be bullied into abandoning promises to aggressively investigate the Bush administration. In fact, they should be running on the issue, not away from it.

    GOP control of Congress deserves to end this year, not least because Republicans have abused--and then abandoned--government oversight. Six years of chasing every wild accusation leveled against the Clinton administration have been followed by almost six years of near-total deference to the executive branch. In the Clinton years, a single House committee, Government Reform, issued over 1,000 subpoenas and spent millions of dollars investigating the White House and the Democratic Party. More than two million pages of documents were handed over. In one inquiry alone--the grave matter of the politicization of the White House Christmas list--Republicans took 140 hours of testimony.

    Nobody wants to return to those days--except perhaps to experience the sheer delight of watching a congressman solve the Vince Foster "murder" by shooting a pumpkin. But, in terms of congressional oversight, what has followed in the Bush years is even worse than the abuses of the Clinton years: nothing. Congress has brushed off the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. In the rubberstamp House of Representatives, the abuses at Abu Ghraib have merited a total of a dozen hours of sworn testimony. The use of propaganda by government agencies? A collective yawn from the GOP. The housing and urban development secretary's boast of denying federal grants to contractors who dislike Bush? Silence.

    What oversight Republicans have performed has been woefully inadequate. As documented by CQ Weekly in 2004, nearly every time a Republican chairman promises to pursue an investigation, he suddenly loses interest once the cameras turn away. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, once swore to "let the chips fall where they may" in his investigation of prewar intelligence. He then all but gave up on the probe until he was shamed into acting by Democrats. Even self-styled Republican mavericks have been timid. Richard Lugar once promised to use the Foreign Relations Committee to grill senior administration officials about their plan for Iraq. According to CQ, he "declared himself satisfied with lower-level administration witnesses after the higher-ranking ones he wanted refused to show." John McCain, the one Republican who tackled the Jack Abramoff investigation, essentially gave up on the inquiry once it started to threaten his party's pooh-bahs.

    Other Republicans have turned their committees into ideological tools to curry favor with interest groups. Religious conservatives have been rewarded with hearings on the benefits of faith-based services. Oil companies have been granted investigations about the benefits of drilling in Alaska. Pharmaceutical companies got public testimony about the dangers of buying prescription drugs from Canada. Any subject seems to take precedence over the Bush administration. Among the topics on the agenda of the Government Reform Committee for this Congress are: "Diploma Mills," "New Dietary Guidelines," and "the federal government's migration to Internet Protocol version 6."

    Republicans probably thought they were helping the president by abandoning oversight. But, facing no threat of congressional censure, the White House has had little incentive to govern more competently. The ultimate irony is that, after congressional Republicans have defended and protected the administration through all of its mistakes, voters may now take out their anger not on the president, but on his House and Senate enablers. If that happens, we say: Let the hearings begin.
    the Editors

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 19, 2006

    No Detroit for the Democrats in 2008

    If you're thinking about going to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 you're bound to be excited about the news that Detroit will NOT be hosting it. If you're like me, you're probably also elated that Dallas and Orlando (both known for their tropical rainforest-like temperatures in August) are also off the list. Actually, it's not just the weather. I hate Dallas (sorry Dallas readers... have you thought about moving to SA or Austin?) and Orlando, home of the 4:30 DINNER buffet, is just so lame.

    I honestly wasn't even aware that Detroit was still a US city. I thought the city had been purchased by Toyota in effort to gently put it out of it's misery.

    What? Didn't you see Old Yeller?

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

    May 15, 2006

    Perhaps I was too strident...

    I've received some comments over the weekend regarding my posts Friday on CSHB 1. While I make no apologies for either, I will allow that I may have been a tad strident in my irritation with D's in the Lege. And by a tad, I mean I was a super huge bitch.

    Sorry.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to erase the posts and I do think y'all fucked up huge. However, you had little to do with the miasma that ended up being CSHB 1. All y'all did on Friday was provide the bread on which the shit sandwich was served so it wouldn't get too messy. Thanks for that, yo!

    UPDATE : Rep. Pena, here's my sloppy wet kiss to you and the rest of the kids... Thanks for voting to send to conference!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:04 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    May 13, 2006

    Obstructionism and where the D's keep going wrong

    Perry, CradDICK and Dewhearse have their school finance victory and something better. They now have a Democratically blessed mechanism for turning public schools private. We have little to no credibility when criticizing the bills for leaving a massive hole in the State budget (otherwise known as 'Fiscal Irresponsibility, A Republican Hallmark' ), which they will beginning in 2008.

    It was going to happen regardless, the calender rules CradDICK forced early in the Session all but guaranteed that. So, why did almost all of the Democrats vote for this shit? There will be a ton of reasons given publicly. They'll down play the negatives of the Republican finance bills and play up the positives (it's called 'ignoring reality by focusing on wishful thinking'... some call it 'spin', I've always been partial to 'bullshit'). Privately, to party insiders, operatives and (to a lesser extent) activists they'll talk about how it would have been worse if they hadn't voted for it. They'd have been called obstructionists or worse, 'tax and spend liberals' who didn't want to vote for property tax relief.

    It's all bullshit. They ignored what the polls and constituents were telling them (while the R's do that all the time, they can get away with it because there's no real opposition in Texas) and went along with what they 'knew' (tax cuts were more important)... instead of what everyone was saying (FIX.OUR.SCHOOLS.ASSHOLES.). The D's didn't have any control over anything and therefore would have been OK for voting against this crap. Now, they've no excuse.

    People did want property tax relief. However, they weren't expecting the Lege to create a massive hole in the budget to do it. They were expecting new funding; They were expecting meaningful teacher pay increases; They were expecting better schools. They were willing to pay a little more for all of it and the R's failed to provide it. Instead of a bludgeon with which to beat them, Democrats drank the Kool-Aid and went along with it, losing the moral high ground and any ability to campaign on fighting bad Republican bills.

    The question this fall will be "If the Democrat who represents me is going to vote with the Republicans, why not vote for the Republican?" and the Democrats in the Lege have NOT A GODDAMN SOUL TO BLAME BUT THEMSELVES.

    How many times did Grover Norquist's name come up during this session, attacked PUBLICLY from the floor or with the press? How many times did any D make a public comment about Norquist's hand up CradDICK's ass? OR Dewhearse's? OR PERRY'S? You could have made the R's look weak as hell, a party completely intimidated by a DC cocksucker who'd rather see Texans poor and stupid than wealthy and educated. Another missed opportunity for the D's and their strategists. Could y'all suck more?

    Lastly, aside from the missed opportunities to shift the tax debate and attack the R's for who they really are, you guys got scared of being called obstructionists. Let me tell you something I know for sure and certain. Obstructionists win. Period. You hold out long enough and you always get what you want if you fight hard enough. The only conclusion I can draw is that you either don't know how to fight or have simply lost the taste for it. People can call you an obstructionist only so long before they start to look like whiney bitches. Then you make them pay by rubbing their face in shit.

    Maybe there is some grand plan... I certainly hope there is... and all this will make sense. However, from where I sit the Democratic members of the Lege just fucked over the people who have fought so hard to elect them.

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

    May 08, 2006

    Arkansastan latest Gulag for smokers

    Here's another reason not to venture too far north of 45th Street.

    House Bill 1046 started out as a joke to just about everyone but Bob Mathis. And now it’s his turn to laugh.

    Mathis’ bill simply bans smoking in all motor vehicles carrying children who are restrained in those seats. The bill carries a $ 25 fine, which can be waived if drivers prove they have entered a smoking cessation program.

    Violating the bill would be a “primary offense,” Mathis said, meaning police could use violations of the bill to justify pulling someone over.

    “And I’m tickled to death about it,” Mathis said.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 05, 2006

    Gas Tax Cut : A+ for effort, C- for policy

    I LOVE State Rep. Aaron Pena. No, not in THAT way, in the 'A Legislator I respect' kinda way so I was a little suprised to see his support of State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fisher's Gas Tax Holiday. I know they mean well and I'm sure they have polling that says they are doing the right thing.

    That being said, Martinez-Fisher's Gas Tax Holiday is, in my opinion, a bad idea. I understand the desire to do something, ANYTHING, to help out consumers. I get the time constraints of the special session and I also understand that tactically it's perceived to be a good move against the R's.

    Unfortunately, that's all a load of shit. Sorry, I'm not driking the Kool-Aid on this one...

    1) It's a pittance. Seriously. $4/per tank? YAY. I can buy a pack of cigarettes. Neat-o McNeaterson.
    2) It's self financing. Whatev. This is being paid for by money Texas is getting from the Federal Government for building highways. Sure, that money hasn't been spent anywhere yet, but it could be used to build a freeway to help ease congestion on our already congested roads. Instead, he wants to spend it on a temporary tax cut that won't do a thing but provide temporary relief. I'd rather have the road, pay a little more for gas and tell Krusee to go stick it.
    3) Does nothing to address the long term causes of high fuel costs like declines in the dollar making oil relatively more expensive, extremely tight refining capacity and independent retailers being dramatically reduced in number.
    4) R's can counter this easily.

    This is like giving Childrens Tylenol to someone whose just had their leg broken. And a few ribs.

    Here are some solutions...

    1) Create a massive tax on refiners who do not expand their capacity annually to meet growth in cars registered. Base it off the differential between their actual cost of crude and the spot wholesale price of fully fungible raw gasoline. If they're going to base retail off spot wholesale (instead of cost) then they should be taxed appropriately.
    2) Demand an immediate investigation to big oil's retail operations and collusion to buy and close independent retailers (has anyone else noticed that Racetrack became Texaco or should I drop still more hints).
    3) Use the money from item one to fund the following
    A) Technology incubator in Texas for high efficiency capacitors and battery systems as well as increasing fuel efficiency. Think MCC for cars.
    B) A 'rebate/incentive' for the purchase of a Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid automobile. Increase by 50% if at least 20% of the vehicle assembly took place in Texas.

    Something can and should be done about the ridiculously high price of gasoline. However, dropping a tax that funds roads in Texas, even for a short while, could potentially be more damaging to the economy than high fuel prices. Worse still, it's not nearly bold enough to fix the problem. We need bold vision and excellent execution. Fellas, this ain't it.


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    May 02, 2006

    Donna Shalala : Cashing in on health care

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOh, yeah... THAT Donna Shalala, the former HHS Secretary under Clinton who was such an active participant in Clinton's ill-fated universal health care initiative. Why the hell am I digging her up? You've probably heard about all the controversy surrounding UnitedHealth Care's BILLION dollar CEO. What you haven't heard a lot about is the Board of Directors of United which GAVE him that massive salary and bonus AT THE SAME TIME THEY WERE CUTTING BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES.

    Donna Shalala sits on that board. For her time, she's collecting $5mm/year. At a time when 40 million Americans are without health care insurance, she sits atop one of the companies making health care insurance so expensive. Thanks, Donna.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    April 29, 2006

    Tomasky : Democrats should 'seize the moment to reshape the debate'

    The American Prospect has a good piece up by Michael Tomasky about what the Democrats should do to seize the debate, not just focus on winning in 2006. I'm posting the whole thing after the fold and I hope you'll take a moment to read it.

    I think it should be part of a larger message... individual rights (like a woman's right to choose, or the right of homosexuals to marry) are part of the common good and help create a unified framework for a Democratic message. In short, WE ARE AMERICA... controlled by no one, working together to better ourselves and boldly creating an amazing future for our children.

    Party in Search of a Notion
    The opportunity before the Democrats is far bigger than a few House and Senate seats if they can recognize -- and seize -- this unique historical moment.

    By Michael Tomasky
    Issue Date: 05.04.06

    Print Friendly | Email Article

    The Democrats are feeling upbeat these days, and why not? The Republican president and vice president have lost the country’s confidence. The Republican-controlled Congress is a sump of corruption, sycophancy, and broken principle. Races in the midterm election that Democratic leaders wouldn’t have dreamed of a few months ago are in play (the Senate seat in Tennessee!). A recent poll showed Democrats with a gaping 16-point lead over Republicans this fall. Seizing on the issues of corruption and incompetence, the party might even take back the House or the Senate -- or both.

    The prevailing conventional wisdom in Washington -- that the Democrats have no idea what they stand for -- has recently been put to the test in persuasive ways. In an important piece in the May issue of The Washington Monthly, Amy Sullivan demonstrates that the Democrats have in fact become a disciplined and effective opposition party. From their Social Security victory to George W. Bush’s backing down on his post-Katrina changes to the Davis-Bacon law to the Dubai ports deal, the Democrats have dealt the administration a series of defeats -- each of which took a reflexive media, still accustomed to hitting F9 to spit out the words “Democrats in disarray,” by complete surprise. More than that, the Democrats do have ideas; it’s just that no one bothers to cover them.

    The party has discipline, a tactical strategy as the opposition, and a more than respectable roster of policy proposals waiting to be considered should Democrats become the majority again. It’s quite different from, say, three years ago. But let’s not get carried away. There remains a missing ingredient -- the crucial ingredient of politics, the factor that helps unite a party (always a coalition of warring interests), create majorities, and force the sort of paradigm shifts that happened in 1932 and 1980. It’s the factor they need to think about if their goal is not merely to win elections but to govern decisively after winning them.

    What the Democrats still don’t have is a philosophy, a big idea that unites their proposals and converts them from a hodgepodge of narrow and specific fixes into a vision for society. Indeed, the party and the constellation of interests around it don’t even think in philosophical terms and haven’t for quite some time. There’s a reason for this: They’ve all been trained to believe -- by the media, by their pollsters -- that their philosophy is an electoral loser. Like the dogs in the famous “learned helplessness” psychological experiments of the 1960s -- the dogs were administered electrical shocks from which they could escape, but from which, after a while, they didn’t even try to, instead crouching in the corner in resignation and fear -- the Democrats have given up attempting big ideas. Any effort at doing so, they’re convinced, will result in electrical (and electoral) shock.

    But is that as true as it appears? Certainly, today’s Democrats can’t simply return to the philosophy that was defeated in the late 1970s. But at the same time, let’s recognize a new historical moment when we see one: Today, for the first time since 1980, it is conservative philosophy that is being discredited (or rather, is discrediting itself) on a scale liberals wouldn’t have dared imagine a few years ago. An opening now exists, as it hasn’t in a very long time, for the Democrats to be the visionaries. To seize this moment, the Democrats need to think differently -- to stop focusing on their grab bag of small-bore proposals that so often seek not to offend and that accept conservative terms of debate. And to do that, they need to begin by looking to their history, for in that history there is an idea about liberal governance that amounts to more than the million-little-pieces, interest-group approach to politics that has recently come under deserved scrutiny and that can clearly offer the most compelling progressive response to the radical individualism of the Bush era.

    * * *

    For many years -- during their years of dominance and success, the period of the New Deal up through the first part of the Great Society -- the Democrats practiced a brand of liberalism quite different from today’s. Yes, it certainly sought to expand both rights and prosperity. But it did something more: That liberalism was built around the idea -- the philosophical principle -- that citizens should be called upon to look beyond their own self-interest and work for a greater common interest.

    This, historically, is the moral basis of liberal governance -- not justice, not equality, not rights, not diversity, not government, and not even prosperity or opportunity. Liberal governance is about demanding of citizens that they balance self-interest with common interest. Any rank-and-file liberal is a liberal because she or he somehow or another, through reading or experience or both, came to believe in this principle. And every leading Democrat became a Democrat because on some level, she or he believes this, too.

    I remember my moment of epiphany clearly. It was early 1981; Ronald Reagan had taken office. I was toying, at the time, with some conservative notions -- not because I believed them, but mostly to engage in that time-honored sport of 20-year-old men everywhere: to traduce the old man. Reagan had just fired the air-traffic controllers. Dad and I were in the car, our Ford Granada, driving somewhere; I said (I cringe to confess this in print) something about the strike being illegal -- Reagan’s line, then being aped on television by such TV loudmouths as existed in that distant age. “Michael,” he thundered (and he could thunder, all right!), “all strikes are illegal! That’s part of the point!” Hmmm. It hadn’t quite occurred to me that maybe there was more to the story than the television savants were letting on. He’d overstated the case a bit (all strikes aren’t illegal), but in doing so, my father had asked me to think, and his request led me to consider things in a light I hadn’t before -- about the PATCO workers, yes; but about history and money and power, about the mine workers so central to the place where I grew up (Morgantown, West Virginia) and to my father’s life (he was a United Mine Workers shop steward as a young man, before he got his law degree); about the precept that real thought and engagement on my part required looking beyond first assumptions, examining a problem from points of view other than my own, and considering any action’s impact on the whole society.

    This is the only justification leaders can make to citizens for liberal governance, really: That all are being asked to contribute to a project larger than themselves.

    In terms of political philosophy, this idea of citizens sacrificing for and participating in the creation of a common good has a name: civic republicanism. It’s the idea, which comes to us from sources such as Rousseau’s social contract and some of James Madison’s contributions to the Federalist Papers, that for a republic to thrive, leaders must create and nourish a civic sphere in which citizens are encouraged to think broadly about what will sustain that republic and to work together to achieve common goals. This is what Dad asked me to understand that day in our Granada.

    * * *

    This is what Democrats used to ask of people. Political philosophers argue about when they stopped; Michael Sandel believes that republicanism died with the New Deal. But for me, it’s clear that the great period of liberal hegemony in this country was, in fact, a period when citizens were asked to contribute to a project larger than their own well-being. And, crucially, it was a period when citizens (a majority of them, at least) reciprocally understood themselves to have a stake in this larger project. The New Deal, despite what conservative critics have maintained since the 1930s, did not consist of the state (the government) merely handing out benefices to the nation (the people), turning citizens into dependent wards; it engaged and ennobled people: Social Security and all the jobs programs and rural electrification plans and federal mortgage-insurance programs were examples of the state giving people the tools to improve their own lives while improving the collective life of the country (to say nothing of the way Franklin Roosevelt rallied Americans to common purpose in fighting through the Depression and the war). Harry Truman turned the idea of common purpose outward to the rest of the world, enacting the Marshall Plan, creating NATO and other regional alliances, exhorting Americans to understand that they belonged to a community larger than even their country. John Kennedy engaged Americans precisely at the level of asking them to sacrifice for a common good, through the things that are obvious to us -- the Peace Corps, and of course “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” -- and through things that history’s fog has made less obvious (his relentless insistence that victory in the Cold War could be truly achieved only through improvement at home, which would require sacrifice and civic engagement).

    Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, until it washed up on the bone-strewn beaches of Vietnam and New Left–driven atomization, fit the paradigm, too. Consider just the first two sentences of Johnson’s remarks upon signing the Civil Rights Act: “I am about to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I want to take this occasion to talk to you about what that law means to every American.” Not black people. Not Southerners. Not even “our nation.” Every American -- the words gave citizens agency and a stake in seeing that this unprecedented social experiment would succeed. In March 1965, Johnson again emphasized every American’s stake in the fight for equal rights: “should we defeat every enemy, and should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. ... Their cause must be our cause, too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it’s all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.”

    What Johnson and his advisers knew, just as Hubert Humphrey down Pennsylvania Avenue in the Senate knew, was that desegregation would fail if the matter were put to the American people only in terms of the rights of those directly affected; it had to be presented as advancing the common good. This was a core belief for these Democrats (besides which, they knew -- and their testimony on this point is amply demonstrated in books and memoirs and the like -- that their programs would never get through Congress if they lacked this element).

    Today’s Democratic Party has completely lost connection with this principle. How and when did this happen? Against this small-r republican tradition that posits sacrifice for larger, universalist purposes is another tradition that has propelled American liberalism, that indeed is what the philosophers call liberalism proper: from Locke and Mill up to John Rawls in our time, a greater emphasis on the individual (and, later, the group), on tolerance, on rights, and on social justice. In theory, it is not inevitable that these two traditions must clash. But in the 1960s, it was inevitable that they did. And it is clear which side has won the argument within the Democratic Party.

    * * *

    The old liberalism got America out of depression, won the war against fascism, built the middle class, created global alliances, and made education and health care far closer to universal than they had ever been. But there were things it did not do; its conception of the common good was narrow -- completely unacceptable, in fact, to us today. Japanese Americans during World War II and African Americans pretty much ever were not part of that common good; women were only partially included. Because of lack of leadership and political expediency (Roosevelt needing the South, for example), this liberalism had betrayed liberal principle and failed millions of Americans. Something had to give.

    At first, some Democrats -- Johnson and Humphrey, for example, and even some Republicans back then -- tried to expand the American community to include those who had been left behind. But the political process takes time, and compromise; young people and black people and poor people were impatient, and who could blame them? By 1965, ’66, ’67, the old liberalism’s failures, both domestically and in Vietnam, were so apparent as to be crushing. A new generation exposed this “common good” as nothing more than a lie to keep power functioning, so as not to disturb the “comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom” that Herbert Marcuse described in 1964 in one of the more memorable phrases of the day. Activists at the time were convinced -- and they were not particularly wrong -- that the old liberalism, far from nurturing a civic sphere in which all could deliberate and whose bounty all could enjoy, had created this unfreedom. The only response was to shatter it.

    That was the work, of course, of New Left groups like Students for a Democratic Society, the (post-1965) Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and a host of others. Other activists opposed the shattering -- to the contrary, their goal was to make the Democratic Party more inclusive. But even this more salutary impulse could be excessive, as with the famous example of the Cook County delegation to the 1972 Democratic Convention, in which, of the 59 delegates, only three were Poles. Many in the Democratic Party of that era opposed these attempts at inclusion and new social-justice efforts vehemently. But in time, the party rid itself of those elements, and some of the ’60s activists became Democratic operatives and even politicians. The stance of radical oppositionism dissipated as the ’60s flamed out; but the belief system, which devalued the idea of the commons, held fast and became institutionalized within the Democratic Party. The impact on the party was that the liberal impulse that privileged social justice and expansion of rights was now, for the first time, separated entirely from the civic-republican impulse of the common good. By the 1970s, some social programs -- busing being the most obvious example -- were pursued not because they would be good for every American, but because they would expand the rights of some Americans. The old Johnsonian formulation was gone. Liberalism, and the Democratic Party, lost the language of advancing the notion that a citizen’s own interest, even if that citizen did not directly benefit from such-and-such a program, was bound up in the common interest. Democrats were now asking many people to sacrifice for a greater good of which they were not always a part.

    Toss in inflation, galloping under a new Democratic president; a public, especially a white urban public, tiring of liberal failures on the matters of crime and decline; the emergence of these new things, social issues, which hadn’t been very central to politics before but became a permanent fixture of the landscape now; the Iranian hostage crisis; and the funding on a huge scale, unprecedented in our history, of a conservative intellectual class and polemical apparatus. Toss in also the rise of interest-group pluralism: the proliferation of single-issue advocacy organizations. All supported good causes, but their dominance intensified the stratification. They presented Democrats with questionnaires to fill out, endorsements to battle for, sentences to be inserted into speeches, and favors to be promised -- and not just at election time; but even more importantly, when it came time to govern.

    * * *

    By 1980, Reagan had seized the idea of the common good. To be sure, it was a harshly conservative variant that quite actively depended on white middle-class resentment. But to its intended audience, his narrative was powerful, a clean punch landed squarely on the Democratic glass jaw. The liberals had come to ask too much of regular people: You, he said to the middle-class (and probably white) American, have to work hard and pay high taxes while welfare cheats lie around the house all day, getting the checks liberal politicians make sure they get; you follow the rules while the criminals go on their sprees and then get sprung by shifty liberal lawyers. For a lot of (white) people, it was powerful. And, let’s face it, manipulative as it was, it wasn’t entirely untrue, either!

    Bill Clinton took several important steps to address this, and to recapture the notion of the common good. He was quite attuned to the sometimes heated academic debates of the 1980s that pitted liberalism against republicanism and the then-new school of thought called communitarianism. With some programs, Clinton strove toward a kind of civic-republican liberalism: notably AmeriCorps, his program of national and community service that has been a noble attempt to create a sense of civic obligation among young people, even if it has never quite penetrated the national consciousness.

    But, after the health-care fiasco, he didn’t really use political capital (he would argue that he didn’t have any, and he’d have a point) to try to build a liberalism of the common good. Here, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) enters the story. The DLC did have its own conception of the common good; indeed, the DLC, along with the communitarians, introduced the vocabulary of “rights and responsibilities” as a way to restore a civic-republican impulse to Democratic politics. Adding that word “responsibilities” was seen by many liberals as racial code, but, to be fair, the DLC also proposed, for example, an aggressive corporate-welfare program in the 1990s (that is, responsibility for the corporate body, too).

    On balance, adding “responsibilities” was a useful rhetorical corrective. But in the real world, it ended up applying chiefly to poor black women (i.e., welfare reform); the corporate-welfare plans went nowhere. Why? Because what the DLC gave up on, by and large, was government -- a belief in public-sector answers to large and pressing problems. If the rights-based activists of the 1960s were guilty of defenestrating the idea of the common good, then the centrists of the 1980s and early 1990s were guilty of pushing too far in the other direction -- the direction of a too-extreme reticence about state interventionism, and of trying to make the rights crowd just shut up. Also -- of dressing up small and innocuous proposals in the garb of world-historical significance. The common good was said to be waiting to be rekindled not in the idea that capital should be taxed just as highly as wages, or in large-scale investments in public infrastructure, but in the form of the V-chip.

    For all his important successes, Clinton’s broadest appeal was to people’s self-interest; “I feel your pain.” (Let’s stop and appreciate that this was quite an achievement at the time, to make voters identify their self-interest with a Democrat!) Meanwhile, even though the party controlled the presidency, it lost the Senate, the House, many statehouses, and several state legislatures. In philosophical terms, the 1990s was really a decade of conservative advancement -- checked and meliorated by the presence of a reasonably progressive president, but an age when the attacks on liberal governance that started in the late 1970s really took root, well below the level of the presidency, creating this thing “Red America,” making the Gingrich revolution possible, and laying the groundwork for the second Bush era. Then came September 11, and Iraq, and a bulldozing Congress. Democrats were lost in the woods, completely disconnected from their mission and history.

    * * *

    So where does this leave today’s Democrats? A more precise way to ask the question is this: What principle or principles unites them all, from Max Baucus to Maxine Waters and everyone in between, and what do they demand that citizens believe?

    As I’ve said, they no longer ask them to believe in the moral basis of liberal governance, in demanding that citizens look beyond their own self-interest. They, or many of them, don’t really ask citizens to believe in government anymore. Or taxes, or regulation -- oh, sort of on regulation, but only some of them, and only occasionally, when something happens like the mining disasters in my home state earlier this year. They do ask Americans to believe that middle-income people should get a fair shake, but they lack the courage to take that demand to the places it should logically go, like universal health coverage. And, of course, on many issues the party is ideologically all over the place; if you were asked to paint the party’s belief system, the result would resemble a Pollock.

    At bottom, today’s Democrats from Baucus to Waters are united in only two beliefs, and they demand that American citizens believe in only two things: diversity and rights.

    Sometime last fall, after John Roberts’ Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearings but before the full vote, I was on a conference call set up by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid with a few reporters and bloggers. The Nation’s Eric Alterman wanted to know whether Reid would make the Roberts nomination a party-line vote. No, he said; but he himself would be opposing Roberts. His stated reason: Roberts’ refusal to apologize to Chuck Schumer during the hearings for his use of the phrase “illegal amigos” in a 1983 White House memo. Let’s agree that Roberts should have apologized, said it was a poor attempt at humor. Let’s even say that it does demonstrate a certain attitude that is inappropriate to this day and age. But honestly -- of all the many reasons to oppose Roberts’ elevation to the Chief Justice’s chair, this is the main one cited by the top-ranking Democrat in the country? Like a bungling politician in a Milan Kundera novel, here is brave Reid, ready to defend the polity, not against reactionary interpretations of the establishment clause or executive power, but against a 20-year-old politically incorrect joke!

    Don’t misunderstand me. It’s one of the transcendent victories of contemporary liberalism, in an era when victories have been few, to consecrate diversity as a societal end, a legitimate measure of a good and complete society. Far from having been an invention of ’60s radicals, it is in fact rooted deep in the liberal tradition, in that Lockean tradition of tolerance. It’s a marvelous thing that this is one historical battle we seem (for now at least, as we brace for the Roberts-Alito era) to have won. Here I think back to 1995, when the Gingrich revolutionaries, and Bob Dole, wanted to pass legislation banning or curtailing affirmative action. Sharpening their knives, they went to their friends in corporate America: The time is right, they said; let’s scuttle these racial preferences. To their consternation, they didn’t have many takers. Corporate leaders said, well, we’ve spent a lot of time (and money) developing diversity policies, and they’re working rather nicely. Imagine! The principle of diversity supported by a mostly Republican group to such an extent that Congress was taken aback. The revolutionaries dropped it, left it to the courts. These corporations were in fact making a common-good argument to the revolutionaries: Diversity has served us well as a whole, enriched us. And it’s not just corporate America: All over the country, white attitudes on race, straight peoples’ attitudes toward gay people, have changed dramatically for the better. These attitudes have changed because liberals and (most) Democrats decided that diversity was a principle worth defending on its own terms. Put another way, they decided to demand of citizens that they come to terms with diversity. So it can work, this demanding.

    On the question of rights, the story is more mixed. Liberals were chagrined, after 9-11, to see the percentages of Americans who told pollsters they were willing to sacrifice some liberties for security, and more recently that only a very slim majority thought warrantless spying was a bad idea. But even this narrative isn’t all bad. Majorities support all manner of rights, if with asterisks -- to an abortion under many conditions, to privacy unless you’re a terrorist, to a fair trial even if you are a terrorist, to free speech unless you’re inciting to riot. Americans are actually better about this than the French or the British, or just about anyone, really. Again, liberals (with an assist from the Founders) placed this demand on citizens, and a majority of citizens responded.

    But diversity and rights cannot be the only goods that Democrats demand citizens accept. For liberalism to succeed, they have to exist alongside an idea of a common good. When they don’t, things are out of balance, corrupted; and liberalism is open to the sort of attack made by Stanley Fish on The New York Times op-ed page back in February. Liberalism, he wrote, is “the religion of letting it all hang out”; its “first tenet” is that “everything (at least in the realm of expression and ideas) is to be permitted, but nothing is to be taken seriously.”

    This is preposterous, and the column drew many angry (and intelligent) letters. But unfortunately, I suspect that many Americans -- not just people on the right, many not-terribly-political people -- believe that Fish described liberalism precisely. Anything goes, man, because we don’t really think about how a given action affects the community; we just care about whether, in questioning that action, the community is trampling on the actor’s rights. We’re in an age today -- the age of Guantanamo, of withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions, and of illegal spying justified as executive necessity -- when rights must be guarded with special care. But to think of every mode of action in terms of whether it can be enshrined as a right is a habit of mind that can lead our fellow citizens not to take us as seriously as we want them to when we talk about these other very real infringements on rights.

    Liberals and Democrats of the 1960s had to abandon common-good conceptions in favor of rights and social-justice ideas when they decided that the older liberalism had failed on too many fronts and they could no longer delay the work of securing the full rights of those Americans who hadn’t had them. Their decision was necessary and courageous, even if some of them and their followers did spin off into radical and profoundly anti-majoritarian directions.

    But that decision is now 40 years old. And, yet, that mode of thought still governs much about the way the Democratic Party, its interest groups, and liberal activists think and act today. And many of those who don’t think and act this way, those Democrats who fight this brand of liberalism, have gone too far down the other road -- so chary of anything that smacks of the old-time liberal religion that they too readily embrace a new one so promiscuously ecumenical, so intent on proving that it carries none of that old baggage, that it makes room for things like voting for last year’s bankruptcy bill and supporting, still, the war in Iraq. Both roads are philosophical dead ends. They’re also political dead ends, the former potentially alienating moderates, the latter giving rise to indifference and disgust in the party’s base. It’s time for something new that stands a chance of reaching both of those groups.

    * * *

    The Democrats need to become the party of the common good. They need a simple organizing principle that is distinct from Republicans and that isn’t a reaction to the Republicans. They need to remember what made liberalism so successful from 1933 to 1966, that reciprocal arrangement of trust between state and nation. And they need to take the best parts of the rights tradition of liberalism and the best parts of the more recent responsibilities tradition and fuse them into a new philosophy that is both civic-republican and liberal -- that goes back to the kind of rhetoric Johnson used in 1964 and 1965, that attempts to enlist citizens in large projects to which everyone contributes and from which everyone benefits.

    Arguing for it is the only way that Democrats can come to stand for something clear and authoritative again. It’s not enough in our age, after the modern conservative ascendancy, to stand for activist government, or necessary taxes and regulation, or gay marriage, or abortion rights, or evolution, or the primacy of science, or universal health care, or affirmative action, or paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants, or college education for all, or environmental protection, or more foreign aid, or a comprehensive plan to foster democracy in the Arab world, or any of the other particular and necessary things that Democrats do or should support; it isn’t enough to stand for any of those things per se. Some of them have been discredited to the broad public, while others are highly contentious and leave the Democrats open to the same old charges. And those that aren’t contentious or discredited suffer the far worse problem of being uninteresting: They’re just policies, and voters don’t, and should not be expected to, respond to policies. Voters respond to ideas, and Democrats can stand for an idea: the idea that we’re all in this -- post-industrial America, the globalized world, and especially the post–9-11 world in which free peoples have to unite to fight new threats -- together, and that we have to pull together, make some sacrifices, and, just sometimes, look beyond our own interests to solve our problems and create the future.

    The common good is common sense, and the historical time is right for it, for two reasons. First, what I’m trying to describe here is post-ideological in the best sense, a sense that could have broader appeal than what we normally think of as liberal ideology, because what’s at the core of this worldview isn’t ideology. It’s something more innately human: faith. Not religious faith. Faith in America and its potential to do good; faith that we can build a civic sphere in which engagement and deliberation lead to good and rational outcomes; and faith that citizens might once again reciprocally recognize, as they did in the era of Democratic dominance, that they will gain from these outcomes. Maintaining such a faith is extraordinarily difficult in the face of the right-wing noise machine and a conservative movement that, to put it mildly, do not engage in good-faith civic debate. Conservatism can succeed on such a cynical basis; its darker view of human nature accepts discord as a fact of life and exploits it. But for liberalism, which is grounded in a more benign view of human nature, to succeed, the most persuasive answer to bad faith, as Martin Luther King showed, is more good faith. All Americans are not Bill O’Reilly fans or Wall Street Journal editorialists. While they may not call themselves liberals, many of them -- enough of them -- are intelligent people who want to be inspired by someone to help their country.

    The second reason this could succeed is simple: the Bush years. By 2008, we will have lived through seven-plus years of an administration that has done almost nothing for the common good, that has unleashed the most rapacious social Darwinism we’ve seen in this country for at least 80 years, and that has catered to its interest groups far more, at once more obsequiously and more arrogantly, than even the Mondale-era Democrats did. Americans are, and will be, ready for something very different.

    Here, I can even offer some proof. A March 2006 research project by the Center for American Progress (CAP) asked 900 Americans of all political stripes a series of questions about the role of faith and values in public life. The numbers, shared with me and about to be released publicly, support the contention that Americans recognize the absence of a common good in civic life and yearn for some leadership that will do something about it. The survey asked respondents whether they agreed with a series of 12 assertions about American life today; 68 percent strongly agreed with the assertion that “our government should be committed to the common good.” This placed second only to “Americans are becoming too materialistic” (71 percent); it tied with “our government should uphold basic decency and dignity,” which is a similar sentiment, and it came in well ahead of such conservative chestnuts as “religion is on the decline in America” (41 percent) and “not enough Americans know right from wrong anymore” (46 percent). Respondents were then given an opportunity to offer open-ended descriptions of what the phrase “‘the common good’ means to you personally.” As with any open-ended poll question, answers were all over the lot, but the two most frequently volunteered answers used language that could have been plucked from this essay: “Good for all concerned/involved/more than individual” (20 percent), and “Good for the majority/not just for the few” (15 percent). One poll isn’t conclusive, of course; but this one strongly suggests a nascent sentiment that Democrats can tap into.

    * * *

    Two things have to happen before the Democrats will be able to do this. First, the way interest-group politics are done in today’s Democratic Party just has to change. I’m not the first to observe this recently -- indeed, momentum is gathering behind this view, although it’s still a long way from being a consensus one. In their controversial 2004 paper, “The Death of Environmentalism,” Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger blasted the environmental movement’s tactical narrowness and outdated intellectual frameworks. In their perceptive and passionate new book Crashing the Gate, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and Jerome Armstrong rebuke liberal interest groups for a variety of sins, notably of feeling the need to endorse a few moderate Republicans for Congress even though those Republicans, while they might have acceptable records on issue X, Y, or Z, will go on to make Bill Frist the majority leader and Dennis Hastert the speaker -- and with that single vote, more than cancel out whatever nice things they do when nothing’s on the line.

    This kind of politics is shallow, it’s shortsighted, it’s anti-progressive, and it nullifies the idea that there might even be a common good. Interest groups need to start thinking in common-good terms. Much of the work done by these groups, and many of their goals, are laudable. But if they can’t justify that work and those goals in more universalist terms rather than particularist ones, then they just shouldn’t be taken seriously. Immigration policy can’t be chiefly about the rights of undocumented immigrants; it needs to be about what’s good for the country. Similarly with civil-rights policy -- affirmative action, say, which will surely be up for review one day again when a case reaches the Roberts court. As I noted above, when talking about Gingrich’s failure in 1995, there exist powerful common-good arguments for affirmative action. In addition to the idea that diversity enriches private-sector environments, affirmative action has been the most important single factor in the last 40 years in the broad expansion of the black middle class, which in turn (as more blacks and whites work and live together) has dramatically improved race relations in this county, which has been good, as LBJ would put it, for every American.

    The second thing that has to happen is that Democrats must lead -- the interest groups and the rest of us -- toward this new paradigm. Someone in the party has to decide to bust the mold. I dream of the Democratic presidential candidate who, in his -- or her -- announcement speech in August 2007 says something like the following: “To the single-issue groups arrayed around my party, I say this. I respect the work you do and support your causes. But I won’t seek and don’t want your endorsement. My staff and I won’t be filling out any questionnaires. You know my track record; decide from it whether I’ll be a good president. But I am running to communicate to Americans that I put the common interest over particular interests.” Okay, I said it was a dream. But there it is -- in one bold stroke, a candidate occupies the highest moral ground available to politicians: to be unbought and unbossed.

    It’s hard for groups to change, and they must be given a reason to do so -- a stake in a new paradigm and an assurance that their interests will not be tossed to the side. The answer is that, if Democrats are permitted to adopt a new philosophy and practice their politics differently -- and, if Democratic leaders rise to the occasion -- the prevailing situation in this country could change dramatically for the better, and that would benefit all their causes in the long run. I can’t sketch out the implications of the framework I propose for every policy issue -- those implications will be a matter of civic negotiation. But I can say that a new civic-republican liberalism can justify collective action far more powerfully and persuasively than anything the Democrats have done or said in a long time. Such arguments can be constructed on behalf of almost every single thing the party purports to stand for: health-care coverage for those without it, the need to protect the planet and take global warming seriously, energy independence, asset-building for African Americans and other disproportionately poor groups, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and more. Such rhetoric can surely be wedded effectively to core economic matters. Last month in these pages, my colleague Harold Meyerson wrote brilliantly about the crisis of the American economy [see “Not Your Father’s Detroit,” The American Prospect, April 2006] -- about the need for an industrial policy that addresses the flight of jobs, the health-care and pension crises, and the rest. If the Democrats, when addressing these concerns, sound like they’re offering one more sop to big labor, they will inaugurate the same old round of embittered cat-calling; if their proposals are rooted in notions of communal sacrifice toward a greater good in which all citizens will have a stake and a share, the terms of the debate are changed.

    There are potential dangers here and they should be noted. A too-aggressive common-good framework can discard liberty and rights; after all, Bush uses a conservative kind of common-good rhetoric to defend his spying program (he’s protecting us from attack). Democrats have to guard against this; a common good that isn’t balanced by concern for liberty can be quasi-authoritarian (“coercive,” as the political philosophers call it). Common-good rhetoric and action must be tethered to progressive ends and must operate within the constitutional framework of individual liberty against state encroachment.

    But there’s an awful lot of maneuvering room between where the Democratic Party is today and coercion; it’s the territory of civic deliberation toward a larger common interest, and there are positive signs that some are exploring it. In South Dakota, where legislators recently passed the country’s most draconian abortion ban, pro-choice advocates have done something very interesting. They decided not to sue. Instead they’re circulating petitions to hold a referendum on the law. The Los Angeles Times reports that “even in the most conservative corners of this conservative state, both Republicans and Democrats -- including a few who say they oppose abortion -- are eagerly signing the petition.” We don’t know that their effort will prevail. But we already know that using the political process in this way is a huge improvement over running yet again to the courts. In the long run, showing faith in this kind of democratically negotiated outcome is far better for liberalism.

    Some will say that asking Americans to look beyond their own self-interest and participate in a common good will fail, either because it failed before (the 1960s) or because such a request can succeed only in rare moments -- a time of war or of deep domestic crisis. But that isn’t what failed in the ’60s. The first half of the ’60s, the civic-republican liberal half, succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The second half, the half that ditched the common good, is what failed, and it failed for precisely the reason that it did so. And yes, it may be that the times when such appeals can work are comparatively rare in American history.

    But what if, as the CAP poll suggests, this is one of those moments? We are not in a Depression-like crisis, perhaps; but thanks to the efforts of the Bush administration we are on the precipice of several crises, and it’s not just liberals who recognize this. Many of our fellow citizens, bitterly disappointed by a leadership in which they had placed an extraordinary amount of trust back in September 2001, recognize it, too.

    The Democrats must grasp this, kick some old habits, and realize that we are on the verge of a turning point. The Democratic left wants it to be 1968 in perpetuity; the Democratic center wishes for 1992 to repeat itself over and over again. History, however, doesn’t oblige such wishes -- it rewards those who recognize new moments as they arise. It might just be that the Bush years, these years of civic destruction and counterfeit morality, have provided the Democrats the opening to argue on behalf of civic reconstruction and genuine public morality. If they do it the right way, they can build a politics that will do a lot more than squeak by in this fall’s (or any) elections based on the usual unsatisfying admixture of compromises. It can smash today’s paradigm to pieces. The country needs nothing less. The task before today’s Democratic Party isn’t just to eke out electoral victories; it’s to govern, and to change our course in profound ways. I’d like to think they can do it. But the Democrats must become republicans first.
    © 2006 by The American Prospect, Inc.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 05, 2006

    Proactive vs. Reactive or WAKE THE FUCK UP

    The resignation (or whatever we're calling it) of Tom 'Bugsy' DeLay has pointed out a very real flaw in Democratic strategy. WE helped drive that along and now may be unable to take advantage of it. A huge part of Nick Lampson's (the D runnning in Tom's district) strategy, aside from being a fantastic candidate, was to run AGAINST DeLay. He can, of course, still try but it'll be real obvious real soon that the game has changed. Nick will be OK because whoever the R ends up being on the other side of the ballot, he's got a positive message. Other Democrats (nationally) do not.

    We are a party that has amazing ideas and tremendous energy that our leaders are content to squander while waiting for a perfect storm that will sweep away the opposition and return them to power. That's what a bad opportunist does and it never works out well for them. A good opportunist is waiting for the storm to begin, then they add to it.

    Our leaders are too afraid of their own shadows to put one foot in front of the other and step boldly out in front of the public to offer a different point of view. While they are afraid of their shadows, they are terrified of what Republicans MIGHT do. So, they wait patiently for demographic shifts and talk shallowly about their ideas, scared to go too far lest they bring on the wrath of neo-cons and religious zealots whose policies have led this country down a disasterous path.

    Luckily, we DO have some Democrats at the national level who, for lack of a better phrase, GET IT. Think Feingold and Boxer... not so much with Hillary and Kerry.

    Until Democrats start really being themselves things will continue to be hard for those of us on the front lines. So, when you hear some jackass talk about 'Democrat's have to ideas' don't get pissed at them or the Republicans. It's our own damn fault for electing leaders who'd rather prevaricate than lead.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 24, 2006

    Biden my time watching an asshole...

    Sen. Joe 'MBNA's Bitch' Biden is seeking the Democraticnomination for President in 2008. I will be voting in the primaries in 2008 and I will enjoy voting for ANYONE OTHER THAN MBNA'S BITCH. To say I hate this man would be an understatement akin to 'we kinda messed up on the intelligence leading up to the Iraq invasion'. He's absolutely, positively, useless. The single issue Democrats will love him as he'll cater to them and their too God damn stupid to get that while he may limply support their pet cause, he's selling their financial well being down a river.

    Jo-Jo, GIVE IT THE FUCK UP.

    People of Delaware... this is the best you bitches can do? For fucksake, elect someone who's not going to make it easier for you to be forced into abject poverty.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 17, 2006

    The New Republic or SSDD

    The New Republic, that ever edgy, always on point mouthpiece for the Democratic Leadership Council sent out their daily digest with not one but TWO articles castigating Sen. Russ Feingold for his resolution to censure the President. The first one is ostensibly a piece about the talking points the GOP will likely use this fall. The author does manage to drill down pretty quick to the real message... that Feingold's resolution hurts Democrats.

    Mark me down as someone who thinks all the talk of censure and impeachment--let alone any substantive steps in that direction--is a horrible, horrible idea that could benefit no one but a Democratic presidential contender or two.

    So it doesn't help anyone but Feingold? Gee, I always thought that pointing out the failures and incompetence of Republicans, personified by none other than the guy Sen. Feingold is resolving to censure, is always helpful to Democrats looking to differentiate themselves from those same Republicans. One thing that's always bugged me about DLC folks is that they don't understand a simple truth about Americans... people WANT and NEED to see a difference and calling bullshit on bad work is never a mistake. Of course, Democrats need their own positive agenda. Still, to get people to open their ears for that agenda you first have to show the other side is failing. BADLY. The great part about it is that the Republicans are making it extremely easy for us. Nevertheless, the author presses on...

    If Democrats edge closer to taking back the House or Senate--and conditions on the ground suggest they're not quite there yet--this could be the thing that prevents them from getting over the hump.

    Oh chicken little... get a fucking life.

    The next article is more to the point on Feingold as an 'ass' for putting his own interest ahead of 'the party and the country'. Pardon me while I call BULLSHIT on this horrendous piece of commentary.

    The nature of the split is obvious. Feingold is thinking about 2008. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, and other Democrats are thinking about 2006. Feingold cares about wooing the anti-Bush donor base on the web and putting some of his '08 rivals--Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Evan Bayh--in uncomfortable positions. Reid and Schumer care about winning the six seats it will take for Democrats to win control of the Senate.

    Reid and Schumer have been consistently unable to swing debate to the Democratic side. Feingold, with one bold act, has people talking. Instead of joining on and following his lead, going on the offensive and keeping the R's on the path of desperation (you know, the one that leads to the constant mistakes for which they are sooo well known), they've decided to deride him as an opportunist. SURE HE IS, just like the author of this shitty piece and the Senators who didn't have the balls to file their own censure resolution first. The only reason HRC didn't file her own resolution is because it would have looked like payback for Bill's impeachment.

    In 1994, against the Republican leadership, Newt Gingrich seized the initiative, rallied that base and brought a Republican majority to the House. He had faith in ideas, in the message and in the base to get out and vote. Our leadership, other than Feingold and a few others, refuses to trust the base and instead has embarked on a path that will inevitably lead to the end of the Democratic Party. With 'leadership' like this from our elected leaders in DC (and their apologists) is it any wonder that the base trusts them less and less?

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

    March 14, 2006

    A call to Democrats around the US...

    It's now obvious that the shitheals in the Senate don't have the will to support their own or to win. The Baltimore Sun has an AP story up regarding the DEMOCRATIC opposition to Sen. Feingold's censure resolution.

    You read correctly, Democrats in the Senate are refusing to support Feingold's resolution to censure President Bush over illegal wiretapping. Pussies.

    Feingold, a potential presidential candidate, said on the Senate floor, "The president has violated the law, and Congress must respond.

    "A formal censure by Congress is an appropriate and responsible first step to assure the public that when the president thinks he can violate the law without consequences, Congress has the will to hold him accountable," Feingold said.

    Amen, Brother Feingold!

    Apparently the R's are basically daring the Senate D's to support the resolution.

    "Some Democrats in Congress have decided the president is the enemy," Vice President Dick Cheney told a Republican audience in Feingold's home state.

    President Bush is the enemy? Of free speech, privacy and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States? Yes, yes, and oh hell yes! Thanks for pointing that out, Shooter! Of course, that's not what the senile old man meant... he meant to conflate the resolution with the war on terror. He missed the target (much like the doves he was hunting in South Texas, WMDs... and Osama) but it was a nice try for our VP, Happy McHappyson. Almost as good as the time 'tardy saw mushroom clouds from Iraqi nukes that, you know, didn't exist.

    I couldn't believe people are afraid of these retards... until I read this:

    Asked whether he would vote for the censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada declined to endorse it and said he hadn't read it.

    The resolution drew empathy but no backing from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    Man, is it just me or has Reid's backbone totally turned to Jell-o? Pelosi has been a pretty dependable invertebrate from beginning but Reid's losing his spirit is a new development. It's a shame, really.

    Oh, if you want to contact the Senate D's, please call the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 25, 2006

    Frank Madla is the suck...

    You might remember we recently mentioned that shithead TX State Senator, Frank Madla. Well, it turns out that the folks at the Uresti campaign have one hell of a commercial (or Quicktime) their media people put together.

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Nice work, peeps! Click here to go to Uresti's website and give the man some money!

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

    February 23, 2006

    Goddamn, if you're this dumb the R's are gonna shit all over you

    Chris "Don't Mess With Ethics" Bell, Democratic primary candidate for Texas Governor has failed to comply with current Texas Ethics laws that require financial disclosure. Ironic? Of course. Stupid as hell? That, too.

    Here's the really dumb thing... the moron didn't let it die. Instead, a minor story has become so much more. This afternoon, Richard Morrison (former DeLay challenger) issued a letter attacking the Gammage campaign for pointing out that Bell did, in fact, break the law.

    I've never seen a campaign self-destruct like this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 20, 2006

    Damn, y'all SUCK!

    Fuck all if the Dallas Stonewall Dems aren't a bunch of catty bitches! Last week there was a story out about the former hooker with the heart of gold running in TX HD 108 against that cocksucker Dan Branch (don't bother checking... he DID vote for HJR6 which led to Prop 2, the 'Faggot, no get married here!Bad!Bad!' law that made last fall so much fun).
    Here's the photo matchup
    Image hosting by Photobucket VS. Image hosting by Photobucket
    Today, PinkDome has this up... apparently, the DMN got the story when someone from Stonewall Dallas (a jealous former lover? would have liked to have been a jealous former lover? just some mindless, tacky skank?) TIPPED THEM OFF rather than confronting Malin with it privately and giving him an opportunity to come clean.

    You know, when we have some good looking, decent people running for office as Democrats can we please not work so diligently to tear them down? Can we at least give them a chance to spin the story? People are OK voting for for someone with a past. Look at this alci just over half of y'all elected.

    UPDATE - Just FYI - Malin is the cute one on the right, Branch is the assclown on the left.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 16, 2006

    Oh, won't someone rid us of Madla...

    There is a horrible state senator in Texas. His name is Frank Madla. He runs as a Democrat and he is, if your definition of a Democrat is someone in the mold of Zell Miller or Henry Cuellar. He's too big a pussy to run outright as a Republican because he'd never get elected from his district. Yeah, basically he's a dick.

    Karl-Thomas Musselman over at BurntOrangeReport has a great piece up about dear old Frank. The video is a must see for everyone who has ever wanted to see a DINO skewered by careless words out of his own mouth.

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Oh yes, we DO, Frank. And we can't wait for Carlos Uresti to kick your ass on the 7th.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    December 08, 2005

    OK, stop me if you've seen this before...

    Democracy for America is apparently as irritated as I about Dumbshit Joe Lieberman's sycophantic actions toward that unmitigated disaster (the President, NOT the war the fuckup started).

    Click here for a fast and easy way to tell Joe how you feel about people who use their position to secure power to themselves.

    Here's what I wrote:

    Joe:

    I once had some respect for you but that time has passed. It's my sincere wish that your wife finds the pleasure and satisfaction you've long been unable to provide in the loving embrace of your gardner. I hope she divorces you, marries him and he runs against you in the primary. I hope when you make the call to concede the election to him that he's far more gracious than you were to your fellow Democratic Congresspeople who disagree with the President's policies.

    Nah, I really hope he totally rubs your face in the shit like a naughty dog.

    XXXOOO

    McB

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Oh fuck... you bitches in CT need to elect someone else as the Democratic Senator

    If ANYONE is screaming for a primary challenger more than that 'sexy cheerleader' asshole in Houston, Al Edwards, it's gotta be Joe 'How fast can I divorce myself from the last shreads of dignity and integrity I have' Lieberman.

    We all know the Democratic Party has a ton of voices and opinions. In fact, it's what makes us so much stronger than the Republicans. We have consensus, they have a party line and a little red book. Or was that the Communists?

    No one minds Joe having a different opinion, but attacking the Chair of the Party, who the grass roots DEMANDED, rather than the Administration for their incompetence is just silly. You're blaming the wrong guy, Joe. That makes you stupid and inadequate as a Senator. The people of Connecticut deserve better.

    Still, good to see John Murtha (from Think Progress via Daily Kos) with this:

    Lieberman yesterday: "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." Murtha today: "Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?"

    Nicely put, Congressman.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack