July 28, 2010

Glenn Beck's Goldline scam

Infographic by The Big Picture

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July 23, 2010

Whiney McWhinerson

Looks like the information we got last week about Sleazy Staples trying to recast for the role of a lifetime, that of Whiney McWhinerson, was spot on.

The DMN did this piece about how nasty the race for Ag Commissioner has become. Staples, through his minions since he's too much of a chickenshit to talk to a reporter, apparently thinks this is all just really too mean...

"I've been dong this for almost 30 years, and I've never seen a campaign as libelous and slanderous," said Bryan Eppstein, Staples' campaign consultant.

Really, Bryan? You sure you want to go there? After all, Staples, BEFORE THE PRIMARY ELECTION (it was in February in Tyler, wasn't it Bryan?), was shoveling dirt on Hank. What Staples didn't anticipate was that Hank's a man and owns his past, mistakes and all. Including one bad check from 10 years ago. BTW, Bryan, HALF THE STATE HAS A BOUNCED CHECK AT SOME POINT IN THE PAST YEARS. Mistakes like that are THE reason banks offer overdraft protection. So, not for nothing, but are you sure you want to piss up the leg of half the electorate?

Staples has also been upset about Hank's pointing out that he spent campaign funds on a personal vehicle, which all available evidence points to. Staples says there was a campaign car and the one he bought for himself which he currently drives. So far, we only have proof of the campaign car. If there isn't documentation on a second car, why is Staples lying about it? And why spend so much time talking about how you've been personally maligned when, so far, no one has mentioned your giant freak head, effeminate manner or, in general, goofiness? The public isn't going to feel sorry for Staples, he's just not a sympathetic character.

If anything, I'm kinda disappointed Hank isn't getting personal with Staples.

Hank, instead, has yet to say anything about Staples personal life or even his past business dealings. Yet Staples is squealing about every traffic ticket Hank's received. Hank is sticking, perfectly, to limiting his criticism to Staples professionally, all of which is valid even if Sleazy Staples might be a little peeved about being taken to task for his failure. All Staples has done is run from his responsibilities as Commissioner, and throw others under the bus. Like an inspector (and TDH) in the case of the Plainview peanut disaster.

So that was early in the week... then there was ANOTHER very well researched piece on Connected Nation, Sleazy Staples effort to give the telecom industry a handjob with taxpayer money. Here's the money shot...

"It's a scandal, a total scandal," said Art Brodsky, communications director of Public Knowledge, a public interest group that follows digital culture. A longtime critic of Connected Nation, Brodsky has tracked the nonprofit since Kentucky officials accused it of overestimating broadband availability several years ago. The agency that grew into Connection Nation started there in 2001.

Brodsky said nondisclosure agreements make it difficult to see who really benefits from the mapping process.

PD has more here.

The truly ironic thing about Staples and his blistering incompetence is that he's, accidentally, stumbled upon the plan of national Republicans to make it appear that government simply can't function. The only problem, for Staples, is that government can't really function because he's too much of a mook to make it work. There are some amazing people at TDA who are competent and capable. Staples, clearly, is the one holding them back and making us less safe on a daily basis.

Think about that the next time you bite into a burger.

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July 21, 2010

Judd Gregg and the triumpth of the stupid

Yes, there's hope for stupid people... they can rise up to run for and win election to the US Senate. Just look at Judd Gregg. As proof of his stupidity, I'd like to offer his 'rhetorical' question to Fed Chair Bernanke regarding why businesses aren't hiring. He thinks it's all because of some vague uncertainty out of DC coupled with a lack of tax incentives.

Why's that stupid? BECAUSE NO BUSINESS IS GOING TO HIRE PEOPLE UNLESS THEY WILL BE ABLE TO CREATE ADDITIONAL PROFIT BY SELLING MORE. No mystery... Look at it this way...

I run a company that makes plastic bears. I sell 100 of them per year at $1 per piece. I have four employees who cost me (remember, these aren't real numbers, this is a simplified example to illustrate the point) $10 per year, each. My other overhead is about $40 which gives me a gross profit of $20 per year. My company, because of the ridiculous US corporate tax laws, pays only 25% on that which means I pay $5 per year in taxes making my net profit $15 (nevermind that most corporations pay way less than that, on a percentage basis, in taxes than individuals). I'm happy even though the economy is in the toilet.

Now, along comes Judd Gregg who says if I hire one more worker, he'll cut my taxes by 50%. Woo Hoo, right? If you think so, let me know where you are so I can beat you in the head, moron. Here's the math...

My cost went up by $10 per year (a new employee) which knocked by gross profit down to $10 because the economy still sucks and I can't sell an additional plastic bear because there's only demand for 100. I'm now taxed at only 12.5% (yay, me!) so I only pay $1.25 in taxes. However, my net profit is only $8.75, damn near half of what it was previously before Judd Gregg cut me that amazing deal.

Get it now? No one is going to hire people because of a damn tax credit. The only way they'll hire is if there is demand for their products. And the Government is all that's left to stimulate demand in this economic environment. We need it to build roads, jails, schools, courthouses, etc. We need infrastructure improvements. That'll create enough jobs to stimulate aggregate demand.

If only the Republicans would get the ideology out of their brains and start acknowledging economic reality.

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July 20, 2010

Now that's pretty offensive!

A group of prominent Hispanic Republicans (yes, Virginia, they do exist!) is starting a PAC not to try to change the GOP's stance on hatin' tha messikins (and blaming them for every one of society's ills, even though we all know all bad stuff in the world was caused by the homos. And all those drunken micks in Boston), but instead just to fund more Hispanic candidates who'll lose in their party's primary. Like this guy.

Of course, it's not at all offensive to start a PAC. What IS offensive is that George P. Bush (think Jeb, not W) is taking a leadership role and it's this piece that will doom it completely. History is done with the Bush family and so is the United States. From questionable Prescott to W, we don't need any more Bush's in public service. Yes, that includes fat Jebbie, the 'smart one'.

Sorry, George P., but you'd be better off using your mother's maiden name. And running as a Democrat.

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July 13, 2010

Oh, quit whining, Sleazy Staples

Given the number of quite legitimate complaints and negative observations Hank Gilbert has made on Sleazy Staples' performance as Agriculture Commissioner, it was only a matter of time before Sleazy Staples would start whining about them and calling them 'negative and personal'. Apparently, time was up today. Word on the street is that Sleazy Staples is now trying to turn any negative comment on his terrible job performance as a personal attack. What's really funny about this is that Hank has yet to personally attack Sleazy Staples.

Sleazy Staples, on the other hand, started making personal attacks on Hank Gilbert during the primary, before Hank was even the nominee. All Hank has done is point out that Sleazy Staples' record ain't something to be proud of. In fact, the only thing about Sleazy Staples that Hank's mentioned is that he converted campaign contributions to personal use.

Let's be real here for a second... Sleazy Staples leadership at TDA has been a disaster. We've had food safety disasters, overwhelmed inspectors and a plethora of other problems. And it's going to be an issue in this race and no amount of whining is going to stop that.

What would be nice is for Sleazy Staples to follow Hank's example and actually release his tax returns. Sleazy Staples has been hiding them for some reason and we know it's not because Hank is still making payments to the IRS resulting from his fight more than a decade ago. At the end of the day, the IRS is fine with it so why exactly should Sleazy Staples think he can use Hank as an excuse to hide his true income from Texans? Don't Texans have a right to know how are elected officials are really making their money.

Or is there something in there so sleazy that it finally embarrass one of the sleaziest politicians in Texas history?

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July 08, 2010

Sleazy Staples gets busted!

Hank Gilbert's campaign recently launched SleazySleazyStaples.com, a website dedicated to show the world the truth about Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, with one hell of a bang...

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples bought a suburban with campaign funds, registered it in his own name, and is still driving it around—with State Official license plates.

Go read the whole thing and remember that it's a very illegal to convert campaign funds or assets to personal use without paying for it. Keep in mind, as well, if he never paid for it, then it's essentially a gift from the campaign to himself. If unreported, that's tax fraud. Needless to say, it's a mess for the guy who, like Kinky, has tried to make such a big deal out of Hank's tax issue from 10 years ago.

Then there was a memo out from the Gilbert campaign in response to a piece in the DMN in which Staples CM Cody McGregor said...

Gilbert's latest press release is 100 percent wrong," he said. "These were two separate vehicles. This is an example of libel and slander, and another example of him trying to cover up his criminal conviction for theft, current tax liens and allegations from Kinky that he took a $150,000 bribe."

Much like the Staples campaign's libelous repetition of Kinky's bribe claims, Hank's claims about the suburban are IN writing, making them at best libel not slander. Of course, to prosecute a libel claim, Staples would have to prove that he paid the campaign for the suburban, and it's clear he didn't. But that's really neither here nor there because the campaign itself goes right off the rails just trying to explain things... Keep in mind, Staples doesn't deny that there WAS a campaign vehicle. Staples further, through McGregor, states that there were two separate vehicles purchase, presumably, in 2005.

Here's where it gets tricky... back to the DMN...

Staples still drives the SUV he purchased five years ago, which has state office holder plates. These plates are also on his pick-up and a four door sedan registered to his wife. The campaign reimburses Staples for his campaign-related travel with these vehicles. A campaign vehicle no longer exists.

And there it is... there was a campaign vehicle and there was a personal vehicle, while proof of only one actually exists. Now there is only a personal vehicle and no campaign vehicle, but proof of only the campaign vehicle exists. And Staples has it tagged with an SO plate. See how that works? Like magic, the campaign vehicle ceased to exist! Which led the Gilbert campaign to issue a tongue in cheek memo to the press which offered some suggestions for questions to the Staples campaign...


1. Was the Suburban raptured?
2. If no one is looking at the Suburban, does it exist?
3. If the door on the Suburban is opened in Arizona does that cause a typhoon in the Pacific?
4. Could the quantum nature of Todd Staples' Suburban be the key to the Grand Unified Theory?
5. Has Texas A&M University expressed an interest in studying the Suburban-if, in fact, it is presently occupying the same dimension as College Station at this moment in time?
6. Was Todd's Suburban a mysterious byproduct of the now-defunct Superconducting Super Collider-sent from an alternate dimension in which the collider was completed?
7. If Todd Staples sells the rights to the story of his esoteric Suburban to MGM Studios, does Todd or the campaign get the royalties?
8. Could Todd Staples' Suburban be the long-sought proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson?

Y'all please keep in mind that that the TEC fines on this could be run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the fines and penalties from the IRS.

Gilbert's campaign also offered the following statement in response to a press release sent out Friday afternoon by Staples which was, literally, chockablock with ad hominem attacks which were discredited during the primary. More on that in the supersize


On Friday, the Todd Staples campaign released a series of personal attacks against Hank Gilbert that were almost a point by point rehash of attacks made by Kink Friedman during the primary.

Our campaign offers the following statements attributable to Campaign Director Vince Leibowitz:

"Hank has never made any attempt to hide the single bounced check from more than 10 years ago or the settlement with the IRS, both of which were interrelated (see this Austin American-Statesman piece). Unlike Todd Staples, who expends a great deal of private and public resources to hide his sleazy behavior, Hank has been honest and upfront about everything and it's all been public record for more than 10 years. It's obvious that Staples, given that he didn't make a big deal of any of this in 2006, has discovered some disquieting polling that clearly shows the race far closer than any of the published polls."

"We'd like to invite members of the press to visit SleazySleazyStaples.com for information on one of the dirtiest politicians in Texas history. Even now, Hank's campaign staff is working diligently to bring the public the truth about Staples self serving public service. And, of course, some of his sleazier business dealings from the 90s since, apparently, things that are 10 years old are new again."

Additionally, the following statement may be attributable to Peyton Gilbert, 17, eldest son of Hank Gilbert, Democratic Party Nominee for Agriculture Commissioner:

"Over the past two years, I've learned from and listened to teachers and students in my classes who say that politics is all about party, not issues. This is why elected officials can't get anything done, on both sides. Mr. Staples' attacks on my dad's character, and my parent's businesses are just another example of an elected official that would rather try to demean his opponent than engage in a debate about the issues.

My dad has put his personal life and career out there for everyone to see, yet Mr. Staples refuses to be as transparent with his or that of the TDA. This is why most voters, and most Texans, can't stand career politicians. My dad's environmental remediation and carpet cleaning business, in addition to our cattle operation, is no different from the millions of other small businesses operated by hardworking Texans all across this state. Many people don't know this, but my dad's business was one of many that worked in Lake Charles, Louisiana following Hurricane Rita, and that he also worked hauling feed and fencing supplies to ranchers in Mississippi immediately after Hurricane Katrina. My parents taught me that every vocation involves public service, from the lowest to the highest-including politician-are noble."

Honestly, I've never seen a campaign disintegrate so rapidly. It's clear that despite the quality of the people working on Staples campaign (Eppstein and McGregor are both pros), there's little that can be done with a man (and barely that) who is functionally a stuffed shirt. Note that Staples says nothing, day after day, about Hank's ides on reshaping the TDA. He also ignores ANY attack on the terrible job he's doing at TDA by pointing back at Hank.

Voters are tired of the lies and personal attacks, especially when food safety is at stake. People are making the move to Hank.

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July 06, 2010

Is Niall Ferguson the idiot of the universe?

Eighteen months ago, many were begging for a larger stimulus package. I know because I was one of them. I came to that conclusion not because I'm the single most brilliant mind in the universe but because I make a habit out of doing the kind of a research that would make a PhD candidate collapse and I listen, intently, to people far smarter than myself (and there are tons of them). I also listen to the opposition, at least until I realize that what they say doesn't jive with reality.

That was the case with the stimulus spending in the winter of 2009. I thought it was WAY too small and didn't fully recognize the magnitude of the collapse in the economy. Further, I thought that package was far too heavy on tax cuts which have a marginal impact in times of economic stress (like a recession or depression). My idea was to spend an assload of money on transportation infrastructure because it provides millions of quick jobs and leaves us with an asset we desperately need for the next leg of economic growth.

Certain people, like Kevin Hassett and Niall Ferguson took the opposite view. Niall even went so far as to deride the ideas of his intellectual superiors like Paul Krugman and Brad Delong, both of whom advocated for larger stimulus packages in 2009, something he's still doing today. DeLong wrote this piece today which should be required reading for everyone in the US since it's time to get everyone on the same page...

The reassuring thought was that the ARRA was just one -- and not necessarily the biggest -- of stimulative measures available beyond the standard Federal Reserve framework of using open market operations to reduce short-term Treasury rates. In fact, a Rooseveltian amplitude of acronyms -- TARP, PPIP, MMIFL, TALF, CPLF, TAC, HAMP – are at policy makers’ disposal.

But Congress is balking. Republican legislators from states with double-digit unemployment have put party above country. Blue Dog Democrats, who think that they can marginally improve their chance of gaining more terms in office if they publicly worry about the deficit to the exclusion of all else, have put self above country and party. And, significantly, the Obama Administration has never offered a grand bargain for tax increases and entitlement caps in the future in return for more spending now to restore full employment.

Professor DeLong is absolutely right about the Republicans and blue dogs playing politics with the economic well being of this country. All you need to do is look at one thing to realize these people are either criminally stupid, on a political bender, insane or some combo of all three : HOOVER DID EVERYTHING YOU SUGGEST AND IT MADE THE DEPRESSION WORSE. Until old Niall and Kevin can explain to me why they are advocating the same positions taken on by the worst President in the history of this country, I really wish they'd just shut up. If not, I wish anyone near them would actively heckle them.

Krugman says we're heading for a third depression... Personally, I think he's right. He also thinks that business investment isn't being held up because of the government, it's being held up because of the lack of demand. Krugman, just FYI, is right and it's super, super simple... BUSINESSES DON'T HIRE UNLESS THERE IS A DEMAND FOR THE GOOD AND/OR SERVICE IT PRODUCES. Taxes are irrelevant. Deficits are irrelevant. A black man in the White House is irrelevant. A bunch of white boomers marching in the street are irrelevant.

Here again, it's all about demand and that's something a historian like Ferguson is never going to understand.

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June 17, 2010

Smoky Joe Barton attempts to go down on Tony Hayward

During a hearing Thursday regarding BP's disaster in the Gulf, Representative Joe Barton (R - TXI) said that 'he was embarrassed that a private company was subjected to a shakedown' in reference to the deal cut on Wednesday between BP and the Obama Administration which will see the company put $20 billion into a fund to be managed by a third party to alleviate the costs associated with the disaster. The move was meant to assure those effected by the spill that BP would make good on it's promise to pay for their disaster.

This is really quite funny because even in the Greatest Group of Whores Ever Assembled (also known as the House Republican Caucus), Barton is a standout. He's long been on his knees for Texas Industries and willing to do anything for anyone who needs to dump their waste into the air, water or soil on which his constituents depend. Just ask anyone in management at XTO.

Yeah, Joe Barton is sleazy and borderline corrupt. The most shocking thing about Barton is that he makes Tom Daschle look like a decent public servant in comparison. It might help to think me less mean in my criticism if you knew that Barton's largest corporate donor base was Anadarko Petroleum which was a 25% partner in Deepwater Horizon, the rig drilling the gusher now flowing as much as 120k barrels of oil a day into the Gulf. Since 1989, more than $146,000 has come from Anadarko personnel and PACs.

Just so we're crystal, let's all take a moment and realize that BP went out of it's way to cut corners on this well. The decision to only partially line the well with concrete is just one of many that led not only to the disaster but to it's severity. Add in that BP has consistently lied about the size of the field (it's MASSIVE) and about the flow rate (it's ALWAYS been higher... Matt Simmons and other we're putting it in the 100k bbl/day range more than a month ago) and then combine all that with BP's abysmal safety record and you have a pretty clear indication of just how much BP cares about doing business the right way.

That $20 bn was letting them off cheap, despite the President's bullshit about an operational BP being better than a dead BP. Frankly, I think the government should nationalize all of BP's assets in the US and in accessible areas of the world and liquidate over time. This was absolutely willful negligence and Rep. Barton would like us to pay for it.

Fuck you, Joe. Right to hell.

PDiddy has more including a link to Barton's opponent.

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June 15, 2010

39% and his minions...

There is nothing more desperate than 39%'s campaign this year. Even the actions of Todd Staples, who is busily hiding everything he's been doing (or not doing), pale in comparison to the actions of Team 39% who have been breathlessly pimping a non-story for days. The latest comedy has been the attack on Bill White regarding an investment in a company that helped out during Hurricane Rita by supplying generators as a backup power source to a treatment plant that processed water for more than 600,000 people. 39%'s flacks breathlessly got on the phones and pimped the story like Heidi Fleiss trying to fill out a Saturday night.

The only problem with the story is that White made the investment AFTER the decision had been made to use the company. The media, to their credit, picked up on that rather quickly and realized that Team 39%'s efforts were the equivalent of shouting fire because they see an ashtray. That did not, however, stop them from properly pointing out just how disastrous the response was from a clearly unprepared White campaign.

White's folks haven't been real vocal, in contrast, regarding the actually smelly deals 39% made using Enterprise funds with campaign contributors, not to mention the pressure he's exerted directly and indirectly on certain processes at the state level to the benefit (again) of campaign contributors. They did have a nice little hit on 39%'s refusal to take the unemployment stimulus funds, supposedly because it would lead to higher taxes on business. Turns out, that was a lie, taxes went up and we were without the money the Feds would have returned to us (since it IS our tax dollars, after all). 39%, as it turns out, shoulda taken a page from Todd Staples re-election book and spread around some federal money or at least used to it do something other than balance the massive hole in the budget 39%'s incompetence put there. And pay for his nice rental mansion.

Then today, Team 39% came right off the rails when his staff thought it would be a good idea to have a press conf so they can, yet again, beat the dead horse regarding Bill White's investing prowess (which, as a side note, it's pretty clear that White's a hell of a lot better at managing money than 39%). The only problem is the morons had their little shindig at the Travis County Democratic Party's Coordinated Campaign where Bill White's campaign has space. Surely there would be no Democrats there.

While Jesus may love 39%, everyone else thinks he's an asshole, including Democrats in Travis County and they showed that today. Enjoy.

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June 13, 2010

Is That A Dildo On Your Head Or Are You Just Happy To See Rick Perry?

Chances are pretty good that you've already seen this Texas Tribune image from the Texas GOP Confab, but we at Rancho McBlogger know our readers always appreciate a good dick joke...

Photobucket

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June 09, 2010

Palin endorses Fiorina

Quitter Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina in the CA Senate race. Here's my favorite part...

Carly is the Commonsense Conservative that California needs and our country could sure use in these trying times. Most importantly, she’s running for the right reasons. She has an understanding that is sorely lacking in D.C. She’s not a career politician. She’s a businesswoman who has run a major corporation. She knows how to really incentivize job creation. Her fiscal conservatism is rooted in real life experience. She knows that when government grows, the private sector shrinks under the burden of debt and deficits. We can trust Carly to do the right thing for America’s economy and to make the principled decisions she has throughout her professional career.

Oh, sure... she's BRILLIANT at business. At her last real big job, as CEO of Hewlett Packard, she was best known for almost collapsing the company and, of course, making HWP shareholders poorer. Given that, is it any surprise that a failed Governor would endorse a failed CEO?

Fiorina is the penultimate symbol of what's wrong with American Capitalism... the celebrity CEO and the mostly worthless managerial class which has, since the 80's, been focused almost exclusively on making themselves rich at the expense of shareholders. Fiorina and her ilk are parasites on an economy they have been sucking dry for almost 40 years.

Help out Senator Boxer. She needs to crush Fiorina so, hopefully, she'll finally go away. Or write another book filled with her dumb ideas that lead, inevitably, to disaster.

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June 03, 2010

Something just stinks...

With a monomaniacal drive to draw attention to himself that would make even Eve Harrington blush, Todd Staples is all about Todd Staples. Recently, he's been out pimping a program at TDA (paid for by the Federal Government... I guess Todd's federalism alarm only goes off when it's a program he can't use to glorify himself) to feed underprivileged kids over the summer.

Of course, no one has a problem feeding needy kids during the summer. In fact, it's something that absolutely should be done and a program that Hank Gilbert heavily supports. What he's not in favor of is Todd's use of the program to promote himself. Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Texas Watchdog which landed on this story back in February...

"He is taking advantage of federal tax dollars that would be better spent feeding kids in the summertime," Hank Gilbert, (pictured at left) one of the Democrats running in the March primary and a staunch supporter of the federal school nutrition program in Texas. "We certainly will be talking about this as a campaign issue. I wish we could get legislation passed to prevent agency heads from doing this altogether during the election cycle."

No, no... you didn't misread. Todd Staples, in one of his more craven self-promotion schemes, is actually using federal money intended to feed needy kids to promote the program with television ads featuring (you had to see this coming) Todd Staples. Sure the program needs to be promoted, but did they really need to take money from it to shoot commercials featuring Staples? As it turns out, no...

Rodriguez said he had almost never seen a high-ranking agency head to do the ads himself. State Comptroller Susan Combs, who preceded Staples as agriculture commissioner, said she never served as a spokesperson for one of her programs, nor could she remember a previous commissioner doing it. The heads of the state food programs in Oklahoma and Arkansas said they have not done ads for their programs.

Andy Wilson, a researcher specializing in campaign finance issues for the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen, said the appearance of Staples himself in the ads raises ethical questions that get sharper at a time when Staples is trying to be re-elected. While the ads have no blatant political message, they offer considerable name recognition in places where voters don't even know the name of their own state representative, Wilson said.

"If we're feeding poor kids I want the state of Texas to get every federal tax dollar they can for it," Wilson said. "But Todd Staples doesn't need to be in those ads. I have real ethical issues with it."

Yeah, that's Todd Staples... taking $80,000 earmarked to feed kids so that he can shoot an ad for himself. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy election.

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Is 39% embarrassed about his failure?

Sharon over at BlueDaze has a nice post up with a timeline that neatly shows just how long (and how badly) TCEQ has failed to protect the citizens of this state. It's so bad that even Republican Congressman Burgess is spending some time pandering about the failure of the agency 39% has staffed with crazies so he can pay back campaign contributors (I'm looking at you, Harold
Simmons
).

So far, 39% has been pretty silent on TCEQ's absolute failure (let's not kid ourselves, this whole agency is an unmitigated clusterfuck that should be in a textbook for anyone who studies government entitled MASSIVE REPUBLICAN FAILURES CAUSED BY A FAULTY AND FRAUDULENT IDEOLOGY) and is, instead, enjoying his taxpayer funded rental manse out in Westlake where he's probably now having drinks on the back patio and getting ready to shoot at Helen Monroe, 47, who is out for a walk on the trails behind the house. 39% thinks she is a bear.

In his defense, Helen does have the brown hair.


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May 18, 2010

Oh, fuck... ANOTHER deficit hawk on the right

At WILLisms, there's a massive amount of concern about the deficit because of some IMF report.

While I'm not entirely sure what part of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid or DoD Will would like to cut, I am certain the mook (I mean come on, he works for 39% and was crowing about that stupid Rasmussen poll that listed Latinos as 'other'*) probably thinks that cutting jobless benefits and food assistance for the poor will solve the problem entirely.

Of course, it won't. Will also apparently doesn't get that with an estimated 16% of the working age population either unemployed or underemployed, there's a whole lotta money going out and not a lot coming in to government (it's also worth noting that government's take of the national income is actually pretty low right now, thanks to the tax cuts the Democrats passed last year). It's during times like these you absolutely need government to do just that. The amazing thing is that as the economy strengthens, the money stops going out for assistance and starts getting paid in as taxes which automatically resolves the deficit, as long as we don't decide to cut taxes even further to the left on the Laffer Curve.

Will can't be expected to understand what the IMF was really saying since, according to Krugman, not many did. So, he took some time to explain it. Now by clicking here you can be smarter than Will.

Finally, as a variation on WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU WHEN... that I always like to ask know-it-all dbags, I'd like to ask Will, DUDE, where the FUCK were you when Shrub and The Republicans turned a massive surplus into a deficit?

Hypocrisy makes me goddamn sick.

*Don't get me wrong... White, for me, embodies all the enthusiasm and excitement of a box of hair. However, he's eminently more able than 39% who, after his coyote shootout in Westlake (REALLY, MoFo?), really defines 'pussy'. I know girls who used to go jogging in the fucking Bronx without a gun and Rick Perry seriously felt threatened by a coyote? IN WESTLAKE?!?!

Pansy ass motherfucker. Another Republican who is all hat and no damn cattle.

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May 10, 2010

Knowing me, knowing the Teabaggers, ah ha

Yeah, ABBA should really be stuck in your head right now.

The NYT did a piece about what some thoughtful, intelligent people (and Amity Shlaes) thought about a poll conducted on behalf of the Times and CBS. Since you're going to learn so much about all those white, older, middle class and middle intelligence people (seriously, they want to cut the size of government but they want to keep Social Security as it is and keep their Medicare) and what they think, I thought it's only fair for me to let you know what I think...

I think the Tea Partiers are a bunch of fat, white old boomers who can't stand the fact that they never did as well as their parents and blame it all on taxes when they've actually had LOWER taxes than their parents. I think they're all a bunch of a selfish, greedy pigs who've fucked themselves by continuing to vote against what was really best for this country and themselves. I think Tea Baggers, though they'll never say it, are THRILLED that in eight years the President they loved (after that horrible Bill Clinton, the man who was President during our last period of real economic growth, who got a BLOW JOB in the WHITE HOUSE! OMG! WTF!) managed to double the federal debt while giving them a tax cut that covered their trips to the salad bar at Sizzler.

I'M really tired of fat, stupid, smelly old white people with bad fucking teeth who are on Medicare telling me that a public option is socialism. I'M really tired of people who rely on government services and want more from their government, yet bitch about their taxes. I'M tired of people who want tax cuts, but never cut spending (goddamn! don't you even think of taking their COLAs or their 'scrip money!) and vote for Republicans who lie and say you can have tax cuts and no deficits.

Yeah, that ain't fucking true, is it?

So that's what I think and feel... and I didn't even need a pollster to share it with you. I know I'm not alone so I'd like to invite all the tea baggers to shut the fuck up before we do vote to take away their goddamn Medicare because we don't feel like being burdened with the debt they're leaving behind.

The Rude Pundit also shared his feelings on the Teabaggers.


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May 07, 2010

It's quite a lot for those narrow, feminine shoulders

39% has had a pretty rough time lately for a variety of reasons that all revolve around a central theme... for years he's not had to monitor what he says or does in any way. Now, everyone is so sick of his act they're observing everything he does and they find most (if not all) of it, well, lacking.

Take his comment that the spill in the Gulf was an act of God and that we shouldn't rush to judgment. So far, no one is panicking about offshore drilling, especially when you consider that the safety systems have worked pretty damn well so far, not to mention that there are more than 3800 platforms in the Gulf that don't leak (well, at least not like this one). The issue is, this time safety features didn't work and just this one, minor, 5,000 bbl/day leak is causing a massive disaster. Even that wouldn't be a huge deal except for one thing... it's really closer to 200,000 bbl/day and is under tremendous pressure. This is the thing that people like 39% will never get, that offshore drilling is incredibly dangerous not only to people but to the environment. Now we have an open hole in the floor of the Gulf, spewing out raw crude at pressures that we clearly have problems controlling. It's like trying to control the flow from a firehouse with a thimble.

The issue for those of us living in the real world is that this was always bound to happen and blaming God for it is just like a lifetime hard drinker finally developing cirrhosis at 86 and blaming it on God. Given that it's happened, we need to do everything we can to refine safety plans and contingency plans. Frankly, BP's response to this has been pretty weak. We also need to look at real alternatives because, ecological disaster aside, at some point there's just not going to be any more to pump up. Further, BP needs to pay for the lack of safety...nationalization of BP's American assets should not be taken off the table. We could liquidate those assets and use the proceeds for the remediation that will be required into the foreseeable future.

But back to 39%... he also shot a coyote last week near his rental manse in Westlake. This one really gets me because, well, you usually just scare off a coyote unless you're running cattle in which case you shoot the coyote lest it cause problems for the herd. 39% has no cows, at least not at his taxpayer funded rental mansion in Westlake. So, we have to ask, WTF... and who the hell goes jogging with a damn gun? OTHER THAN people who live in the Bronx? Is 39% just the ultimate chickenshit, scared of his own shadow?

Then there was Leo Berman's decision to announce he'll be filing a bill to double to food prices in Texas. He expected 39%'s support but, instead, 39% kinda crapped all over Leo.

More bad weeks like this and Bill White's star keeps getting brighter.


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May 04, 2010

Dewhurst, you ignorant slut

Unless you've been trapped under Bill Hammond's ample ass (IT JUST NEVER GETS OLD), you're aware that the state is facing a massive budgetary shortfall in the next biennium because of incompetence on the part of the Lt. Governor, Governor and Republican leadership.

Well, it's also due to a particularly nasty recession but they can't really use that as an excuse since 39% says we're doing just swell (which even R's don't believe any more but is still funny since it means we've finally reached the point where The Big Lie can't overcome Reality). We could use federal money to close the gap, but the Republicans have been bitching about bailouts and debt publicly (and privately, with Republican members of the Texas Congressional delegation, begging for as much federal money as they can get their hands on. Go on, say it ain't so, 39%). Needless to say, our options are either

1) Massive cuts to essential services
2) Raising revenue through (gasp!) taxes

Dumb David Dewhurst finally figured that out and said as much in this piece. But then he went on to say that doing away with Health Care Reform was a big priority because it was going to cost the state a bunch of money. Which it won't since the Feds are picking up most of the tab (that whole efficiency thing).

So, why did Dewhurst lie? It can't just be to throw reporters of this scent of his incompetence since their nostrils are lousy with that stench. So what is it? Did he just not understand the problem?


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April 28, 2010

Thank you, Rep. Berman!

BermanJust in time for the November elections, Rep. Leo Berman (R-Shitbox) has announced that he'll be filing a bill in the next session similar to the retarded piece of garbage that Arizona passed last week.

All I have to say is FUCK YEAH! You go, Leo Berman you crazy old bastard... you'll finalize the split in the Republican Party and motivate our base to get out and vote.

And a special thanks to Voltaire (for the prayer) and the AWESOME Jesus Christ (for granting it)!


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April 23, 2010

Ask Toll Road Todd to stop with the gay bashing!

Some people just can't stop kicking folks when they're down. In this case, it's Toll Road Todd Staples who has made a career out of vilifying the LGBT community in Texas. From voting for DOMA to authoring the legislation that led to Prop 2, Toll Road Todd has created oppotunity after opportunity to make LGBT Texans and their families second class citizens in their own state.

Usually, you'd describe behavior like this as bullying (a powerful politician vs a powerless group of people who just want to be equal to their fellow citizens and taxpayers), but in the case of Toll Road Todd is more than that... it's a political calculation, to demonize a group of people and blame them for all the evils in the world. There's a rather obvious historical analogy that I'll not bother to spell out.

Bullies and panderers get to function as long as no one opens their mouth and calls bullshit. Toll Road Todd has had a pretty easy time of it, one of the reasons he felt emboldened to involve himself in a divorce case to which he wasn't even a party and over which his agency, the Texas Department of Agriculture, has no jurisdiction. He saw yet another opportunity to beat up some gays and figured no one would call bullshit.

And in stepped Hank Gilbert who called him out for being incompetent and a bully.

"I can't for the life of me figure out what this has to do with agriculture," said Staples' opponent, Hank Gilbert (D-Whitehouse). "The last time I checked, marriage and divorce played absolutely no role whatsoever in the price of cotton, sorghum, or corn," he continued. "One would think Todd Staples would focus his energies on actually improving agriculture in Texas, but instead, he's focused on yet again bashing the LGBT community and their families in an effort to shore up his erosion in his right wing base. I'm sick and tired of politicians masking their terrible job performance by using our citizens as a punching bag," he noted.

And that, boys and girls, is how you punch the fuck out of your opponent for being an asshole. The Dallas Voice has more. The overwhelming majority of Texans are sick of hypocritical politicians talking about the evil gays when elected officials all over this country who have been such ardent gay bashers end up coming out of the closet.

Maybe Hank's ability to speak up will prompt some of our other statewide candidates to find their voices.

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April 09, 2010

It's hard out there for a pimp

PhotobucketWednesday, during a press conference at the Capitol, reporters got to see Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond as more than just a bloviating fat ass, they got to see him in his true form... Republican Pimp.

For ages, it's been obvious to everyone that Bill's a typical political hack playing the part of the President of a pro-business group in Texas. The press though, got to see it full tilt on Wednesday...

Calling HCR "the corrupt product of a corrupt process", Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond told the assembled press that Obamacare (as he insisted on calling it) will cause financial rack and ruin for small businesses. "Employers are going to be put in a position where they will simply give up and not give this benefit to their employees," he said. Employers with more than 50 employees will have to meet new standards ("established in Washington, D.C.," he rumbled) or face a $2,000 per employee tax.

Just so we're clear, we can now add 'liar' to the list of derogatory adjectives that describe Bill Hammond. The current list includes (but is not limited to) 'Republican shill', 'hyperbolic exaggerator' and 'fat'. The process was nothing but cooperative, it's just that Bills peeps chose not to, you know, COOPERATE. So the Democrats did what Democrats always do in the face of Republican failure and intransigence, they fixed the problem. As for that crap about employers dropping health insurance, I think that's about as stupid as Cynthia Dunbar's crazy from the 08 cycle. It ain't gonna happen and Bill knows it.

Fortunately, Bill wasn't the only shitbox at the presser, some idiot from the US Chamber of Commerce was also there representing the energy and health insurance industries. Funny how the CoC now has about as much cred as the AEI and the CEI.

The issue, he suggested, is people waiting to get sick before they buy insurance. He went on, "What I'm getting at is, in a market place, creating a situation where you may be creating disincentives to purchase insurance and can get care either way."

Hammond chimed in on the same meme, and added, "What you're doing is allowing someone to pay a small amount of money and in return receive tens of thousands of dollars in benefits that will being paid for by other policy holders."

So, having shown a poor grasp of both what pre-existing conditions really mean and the basic shared risk principles behind insurance, the event became a Q&A. Unfortunately for them, the questioning took a tougher turn, with the three spokespeople being pushed hard on questions of the mitigating effect of tax credits and basic issues of whether they had really consulted their membership.

Goddamn, if ever there was a stupid Bill Hammond Quote and if ever there were a time to nail it, this was it. Thank you, Richard Whittaker. The press, strangely, seems to be catching on and calling bullshit more often with these touts. Another example...

Hasn't Texas, the state with the weakest legal restraints on businesses and the smallest, ended up with amongst the nation's highest insurance premiums, lowest rates of coverage and worst stats for under-insurance? As Layelin Copelin from the Statesman (welcome back to the press corps, sir) so adroitly put it, "For ten years, we've been in a free market state, by and large, and y'all praise it as being low-regulatory and so on so forth. So why hasn't the free market solved the problems?"

Hammond's response to the general issue was that Texas is still over-regulated and that every decision should be be between "the employer, the employee and the health insurance company."

Jesus, Bill, about the only thing a corporation can't do in this state is buy a human being. They can pollute water if they want, but they just can't buy folks off the street or harvest organs from bums, though we're sure that's coming. Never mind the failure of deregulation in the energy markets, something even the Cato Institute now admits was a colossal mistake (on par with giving Jay Leno that show in prime time). Of course, what you really gotta love is Bill's response to all this... just like an old commie defending their beloved ideology by saying that what existed in the Soviet Union wasn't really communism, Bill's steadfast in believing that we just haven't freed up things enough for Adam Smith's Invisible Hand to step in and bitchslap all us socialists. Never mind the fact that Adam Smith (the same founder of modern capitalism) believed in government regulation as a necessary means of keeping private enterprise from growing too powerful and abusing consumers.

I'd also like to mention that Adam Smith believed in a progressive tax system in the hope that Bill, when he reads this, will explode and make a HOOOOOOGE mess (get it?) over a sizable (so phoning it in) portion of Austin. But enough with the BILL HAMMOND IS FAT jokes, back to the details of the amazingly awful press conference of derelicts (sorry, Laura, love you but WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING WITHIN 50 YARDS OF THESE WALKING, TALKING COLOSTOMY BAGS?!?!?)...

But Hammond left his most remarkable statement for near the end.

If Ken Lay were alive today, he'd say, 'My god, what have they done?' Or maybe he's looking down from heaven saying, 'If I were alive today, they would have sent me to prison for what I did?'

Yes, according to Hammond, expanding health care is dreadful because it will increase the deficit (sorry, Bill, gonna weigh in on hyper-inflated military spending any time soon?) But bringing in the Enron fraudster as the voice of moral reason? Really?

Speaking of the deficit, Hammond probably doesn't realize that ex the stimulus, the deficit itself (even leaving in place the Bush tax cuts) will cure itself with increased tax receipts as employment ticks up. But explaining economic reality to someone like Bill Hammond is like explaining efficient market theory to a 6 year old. Well, that's not right... the 6 year old would probably have a more open mind. As for Ken Lay, I have a special place in my heart for Kenny Boy and the crooks at Enron. Because of them, American business has to deal with Sarbanes-Oxley which, for me, means dealing with 5 different logins for different protected systems. Every single motherfucking day and the passwords have to be changed every 10 days. How awesome is that?

Ken Lay defined an era in that he stood out as a crook and a fraud even in an age of IPOs for companies that had no revenue, let alone profits. And Bill Hammond still thinks he's someone to admire. I bet he also thinks Bernie Madoff got a raw deal and Alan Stanford is being persecuted.

Oh, and did I mention he was fat?

(For more, check out Kuff and BOR's piece on how good HCR is for small businesses in Texas)

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March 30, 2010

Shit! You mean 39% was WRONG?!?!

39% and douchebag luminaries like AG Abbott (who recently got spanked by BAR, nice work!) and Ag Commissioner Todd Staples (he of the GIANT FREAK HEAD), have been bitching and moaning about EPA's proposal to regulate carbon emissions, mostly based on their mistaken belief that climate change isn't real.

You may remember Hank rather neatly putting them in their place on that particular issue. Of course, it wasn't hard considering he's a pretty smart guy and they are, collectively, about as smart as a kitten that was starved of oxygen in the womb. To help with others afflicted with delusional thinking, there's now a convenient visual aid to show that climate change is real... it won't, of course, sway them because these men are hell bent on fighting common sense and empirical fact in the service of their true masters, their campaign contributors who mean (literally) the world to them.

For the rest of you, here's the map of the US showing temperature changes over the last 50 years. It helps to look at this when you start to think that maybe Myron Ebell is right and it's not getting warmer.

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

March 25, 2010

No, dumbass, that's not the story

Apparently, some of the R bloggers have picked up on the RPT's ethics complaint against Bill White for, basically, nothing. Well, it's not nothing... it's based on Cathie's in depth review of Bill White's financial report and his tax returns, coupled with her inability to understand DEFERRED COMPENSATION. Needless to say, no one will be asking Cathie to underwrite income on a loan any time soon (trust me, it's harder than it looks even with that convenient SEIA) or audit tax returns or understand anything more complex than a bumper sticker or the menu at Krispy Kreme.

In short, the RPT flubbed and filed a complaint with the TEC that did nothing but point out they can't read.

However, that wasn't the story in the R blogosphere, such as it is, which ran with it as if it was something other than chilishit in a gas station bathroom toilet. Even Red State got in on the action. Rather than do a recap on Teh Stupid, I'll just take a moment to let them know what the story really is...

YOUR PARTY IS STUPID
YOUR LEADER, INEPT
TAKE A BOW FOR FUCKING UP
YOU'RE ABOUT TO GET SWEPT

CAMPAIGNS ARE ABOUT IDEAS
NOT MEANINGLESS PAP
NEXT TIME, TRY A HIT THAT LANDS
INSTEAD OF BRAINLESS CRAP

What now, Bitches?

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March 11, 2010

Tom Pauken's still a whiny bitch after all these years

I get that the Tribune is trying to fill some space and they're really trying to create discussion. But seriously, can we all agree that Tom Pauken is just too goddamn stupid to be given any opportunity to do anything other than go to my fucking cleaners and pick up my shirts?

This is the same fuckup who, as chair of the Texas Republican Party, got sidelined by that buttertroll Rove. Now, I know y'all think Rove is some sort of douche with a direct line to Satan, but in reality he can't do shit unless the other guy is crazy, stupid, completely incompetent or a combination of all of the above. Tom Pauken, just so you know, IS ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE.

Exhibit A

Fortunately, in my own state of Texas, Republican Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican-controlled Texas legislature have kept the growth of state spending at reasonable levels, tracking the rise of cost of living (the inflation index) and population growth. That was not the case, however, when George W. Bush was governor. Then, state spending grew far faster than inflation and population growth. Nor is that the case in many other states, which kept milking the cow of the productive private sector by imposing higher and higher taxes and spending more and more of the taxpayers’ money. Those high-tax states are feeling the pain, as companies and taxpayers, suffering from high taxes and the loss of good jobs, move elsewhere. Moreover, the drop in housing prices and the slowdown in the economy since 2007 means that many states are racking up even more debt to fund state government.

Tom, you can take your mouth off 39%'s dick now since he's already cashed his paycheck. This is bullshit chockablock with utter nonsense. How big a deficit are we going to run in the biennium? No one can say because our bright as a blacklight Comptroller keeps pushing out different numbers. However, we all know there will be one WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ECONOMY IS IN RECESSION, PEOPLE ARE LOSING JOBS AND THE GOVERNMENT LOSES REVENUE. The government can't just magically stop spending, mostly because it provides essential services to people who didn't fucking disappear just because there is a recession and they can't pay their taxes. THAT is why when you're running surpluses, you don't cut taxes. Instead, you store up that cash to meet the needs you have down the road. That's what true conservatives do. Of course, Republicans have already ground through the surplus (which was smoke and mirrors anyway) AND still needed, what, $13 bn from the Feds? Wasn't it Perry, not too long ago, begging for more federal money from the Congressional delegation (so Schwarzenegger-esque) ?

On to Exhibit B

Even in an ostensibly low-tax state like Texas, many local taxing bodies have shown little fiscal restraint in recent years. The housing boom allowed many of these local governments to raise property taxes in a seemingly painless fashion through the “stealth tax” of skyrocketing appraisal values. Property-tax revenues rose ten percent or more annually without local governments actually raising the tax rate. Local officials could tell voters that they had not raised taxes since the tax rate hadn’t gone up, yet property-tax revenue grew from $9 billion in 1985 to $30 billion in 2004. That was approximately three times faster than the rate of inflation during the same period. Texas had the ninth-highest property taxes in the country until Governor Perry and the Texas legislature cut school property taxes by one third in 2006. Unfortunately, that set off a feeding frenzy among local taxing bodies, and a major portion of the education property tax cut was negated over the next three years.

I LOVE conservatives who don't know what the hell they're talking about but seem to want to talk at length in an effort to prove their ignorance. What Tommy doesn't realize because he's too stupid to get is that "the “stealth tax” of skyrocketing appraisal values" is nothing more than APPRECIATION. Ideally, when you buy an asset like, for example, real fucking property (aka, a house, Tom), it will increase in value over time. If the value of that asset is taxed, ideally it will be linked with your income so that an increase in the asset will also increase your income, easily enabling you to pay the higher tax. Of course, in Texas, wages have been essentially flat for more than 30 years (roughly about the time we elected that idiot old man, Clements), after adjusting for inflation. Meanwhile, house prices have gone up considerably. SEE THE PROBLEM? While you're still making basically the same $65k per year, your house is now worth 4 or 5 times what you paid for it and your taxes are 4 to 5 times higher.

Morons like Pauken wanted a cap on appraised value increases, as if a government could dictate such a measure. They did that in California and it's pretty much THE reason they're bankrupt. Well, that and the fact that their economy collapsed spectacularly because they allowed the kind of lending you can't do in Texas thanks to Democrats. Without those caps, property prices wouldn't have spiraled out of control.

What we need is a system of taxation that tracks income and population growth so we can pay for services (PUBLIC SAFETY, ROADS, SEWERS, SCHOOLS... you know, THAT STUFF) as all these new people come here. As it stands now, most new Texans don't pay dick for their first few years, but they sure as hell don't mind dropping the kids into public schools and clogging up the 35. And no, Tom, it ain't the 'messicans'. They pay a disproportionally high percentage of their income in taxes, something you and your conservatives-in-name-only would do well to remember the next time you moan and whine about how immigration is killing Texas.

Now we come to Exhibit C...

Unfunded pension liabilities at the local and state levels present another huge problem that most Americans do not even know exists. Shad Rowe, the former chairman of the Texas Pension Review Board, calls it a “time bomb.” The people who should care are taxpayers, “but they don’t know anything about it,” Mr. Rowe said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. A report released in March 2009 revealed that the Texas Teachers Retirement Fund had unfunded liabilities of more than $40 billion as a result of the stock-market and hedge-fund collapse of 2008.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Dan Ackroyd, Tom you ignorant slut. TRS has been underfunded since before the meltdown and credit crisis, mostly because the Republican lege hasn't paid it's share. Oh, and those cola's you're whining about also aren't the problem, at least in TRS where the beneficiaries haven't even received one since 1995, you scumbag. And keep in mind, MOST of the money in TRS came from educators. It's their money and your buddy 39%'s appointees went and lost a bunch of it, then blamed it first on 9/11 and now on the Bush Credit Crisis.

It's profoundly insulting, Tom, for you to blame the innocent retirees who have tried to block some of the more damaging decisions at TRS. Every teacher in this state deserves far more than we give them and all you stupid Republicans can do is think of how best to blame them for your screw ups and deny them the retirement benefits they've earned. Think I'm lying? Not so much, as it turns out.

I'll leave you with this bon mot

Our motto needs to be, “Let’s do more with less.”

No, our motto needs to be, "Let's stop listening to old, stupid asshats and put the economy back on a more traditional footing which allows everyone to prosper."

Go fuck yourself, Tom Pauken, you obnoxious, detestable piece of shit.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 10, 2010

Ain't this just some bullshit

Apparently, there is some asinine petition from people calling themselves 'Senate Conservatives'. The first thing that told me this was a group of crazies is that they have selected for their leader well known liar and crazy deficit spender Sen. Jim DeMint.

The second thing was that they decided to endorse Michael Williams for Senator. Which is funny since he has absolutely no shot in hell since there will be some white Republican who will probably be their standard bearer. But enough about Elizabeth Ames Jones.

So, yeah, they're crazy. And their leader is saying this...

“Michael Williams is the Democrat Party’s worst nightmare. He’s a principled, outspoken conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts and takeovers that have destroyed millions of jobs and piled a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren,” said Senator DeMint.

Wait, wait, wait Senator DeMint. The country was losing jobs BEFORE President Obama took office. In fact, the economy you, your fellow Republicans and President W gave us was nothing more than a shell game with little job and wage growth, massive wealth concentration and, of course, a doubling of the national debt. The recession that was the direct result of Conservative folly (spending while cutting taxes on the rich and fuck the middle class) would have been a depression were it not for the Democrats and few Republicans who voted to save this nation, not let it sink into the oblivion. AND NOW YOU WANT TO BLAME YOUR MISTAKES ON DEMOCRATS??!?! Not so much, dickhead, but it's a super try. Oh, and Jim, it was President W that gave us TARP, not President Obama. Of course, left out of all this is the very real fact that TARP actually did help save us all from ruin.

In other news, 39% gave Senator Hutchison (whose campaign made Tony Sanchez look like the best.candidate.evah!) all the political cover she needed to stay in the Senate. Which sucks because that means three more years until we can finally get John Sharp sworn in.

Hey, if we have to have a conservative, let's at least have one that actually knows how to balance the books. It's clear Jim DeMint doesn't.

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February 18, 2010

Ugh, the mail...

There is literally nothing I love about primary season. For one thing, it's a chance for some asshat wannabe to run for office and screw around with the candidate who can actually, you know, WIN IN NOVEMBER. But what I REALLY hate, with the heat and intensity of the accretion disk of a black hole, about primaries are the mailers. Seriously, I get it but could we please keep them to a postcard format? Do they really need to be the size of damn place setting? Case in point, the oversize piece of shit I got from Scott Field who is running for a seat on the Third Court of Appeals. When I first saw it, I glanced at the logo and the obligatory pic of him with the family in a field of bluebonnets (it do SCREAM Texas, don't it) and thought (no joke) 'Uh, moron... is anyone running against you? Why the hell are sending out mail in the primary?'

I then shoved it in my bag and pulled it out just now while searching for a credit card bill. This time I took a little more notice of it and realized two things.

1) Scott has a hella bad stupidcut. Scott, if you're listening, the lady who cuts my hair is Amy Tsai. You shoot me an email and I'll throw you her number.

2) SCOTT IS A REPUBLICAN. Running against Melissa Goodwin for the REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR THE SEAT. This jumped out at me because I'm not a Republican.

Seriously, Scott, whoever did your mail sucks ass. You spent money sending a campaign piece to a quad D. I would have crawled into Randalls yesterday on a leg that had just broken as the result of a tragic accident involving me, a dump truck and Charo to vote early in the Democratic Primary. Which brings me to the point of this little post... if you're a Republican within one of the counties that make up the Third Court of Appeals, VOTE FOR MELISSA GOODWIN. At least she wasn't dumb enough to send a damn mail piece to me.

Oh, and just FYI... Kurt Kuhn is going to win this seat. You may as well give up now.

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February 17, 2010

Hank's spot on... as usual!

In response to the sideshow from the Three Stooges of Texas yesterday, Hank released this...

The announcement yesterday that Governor Perry, AG Abbott and Commissioner Staples have decided to waste taxpayer funds on a futile fight that was settled more than a year ago by the Supreme Court is more than unfortunate, it’s an inexcusable waste of money we don’t have since we are facing a budget, largely the responsibility of these men, that will be in deficit in the next biennium to the tune of $15-20 billion.

More than a year ago the US Supreme Court ruled that the EPA needed to regulate CO2 which makes this legal action a waste of taxpayer money on an election year stunt. The idea that this will somehow hurt Texas agriculture is a laughable one that only someone like Todd Staples could dream up. In point of fact, Texas stands to gain substantially from bioenergy production and refining. What’s been missing is a Commissioner of Agriculture who has the vision to see the future and prepare for it. Finally, to say that the EPA made its decision based solely on information from the IPCC is an outright lie, even bigger than the one Governor Perry told about people getting property tax relief and the story about the death of the TTC.

Texas needs leadership on this issue and this troika is instead providing ideological arguments on a scientific issue already settled by the courts.


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February 10, 2010

I stand corrected

A couple of days ago I implied that a now-famous image from the Perry-Palin-Patrick Three Ring Cirque d'Insanity looked like a product of Photoshop.

Homescholer

Since then, other pictures showing the sign have emerged so it now seems that the photo is genuine.

Excellent!

This just leaves me with two lingering questions.

First, given that the teapartiers often make reference to Original Intent, what was the phrase on the sign actually meant to be? Homeschooler? Or Homescholar?

Second (and maybe most intriguing), does the person who made the sign know that they're responsible for creating an instantly classic image of wingnut stupidity?

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2010

Nugepocalypse: The Aftermath

Here's a short, somewhat snarky review of yesterday's Meeting of the Mindless in Houston town. The best part? That "Homescholers For Perry" sign doesn't look photoshopped at all.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 02:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2010

Rep. Brady with the stupid...

It's always good that the Republican caucus gives even their c-team the chance to go out on the field. It's super big of them and, well, reminds us all that there's someone standing up for stupid in Congress.

Today, it was Representative Kevin Brady who was interviewed by Bloomberg and decided to throw President Obama, Democrats and their mutual puppetmasters, the ever evil Unions, for not creating jobs by not passing weak trade deals negotiated by the weakest of all possible weak sisters, President George W. Bush. In point of fact, any time you hear Kevin say something is good, do some research. Today, he thinks we should pass a trade agreement with South Korea, despite the fact that it opens US markets to their companies far more than it opens their markets to our companies.

Kevin thinks we should pass it anyway since it would give us access to their markets (which people smarter than Kevin say won't happen) and made some demonstrably false claim about the Europeans selling stuff in S Korea like it was going out of style. Which they really aren't. He completely glossed over the fact that S Korea has a long, rich history of dumping products from cars to memory chips in the United States, bankrupting our manufacturers, and engaging in the kind of currency manipulation that would make a money launderer blush.

Of course I'm not the only one saying this is a piss poor deal...

A high-ranking Korean official recently admitted to me that the conclusion of the free trade deal between the U.S. and Korea would not result in any significant increase in U.S. exports to Korea.

Some are warning that the recent conclusion of a free-trade deal between the European Union and Korea will put the U.S. at a disadvantage in the Korean market. I'm not very worried about this. The Europeans are unlikely to gain much benefit from the deal and I'd be willing to bet that Korean exports to the EU will climb much more rapidly than EU exports to Korea.

Kevin, bubba, boneheaded decisions like this will put this entire country in the crapper. You're so willing to score cheap political points, you'll sell out your own constituents to do it. That's pretty fucking shameful.

Of course, if you really meant what you said then you need to resign from Congress. You're clearly too goddamn stupid to be there and Americans can't afford to have you running around fucking up the economy which is what your opinions and ideas will do.


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

January 29, 2010

Three oh so very stupid people

I don't hate all Republicans. I don't even dislike all of them or think they're all stupid. But a very large number of R elected officials are, well, pretty fucking stupid. Recently I've started to actually think that Rep. Hensarling is coming out of his ideological shell and has finally realized that maybe a large part of what he's believed is, well, bullshit. It's always nice when people start acting like leaders instead of partisan hacks.

However, Jeb is kinda unique in the R caucus. There's still Rep. Gohmert from Tyler who, no shit, is worried that if DADT is repealed, he's going to be in a fox hole and some Teh Gay is going to try to make out with him. I think the motherfucker either doesn't own a mirror or, if he does, has somehow deluded himself into thinking he's irresistible to gay men. Here's what he looks like...
gohmert.jpg
Louie, bubba, ain't nobody looking to hook up with you. I would be willing to bet even your wife makes you wear a paper bag to bed.

And of course, there are the three dipshits Belo decided to waste airtime on Friday night at 7 pm. I really don't have the mental energy to recap the whole stupid thing, especially since I've other things to do. However, here are a few of the things I noticed...

1) Hutchison finally was able to explain, if a little slowly, how that 2005 law Perry likes to tout actually makes it easier to force the conversion of free roads to toll roads. She did a clumsy job of explaining CDAs which isn't surprising because she supports them out of one side of her mouth, then criticizes Perry for them out of the other. Her answer on TXDOT funding was simply abysmal. No meat, no substance, no real solutions. She's old and tired.

2) Perry has officially lost the crazy crown. Well, kinda. His denial that his slush fund has been anything other than a failure actually prompted laughter from the people watching here. If this were a guy under psych eval, he'd be classified as massively delusional, probably as the result of a recent psychotic break. Someone get this mofo some thorazine, stat!

3) When you were in high school, you probably fell in love with Ayn Rand. You probably had friends that did the same. You also, by graduation, fell out of love with Ayn Rand and realized she was neither a brilliant philosopher nor a great writer. You figured out that she was over simplistic, sexually submissive, rather dull and unimaginative. Most of your friends did as well, except for one chick who was a lot like Rand. Debra Medina was that chick. She's a nurse turned small business woman who has made her living off medical billing which has absolutely nothing to do with the government. A government takeover of health care wouldn't be good for Debra Medina AT ALL. In fact, it would put her little parasitic business right out. Don't you love people who rail against the government yet are sucking off it's teat? Don't you also love people who've read just enough on a subject to make themselves look REALLY stupid when they discuss it with people who know far more? Like her AWESOME sales tax idea? Yeah. Fuckity nice that.

Frankly, the rest of the thing was pretty stupid. The Q&A was, well, like an episode of Jeopardy and largely useless in an age where the candidate, if they ever needed to know who the VERY FIRST GOVERNOR OF TEXAS WAS could look up J Pinckney Henderson (for whom Henderson County is named, just FYI) in less than 60 seconds. Even on a 2G mobile phone using T9. Kinda reminded me of this bit of ass at the Statesman that was really little more than Ken Herman playing LET'S BE A DICK TO THE LITTLE BROWN GUY WHO TALKS FUNNY BY ASKING QUESTIONS THE ANSWERS TO WHICH I WIKI'D 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE INTERVIEW. Dork.

The debate was a predictable waste of time. The panel did a great job for what it was... these were good, inquisitive, professional minds who were tasked with being panelists for a debate between liars and fools.

It's a lot like, I would assume, being a brilliant director forced by a studio to do a kids movie with dogs and cats.

Just FYI, I'm doing some policy work for Shami who is actually much smarter than Ken Herman. I feel pretty certain of that. It's also one of the reasons I've not been writing a lot about Shami on the blog. However, that little lynching on the Statesman's website deserved comment. I look forward to seeing Herman shoot similar gotcha footage with the other candidates.

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January 18, 2010

Defining irony...

In what is truly one of the more comical things to come out from the R side the primary, Sen. Hutchison has decided to come out in favor of term limits. This is, of course, funny because she made a promise to voters in 1994 to only serve two terms in the US Senate, a promise she broke in 2006.

39%'s campaign said something retarded about it and the comedy was lost. But still, for a briefly shining moment, something funny happened. And then a moron who works with other morons chimed in.

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January 14, 2010

A collection of incompetent retards

A few notes on the Republican Debate

1) KBH - No one aborts as child as it's being born. Just doesn't happen.
2) Perry - REALLY?!?!?! You love DoD? Come on, Governor... you also love Medicare and Medicaid or at least the part that comes from the Feds. Also, you were begging for TARP to pass. Quit lying you tan douchebag.
3) Medina - Your knowledge of the US Constitution is about as good as an aardvarks. Seriously, you don't know what you're talking about, especially when it comes to enumerated vs implied powers.

What's their answer to create jobs? CUT TAXES. Which is pretty stupid since the marginal utility of doing that would be bupkiss. REALLY. Not to mention that we couldn't fund schools or any public service (like DPS) or build roads. Debra goes one further into the crazy and wants to eliminate property taxes which, just FYI, has been the way primary way this state funded itself since it's inception. She wants to replace it with a sales tax. Dave Montgomery asked her how that would affect the poor (since, you know, a sales tax disproportionately effects the poor) and she said that it would create jobs and, I guess, magically eliminate the poor. Without educating them since there wouldn't be enough money for schools. Thanks a bunch for playing Debra Medina, RN (and also economist and Constitutional scholar).

And 39%... no one, not one of these assholes, called bullshit on the fact that we have the highest insurance rates int he country. And electricity rates. And teen pregnancy rates.

A collection of abject failures, incompetents and a fuckall crazy is what I watched Thursday night talking to one another. A complete goddamn waste of time.

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In anticipation of the R debate...

... Wayne Slater at the DMN put out this lovely column about some funny moments from debates past. I think he was especially nice about Kinkhole's performance in the 2006 Gubernatorial debate when he was basically a drooling slob (in other words, he was himself).

Make sure you check your local listings for the debate tonight. Here in Austin, it's on at 7 on KVUE and News8. And I've already put some money on Medina to thoroughly fuck things up for the other two clowns.

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January 11, 2010

Mary Peters takes a job in the private sector. Finally.

Apparently, TXDOT is hosting some sort of event that gives them time to jerk off their favorite toll companies and contractors. This time they even pulled in Bush Transportation Secretary Mary Peters...

Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas emerged as the leader among states in pursuing private toll roads but that momentum was halted last year, when the Legislature allowed the legal authority for most private toll roads in Texas to lapse.

"That moratorium on public private partnerships should be removed," she said. "The state of Texas should put that in abeyance. Restoring (private toll roads) here in Texas could show the federal government that you are really serious about tackling your own transportation problems."

No one, including our intrepid reporter at the DMN (Michael, buddy, I'm not letting you turn into Ben Wear... you gotta man up and start REALLY blogging), even bother to call bullshit on this. PPP's are NOT a good solution for transportation funding for a couple of reasons

1) Private companies can not, ever, raise debt as cheaply as a state. Period. Which automatically means the cost of any project undertaken by a PPP will be more expensive than anything the state will do.

2) These projects are contracted under provisions designed to take most of the risk off the project (and put it on the taxpayer) through forbidding or penalizing improvements to alternate routes and off the private partner (and put it on the taxpayer) by limiting their losses, limiting their percentage of the capital structure (usually to less than that of the state) and guaranteeing a profit to the private partner.

3) In the end, indexing the fuels tax will take care of inflation in construction and maintenance costs and allow the costs to be spread more equitably. In contrast, tolls are not only regressive (harder on the poor than the rich) they are abusive.

Add it all up and 'innovative solutions' like public private partnerships are the most expensive funding solution available for transportation. So, it's curious why old Mary (despite the fact that she really doesn't have all that great a background in banking... she's never worked in finance, only as a bureaucrat in Arizona and Washington, DC). I guess it really shouldn't come as a surprise that SHE'S WORKING FOR A COMPANY THAT STANDS TO BENEFIT FROM PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (good catch, Michael)

Zachry American Infrastructure, in partnership with ACS, was chosen by TxDOT as the Master Developer for Interstate 69 in Texas. Zachry American Infrastructure partnered with Cintra to form SH 130 Concession Company, which is developing SH 130 segments 5 and 6.

Peters is now a paid consultant -- or "senior adviser" -- to Zachry American Infrastructure, a private toll road (and other infrastructure) developer affiliated with Zachry Construction, a Texas construction company founded in 1924. TxDOT tapped the infrasture development firm to provide a master plan for Interstate 69 in Texas, and the company joined with Cintra to develop SH 130 in Austin.

According to Peters, we need to repeal the moratorium to show DC we're interested in fixing our own problems and following the Federal lead to PPP's. Problem is, the tide is shifting in DC on PPP's. Everyone knows this could well be the next asset bubble to pop up and no one in anxious for that. Nevermind that how expensive these 'partnerships' are for taxpayers.

We're CERTAIN this is all Mary is concerned about. We're quite sure that there is no way her opinion is being influenced by the fact that she and her employer stand to take (not make) a bunch of money off taxpayers and the government officials (Hey TXDOT!) dumb enough to buy the snake oil they're selling.

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January 06, 2010

Fuck Kay, 39% and you, too.

Goddamn if the stupid doesn't just make me want to bury someone up to their neck in cement, cover their head in peanut butter and birdseed and let the birds have a snack. I get that there are stupid people in the world, but I hate opinionated ignorance more than anything else, except maybe American Idol and those ass orange sours that Judson Candies makes.

And here, friends, is some motherfucking opinionated ignorance.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for Kay. I think she's losing it mentally, like borderline Alzheimers. Frankly, I don't care who wins the R primary because we can beat any of the candidates who've filed on that side. Even White can beat them. However, this bullshit excuse making about Perry just pisses me off.

First off, this bill that kept existing roads from being tolled was mostly bullshit... When Krusee and Staples shoved through 3588 (the bill that established the legal framework for the TTC and selling our roads) they fucked up on a few things. Much of that got 'fixed' in 05. The brilliant part about the 'local election' is that you're basically doing this with a gun to your head. TXDOT comes to you and says 'you either vote for this or you get no road or improvements'. When the mafia does something like that, it's illegal. What Staples, Krusee and 39% (as well as EVERY OTHER REPUBLICAN WHO VOTED FOR THIS) did is give TXDOT a gun and tell them to go use it on their constituents.

New lanes built within existing right of way could be tolled. Even more exciting, it could be wrapped into a CDA and effectively sold to a private company and you'd never know the details of that contract. Like the details that say the existing road has to be downgraded to a frontage road or the ones that say no road that runs even remotely parallel to the toll road can be upgraded or repaired.

Does Kay's ad suck? Oh, yeah. Unbelievable amounts of smelly ass. But it's not altogether wrong... our tax dollars paid for the ROW being used RIGHT NOW by SH 45, 1, 130 and roads in Harris County and North Texas. Future roads built within existing ROW can be tolled and even CDA'd through the newest bastard invention of the fucktard Houghton, pass through toll financing. Pay special attention to the fact that the 'private partner' assumes little to no risk and puts up very little of the capital raised by these 'innovative tools'. Remember, when you hear a Republican talk about Tolls, CDA's Public-Private Partnerships, Pass Through Financing or Innovative Financing Tools, it all means the exact same thing... CORPORATE WELFARE and a way to funnel your tax dollars to a private company.

One thing I'll say for progressive bloggers is that when our people fuck up, we call them on it. We don't get on our knees, unzip their pants and take their cocks into our mouths. Which is exactly what Republican bloggers, over and over again, keep fucking doing. What kind of a Texan makes excuses for people like Staples, Krusee, 39%?!?!?!?


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December 30, 2009

KBH's Transportation Plan FAIL

Anyone who expected guts or integrity from Senator Hutchison simply has to be disappointed by her Transportation Plan. In short, it's all a bunch of damn bullshit which comes as a huge surprise. Right up there with 39% going teabagging.

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December 29, 2009

Sen. KBH to unveil plan that sucks balls today

Sen. Hutchison will unveil her Transportation plan (with, hopefully, the funding piece) today in Dallas. The DMN had some good questions for her...

But the big questions in Texas are the ones that have dividing state leaders for years:

1) Are transportation planners and leaders like Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, right when they say Texas' fast-growing population requires enormous investments in new roads and bridges?

2) If so, how do we pay for those new projects, especially in our busiest cities, when the costs of simply maintaining the aging and growing system we already have continues to rise? New taxes? More toll roads by public entities willing to borrow billions? Capital from private firms willing to build them?

3) Is Texas wise in favoring roads over rail to such a large extent? And if something should change here, how quickly and with what money?

4) Finally, if the money is too tight at the state level, should local governments be allowed to ask their citizens to vote on new, local tax increases and fees to fund local roads?

We'll know soon enough tomorrow morning, given her other stops, and we'll report back here. Feel free to weigh in now with your thoughts and predictions, and with your feedback tomorrow.

OK, so you need to know that this is rolling at 3:25 this afternoon meaning that other than blogs, there won't be much coverage of this for a day or so. Which means she's not particularly comfortable with the plan and neither she nor her staff know the numbers well enough. To be honest, even if it's unalloyed anti-Perry goodness I'll still be asking why they didn't wait until they were a little more solid and could pull more coverage. Bad press hit planning, IMHO... but it really shouldn't surprise me since the MO of Hutchison's campaign has been incompetence wrapped in abject stupidity.

Meanwhile, nothing from Shami or Bill White yet on this. I know Shami is working on his because of friends working with the campaign and I'm sure White's folks are as well. Word of advice to the D's... just copy Hank's plan. There was a reason the press didn't rip it to shreds, it was solid as rock and I've seen the polling on increasing the gas tax. The privatization hit on Perry is BRUTALLY effective, by the way.

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December 10, 2009

Please, 39%, stop embarassing us!!

Granted, no one reads the Washington Times except Moonies and really, really stupid, but it's still a publication that gets cached on the web and simple searches reveal, once again, our Governor fully out of his depth...

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday compared President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, just months after being elected, to a freshman winning college football's Heisman Trophy.

"It raised a few eyebrows," said Mr. Perry, a Republican facing reelection. "And we'll just leave it at that."

Mr. Perry said Mr. Obama was elected in November amid great enthusiasm, but his efforts to reform U.S. health-care and limit carbon emissions have failed and are too costly.

"He is an amazingly popular president," he said onThe Washington Times' "America's Morning News" radio show."Most Americans, whether they agreed politically, were proud to elect an African American. But hope and change is all over with. Now we have to look at the policy."

Mr. Perrysaid passing the health-care reform legislation now on Capitol Hill "would bedevastating" in terms of consumer costs, limiting access to care and dissuading young people from becoming doctors.

"I think you're going to see a deterioration in medicine," he said.

Mr. Perry said U.S. cap-and-trade legislation on carbon emissions in based on "shoddy if not fraudulent evidence" that will cost the average Texas family $1,100 to $1,200 more a year.

"It means nothing more than higher costs for energy and losing jobs," he said.

Will these people never get over the 2008 election? I mean, even the most die-hard liberal is over Bush, but these people are going to be bitching about President Obama well into the 22nd century. You'll also notice that his typical bullshit negative arguments have changed recently... he's dropped the shit about the 'debt increases' and 'the failed stimulus'. Two reasons... 1) George Bush and Perry's fellow Republicans increased the debt far more than the Democrats and 2) The stimulus is finally arresting job losses and we're on a major upswing as confidence returns and the financial system returns to normal.

Now it's all about health care (he's lying here, by the way... a publicly run insurer will do nothing but hurt private insurance companies that are some of Perry's biggest contributors and whom have been squeezing Texans for decades) and Cap and Trade, about which he's also lying.

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Talkin' some shit with Ted Delisi

As a Republican strategist, it's really gotta suck to live in Travis County. Maybe that explains Ted Delisi's oh-so-dour column about the prospects of Democrats next year. I mean, when you're living in an area that's thoroughly Democratic, economically vibrant and entrepreneurial, it's gotta be depressing. Austin is pretty far from anyone's idea of a Randian paradise but it IS pretty damn close (traffic aside) to most people's idea of an urban paradise.

It's also pretty close, economically, to what the rest of the state desperately wants... especially the rural areas and suburbs where people have been hit hard by a recession Republicans don't even think is really happening. Democrats have had neither the money or the message to carry to these areas a problem which is changing. This year.

The funniest thing about Ted's opinion is just how clueless it shows him to be about the state of affairs in his own party. If the Teabaggers were a party of their own, they'd outpoll Republicans. Which means that sterling Texas Republican brand is looking pretty tarnished right now. Couple that with a rapidly improving economy (thanks to a stimulus plan Republicans stupidly said wouldn't work... and have done everything in their power to make sure wouldn't) and more aggressive D strategy and you have the ingredients for a shift next year that'll put many Republicans on unemployment.

Sure, it'll take a lot of hard work, planning, some great candidates and a little luck. All of which seems to be falling into place for the Democrats this year. They already rid themselves of deadweight (so long, Chuckles) and now, not being in a position where they have to defend losers, they're positioned to mount a broad offensive.

Ted would realize all that if he wasn't doing his best imitation of a French general by solidly focusing on the past.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 09, 2009

Hopson (R - Traitor) files

Rep. Hopson filed for re-election as a Republican on the 7th which means there's now something else horrible that occurred on that day to distract us from the painful memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The write up in the Jacksonville Progress (attributed to Special, which usually means someone who loves the subject of the story wrote the story. So, yeah, it was probably Chuckles himself) was really funny but then it went right off the rails...

Also joining Cornyn at the mid-November press conference were new Republican Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Straus endorsed Hopson as “an outstanding public servant with integrity and commitment to conservative values.”

Staples said Hopson was following the path of other rural conservative Democrats who became Republicans, including Perry, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, former Railroad Commissioner Kent Hance.

LOOKIT, this is important! Like when the crazy scientist finds the government official near the beginning of a Roland Emerich movie and explains that some disaster is rapidly approaching. YES, that kind of important.

One press conference in East Texas featured Sen. John Cornyn, Ag Commissioner Staples (who's going to get thoroughly pwn'd by Hank Gilbert) and Rep. Chuck Hopson! Don't you see? We narrowly escaped the formation of a black hole of suck which would have completely decimated the Piney Woods and, possibly, ALL LIFE ON EARTH. Only the lameness of Speaker Strauss, I'm speculating, averted disaster by providing a counterbalance to the malevolent stupidity of the other three.

In other news, Sen. Hutchison also filed to get stomped* by 39% and released a stupid statement about eminent domain restrictions that Farm Bureau wrote for her but which really won't do anything. I'm sure the D candidates in the Governor's race will take some time to beat her up about that.

*Just for little Matty and the fucktards over at the RPT (Hey Cathie, Bry-guy!), I'm using stomped figuratively. I do not actually think 39% will step on her. He'd probably like to, but I think she'd beat him up if he tried. And yeah, I totally think Hutchison could beat up 39%.


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December 08, 2009

What Republicans actually are good at...

Apparently, in an effort to show they're good at something other than fucking up the state and pissing off bloggers who really, really dislike them already and really, really LOVE making fun of how weak and stupid they are, they've now moved to pissing up the legs... drumroll, please... of Hispanics!

It's really very exciting to see Republicans embracing the 'open tent, open door' policy championed by Cathie Adams who knows all about that from the Eagle Forum where they simply love any diverse group of white people.

For all you budding Matt Lewis' and Bryan Preston's out there, I'm not saying the Republicans are literally pissing up the legs of people. It's Texan for angering people. I certainly hope your precious little virgin eyes haven't been strained by my horrible, obscene language and heartfelt desire to make fun of a bunch of racist crackers who are too stupid to realize that they're upsetting people THAT SUPPORT THEM.

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December 07, 2009

What a little candyass...

Well, Cathie and mooks over at the RPT tried to make hay on Friday. I wrote this in response and this little candyass referred to the post today with what I certainly hope is affected indignation...

The reference about "bloodying-up" Cathie is especially disturbing. Cathie Adams, of course, is the new Chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party.

Matt Lewis, for those of you who don't know, is some nancy halfwit from Virginia so you'll have to forgive him for not understanding Texan. Matty, 'bloodying up' is when you go on the attack in a political fight. It's a figure of speech like 'kick your ass'. So, don't worry... Cathie's in no physical danger. Her agenda to screw over Texans, however, is very much in danger.

Reached on the telephone, Republican Party of Texas Communications Director Bryan Preston had this to say: "The issue here is we have a blogger who repeatedly posts obscene material, and Bill White is advertising on their website. Is this the kind of political rhetoric that Bill White finds acceptable?

Brian, obscene? Like dumping a couple of hundred thousand kids off their insurance? Like underfunding schools? Like allowing insurance companies to rape the citizens of the state at will? Like allowing the electric companies to charge the most expensive rates in the country AND make it easy for them to pollute our air and water?

Shit, Brian... I could take a lesson from y'all. You guys have obscene down in a way that I can only hope to imitate one day. In comparison, the question of whether or not Rick Perry has a dildo that may (or may not) have been up his ass kinda looks sad. At least on the obscenity scale.

Oh, and y'all need to man up... this is Texas, not Virginia. Quit being a bunch twunts with all the whining about being mean. We haven't even really STARTED to be mean to y'all.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 06, 2009

Staples, you're such a douche

On Friday, within an hour of Hank Gilbert's announcement he was moving to the Ag Commissioner's race, Todd Staples tweeted this out...

After losing the ag race, losing in a local election & a deceptive run for gov, Hank Gilbert now says he is going to run for ag comm again

Team Gilbert, never missing a beat, was out with this shortly afterward...

@Todd_Staples One thing about losing a race, it makes you smarter the next time out. Welcome to the fight, Commissioner.

And now, because he's a chickenshit douchebag, Staples has banned a number of D's, including yours truly and Phillip Martin from @BOR. And it didn't go unnoticed.

Just so you know, Staples outspent Hank 22:1 in 2006. Pretty easy to win an election with those kinds of resources. The question now is how far the tables will turn... We already know Hank IS raising money and will continue to do so, straight through the primary and into the general. That, coupled with his high name ID due to his work opposing freeway privatization and championing private party right (two things Staples led on... in the opposite direction), means Staples has got a far more significant problem than many have realized.

I would wish the Commissioner good luck but we all know that would be disingenuous. It wouldn't matter anyway...

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

December 04, 2009

Stay out of it, bitches...

The RPT, in response to this, tweeted this.

To Cathie and all our friends over at the RPT, you want to stay out of this. We'll bloody you up soon enough and you really don't want a premature boot (or Gucci slip on as the case is today) up your ass.

Don't think we can't do it, Cathie. You're playing in the big leagues now.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 03, 2009

I may not like Bernanke but I like the R's even less

I'm watching the super fun Senate confirmation hearing for Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. Aside from the par payouts on the CDS (Credit Default Swaps) written by AIG (many of which were lottery tickets), he's done a decent job or, at least, as decent a job as anyone could have done. The reality is that many of the problems we faced were created by Congress, not the Fed and certainly not Bernanke. That's not to say he didn't screw up or that mistakes weren't made. However, all things being equal, we aren't in the middle of a depression and that's what we were looking at a little over a year ago.

Watching Senators Bunning and Bennett (R-UT) pontificate makes me actually like Bernanke. First off, there's Bennett whining about inflation and 'Carter's inflation' in the 1970's that finally ended thanks to Paul Volcker and President Reagan. Of course, Sen. Bennett's kind of a moron. He didn't realize that it was actually President Nixon, through his control of then Fed Chair Arthur Burns who kept expansionary monetary policy in place despite pressures that were clearly building in the economy. And it was Carter's appointee to the Chair, Paul Volcker, who broke inflation, not President Reagan. Reagan's policies had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Then there's Senator Bunning. Bunning was pissed about the par payouts on the CDS contracts without even understand the terms of those contracts which really is the far bigger issue. As for the payout, Bernanke's hands actually were tied... the only way to renegotiate the payout on the contracts would have been for AIG to go into bankruptcy. Given the aftershocks of Lehman (a total freeze of the credit markets and the complete breakdown of structure finance, eliminating more than $5 trillion from the US banking system), that was wholly undesirable. If the contracts hadn't been paid at par, the creditors would have forced AIG into bankruptcy and the result would have been disaster.

That ain't the whole story, though. These contracts weren't just insurance policies (that's basically what CDS is... it's an insurance policy against risk of economic loss or to cover event risk), they were also lottery tickets. For example, with most types of insurance, the policy is for the full value of the property covered (either cash or replacement cost) or limited by a set coverage amount. That's the maximum the company will pay in the event of a full loss. However, insurers only actually pay (in property settlements) ACTUAL loss. With CDS, especially some of the crap contracts written by AIG, they were set to pay off the entire contract value, not just the actual loss. So, if Goldman Sachs had a swap contract in effect with AIG covering a Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) the payout trigger might be a default rate of 15% on the CDO. But, the swap didn't pay off to cover the 15% loss, it paid out the full PAR value of the CDO, even though it was worth significantly less than par.

It's equivalent to me insuring my house for $280,000. Then, if there's a minor fire in the kitchen, instead of paying to repair the damage, they just cut me a check for $280,000 and then they own the house which, watch out, was only worth $100k.

THAT'S what Bunning should have been pissed about, the fact that those contracts were honored at all even though they were clearly fraudulent since I'm sure the valuations were based on representations and warranties made by the insured. If they'd been attacked that way, the court could have issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the counterparties (Goldman Sachs, for example) from collecting or forcing any payment. Then we could have broken it all apart.

So, yeah, instead of focusing on bullshit, how about looking at the really bad stuff, Senators?


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November 20, 2009

The inestimably stupid Dick Armey

OMG. I wish it was OK to beat stupid people senseless... if it was, I'd LOVE to introduce that fucktard Dick Armey's face to a hardcover copy of the Community Reinvestment Act since he's decided it (and not poor decision making at the banks) was the reason the banking industry melted down last year.

I guess Dick doesn't understand how easy it is for $600bn in liabilities to crush a mere $20 bn in equity (in the case of Lehman).

And thank you, Dr. Krugman, for nailing his ass. Yet again.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2009

Are the Republicans afraid?

Are they afraid of actually allowing the Constitution to work or of the terrorists? Both, maybe?

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November 13, 2009

Kay Bailey concedes to 39%

PhotobucketSenator Support Hose decided today NOT to resign prior to the primary. Instead, she's decided to continue her project in the Senate which consists, primarily, of fucking things up for her constituents. And wasting her contributors money in a vain attempt to beat 39% who will, because of this, beat her like she owes him money.

I find it interesting that this comes not long after Hank Gilbert's campaign rolled Kay's Magic 8 Ball. I also loved Hank's comment...

Anyone who says they are shocked by her announcement hasn't followed the lengthy trail of broken promises she's left in her wake, starting with her promise to serve only two terms. She is an unreliable and undependable public servant who dodges and weaves as it suits her political ambitions. Senator Hutchison has left her supporters and contributors holding the bag.

Cause and effect? Certainly didn't hurt. I do think it's funny that, once again, Gilbert's campaign is the only one with a pulse, hitting Republicans hard. And Hank even had time today to go live in the comments on a post at Kos regarding his LGBT policy.

B team member Tom Schieffer was busy telling that retarded little story about his tux while Kinky was trying to con someone into buying one of his books by promising that it was really written by someone with talent. Farouk Shami was busy scribbling out checks to every Democratic club in the state of Texas in a sad attempt to make up for years of neglect. Just like my mother. Which reminds me, if you have a Democratic club (especially one that endorses) you need to hop on the gravy train soon. I just set up three new clubs last week and am looking forward to making enough to have a very merry Christmas (Thanks Farouk! I can even say it like Ms. Texas, it's really something in real life).

39%, meanwhile, celebrated his rapidly approaching victory in the R primary with a 'close friend' at Charlies.

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November 12, 2009

On defections...Rep. Hopson goes for a walk

Someone recently asked me how I am able to drink so much and not look a total wreck at the end of the night. That little story really has nothing to do with this post and the only reason I'm putting it in is that it makes me look good. Well, kinda...

So, Rep. Hopson decided to flip over to the Republicans because of President Obama in what is really one of the more craven political moves in a body known for craven political moves. Unlike the defection of Rep. England last year, this is all about Hopson wanting to save Hopson's ass and not realizing that he'd be better off staying on the D side... at least he can get through the D primary. The same can not be said of the R primary where he will face a reasonable, decent guy and (possibly) a nutter from the boob hatch who'll fling enough shit onto Chuck that he'll have no chance of survival.

The saddest thing is how hard this has been on some of our friends, like Harold Cook who is genuinely broken up about all this (see here and here). It's never easy to say good bye, especially to such a steadfast and loyal vote on things that would really help people in his district, like tort reform and electricity deregulation. However, say good bye we must as he's now on the other side suckling at the teat of Grover Norquist.

Have fun signing your pledge! Hope you too will enjoy being the political equivalent of a prison bitch!

(Sorry I'm late digging into this... I had better things to do than worry about What The Fuck Chuck was up to. I've never liked the fucker and have spent the last few years actively wishing he'd be killed in some tragic pharmacy accident.)


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November 10, 2009

So what ever happened to?

One of 39%'s appointees to a regulatory agency (TABC) thought it was OK to solicit donations for 39% from the people he regulates. The dumbass didn't think it was a problem. Folks in West Texas and Denton disagreed.

So, what's going on with that guy? Will the AG's office get involved?

Quit your snickering... sometimes Wheelie likes to do stuff about political corruption. Of course, that's rare but I think he wants to. I think so, at any rate. I like to think the best of people, even the ones who sue to build their wealth and then work ardently to restrict the rights of others to sue when injured. I think it was called tort reform?

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November 03, 2009

Sure. Right. Whatev.

So the Texas Tribune launched today with some interesting polling data... now, if someone can just explain to me how a man who won a contested primary in 2006 with almost 75% of the vote polls less than 1% in this poll AND it's not a colossal screw up, I'd love to hear it. And isn't it customary, in a real poll, to scrap the sample if a mistake is made and pull in a new one?

I wonder exactly how this polling of those who had already been polled was done? Did they send out an email? What was the time limit on that? How many people actually responded or were their previous responses locked in if they didn't respond in time?

And then there's the sample size of only 266 people which is about a third what you would expect. Sure, I get that you're pulling people out of a broader universe, but there's a reason why just about no one else does that... it doesn't produce valid results. Oh, and for those of you who still think this is reliable, keep in mind Zogby's internet poll had Barbara Ann within the MOE vs Sen. Hutchison in 2006. And look how that turned out. Speaking of Sen. Hutchison, she's now gone (in a little over a month) 12 points below Perry in this poll??!?

Seriously, Tribune, love you guys but this is just too jacked to be credible. But it's a nice try and the site looks pretty. I know things will get better!

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A subtle psychotic beauty...

This is amazing...go on, take a look.

See what I mean by subtle?

h/t to MG@BOR

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

October 30, 2009

ANOTHER State Agency lobbying?

Once again, it's just awesome to see a taxpayer funded agency using our money to lobby against something most people support. Thanks, Texas Railroad Commission for wasting time and our money and for allowing polluters to poison the air in North Texas.

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

October 28, 2009

Why does Dewhearse lie?

I never thought our Lt. Governor was one of the crazies. So, imagine my surprise when he claimed he'd balanced the budget without help from the Feds, the same lie that 39% has been pushing all over the state like a bad check.

Jason Embry wasn't amused and called bullshit which isn't really all that surprising when you consider that Jason spends much of his day buried in 39%'s colon (just slightly below Gardner Selby) and 39% doesn't like Dewhearse.

Still, whatever his motivation, he did nail The Dew rather effectively, even if it was with all the wit of a lobotomized pekingese. Rep. Dunnam did it better.

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October 27, 2009

Kickin' Kay in the kooter

So, the fucktards that comprise the State Republican Executive Committee (what passes for leadership in the other party) elected themselves a new chair, which they had to do when Tina Fish got pulled over to 39%'s campaign in what we can only assume is an act of self-mutilation. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new first lady of Teh Crazy, Cathie Adams.

Cathie's been involved in the Eagle Forum for so long she's actually got a tattoo of Schlafly's face on her inner thigh (it's the left one). That would matter except for the fact that, even in most Republican primaries, no one really gives a shit about the Eagle Forum or what they think. That tends to happen when you lie a lot to people about a homosexual agenda that doesn't exist. Cathie's other claim to fame was convincing a bunch of nutters to make her chair of the RPT. Which brings us to Sen. Hutchison. You see, Cathie had already endorsed 39%, but that was only because Larry Kilgore wouldn't return her calls (one of the few non-crazy things he's done in his entire life).

One thing that's certain is that she's not retracting her endorsement of 39%. It's also pretty clear Cathie doesn't like Sen. Hutchison and has decided to ride her ass to resign like a stud top in a gay porno.

Cathie Adams of Dallas, who also said she won’t be withdrawing her earlier endorsement of GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election, said her hope that Hutchison acts on the resignation issue reflects concern among party activists waiting for Hutchison’s decision before setting their own political plans or making political commitments.

Adams singled out the possibility of Hutchison putting off her resignation until after the 2010 candidate filing period ends in early January, a scenario potentially leaving party leaders with the job of choosing some nominees for major statewide positions. That could happen if incumbents react to a Hutchison resignation after the filing deadline by deciding to either pursue Hutchison’s vacated seat or to chase other offices opened up in the wake of her resignation.

“It would help the people of the state of Texas to know more clearly, especially by (the candidate filing deadline of) Jan. 4,” Adams said, “because if she resigns after that, we’re going to throw things into quite an unknown.”

Cathie then whipped out her strap on and started rubbing it suggestively. At that point, everyone just started to back away from her.

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

October 26, 2009

US Chamber of Commerce losing members?

Apparently, when an organization swings to the far right, companies choose to leave it. What. A. Shock.

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

October 21, 2009

Fuckin' around with the FEC

If your wondering just how solid our campaign finance laws are, go look at this piece on the swiftboat network. Doesn't it make you feel good to know that laws designed to keep campaign fundraising transparent really do anything but?

Posted by mcblogger at 09:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2009

Yet another sign of the apocalypse

Mark it down, girls and boys... I'm agreeing with ARNOLD GARCIA

Toward the tail end of last week, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who are competing for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, both signed pledges not to raise state taxes. They did so at the behest of Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader who famously said he wanted government made small enough so that he could drown it in a bathtub.

Perry has wrapped himself in so many layers of fiscal conservatism over his two decades of elected service (starting with his election to the Texas House as a Democrat in 1984) that he wouldn't need a windbreaker in the dead of an Iceland winter.

But wait, there's more.

Perry waved the anti-tax banner even higher last week when he declared that he would like to see a constitutional amendment that would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes.

Wow. Let's see somebody get inside that, as they say on the golf course.

The two-thirds proposition is a real head scratcher because Perry is plagiarizing ideas on how to run a state from California, of all places.

Tax increases must pass by two-thirds vote of both houses of the California Legislature — a stipulation adopted by 12 other states.

So, how's that two-thirds deal working out in California?

Not so well. As you may recall, California legislators had a devil of a time passing a budget because Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on taxes. The state government was issuing IOUs in the meantime, and the budget crisis was making for a national spectacle.

Perry was the leading voice in the choir of tut-tutters about how California politicos manage money.

In fairness to the Duke's adopted state, California legislators were also hamstrung by Proposition 13, which caps property taxes and was passed with great hoopla in the 1970s.

What Garcia didn't point out is that if CA had our property tax structure, they'd have been pretty close to surplus right now unlike Texas which needed more than $12 bn from PRESIDENT OBAMA to balance the budget. 39% failed to make apologies to the Tenth Amendment for that one.

So, once again we have two chickenshit Republicans who took time out of their lives to suck off Grover Norquist by pledging to throw us all under the bus if they're elected. This is 39%'s, what, 18th time doing this particular duty? I guess 39% really likes Grover's ball juice.

If you want to stop this bullshit, go here and volunteer. And drop a few bucks here if you can.

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

October 14, 2009

Out of their element

If you thought the Bush folks, once the compliant media started getting a little more testy, seemed more incompetent, you were pretty much spot on...

after chris, Jonathan Horn, and I learned about the president’s $700-billion-bailout proposal and drafted the remarks announcing it to a stunned nation, Ed said the president wanted to see us in the Oval Office. The president looked relaxed and was sitting behind the Resolute desk. He felt he’d made the major decision that everyone had been asking for. That always seemed to relax him. He liked being decisive. Excuse me, boldly decisive. The president seemed to be thinking of his memoirs. “This might go in as a big decision,” he mused.

“Definitely, Mr. President,” someone else observed. “This is a large decision.”

The president asked his secretary, Karen, to bring him the Rose Garden remarks he’d just delivered that day, September 19, announcing his action plan. He got slightly exasperated when she was delayed in printing them out. When he finally got them, he put his half-glasses on and looked at them. “See, this was fine today,” he said. “But we got to make this understandable for the average cat.” He proposed an outline for another speech that talked about the situation our economy was in, how we’d gotten here, and how the administration’s plan was a solution.

“This is the last bullet we have,” the president said at one point, referring to the bailout. “If this doesn’t work…” He shook his head, and his voice trailed off. That wasn’t good enough for me. If this doesn’t work, then what? We’re done? America is over? I looked around at everyone else. What does that mean?

This is the problem when you have an incurious and frankly stupid President driven by ideology, not reality.

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October 09, 2009

GOP loves poor people. Who knew?

Every once in awhile, a local contributors’ letter to the AAS is so outlandish, that you are left speechless. Well, at least for a little while.

When Travis County Chairwoman Rosemary Edwards states in her diatribe against the city of Austin’s energy plan, that the GOP is concerned for poor people, even Jesus himself probably became faint. Her words might be encouraging if not for the fact that she has lead organized protests against Congressman Lloyd Doggett and the Democratic Party’s plan to provide affordable and accessible health care to the same poor people she professes her undying love.

Then she has the gall to involve the Austin Catholic Diocese in her partisan politics and take a Diocesan spokeswoman words out of context. While much of the church’s commitment to the poor and environment is found in the creed of St. Francis, the GOP’s new-found enlightenment comes from the screed of Karl Rove.

This is the GOP’s latest attempt to con us into believing they are compassionate conservatives, and gain inroads to the catholic community. Although local Republican operatives are pushing hard for the next bishop of Austin to be ultra conservative with a strong fondness for business, this movement is nationwide.

Some advice for Edwards – go back to just demanding President Obama’s birth certificate because your reputation is already one of a wacko, no reason to add liar.

Posted by Captain Kroc at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 08, 2009

Wherever Sarah Palin goes...

...she's sure to make Americans in general and Alaskans in particular look like a bunch of low-brow, mouthbreathing hillbillies.


It was Sarah's trip to Asia and her first appearance since her resignation as Alaska's top Mum. In her state capital, she told us, you could see a moose in the middle of the city. It was not a common sight in Hong Kong. Why, in Alaska, where 20,000 square miles of the state was glacial and with only two humans per square mile, "it seems to me that God just chucked this bucketful of resources there". It was then we realised that whoever wrote the Palin sermon for her, they had – mercilessly – allowed some of the real Sarah to show through. Even husband Todd got a mention. He had flown with her into Hong Kong. And – here was a reference to the Alaska fish and caviar consumed in this "beautiful", "magnificent" and "libertarian" part of China – "some of the fruits of our labour, mine and Todd's, ended up on tables here". The caviar at the Hyatt, it should be added, comes from Iran.

Salmon caviar? Whoever heard of such a thing.

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October 07, 2009

Homeland Security and the 2016 Olympics

Did the current intrusive mess that is US Customs mean the loss of the 2016 Olympics? Very likely, according to the NYT

“Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago’s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be “a rather harrowing experience.”

Posted by mcblogger at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2009

This makes me laugh...

A bill targeting ACORN may hit an unintended target, defense contractors. The bill is designed to cut off federal funds from contractors who commit fraud. Which would, coincidentally, effect many private companies from defense contractors like Lockheed Martin to small Katrina cleanup companies.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2009

I'll admit it... it was me...

PhotobucketYes, it's true. It was me. I was the one who screwed up 39%'s little webcast event that Jason Embry was jerking off about this AM (by the way, that was some solid work, Jason... who did you have to give the hummer for that hard hitting piece).

I'm just kidding, I don't have the technical skill to screw up something like that. I wouldn't have bothered even if I did because it would have denied 39% a chance to spout stupid to the few true believers he still has under his spell. Plus, until we're done with the primary, I want him nice and plump.

Before I start to bust him up like a shit-filled pinata.

Phillip over at BOR has been doing an excellent job ripping into the epic failure that was Talkin' Texas. Basically, it all comes down to 39%'s lackluster team being thoroughly jacked up. Read more here, here and here. My favorite part is how 22,000 got to watch a speech before it was given. It's almost as funny as the obviousness of this as 39%'s fuckup, not some hacker being mean.

Pull up your big girl panties, 39% and quit whining.

As for Senator Senile, just keep your crazy old trap shut. No one gives a crap what you think about all this mostly because you keep talking about your cat. And your car keys.

And no, Senator, I don't want a quarter to rub your feet.

In other MASSIVE 39% CAMPAIGN FAILURES, a soon to be former staffer decided to bring Tina Fish on board.

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

September 28, 2009

Moral relativism and the NYT

Shorter Ross Douthat : Sure Bush fucked up. But then he jumped on fixing shit and down the road that's all we'll remember. And then there's this...

This is not a blueprint that future presidents will want to follow. But the next time an Oval Office occupant sees his popularity dissolve and his ambitions turn to dust, he can take comfort from Bush’s example. It suggests that it’s possible to become a good president even — or especially — when you can no longer hope to be a great one.

This is, literally, like being terribly impressed with a dog for scratching back with it's hind legs to cover up the shit they've just laid in the yard. It doesn't get rid of the shit, it doesn't even cover it up, but at least the dog put some effort into helping.

And that would be cool if we didn't expect a little more from the men and women we elect to lead.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2009

Thank God For Oklahoma!

And thank God for OK Senator Tom Coburn, who makes our own John Cornyn look like Daniel Webster. And especially thank God for the insights of Coburn's aide Michael Schwartz, who told last week's Values Voter Conference that young people could be warned off pornography by telling them it could cause them to catch Teh Gay.

Schwartz told the crowd about Jim Johnson, a friend of his who turned an old hotel into a hospice for gay men dying of AIDS. “One of the things he said to me,” said Schwartz, “that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark… he said ‘All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.”

There were murmurs and gasps from the crowd. “Now, think about that,” said Schwartz. “And if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants! You know, that’s a good comment, it’s a good point, and it’s a good thing to teach young people.”

Wait, Playboy turns you gay? Well, maybe if you read the articles...

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 15, 2009

Attention WillCo D's : Find a candidate

PhotobucketToll road lovin' Rep. Dan Gattis has announced a run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Ogden (who has his own issues, if rumors are to be believed).

So, y'all have a mission... find someone to run against this freakshow. This isn't a partisan thing, Dan Gattis is a stuffed shirt with no business in the House, let alone the Senate.

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

September 06, 2009

Save Them Skule Chillurnz!!

I realize my planned weekly post on lawyerin' is now so overdue that more than a fortnight o' lawyerin' has gone uncovered, but that's not where the action is right now.

Where the action is, is in pointing out and staring at the tsunami wave of Stupid that has washed over this nation since word got out about the President wanting to speak directly to small children about such controversial, highly-charged partisan issues as staying in school.

The Mayor has already addressed this issue and nailed down what has to be the most reasonable hypothesis for explaining the hysteria, the last time out having gone so poorly and all. Still, you have to figure that even if there is a solemn pledge to suspend all air traffic and not read any goat stories this time around, that won't get people to come down from off the ceiling.

Here's what I think the President should do. Let this controversy continue to fester and blow up waaaay out of proportion. Let the Crazies pull their kids out of school. Let them carry their collective cow to full term. Let them have a completely drug-free natural cow birth. Then, when the day of the speech comes, President Obama should simply lead the children in the Lord's Prayer and sign off.

Now, I know that would be inappropriate and not entirely consistent with the Establishment Clause, blablabla....But talk about some heads exploding! THAT would be fun to watch! It would be like when the immovable object meets the irresistible force - what would happen? Would the Crazies' sheer unalloyed hatred of Obama compel them to object to a good old-fashioned Christian prayer in school, or would their fanatical devotion to school- sanctioned Protestant religious rituals force them to have to choke down their open abhorrence of Obama? I don't know which would happen. But it would be a really neat science experiment either way. (Hey! that would be ANOTHER tie-in to stuff about education!)

In fairness, it makes internal sense from Teh Crazy viewpoint to worry about potential indoctrination of schoolchildren. Because that's what THEIR fave U.S. President did when he had the opportunity. So logically, they expect Obama to do the same. We can all see where that would lead, right? Reach today's impressionable grade-schoolers, and you've captured the minds of a whole generation of young voters, just in time for the election of 2016, when Obama is conveniently up for his third ter-........oh, wait, that doesn't......

Ah, I give up. They're just batshit crazy.

P.S. - Props to MSNBC's John Harwood for saying so, out loud, on the air.

Posted by hbalczak at 11:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 04, 2009

Sweet Jesus, Jared Woodfill is a fucking liar

Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill sent out an email earlier today telling subscribers that the President's speech to students will take hours and be political. It's not. It's about the importance of education and staying in school. But Jared, never one to waste an opportunity to act like a jackass, makes it out to be something sinister... "those horrible Democrats are at it again, this time they're going for your children!!" Nevermind that Reagan and Bush had similar events. Reagan even preached the gospel of supply side economics during his.

Now that was some indoctrination.

Please take a moment to call Harris County Schools and tell them to air the President's speech. Then take a moment to call 713-838-7900 and feel free to share your feelings about Jared Woodfill. My favorite word today is COCKSUCKER so maybe think about using that for Dear Old Jared.

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

August 10, 2009

Health care reform : An update fit for a toilet!

I thought it might be time to give you folks a little update on the ongoing efforts of President Obama and some good people in Congress (mostly Democrats) to reform our health care system so that it serves us all a whole lot better. Now, you probably know I disagree with the President and the pro-reform members of Congress on the path they are taking toward a 'public option.

Yeah, I think we should nationalize all health insurance companies. Because they're wasteful, inefficient and only exist because of their lobbyists.

Still, I know they're as likely to pass nationalization as I am to put down this drink and swear off gin forever. So, let's just jump right in and see what's happening:

  • As it turns out, people are fucking stupid when it comes to this issue. Many older Americans who really LIKE the fact that they don't have to deal with private insurers seem to think that Medicare is (no shit) NOT A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.
  • You know all those bullshit teabaggers who've been all over the place harassing electeds about health care reform? Turns out, it's insurance industry and Republican party astroturfing.
  • Speaking of health insurance companies again, exactly WHY ARE THE REPUBLICANS SO EAGER TO SAVE THEM?!?!?! And why are so many idiots being turned out to this rallies to defend horribly wasteful companies?
  • On the subject of things fit for a toilet, let's take a look at what's really driving all this astroturf mobs (via the DNC)

    1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the "Swiftboat" ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.
  • No, I'm not entirely satisfied with what is possible. Some Democrats and just about ALL Republicans seem hellbent on preserving a broken and ineffective system of private insurers that are some of the most inefficiently run companies in the world. Health insurers in the US, from an investment standpoint, make the old Soviet state-run companies look like models of efficiency and customer service. The ONLY reason these companies exist is because of government. There is no rational reason for them.

    And if you're invested in them, you're in an idiot. Seriously, learn to read an operating income statement.

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

    August 05, 2009

    Are birthers and anti-choicers one and the same?

    Amanda Marcotte thinks so... you will too after you read this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 04, 2009

    The most recent Republican screwups

  • Coby has a terrific post up about yet another GOP family man who cheated on this wife. This time, it was with a real girl!
  • Republican's ability to hide from the health care reality of the uninsured in this country is really very stunning. And also really very stupid.
  • The Angelides Commission, set up to determine the causes of the bursting credit bubble (AKA the 2008 Financial Crises) is populated by Republicans and Democrats. It would appear that the Democrats are mooks and the Republicans are class A idiots. Especially one Peter Wallison. Petey's from the American Enterprise Institute which is populated almost exclusively with fools willing to say anything for a buck. Petey's one of those morons who thinks that restricting dangerous financial products to the financially savvy is just un-American. Isn't it great we have someone taking up for the shysters who want to rob the rubes? It's like denying someone apple pie to keep them from obtaining a mortgage that far exceeds their capacity to repay!

    It's simple, yo! He's going to use his little platform as part of this Commission to blame everything on the government. A sawbuck says a ton of the responsibility will lie, in Petey's eyes, with the Community Reinvestment Act. We already know it's a lie, but that won't stop Petey from fibbing. Again.

  • Oh, and while we're on the subject of think tank integrity, the American Conservative Union offered it's full throated endorsement and support to FedEx for the bargain basement price of $2mn. We at McBlogger are formally announcing our intention to seek their endorsement in exchange for a membership (paid ahead one month) to Blockbuster Total Access, a lottery ticket for next Wednesday and a book of Camel Snus coupons that, inexplicably, keep getting sent to me. And half a dozen doughnut holes from Krispy Kreme.
  • No one ever accused Pete Sessions of being smart. And it appears they were wise. It's also good to know we can add hypocrite to the list of things Pete Sessions actually is.
  • Stupidity, it turns out, isn't limited to serving Congressmen like Pete Sessions. It also applies to former Congressman like Dick Armey. Mr. Dick seems to think there's absolutely no way we could affect God's creation.

    DICK ARMEY: What I’m suggesting is we have a sort of an eco-evangelical hysteria going on and it leads me to almost wonder if we are becoming a nation of environmental hypochondriacs that are willing to use the power of the state to impose enormous restrictions on the rights and the comforts of, and incomes of individuals who serve essentially a paranoia, a phobia, that has very little fact evidence in fact. Now these are observations that are popular to make because right now its almost taken as an article of faith that this crisis is real. Let me say I take it as an article of faith if the lord God almighty made the heavens and the Earth, and he made them to his satisfaction and it is quite pretentious of we little weaklings here on earth to think that, that we are going to destroy God’s creation. [...]

    I guess no one told him about all those pesky species mankind has hunted to extinction.

  • Sen. Hutchison's people have been having some with 39%'s alleged gayness. Jobsanger has the deets.
  • Why are the Republicans telling the elderly that they'll be 'euthanized'? THEY already have really good government funded health care.

    Seriously, Republicans, why would you scare the fuck out of sweet old people by lying to them?

  • With regard to the health care debate, Rayburn's old quote “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it took a carpenter to build it" has just as much meaning today as it did back when he was Speaker of the US House. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you THE Jackasses.

    It's always nice to see a bunch of poor trash get all worked up by a horrible Democrat whose only crime is trying to help make their miserable, poor people lives a little better. These are the folks who are barely scraping by, working-class, paycheck to paycheck slobs who make up the grassroots that the Republicans use as their collective cockwipe. Don't worry about these folks too much... they're on their socioeconomic way back to their roots as subsistence farmers.


  • Posted by mcblogger at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 30, 2009

    TDP calls out Sen. Hutchison on Sotomayor

    Sen. Hutchison Breaks Promise, Opposes Sotomayor


    I'd just like to add my thanks to TDP for addressing this head on and my laughter at Sen. Hutchison for being played. Again.

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

    July 29, 2009

    Stupid talking points

    As part of the healthcare/surtax debate, a silly little theme has risen regarding who will be affected by this surtax. The Republicans say it'll be small business, which really shouldn't surprise anyone because they're kinda known for lying.

    Since the overwhelming majority of small business owners earn far less than $280,000, few “entrepreneurs that run these small businesses” will be affected by the tax. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities pointed out, “only 1.9 percent of filers with any small-business income are projected to face either of the top two income tax rates in 2009.” In fact, of people who file most of their income from their own business, “more than half have income below $30,000 and 80 percent make less than $100,000.” The few business owners who do qualify for the new tax should be able to afford it. Pat Garofalo explains that “no one likes paying higher taxes” but a household earning more than $350,000 “is not a household that is barely scraping by.”

    The other lie is that the rich will leave if they suddenly have to start paying taxes more in line with their income. The talking point uses Maryland which enacted a high-income tax and has seen high income earners dwindle from their tax rolls. Of course, the Republicans say, this is because those folks are moving. However, as this article in Newsweek points out, that's not really the case... those people simply aren't earning as much as they did.

    We are not, under any scenario, talking about taxes exceeding those that existed under Clinton. When we had a booming economy, low energy prices and government surpluses. The fact of the matter is that Republican ideology and economic thinking (the so-called supply side) is all a sham. Theoretically and empirically, the ideas of Milton Friedman as applied to tax rates rates under 45% is worthless.

    In point of fact, sometimes too low a tax rate can be a disaster for a country and it's economy. Most of us learned that over the last eight years. Rep. Polis notwithstanding.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Salon wants you to know...

    ... what's happening to the losers who brought us Sarah Palin.

    Disaster is often followed by recrimination, a bitter aspect of human nature that can be observed among the Republicans as the Sarah Palin fiasco continues to unfold. The Alaska governor's surprise resignation, amid negative press coverage in Vanity Fair and elsewhere, suddenly revived dormant feuding among campaign operatives and conservative media figures -- notably between Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager, and Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor and Fox News commentator.

    In ordinary circumstances, all their bitchy backbiting, spinning and fabricating would be of little interest except as comic entertainment for political junkies. Who first called Palin a "diva"? Who insinuated that she might suffer from postpartum depression? Who searched computer files to find out which staffer was leaking these bilious tidbits to the press? And who cares now, eight months later, except for these losers?

    Plainly there is no reason why anyone should care, except for one small nagging concern. It is worth remembering that these are the same people who chose Palin, a manifestly unqualified and incompetent politician unable to string together a series of coherent sentences, as the potential presidential successor to a 72-year-old cancer survivor. So it would be refreshing and salubrious to see the perpetrators of that contemptuous and cynical tactic held accountable for endangering the country.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 10, 2009

    The RPT and their stupid emails

    Not for nothing, but the Republicans in Texas have always had pretty shitty communication skills. From the appallingly retarded Tina Fish to the incoherent bullshit flowing forth from the gaping maw of 39%'s overscripted mouth like a river flush with water from the spring thaw, there just isn't anyone even worth beating up on.

    Except for Hans Klinger who has now gone to live in Sen. Kay Bailey 'Shred those docs, bitch' Hutchison's colon. Hans, bubie, we miss you. At least you tempered your bullshit somewhat. Whoever is over their now, well, is just like the stuff clogging up a fat man's colon after a visit to Golden Corral.

    The first thing up in their insipid little email is this Gallup poll which supposedly shows that the country is becoming more conservative. The reality is that it's the Republicans who are becoming more conservative. A majority of Americans either stayed the same or grew more liberal. Also of note is Gallup's use of the word 'liberal' which has, over the last few decades, taken on a decidedly pejorative connotation. If Gallup were after an accurate sample, why use it? The other poll is this one from Rasmussen which shows the President's astronomically high approval rating finally starting to drop a little. Which isn't really surprising considering his prevarication on health care reform, for example.

    The Republicans also fail to mention 1) That Republicans in Congress still have approval ratings in the 20's. Even The Evil Demon Pelosi has a higher approval rating than the Congressional Republicans which has really got to be burning Tina Fish up and 2) That the average age of self identified Republicans is significantly higher than that of Democrats.

    Then, there's this about the coup in Honduras which is based, in turn, on another blog which is based on a blog at the WSJ. All this in an effort to paint President Obama as clueless without even mentioning that the democratically elected president of Honduras was ousted by military forces. According to the WSJ, the Supreme Court of Honduras ordered all this which is interesting since President Zelaya wasn't impeached and there are serious questions as to the legality of any order given the military by the SC. Finally, the results of the election held to eliminate the one-term limit are still not known. In short, no one knows what the Honduran's want. A few wealthy members of the Honduran Congress, acting in concert with military leaders, effectively took control of a third world country.

    And why would the WSJ be so eager to cast Zelaya as Chavez, part two? Let's just say he wasn't a big fan of allowing Bechtel to control water resources and then sell the water to the Honduran people. For example. He wasn't, in the parlance of the WSJ, pro-business.

    But why should reality matter when it's soooo much more fun to live in this fantasy world where President Obama is the devil and all evil flows from him. Or a world in which he's woefully inadequate and extraordinarily ignorant. The story from the Republican's changes from situation to situation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 06, 2009

    What a statesman is The Dew

    Actually, what a cocksucking piece of shit, but in this lovely article he's a real statesman in the mold of George Wallace.

    “If the Senate job came open, I would probably give it a hard look,” he said. “I think that seat needs to stay in Republican hands.”

    “I’m not trying to be partisan, but I think it’s probably in the Senate, in America’s best interest, if there’s a healthy balance of Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Republicans that are policy oriented and can stand up and say respectfully that they applaud the goal but there are perhaps better ways to get there that don’t do as much damage to the economy and cost as much in new taxes to the citizens of America.”

    Oh, sure. Why would Texas want at least one Senator from the majority party? How foolish of Texans to actually want to have a voice with the majority!

    As for not being partisan, Dewby, you kinda sealed the deal on that with the voter ID bullshit y'all pulled at the start of the session that caused it's ultimate demise. It was, in fact, the reason y'all had to come back for a special session.

    Let's also remember that there was some HUGE losers from the special, not the least of which was Dewhurst himself, when privatization went down in flames and the asinine revolving fund died. Which means he doesn't have the juice he once did... and even if he DOES decide to run for re-elect, he faces an uphill battle in some of the areas where he's historically done well. It's fallout from not actually leading on transportation and it's going to hurt him, just like it'll hurt 39%.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 03, 2009

    Palin Quits

    Announces plan to hike Appalachian Trail.

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

    July 02, 2009

    Fools and their money...

    ...never stay together for long. From QR:

    PhotobucketU.S. Senate candidate Roger Williams reports that he raised more than $400,000 at a Saturday fundraiser in Weatherford. The former Secretary of State is exploring a run for the Senate seat when (or if) incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison steps down to pursue the office of Governor.

    Based on his campaign’s release, Williams now appears satisfied that he can mount a successful campaign. “This event was one of the final major events in the exploratory phase of my campaign. In this phase, I am testing the water,” said Williams. “Based on what I saw on Saturday, the water is just right for diving in.”

    Among the luminaries at Williams’ event were: former Dallas Cowboys players Bob Lilly and Rayfield Wright, former football announcer Pat Summerall, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) and boxing promoter Don King.

    Keep throwin' money down the rabbit hole, R's!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 29, 2009

    Good idea, 39%

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

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

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

    June 25, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 23, 2009

    39%'s been busy with the vetoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 19, 2009

    There's being the opposition...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    June 16, 2009

    You have to be kidding me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 15, 2009

    Medical tourism, part two

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

    The best part...

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

    $20 says there are similar numbers in Texas.

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

    June 11, 2009

    Remembering Dr. Tiller and some sad news

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

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

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

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

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

    She begged.

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

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

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

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

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


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

    June 09, 2009

    Nothing like a little hyperbole...

    Now, this is some funny...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 30, 2009

    How much would you pay...

    ... for the autobiography of the most hated Vice President since Spiro Agnew?

    "A person familiar with discussions Mr. Cheney has had with publishers said he was seeking more than $2 million for his advance. That sum may prove hard to get in this economic climate, especially given his generally low approval ratings, which publishers view as a potential -- but not certain -- harbinger for sales."

    We'd be THRILLED to offer Vice President Cheney $198.56 for this book. In coupons. Only as long as he can come up with a reasonable refutation of this.

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

    May 29, 2009

    Watching Rep. Culberson self destruct...

    ... is almost as fun as watching the neighbor I hate run over his own garbage can and then be forced to pick up the contents from the street.

    Go see it for yourself.

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

    May 28, 2009

    Are they stupid at the RPT?

    My God, would someone please buy the Republican Party of Texas a goddamn clue? I'll be happy to chip in $100 to the effort. I got an email from them this morning asking list recipients to kill HB 300, which is an awesome idea. In fact, I was so blown away I decided to read it thinking they couldn't possibly be agreeing with me.

    They weren't. Their opposition to the bill is based on SB 855, not on privatization. Not on the Transportation Bank. Not on the MOUNTAIN of other bad crap in the stupid bill. They want everyone to call the House conferees and browbeat them into killing the gas tax but LEAVE THE REST OF THE BILL INTACT.

    It surprises me that the RPT would be OK with allowing TXDOT to gamble with money from the pension funds and leaving taxpayers on the hook for corporate welfare. It's stunning to me that they would be so grandly dismissive of their base in East Texas who are adamantly opposed to TTC 69.

    But, I guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Not only does this have the potentional to kill this bill, it also gives Democrats a ton of good hits for the general in 2010. For that, I guess I should say 'Thank You, RPT!'

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 27, 2009

    While the House burns...

    ... it's good to know Speaker Straus is worrying about his re-election to Speaker in 2011.

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

    May 26, 2009

    Wasting away near Andrews

    A little over a month ago, we pointed you to an article over at The Observer in which they complained about a douchebag who left TCEQ to become a lobbyist for Waste Control, not long after overriding the professionals at the agency (he was a mere political appointee, by 39% natch) and giving Waste Control a permit for a dump in West Texas.

    As it turns out, there's a little more to the story. See, the whole reason the dump out near Andrews (which, just for kicks, was financed BY the voters there who recently and just barely passed a $75 million bond) exists is because of the hard work of Texas Legislators like Rep. Myra Crownover, Rep. Betty Brown and our favorite fatass (next to Sen. Carona), Rep. Linda Harper Brown. See, Harold Simmons, the investor who controls Waste Control, needed some legislation passed back in 2003 to be able to use the dump site to deposit rad waste. Seriously, RADIOACTIVE WASTE. The Representatives also got big, big checks for their campaign accounts from Mr. Simmons.

    What the Legislature couldn't do for Simmons was get a permit from TCEQ which the staff at the agency, of course, recommended against because they didn't think it was a good idea for hazardous waste to be so close to the Ogallala Aquifer. Of course, the radwaste won't be the only thing dumped out at the site. It'll also be receiving dredged sediment from the Hudson River that is shot through and through with PCBs.

    And that's where this douchebag, Glenn Shankle, comes in. Prior to overriding the TCEQ staff, he met with former Republican Congressman Kent Hance (who's an investor in WC) and other folks from WC about their application. And no one will ever know if any of them made him a promise of money or job after he left TCEQ. But, you have to admit, THIS DOESN'T PASS THE MOTHERFUCKING SMELL TEST.

    And neither will the crap being dumped out new Andrews.

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

    May 10, 2009

    No, no... it's not that. I really do think you're a retard.

    I have a friend we'll call Dave but whose real name is Ken. Dave is kind of a pretentious jackass who talks about going to fabulous events like gallery openings and book readings and fundraisers that are very expensive (he gets to go to these because of his magical check writing ability... dumbass thinks it's all because they like him). Dave lives in OC but acts like he lives in LA. Honestly, once you're on the 405 there's really not much of a difference between the two... the southland all kind of blends together. However, while people in OC might say they live in LA, people in LA would beat you to death if you mistake them for someone from OC.

    I've seen it happen. I have blood stained jeans to prove it.

    Dave also, like oh so many in OC, is a Republican which is funny because he's also a sistah. A deeply closeted sistah, but a cocksucking, assmunching, buttfucking sistah nonetheless. When we both worked for the same bank, Dave liked to pretend he was straight which was funny as hell to me and a lot of others because, well, the boy had a vag. I can, if pressed, pass for straight. Dave couldn't. Ever. Needless to say, it was kind of comical when he tried to talk to the straight guys about chicks and stuff and sports.

    Last year, Dave developed a crush on Republican heartthrob Mr. The Plumber. Unbeknown to Dave, Mr. The Plumber doesn't like the gays. At all.

    "People don't understand the dictionary — it's called queer," Wurzelbacher told Christianity Today in an interview published this week. "Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do — what man and woman are for."

    He added, "I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing."

    So. Much. Here... First, I'll be honest and admit I've never really understood the dictionary. People have forEVER been telling me that I'm simply too stupid to comprehend a reference guide that gives definitions for a vast number of words which are all, conveniently, arranged alphabetically.

    As for queer being a slur, like so many things it depends on tone and inflection of the speaker. It's a lot like the word 'nigger'. When you say it with a smile in a friendly tone of voice to a black person, like "It's soooo good to see you! How are you doing, you old nigger!" Black people just, you know, fucking LOVE it. Same with The Gays and queer. Or faggot which is another word that is not, at all, offensive when someone who is not a faggot uses it to refer to someone who is The Gay. Really, people should completely feel comfortable using words that used to be considered extremely pejorative. As long as you say them nicely, it's all good. Score one, Mr. The Plumber.

    Now as for not letting The Gays play with his kids, that's a tough one. On the one hand, The Gays usually love children. On the other hand, they just can't stop themselves from LOVING the children. It's a sickness which is why the overwhelming number of pedophiles (lovers of children) are The Gay. Mr. The Plumber, being extremely wise and knowledgeable, just wants to protect his little plumbers. Chalk another one up for Mr. The Plumber, 2-0.

    Now, on the subject of what men and women are for, I think what Mr. The Plumber means is that God specifically says that women are for the pleasure of men. More to the point, you ladies are only here to satisfy the raw sexual urges of Mr. The Plumber. So, you all have that to look forward to. SCORE, Mr. The Plumber, 3-0.

    Finally, it's great to know that Mr. The Plumber has some friends that are actually The Gay. It always makes me feel better if, when people say offensive things about different groups of people, they will just let us know that they have friends in that group. It also shows that Mr. The Plumber has a great depth of knowledge about The Gays.

    I sent this to Dave and his response was that I needed to stop rubbing McCain's loss in his face. I told Dave that wouldn't happen because, much like a dog that shit in the house, he has to be trained. And he really needs to do a better job picking his objet de masturbation.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 05, 2009

    Not a fucking chance, 41...

    Apparently, Bush 41 (who I once supported.... what? I was a kid and didn't know better. PLUS, compared to his kid, he was a Democrat) thinks that there's some future, in politics, for members of the Bush family.

    "Maybe Jeb someday. I want to see Jeb in there." George P. Bush, Jeb's son, "wants to do something. I think he might."

    No. Not at all. We've had two of you assholes and that's more than enough.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 04, 2009

    Oh. Michelle... bless your heart!

    Recently, Michelle Bachmann has said some really stupid things. First, there was the hoot-smalley flap in which Michelle, who apparently slept through multiple history and economics classes, blamed FDR for the 'Hoot-Smalley' tariff which he supposedly signed into law. There is no such bill, but the crew at FDL thinks it has something to do with her white zin preference.

    For those of you interested in the historical record, SMOOT-HAWLEY tariff was authored by two Republicans, passed into law by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Republican Herbert Hoover. But Michelle did get something right... it spurred the depression to go even deeper. It also played a small part in electing FDR since he campaigned for it's repeal.

    Nevertheless, Michelle decided to press on and that SAME day she declared that it was surely more than coincidence that the last time swine flu popped up there was another Democrat in the White House, Jimmy Carter. Which may be true in an alternate reality but it's not in this one. In fact, the swine flu popped up in 1976 and Gerald Ford was President that whole year. And he had scads of people vaccinated which turned out to be a super bad idea that ended up paralyzing a bunch of them.

    There was this letter in the Minneapolis StarTrib. It's pretty funny but the real hilarity is in the comments which are all anti-Michelle....

    Crazy?
    People thought Katherine Harris in FL was crazy. Compared to Michelle Bachman, she now appears to have been very sane. I hope the people in Bachman's district are happy to have added her to making MN a laughing stock. Between her & Norm I know when planes fly over MN the passengers & crew must errupt in laughter. Thanks a lot Dumb & Dumber

    Yes, we do. Every single time we even think about MN, we laugh a little bit.

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

    May 02, 2009

    Having some fun with Dr. McLeroy

    The Texas Observer has some great stuff up about the comical buffoon many of us know as the Chairman of the State Board Of Education.

    Sadly, Dr. McLeroy won't be chairing the SBOE any more.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 30, 2009

    Quit whining. Do your job.

    Hank Gilbert has a great post over at BOR regarding what's going on in the Lege on transportation.

    HB 300 is out of committee and bound for calenders, then the floor. This is the TXDOT sunset bill which became an omnibus transportation bill with all the bells and whistles that everyone wanted. That's what Republicans do when they want a really nasty piece of constituent unfriendly legislation to pass... they give all the members a little something they want, then attach it to the bill. The members, when called on the carpet about it, then whine about how it had this one really good thing even though it had some really bad things in it. This is, of course, an admission of their wholesale failure to do their jobs to adequately fund transportation in this state. I'd rather they just get to work and fix the mess.

    This, my friends, is some bullshit. NONE OF YOU LISTENED TO THE RECO'S OF THE DAMN SUNSET COMMITTEE. Gone is the statewide elected commissioner, replaced with yet another appointed commission. Even still, the really nasty stuff is coming out of the Senate, courtesy of the fatnesses, Sen. Carona and Sen. Nichols. Nichols, you may remember, was front and center with 39% during his rambling 10th Amendment speech. You can bet that's going to be a picture in some collateral sent out to his constituents that are supporting KBH.

    On the Senate side, things have gone from bad to worse with transportation bill after bill being passed, none of them good and none of them get us any close to a rational solution. Many take us back. For instance, an amendment Sen. Nichols authored basically removes all oversight from the comprehensive development agreements that create the public private partnerships. See, right now CDA's are subject to oversight by the AG's office, Comptroller and an independent auditor. Nichols wants to remove all that bothersome crap and leave it all to TXDOT, the agency that made a ONE BILLION DOLLAR accounting error.

    And then there's the transportation bank which will be used to credit enhance debt issued by the toll authorities. Read that last line one more time, then read this on AIG. Yeah, this motherfucker is going to leave our noses open for BILLIONS if not HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS. From Texas Monthly...

    Subject to constitutional limitations, a transportation revolving fund can be used to provide loans or credit enhancement, or to serve as a reserve fund for debt financing or the cost of operation and maintenance. This would allow public and private entities, particularly local tolling authorities, to mitigate certain project financial risks which limit access to the capital markets, or to access additional financing for needed projects.

    Just so you know, a 'credit enhancement' in the fixed income world is how you turn a really bad credit that's likely to default into a GORGEOUS prime credit that's likely to pay out perfectly. Sounds like magic, right? Nah, it's insurance. Let's say you have bad credit but your dad has great credit. He cosigns on a loan for you, thereby adding a credit enhancement to the note that insures payment of it... he's saying he'll pay if you don't. Voila! Instant credit enhancement for the creditor holding your loan.

    This is, in effect, what this bank will be doing. The problem is, the enhancements won't be limited to true loss, nor will they be limited to face amount. To sell this junk without a tax backing it up, the bank will have to really juice the enhancement which will basically turn them into abnormal lottery tickets which will make the debt being issued to finance the toll roads VERY attractive.

    Yeah, you read it right, abnormal lottery tickets. Unlike regular lottery tickets, these will pay, probably if the bonds don't even default... we'll have to see when the first tranche is sold. They'll pay using our tax dollars. Now, if you want a sweetheart deal like the bond investors and toll developers will be getting, just make your check payable to the Campaign to Re-elect Sen. Nichols and Sen. Carona.

    Nichols, for his part, has received more money from toll road interests than any other Senator, just in case you thought I was being unnecessarily harsh. And, just FYI, NO SENATOR VOTED AGAINST THIS. Not a single Democrat.

    But don't fear, boys and girls, the House D's may have some fun with all this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 29, 2009

    A cornucopia of funny

    Or, if you're stupid, a horn of plenty filled with amusing things like...

  • 39% has asked the Fed's for help with the drought. The RECORD drought. There are two funny things here, the most obvious being 39%'s having to ask Big Poppa O in DC for help. Like a tit baby. The second was this...

    Texas' current prolonged dry spell is among many to hit the state since the 1950s, said Travis Miller, associate head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. The most severe drought recorded in Texas history stretched from 1950 to 1957 . That drought caused agricultural damage equaling more than $3 billion, according to a 1959 report by the Texas Board of Water Engineers, or roughly $24 billion in 2008 dollars .

    Other serious droughts struck in 1996, 1998, 2000-02 and 2006, Miller said.

    Nah, the planet's not getting warmer. And there's no way it's altering weather patterns at all. I'm sure it's just coincidence that, other than the 50's drought, are next most serious droughts have all occurred in the last 13 years.

    And kudos to the Statesman for their artful subtlety.

  • 39% also asked the Fed's for help on the swine flu thing.

    Gov. Rick Perry has asked for 37,430 courses of anti-viral medicine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the swine flu outbreak.
  • Isn't it nice that we're actually part of a larger, more advanced country? That we can ask for money to help with disasters and disease?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    April 27, 2009

    Gaffes? You sure you want to go there?

    Hans whatever-the-hell-his-name-is and the Republican Party of Texas have a little contest they're running for people who receive their emails to vote on Vice President Biden's best gaffes.

    In the spirit of stupid bullshit, we thought this was a great idea but that it would be infinitely funnier to pick out THE BEST REPUBLICAN GAFFES!

    1) Condi Rice - The Mushroom Cloud warning about nukes in Iraq that was a lie!
    2) VP Cheney - The lie that evidence exists linking Iraq and Al Qaida!
    3) President GW Bush - Mission Accomplished!
    4) President GW Bush - Is our children learning?
    5) President GW Bush - Bin Laden... dead or alive!
    6) Karl Rove - Permanent Republican Majority!
    7) VP Cheney - Deficits don't matter!
    8) ALL members of President Bush's admin - The Iraq invasion will pay for itself!
    9) President GW Bush - Iraq's different religious sects won't attack each other!
    10) 39% - Texas can secede.
    11) AG Wheelie Abbott - I'LL SUE!
    12) Comptroller Susan Combs - Let's change the computer system!
    13) Ag Commission Staples - Inspect the peanut butter plant? But why?

    Vote in the comments of email to mcblogger@mcblogger.com!


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    You go, Sharon Killer! No, really, GO.

    The House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence will be holding a hearing today on whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings against Judge Keller. Go tell them what you think.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 24, 2009

    Michele Bachmann helps Democrats?

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

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

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

    Thank YOU, Michele!

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

    April 23, 2009

    Dumb. Hicks.

    This was bound to happen. However, we're sooo damn lucky it didn't happen first in Texas.

    Warren County, Ohio won't be getting new buses. The county commissioners rejected the over $350,000 from the federal stimulus package to upgrade their public transportation. Said commissioner Mike Kilburn, in a line straight out of an Onion article, "I’ll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama’s filthy money."

    The money was "specifically for transit improvements in rural areas to improve transportation for disabled people, seniors and others needing access to health care and educational opportunities." Of course, in a sign of compassion, Kilburn said, "I'm tired of paying for people who don't have." And then he waved to everyone around him to come watch him skull fuck a live puppy.

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

    April 21, 2009

    A ratfucker says what?

    As if it wasn't bad enough that disgraced former Presidential adviser Karl Rove was relegated to commencement addresses in BFE, it's sad to say that the only place he can get published is the Wall Street Journal, the cornshit crusted asshole of American journalism.

    But, hell, that's what happens when you spend the last eight years lying to people. And printing anything that Stephen Moore actually takes the time to vomit out. Wait... this isn't where I was going, is it? That's right, this is about Karl Rove, the worlds most famous ratfucker.

    Now, you have to understand. Republicans have always been well served by their ratfuckers. Karl's just the latest in a long line that goes all the way back to the guys who helped out William McKinley. What made Karl so special was his aura of invincibility. See, people (and by people I mean the press) forgot that he used to make sloppy mistakes. That his instincts were wrong. They forgot that his rise to preeminence was more the result of the general trend toward conservatism in this country as the me-too boomers aged and accumulated political power.

    In short, the press made the mistake of confusing chicken salad with chicken shit.

    Unfortunately for Karl, Gen X and the millenials are rapidly moving the boomers aside. And despite the doe-eyed naïveté of the millenials, even they see through nasty partisan bullshit (my generation has always been cynical and nasty... we'd slash open Karl's fleshy throat just as soon as look at him, metaphorically speaking of course). So he's losing the base he could manipulate at the same time the population is shifting to people who are anything but respectful.

    We at McBlogger seriously are sorry for poor Karl. It takes some real balls to think that last week's teabagging was something other than a glorified circle jerk with a bunch of people whose only unifying characteristic is that they hate the black guy in the Oval Office.

    Build a movement on that shaky ground, Karl.

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

    April 16, 2009

    They shoot traitors, don't they?

    Imagine my pride and unsurpassed joy to see my Governor advocate, in a roundabout way, secession from the Union.

    Let us all pray that 39% does continue to go off the rails and ends up being prosecuted for treason against the United States. Until then, I would like to know what the Lege plans to do about all this. I mean the Democrats, of course, since it's clear from Senator Nichols and Rep. Berman that the Republicans have no problems actively supporting traitorous seditionists. Having a seditious Governor just don't sit well with us ordinary Texans. Until then, TB has some nice bits contrasting Perry then and now. It would seem that in addition to being a traitor, he's also a hypocrite who has no problem asking for Federal aid when he needs it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 15, 2009

    Pathetic...

    TEABAG LOGO.jpgKarl-Thomas over at BOR has more details on the Austin Teabaggin' Event and I just have to say you guys are a bunch of morons.

    REP. WAYNE CHRISTIAN? Seriously, that guy? Old boy is a dirt leg. And Peggy Venable has to be the biggest clown of them all representing a stupidly named group called Americans For Prosperity. REALLY, PEGGY? There are Americans who are AGAINST prosperity? I'm going to start a group called Americans For Ignoring Peggy Venable And Her Asshat Allies (AFIPVAHAA, for those of you who are fond of acronyms).

    The funny thing about all this is that these people need the folks who will attend these rallies. They will need them if they have any hope of staying in power, a prospect that looks ever bleaker for 39%. What they also need to do is distract them from the fact that these speakers and the party they represent got us into this mess.

    And the Democrats are fixing it. Republicans fuck it up, Democrats come in and fix it.

    Finally, I hope the city and park cops will be on hand for the throwing of the teabags into Lake Lady Bird. Littering tickets seem more than appropriate and these people can certainly take the time to go fight the citation in municourt... after all, they have nothing better to do on a Wednesday than go to City Hall to listen to fucktards bleat on about the very people trying to save us from a Depression.

    Of course, that's nothing new for Republicans. They're great at using national catastrophes as campaign props. You know, look and act tough to hide the fact that you're thoroughly incompetent. It's worked wonders for Buttertroll.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 14, 2009

    Dick Armey likes a little teabagging

    TEABAG LOGO.jpgAccording to Krugman, our good buddy former Rep. Dick Armey is really behind all this teabagging fun. With some generous support from some winger nutjobs who, to look at them, are queerer than the child that would result from the union of Charles Nelson Riley and Paul Lynde (it's you, Scaife).

    Matt found some cool stuff too regarding all the teabagging fun to be had tomorrow. Apparently, there is a website where you can see folks getting teabagged IN REAL TIME. Usually you have to go to a seedy bar in boys town for that kind of action (or subscribe to an expensive website, but I wouldn't know about such things). Needless to say, most fauxservatives are super pumped about all this man on man action. In fact, some of them are even creating partnerships so they can enjoy the teabagging with other like minded teabaggers.

    We all know that we will be steamy, sweaty, and hot on April 15, tax day, and hard at work to complete our taxes and will look for much needed relief. The GOP can provide that relief with a group tea bagging. All individuals who are interested in tea bagging can be provided a partner. "Tea bagging is best performed with two consenting tax paying adults" says the organizer of the event, Richard Head.

    Finally, Tom Tomorrow had this to offer (HT to PDiddie)
    View image

    The really ironic thing about all this is that these people who are sooo upset about the bailouts are mostly poor trash who don't pay a goddamn thing in taxes. So, tomorrow, while I'm working to pay for their Social Security benes and they're protesting the bailout which their failed ideology necessitated, I'll think about MY teabag. And how much I'd like to slap some of these tards in the face with it.

    Fucking trash.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 13, 2009

    Another take on Buttertroll as commencement speaker

    Yeah, this made me laugh. A lot.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 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 08, 2009

    REALLY, Betty Brown?

    Oh. Dear. Betty Brown.

    Voting against troops is sure to be hella popular in Henderson County. In the primary AND the general.

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

    Tea parties, Teabagging and a whole lotta funny

    tea.jpgApparently, the big new thing in the Republican party is teabagging at tea parties. They're having one in Austin on the 15th and 39% is going to be there. I wonder if Wayne Christian will be teabagging him. Or maybe Peggy Venable who, we hear, is hung like a cat. Shit you not, brother.

    It really shouldn't surprise anyone that 39% is so eager to take a cock and balls in the face.

    TEABAG FULL.jpgMEANWHILE, we'd like to urge you to print out this image and send to every Republican lawmaker who wants to grandstand about the economy during a crisis they helped, in large part, CREATE. We'd also like you to email the image to Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, That Obese Drug Addict, and Loofah Boy.

    Actually, forget printing this out... just email it to people. And spread the word. They seem to think teabagging is soooo much fun, let's show them what teabag really looks like so that maybe next time they'll be more careful when choosing their protest imagery.

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

    MOTO : Is Dave Carney really such a self important 'tard?

    Let this be the last thing we ever say about the 2006 Governors Race.

    At the Statesman, they are covering the Bell v. Perry suit regarding 39%'s efforts to hide the true identity of some of his donors. Embry has an article here about the suit, but the first link is to a blog entry that covers what Embry found in the depo. Here's the quote that caught my eye...

    “Chris Bell was so inept and had not gotten any traction, our real concern was that Kinky Friedman, who basically got outed as a fraud and a racist, was going to — was going to collapse and that that vote would go to Carole Strayhorn. And — because they had already rejected — you know, theoretically Democrats aren’t with a Democrat. They’ve already rejected him.

    So the theory would be that if Kinky collapsed, all that vote would go to Carole, and it’s very difficult to stop an independent candidate, you know, in that her resources to money was pretty significant as being the comptroller and some of her deep-pocket supporters. So we had a strategy to pump up Bell.

    In fact, at our state convention, Governor Perry, you know, started to talk about Chris Bell exclusively because we wanted to make him the bogeyman so Democrats would rally around him and that he wouldn’t collapse too far. At some point he wasn’t even a 15 — you know, 15 percent of the polls. We had to make him credible, so we made him our bogeyman so that Strayhorn wouldn’t get any traction from what we assumed would be the collapse of Friedman.

    Friedman did collapse, but not as much as, you know, we were worried if he ultimately, and so we’re, you know, in a five-way race. It was very difficult. But we had to prop up Bell as much as possible, and the thought was if Perry is worried about Bell, then the Democrats and independents, you know, that were left of center, would rally around Bell. It didn’t really work, but we did keep him up — prop him up so that, you know, Carole never got any traction.”

    Dave, no lie amigo, you are the biggest MOTO of all time. Focusing on Bell as your only 'true' challenger was your only shot not only to keep focus on him; It also neatly kept you from getting into the mud with Carole where she would have whupped 39%'s ass.

    It was your ONLY play and completely obvious. What makes this piece so unbelievable is that Carney seems quite proud of how clever he was when, in reality, he had no other option if he wanted to win. Even still and with the expenditure of more money than all the other candidates combined, Carney couldn't manage to get a sitting governor over 50%. Against a fuckwit 'humorist', a Congressman defeated in his own party's primary and a delusional Comptroller.

    The mistake the Democrats made was in not taking out a contract on Carole and Kinky.

    Oh... Dave, by the way, super nice work on the Speaker's race, pal.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 01, 2009

    I'm with her...

    Spot on, Bo.

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

    March 27, 2009

    Chickenshit Keller

    Sharon Keller, the judge who decided to close up shop at 5 because hearing a death sentence appeal would have kept her from seeing American Idol, has posted a response to the charges of misconduct she faces.

    No joke, she blames everyone other than herself. Way to really own it, Sharon. Good to see your 'tough on crime' bullshit only extends to the stuff you don't get called on the carpet about. Kuffner has more.

    Posted by hbalczak at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 26, 2009

    Crazy as a shithouse rat

    PhotobucketFinally, someone has the footage of the financial services committee hearing in which Michelle Bachmann made an ass out of herself... by not understanding Constitutional authority.

    Watching it again, I'm irritated with my own empathy for making me wince with embarrassment at her stupidity. THIS is the modern Republican party... too stupid to even realize how foolish they look. To wit...

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

    NYT calls bullshit on 39%

    OK, so the NYT beat us to the punch by a few days.

    Or if that’s not enough, they should look at what other sensible governors — both Democrat and Republican — are doing throughout the rest of the country: accepting the aid as a lifeline for pulling their states and the country out of desperation.

    The unemployment portion of the federal stimulus package offers generous support to the states. To accept it, these states must make two reasonable changes in their unemployment insurance law. They must expand eligibility requirements that bar too many low-income workers from receiving compensation. And they must choose from a menu of options that include extending benefits to part-time workers and those who leave jobs because of family emergencies.

    The claim by some governors that the unemployment aid would lead directly to tax increases has also been discredited. New taxes are triggered automatically when unemployment trust funds fall below specified levels. In many cases, filling their coffers with stimulus aid would actually postpone tax increases. When the stimulus money is spent, states would also be free to revert to the old unemployment insurance laws.

    In Texas, Governor Perry’s decision to reject the money has sown considerable anger in the State Legislature. A House committee urged the full Legislature to overturn the governor’s decision. Lawmakers acted after seeing projections that the state unemployment fund was on track to run out of money in the fall, which would drive up taxes.

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

    March 24, 2009

    So Dodd was telling the truth...

    ... and the Administration and Republicans have been lying?

    EW's spot on... these contracts would have been busted by a BK judge had Treasury and the Fed not stepped in to pull AIG back from the brink. Abrogate the bonus contracts and let's move on.

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

    Sucking at math...

    Not that I'm Carl Jacobi, but I'm least better at math than certain Republicans. First up, we have history professor and former ethically challenged Speaker of the US House Rep. Newt Gingrich. Apparently, Newtie thinks that cap and trade will be all expense, no benefit which is about like saying when I go to Neiman's and spend money I don't get anything in return. Maybe this one isn't so much a math error for Newt as it is an accounting error... You know, when you spend money on something and you receive an asset in return.

    Nah, it's a math error because he can't even correctly determine the cost to the average family in the US.

    While Newt's a dumbass, the real winner of this weeks STOOOPIDFUCK contest is Rick Perry who shunned more than $500mn in the stimulus plan (because it would cost Texas businesses $15mn a year in 10 years) and replaced it with a tax that will cost Texas businesses more than $800mn. This year.

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

    March 19, 2009

    Preparing For A Second Career, or, What President Bush Is Doing Right Now

    Seriously, jokes about the economy?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 17, 2009

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

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

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

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

    (About damn time you came back, PD)

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

    March 12, 2009

    Probably the only time I will link to Andrew Sullivan...

    Really, spot on...

    Just to recap: the last president believed that he had the inherent power to suspend both the First and the Fourth amendments, he had the power to seize anyone in the US or world, disappear and torture them, and ordered his legal goons to come up with patently absurd legal rationales for all of it. And much of official Washington carried on as normal - and those of us who actually stood up and opposed this were regarded as "hysterics".

    Something is rotten in a country where this can happen with such impunity - and when, even now, highly regarded and respected journalists and commentators simply move on or roll their eyes or sigh world-weary sighs.

    One thing... read this and think about Tom Scheiffer's inability to acknowledge that voting for Bush was kind of a bad idea. I'm not saying it's a deal killer for me, just that it would be nice to find a mind at work that can actually see just how far down the rabbit hole we went.

    Also, I'm big on admitting mistakes.

    PDiddy has more on our recently ended Presidential Dictatorship.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:44 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

    March 01, 2009

    So much for Santelli's rant

    As it turns out, it was nothing more than Republican astroturf. And you'll never believe who broke the story...

    Is it any wonder newspaper's are dying?

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

    February 25, 2009

    You know you've fucked up...

    ...when even Pat Robertson and Jeb Bush call you out.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 13, 2009

    Junio John Speaks

    Photobucket The stimulus bill is not going to work, mostly because of the tax cuts/rebates, which Junior John now says don't work. Which is kinda funny since part of the reason he's voting against it is because it's not 100% tax cuts.

    He also conveniently ignores the fact that the overweight toward tax cuts in the bill are the result of compromises to Republicans. Then he mentions a CBO study that says this bill will eventually crowd out private investment. Which is hilarious since this bill isn't even a tenth of the size of the US economy.

    Finally, Sen. Cornyn flat out lies about the efficacy of tax cuts vs. spending saying that spending is about half as effective.

    It's never been more clear than now that we need a real Democrat in the Senate representing Texas. I don't know that either Sharp or White are that guy. I have no idea what they think about fiscal stimulus in a deflationary environment. I can tell you this, listening to Cornyn makes it clear that we can not afford to elect another ideologue more committed to politics than actually governing.

    Which means, Sharp and White camps, you better get some goddamn good people to tell you what to say or I'm going to rain shit all over you both.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 10, 2009

    Note to Rep. Neugebauer

    PhotobucketDear Rep. Randy... you really shouldn't talk about the economy. Or how to pull us out of recession. Or how to keep us out of a depression. Or adding federal debt (which, by the way, there is a tremendous demand for) to finance stimulus.

    Randy, buddy, I gotta tell you your ignorance of basic finance and market dynamics is pretty scary. You know the old saying about keeping ones mouth shut?

    Quit using talking points and playing politics. There is more at stake here than playing asshole in a stupid attempt to rebuild your moribund party.

    Hate you lots,

    McB

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:07 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

    February 04, 2009

    Ambition FAIL

    Goddamnit, TinaFish. Could you suck MORE?

    We were extremely excited about the prospect of TinaFish being in a position to fuck up the Republicans on a national level. Now we'll have to be content with her incompetence being limited to Texas. It's our mistake for getting our hopes up. The outcome, we should have realized, was entirely dependent on TinaFish actually appearing like she knew how to do anything more complicated than breathing.

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

    February 03, 2009

    Stupid people saying stupid things

    EOW pointed to an article at TPM regarding the lack of traction on the stimulus plan...

    ThinkProgress has admirably demonstrated that the cable networks continue to tip the scales in favor of Republicans by booking like twice or even three times as many Republicans as Democrats to discuss the Stimulus Bill. But that only tells us what we already know, which is that the Washington press establishment is still wired for Republicans. But there is a Democratic president. And he does have the bully pulpit. And he needs to make this argument, which he's not. Absent that, we can't be surprised and the Democrats are not in much of a position to complain if the vacuum is filled by a bunch of Republicans making statements that are either demonstrable nonsense or just lies.

    Look at what people are talking about and you wouldn't get the sense that we're actually in the midst of a major economic crisis that will likely send unemployment well into double digits if nothing is done quickly -- and a crisis that is in large measure the result of the economic policies that the Boehners and Cantors and McConnells are telling us, all the evidence to the contrary, will now save us. Everyone who's taking this situation seriously realizes that spending is the pivotal part of what the government needs to do to stabilize the economy in the face of this crisis. The multipliers for spending versus tax cuts simply leaves no question about that. Ask McCain economic advisor Mark Zandi. The solid critiques from the right aren't about whether spending is needed but which types are most efficient.

    At the core, this is going to have to be us talking it up since President Obama and Co. can't manage to do a goddamn thing right since taking office. Oh, I'm sure some of you will point to Gitmo and say THERE but it's the big ticket stuff, like actually VETTING Cabinet noms that they seem to be fucking up nicely.

    The economy needs this. I've worked in various parts of the banking industry for more than a decade and can tell you, this is BAD. The situation we're in is precisely the result of greed coupled with a lax regulatory structure and weak legal enforcement. In short, this is the ultimate economic paradise that the policies of Boehner and Cantor and McConnell (not to mention our own Junior John) have already led us to. Only in their idiotic world would more of the same be good. I don't know why I should be surprised since the only one out of the three that's ever held a real job (Boehner) was a salesman. For a packaging company that didn't actually make anything, they just sold what was made by others.

    In other words, what these morons have to say about regulation and the efficacy of fiscal stimulus is questionable. At best. Especially in light of the fact that they've been saying the same thing for decades, they got what they wanted and we're all enjoying the ruin where it was destined to lead.

    It is not enough any more to support our plan. That time has passed and the Republicans simply will NOT let it go. All that's left is for us to attack THEM. THEY caused this. WE'RE going to fix this.

    And it's time the President get geared up and get into the fight. A CHANGE would be a President that actually did something right.

    It's time to give old school, knock the other into the dirt and kick him when he's down, politics one last spin.

    Say it with me, boys and girls, "TAX CUTS AS STIMULUS DON'T WORK". They didn't work last year, they won't work this year. TARP has started to work to stabilize the financial system. We need this to the economy itself working again and put people back to work. It would also be nice if Geithner would step on the banks to start lending again.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 01, 2009

    In other news...

  • Conyers has issued another subpoena for Rove...

    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it," Conyers said. "After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk."

    Robert D. Luskin, an attorney for Rove, said his client will "abide by a final decision from the courts." Luskin noted that Bush, in a letter to Rove, recently reasserted executive privilege.

    "It's generally agreed that former presidents retain executive privilege as to matters occurring during their term," Luskin said. "We'll solicit the views of the new White House counsel and, if there is a disagreement, assume that the matter will be resolved among the courts, the president and the former president."

    For my money, I think Bush's biggest fuckup was not giving a full pardon to Karl Rove. Now, the son of a bitch is toast. Well, he is as long as the President decides to uphold the rule of law instead of executive privilege.

  • Via Stop The Death Penalty comes a link to an op/ed in the Statesman talking about how ridic it is that the Federal Courts have to step in to stop an execution our Governor (and the Criminal Court of Appeals) were too gutless to stop.
  • Ladies and Gentleman, the return of SCIENCE
  • Collin County now has a toll road authority! I can't WAIT to hear about all the fights between them and the NTTA!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 31, 2009

    Transportation funding and the constrained budget

    If the estimates from the Office of Fucked In The Head Tall Bitch are to be believed, Texas faces a strained budget that may have a negative impact on transportation funding. According to Ben Wear.

    But for transportation advocates, having $9.1 billion less for the state's general fund carried extra sting: Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and then-House Speaker Tom Craddick (remember him?) had all but promised in a letter last summer to grab general fund dollars with both hands and use them on roads. Now, who knows?

    See, considering that the Feds are about rain infrastructure money down all over the land, you'd think Texas would be OK. You'd be wrong. Texans bucked the national trend and STRENGTHENED the Republican Caucus in our House delegation and re-elected Junior John, The Huntress of the Skeet, who has spent the last couple of weeks pissing off Democrats in the Congress. And our new President.

    Not to mention the fact that our stupid little Republican caucus from Texas voted against the stimulus. Even 'moderate' Michael McCaul voted along ideological lines against the best interests of his district. Cornyn's claim is that the plan won't work. He wants tax cuts but people WAY smarter than Cornyn say cuts won't work.

    I'M ONE OF THEM.

    Watch as Texas gets FUCKED on infrastructure stimulus thanks to a bunch of Republicans too stupid to understand that their ideology has failed, that tax cuts aren't a panacea and that sometimes the government has got to spend money.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 30, 2009

    Fuck you very much, Lance Armstrong

    Now, for the vast majority of you who don't live in Austin it'll probably come as a shock that we don't like Lance Armstrong. Seriously, many of us will actively try to run his scrawny ass off the road.

    This won't help at all.

    Cyclist Lance Armstrong this afternoon called on the Legislature to make Texas the 25th state to pass a statewide smoking ban.

    “This is something that is very, very personal for me,” said the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor.

    Armstrong, just back from the Tour Down Under cycling race in Australia, stood outside the Capitol surrounded by lawmakers who support a proposal that would ban smoking in all indoor workplaces in Texas, including restaurants and bars.

    Hey, Fuckhead, you had BALL CANCER. You don't get that from second hand smoke.

    Of course, Lance The Douche wasn't alone in his fight to make bars less fun...

    “If Texans want to smoke … despite all the reasons they shouldn’t, they can do so,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “But the rest of us should have the freedom to breathe in oxygen without inhaling secondhand smoke.”

    A poll released today shows that 68 percent of Texans favor such a ban. Baselice & Associates was hired by Smoke-Free Texas, a group supporting the smoking ban, to conduct the survey of 601 registered voters.

    Smokers were less likely to support the ban than non-smokers. Seventy-eight percent of non-smokers favored the ban, compared to 60 percent of former smokers and 46 percent of smokers.

    Hey, Jane, I'm worried about hair bleaching chemicals destroying drinkable water. I shouldn't have to suffer with bad water because you can't stand being natural. As for the validity of this 'poll', we already know how Baseslice works. What we ALSO know is that the smoking ban in Austin BARELY passed. IN AUSTIN.

    The bill’s authors, Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, and Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, tried unsuccessfully to pass a statewide ban in 2007. Ellis said it’ll be a tough fight against tobacco companies — even if they don’t publicly oppose the bill.

    “Big Tobacco does not want this to pass, and they are a powerful force to go up against,” Ellis said.

    Ok, Rodney, you just became my least favorite Democrat for being a fucktard and working with these intellectually inferior mommystaters.

    Tell you assholes what... I'll quit smoking as soon as you DO YOUR GODDAMN JOBS TO FUND SCHOOLS AND TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE. Until then, if you don't like smokey bars, don't go to them and quit telling the rest of us what the hell to do. I pay my insurance, not the state, don't act like my choice is costing you money.

    Finally, why not just put this on the ballot and let us, the stupid voters, decide?

    Dicks.


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    January 27, 2009

    Eleven million?!?

    PhotobucketGovernor Palin reportedly wants $11 mn for her new book, 'Pick Me! Pick Me!'. Will anyone be dumb enough to pay the tab, hire her a ghostwriter and actually put the thing out to a Barnes and Noble near you?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    January 26, 2009

    The man in black

    Photobucket What the hell is 39% trying to do? Is he trying to anger the ghosts of Johnny and June?

    What an asshole.

    (photo from AAS)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    39% and Grandmother Longlegs

    Texas is abuzz about the latest in the R deathmatch which will be 39% vs. Sen. Hutchison. Kuff has his analysis here, David Mauro has some deets up on Hutchison's planning and supporter list and Gardner Selby has this up at the Statesman regarding the omnipresent abortion issue which will, of course, play a critical role in the R primary due to the fact that most R primary voters are more concerned about someone they don't know having an abortion than whether or not THEIR kids have good schools.

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

    January 06, 2009

    Is Vicki Truitt lying?

    It certainly looks that way, according to what John over at Bay Area Houston has uncovered. Apparently, Vicki is getting off with a slap on the wrist from the ethics commission for illegally using campaign funds for her personal benefit. What has me pretty skeptical of Vicki's honesty is the inability of her mortgage company to locate the documentation related to the financing of the condo her husband bought which she's been paying for with her campaign funds (in the past, you'd call this robbing Peter to pay Paul).

    Photobucket

    Here's the thing... it's REALLY easy to get a copy of a loan. My employer has everything on scanned in and we can pull it off a remote server. So, if one of my counterparties has a file that gets tagged for audit, I can print or email a copy of the complete loan to them. Even with the loans that closed long ago, it's pretty easy because the vast majority have a MERS number that will tell you where the original collateral package actually is as well as the loan details.

    Perhaps if the Ethics Comm would ask Vicki for that they might be able to get an accurate picture. I certainly doubt Vicki's excuse that the documents were lost, especially on a loan of this type.

    `

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    December 18, 2008

    CRA... the talking point that just won't die.

    Seriously, R's, get a new talking point.

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

    December 16, 2008

    Michael Williams run for Senate

    PhotobucketMichael Williams, who was just re-elected to the Texas Railroad Commission, announced today that he would like to run for US Senate if Kay Bailey resigns.

    In other news, similar announcements were made by

    A sack of dirt
    A potted plant
    My mother
    A bottle of Welch's concord grape juice
    A book about the work of Salvador Dali
    The clock on my desk at also tells the temperature immediately around my desk
    An iPhone
    A lit cigarette thrown out of a car moving at 70 on MoPac

    ... all of which stand more of a chance of getting elected to US Senate than the idiot Michael Williams. Mikey, let me clue you in, the racist crackers in East Texas who DIDN'T vote for Obama because he was black had no idea you were.

    Get it, moron?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:23 PM | 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 11, 2008

    This week in Teh Gay

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

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

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    December 08, 2008

    Pret-a-porter with Cynthia Dunbar

    Oh, my.

    Yeah, I think I'll let the elegance of Cynthia herself carry this post.

    Dunbar (on p. 100) calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” She charges that the establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even “tyrannical” because it threatens the authority of families, granted by God through Scripture, to direct the instruction of their children (p. 103). Dunbar, who has home-schooled her children and sent them to private schools, bases that charge on her belief that “the underlying authority for our constitutional form of government stems directly from biblical precedents.” (p. xv)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    December 03, 2008

    It's AWESOME when R's self destruct

    PhotobucketOver at FDL, Blue Texan caught us up on Sen. Saxby Chambliss who is apparently trying to prove that he is absolutely clueless. Just FYI, a recession is two quarters of contraction in GDP.

    In other news, Republican freakshow Sarah Palin spent the day in Georgia campaigning for Chambliss. Apparently, it did some good since the idiotic people of Georgia have re-elected Chambliss.

    Mr. Chambliss, 65, a pro-business conservative, campaigned in the runoff on a platform of limiting Mr. Obama’s ability to pass legislation in a Democratic-controlled Congress, and many voters interviewed Tuesday said thebalance of power in the Senate had been an important factor in their choice of a candidate.

    “If you can’t have a little back-and-forth arguing between the parties, then the party in power will make mistakes,” said Ron Zukowski, a computer expert in Atlanta who voted for Mr. Chambliss. “This was my chance to say no, and I said no. ”

    First off, Chambliss is pro-business as long as they are massive multinationals. Second, Mr. Zukowski, it's great that you're a computer expert and really sad that you are so stupid as a voter. Just wait until Mr. Chambliss votes to make it easier for your employer to ship your job overseas.


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

    November 23, 2008

    The SBOE : Still chock full of nuts

    Like an Almond Joy, the State Board of Education is full of nuts. From McLeroy (who claims to be a dentist... I'm guessing from the Dr. Christian Szell School of Dentistry) to Dunbar, religious right Republicans have managed to stack up quite a majority on the SBOE. TFN, having recently released a survey of teachers and professors regarding evolution (the result? More than 90% support the teaching of it exclusively in schools), was liveblogging the SBOE meeting yesterday.

    From what I can tell, it's pretty clear that Boardmembers were completely unconcerned with what those far better educated than themselves had to say. It was abundantly clear that these folks were mentally calcified into their own belief system and grasping at straws (the Discovery Institute? REALLY?!?!?) for any way to refute arguments made by speakers throughout the day who advocated the teaching of evolution as science, without prevarication.

    My favorite line...

    5:37 p.m. - The pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Shiner, TX just told the board to leave the religion to him and keep it out of the classroom. I think we can all raise a tall glass of Shiner Bock to that!

    And that's the bottom line... this is about putting the religious beliefs of a few into schools and being taught to all our children. I certainly, were I a parent, would not want my children taught the lunatic belief system of Cynthia Dunbar. I would want my children to be taught real, unadulterated science.

    And there are no doubts or weaknesses in evolution. Period. It's not that we don't want to see them, 'Dr.' McLeroy... it's that none of what you and your fellow creationists have to say makes any sense. There are gaps in the fossil record, but there are no gaps in the theory.

    It's clear these sad, sad little people have pretty weak faith. Otherwise, they wouldn't spend so much time and energy trying to see something that clearly isn't there. Faith is about not having any proof. Which makes these folks pretty weak Christians.

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

    November 19, 2008

    Speaker's Race : The bullshit be a-flyin'

    Yet ANOTHER R has filed, Solomons, and Kuff has the deets. Which brings the total number of Republican speaker candidates to 1,908. Which means the R's are pretty well fractured.

    The D's on the other hand, are hanging together according to Phillip at BOR. Considering that we're more than six weeks out from this thing, it's unlikely to get settled now and it's unlikely anyone will be able to announce they're the winner until sometime around Christmas.

    All this comes down to a coalition to beat Craddick. Phillip puts his absolute top at 71 with Craddick D's. Which means one of the opposition candidates has to get to 72 and it'll be the Democrats (with a block of 64), if Fatass wins, who will decide which R gets the chair. If she doesn't then it will be a minority of R's who decide which D becomes speaker.

    My money is still on Merritt. For one thing, he's well known and liked by the members from East Texas. He's a solid guy who can be trusted to run the House for the members rather than the lobby and he's already helped some fend off challenges from Craddick acolytes.

    If anyone is hearing anything different, post it up in the comments.

    One last thing, according to a comment Colin Struther left at BOR, Turner's candidacy is basically a pass through to Craddick.

    turner candidacy isn't real

    it is a placeholder for Democrats that want to vote for craddick.

    by pledging their allegiance to sly, when forced to choose between 2 repubs they can say that the guy they pledged to asked them to follow him and as a result he is speaker pro tem.

    any pledge to turner should be rightfully considered a commitment to craddick.

    sly's candidacy just isn't real and i've found no evidence to the contrary.

    This doesn't come as a big shock since Turner has basically taken up residence inside Craddick's colon since late 2002. Phillip doesn't think that's the case at all. He seems to think that Turner's candidacy is somehow real. You'll have to excuse Phillip. He's in Boston right now enjoying the era of good feelings and has forgotten what it's like to live in a state desperately in need of regime change.


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

    November 18, 2008

    ImmiGRATING on my last nerve

    PhotobucketVince has an excellent recap up for all the shiteriffic legislation that Leo Berman has filed to usher in what promises to be a truly vile session of the Lege. The bills are mostly unconstitutional and will only end up, if they pass, costing the state money to defend until they are ultimately struck down. It's really little more than politics as usual from a douche you could best serve his constituents (and all Texans) by sticking a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. My favorite...

    Might As Well Call It A Tax On Businesses. HB 266 would require that no government agency, city, etc., enter into a contract with a private business unless that business participates in an electronic status verification system to verify the citizenship of all of its employees. Such programs can be very costly, and would prohibit a lot of small businesses from doing business with the government simply because they can’t afford the cost. An affidavit certifying that they’ve checked the papers/Social Security Cards of all their employees would be far more efficient, although is still unnecessary.

    I'm certain this will go well with Chambers of Commerce across the state.

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

    November 17, 2008

    One of these douchebags is pissed at Palin

    Via CNN comes word that one of these people is mad at Sarah Palin because it appeared like she was assuming the mantle of leader in the Republican Party.
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    Am I the only one who thinks it was 39%? You know, the guy who wants national office so bad his little, incompetent, rat brain does cartwheels at the thought?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 15, 2008

    This just in...

    PhotobucketTHIS GUY LIES.

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

    November 08, 2008

    Why, yes. Losing IS for losers

    Photobucket

    Seriously, I'm not even trying to gloat but y'all make it easy. In 2010, we are going to mop the floor with you dipshits. Kay Bailey, if she actually steps up this time to run, will come through the general so bruised and damaged that she'll be worthless for her one term.

    Doubt it? You had the best of all possible worlds for Republicans here in Texas in 2008. Even still, you bitches lost ground and came far closer than you should have.

    Watch as we bring your irresponsible and questionable leadership to an end.

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

    November 05, 2008

    Failure...

    Photobucket

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

    November 02, 2008

    Diana, you might want to change your church

    PhotobucketRunning right up to the line separating the public from the spiritual (AKA, the separation of church and state), Father McNeil at St. William Parish in RR has issued a letter to all parishioners reminding them of their obligation as good Catholics not to vote for those who support abortion. The letter is clearly targeted at Diana Maldonado.

    Please note, this is NOT a letter coming from Joel McNeil, this is a letter coming from Father Joel McNeil of the St. William Parish.

    The letter also makes mention of the 'redefinition of marriage', a homophobic rhetorical device designed to give otherwise nice people a reason to discriminate at the ballot box. Maldonado has, at no point, indicated her support for equality for gays and lesbians in unions under state law only. So, we have to ask, why DID Father McNeil choose to throw that in? No one is asking him to perform gay marriage ceremonies. The Catholic Church doesn't recognize them. That absolutely would not change, even if there were changes in Federal law. It's that whole 'separation of church and state' thing.

    I'll withhold additional comment on this. I think something from Captain Kroc may be more appropriate since he is our resident Catholic.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    October 31, 2008

    In which a crook speaks to tweety

    PhotobucketI'm not posting the video here, you can see it by clicking here. I just can't put up an embedded video of Tom Delay, one of the nastiest, most ignorant people in the universe.

    Far more disgusting is what Tweety says about him at the end. Chris Matthews, I thought your show was 'Hardball' not 'Hardballs (in my mouth)'. Seriously, yo, watching you fellate Tom Delay is sick. Like watching japscat. It's not that I want to censor Tom Delay... it would just be nice if one of our infotainment journalists were smart enough to call him on his shit. AND PRESS HIM DOWN WHEN HE'S WRONG.

    Of course, that's not Matthew's style. He's only a tiger with State Senators.


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

    October 30, 2008

    What gives AT&T nightsweats?

    Apparently, AT&T is all hot and nervous about D's winning next week, mostly because they've had the R's in the bag for a decade. Still, they really needn't worry so much... after all, it was all but one of the Republicans and a few D's who voted for retroactive immunity for T and it's competitors.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    You SUCK : Governor Sanford (SC) Edition

    PhotobucketSouth Carolina Governor Sanford spent Wednesday in Washington at hearings regarding another stimulus package. People on both sides agree one is needed to boost states and cities, mostly to rebuild crumbling infrastructure (which is, coincidentally, the single BEST thing you can do for commerce nationally) and to get consumer (and then business) confidence back up.

    ...House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee demonstrated bipartisan support for tens of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects such as highway construction, water and sewer projects and modernization of schools and public housing.

    There, lawmakers and witnesses such as New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, touted public works projects for both creating jobs and making the economy more efficient.

    "Every billion dollars in spending on infrastructure, on highway and transportation expenditures does result in 35,000 new jobs," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.

    I did say people agree but that's not really true. It was MOST EVERYONE on one side and Governor Sanford stupidly on the other. Sanford, it appears, has not had that stunning Come-To-Jesus moment where we all realize that we're not islands unto ourselves, no matter how much we love Ayn Rand.

    "I'm here to beg of you not to approve or advance the contemplated $150 billion stimulus package," Sanford said. "This $150 billion salve may in fact further infect our economy with unnecessary government influence and unintended fiscal consequences."

    By Sanford's count, the federal government has already pumped $2 trillion into the economy this year through a previous stimulus package, the financial services bailout, and rescue actions for specific firms.

    After Paterson and Sanford offered heady arguments featuring quotes from noted economists and novelist Ayn Rand, the committee heard from another witness, Mayor Douglas Palmer of Trenton, N.J.

    He had a much simpler message, quoting "that great poet John Lennon of the Beatles."

    "Help!" the mayor said.

    Would someone, please, take aside our ertswhile Realtor turned politician and explain to him that little actual money has been spent... and it's entirely probable that little actually will be spent before the markets recover?

    You might also want to clue him into the fact that Rand just doesn't, you know, jive well with the real world. Where we live. You know the type of people who are obsessed with the overly simplistic Rand? People like this guy...
    o
    Who is apparently the next Governor from South Carolina.

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

    Vouchers... again.

    Like cockroaches, vouchers keep popping up despite the best efforts of EVERYONE to get rid of them. WHY? Because James Leininger wants MORE government money than he already gets. In late 2006, it was Sen. Shapiro who was talking about this. Now, it's Bill Keffer in his quixotic quest to retake the seat he lost to Rep. Allen Vaught.

    Let's be clear... these vouchers will not be enough, on their own, for most families with ASD kids. Further, it's the responsibility of the district to provide for special needs kids, and children with ASD fall into that group. However, they often don't have the money to create the learning environment these parents demand. BECAUSE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE UNDERFUNDED. THERE is one part of the reality these parents don't want to face. The other is that even with a voucher, they still wouldn't be able to afford the school.

    This honestly pisses me off because we need to be doing better for ALL TEXAS CHILDREN, regardless of their abilities. Bill Keffer, time and again, has done everything he can to make that impossible. It's high time we stop worrying just about individual kids and start focusing on solutions that will help all kids.

    Help out Rep. Vaught.


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

    October 29, 2008

    And you thought Palin was the only one

    Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Jeri Thompson. Fresh off forcing her geriatric husband to run for President, Jeri has decided to take on Sarah Palin as her cause du jour. As part of Team Palin, she'll remind Americans just why they hate bitchy, hungry, nasty women.

    Jeri, have a jelly donut and STFU. 'Governer' Palin represents fewer people than the Mayor of Austin and her accomplishments include, well, nothing. Even the pipeline she's all about is a pipe dream.

    And make sure that donut comes from Krispy Kreme, K?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Really? No, I mean REALLY?

    PhotobucketJoe The (unlicensed) Plumber wants to run for Congress.

    Today he was busy campaigning for McThuselah in his native OH (you know, where he owes back taxes) talking about how afraid he was of Obama tax plan (which is funny since he doesn't, you know, pay his taxes) and how Obama would destroy Israel, which is an obvious lie, kind of like Joe's plan to buy a business and make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Seriously, Republicans, THIS SCHMUCK IS THE BEST YOU CAN DO?!?!?!?!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Hypocrisy is my FAVORITE

    Why does ANYONE still listen to Rove?

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

    October 28, 2008

    The market is ALWAYS right... even when it doesn't really exist

    Isn't it great when we have the free market to help us realize savings in fantasy land? It'll come as no surprise that electricity dereg has failed if you've been, you know, READING this blog regularly (which reminds me, we need to talk... we need to see you more often. Think of McBlogger as something you do every morning. Like pooping). But in case you're one of the millions who haven't been reading us, the Texas Observer has this.

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

    Sarah Palin, 2008...

    ...meet Iranian show mom, 1988.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    In which Mike McCaul (and Mike Rosen)...

    ...get their dicks knocked in the dirt.

    Vince over at Capital Annex (who is now an ardent supporter of Larry Joe Doherty) penned a piece in the primary that wasn't terribly flattering for LJD. One of the many mouthbreathers that do webwork for Republicans (the doucheriffic Colton Brugger) decided to post that particular piece on an anti-Larry Joe website.

    They didn't bother to get Vince's permission.

    Now, content can be used pretty freely from most bloggers. Sometimes people ask in advance and, as a general rule, I let people use stuff gratis as long as they blockquote and link back to me even if they don't ask. However, I reserve the right to pull back that implied permission. At any time. So do most bloggers. Once we send you a notice, you better pull the content down.

    And that's just what Vince did. By sending a notice to the McCaul campaign, he expected them to comply and remove the post since they were, ostensibly, running the site. BUT, being the morons they are, they decided to issue a press release mocking the demand (we think that was the idea of legendary dipshit Mike Rosen formerly of Fox 7). So Vince, being the nice, patient person he is, decided to send a letter to their service provider.

    And within hours, all of Brugger's sites were down. Not just the anti-LJD site, ALL OF THEM.

    Just FYI, if you get a DMCA notice from someone, heed it. K, Mike? And for all you folks wondering about LJD's chances, McCaul is worried. And the 10th is in play.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 24, 2008

    You SUCK : Michelle Bachmann Edition

    We knew Michelle Bachmann was hella stupid but we had no idea she was aspiring to be the female version of Joe McCarthy.

    PhotobucketBACHMANN: And they can’t take it because the point is what are Barack Obama’s policies? Are they for America or will they be against traditional American ideals and values? And I’ll tell you what. Punishing tax rates, redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine, inputing censorship in the form of the un-Fairness Doctrine and taking away the secret ballot from the worker has nothing to do with traditional American values. That’s why your listeners need to know. Otherwise the United States may be literally changed forever.



    Given how stupid and wrong she was on the Economic Stabilization Act, I'd sooner listen to a drunk bum on the street than Michella. It's good to know that her challenger is doing well and it's heartening that her special brand of hate mixed with idiocy in a venti-size cup is winning friends and influencing people... to endorse Democrats.

    Go support Michelle's opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 21, 2008

    But, Senator McCain! She IS a liar!

    Click here for Sen. McCain's latest race baiting piece of filthy advertising. It's what prompted me to wonder exactly HOW Senator McCain could claim Senator Obama was out of bounds for calling Governor Palin a liar. She DOES lie. It's been well documented and she continues to do it.

    I think what's really eating McSame is that a black man is telling the truth about a white woman. The reality is that she's incompetent and a liar. Of course, lying and philandering is nothing new to John. Just ask his first wife.

    Time to put the n*gger in his place, right Senator McCain? I know how you can pull yourself up! Talk some more about your imprisonment. We've not heard nearly enough about that and why you think it qualifies you to be President.

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

    October 17, 2008

    Calling Bullshit : Uhm... but you're poor.

    During the debate Wednesday night, you may have missed the mention of 'Joe The Plumber' by Sen. McCain. Since he mentioned it only ten thousand times. Basically, the story (and it IS a story) is that Joe Wurzelbacher came up to Sen. Obama during a campaign event and said he was planning on buying a business that earned between $250-280,000 per year and that he wouldn't be able to do that under Obama's tax plan.

    I know it will come as a shock, but Sen. McCain tried to use that Wednesday night to prove Sen. Obama just hates small businesses.

    Now, the truth is you pay taxes on income, not gross revenues. So, Joe's purchase would have to net him income of $250,000 and would probably cost him at least five times earnings which would put the purchase price at $1,250,000. Now, Joe is a pretty average, lower middle class guy. Here he is talking to Senator Obama...

    Photobucket

    I know looks can be deceiving, but this does not look like a guy who has $100 in checking, let alone $1.25 million. But maybe he could get a loan... except, he's probably pretty close on debt to income ratios given that he has an income tax lien against him, meaning he's actually spending way more than he makes. So much, in fact, that he can't even pay his taxes.

    Wait... a guy who doesn't pay his taxes is bitching about paying taxes? Uh oh, Joe.

    So basically, his planning to buy the business that earns more than $250,000 per year is dependent on the death of a rich relative. Or a lotto win. His fears about Obama taxing his newfound income? Completely unfounded and, frankly, more than a little stupid. However, one thing this has brought up is that Joe is not a licensed plumber and in his area of Ohio, they license plumbers. He also lied about his union membership (he was never a member of the local). And in the end all he's worried about, should his dream fantastically materialize and enable him to own a plumbing business earning more than $250,000 per year (most plumbers don't earn that, just FYI) he'd pay a grand total of $900 more PER YEAR. But, if he was confused and was confusing sales with income...

    And his question to Mr. Obama about paying taxes? According to some tax analysts, if Mr. Wurzelbacher’s gross receipts from his business is $250,000 — and not his taxable income — then he would not have to pay higher taxes under Mr. Obama’s plan, and probably would be eligible for a tax cut.

    At least Joe gets to feel like Britney Spears.

    As a final note, I'm tired of poor people bitching all the time about taxes they don't pay. And voting based on pipe dreams that will never come true. And Joe, even if you do buy the two man business of your dreams, $63k is about your max. So you have nothing to worry about.


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

    October 16, 2008

    Peering into the future

    With all the hubbub and anxiety surrounding the election and the economy, some recent accomplishments in time-travel technology have been overlooked. It is now possible, through the magic of YouTube, to peer into the future, if only for brief moments.

    For example, here's a snippet showing Senator McThuselah a few years after his embarrassing landslide loss in next month's election. Apparently, he gets out of politics altogether and becomes a film producer.

    What's really impressive about this technology is that it even shows alternative future scenarios! Apparently, in a parallel future, McThuselah snaps in a major way and winds up in jail, where he is visited in jail by his friend, G. Gordon Liddy, who apparently decides to start wearing a toupee in the future

    ...or, maybe he has a total change of heart about the environment and becomes a leading advocate in the treehugging movement?

    It works in reverse, too! Here he is telling his first wife he wants a divorce

    Posted by hbalczak at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 15, 2008

    Tonight, I lost all respect for Sen. McCain

    I've seen some really dumb people in my life. Many of them have been politicians. One of them, as of tonight, is John McCain.

    I once had respect for him, until he became George W. Bush's bitch in 2000. I did still think he was fairly intelligent and honest. I now look at him as just another lying politician. What I really hate is someone who will try to play guilt by association. I'm disgusted by people who will lie about trade and the economy. I hate someone who will tell me he'll balance the budget by cutting less than 1/2 of 1%.

    Senator McCain, how are we supposed to build nuclear power plants with a spending freeze? How am I supposed to RUN MY GODDAMN CAR OFF A FUCKING NUKE PLANT?

    It's time to call a senile old bastard, a senile old bastard. And it's very obvious that John McCain left his integrity in his first term and was never the man I thought he was. See you later you miserable, old, lying fuckball.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 14, 2008

    So... What Is The Market Value Of A Kidney These Days Anyway?

    If there was a Nobel Prize for Crazy, Don Zimmerman would be a strong contender.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 07, 2008

    Palin, McCain, Gramm and the Stupid House Republicans

  • The NYT ran a great piece last weekend taking Little Sister Sarah to task for her admiration of the job Dick (Just Call Me Dick) Cheney and his 'reimagining' of the Constitution to expand the role of the Vice President.

    The Constitution does not state or imply any flexibility in the office of vice president. It gives the vice president no legislative responsibilities other than casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate when needed and no executive powers at all. The vice president’s constitutional role is to be ready to serve if the president dies or becomes incapacitated.

    Any president deserves a vice president who will be a sound adviser and trustworthy supporter. But the American people also deserve and need a vice president who understands and respects the balance of power — and the limits of his or her own power. That is fundamental to our democracy.

    So far, Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong.

  • Little Sister Sarah has been talking about the specious link between Obama and some guy in Chicago (they once served on a board together. And they live in the same neighborhood so you can totally understand her assumption that they're the best of friends) which led someone at the WaPo to talk about McCain's friendship with the craziest A&M prof in recorded history, Phil Gramm. He's the good ole boy with the fish eyes who thinks it's just great (GREAT!) that we deregulated financial services so that they could run amok.
  • Take a bow, Jeb Hensarling. You've now separated yourself and your fellow Stupid House Republicans from even the Republican mainstream.

    Conservatives? My ass. Combined, y'all don't have the intellectual capacity to handle a job as a cashier at Wal Mart.


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

    October 06, 2008

    McCain (hearts) Deregulation

    It's the part with Phil Gramm at the end that's the best. Never before has a dumber person spoken more authoritatively on subjects about which he knows absolutely nothing.

    Seriously, Phil, you're a BIG reason why I'm not a shareholder in UBS. Any company dumb enough to have you on the Board of Directors is clearly not an organization that cares about it's owners.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Stupid, Sebastian. Very Stupid.

    Those who comprise the pseudo-intellectual backbone of the right are mounting a stirring, if misguided and thoroughly wrong, defense of deregulation. First up today, Sebastian Mallaby in the WaPo which is apparently trying to compete more vigorously with the WaTimes.

    If that doesn't convince you that deregulation is the wrong scapegoat, consider this: The appetite for toxic mortgages was fueled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the super-regulated housing finance companies. Calomiris calculates that Fannie and Freddie bought more than a third of the $3 trillion in junk mortgages created during the bubble and that they did so because heavy government oversight obliged them to push money toward marginal home purchasers. There's a vigorous argument about whether Calomiris's number is too high. But everyone concedes that Fannie and Freddie poured fuel on the fire to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

    OK, first off it's clear that Mallaby is completely ignorant of this. This WAS an absolute failure of deregulation at all levels. Mallaby wishes to cast the final blame on cheap money from the Chinese (their recycled trade profits) and the investors all over the world with an appetite (Mallaby stupidly assumes) for risky sub-prime credits. First off, money is money and whether it's cheap or expensive, prudent underwriting standards are a constant. The rules don't really change. You can't justify, ever, giving someone a loan with a balance more than 20 times their annual salary. Needless to say, you can blame China all you want but it's still a decision that someone IN THE UNITED STATES made to make these loans.

    Second, Mallaby's ignorance of structured finance and the sales plans for these securities really should disqualify him from writing on this topic. Of course, the WaPo doesn't know any better so they'll let any idiot fill their pages with pap. As long as they work for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the AEI or (in Mallaby's case) the CFR. But I digress... Back to blaming the buyer. The reality is that these investors DO deserve some of the blame. These are folks who manage billions in assets and frankly should have been a little more concerned with the tranching, the credit classes (and homogeneity) in those tranches and the overall credit profile. They should have been concerned about the credit enhancements... why WERE they needed? Who was the counterparty on those insurance policies? What was their reserve? In their defense, some managers DID dig into these questions. They received assurances that the pools in the CDO were perfectly constructed, the enhancements (credit default swaps) were solid which brought the credit rating (according to the ratings agencies) up to A and the counterparties on the CDS were all well rated. None of that was a lie... well, not exactly, The consistency in the pool was at issue, as was the historic risk on low documentation loans (not to mention those which added to that layer of risk with a high loan to value ratio and relatively low FICO scores). However, even some of the issuers didn't understand the risks they had ultimate underwriting responsibility for at the pool level. That aside, these investors were paying A paper prices on C credits. When these credits began to perform like C credits, THEN they started asking questions which caused the systemic breakdown because the answers weren't what they were expecting.

    Not to mention the fact that the enhancements became effectively worthless as issuers folded up shop.

    As a side note, Mallaby should maybe take a look at this. While the NYT did a pretty piss poor job on the story, it's still pretty clear that the decisions made by FNMA and FHLMC weren't forced by regulation. They weren't even coerced, despite the tilt of the reporter. In reality, Fannie (in this case) was trying to compete with aggressive investment and commercial banks who were offering extremely risky loans. In other words, this was a failure of the leadership who made the decision to chase the market rather than stay the rational course.

    The interesting thing is the argument that these 'toxic mortgages' , or at least the ones clogging balance sheets, are always made to poor and minority borrowers. Which isn't true... Alt A (which comprises the vast majority of these 'toxic mortgages') wasn't much for low income or risky credit profiles. And of course, Mallaby (much like the NYT) makes no mention of the fact that the majority of these loans, the overwhelming majority, are still performing. Which means this is all more a panic than an actual financial avalanche. It's obvious why Mallaby doesn't want to talk about the failure of the market because it acknowledges Mr. Market's #1 flaw... it's made up of PEOPLE. Irrational, sometimes stupid, people.

    Finally, all this talk on both sides ignores one simple fact... if tax policy had been different, restructured to really promote wage growth and low inflation (you can have both), this probably wouldn't have happened. This was a case of the mortgage industry trying to find ways to make loans to a populace that really couldn't afford them anymore. Sure, eventually something would have stopped up the system and at some point we'd have had a day of reckoning. However, it would have been a lot easier. If you really want to tack this disaster on an economic theory or concept, supply-side economics is a pretty great scapegoat because of it's unerring ability to concentrate wealth at the top.

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

    October 03, 2008

    33 Pastors Agree

    To tell the IRS to piss off.

    We told you this was going to happen. Apparently, these people just have to tell their congregants that Obama is the devil. And that the little Baby Jesus will cry if you vote for him.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    September 29, 2008

    How To Lose Friends And Destroy Economies

    What awful things could Nancy Pelosi have possibly said to make the Congressional repubs get all pouty and sink the bill today? Click the Supersize, and read the Speaker's remarks courtesy of The Page. Sounds like the GOP "leadership" is pissing up a tree when they claim their feelings were hurt.

    “Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?

    It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush Administration’s failed economic policies—policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

    Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.

    That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol.

    As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.

    It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.

    Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.

    It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.

    It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.

    Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.

    I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.

    I also want to recognize Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy experience, to resolve key disagreements.

    Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.

    Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.

    The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardize the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilization bill.

    So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions:

    This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to ensure that the recovery program is managed with full transparency and strict accountability.

    The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.

    The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public’s participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries and golden parachute retirement bonuses.

    Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the U.S. taxpayer bailout the recklessness of Wall Street.

    The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

    And should this program not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.

    These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.

    This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.

    With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small business credit.

    Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to fashion this legislation.

    This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation’s economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus package—a robust, job creating bill—that will help Americans struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track, and renew the American Dream.

    Today, we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership that has left us left capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

    We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a New Direction to a better future.”

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

    September 26, 2008

    Gas pains

    As part of the 'Ike Tours Texas' fallout, refiners on the Gulf are still shut down which is causing spot shortages in Atlanta (which sucks anyway) and in Tennessee. And, apparently, Dallas. Here's what caught my eye (and keep in mind the effected refiners account for 20% of US capacity)

    U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 11.5 million barrels per day during the week ending September 19, down more than 1.7 million barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 66.7 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production fell last week, averaging about 8.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging nearly 3.3 million barrels per day. (EIA)

    So, refineries effected by Ike account for 20% of US refining capacity and we're down to 66%??!?! That seems strange at a time where wholesale gasoline recently spiked to $5/gal.

    Then I saw this and start to think maybe there is something going on.

    SO, we have a massive crude and gasoline supply disruption as a result of a hurricane. Combine that with newfound regulatory zeal from governments around the world, all of whom are looking to strangle speculation and suddenly refiners have decided to artificially (for 'repairs') reduce the gasoline available in the market?

    Methinks this is a pretty clear cut case of supply manipulation. They can't play with the price since the speculators (those still left in the business now that LEH is gone and MS and GS are under scrutiny) have had to cut back. So they energy companies themselves have decided to create an artificial supply constraint by shutting in capacity unaffected by Ike.

    Ain't it nice that the oil companies care so much about their customers?

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The House Republicans and their STUPID plan

    You know, House Republicans are half-wits at the best of times. These AREN'T the best of times. Below is a summary of their principles and my comments. I can't tell you how mindnumbingly stupid this little plan is. This is so poorly thought out and it's so obvious that the players involved are completely out of their depth that here's no way to sufficiently ridicule this.

    HR : Rather than providing taxpayer funded purchases of frozen mortgage assets, we should adopt a mortgage insurance approach to solve the problem.

    McB : Well, that's a bit like fixing the barn door after the horses are already out. Further, all the private insurance has failed and now you want to activate a government insurance plan that doesn't give taxpayers an asset but instead an open ended liability? At least with Paulson's plan, we weren't on the hook for anything more than what we paid for the asset. And those assets are, at their base, mortgages and behind them is real property.

    HR : Currently the federal government insures approximately half of all mortgage backed securities. (MBS) We can insure the rest of current outstanding MBS; however, rather than taxpayers funding insurance, the holders of these assets should pay for it. Treasury Department can design a system to charge premiums to the holders of MBS to fully finance this insurance.

    McB : Only Freddie and Fannie insure MBS. So you want to now EXPAND the Agencies? As for the people in financial services paying for this, there isn't any equity left, you idiots. DO YOU GET THAT?! THIS IS A BREAK DOWN IN THE MARKET.

    All this does is put us on the hook for another $5 TRILLION. As we step in to 'insure' loans that weren't written to the Agencies tough guidelines. It's a bit like insuring someone who drives a car. Without looking at their driving record or claim history. Which is a prescription for open ended risk.

    HR : Have Private Capital Injection to the Financial Markets, Not Tax Dollars. Instead of injecting taxpayer capital into the market to produce liquidity, private capital can be drawn into the market by removing regulatory and tax barriers that are currently blocking private capital formation. Too much private capital is sitting on the sidelines during this crisis.

    McB : Well, first off you have $2.5-3 trillion in private capital that has simply ceased to exist. There isn't enough out there. The market is functionally UNREGULATED as is and the tax barriers are, for the most part, non-existent. You guys took care of that in 2001 and 2003. There's nothing more you can do to juice and cutting the tax rates that remain won't do anything to achieve your goals in even a marginal way (the taxes are minimal now as is). Just look at a goddamn Laffer Curve, you morons, and plot it out. You're on the left hand side. You can't achieve marginal gains from here by cutting taxes. They're so low that it doesn't change the risk/reward ratio substantively.

    HR : Temporary tax relief provisions can help companies free up capital to maintain operations, create jobs, and lend to one another. In addition, we should allow for a temporary suspension of dividend payments by financial institutions and other regulatory measures to address the problems surrounding private capital liquidity.

    McB : Uhm. Most companies are running at a loss. We discussed this. As for the dividends, keep in mind that those dividends go mostly to people who are retired. Are you really so nasty, House Republicans, that you'd force a little old lady to eat cat food just to make a goddamn point?

    Quit with the taxes. You've already functionally bankrupted us and we can't handle more of your fiscal irresponsibility. Which is why Republicans are now the MINORITY.

    HR : Immediate Transparency, Oversight, and Market Reform. Require participating firms to disclose to Treasury the value of their mortgage assets on their books, the value of any private bids within the last year for such assets, and their last audit report.

    McB : Smells like the beginning of REGULATION. Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day so it's no surprise you'd stumble across something. HOWEVER, there's not enough here to make a decision on the cost of insuring. Even here you folks are miserable failures. I'd love it if one of you could be given the reins of a public insurance company. So I could short the hell out of the stock. I LOVE profiting from other's stupidity.

    HR : Wall Street Executives should not benefit from taxpayer funding. Call on the SEC to review the performance of the Credit Rating Agencies and their ability to accurately reflect the risks of these failed investment securities.

    McB : Sounds like you too have a problem with CEO pay but the meat's not there. So this really IS nothing more than a political ploy?

    HR : Create a blue ribbon panel with representatives of Treasury, SEC, and the Fed to make recommendations to Congress for reforms of the financial sector by January 1, 2009.

    McB : Really? Hey, morons. The panel already exists. It's been meeting with Congress all week. And it thinks your plan sucks balls.

    This 'PACKAGE' was put together by people who are intellectually inadequate. WOEFULLY inadequate.

    (thanks to Politico)

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

    Oh, Jeb. You moronic fool...

    Asshole.jpegIt'll come as little surprise to those of us in Texas that our own Rep. Jeb Hensarling is leading the little rebellion of House Republicans against what was, until they stepped into the fray and began playing politics, a bipartisan plan.

    Hensarling has always been an advocate of ideology over reality. Now, he's taking that to it's ultimate extreme by supporting a market solution to the financial crisis we now face. What's terrifying is that even at this late date he has not realized that the crisis itself was brought on by a complete breakdown of the market. Which he now proposes to legislate back into operation. With loan guarantees and insurance.

    Here's the problem... the market has consistently, by not working, activated every form of insurance placed on it to offset declines in value. That's what brought down AIG. Which means that should his plan go forward, it'll be taxpayers that take it on the chin because he proposes to have the government backstop LOSSES, not hold and service ASSETS for eventual sale.

    The plan, which has not been transformed into legislation, seeks to insure mortgage-backed assets at prices and premiums set by the government, creating a virtual backstop for all the debt. This would not require an initial outlay of taxpayers’ funds in the neighborhood of Paulson's $700 billion.

    But the Treasury Department has expressed concerns about whether an insurance model would provide the economy with the immediate stimulus it needs. And taxpayers would have to foot the cost for a major financial slide because the government would be required to make up those losses.

    Jeb, just like Fannie and Freddie, how long do you think it will take the market to push through the stops and activate the insurance. What will you do then? Cry that you were wrong?

    I don't know what more I should expect from someone who's business experience includes working for his Daddy's little company and some kind of insurance company that you can't find out anything about. Oh, and Green Mountain Energy which is anything but green.

    Jeb, you're a tiny, underpowered mind operating among giants this week. Instead of trying to throw your stupid, irresponsible and irrational bull into the mix, why not let those smarter than you take the lead?

    You know, Jeb, it's better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 25, 2008

    Doubling down (craving crow with seconds)

    So this morning I wake up to this story.

    Really? Why, I never. How dare the Bush administration demand concessions it can probably get from this Congress...for reasons COMPLETELY INEXFUCKINGPLICABLE considering the mood of the electorate.

    Go ahead, bitches. I dare you. Sack up and take on the 19% bogeyman or else go suck on Karl Rove's subpoena and stop sending me fundraising letters.

    Crow is best served as a two-course meal. Damn I'm craving some.

    Posted by hbalczak at 01:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 24, 2008

    May you live in interesting times...

    This financial crisis is finally waning. They always end when buyers finally realize that the firesale won't last forever and they dip back into the market to buy deeply discounted assets. We got a big boost of this yesterday.

    Until now, Mr. Buffett, who has navigated the stock market with legendary prowess, has largely refrained from investing in the stricken financial industry, saying repeatedly that things could get worse.

    Thousands of people on and off Wall Street follow Mr. Buffett’s moves, so his decision to invest in Goldman immediately heartened investors. After falling nearly 1.5 percent during the day, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index erased half its loss in after-hours trading Tuesday evening on news of the investment.

    “Buffett is saying he’s confident,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

    Mr. Buffett’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, unveiled the move only days after Goldman, long the premier investment house on Wall Street, embarked on a radical plan to transform itself into a traditional bank to ensure its survival. Goldman, which examined various options over the last week as its shares tumbled and some clients abandoned the firm, also said Tuesday it would sell at least $2.5 billion of common stock to the public.

    The difference between Buffett and others is that HE can afford to hold something for decades until BRK makes a profit on it. Even if he dies, there is management at BRK that thinks exactly like him. And his success has not been the result of luck, it's research and thorough analysis. It's making the right decision.

    Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.

    Last night and this morning I posted a couple of emails to Carl Whitmarsh in Houston regarding something he'd sent out on his massive email list. The first article was this from George Will. Now, George has never been a big fan of McCain. However, that's not the meat of the article. It's the craptastic analysis of the US falling into socialism. Here's what I sent to Carl:

    It's funny to me that McCain would attack Cox for not regulating the very securities that McCain voted to keep unregulated.

    I LOVE the way conservatives have decided that this is socialism, as if the entire
    capital market is now under the absolute control of the Treasury and Fed. Their
    plan, buying assets that the free market has assigned zero value to, is absolutely
    sound. Why? Because occasionally the market goes crazy and won't buy something
    that's worth a dollar even if it's discounted to 10 cents. The market, in short, is
    not always right.

    The Fed was CREATED to avoid panic and provide liquidity in times of market
    dislocations. Which is exactly what we have now.

    That being said, Paulson's plan, as presented on Sunday, is a thoroughgoing mess.
    There will have to be oversight. There will have to be caps on CEO compensation.
    However, the basic idea to add liquidity to our deflated economy is a good one.

    The second comment was related to a piece Harvey Kronberg ran from Royal Masset

    I love Royal but he's wrong on what's happening in the financial industry. This is a panic, pure and simple, and it should wake people up to the reality that markets are far from perfect.

    Markets are nothing more than buyers and sellers. Period. They are dependent on
    humans and their imperfect decision making. The idea that markets self regulate with
    minimal impacts is ALWAYS wrong. They do self regulate and in the process create
    what can charitably be called distress.

    Regulation and enforcement, while imperfect and sometimes overreaching, is a hell of
    a lot better than mass unemployment and starvation.

    That's the lesson most of the 'free market' Republican's have never learned.

    Of course, there are number of others who have problems with buying assets. They see another solution, lend directly to the banks.


    Here's why you can't just lend money to banks, allow them to take the losses in selling these assets, and then repay the debt over time. For one thing, these losses are going to (in many cases) wipe out all the equity in banks, rendering many insolvent. You can't replace that equity with debt owed to the government. Debt is Debt. For another, the market is so freaked out and dislocated (not to mention fearful) that no one wants these securities at any price. It's not that these securities aren't worth something. After all, the vast majority are A paper mortgage credits. It's that investors can't see the value and won't take ANY risk.

    What is needed is a prime mover to get these assets moving, worked out and restore the market. That prime mover is the only entity capable of operating for the long haul, the Federal Government.

    The issue is that these assets, when marked to market, have no value because the market is buying and selling NOTHING. However, the loans underneath are STILL performing. On a cashflow basis, many are performing exactly as predicted. We may now need to look at discounted cash flow as a value model to fall back on when MtoM fails. Which it is prone to do when the market seizes up. Which it, of course, does from time to time despite what the Republicans say.

    We have to stabilize home prices which means we need people with jobs who can buy homes with mortgages. Unfortunately, as this crisis deepens, it begins to effect employment AND the ability of people to secure financing for homes. Without a market, the value of homes continues to drop. In the end, we fall into a Depression. THAT'S the end result of doing nothing.

    Finally, there are some lesson we all need to take from this experience...

    1) Regulation and enforcement are not obstacles to the success of the market. They are ESSENTIAL to the success of the market.
    2) Capitalism has not failed. What failed was our obligation to oversee it and make it work for the majority.
    3) Just because something is valued at nothing right now, it doesn't mean it's worthless.

    One last point... one that everyone needs to understand unequivocally, if we don't do this the whole damn country fails. THAT'S the reality and all the whining about taxpayers footing the bill (which is a load of crap) isn't going to change it.

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

    Methinks they doth protest well enough (and that's what has me worried)

    So if we're to believe our eyes and ears, the Administration's bailout proposal sure has everyone on the Hill all frothing at the mouth.

    I don't know about you folks, but it makes me real nervous-like when the Democratic congressional leadership rails this loudly about a Bush proposal this feculent. Because all too often, the squallin' and wall-eyed fits give way to The Big Cave-In [see, e.g., FISA, reauthorization of Iraq War funding, domestic spending levels, etc.].

    At times, it seems as if this sort of rending of garments and gnashing of teeth is almost a kind of obligatory theatrical foreshadowing of a preordained tragic climax wherein vile douchebaggery and bitchassedness prevail over courage and righteousness. For you English majors out there not yet done with the metaphor, I suppose the denoument would be the part where said players engage in post hoc bitching about how the executive branch has usurped all the power and singlehandedly ruined the country and that's why only our side can provide the bold, gallant leadership the nation needs, bleh bleh bleh.

    (And I type this while aiming Ye Olde Stinkeye in your direction, Nancy, Steny and Harry.)

    Hopefully, things will be different this time. Maybe Democrats on the Hill will say, in one, big, loud unified voice, "I'm Rick James, bitch!" and imprint the Will of the People upon the forehead of Connecticut-native George W. Bush with the almighty knucklebling of Article One power. Maybe instead of handing a blank government check to the Gamma Beta House and hoping they'll notice the phrase "public service project" written on the memo line, Congress will pass some completely pinstriped-ass-whuppin' legislation and rock the nation with a new number one hit single, "Smells Like CEO Comeuppance."

    Lord, I hope that happens. But I know better than to emotionally invest in that prospect. Kind of like how I learned, as a kid, to tense up any time I saw Charlie Brown on television hauling ass toward Lucy holding a football.

    You know, a big heaping plate of pungent raw crow sure would taste good right about now.

    Posted by hbalczak at 01:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Now I know who my Grandfather would have voted for

    My Grandfather, for those of you who were unaware, was a HOOGE fan of Barry Goldwater. So is this guy.

    And he's voting for Obama. Just kinda made me feel, in a way, that I'm exactly where I belong.

    Posted by hbalczak at 12:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 23, 2008

    Rewriting history, with Kevin Hassett

    Bloomberg is carrying some rather odious commentary from Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, the right wing institute which provides little in the way of real information and research but is LONG on commentary.

    According to Kevin, this is all the fault of the Democrats because they wouldn't reform Fannie and Freddie. What Kevin doesn't point out is that the bill in question would have so severely curtailed Fannie and Freddie that it would have eliminated them as real competitors and an effective counterbalance to the banks. Kevin claims, stupidly, that the failure of Bear Stearns was caused by... Fannie Mae.

    30 to 1 leverage in a CDO of CDO's had NOTHING to do with it, right Kev? Neither did Bear's never ending hunger for riskier and riskier sub-prime garbage that was priced inadequately for the inherent risk, I'm sure. Of course, I understand how you can make mistakes, Kev. After all, it's easy when you ignore reality.

    Kevin also points out that FNMA is holding $388 bn in sub-prime and Alt A credits. That's true. Considering that at the height Wall Street was issuing $600-700 bn PER YEAR in sub-prime issues, it kinda dwarfs Fannie Mae's holdings. I'd also like to know just who issued those sub-prime credits on Fannie's books. I'd be willing to bet some of them show Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Credit Suisse as the vintners.

    Of course, Kevin leaves all that out and points out his own ignorance of structured finance and the house cards by alluding that AIG was also collapsed (as if by magic) by Fannie Mae. AIG is even easier than Bear... they wrote too much insurance, too cheaply and when the call came for more collateral from counterparties, they couldn't sell assets fast enough... because they were carrying some the same assets they were insuring against default.

    Brill business strategy, especially for an insurer.

    Of course, Kevin can be excused for not knowing any of this. He is, after all, a political moron and (again) completely ignorant of finance. His only real work experience in business is at the AEI and as a McSame campaign adviser. Which puts him right up there with other economic luminaries like Carly Fiorina and the crew of lobbyists that McSame calls his close friends and advisers.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 22, 2008

    Everyone starts to get it...

    It's becoming painfully obvious that even our friends on the right are beginning to realize that Sarah Palin's not ready for prime time. It's also becoming pretty clear that McCain's ads have been over the top which we've all been saying. But now, even Karl Rove is saying it which prompted this from the Obama campaign...

    "In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove - the man who held the previous record - said McCain's ads have gone too far," said Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor.

    On the topic of what the Dems in Congress could be doing, it's also abundantly clear that THEY are getting it. First up is our old buddy Nancy P who finally decided to take the gloves off and hit the glib, ridiculous and more than little incompetent Palin in the mouth.

    Pelosi compared Palin's resume to that of President Bush's before he assumed the mantle of commander in chief. "I have a very high standard for president of the United States," the Speaker said. "I guess George Bush has proven that anybody can do it, but can they do it well? I think he has not. I think he has done great harm and damage to our country. I don't think this is something that you'd take a chance on. I think I've yet to see the credentials and the depth that the most powerful position in the world, the president of the United States, that somebody with her resume is able to take over that job."

    Yeah, I know it's not much but at least Pelosi is finally off dead center and saying SOMETHING. Honestly, her mealy mouthed bullshit irritates the hell out of me, too. However, this is at least a sign of life and a hit. Luckily, we're getting much better stuff out of the Senate.

    "One Senator -- John McCain -- woke up yesterday morning, surveyed the state of the U.S. economy, summoned the ghost of his fellow Republican, Herbert Hoover, and declared, 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong,'" said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, before laying responsibility for the current woes in part on McCain's economic adviser Phil Gramm.

    Goddamn, Harry! Where the fuck have you been??!?! Welcome to the party and keep on chatting up the band. We're sick of their usual tune and we want them singing yours.

    Finally, I leave you with ... well... this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 21, 2008

    A special invitation to the Secretary of the Treasury

    Go FUCK yourself, Hank.

    Seriously, THIS is what you came up with? A massive expansion of the Executive Branch, no help for homeowners and absolute power with a blank check?

    It's clear to me now that Paulson has got to go and we need Bob Rubin back at Treasury. Larry Summers is wrong for the job (honestly, he's a dumbass anyway) and Rubin is the only one with the kind influence in financial and political circles to get something done. He's also far smarter than Paulson which should help.

    We need to re-regulate commodities and derivative trading (fuck you, Phil Gramm, you dirt leg moron) and begin requiring a lot more capital be held by companies wishing to operate in the securities industry. No more of this 30 to 1 leverage bullshit. But I don't see that it this little 'plan'. I also don't see anything to help expand efforts already proceeding to pull borrowers out of bad mortgages. No, I'm not talking about a cram down and share the wealth plan (seriously, why even bother, Ian? You gonna give everyone who's upside down on a car note a bail out, too? Just get them outta the bad loan and regular appreciation will work out the gap), just a reworking of underwriting guidelines and insuring to allow people to get into affordable mortgages.

    We needed real solutions and an indication of some sort of contrition. Instead, we get a brazen attempt to steal still more power for an out of control President.

    Congress should act. The Democrats should write one hell of a bill and tell the President to sign it or we'll let everything go down the tubes.

    Enough bullshit and politics. And Chairman Frank should immediately demand Paulson's resignation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    No, REALLY, Senator. We know where you REALLY stand

    Y'all know I'd rather walk on my own tongue than say something nasty about someone...

    BUT...

    John McCain as REFORMER and REGULATOR?!?! Didn't we go over this already?

    YEAH, we did. Which makes me wonder why this old, stupid bastard is trying to keep this shit up? It makes me so goddamn mad I just want to strike someone. How else can you DEAL with someone who lies just to lie, completely irrationally and has no sense of remorse about it. You don't reason with that person and debating with them is like arguing with a television.

    Seriously am I the only one just sick of it? And the fact that media is covering it as if it were something other than categorical bullshit?

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

    September 20, 2008

    Thanks, but I'm really busy that day...

    Last night while having drinks with Barfly, she asked a very interesting question regarding AK First Dude Todd Palin's refusal to heed a subpoena.

    Since when do you have the choice? I mean, Karl Rove was subpoenaed and he just said THA SHITS to all that. Now this Palin asshat has decided he'll not show up to answer TrooooooperGate (HATE THAT NAME) questions.

    So can we all start ignoring subpoenas? Tell Congress to go fuck itself because it's just one giant bitch?

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

    September 19, 2008

    Republican plot with a special twist

    The Obama campaign has filed suit in federal court to keep Republicans in Michigan from using foreclosure lists to challenge voters at the polls. How's THAT for a Republican plan? You lose your house and we take away your right to vote.

    Of course, that's nothing compared to what's allegedly being talked about here in Texas... using Ike to keep people who've lost homes from voting. No, no... you read correctly. Texas Republicans are looking for a way to keep people who lost their homes to a natural disaster from voting.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 18, 2008

    Goodbye, Carly...

    And with that, the McCain campaign does the same thing that Hewlett-Packard's board and shareholders did so many years ago.

    You suck, Carly. No really, you do. No, YOU suck. K? Great.

    Honestly, when will Republicans learn that modern managers are a mostly retarded bunch?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 16, 2008

    What HAS Tricky Ricky screwed up now?

    First up, Vince posts this at Capitol Annex (which is not, as you might think, a site about banking) regarding the confusions over the PODs. Apparently, the State had to back down it's participation in the recovery due to poor planning and really retarded logistics.

    Seriously, go read the article. First off, they deploy resources without know where they were ultimately going to be needed. Second, they don't admit the mistake, they just drop others in the grease. Finally, the City of Houston and Harris County personnel jump in and fill the gaps. And where's FEMA during all this? Well, the skeletal frame of Mike Chertoff has been spotted wandering the streets.

    Tricky Ricky, unwilling to admit how bad the State has botched relief and recovery, has instead decided to try to keep the media out. Which is, as you can tell, going splendidly.

    Say goodbye to '10, Goodhair.

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

    September 15, 2008

    But you voted for it, Senator...

    Think Progress has a great hit up about Palin and McCain's support of the Agency bailout (I'll post my thoughts in the supersize).

    In an op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) reluctantly endorsed the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, arguing that the two institutions' lobbyists are the "primary contributors to this great debacle." McCain and Palin wrote that, should they be elected, their administration would "no longer use taxpayer backing to serve lobbyists, management, boards and shareholders."

    Here's the thing, John. You VOTED, over and over again, to deregulate. Because you thought that would free up the Invisible Hand and we'd all be better off. Lo and behold, you and the other Republicans discovered that what the Democrats knew and were SCREAMING all along was right... business needs oversight because left to it's own devices, it'll foul it's own bed.

    Now that it's all come crashing down, you can't admit your error and are, like a degenerate gambler, doubling down in an all-or-nothing effort to deflect blame and avoid the inevitable conclusion that your ideology is a bankrupt as the banking system.

    But, I guess I'd do the same thing if so many of the staffers, senior advisers and FRIENDS were lobbyists at one point or another for the Agencies. You should be proud, John McCain. You've mastered the art of talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    As for the bailout, I'm pretty disappointed but not really surprised. For one thing, there were easier ways to inject capital into Fannie and Freddie without taking on as much risk or wiping out the poor shareholders. I am THRILLED to see management turned out of both companies as I had absolutely no respect for either of them. All in all though, the Friedmanites engineered their chance and now Fannie and Freddie are on the chopping block.

    What kills me about this is that it was purely and simply a crisis of confidence. People were afraid the government wouldn't backstop the Agencies which forced them to do just that. And then there is Lehman today which is reporting close to $640 bn in assets and a little over $600 bn in liabilities. Sounds good, right? We'll see how much of that is marketable and how much is pure level three and untradable at any price. I'd also like to know non-performance in the mortgage pools. But that's just my curiosity... I have a feeling that as bad as things are, they ain't that bad.

    What brings down a bank like Lehman is the same thing that brought down Bear and would bring down any investment bank. Their funding, the money they need to revolve to float their balance sheet, evaporated. Without it, the bank couldn't survive. The fun part of all this is figuring out how much of this was Lehman... and how much was the result of it's financiers getting cold feet (not to mention it's counterparties).

    This should SOLIDLY put the lie to all those morons on the right who think everything would be better... without as much regulation. As predicted, no regulation means common sense is replaced with raw greed and poor credit decisions. Discipline, when billions are involved, goes out the window when their is no examiner coming into your office a few times a year to make sure you haven't gone hog wild.


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    PULL!

    And here is Eileen's review of Governor Palin with Charlie Gibson. The verdict? Exceeded the already low expectations. On the downside.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 14, 2008

    McLiar

    It's a special kind of douchebag that gets called out by Joy Behar...

    JOY BEHAR: "There are ads running from your campaign, one of them is saying that Obama, when he said you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig, was talking about Sarah. There's another ad that says that Obama was interested in teaching sex education to kindergarteners. Now, we know that those two ads are untrue, they're lies. And yet you at the end of it say I approve these messages. Do you really approve them?"

    JOHN MCCAIN: "Actually, they are not lies." [ABC, "The View," 9/12/08]

    Where once I had respect for Senator McCain, I have nothing left but cynicism and extreme distrust. Or, to put it in terms we'd use here in Texas, I wouldn't piss on that son of a bitch if he was on fire and I'd just drank a case of beer (set it to an East or West Texas accent to really get how perfect it is).

    Fuck that old Bastard. Fuck him straight to hell.

    And his staff...

    Good Job, Ari Melber!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 10, 2008

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

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

    Photobucket Image Hosting

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

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

    You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit

    to describe McCain and his worthless ideas.

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

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

    This just in : The Palin Truth Squad is...

    FULL OF RETARDS

    Just so there is absolutely no mistake, YES, JANE SWIFT, I'M CALLING YOU A RETARD. YOU AND THE OTHERS ON THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN TAKING PART IN YOUR SQUAD.

    Sorry, just wanted to make sure, if by some miracle you saw this, that you understood my meaning completely.

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

    September 09, 2008

    What a lovely per diem you have there, Sarah!

    While everyone knew Palin's rep as a reformer was as undeserved as McCain's for being a maverick (what we would call just another angry old man), what we didn't know was exactly HOW ballsy she was about sucking off government's teat...

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

    The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.

    Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official "duty station" is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.

    The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.

    Lemme get this straight... you have a job that pays you $125,000 per year. In Alaska. And comes with it's own house. Still, you choose to live more than 600 miles away from your job AND you use a state office building for your convenience.

    Oh, and while you're 600 miles away from your responsibilities, you're billing the tax payers of the state to stay in your OWN HOUSE?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 07, 2008

    THAT was offensive

    I hadn't really wanted to delve back into the R convention, but this caught my eye. I didn't see the video that night, I tuned in only for McThuselah. If I had, I probably would have been livid.

    While the Democratic candidates this cycle treated 9/11 and those who died that day with reverence and respect, the Republican candidates (Guiliani and McCain especially) have continuously used those people and their loved ones for political gain in the most shameful and offensive manner possible. This video should not have shocked me the way it did... I should be accustomed to offensive, unAmerican ploys from the Republicans. But it did.

    To my core, as an American, this offended me deeply.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 06, 2008

    THIS is our VP

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

    Go get 'em, Joe!

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

    September 05, 2008

    The Leo Berman Funny

    I don't know if BurkaBuddy (that's our new name for him) was trying to be funny or was just reporting the funny...

  • Leo Berman, the strange old man from Tyler who decided last session that the Texas Constitution trumps the FEDERAL Constitution (and he wouldn't change his mind even when CradDICK explained to him that it wasn't the case. And that he was a fucktard), is seriously considering a run for Governor.

    One of the first Texans I saw was Leo Berman. I asked him if he had heard any of the delegates express unhappiness that McCain had chosen Sarah Palin instead of Kay Bailey Hutchison. “Oh, no,” he said. “Kay is pro-choice. There isn’t a single person in this delegation who is pro-choice.” We also talked a little about immigration. “David Swinford [chairman of State Affairs] killed all the bills last time,” he said. “That isn’t going to happen this time. If it does, if we can’t get our immigration bills passed, there are going to be some more people in the governor’s race. I’m considering running for governor myself.”
    But wait... it gets better!
  • Leo Berman also bravely stepped into the fray to defend the honor of none other than Phyllis Schlafly

    Yesterday there was an altercation at the Phyllis Schlafly luncheon. Sarah Palin was supposed to attend, but she couldn’t make it. An uninvited guest showed up — a peace activist who ran up to the front of the room carrying a banner that said “PEACE!” Two intrepid Texans — state reps. Leo Berman and Jodie Laubenberg — wrestled her away.

    What bitches y'all are! Two of you were necessary to 'wrestle' a peace protester? Are you kidding? Leo, you're really a giant worthless cuntrag.


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

    R Convention Wrapper

  • You may have noticed some missing R's at the convention. So did the crew at FDL
  • Sebelius nails Palin on her speech from Wednesday night calling her deceptive.

    "I live in the American heartland, and have been a governor [here] for six years," she said. "I don't know any mayor in any small town in Kansas -- and we have a lot of mayors of small towns -- who hires a lobbyist and goes after earmarks the way Sarah Palin did." On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that, as mayor of Wasilla, Palin secured more than $27 million in federal earmarks for a town with only 6,700 residents.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 04, 2008

    That's awfully white of you

    While watching McCain's speech (did YOU know he served in Vietnam? Did you know that he was captured by the Vietnamese and was a war prisoner? Why didn't the Republicans mention that sooner?!?) I was overcome with a sense of The Strange.

    You know The Strange... that feeling like you're in an old b&w episode of the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling is somewhere, hovering above, telling an audience "Picture a man...". Yeah, that one. I got that tonight when the camera panned over the audience and I first thought "WOW! That's the whitest group I've seen since that time I went to that mayonnaise festival". At first, I didn't think there were any minorities in the audience. Then I saw them... one Hispanic, four Asians and three Blacks. It was as if you'd taken a cookie sheet, covered it in vanilla ice cream and then carefully placed a few chocolate sprinkles so as to break the monotony and create the illusion of diversity.

    I did catch Meg Whitman of EBay fame. And her thinning hair. Girl could totally do something about that alopecia. It's not like she didn't rape EBay shareholders for enough during her 'service' at the company.

    PhotobucketMcCain also spoke and it was... well, it was meh. Seriously, it was like milquetoast with a side of lame. Except for the heavy-duty description of his time in a Vietnamese POW camp. But, we've kinda been overwhelmed with that this week so even that didn't have the emotional impact it could have. He tried to go non-partisan but the reality is that he's an unquestionable partisan and so is his running mate, a fact which she made abundantly clear during minute after endlessly shrill minute of her speech last night.

    The sad part is that he and his party are devoid of ideas. Cutting corporate taxes (which the corporations mostly don't pay, anyway) is a non-starter when the rich (and corporations) already got 90% of the benefit of the original tax cuts. Which McCain supports. As for the drilling, oil is priced in dollars and as the dollar has weakened (due to Republican deficits and trade deficits due to a weak economy) more of them are required to buy oil. Which drives up the price for you and me. Sure, there are supply issues but you're not going to solve them with drilling. Period. Only biofuels and alternatives are going to pull us out of this (and no, I'm not talking about corn ethanol and soya diesel... you CAN make biofuels out of many things). McCain doesn't have the knowledge base or intelligence to see that and it's really sad.

    I don't know if it's calcification of the brain due to age or just that Republican unwillingness to see reality (which is apparently what afflicts Palin). Shall we recap Republican failure? Do we really need to discuss tax cuts that didn't grow wages and real employment, not to mention creating the deficits that only Democrats said would happen? Should we go back over inflation and poor fiscal management? Should we discuss the disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law? Maybe we should take a moment and remind you of the Veterans, returning from Iraq, who haven't been treated like Veterans SHOULD be treated. Democrats don't run VA or the DoD. That's Bush and Republican appointees.

    The Democrats have been right all along. Every disaster. Every misstep. Every failure. They've nailed it. And this time, this election, the American people are ready for a change and they can't be fooled into thinking that Sen. McCain, with almost 30 years in Washington as part of the establishment, can bring anything other than more of the same.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 03, 2008

    R's get their red meat moment

    Tonight, Sarah Palin jumped her narrow, remarkably unqualified and corrupt ass into the ring and took swing after swing at her betters. Oh, and she took some time to defend the senile multi-millionaire (how many houses does he have?) with whom she shares the Republican ticket.

    So much for a different kind of politics and a campaign about issues. Guess McCain lied about that just like he did about being a reformer. Don't get me wrong, I actually used to respect John McCain. At least I did until 2000 when he officially became George Bush's bitch, a point driven home tonight by the right wing nut job he picked to be his running mate. Denied his true choice, he was forced to select the shrill, nasty and exceedingly ambitious Palin by the very same right wing that treated him so shabbily in 2000.

    But it was nice to see her with her baby prop. And to know the Republicans have decided to put themselves first and the country second. Of course, for Palin and McCain that's an easy choice... they've been selling out their families for years to further their own ambitions.

    At the end, I'm left wondering... What else should I have expected from someone who squandered her state's resources, drove up taxes on the middle class and left her constituents in crushing debt?


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What a bunch of damn bullshit

    PhotobucketYou know, there a number of things I'd like to say about Palin and her 'reformer' image. But it's hard to call someone a reformer when their only true reform is to leave their constituents more in debt than they were prior to their 'service'. To the tune of $4,000 per resident in tiny Wasilla. See the extended for some good stuff on her tenure from someone who knows her. I think the phrase 'RANK INCOMPETENCE' pretty much sums it up.

    Of course, there's the matter of the pregnant daughter. I knew girls that got pregnant in high school. Some of them graduated with me, some did not. Some of them had the kids and some did not for one reason or another. I never lost respect for them and I certainly won't say that this revelation has negatively effected my opinion of Palin. I had a negative opinion of her from HER actions, not those of her daughter. But, this pisses me off...

    When Pam Younggren, 61, of Fargo, N.D., was told the news of the 17-year-old’s pregnancy, she shrugged. “Well, she wouldn’t be the first one,” she said.

    “We can’t control what our daughters do,” she said. “I don’t see it as a problem. She will have appropriate care for her baby.”

    And this one...

    “People are looking for real,” he said in an interview. “Real means blemishes, real means warts, real means real. These family imperfections make people say, ‘That family isn’t so different from my family.’”

    Uhm, they aren't like the rest of us. My parents kept rather strict controls over Barfly and I when we lived under their roof, so yeah... you can control your kids. It's called PARENTING. Palin did not. Period. My parents also made sure we KNEW the implications of intercourse and were prepared for it with appropriate protection. Palin did not. Now, even with these precautions, some kids end up being parents. My problem with this is that Palin willfully decided NOT to prepare her daughter with information and protection. That's not a knock on her daughter, that's her OWN very real character flaw. And it's one I would find unacceptable in any public official, Democratic or Republican. Especially one that's traveled far and wide preaching the wonders of abstinence only sex education, not to mention parental and personal responsibility.

    What's most galling about this situation is that had this been the Democratic VP candidate, there would have been endless sermons and screeching rants from the far right (including some of the women quoted in the NYT piece) denouncing their family values and judgment, among other things. And calling them an unacceptable choice for America.

    HOWEVER, I'm hearing quite the opposite from the folks in the bully pulpits of talk radio. And it's causing the words of Harry Truman, after reading McArthur's farewell address to Congress, to echo through my mind:

    "It was nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit."

    Beat up on Bristol? Not at all. But am I going to light into Palin EVERY TIME the phrase 'personal responsibility' leaves her lips? You betcha. Muse has a different take... she's a mother, she can go there. But her take on it dovetails nicely with the emails floating around from Wasilla residents. From them, it's pretty obvious that the only person who has benefited from Palin's service is Palin. It's certainly not her constituents, most of whom are decidedly worse off for her 'unbridled ambition'. Take a look in the supersize...


    This email is floating around the 'sphere. I've received two other very similar accounts from different people.

    ABOUT SARAH PALIN

    I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.
    Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a
    first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her
    father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a
    first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more
    City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the
    residents of the city.

    She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular
    girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
    won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because
    she is a “babe”.

    It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She
    kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
    for seven months.

    She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby.
    There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

    She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

    She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out
    there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

    Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a
    champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly
    sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his
    work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or
    so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their
    major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything
    like that of native Alaskans.

    Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

    She’s smart.

    Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000
    (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about
    670,000 residents.

    During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running
    this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been
    pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had
    gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had
    given rise to a recall campaign.

    Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6
    years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over
    33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the
    City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation
    (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a
    regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she
    promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they
    benefited residents.

    The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration
    weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed
    money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
    with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage
    the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said
    she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a
    new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
    multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece
    of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was
    still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers
    involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the
    community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it
    would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that
    could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

    While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office
    redecorated more than once.

    These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

    As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus
    in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will
    make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she
    proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

    In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she
    recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while
    she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s
    surplus, borrow for needs.

    She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas
    or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by
    her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the
    basis of who proposed them.

    While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected
    City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from
    the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents
    rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s
    attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew
    her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
    Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

    Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for
    Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin
    fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as
    Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people,
    creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally
    grateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their power
    to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the
    case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

    As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated”
    her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top
    cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure
    and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that
    an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t
    fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation
    for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen
    contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she
    later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to
    replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded
    for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew
    her support.

    She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in
    help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town
    introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council
    became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She
    abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t
    like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

    Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything
    publicly about her.

    When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got
    the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one
    of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no
    background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great
    job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the
    high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the
    structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this
    Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party)
    engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some
    undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all
    her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and
    garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a
    gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit,
    exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

    As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from
    Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel
    politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to
    nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

    As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget
    guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing
    projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative
    action restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simply
    because she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservant
    she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

    She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party
    leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated
    them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
    fiscal conservative.

    Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.
    They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and
    predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly
    stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made
    point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s
    mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and
    experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

    As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package
    of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march
    to the beat of her drum.

    Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
    Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to
    global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state
    initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from
    pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the
    state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s
    lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar
    bears as threatened species.

    McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a
    heartbeat away from being President.

    There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more
    knowledgeable and experienced than she.

    However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are
    regretting it.

    CLAIM VS FACT
    •”Hockey mom”: true for a few years
    •”PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary
    school, not since
    •”NRA supporter”: absolutely true
    •social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill
    that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships
    (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
    •pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to
    promote it.
    •”Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby
    BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life
    legislation
    •”Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has
    residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.
    No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on
    supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city
    administrator to run town of about 5,000.
    •political maverick: not at all
    •gutsy: absolutely!
    •open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at
    explaining actions.
    •has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
    •”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores
    and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
    •fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
    •pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city
    without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built
    streets to early 20th century standards.
    •pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on
    residents
    •pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city
    government in Wasilla’s history.
    •pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union
    doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim
    that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    You're kidding, right?

    The Republicans have been consistently wrong on health care and have paid a price for it at the polls. As premiums have dramatically increased, service and care has decreased. Tort reform has not made physician's lives easier, they've instead made insurance companies richer.

    In short, everything that the Republicans told you about bringing affordable health care was... wait for it... a LIE. American's have, of course, figured this out. Now, comes this from the R's...


    ...John Goodman [is] president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort.

    "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

    "So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved." (DMN)

    Here's the problem with this... it's functionally taxpayer funded health care (which the R's claim is 'socialized medicine') which is way more expensive than other universal health care plans. Because you're employing the most expensive form of care, emergency. The second problem has two parts. With this, the bills are so expensive the counties will have to raise taxes to cover just PART of the cost. The rest of it falls to the patient who will, of course, usually be indigent. Which means they'll have collections and judgments on their credit reports which will keep them from, for example, buying a home.

    If they happen to be unlucky enough to own a home... well, forced foreclosure is a horrible experience but I'm sure people will be OK with it when they realize that it helped the Republicans dodge a bullet.

    The Republican Party, home to so many bad ideas you just can't believe it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 02, 2008

    Making History

    Should the polar bear-hating extremist Sarah Palin actually become Vice President of the United States, she'll be joining a select group of holders of that office who supported the overthrow of the Federal Union.

    No one is quite sure what Aaron Burr was up to when he headed into what Americans then knew as the Southwest in 1807, but is known that he was raising a private army and rumors swirled that he aimed at detaching part of the Louisiana Territory and establishing his own empire, perhaps with the aid of Spain. Arrested and tried, in the end there was not enough evidence to convict him of treason.

    The case of Jackson's first veep, John C. Calhoun is much clearer. He developed the theory of "Nullification" which held that a state could decide which federal laws applied within its boundaries. He resigned the vice presidency and encouraged South Carolina to resist the federal tariff, resulting in the Nullification Crisis of the early 1830s... which was resolved peacefully when the Palmetto State backed down, the rest of the South unready to follow the path of secession and civil war.

    When that war came three decades late, Buchanon's number two, John C. Breckinridge ignored the decision of his native Kentucky to remain loyal and joined the rebellion, raising troops and leading them in battle as a Confederate general. By 1865 he was serving in the rebel government as Secretary of War; with war's end he fled into exile, returning only after receiving a pardon in 1869.

    And now we are learning, thanks to reseach on Daily Kos, now picked up at ABC News that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a fringe political group whose founder planned to seek Soviet protection for an secessionist Alaska and whose grave is in Canada because he refused to be buried under the American flag. What are her views today? Could she honestly swear to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States"? Did she undertake her hazardous twelve-hour flight back from Texas a few months ago to avoid giving birth to her son on anything but Alaskan soil? Why the friendly greetings and hopes for a "successful convention" from the governor to her old comrades in the AIP in this video?

    For too long Democrats and progressives have had their patriotism questioned by a gang that has destroyed our economy, shredded our Constitutional rights and lied us into an unnecessary war. Well, the mukluk's on the other foot now. Sarah Palin, why do you hate America?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 01, 2008

    More on Dick In A Box

    A MAILBOX, that is. Apparently, there's more to this Frank Corte 'lives' on an empty lot, thing. From an anonymous source...

    Thought you should know that he moved out in October 2006, before his previous election, when he and his wife had their house moved to a new lot outside the city limits. He then got a permit from the city to build a two-story house on the old lot. But that permit expired in January 2007, and there have been no new requests for any building permits since then. Meanwhile, his wife has renewed her driver’s license using her new address, the apartment outside the district. Hence, Corte is not only ineligible to serve now but has been ineligible to serve for at least the past two years. And though it’s too late to remove his name from this November’s ballot, it’s not too late to have him declared ineligible thus handing the election to his Democratic challenger, Fran Carnot. (There is also a Libertarian in the race, Sally Gayton.)

    So what happens now? Will Frank do the right thing or will the courts have to step in?

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

    August 29, 2008

    McCain gets frigid

    Sen. McCain is rumored to have picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be the Republican nominee for Vice-President.

    Palin, 44, is a reform-minded governor in Alaska who's challenged the party's old guard, attacked pork-barrel spending and taken a keen interest in energy and environmental issues. A former Miss Alaska runnerup, Palin hold a degree in journalism and has five children, including one with Down Syndrome. If Palin is selected, it could indicate a strategy on McCain's part to siphon off women voters disaffected by Sen. Hillary Clinton's loss in the Democratic primaries to Obama, D-Ill.

    First, this ain't gonna peel off any of Hillary's diehards, nor is anyone going to be persuaded that her goodwill and character will rub off on McCain. At the end of the day, the veep is largely irrelevant and the only way Independents and Democrats will vote for a Republican is if the Republican nominee stopped being John McCain.

    Update 11:45 - Watching the speech now and it's clear they are going to focus on reform. I guess no one told her that the man she's running with has been an integral part of what she'd like to reform for decades. Also, I don't think she realizes she's a Republican. Look for the Democrats to make the point that we can't really afford anymore Republican 'Reform' like ever expanding deficits, low job and wage growth and dramatically higher energy prices.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    August 27, 2008

    Senator Carona and his 'business'

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    I think HOA's are really just a step above extortionists. But that's me. However, I'm sure anyone who has dealt with an HOA managed by Senator John Carona's company would probably agree. Apparently, the Senator from North Dallas has decided to run his company into the ground by taking in payments... and doing no work.

    Principal Management Group wouldn't go on camera, but said the association has been without a board for five years. Now the 300 or so homes are predominately rentals and getting the landlords to pay has been impossible.(KTRK13)

    Oh, that's not true... HOA's have the ability to foreclose. In fact, they can scare first lien holders (if the unit is financed) into paying the back HOA dues and setting up a mandatory escrow account as part of the note repayment to make sure there is never a time when HOA dues go into arrears again. I know because the servicing division at a bank I worked for did it. HOA dues are serious business. The problem is, there's no board and with no board, there's no oversight. Which means the residents have to go through an arduous process to rid themselves of the albatross. And the garbage it's left on their doorsteps.

    Kudos to Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee for stepping up to the plate and helping these folks out. And shame on Senator Carona for NOT taking the time to make things right.

    Please click through here and help Rain Minns, the Democrat running to unseat Carona, today.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 26, 2008

    Blaming the Democrats...

    I LOVE BLAME! I love it when one of my subordinates, whom I've asked to perform a task, blames someone else in the office (usually a peer) for failing to complete it. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that the job I expected to get done, wasn't done. Well, nothing except knowing who to blame for the failure.

    Oh, I'm just kidding... I usually berate the dick who didn't perform the task. Over the phone since my office is far, far from me.

    Bush, on the other hand, likes to berate his peers. For high gas prices...

    "This Congress has been one of the most unproductive on record. They've failed to address the challenge of high gas prices," the president said. "They need to send me a bill next month that I can sign so we can bring relief to drivers, small business owners, farmers and ranchers and every American affected by high prices at the pump."

    You should never believe a liar, which is what makes this AP story sooo intriguing. It's also interesting because there are no counterquotes from the Democrats. Nothing except some lame thing from Pelosi about allowing some limited offshore drilling. Which Bush says isn't enough. And we should take his word on that because he's been right all along. He was:

    1) Right about deficits not mattering.
    2) Right about WMD's
    3) Right about that whole Axis of Evil thing
    4) Right about Vladimir Putin's soul
    5) Right about how tax cuts would trickle down
    6) Right about how the economy wasn't having problems
    7) Right about how energy price increases (which have gone on every day since he entered office) were temporary.

    The funny thing is that Bush says all this without a hint of irony since HIS party was in charge during most of the run up in gas prices. In fact, when refiners continued to gouge retailers and consumers, Bush and the Republicans did nothing. As Exxon's profits soared and Americans started to buckle under the pressure, Bush and the Republicans did nothing. Except blame Democrats who weren't in power.

    The funny thing about this is that none of it is the fault of the Democrats. However, because of how retarded their leadership is in the Congress, it'll come across that way and in the end they'll fall over themselves to give the Republicans what they want.

    They'll whine about how the polling data was too strong and how the R's had talking points that were engineered to win over an audience. I know this because I've heard it for two years. The reality is that none of you are really smart enough to get how to control message and win a debate in real time.

    So, just save us all the time and trouble... and give in. God knows none of you know how to browbeat and intimidate the other side into caving in to you. Democrats don't do that. Well, they don't anymore.


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

    Frank Corte in a box?!

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

    View image

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

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

    August 25, 2008

    Tom Delay COULD get off on a technicality

    According to the Statesman, there is a very real possibility that Delay could walk on corruption and money laundering charges due to a technicality. Apparently, the law has been narrowly applied by an all Republican Appeals Court (no, I'm not making this up) to only cash transactions.

    Delay and Co. used checks. So you can obviously see how that's different and all. I guess if they'd used wire transfers it would have added still another wrinkle to this convoluted bullshit. What's most irritating about this is DeGuerin.

    Money-laundering charges against former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay and two indicted co-conspirators may be dismissed because the 2002 campaign finance case involved checks and not cash, a lawyer for DeLay said Sunday night.

    "We win," said Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's lawyer, "because there's nothing but checks in the case."

    Yes. You win. Because of a technicality created by how an appeals court looked at the law. Much like... actually, exactly like a drug dealer whose conviction is overturned because there wasn't probably cause for the traffic stop that resulted in his original arrest (where they discovered his 'distribution business and inventory'). Should feel good, Dick. You've worked hard to make sure a demon remains free to roam the Earth.

    DA Earle is not a happy monkey as one might expect...

    Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle said the check-versus-cash argument is absurd: "The court's reasoning is like saying that you can get away with murder if you pay the hit man with a check."

    Prosecutors can file a motion for a rehearing before the appellate court.

    But there's still more dick. Kind of like in a porno...

    "If this is how it ends," DeGuerin said, "it means every crime Ronnie Earle indicted Tom DeLay for was not a crime."

    No, it means you helped him dodge his criminality based on a technical issue. And a partisan court bought the argument.

    Of course, all of this is largely irrelevant. Delay's seat is gone. He's gone as a political force. He's a washed up loser who will be stepped on every time he pops his crooked head up. So, if that's all... then no big deal.

    And thank you, Ronnie Earle for having the stones to take this on.

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

    The Transportation Daisy Chain

    A certain political consultant emailed the release of the Republican Leadership (now ain't that just one hell of an oxymoron?) regarding their willingness to work with one another. After reading it, I responded to him with

    Craddick sucks off Dewhearst sucks off Perry eats out Delisi sucks off Craddick?

    To which he responded

    I'd rather not have that image in my mind, but, yes, I think you have it about right.

    Here's the gist...

    Highlights of the new plan:

    Stop funding the Texas Department of Public Safety with gas tax funds, and divert those millions to road construction. DPS could instead be funded with general revenue tax funds.

    What an AWESOME idea, y'all! We've only been asking for it for years but it's good to see that you're finally doing what we told you to do. Next, find the revenue to fund DPS without the gas tax. Good luck with that, R's. WITHOUT taking away CHIP.

    Create a special Transportation Finance Corporation to allow Texas-based investment funds to directly invest in state transportation projects.

    Rutro! This is the kind of place where you people normally take a nosedive. Here's the inside skinny... the folks at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs (whatup, peeps!) are having problems selling toll bonds. Which means that road privatization has pretty much ground to a halt along with everything else in the debt markets, at least everything risky (read: toll revenue bonds). If Texas had issued tax-backed revenue bonds and indexed the gas tax (AS ADVISED YEARS AGO) they wouldn't have had any problems selling off the debt. However, toll bonds (much like subprime and Alt A mortgage credits) are questionable at best, valueless at worst. Which means nothing is selling and there's no way for Perry and his cronies at Zachry (and THEIR friends, Cintra (Bluebonnet)) to get the money to buy the roads. Burka has some great stuff up on just how successful road privatization has been. For investors.

    So, now that private money has evaporated to finance your questionable plans, you morons want to dip into the underfunded public pensions!??!?!?! Lemme guess, you'll be giving the investment banks a cut on that transaction to work as adviser, right? And, of course, Zachry will be brought in to manage everything and take a cut. Annually. So, what does that leave for the pension fund?

    Great idea, you guys! Precisely what I'd expect from folks with the intellectual capacity of sparrows.

    Authorize perhaps as much as $5 billion in bonds for additional highway construction projects. Voters approved a constitutional change in November 2007 to allow these bonds, but legislation is still needed to authorize them.

    Oh, those tax backed bonds! Yeah, you should totally issue those. Here's the thing, though... at some point, you R's are going to have to finally admit to folks you've been lying to them about the possibility of having economic growth, good public infrastructure and excellent services (schools, fire and police) all while paying less in taxes. Simply put, you've been selling (but not delivering) a free lunch. It's worked so far because no one's been real hungry. Now they're starving and they want something to eat.

    EOW nails it and picks up on what the Statesman (and other major media sources) have always missed. These aren't REAL solutions, it's a shell game designed to make it appear that something is happening... and to put off the day when the bill really comes due.

    The really wonderful post on all this comes from Paul Burka at Texas Monthly who lays it out beautifully.

    The reality that no one on the R side wants to admit is that their ideology is fundamentally flawed. In the real world, privatization does not always work to the benefit of consumers, especially in the absence of substantive GOVERNMENT oversight. An old school economic conservative can you tell you that. In fact, I've done it several times. We, unlike the ideologues running the government who've never really worked in business, know from first hand experience that private enterprise can be every bit as wasteful as big government.

    And we hate waste, whether it's Democratic or Republican. And crony capitalism is definitely waste.

    One last point, there appear to be those who still want to parrot the old estimate that our transportation funding shortfall is $80-100 bn. It's NOT. It's not even close especially when you aren't building TODAY for capacity you won't need until the late 2040's. As a side note, I'd also like to ask the Lege to set up an independent body, appointed by the LEADERSHIP from both parties in the Lege, to audit TXDOT and what they are paying suppliers. I find it UNBELIEVABLE that true road constructions costs have escalated more rapidly than anything other than gold bullion.

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

    August 21, 2008

    Hey You Kids! Get The Hell Off My Lawns!

    OMFG!

    McCain unsure how many houses he owns

    Is it cold in here? It feels cold. Cathy, where's my sweater? No, not that one. The one with the zipper.

    Is it July yet? I thought it was July. Or Tuesday. I can never tell them apart.

    It was the messboys, I tell you. I knew the messboys ate the strawberries. Durn their hides. Why isn't there any whipped cream?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Krazy like a Keel

    Donna Keel, whose only distinguishing feature seems to be her decision to marry a Keel, is running for State Representative against Valinda Bolton way down southwest... in southwest Travis County. Developers love her, mostly because she views the environmentally sensitive area as nothing more than empty land on which endless mini-malls filled with dry cleaning shops, frozen yogurt stores and nail salons may be built. All those low wage retail jobs also mean she's a brill promoter of economic growth.

    No one ever said Donna was smart or a protector of the environment. On the smart thing, she did, after all, marry a Keel which is a small step above marrying a Manson. By virtue of the fact that the Keels haven't killed anyone. At least no one that we know of. What we do know is that her bother-in-law and winner of the 2008 LAMEST HAIRCUT IN THE WORLD is Terry Keel and he's the one forcing her to do this. Because, in his new role as parliamentarian, he wants a buddy since all CradDICK does is repeat him. One has to assume that Donna had met Terry prior to marrying the other Keel (the one who gave her the glam name). One has to wonder about the sanity of ANYONE willing to marry into that family with eyes wide open.

    Can you tell we don't like Terry? Oh, there's a reason... Terry has all the integrity of a homeless drunk, he'll do anything for a dollar, much as a drunk will for a bottle of MD20/20. From scuttling real ethics reform to helping Tom CradDICK stay in power, Terry was a miserable failure as a State Representative. Now he's firmly supporting his sister-in-law. Just what we need... feathered hair, part 2.

    On the environment, a massive concern for voters in the district, Donna Keel had this to say...

    Business Friendly Environment - Many businesses that were overtaxed and over regulated in other states are relocating to Texas. Many of those same states have responded by increasing taxes on the remaining businesses and individuals, perpetuating a vicious cycle .

    Oh, shit. I guess they forgot about being concerned about breathable air and drinkable water. My bad! Well, let's just address her economic stupidity for a moment, shall we? What she's saying here is that we need to keep business taxes low. I'm all for that. However, the Republicans she wants to join, the same ones who've been running Texas into the ground for more than 10 years, have made sure that business pays close to nothing in taxes to support the state that supports them. They use our roads, our schools, our police, fire and most definitely our courts. Yet they pay nothing to support the state. Oh, they provide some wonderful blue collar and minimum wage jobs (massive failure that IS Cabela's anyone?) but those jobs don't inject a massive amount of tax revenue either.

    The reality is that Texas is one of the few states where our elected officials are dumb enough to give up everything for bargain basement prices. And Donna, you want to be one of those people? REALLY?!??! I find that just infuriatingly stupid. However, looking at your resume it's clear that while you've had a B school education, you've never worked in private industry. So you don't know what the real world is like where we actually look for places with economic stability where the taxes may be a little higher, but government is operating efficiently and investing for the future.

    Republicans and Donna Keel are quite simply, bad salesman. They don't want partners that shoulder the burden of funding our state government and infrastructure and they don't understand that partnerships are built on shared sacrifice, trust and an understanding that long term profit is better than short term gain.

    They are creating, though their policies, a business class who've grown fat and happy sucking off the government teat without paying so much as a dime in taxes. So, in a situation like that, you have to ask if the economic 'growth' these companies bring in is worth the cost to our environment, if the economic gain exceeds the cost. The answer, for many of these companies, is NO. They cost us far more in health care, education, transportation, public safety, etc. than they provide in taxes. Which means they are drains on our economy and we'd be better off without them.

    Donna Keel doesn't know that. Which makes me wonder what, other than the way to the Comptroller's building, she does know.

    Finally, her stand on toll roads...

    Toll Roads – Austin absolutely needs to improve its infrastructure, particularly at the Y in Oak Hill. These improvements should be paid for with existing funds. I would only support tolls as an absolute last resort, never on existing roads or bridges( double taxation), and never as a source of revenue in perpetuity. Once a road is paid for, the toll should be removed.

    Sounds great, doesn't it? Many Republicans said the same thing in 2003... right before they voted for the bill that gave TXDOT the ability to privatize new AND existing roads as well as toll in perpetuity. Donna, further proving she has a shallow-puddle deep understanding of the issues, doesn't get that tolling is more expensive for Texans than any other financing solution. Note here she makes no mention of the gas tax which we already know would be the cheapest way to fund infrastructure. Probably because she can't do the cost per mile break down in her head to determine that she'll pay more on a per gallon basis with tolls than with the gas tax.

    As for 'removing the tolls', sure Donna. We've heard that from EVERY Republican at one time or another. We believed some of them. However, we're not going to blindly trust you since your brother-in-law helped put us in this mess to begin with. And he's one of your advisers and supporters, which to us means you have bad taste in both and even worse judgment.

    We can't afford another Keel. We need to KEEP VALINDA BOLTON.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 20, 2008

    A simple question...

    Why is Karl Rove running fundraisers and not in jail?

    On a lighter note, there's this from Dean Rindy...

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

    We (heart) Hector Nieto (and Jesmer's a tool)

    No, Hector, not in THAT way. So you don't have to feel nervous around us...we love you for saying this...

    "Instead of resurrecting a non-issue like Fred Baron, why doesn't John Cornyn explain to the people of Texas why he voted six times against bipartisan legislation to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program? Every time a child goes to the emergency room because a parent couldn't afford quality healthcare, that parent can thank John Cornyn."

    Yesterday, dippy little Rob Jesmer of the Re-Elect A Worthless Douchebag campaign (AKA, Cornyn for Senate) sent out an email about Fred Baron (who?) giving money to Rick Noriega and the Texas Democratic Party and Girl and Boy Scouts of America. While he mostly left Noriega and the TDP alone, Rob went hog wild on the poor little scouts.

    "No, we don't want any more of your Fred Barron cookies. We don't want anymore of your trial lawyer sing alongs or massive settlement knots. We certainly don't want to see any more of your tort pine car derby's..." Jesmer went on to discuss the Freemason's, threatening to teleport laughing reporters into the sun (with his MIND) and the Illuminati/Rothschild/Bilderberg grand unified conspiracy theory.

    He did not comment on when Cornyn will be giving up the MILLIONS in oil and energy company money he's taken while those same companies have raped Texans on a daily basis.

    Meanwhile, the Noriega campaign was taking a nap.


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

    August 19, 2008

    The Future of the Republican Party

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    That's right, it's not up and comers like that fuckball Todd Staples who'll get his head handed to him in the R primary in 2010. It's Dan Patrick, radio personality (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one) and State Senator. If any of you 30 other men and women in the Texas Senate want to know why people look at y'all like listing agents at a funeral, he's the reason.

    BOR has some information up on Dan's latest antics, trying to get on Finance where he will no doubt make such awesome reco's as:

    1) Cutting taxes to zero
    2) Cutting spending to zero

    Which is his dream. Of course, for the rest of us who like police, state troopers, roads and schools it'll be a nightmare. But that's OK because Dan will manage to get a law passed to privatize the entire state... and we'll pay twice as much as we do now for half as much service.

    Take a bow, assweevil. And do something about those fucking teeth. They look like jacked up chiclets.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Washington's Broken, And So Is This Record

    "Washington's broken" proclaims a McThuselah campaign spot, conveniently overlooking the fact he's been there for a quarter century (that's twenty years longer than he spent as a POW) and might bear just a teeny bit of responsibility for the state of affairs he affects to deplore.

    Remember when you had to actually not be part of Washington to run against Washington?

    Also oddly missing is any notion that McCain's BFF, George Bush, might have had anything to do with things.

    But what really chaps my ass is when he claims to be the "Original Maverick". Sorry, friend, the original Maverick was James Garner, and you're no James Garner. Hell, you're not even Jack Kelly.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 14, 2008

    We're here to protect you!

    (Ed. Note : YOU MISS MEETINGS, YOU MISS OUT. Got it, Harry? Besides, our meetings, as always, are in a BAR. You're an attorney... it should be as natural as a courtroom to you!)

    So I'm completely sucked into "Fair Labor Standards Act Litigation for F@#$ing Idiots" when I decide to come up for air and see what's doing in the other cubicles. Thanks SO MUCH, McBlogger and Mayor, for copying me on the memo that we were all supposed to be on strike! Not to mention the memo announcing that those Amalgamated douchebags sold us back the blog....NOT!

    Anyway, I start catching up on the latest postings and the one about the cheapass elephant bribe really struck a chord with me. Because I, too, have an aging grandparent highly susceptible to such chicanery. Grampa Milo has really gone around the bend lately with his 2nd Amendment enthusiasm, to the point that JUST THIS WEEK he got a handwritten letter from Charlton Heston and immediately sent the fucker a check!

    So consider this a Public Service Announcement: Old Folks reading this at home, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE save your money and don't give into the chicanery and hucksterism out there. At this stage in life, you don't need to be worrying about all the political bogeymen out there and giving away your fixed income to anybody who sends you mail. No sir. What YOU need to be worrying about is ROBOTS! Big mean scary inhuman robots who want to take over your life and enslave you! Quick! Before it's too late! Buy Robot Insurance Today!


    Just make out your check to the Balczac Insurance Agency, c/o Mother Egan's Pub, West 6th Street, Austin, TX ATTN: McBlogger Employee Morale Fund. Act Today - So You Can Sleep Well Tonight!

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

    August 13, 2008

    Contribute to demons, receive...

    ... a retarded, cheaply made stuffed elephant. Named Victor.

    Photobucket

    Never, ever, in the history of crap has anything this inane been created as a 'thank you' gift for giving someone money. For me, I'd rather have a handwritten letter from my Republican candidate, much like the one I get from Nagoki Obuyon who sends me a letter every week thanking me for the nutritious food that I give her with my generous donation to whichever company it is that has access to my checking account and gives gruel to starving people around the world. Sally Struthers used to shill for them, but then she got fat and they didn't think it was appropriate.

    Apparently people thought SHE was eating all the food meant for those starving people. Isn't that tacky? I'm wwwaaayyy off the point here, right?

    So back to the Republicans. They will be giving Victor (or one of these other Made In China nightmares) if you'll just give them $35 which is a pretty good deal when you consider they have to hold these in inventory, package and ship them to you. Oh, and they have to pay whatever nasty factory in China poops these gross things out. Unless... Well, unless they're made from the same material as the carpet in my first apartment which was a petroleum based facsimile of burlap and felt twice as rough.

    Which will make this perfect for the kids when they get these from their senile (and cheap) grandparents for birthdays or Christmas. I should know. I have a framed picture of George Bush and Dick Cheney on the nightstand next to my bed at my mother's house that my grandmother gave me when she was starting to run downhill. Toward the end she was giving money to all sorts of Republican organizations. Until my father took control of her accounts and cut the freeloaders off.

    That's exactly what this kind of thing is aimed at... Frugal old people who can be easily manipulated by the GOP into being scared of the terrawrists (and terra itself) and think they are giving money so their grandchildren won't go to school with poor kids. Well, that and they think the kids will LOVE the stuffed animals. Even the grandchildren that are 16. Oh, they'll listen intently at Thanksgiving as their grandchildren tell them what they want (MP3 players, a new car, college, a gross of condoms). They'll nod and smile that rheumy smile. In the end they already have your present picked out.

    And they got it by helping one of their fellow geriatrics.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 12, 2008

    REALLY stupid people and their worthless ideas

    They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Of course, THEY never had their good ideas copied by the The House Stooges. Fattie, Hypocrite and Voter Fraud have decided they are going to roll out some lame imitation of Gingrich's (and Luntz's) Contract with America thus fulfilling the dire predictions of their elementary teachers who chastised them for copying off the smart kid AND STILL FAILING THE TEST.

    Why? Well, take a look what they want to roll out:

  • Appraisal caps... because they worked sooo well in California. Yes, the massive budget deficits the Golden State has enjoyed were directly related to this brilliant idea to cap the value of real estate used for ad valorem taxation at the previous sales price which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy since they tend to move less. So Fattie and the boys thought, why not bring that kind of fiscal irresponsibility here?

    Of course, none of these folks are smart enough to realize that the problem with real estate taxes is that people no longer earn money from their land. Which means that values have become completely detached from productive capacity. Which means, and you had to see this coming, THAT WE NEED A NEW WAY TO TAX TO PAY FOR OUR GOVERNMENT. No new idea here, just an old bad one from folks who collectively have 20% of a retarded brain.

    I know! Let's tax the stupid people like these retards!

  • Passing Voter ID - Come on, Linda Lardass. Call the bill what it IS, the Keep The Poor Minorities From Voting Act. We know you masterminded this one. After all, while Phil and Bill don't really like the blacks and messicans, they sure as hell aren't clever enough to figure out a way to keep them out of the polls. We tried explaining to them why this was a bad idea, but they can't read, either. Just what we need... more bad legislation from a bunch of racist crackers.
  • Fighting illegal immigration - Again with the beating up on the messicans, eh? This one is sure to piss off a lot of stalwart Republican business owners who, frankly, LOVE them some inexpensive labor. People like Zachry Construction and Dr. Leininger. Of course, none of the merry band of stupidiots cares about the effect this will have on our economy as illegals PAY far more in taxes than they consume in services. Of course, they also build our houses and roads.
  • Eliminate sales tax exemptions... ON FOOD. Jesus, Phil, even Reagan didn't want to tax the food the poor need to survive. Taxing formula for babies. What an AWESOME idea. Word is that The Gluttonous Pig is not so much for this part of the Contract because it would disproportionately impact her income since she buys and consumes a disproportionate amount of food.
  • Oh, there's more and Vince has the deets at Capitol Annex. I really can't discuss more without having a barely suppressible desire to insert my leg, up to the knee, into Phil King's ass.

    And yes, I'm certain he'd enjoy every second of it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 31, 2008

    Thanks for nothing, Todd Staples

    Well, we have yet another issue where Todd Staples, our ertswhile Agriculture Commissioner has dropped the ball. In the Statesman today, the 'tomato' salmonella outbreak has been traced back to growers in Mexico that supplied (you had to see it coming) Texas companies with peppers that carried the disease.

    The CDC and USDA are catching hell for it, but so far nothing has penetrated through to the Texas Dept. Of Agriculture which must share some of the blame. It's not like they didn't know about questionable irrigation and growing practices in Mexico... in 2006, Hank Gilbert, then Democratic candidate for Ag Commissioner talked about JUST THIS THING.

    Of course, Staples was distracted with finally doing the part of his job with regard to gas pumps. After being in the office for 18 months. Maybe he'll do something about tainted, diseased produce sometime in 2010.

    Way to fail Texans, Todd.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 30, 2008

    Tom Coburn in a box

    Well, it would be a good start. Provided that you then buried the box and built a parking lot on top of it.

    Coburn is being boxed in by Senator Reid... well, Harry and the D's and more than a few R's were trying to force him to actually vote FOR something instead of taking the cowards way out and putting a hold on it. Good luck there, Harry. Why not just go ahead and do what you did to Sen. Dodd when he put a hold on the Telecom Bill... just ignore it.

    A product of Democratic frustration with the tactics of Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and physician who has become the Dr. No of the Senate, the Tomnibus is a $10 billion collection of Coburn-blocked measures assembled by the Senate leadership in an effort to break his solitary grip on the legislative process.

    Engineered by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, the bill includes 35 of the most irresistible-sounding measures stuck on the docket, including the Mothers Act and the Protect Our Children Act.

    There are items to commemorate “The Star-Spangled Banner” and to try to curb pornography, cut drug use and help victims of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    Officially known as the Advancing America’s Priorities Act, the catchall legislation includes a measure to improve life for victims of paralysis, which Mr. Reid calls the Superman bill in tribute to the late Christopher Reeve.

    The obvious intent is to apply a little legislative Kryptonite and embarrass Mr. Coburn into dropping his procedural objections to the measures while highlighting his willingness to put roadblocks in front of bills that have support from all corners — a textbook case of what Democrats view as extreme Republican obstructionism.

    Well, as they say, good luck with that.

    “I am not a go-along, get-along guy if I think it is the wrong way to go,” Mr. Coburn said, not stating anything his peers did not already know. “I am O.K. taking the consternation of my colleagues. I take my oath seriously.”

    Yes, Tom Coburn (R - OK) is trying to cast himself as a defending of the budget. FDL has the details on what a laughable effort he has, so far, mounted. He's fine with deficit spending to pay for tax cuts for the rich and war spending, but spend $1bn on teaching kids? By God, you've just gone too far.

    The Tomnibus Bill, of course, failed. Which means we've got a bunch more Republicans to get rid of. Including Junior John Cornyn who apparently thought protecting children was less important than standing with his simpleton friend who is similarly ideologically bankrupt.

    Which makes me wonder about those of you, however few they may be, who are still thinking of voting or Republicans this year... I'd just like to ask, REALLY? You're living in their paradise with half TRILLION deficits, a collapsing dollar, double digit inflation and non-existent wage growth. In other words, Cornyn FAILED. Not a little, but a LOT. Quit embracing the Republican Culture of Failure.

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

    July 29, 2008

    McCaul gets pwn'd

    A couple of boys are attending a school that a US Congressman doesn't like and labels a 'jihadist seminary' without knowing anything about it. He then makes sure, through some hitherto unknown mechanism available to members of Congress, that they are removed from the school.

    Who would dare to violate the religious and intellectual freedom of Americans? None other than our own Republican Congressman, Mikey McCaul (R - ClearChannel). Regardless of how pro- or anti-American this school is, their FATHER sent them there. Why did McCaul feel a need to violate the wishes of a parent? Will he be stepping in to assist other children who don't like the schools they are attending? Maybe even beat up on parents for sending their kids to bad summer camps?

    Finally, these kids were from ATLANTA, GEORGIA. Not Texas. It's great that Mikey can spend so much time working on violating the wishes of a parent who isn't even his constituent, but we'd love it if he'd start doing what WE, his actual constituents, would like him to do.

    Mean Rachel has more and some video.

    Oh, and it would be nice if you'd help us get rid of Mikey by throwing some support to Larry Joe!

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

    July 26, 2008

    Shelly was IN TOWN?!?!?!?!

    As part of their continuing effort to remain relevant, conservabloggers had themselves a little convention, at the Renaissance in the Arboretum. Wonder if they had fun partying down at Friday's and Tangerine? No, wait... I really don't care.

    Speakers included Bob Novak (when ARE they going to finally let him die?) and Grover Norquist, the guy who says government is the root of all evil and that unfettered, unregulated commerce is always perfect. Grover can say things like that because he's only worked in government and government related services. He's uniquely UNQUALIFIED to offer anything of substance, which is probably why the ConRoots were able to get him to come talk to them.

    PhotobucketHowever, they also had... SHELLY! And what, you might be wondering, is Shelly on about today? Wachovia... apparently, their loss has nothing to do with poor underwriting. It has everything to do with management being concentrated currying favor with La Raza. No, I'm really not making this up.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 25, 2008

    Really, Bill Poole?

    Nothing would make me happier than never seeing another ideological simpleton from the Friedmanite school of disaster capitalists ever having another job in government or private industry. Why? Because they have ideological blinders on that keep them from accurately assessing a situation and determining a proper course of action.

    Case in point, former St. Louis Fed President Bill Poole. Though he now likes to go by William, many of us know and remember him as Bill, Chairman Greeenspan's favorite echo chamber. Poole is all bullshit, all the time. His solution to this current crisis? Let's privatize Fannie and Freddie.

    One shouldn't bother Bill with details and facts. For one thing, he doesn't want to hear that taxpayers aren't going to pay a dime for any of this. These companies will, as the government is only providing liquidity for currently illiquid securities, guaranteeing that the system will continue to function and loss mitigation procedures can run their course. But Poole's a Friedmanite and they love them some shock to get things moving. Unfortunately for him, the Democrats in Congress aren't prepared to hand over Fannie and Freddie to private interests (screwing existing shareholders) for pennies on the dollar.

    What Bill doesn't want to acknowledge (here again, that pesky ideology) is that THE MARKET BROKE DOWN. The only thing anyone wants to own are credits backed by the government. And THAT'S the free market reality.

    Absent the GSE's and their implicit government guarantee, the mortgage market would have ground to a halt, interest rates would be 3% higher (at a minimum) and home sales would have dropped to zilch. In turn, the loss mitigation and clearing of home inventory would have collapsed leading to a downward spiral that would have made the 30's look like the 50's.

    Humans are imperfect. Humans in a market, whether for equities, commodities or debts, can act irrationally. They can bid up prices far beyond real value... and sell prices far below book value. That's why we need stop gaps. If you can't see that or think it would be just wonderful to return the pre-Fed, gold standard world, you're ignorant of the past and wholly unready to face the future.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 22, 2008

    Staples discovers what Gilbert already knew

    During the 2006 campaign for Ag Commissioner, Hank Gilbert talked about the need to immediately begin inspecting gasoline and diesel pumps at stations all over Texas since many hadn't been touched in more than 8 years. He was pointing out that then Ag Commissioner Susan Combs (R-Bitch) had failed miserably on the job. Hank assured folks if he was elected he'd start the process the day he took office.

    Instead, Todd Staples won that election. And he's only now paying attention to the fact that some fuel retailers are cheating Texans. Way to be on the stick, Staples. You're a MOTO who distinguishes himself through irredeemable laziness. Take a bow.

    (VIA STC)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2008

    Dumb and dumberer

    Attention Morons... know your limitations.

    State Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano on Tuesday unveiled a committee headed by Dallas Cowboys' great Roger Staubach to explore the possibility of seeking the U.S. Senate seat that Kay Bailey Hutchison might vacate to run for governor in 2010.

    Meanwhile, another Republican hinted interest. Elizabeth Ames Jones, a member of the Texas Railroad Commission and former Texas House member from San Antonio, said there's no opening yet.

    But Jones, who raised $1 million for her state campaign kitty in the past year, said: "I would certainly not want to be left out of anything that would benefit Texas. It's going to be a long campaign for ... that Senate seat."

    While I LURVE the idea of these two idiot bitches beating the hell out of the one another, honestly I'd like a stronger Republican. It'll be more fun in the general. Campaigning against either of these halfwits would be like kicking a puppy.

    Dumb bitch vs. REALLY dumb bitch who is a decorator. God, I can't wait. Hey, Liz... I'm still waiting on you to give me the geologicals for that massive oil field you're just certain is right.under.our.feet!

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 13, 2008

    Alabama AG has rear entry

    Which R elected said this...

    "I often hear the argument that homosexuals who live together create a loving, caring family environment, perhaps an environment which is even superior to that which can be provided by a heterosexual couple. In this day of rampant decadence, many homosexuals would mislead society into believing that three men, an armadillo and a house plant create a functional family."

    None other than the Attorney General of Alabama who was allegedly caught screwing around with one of his male aides. By his wife who has thrown him out of the house. Didn't that happen here as well? Wasn't Perry caught giving someone head? Did I just dream that?

    Here's what the AG, Troy King looks like...

    Photobucket

    He's the one with the tie on. Average, no? Kinda destroys that whole notion that gays are hot guys. Of course, I guess I do that as well.

    Shut up, bitches.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 11, 2008

    Cornyn the Coward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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 07, 2008

    Really, Boone?, TOD problems, $1 Trillion Deficit and more

  • Boone Pickens, one of the financiers responsible for the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry in 2004, is going back on his word to pay $1 mn to anyone who can refute the attacks. Boone, it's a $1mn and an "I'm Sorry". Just do it already
  • The Lakeline TOD, planned as part of the commuter rail line in Austin, has his a snag... one parcel of land developers were going to use may be foreclosed.

    At least 141 acres of the planned 326-acre Lakeline Station project, near U.S. 183 and RM 620, have been posted for foreclosure after California-based developer Pacific Summit Partners failed to make at least one quarterly payment to William Savage, the previous owner of the property.

    Savage, who sold the land in 2006, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Messages left for his attorney, Rick Hightower, were not returned.

    Pacific Summit principal Steve Levenson said his partnership missed a payment because of problems arranging financing and asked for an extension; Levenson didn't say when the payment had been due.

  • Bill Gross, manager director of PIMCO, has a letter of advice for Obama that positively spot on and very surprising coming from a Republican. In it, he clearly delineates where we are heading fiscally and puts forth that President Obama may be the first to run a $1 Trillion Annual Deficit.

    While the Republicans will blame you for years and label you “Trillion Dollar Obama” in future campaigns, there is in fact not much that you or any other President can do. You’ve inherited an asset-based economy whose well has been pumped nearly dry with lower and lower interest rates and lender of last resort liquidity provisions that have managed to support Ponzi-style prosperity in recent years. Foreign lenders have cooperated by purchasing Treasuries at yields which when combined with dollar depreciation have resulted in negative returns on their money. Even if these charades continue (and they may not), their stimulative effects – their magical powers to transform a 110-pound weakling into a Charles Atlas/Arnold Schwarzenegger mensch of an economy – are gone. What you need now is fiscal spending and lots of it. No ordinary Starbucks will do, Mr. President, you need to step up for a six-pack of Red Bull.

    Gross is uncannily accurate and has been talking for years about the profligate spending (and lax taxation) of Bush and the Republicans. What he presents in his letter is real and not altogether unlikely. However, it'll also go a long way to insuring that the future is far brighter for all Americans.

  • It appears Obama got a discounted mortgage, much like many Republicans and Democrats in the Congress. And, possibly, then Governor George W. Bush. Here's a newsflash for all you people out there not in the mortgage business... Some banks will give you a discounted rate on your mortgage in exchange for other banking business. My own company has a friends and family loan that is discounted from our published rates. It's a perk for working here. Get over it.
  • Is Chris Bell going to run in SD 17? It appears so, though the announcement has, again, been put off. Come on, Chris. Just RUN.
  • Once more, Warren Chisum is speaking about his intention to file his insane, two years to get divorced, bill. The Statesman calls it a bad idea. I agree with them and will go one step further... Chisum, you're a dumbass.
  • The NYT has an awesome editorial up about banning nuclear weapons and the renewed effort to do just that. Apparently, the movement has some surprising bipartisan support. We couldn't agree more.

    Two decades later, a who’s who of the national security establishment — George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Sam Nunn — is calling on the United States to lead a global campaign to devalue and eventually rid the world of nuclear weapons.

    None of these men (two former secretaries of state, a former secretary of defense and a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee) are given to casual utopianism — or anything casual. They are trying to shock sensibilities.

    In two opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal, they described a frightening new world of ever-expanding nuclear appetites, in which traditional deterrence no longer works. They argued that the only way for the United States to rally the cooperation it needs to confront such dangers is with a clear commitment to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.

    They called for backing that up with policies that have also long been anathema to hawks: including banning all nuclear testing, taking American and Russian missiles off of hair-trigger alert and agreement on “further substantial reductions” in both countries’ arsenals.

    “I do not believe we can do this as a demand by countries that have nuclear weapons to countries that do not,” Mr. Kissinger says.

    It is hard to see their proposals as anything but a rejection of President Bush’s failed nuclear weapons policy. Mr. Bush’s aides have spent eight years ridiculing arms control agreements as “old think” and denying any relationship between what America does with its own nuclear weapons and its obvious inability to constrain others’ behavior.

  • Jobsanger has some information up on Sen. Brimer's renewed effort to keep Wendy Davis off the ballot because it's, frankly, the only hope he has of holding that seat. Come on, Kim, why not let the voters decide?
  • On drilling OCS and ANWR, Hal at Half Empty, GETS it. Why doesn't Cornyn?
  • TX10 is definitely in play
  • Dobson v Obama... guess who wins? You know, Dobson is old as hell... when IS he going to die?
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:48 PM | 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

    July 03, 2008

    The ongoing saga of the RepubliWhore

    The most amusing thing about this whole episode is Cornyn actually being interviewed and NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION.

    What are you afraid of, Children's Shotgun? Yeah, we've had to change to Children's Shotgun because some of you ladies wrote in to tell us that even y'all don't hunt with 28 gauge shotguns.

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

    July 01, 2008

    Eye of Newt (and John Sharp, too)

    This was forwarded to me Monday night...

    Although my Winning the Future message has always been directed at all Americans, whether they consider themselves Republicans, Democrats, or independents, today I am directing my message specifically to Democrats. And my message is this:

    The American people have spoken. Are your leaders listening?
    Over 1.1 Million Americans Call on Congress to "Drill Here, Drill Now"

    We really had no idea, just 35 days ago when we first posted the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition here, that we would provide the spark that has ignited a fire among frustrated, struggling Americans.

    So, Newt, what you're saying is that .03% of the American public is as dumb as you are when it comes to energy supply and energy security (two very separate issues)? I'll buy that. Hell, it appears you've even managed to suck that assweevil John Sharp into your stupidity...

    Secondly, cut the capital gains tax from 15 percent to 7.5 percent for investments in new domestic energy. History has shown that capital gains cuts produce more revenue for government, not less. These two actions would unleash the economic power of America towards solving our energy crisis by allowing Americans to do what they do best ... produce. This country has never conserved its way to greatness, but many times we have produced our way to greatness.

    A couple of things here, John. First, cuts in cap gains ALWAYS normalize. See, it's called 'tax planning' and people do it all the time. Fund managers, for example, will sell badly performing equities leading up to the end of the year, only to repurchase them in January. Why? Because they get to book a loss on the stock, which are then used to offset gains on other sales. Then they get to rebuy at, if they're lucky, a slightly lower price than they got on the sale, covering their frictional costs. THE SAME THING APPLIES TO CAPITAL GAINS. If I'm sitting on a massive capital gain, and legislation changes the rate at a known date in the future to a lower rate than current, I'm going to put off selling that investment until the rate goes down. Then, I'm going to sell. That's why it looks like tax cuts pay for themselves. As long as you don't think too much about it, which John has evidently not done. Next he'll be telling us that deficits don't matter.

    Now, on to conservation... we actually did that. In the 1980's. Consumption went down dramatically as people started driving more energy efficient cars. That coupled with increased production led to oil at $10/bbl. However, the overwhelming factor was the drop in demand. That's in process right now.

    Look, I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret. Newt's playing politics and quite stupidly as just about everyone knows that it's a lie that there is enough oil on the continental shelf and in ANWR to satiate our demand for oil.

    The world’s energy needs are so great that it’s going to take an immediate production increase roughly equal to the output of Saudi Arabia, for there to be significant supply side downward pressure on oil prices. When thinking about U.S. based energy projects, the question offered is: “on aggregate are these projects capable of rivaling the present day output of the Saudis?” If the answer is no then we have to question those who claim that a particular energy project is going to make gas/oil cheaper. It’s probably better to view the projects as a possible way to reduce some of our energy dependence, as opposed to being a solution to the larger energy problem.

    The Saudi's produce 12 million bbl/d. ANWR can't fill that. OCS can't fill that. Shale can't fill that. Neither can oil sands. Combined they STILL aren't close and the oil sands, well, they have their own unique problem of natural gas AND there's a possible political consideration. Remember, we've been through this already. One last point for the 'Drill Everywhere' crowd... the capacity TO DRILL is too low to do anything for five years. Which puts most of the OCS output MORE than a decade away.

    So what about Sharp's brill idea about tax incentives for solar, wind, etc? Those are all great, but they can't run a car. Unless we have battery technology far in advance of what we have available now. It's coming, but it's a decade away barring some miracle. Plus, most of these renewables already get some pretty nice tax breaks. Tax breaks aren't the issue. Sharp's an idiot for thinking it is when gas fired power prices are approaching those of more advanced PV solar. Sharp's the perfect kind of old school Democrat, too stupid to know what the hell he's talking about and willing to give away the farm when it's completely unnecessary. I'd love to play no limit with you sometime, John. It'll be fun selling your house after I win it.

    Some of you budding candidates out there may be thinking about joining with John on this. Don't. Just keep your mouths shut or we'll excoriate you in the same manner. Let the Republicans be the ones who open their mouths and let the stupid spill out.

    Here's where all this is heading... within 5 years gasoline is going to be less than $1.50/ gal. It'll probably happen sooner, but I'll run it out 5 years because right now politics is overriding good decision making. I will throw John a bone by letting him know that the market WILL make the decision. See, I know something that John apparently doesn't : Humans don't like restrictions on their growth. When there is a restriction, we find a way around it. You could say we're large like that. We'll do it this time as well, because speculators have rather firmly planted the seeds for their own destruction.

    At $140 a barrel, there’s as much incentive as anyone needs to find new sources of oil (such as the tar sands, and even oil shale), and more importantly, substitutes. At $10 a barrel, no one’s going to take the time and trouble to find a way to make an electric car viable. At over $100 a barrel, it’s a Nobel prize winner.

    That's what'll create the solution. And no, it won't be shale oil. It'll probably be something like this. Or maybe something better. I know it'll happen because Malthus was wrong and his followers today are still wrong.

    One thing's for sure... it won't be drilling, no matter how much Newt and John may wish for it. If it was, you'd already see some new supply starting to hit. It's not there. Speculation has driven prices and as a result, we're now destroying demand as people change their lifestyles. However, it's only part of the problem since the increased price has not sparked additional supply. Which means we're producing at marginal max capacity.

    Of course,with Gwahar producing a 28% water cut, THAT data point should be obvious to anyone with a brain. And no, I don't include those 'Drill Everywhere' people in that group. They're hellbent on politics over substance. For them I have nothing but scorn.

    It would be nice, John, if rather than parrot R bullshit, you'd start focusing on some real issues. Better yet, just keep your mouth shut. We'll call you when we need you.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 27, 2008

    Michael Crofton : Ugh! The Democrats!

    In an interview with Bloomberg TV this afternoon (yes, you guessed it, I'm stuck in my office), Michael Crofton the CEO of The Philadelphia Trust Company, said it would be a disaster if the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency.

    A disaster for the economy, that is.

    At this time, we at McBlogger HQ would like to take a moment to point out to Mr. Crofton that the following things have occurred since President Bush and a mostly Republican Congress (they controlled it completely from 2003-2007) took over:

    1) Job growth has been non-existent. In fact, using real world statistics, instead of the BLS stats, a strong case can be made for negative real job growth.
    2) Deficits are at historic levels. And have been for years.
    3) The Dollar has devalued against the Euro by more than 50%.
    4) Oil prices have increased close to five times
    5) Wage growth has been nil
    6) Inflation is once again a problem
    7) Food prices are up dramatically
    8) House prices have collapsed

    And that's just a few of the Republicans greatest hits. Which makes me wonder, what IS Mr. Crofton fearful of? A vibrant economy? Low inflation? Paying off the national dent and running surpluses? Real wage growth and an increase in national savings?

    Come on, Mr. Crofton. Tell us what is so scary about the Democrats...

    (Am I going a little overboard on the lists today?)

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 25, 2008

    Oh. God. No.

    Right up there with the news that Kinky wants to run as a Democrat in 2010 at the top of a list of 'Things That Will Make Me Vomit', is the news that Congressman Chet Edwards is being seriously considered as a VP nom. For Obama, not McCain.

    Seriously, Pelosi is out of touch. This is the same guy who turned tail on his own Oath of Office, sided with the Republicans and PASSED A BILL TO LET THE GOVERNMENT INDISCRIMINATELY SPY ON ITS OWN CITIZENS. But, of course, so did Pelosi.

    Lookit, boys and girls, this IS a big issue. This isn't gays and lesbians getting married and any one of a thousand other issues we give these assholes passes on because 'they're in a tough district full of mouth breathers'. In other words, This is the foundation of our country. The basis of our laws. The Republicans disregarded it and we've seen the results. Do you have any idea how crushing it is to watch DEMOCRATS now taking their turn shitting on the document that created the nation our ancestors fought desperately to establish?

    Today is the vote in the Senate. Feingold is nervous.

    Holding up his BlackBerry, Feingold warned, “Every time you e-mail my daughter or text message her in England, anybody contacts their son or daughter in Iraq, anybody has kids [spending] junior year abroad, anybody that has a business associate anywhere around the world, all of that is now sucked up into a database over which there is essentially no control for the first time in American history. All of this has happened to you, and your communications, in a way that you never would have thought was possible in this country.... We're going to fall over on this.”

    There's more from PDiddie and FDL. If this thing passes, we will never get a determination from a court that the actions of the President were illegal. And make no mistake, they were...

    SPECTER: OK. So what the administration, executive branch of the president, did was not illegal.

    COMEY: I'm not saying -- again, that's why I kept avoiding using that term. I had not reached a conclusion that it was.

    The only conclusion I reached is that I could not, after a whole lot of hard work, find an adequate legal basis for the program.

    SPECTER: OK.

    Well, now I understand why you didn't say it was illegal. What I don't understand is why you now won't say it was legal.

    COMEY: Well, I suppose there's an argument -- as I said, I'm not a presidential scholar -- that because the head of the executive branch determined that it was appropriate to do, that that meant for purposes of those in the executive branch it was legal.

    I disagreed with that conclusion. Our legal analysis was that we couldn't find an adequate legal basis for aspects of this matter. And for that reason, I couldn't certify it to its legality.

    And don't kid yourself, this isn't about terrorists. It never has been. And it certainly doesn't give me a lot of faith in our nominee, who is apparently as big a booster for this bill as his opponent. And President Bush.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 24, 2008

    Winning the stupid olympics, pt 3

    REALLY. That's enough with the stupid, Republicans. I'm so sick of hearing all the lies coming from y'all. Well, it's either lying or just rank stupidity.

    Maybe I should call John McCain's spokespuppy and find out which.

  • Bush, clearly drunk, proposes expanding offshore drilling. There are a couple points here including
    1) There's not enough oil to really make a dent in demand.
    2) You can't bring what's there up fast enough to have a real impact on prices without stomping on speculation.
    3) Bush could end high oil prices in an afternoon by starving speculators.
    4) Did I mention there's not enough oil down there?

    But the biggest one is that there isn't enough equipment for offshore drilling available. Because it's already being used in the areas where you CAN drill offshore. Which also, it just so happen, is where 80% of the total oil available on the continental shelf (for those of you who've been voting R, 'right off the coast') is located. In other words, anyone that tells you we're missing out on some kind of oil panacea in the deep water is lying to you. But hey, it's not the first time Bush has lied.

  • This op/ed nails the delusional case for drilling offshore...

    There is no doubt that a lot of people have been discomfited and genuinely hurt by $4-a-gallon gas. But their suffering will not be relieved by drilling in restricted areas off the coasts of New Jersey or Virginia or California. The Energy Information Administration says that even if both coasts were opened, prices would not begin to drop until 2030. The only real beneficiaries will be the oil companies that are trying to lock up every last acre of public land before their friends in power — Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney — exit the political stage.

    To those who rise in support of expanded drilling I tell you earnestly that it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  • Hava Goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The most endangered R you don't know

    Oh, and there's more to come... just wait.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2008

    Winning the stupid olympics, pt 2

    Here's the WaPo. Click on it and scroll down the second story (the one under the thing about the douchebag lobbyist).

    Congress has tied itself in knots over whether to permit more domestic drilling for oil and gas. But Gingrich, through his organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, has come up with a phrase that has inspired a torrent of support via the Internet.

    In just three weeks, more than 750,000 people have signed on to a cyber-petition that endorses the phrase "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." In a single day last week, nearly 100,000 people endorsed the simple-to-understand concept.

    "It's far exceeded all of our expectations," said Dan Kotman, spokesman for the group.

    Really, Newt? I always thought of you as the smart Republican. Exactly where would you like to drill where you can bring up 2-3 mn bbl per day?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:04 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 19, 2008

    Winning the stupid olympics

  • Even though there's very little cheap oil left, that didn't stop the Republican Pander Express from making it's way to Dallas to talk about their brill plan to deal with energy costs... drill. Lookit, there isn't enough in the ground that you can bring up in any cost effective way to reduce oil prices. You've got to stop speculation, then you have to develop real alternatives.

    PhotobucketThere is NOT some giant, trillion barrel reserve under the Rockies. Or ANWR. Or the Gulf. Oh sure, there's a ton of oil down there but it's expensive to bring up. Too expensive by far to help us out. So quit lying to people, Joe Barton. And lose some weight because you're getting hella fat. Assweavil.

    Hey MSM... ask Kay Granger what the per barrel cost will be to produce oil out of ANWR and how much it could realistically produce in a year. Watch the steam come out of her ears. Yes, Reporters, things really are that goddamn simple. Ask any analyst. Better yet, since you won't believe my blogging ass, ask Matt Simmons.

    WP has more including information on Burgess' little Energy Expo which just sounds precious. If you like pandering bullshit and lies. Someone go and tell us if he actually says prices will fall immediately.



  • Apparently, the R's had themselves an interesting vendor at their little convention.
  • And finally, there's this from our moribund friends on the right. Love y'all, but y'all have to understand. People hate you. Seriously, I love my Republican friends, mostly because even they hate the R electeds. Especially 39%.
  • Hava Goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 17, 2008

    The Republican Convention

    Well, I'm sad to report that no one from Team McBlogger made the trip to Houston for the Republican Convention. The excuse I heard most often (other than "Are you fucking kidding me?") is that we don't like funerals. Or the walking dead. Apparently, neither do Republicans since they had around half as many delegates as the Democrats did at their convention.

    This post over at BOR tells the story...and leads me to a question. If the Republicans and the Democrats and the Libertarians are against the TTC, then WHY THE HELL DO WE STILL HAVE THE TTC? Is it just 39%'s massive ego?

    Apparently, the R's also aired this video. It shows Sen. Cornyn play acting like a real Texan. Yeah, we know all about that. Now run on, Jr. John, and play with your little shotgun.

    Finally, is Newt Gingrich going senile? I mean, senility is the only plausible explanation for thinking we can drill for oil to make ourselves energy independent. Then again, fantasy is the basis of Republican reality.

    Come on... I can't be the only one who remembers such classics as "Deficits don't matter/pay for themselves" and "The Iraq invasion will pay for itself".

    Y'all need a whole new set of bullshit free leaders. Check that, you just need to vote for Democrats.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 13, 2008

    Transportation Funding : You're doing it wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yes, TXDOT lied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 12, 2008

    Thanks for nothing, Nichols

    Ladies and Gentleman, the idiot Robert Nichols taking credit for TXDOT dropping a controversial part of TTC-69. The really stupid thing is that these folks still think they're going to get an old school interstate.

    Seriously, y'all, you're going to get assraped with tolls.

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

    Pathetic : Cornyn and McCain

    Two emails showed up today, one from Cornyn and one from McCain. Both are clearly indicative of panic...While you're laughing open another tab and send some money to Rick.

    In Cornyn's email, the assweavil has taken to using his daughters as a fundraising gimmick.

    As most of you know, this Sunday is Father's Day. Like many others across Texas, we have been contemplating what we are going to give Dad this year, and we think we came up with a great idea that we need your help with. But before we get into that, let us tell you a little bit about our dad. From the time we were little girls, our dad has always been there for us. The older we have gotten, the more we realize how amazing that it is. For over a decade now, Dad has represented the entire state of Texas. As you may remember, he was elected Attorney General in 1998 and then was elected to the Senate in 2002. Both jobs demanded a lot of his time, yet from family vacations to holidays to our graduations, our dad was always there. As he enters another campaign and Father's Day nears, we want to be there for him…which brings us back to you and your help. We would like to show Dad all the supporters we gathered for him. All you need to do is click HERE and join the public supporters list. Will you do that for us…and for him?

    Once at his site, you get to donate. Exciting, no? This is especially interesting since the right side of the blogosphere, really more of a minor adjunct than a side, is all a flutter about Rasmussen's new poll numbers that mirror Baselice's. The interesting thing? Both polls are DRAMATICALLY oversampling Republicans and represent a dramatic shift in Rasmussen's polling.

    Hey, y'all go ahead and keep overestimating your turnout and underestimating Noriega's. It'll be fun watching y'all cry.

    McCain's fundraising piece was even worse...

    We have some catch-up work to do -- and we must to do it now.

    I hope you will take a moment right now to make a special RNC Victory
    2-MONTH EMERGENCY CAMPAIGN PLEDGE of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $100 or $50. Here's why I'm personally asking for your immediate help:

    In the heat of their primary battle the Democrats launched a massive 50-state voter registration drive which will result directly in dramatically increasing Democrat voter turnout on November 4th.

    We must respond by dramatically increasing our own Republican registration efforts, matching them voter-to-voter, district-by-district, state-by-state all across America. But we can only do that with an immediate, emergency injection of funds.

    IT'S AN EMERGENCY! OMG!

    Damn, it must suck to be a Republican today.

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

    June 05, 2008

    Shhhh... don't anyone tell Sen. Cornyn how much Rob Jesmer sucks

    Rob Jesmer works for Sen. Cornyn. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but then again neither is Sen. Cornyn (the man with a hardon for ladies' firearms) which may explain why Cornyn hired him to send out inane emails like this one. Even the old, standard "let's beat up on the Democrat by calling him a librul" is just so goddamn tired I want to fall down right now and sleep.

    Really, Rob? This is the best you fucko's can come up with?

    You know, it's pointless talking about how many jobs will be created by this bill. Or how well Texas will do because of it. It's not even worth discussing the benefits to us all of arresting, then reversing, the carbon load in the atmosphere. Why bother even considering that this will help free us from dependence on foreign energy sources, saving us close to $1 TRILLION PER YEAR (and, coincidentally, defunding terrorism).

    Let's forget about all that because it's really a point by point refutation. Let's just look at one simple fact...

    CORNYN IS A LIAR

    This is, after all, one of the people who told us the Iraq Invasion would pay for itself. The same guy who has claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves. It's also the same idiot who has let the utility companies bleed Texans dry.

    Needless to say, as a real Texan would put it, your credibility (and that of your boss) is shot all to shit. I'd sooner believe Ralph Nader than John Cornyn, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    While you're good and irritated, go throw Rick a few bucks.

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

    June 04, 2008

    TXDOT, Tolls and riding off into the Sunset

    Some interesting things floating 'round the sphere...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hava goodun!

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

    June 03, 2008

    All roads lead to Alaska

    Spencer Abraham is our former Secretary of Energy. While at the Department, Spencer spent a lot of time thinking about energy alternatives. A LOT of time which frankly would have been better spent drinking in a bar. I mean, really, he was sober while working and this is what he came up with...

  • We should drill in Alaska

  • We should start a development program for hydrogen fuel cells (we get hydrogen from natural gas and oil, but no one told Spencer that... they told him they were cracking it out of water. AND HE BELIEVED THEM)

  • Corn based ethanol. The same corn based ethanol we've been subsidizing since Jimmy Carter. And biodiesel made from soya. Making gas out of food sure seemed like a good idea at the time

  • We should drill in Alaska
  • I heard all this yesterday when Abraham was inexplicably interviewed by Bloomberg TV about the rise in energy prices. It would seem that the corpulent rat (not unlike Templeton from Charlotte's Web) has started his own energy 'advisory' firm, The Abraham Group LLC. Please feel free to click the link and let me know if you notice what I noticed.

    Yeah, it's surprising that he'd have so many pictures of himself with... President Bush. I think he may have a crush on him. It's certain he knows more about sucking up to our retarded Commander in Chief than he does about rational energy policy and investment. And his number one, super brilliant idea for curing our current high energy prices is...drilling in Alaska.

    And you already know what we think about that brill idea. Of course, it may explain his lack of strategic partners and clients. See, in the real world, you actually have to COMPETENT at your job. Not just be loyal to an asshole from Texas.

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

    May 30, 2008

    When will Rove do the right thing...

    ...and put a gun in his mouth?

  • Rove won't testify because of 'executive privilege'. But he'll go on TV and talk some smack.
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Conyer's is going to subpoena him. And, hopefully, put him in jail for contempt when he doesn't show up
  • Posted by mcblogger at 09:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 28, 2008

    Really, FloShap? Really?

    STATE Senator Florence Shapiro fancies herself US Senator Florence Shapiro.

    Bryan Eppstein, a consultant to Shapiro, says, “At this time it’s just an interest in running and it’s a growing interest.” Eppstein also threw in the obligatory “she’s getting encouraged to run” bit.

    Yes, I know this is almost a month old. Much like a nasty wine, I had to let it breathe for a while before I could stand to drink it. Honestly, I don't know if it's possible to heap the kind of derision on this that it deserves. But I'll try. Because Flo's just that big a loser.

    On second thought, I'm just not up to the task. Of all the inane 'moves' I've heard politicians plan, this one is near the top of the list.

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

    May 25, 2008

    Energy and Reality (Or, What to do about high gas prices)

    With gas prices approaching or exceeding $4.00 all over the country, it's pretty obvious we're all in for some rough times. I know I've had to make sacrifices (moving from Grand Marnier to Cointreau) and I'm sure you've had to make adjustments as well. Like getting the kids to like cat food instead of Cheerios.

    Politically, it's the Democrats year as long as gas stays above $3.00/gal. Actually, I think the pain threshold is probably around $2.50/gal. That being said, this isn't a post about high gas prices and hurray for Democrats in November. This is about what the hell we're going to do.

    This is going to be a little different from my usual posts. This is policy and not terribly exciting. I'm going to break things down into two areas of focus... what to do in the short term and long term fixes. Obvs, this issue touches on a hundred issues and disciplines, so please bear with me. While it may not be readily apparent where I'm heading, I promise it'll all come together.


    The Short Term Solution


    People are hurting now and something has to be done. Sure, it's great to focus on CAFE standards and expanding public transportation. Both of those things have to be done, but before they'll start affecting things, gas will be $9.00/gal. Both of these take years to cycle through the economy.

    What? You doubt me? Think about hybrids and diesels. Both are available now and have been for about 4-5 years. Still, they haven't made a dent in demand. Because people are pretty strapped right now and spending money on a car is, for many, impossible. That being said, what do we do?

  • Raise taxes on capital gains made on non-real estate investments with a holding time of less than 18 months to 75%.
  • Balance the federal budget and run surpluses, half to shore up social programs, half to start buying down federal debt
  • Remember that thing about disparate ideas coming together? Here it is. Basically, in the energy markets right now there is a tremendous amount of money sloshing around due to lax policy from the Fed. That's creating inflationary pressures in various classes of investments which is especially evident in commodities. Low capital gains taxes are making it extremely easy for people to trade the market and constantly make profits. Who wouldn't like to be able to invest $1 mn and come away in 6 months or less with $10 mn? Oh, and pay practically nothing in tax?

    Low capital gains and lax monetary policy are driving speculation in the energy markets. The only way to stop it is to tax the hell out of it and starve out the short term traders. That will deflate the bubble and take us down to around $95/bbl.

    The second part, balancing the federal budget, will help to stabilize the dollar and lead to it's reappreciation. That should strip about $20-35 out of the price of oil, taking us down to a far more manageable $60-75/bbl. YES, it will mean raising taxes. Get used to it. We've been paying in the minimum for years and as a result our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are deteriorating and our currency is in functional freefall. It's about time liberals AND conservatives come together and realize we need to make some investments in the future.

    The next part is a little more tricky...

    The Long Term Solution

    We've now got oil down to more affordable levels and we didn't even have to go begging the Saudi's. So why isn't it back down in the $20's? Simple. There's still instability in many areas of the world where we get oil and demand is still high. That's the dirty little secret... we've apparently reached global peak and new discoveries aren't offsetting declines in major fields. In other words, while we're not running out of oil, we're running out of cheap, plentiful easily marketed oil. Which means we have to do something now before we go through something analogous to the worst of the 70's dystopia movies.

    We could start drilling in ANWR. It contains about as much oil as we use in 18 months and the costs to produce it full out could top $75/bbl. Not exactly a bargain and it's not a long term solution, despite what the R's may have told you. And everyone else.

    What about shale oil in the Rockies? Sure. There's a ton of oil trapped in shales, but the cost to produce will easily top $90/bbl. Why do you think none of the major integrated oils are clamoring over the prospect? Oh, yeah, and it also tears up the mountains. And pollutes the hell out of the environment BEFORE you've even had a chance to refine the first gallon of gas.

    Oh, but the Athabasca oil sands (not to mention those in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt) are our savior, right? Sure, the oil there's being produced for around $30-40/bbl. Which is fantastic until you realize the environmental damage that's done to get at that oil. That, and it's not exactly the yummy West Texas Intermediate Equivalent that we've all come to know and love. Nah, this a dead end with escalating costs and nasty environmental effects.

    All of the 'solutions' mentioned above do nothing but exacerbate the increase in atmospheric carbon. Even in the case of Athabasca, where they are using nuclear power, just pulling the oil up releases carbon. Before you even refine a gallon of gas, you're already increasing the carbon load.

    The only solid long term solution is biofuels. Forget soya diesel and corn ethanol, two biofuels that are about as useless as tits on a boar. The future is cellulosic ethanol made from miscanthus and biodiesel made from cassava. The best solution is algae and cyanobacteria. However, there's a lot of land that should be converted from corn and cotton production (hello West Texas) to biofuels. And you can do it in a way that will lessen water requirements and make farming more dependable and profitable. Still, the biofuel panacea is going to be either cyanobacteria or algae held in suspension and contained in mile after mile of snaking tubes.

    The best part? While it's making the transportation fuel, it's also scrubbing the atmosphere of CO2. You could even sequester CO2 from utility plants to juice growth. All around, it's THE solution, at least until we have practical fusion, solar panels with 70% efficiency that are commercially produced and ultra high density capacitors and batteries. While this doesn't do a lot to get rid of the carbon already floating around, it does put a stop to emissions growth. At that point, the environment will take care of the rest.

    Now that we have the blue sky solution, how the hell do we implement it. Therein lies the rub... it's not easy and it'll take the kind of political acumen that few in Washington have. On our side. The Republicans are absolutely hopeless, bleating on as they are about offshore drilling, ANWR and shale.

    For one thing, increasing the capital gains rate is going to make the investment banks and hedge funds very angry. Short term gains are their bread and butter, they're rich and they love donating money. And spending some of it on lobbyists. Still, our long term prosperity depends on shifting from a focus on short term to long term gains. In all honesty, if we allow them to buy into what's going to be the next big growth industry, they'll fall into line. And that's the key... the horse trading on this is going to be an absolute nightmare and the reality is that it's going to require getting everyone to buy in. Most of the integrated oils will, but Exxon will be unhappy with any solution.

    That's where the power of government comes into play. Until now, it's been used to hold back advances in public policy that will benefit the country. This time, we can use to play hardball with those companies that are uncooperative. Don't like our solution? Forget about patent protection, for example.

    The market is eventually going to go with this solution. However, it'll take them 20-30 years. That's why we need the government to step in and force the market's hand. This is going to require some monstrously intelligent people. The good news is, we have them. The bad news is that most of them are narrowly focused on one solution, not to mention that the vast majority of them have extraordinarily shallow knowledge bases. They're going to have to stop listening exclusively to the echo chamber composed of their fellow classmates from grad school.

    Finally, what's all this going to cost? My estimates are upwards of $2 trillion after you hand out all the lulu's and get everyone happy with the outcome. You can do it now, but that kind of borrowing in addition to current fiscal insanity would promptly drive interest rates up to 12% or more. That would put consumer rates in the 17-20% range which would effectively kill commerce in the US. And employment. That's where that whole fiscal responsibility thing comes from and the certain knowledge that this will have to gradual so as not to cause a sudden shock to an already shaky financial system.

    Of course, there's something else that makes the cost palatable. Biofuels keep our existing infrastructure mostly in place which reduces the cost to build out the production facilities. It also creates jobs which we desperately need, it lowers the cost of transportation fuel AND strengthens the dollar just from the simple fact that we'll not have to send as many of them out of the country to buy energy.

    There will be moaning and whining about this from all sides. We'll have to ignore it, especially when it comes from the National Review, The Washington Times and R candidates. Eventually though, it'll become evident that this is a good solution that will readily benefit everyone.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:40 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    May 23, 2008

    The Republicans beg for money

    I'm on the RPT's email list (YAY ME!) and just got this today. It's inline with their other emails, which Coby over at BAH has been tracking (here and here). Today's missive is from TinaFish herself, Empress of all the Republicans. I decided to translate from Republicanese to English but if you want to see the raw text, it's in the supersize.

    PhotobucketDear Sucker,

    You love you some Barack Obama, but we're still going to stick to the lame talking point that he insulted everyone in Texas when he told a group of San Francisco donors...

    “People in small towns cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    We know, we're pulling things way the hell out of context, but there are still like 20 of you out there who will send us a few bucks every time we mail this shit out. Y'all are like little human ATM's and we love you for it. Especially because we're broke and could really use the money. As offensive as our pandering is, the mainstream media is totally passing it up and focusing on dumb shit Obama said. Kinda like us.

    Michelle Obama’s out of context comments from earlier this year are still making headlines mostly because we keep screaming that they were 'un-American'. You know what else is un-American? Making us eat at motherfucking Taco Bell which is all we can afford right now.

    “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”

    Yeah, we know we're stretching this like Linda Harper-Brown trying to wedge into a girdle, but damn! We gotta do something! Sure, we're embarrassed by her honesty (and even know how she feels ... we have been, after all, the ones dismissing 'hope' for almost 30 years and focusing on pandering and hatred), but Obama’s campaign kept explaining how we and the media were taking this out of context (which we really are all the time doing). AND YOU KEEP LISTENING TO HIM! DON'T YOU REALIZE HE'S BLACK?!?!?! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!

    And we’ve all heard the sickening comments of Obama’s minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright (it's a strategy we call Fun With Partial Quotes). We know you've heard them because we've been like a goddamn broken record with that shit. Once again, we're hoping it'll shake the money tree so we can make rent this month. At first Obama dismissed Rev. Wright’s comments. That's when we smelled blood in the water. Then the Democrats did the unthinkable... they brought up McCain's support from that psycho Hagee. AND YOU LISTENED TO THEM? What do we have to do? Fake a terrorist incident to get you people to pay attention to us?!?!?!

    Sucker, I refuse to sit back and watch you keep your money. I NEED a lot of it and frankly, it'll help me more than it will you. We keep trying to make you understand that Barack Obama and his allies are trying to tear down everything we hold so dear. You just refuse to believe us. That makes us mad. Especially because if you keep your money we'll be poor. And we CAN'T have that.

    If you agree, then I urge you to make a special emergency contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to our Republican Party of Texas today. Seriously, I had to eat chili out of a can today and it was hella gross. This is really an emergency.

    www.texasgop.org/donate

    Not only are you and I in a battle for control of the White House (with us on one side and the rest of the country on the other), the United States Senate and the House of Representatives…

    We’re in a battle for the survival of that conservative bullshit you've been buying from us for 30 years, too. Don't make us retool our message and strategy... we REALLY don't want to. That takes work and we're nothing if not lazy.

    Here in Texas we don’t “cling” to anything (except your money), but we are guided by faith (in your stupidity) and believe deeply in the time-honored values (like taking your donations) that have made this nation the greatest on the face of the Earth. Well, it was before we took over and let our friends come and rape everything. Thank you all so much for voting for Perry in 2006. Now we can give back to the Spanish some of what we took from them. Viva La Reconquista!

    But the Democrats clearly have quite a different view of the world than you or I. They keep fighting diligently for your rights and freedoms, not to mention your economic security. And unless you give us money now, they're likely to win overwhelmingly in November. And then we'll have to find real jobs and our skills are kinda the suck.

    Through literature drops, and calls and targeted mailings to undecided voters, your special emergency gift of money will help us expose just how nasty and stupid we can be. It'll also help pay our tab at Ruth's Chris.

    And if you can help now, we’ll have the funds for that awesome vacay we've been planning to Bali. It'll also, if there's any left over, contrast our so-called conservative values with the strong, all-American ideals of the Obama Democrats.

    www.texasgop.org/donate

    Together, we’ll stop the Obama Democrats from disrupting our stranglehold on power and corruption. With your money, we'll also be able to pay off the bills the Speaker ran up redecorating his apartment. And pay off our Amex.

    Sincerely,

    Thanks and God Bless,
    TinaFish, State Chairman

    P.S. I’m sure you’re shocked and appalled by how craven we are. We know you're impressed by the ideas being put forth by Barack Obama and his campaign. I am, too. But really, we have do something about it as we can't allow you people to think for yourselves. Will you help me protect my privileged position by making a special gift to the Republican Party of Texas?


    Dear Friend,

    Support our conservative ideals - Support RPT Today!

    Barack Obama insulted everyone in Texas when he told a group of left-wing San Francisco donors...

    “People in small towns cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    As offensive as that shocking statement is, the mainstream media dismissed Obama’s ideas because they share his views.

    Michelle Obama’s anti-American comments from earlier this year are still making headlines.

    “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”

    Embarrassed by her candor, Obama’s campaign tried to divert attention by saying that her remarks were taken out of context.

    And we’ve all heard the sickening comments of Obama’s minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. At first Obama dismissed Rev. Wright’s comments. But only recently, bowing to political pressure, has he criticized them.

    Friend, I refuse to sit back and watch the unchallenged agenda and words of Barack Obama and his allies tear down everything we hold so dear.

    If you agree, then I urge you to make a special emergency contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to our Republican Party of Texas today.

    www.texasgop.org/donate

    Not only are you and I in a battle for control of the White House, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives…

    We’re in a battle for the survival of our common-sense conservative ideals, too.

    Here in Texas we don’t “cling” to anything, but we are guided by faith and believe deeply in the time-honored values that have made this nation the greatest on the face of the Earth.

    But the Democrats clearly have quite a different view of the world than you or I. And unless you want to see them seize total control of our federal government, Texas Republicans must step up to the plate like never before.

    Through literature drops, and calls and targeted mailings to undecided voters, your special emergency gift of will help us expose the liberal Obama agenda for all Texans to see.

    And if you can help now, we’ll have the funds for media opportunities that contrast our timeless conservative values with the radical, anti-American bias of the Obama Democrats.

    www.texasgop.org/donate

    Together, we’ll stop the Obama Democrats from ruining everything that has made Texas and America great.

    Sincerely,

    Thanks and God Bless,
    Tina J. Benkiser
    Tina J. Benkiser, State Chairman

    P.S. I’m sure you’re shocked and appalled by some of the ideas being put forth by Barack Obama and his campaign. I am, too. Let’s do something about it. Will you help me protect our conservative cause and make a special gift to the Republican Party of Texas?


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    People die every single day...

    Why aren't any of them that lying sack of shit Rick Santorum?

    We get it, Rick. You don't like the homo's. Why not just say that rather than make up some ridiculous lie (that's easily discovered) about how gay marriage has 'destroyed' Norway? It'll stop me from claiming that 30% of the time your awful haircut turns 25% of the women who see it into lesbians.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 22, 2008

    Dear Kevin McLaughlin

    Hey Kev (or, is it is Kevster, Kevina or Kevaroonie?)!


    We've never really talked and frankly, this is hella awkward. Obvs, no one is giving you the advice you need to be a good Republican spokespuppy in this day and age. You really need to sit down and have some drinks with Scotty McClellan... if he's not still curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth.

    If I may be so bold, you might find more gainful employment in another area. You kinda suck at the whole 'defending your boss' thing. Now, of course, we're willing to acknowledge that your boss is a waste of skin. And hair. And teeth. And air. But honestly, you don't have to make it EASY for us to tear him down by calling Sen. Webb and Lt. Col. Noriega members of the 'Anti-War Crowd'. These two guys served in war. Your boss didn't. You've just allowed everyone and their dog to make that contrast over and over again in the context of rebutting your retarded remarks. The opponent of your boss actually SERVED in Afghanistan. Meanwhile your boss was out hunting with a ladies shotgun.

    Then, of course, there is Cornyn's lack of support for the 21st Century GI Bill which would help our troops returning from war. Your boss is saying he doesn't like it because it spends too much money. Which is funny because he wasn't worried about that when we voted to cut the hell out of capital gains taxes which benefited the wealthy and turned the focus of our equity and commodity markets from investment to speculation. Guess which will cost taxpayers more?

    On second thought, you REALLY shouldn't go there because I'll shred the amateurish talking points you've diligently memorized from Heritage and the AEI.

    Here's the thing... Cornyn is going to lose and you'll be out of a job. If you go down with the ship (or, in this case, the walking dead) you could be out of work for a while. And welfare isn't what it used to be so you'll be pretty much broke (ask former AG Gonzales). Best idea is to get out while you can. Before you flub up even worse.

    HAVA GOODUN!

    McB

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A fat douche says what?

    Ladies and Gentleman, I give you a clearly delusional Rush Limbaugh

    “I don't think my ‘profile’ needed elevation because it never waned with my audience and my audience is for whom I do my show,” Limbaugh wrote. “Not the MSM. So when the MSM decides to acknowledge my existence it doesn't mean anything to me.”

    A couple of things... I'm thinking he's back on the drugs. I also think he's desperate to remain relevant to his dwindling audience (and it is dwindling, a fact which he refuses to acknowledge). All in all, it's funny as hell.

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

    May 21, 2008

    Leo Berman : The Prince of Hypocrisy

    Sal Costello has the story on Leo Berman's promise to kill the TTC next session...

    Mr. Costello:

    A number of legislators are committed to killing the TTC next session. Sen. Kevin Eltife and I have gone public with that commitment. Both of us will work hard toward that end.

    Sincerely,
    Leo Berman
    State Rep. District 6

    What little old Leo isn't saying is that he VOTED TO BUILD THE DAMN THING NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.


    TWICE

    We at McBlogger would like to welcome Berman to the fight against the TTC and toll roads. We'd like to start by asking him to commit to making the remaining sections of Loop 49 NON TOLL.

    Yeah, we knew he'd balk on that. Idiot.

    Berman, a word of advice. Don't grandstand on this. You vote and that's it. Hey, it's nice and all for you to finally be paying attention to your constituents, instead of CradDICK, but you need to know no one really likes you.

    Beside, you'll have very little power in January. You'll be part of the minority. Better be wise and join in with the Democrats on this. If you don't, a replacement will be easy to find in 2010. And I've already seen the oppo book on you.


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

    We're done with you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 20, 2008

    Really, Michael? Really?

    Texas Railroad Commission Chair Michael Williams isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor is he the dullest. In fact, he's not a knife at all. He's a rusty bottle opener in a world full of twist offs and every bit as worthless.

    There's been a lot of action regarding the RRC in the last couple of weeks. As always, TXSharon over at BlueDaze is keeping a watch on coverage around the 'sphere.

    For my part, Williams' defense of big oil's record profits betrays a stunning naivete at best, willful ignorance (or a willingness to lie) at worst.

    Who’s getting fat from higher crude oil and gasoline prices?

    The Saudi, Russian, Venezuelan, etc. nationalized oil companies. They own 75% of the world’s crude oil reserves. Exxon, the veritable villain for high gasoline prices, controls less than 3% of world reserves.

    The pump price is comprised of four components. The main one is the cost of crude oil. As a share of the retail price we pay at the pump, the cost of crude oil has risen dramatically to historic levels since 2000.

    Which means the Saudi royal family, Chavez and others are making money hand over fist as the recipients of the lion’s share of what we pay at the pump

    For Mikey to be right, Exxon and the other integrated oils (that's the technically correct name for oil companies that control everything from production/sourcing all the way to consumer sales/marketing) would have to be buying oil at NYMEX spot prices. And we all know that's not happening. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE STILL MAKING A PROFIT. You see, all these large oil companies have extensive long term contracts with suppliers like, for instance, Saudi Aramco. Not to mention the fields around the world they control where they pay royalties as low at 15% at a contracted price.

    This brings their cost of crude to significantly less than $130/bbl. I'd put it closer to $58-65/bbl on average. There's probably a clause in the contract that puts it in a band based on spot, probably no more than 75% of spot and no less than 50% of spot.

    You and I, however, don't get the benefit of this great deal. We get to pay spot prices because we're instant, on-demand (not contract) consumers. I'll even go Mikey one better and tell him that I don't expect Exxon to sell me gas based on their cost of crude. I know I'm a consumer and I have little or no bargaining power so I'm not gonna even whine about that.

    I will scream at the top of my lungs about their tax breaks and credits. Oh yeah, that's pretty useless to us, especially since these companies are making billions PER QUARTER and can easily afford to prospect for more crude*. Mikey doesn't address that. He does go on to some really, really, funny stuff...

    • Distribution and marketing costs and profits slid from a high of 13% in 2000 to about 8% today; and

    • Refining costs and profits have remained at about 8% from 2000 through 2008.

    He means as a percentage of the price at the pump. Refining costs have remained constant at about 8%. So, in 2000 it was roughly 9 cents/gallon and now it's more than 33 cents/ gallon. What changed? It's not like some super new and expensive refining process has been invented. It's not like they refiners are paying their employees much more.

    It's profit. Pure and simple. Part of me wonders if even Mikey believes this crap. As for the distribution, lets keep in mind that the oils now own a much larger number of service stations than they did in 2000 and have shut down a large number as well. They control the retail channel and have squeezed margins to starve out independent convenience stores. Oh, and while the percentage may have changed, the dollar amount today is still higher... 13.9 cents in 2000 per gallon vs. 29.6 cents today. How's that for a nice inflation adjusted return?

    Is this REALLY the best you Republicans can do? Really? Tina Fish, is this the man you want to be your standard bearer? Someone who's either too dumb to get how capitalism works or lies just for the hell of it?

    My prediction? No one in the real world is dumb enough to believe Williams. And they're going to turn on him on November. And I'll laugh and laugh.

    *On the subject of exploration, the integrated oils aren't doing a lot of prospecting because they know what Matt Simmons over in Houston has known for a while. We're running out of cheap, readily exploitable oil. These profits the oils are piling on are going to be used for something and I'm damn sure it won't be drilling a dry hole in West Texas. Which means their tax cuts need to be repealed. Bless Mikey's heart, I bet he hasn't even come to that conclusion. Poor dumb thing is probably waiting for the next strike near Humble.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    May 16, 2008

    Barney Frank doesn't suck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Then there's this...

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

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

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

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

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

    Bless Junior John's Heart!

    Poor, stupid, pathetic idiot...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No, really, that'll be enough from the corpulent member from Houston

    In a striking example of douchebagery, Rep. Culberson of Texas decided to speak out on all the horrible earmarks and pork barrel spending in the defense bill. He had his talking points down and was laying them out in his own irritating way. His plan was flawless, save for one critical problem.


    THERE WASN'T ANY PORK IN THE BILL


    Still, that alone would not have derailed him. What ended up causing his embarrassment was a Democrat who'd had enough. Take a bow, Rep. Obey! You've earned it. Kos has the transcript and the footage.

    And make sure, if you have some time, to drop a few dollars to Michael Skelly who's running to rid the Texas delegation of this embarrassment.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 14, 2008

    Things you may have missed...

  • You know all that 'news' in the 'media' about people starving in exotic vacay destinations like Honduras? Turns out, the World Bank was largely responsible. Well, the World Bank with a heaping helping of Friedmanite ideology. Please note, this story comes from Bloomberg... hardly a bastion of liberal thought.
  • Texas has a surplus! Yay! Can we now, you know, BUILD THE ROADS THAT TXDOT SAID WE CAN'T AFFORD? And maybe fund CHIP? And how about ending tuition deregulation? How about putting money into our underfunded pensions?

    According to 39%'s spokespuppy, Leon, there's going to be more 'tax relief' which will end up like 39%'s last tax relief which netted me about 56 cents.

    "With a surplus of this magnitude, I know the governor believes we need to look at some sort of tax relief, whether it be on property taxes, business taxes or some type of actual rebate, like the federal government can do but we haven't been able to," Black said.

    ROCK! So, instead of making some good choices that will help us weather the next bad storm (or, in the case of infrastructure, actually help create economic activity and wealth), you're going to treat the surplus as a slush fund.

    39%, if you're handing out lulu's, can you please send me a case of Beefeater. I'm trying to perfect the Chelsea Sidecar and need the materials.

  • The Republicans are trying to fix the NRCC. The good news, at least for us, is that it appears to be working. If you mean 'fix' in the sense of neutering a pet. This should bode well for Skelly, Doherty and even Lampson (can you tell I'm working on that whole 'being derisive toward our candidates' thing?).
  • Ladies and gentleman... Rick Cofer with a rant on plastic bags
  • Hava goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Defending Obama... Again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    THE RICH PAY LESS THAN ME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 07, 2008

    McCain and Cornyn stand up to put down Vets

    WOW. And you only thought Hillary was going a little tone deaf. As many of you already know, the GI benefits to which veterans are entitled have been shrinking for a number of years, so Senator Webb decided to do something about it and even managed to line up bipartisan support.

    Two Republicans noticeably absent? Why none other than John McCain and our own John 'I hunt with a 28 gauge' Cornyn. McCain put up his own, woefully inadequate bill that the President likes. Because it spends $4 billion less than Webb's bill. And doesn't provide nearly as much for the people who are actually, you know, fighting the war on terra. Cornyn just likes screwing over vets, we suppose. We can't think of any other rationale since he's been wholly unconcerned with fiscal responsibility. President Bush is using that excuse which is kind of like a serial killer claiming to be worried about abortion.

    As for McCain, there's no excuse. These men and women are worth whatever money we have to spend. If y'all hadn't focused so much on handouts to the oil companies, we wouldn't have to worry about paying for it. If you'd get out of the way and return taxes to where they should be, we'd easily have the money.

    Or if we just stopped wasting BILLIONS in Iraq.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 04, 2008

    Rumor : Farm Bureau to support KBH?

    There is a rumor circulating that Farm Bureau, after supporting 39% in 2006, intends to support KBH in the 2010 Republican Primary. This should surprise no one given FB's opposition to 39%'s TTC. What surprised all of us was that they supported him in the first place.

    No, no... I won't tell you where I heard it. Don't even ask.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 01, 2008

    Krusee arrested for DWI

    Long time readers (yes, there ARE 5 or 6 of you) know that there's no love lost between Mike Krusee and myself. I'd just as soon piss on him as say hello to him. Apparently, last night he got busted for a DWI. And no, I'm not doing cartwheels... this could well be a case of there but for the grace of God go I.

    While I don't know if he was drunk or not, I have some questions for the trooper... which came first? The 'erratic' driving OR the expired registration? I'm always suspicious when the reason for the stop is a registration sticker.

    The thing I find most repulsive about DWI laws is that they don't do a thing to keep real drunks off the streets. These are people with a compulsive disorder. They don't respond to punishment. Meanwhile, you've got the rest of worried about having more than 1 drink in 6 hours.

    And don't even get me started on the MADD mothers. I've lost friends in DWI accidents. They're dead. AND ALL YOUR STUPID LAWS HAVE DONE NOTHING TO BRING THEM BACK OR STOP MORE DEATHS FROM OCCURRING.

    To our friends in the Lege... can we PLEASE be rational and make some changes that might actually fix the problem,, rather than make criminals out of people who have a drink at happy hour? I don't know if that group will end up including Krusee or not but it does include a lot of us.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    39% brings forth new sacrificial lambs

    39% has appointed some new folks to the Texas Transportation Commission. Deirdre Delisi, the mastermind behind 39% plurality win in 2006, will be joining the commission as Chairman, replacing Hope Andrade who'd been filling the position since Dick Williamson passed away at the end of last year. During Hope's tenure, the Trans Dept. ran a series of public meetings regarding TTC-69 that actually drove down public acceptance of the TTC concept (I know, I didn't think it was possible, either).

    Some guy named Bill Meadows will also be joining the Commission. He's a former city councilman from Fort Worth (so what), businessman (insurance salesman, natch) and member of the North Texas Tollway Authority (there's the money!).

    So, 39% is really showing his willingness to work with the Lege... he's appointed one of his political advisers (who, it should be noted, just happens to be from TENNESSEE) and a toller to the Commission which oversees transportation in Texas. That should speak to the Lege and the words they hear should be "Fuck You". I mean, unless they hadn't already picked up on that with his headstrong commitment to road privatization.

    In other transportation news, apparently high gas prices are causing problems for the tollways. The same tollways that haven't come close to meeting their expectations. Which is really sad considering that even the projections left TXDOT (and by default, Texas taxpayers) in the hole by almost $1 Billion.

    Exactly what IS good about toll roads? They don't pay for themselves, they don't benefit consumers, they aren't providing a massive windfall. So, nothing.

    Can we start talking now about real transportation funding solutions instead of the ones that help out campaign contributers to 39% and the Republicans? Can we then start using that money not just to build roads, but also to expand public transportation infrastructure? Can I PLEASE have a fucking flyway from Ben White to SB 35??!?!?!?!?!

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

    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 30, 2008

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Really? You're going to stick with that?

    Sen. McCain, leaving a Tempe area Cracker Barrell at 5:45 this morning, revealed his brill health care plan which, as it turns out, is little more than the same one President Bush tried to float. Last year.

    Apparently, Sen. McCain forgot that people already said not so much to it, just like he forgot that a 5% tip is really not so much a 'tip' as it is a 'pittance'.

    So, what IS wrong with his market based plan? For one thing, it's predicated on medical savings accounts (where you pull pretax income from your paycheck and put it into an account for health care costs... the money expires annually, by the way). That works well when people have extra income they can save. Unfortunately, right now more than half the country is literally living paycheck to paycheck. There's not anything to put in these accounts AND save for retirement.

    Oh, and delinking health care from the employer and making individuals select (that's called a 'market based approach!'). Because that'll really ignite the market as insurers fight over the healthiest people and refuse to insure the other 200 million of us.

    When HMO's first were floated, they were touted as a way of keeping health care affordable. What they really did was juice insurance company profits. This has never been about 'affordability' or the market...which has consistently driven up health care insurance costs...it's about profits to the exclusion of all else. And FAT. Lots and lots of fat in bloated management structures. Who get's screwed? Everyone NOT in administration.

    You really want to cut costs? Make insurance cheaper? Help doctors concentrate on medicine and forget the bureaucratic crap? THEN ELIMINATE THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY.


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

    President Petulant

    Yesterday, our President had a little press conference which was dutifully transcribed by some little cub reporter at the NYT. During the conference, Bush castigated 'Congress' (read : Congressional Democrats) for not doing enough to alleviate the current economic downturn.

    Not like he'd sign any of the legislation anyway... unless it's something that won't help Americans for 5-10 years, like drilling in Alaska. Alternative energy and biofuels? Perish the thought. While I'm not an oil conspiracy nut, you have to admit his fixation on drilling in AK is either enlightened self interest or extreme stupidity.

    Anyway, what President Bush failed to mention (and what our intrepid reporter from the Times missed) is that the Republicans have largely been the road block on all the initiatives coming out of Congress. Like FHA Modernization, which is being held up by James Inhofe and Liddy Dole, both of whom are deeply in the pockets of the private mortgage insurance industry which stands to lose a lot should FHA Modernization pass.

    The ironic thing? Today we found out just how worthless the one thing Bush did has turned out to be.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 28, 2008

    Thanks, Justice Stevens. No. Really. Thanks a lot.

    Well, our Supreme Court has decided that Jim Crow is A-OK...

    The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next week. It also will give most state legislatures time to revise their voter laws for the November elections.

    This was perhaps the biggest voter rights case taken up by the justices since the 2000 dispute over Florida's ballots, in which George W. Bush prevailed to gain the presidency.

    At issue was whether state laws designed to stem voter fraud end up disenfranchising large numbers of Americans who might lack proper documents to prove their voting eligibility. The case raised important constitutional questions, but also involved race and partisan politics.

    Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said any political issues considered by the state were mitigated by its desire to stop voter fraud.

    "The state interests identified as justifications for [the law] are both neutral and sufficiently strong to require us to reject" the lawsuit, he wrote.

    But in a toughly worded dissent, Justice David Souter said "Indiana has made no such justification" for the statute "and as to some aspects of its law, it hardly even tried."

    Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has conceded the state has never presented a case of "voter impersonation," which the law was designed to safeguard against. The 2005 Indiana law requires that a valid photo identification be presented by a person casting a ballot at a polling stations. Previously, most citizens needed only to sign a poll book to vote.

    So, though there is no need for it, and in spite of it's cost which makes it a de facto poll tax, voter ID is good idea?

    So much for this idea that the Republicans don't like activist judges. All the R appointees were in the majority along with old Justice Stevens. Seriously, man, why couldn't you have retired when Clinton was in office?

    At this point, I don't want to hear another goddamn word from anyone about NOT voting for the Democrat in November, regardless of who that person is. Seriously, I'm ready to lose friends over this, mostly because I'm sick of your shit. If I can suck it up, so can you.

    It's time y'all realize there's more than some petty soundbite at stake and stop playing the 'I don't like Obama/Hillary' song.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Fun with the columnists

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    April 18, 2008

    EXCLUSIVE : Dildo claims responsibility for 39%'s plans

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

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

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

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

    April 16, 2008

    No, George, you can't invade Iran

    BlueBloggin' has the down and dirty on Bush & Co. working their collective asses off to 'catapult the propaganda' to drive public opinion to support an invasion of Iran. He can try as hard as he likes, but there's no way we're going to believe Bush. We already know that the mullah's running Iran know damn well they can't use those nukes without us using ours. And they can't shut off the oil either because it'll collapse their economy.

    No, a nuclear Iran does not scare me. And you're an idiot if it scares you. Well, either an idiot or a pussy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 09, 2008

    The runoff hath passed

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Saying goodbye...to friends and assholes

    Pink Dome has adjourned sine die...which makes me very unhappy. Alphonso Jackson resigned from HUD, which makes me extremely happy since I always thought he was a crony capitalist fucktard.

    On a lighter note, I'm still watching Bad Girls and laughing my ass off since during a show featuring some really nasty bitches, Time Life is advertising Christian music.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 08, 2008

    RPT : Come be our bitch!

    The crew over at the Republican Party of Texas ('Sup, playas!?) are giving two very special students a chance to be pages at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. What is a 'page', you ask? Well, a page is a digital or paper document on which words and pictures are placed. That's the nominal definition. 'Page' can also refer to young people who volunteer to give their time to a political party or organization where they will serve as a 'bitch' (i.e., copy bitch, coffee bitch, drycleaning bitch, phone bitch, bar bitch, gotothe711on15thandgetmecigarrettes bitch). In the business world, we call pages 'interns'. And yes, we're totally going to hire you at the end of this internship. Really. All this unpaid work you're doing will pay off big time when we give you a job. Which we're totally going to do. After you come clean and paint my house on the weekend. Now, I really need my dry cleaning and a pack of cigarettes from the 7-11 on 15th.

    In Republican circles, 'page' also means 'jailbait'.

    Young people can apply for the position by going here. They should understand that they will be required to pay their own airfare and hotel charges. If they happen to be cute young men, they might be able to get some help paying for all this by securing a spot in the Foley Page Program where they will be staying with a Congressman who will teach them about the political process. And rimming.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Yes, we agree with you

    Kelso took a swipe at the TSA last week...

    Mandi Hamlin, 37, was having a hard time removing a nipple ring as she was going through airport security up in Lubbock. So a TSA agent handed her a pair of pliers to help her get the job done.

    If you had an uncle crazy enough to do something like that, would you let him in your house? I know I wouldn't. I'd try to have him committed.

    While Hamlin was behind a screen removing the nipple ring, she says, she could hear the male agents tittering. Now there's a Beavis and Butt-Head moment for you. Can't you hear them back there going, "Heh heh. Heh heh heh."

    Hamlin should have told the TSA to go suck an egg. Yes, I know she wouldn't be allowed on the plane unless she lost the nipple ring. And I can understand wanting to get out of Lubbock. Boy, can I. But not quite that badly. On the other hand, I could see somebody removing a nipple ring with a pair of pliers to get out of Midland.

    When you've got federal officials handing garage tools to passengers to mutilate themselves to get on an airplane, it's pretty obvious that we've lost our minds in this country when it comes to safety. And a nipple ring, for gosh sakes. Did the agent think Hamlin's nipple ring would explode?

    Did they think the nipple ring would explode? Probably. These are the same asshats who thought bottle water would explode.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 02, 2008

    One thing all candidates have in common

    Sister Ruth has a story she likes to tell about being on MoPac in traffic and seeing a bumper sticker that said "Dear Jesus : Please save me from your fan club". I feel the same about the candidates this cycle. It's not so much that y'all suck (some of you do, but only a few), it's your supporters that are, frankly, asshats.

    Y'all take a Klonopin and relax.

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

    March 27, 2008

    Gearing up for more voucher crap...

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

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

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

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

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

    March 19, 2008

    Cornyn, dodges the draft and only now votes for vets

    Apparently, Cornyn has decided to release his military records

    1. Private 1st Class Cornyn showed exceptional leadership and courage when he was the first to attack the chow line on mystery meat day, putting himself and his stomach at risk.

    2. Later in the day, Private 1st Class Cornyn again displayed exceptional leadership by single handedly clearing the way to the latrine after crapping his pants during live ammo training.

    3. Cornyn was eventually given an honorable discharge after whining me and my staff to tears. His service to his country and his dry cleaners has been invaluable.

    Cornyn also has finally decided to support a VA hospital. In the Valley. The same one that Sen. Hutchison swore to support. Maybe they should stop calling him Senator Junior John and instead Senator Johnny Come Lately. The funny thing? Somehow, Cornyn's support of this bill causes a problem for Noriega? Oh hell, R.G. What's wrong with pointing out that in SIX YEARS it was a Democrat that got things moving. For four of those six years, Junior John was a leader in the party that controlled Congress AND the White House and he couldn't get this done? Of course Noriega's going to point that out.

    And Texans will be listening.

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

    March 18, 2008

    Wishing Monica the best

    Monica Goodling will be getting married and is planning to have more insipid little Republican offspring. That is, if her fiance isn't one of the many gay Republicans living in working in the DC area.

    The couple are registered at Wal-Mart, Kohls and Pre-Paid Legal Services.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 17, 2008

    THEY said it would pay for itself...

    ...and Tom Tomorrow has his take on the Iraq War.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 16, 2008

    Condoleezza Rice Was "Bombarded" with Warnings Before 9/11,

    Contrary to story we were told by the Administration and our ersatz Secretary of State, she was advised on numerous occasions by Richard Clarke that Bin Laden was ready to attack the US in the months leading up to 9/11. Condi ignored that information and Philip Zelikow (9/11 Commission staff director) helped cover up the discovery that Rice was MIA.

    read more

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 14, 2008

    Thank you, House D's! Telecom Immunity goes down in the House like a dirty ho

    The House version of the FISA bill passed without telecom immunity! THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR IT!

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

    March 13, 2008

    Names for McCain

    WOW! It's been a while since we've written about the irrelevant Republican candidate, Senator Olden Times. That's what I've decided to start calling him. The Mayor is going with McThuselah.

    I really hate McSleaze and his clever little brain sometimes.

    Anyhow, OLDEN TIMES is running ads about what he's done to stop pork barrel spending. Specifically on projects he thinks are of dubious value. Like a census of bears. What he didn't realize is that the project was essential to determining if grizzlies were still an endangered species or if their numbers were high enough to support hunting them. See, states like (and I'm just throwing this out here) MONTANA have a pretty good business going on with hunters that travel in. Plus, it would be nice to know if the Endangered Species Act actually worked. Olden Times thought all that was a bad idea. Like those kids playing on that bit of gravel in front of his Arizona home which he insists is a yard.

    An article up on AlterNet also talks about how people 'trust' Olden Times on Iraq. And the War on Terror. Of course, it's all hypothetical and people are still more interested in other things but there you are. Just wait until Hillary spins up the campaign in the fall.

    So which name do you like better? McThuselah or Olden Times? You get to vote in the comments or via email and we'll go with your decision. As long as it's OLDEN TIMES.


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Things aren't all that rosy in Iraq... nor are they completely dire

    The NYT released their Iraq scorecard which can best be summarized with the following...

    It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

    This is all with a lot of stuff in the backdrop, namely the election season. Which is kind of interesting since the Republicans are solidly failing to land hits or adequately defend their position to keep troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. Here's the problem, which the Times glosses over... are our troops worsening or helping the political situation in Iraq? The Iraqi's seem to be pretty clear that it's the former.

    Now the Senate wants to know what happened to all the money the Iraqi's have made on oil sales.

    Despite the dire need for better health care, more electricity and clean water, a functioning sewage system and other services, the accountability office has previously estimated that Iraq spent only 22 percent of the oil money set aside for reconstruction in 2006. And in January, the office, which is charged with overseeing the Iraqi government’s finances, reported that Iraq had spent a meager 4.4 percent of its 2007 reconstruction budget by August of that year, the most recent figures available at the time.

    As a result, the letter from the Armed Services Committee says, “we believe that it has been overwhelmingly U.S. taxpayer money that has funded Iraq reconstruction over the last five years, despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue over that time period that have ended up in non-Iraqi banks.”

    The Pentagon is releasing a detailed and thorough analysis of Iraq's connections to terrorism prior to the invasion. The conclusion? It's the same one you've heard before... there were no ties to terrorism. Period. Bush, Condi, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz made it all up. Which makes them liars.

    Unfortunately, none of them can be prosecuted. Well, at least not the ones that didn't testify before Congress.

    At the end, it's time to acknowledge we've done all we can do. We're more a crutch than a real help at this point and it's time for our men and women to come home from Bush's attempt to create a friedmanite paradise. We owe it to them.

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

    FISA Update - Conyers is kicking ass

    In stark contrast to what happened in the Senate Intelligence Committee when the FISA modernization act was brought up, the House Judiciary Committee, in a VERY nasty way, shut the door on immunity for the telecos.

    As a result of our review of classified as well as unclassified materials concerning the Administration’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, we have concluded that blanket retroactive immunity for phone companies is not justified.

    And this is why we would gladly go down on Rep. Conyers. Well, we would if he wanted it.

    In other FISA related news, Jane has (in the last day or so) raised more than $42k to take down Blue Dogs who want to vote for telecom immunity. Go tell her where she should spend it.

    On another note, as it turns out that Total Information Awareness Program we all thought Congress killed in 2003 is not so much dead.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 12, 2008

    FISA - We were right

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CradDICK and Dewhearse SPRING into action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    March 08, 2008

    Straight talk my fat white ass

    You may have missed that John McCain accepted the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee. This guy, in case you were wondering. Here's a picture of the fatass

    Photobucket

    What? You thought I was just being tacky? Hell no. This man LIVES for buffet's, especially the ones at 'steakhouses'. I don't eat at steakhouses that have buffets. For one thing, I detest polyester food. For another, I don't want to get as fat as Pastor Hagee.

    Pastor Hagee is fond of calling himself a born-again Christian. I'm a Methodist, I worship as a Methodist and will until I die. I was taught to look down on freakish trash like Hagee. I used to think that was wrong. Now I know where my elders were coming from. Hagee is a freakshow. He's the last in a line of fat, white, men who've used God to enrich themselves. Hargis, Falwell and Hagee. Disgusting pigs who'll have to answer to God at some point for their abuse of the faithful.

    I'm kinda off topic here, no?

    McCain said he was 'thrilled, like a sixteen year old girl on her first date' to have Hagee's endorsement.

    It's not often that you get to compromise your integrity so thoroughly. It's once in a lifetime, if you're lucky. For me, It's three times. Once when I gave in to President Bush. Again when I accepted the endorsement of Jerry Falwell and finally today now that I'm accepting the endorsement of Pastor Hagee.

    In other news from the malevolent forces of evil, AG Mukasey (thanks Schumer and Feinstein!) has refused to investigate the firings of the US Attorneys. Wonder when our studly man in the Senate, the hottest piece of ass this side of a nursing home, Majority Leader Harry Reid, will get around to the impeachment proceedings.

    CBS also claimed that a station in AL going black in the middle of a 60 Minutes expose on Karl Rove's vendetta against the former Governor of Alabama was all the result of an equipment failure. In NYC. That only affected the station in AL.

    Vince over at Capital Annex has a great post up about the Republicans who will be beaten by Democrats in the fall here in Texas.

    And finally, McCain accepted the endorsement of a man that made him eat shit in 2000 and beat up his family.

    "I do not agree with your sentiment that there has been widespread corruption. I just don't accept that. And by the way my friends do you think it would be nice if the President of the United States got a little bit of credit for the fact that there has not been another attack on the United States of America since 9-11? I think he deserves some credit for that. I really do."

    No, he wasn't kidding. Or being ironic. He's either senile or he just likes being a bitch. Which is it, Grandpa McCain? Obvs, I'm thinking senility. Only someone operating completely outside reality would think that the Bush Administration in particular, and modern Republicans in general, weren't completely corrupt.

    As for giving Bush credit for anything, come on. We all know our borders are porous. We all know that our ports are not secure. We all know that the 9/11 Commission report's recommendations were 86'd. We all know (well, those of us who are rational) that eventually we'll be attacked again. We also know that the country will survive.

    We're looking to the future, dipshit. You can either join us or keep beating the drums of past failure and fear. We're moving past your old ass, regardless.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 07, 2008

    R in the D

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

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

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

    Not very likely.

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

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

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

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

    March 06, 2008

    Good Riddance, William F. Buckley

    With all the primary excitement going, we kinda skipped the death of con stalwart William F. Buckley. For those of you lamenting his passing, let us remember the man as he was (not as he appeared to be), a nasty, vicious, racist douche. With regard to the civil rights movement in the South, Buckley wrote this is 1957

    “The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal—is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”

    Humanity has not advanced over millennia because of people like Buckley. We have advanced in spite of them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 03, 2008

    Grandpa McCain visits Dell

    Elise Hu covered Grandpa McCain's well staged 'townhall' at Dell on Friday. Apparently, the press wasn't allowed to talk to anyone in the audience. Which makes me wonder if this was less a townhall and more a 'corporate party'. One also has to wonder if Dell as a corporation is throwing it's weight behind the Republican candidate. If so, that would indeed be unfortunate.

    Well, not really. I hate their shitty computers and that butt ugly logo.

    The comedy? McCain said (and I'm paraphrasing) that he would move heaven and earth to find Osama Bin Laden. Which is a really swift way of pointing out that the President he hopes to replace (the same one who leads his party) has failed to do just that. For more than 6 years.

    Sure, Senator Dumbass. We totally believe YOU'LL hunt down OBL. Will you be doing that before or after your nap?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 02, 2008

    The oil may get low sooner than we think

    For all the talk about drilling our way to energy independence, which is little more than than rambling by ridiculous little people with ridiculous little ideas, there is one inescapable fact. The well will always peak and from there on out that oil is going to get more and more expensive to the point of production costs going asymptotic, mostly because the reservoir pressure drops to the point where you are spending more and more to lift the next barrel of oil. It's happening in Mexico in the Cantarell field and in the Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.

    The other inescapable fact is that as oil increases in value, those states that produce it will find themselves more and more affluent. And affluent people tend to become rabid consumers, especially when gasoline in 7 cents a gallon.

    The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that their need for energy within their borders is crimping how much they can sell abroad, adding new strains to the global oil market.

    Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world’s most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth.

    Indonesia has already made this flip. By some projections, the same thing could happen within five years to Mexico, the No. 2 source of foreign oil for the United States, and soon after that to Iran, the world’s fourth-largest exporter. In some cases, the governments of these countries subsidize gasoline heavily for their citizens, selling it for as little as 7 cents a gallon, a practice that industry experts say fosters wasteful habits.

    “It is a very serious threat that a lot of major exporters that we count on today for international oil supply are no longer going to be net exporters any more in 5 to 10 years,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, an oil analyst at Rice University.

    The best part? Consumers in these countries care less about pollution than the rest of the world...

    In Mexico City the other day, a bricklayer named Jaime Guerrero arrived at a local Chevrolet dealership. His extended family cried “bravo!” as he signed the papers for his first car.

    “To have a new car in my name is a dream transformed into reality,” said Mr. Guerrero, 26. He and his family piled in and weaved through the chaotic traffic of the capital, hunting for a priest to douse the car with holy water.

    “I don’t worry about the climate or shortages of oil in the world,” Mr. Guerrero said. “I just worry if gasoline prices go up.”

    Frankly, it's a little hard for me to criticize Mr. Guerrero because he's representative not only of people in Mexico, but of people in the US and around the world. Given that, it's damn time we give him a cheaper, cleaner, long-term alternative.

    And just FYI, no damn interior decorator is going to do that. It's going to take someone like Dale Henry.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 29, 2008

    Tara Rios Ybarra and a rabbi walk into a bar

    Stop me if you've heard this one before. Texas Republicans, specifically CradDICK, can't get rid of a State Rep (Juan Escobar), who is all the time actually representing his district and making his constituents happy, in a general election. So, they decide to run someone in the Democratic Primary. That person is Tara Rios Ybarra. Vince has more up on her fundraising (lots and lots of money from TLR) as well as some information on her primary consultant whose client lists reads like a biblical list of demons.

    Don't look at me that way... How would YOU describe a list that includes 39%, Todd Baxter and Ben Bentzin?

    Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. There is also Marisa Marquez in El Paso. She's running against Rep. Moreno. Here's what Moreno's campaign has to say about her...

    “Marisa Marquez has shown time and again that when it’s time to live up to her campaign rhetoric, she falls short every time,” stated Roger Garza, spokesperson for the Paul Moreno campaign. “How can voters honestly expect to believe that she is not a Craddick Democrat when Marquez consistently takes money from Tom Craddick’s staunchest supporters?”

    Given her funding, which clearly speaks for itself, I'm going to agree with Garza.

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

    Cornyn fights back (with a 28 gauge)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    February 28, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    TXsharon has a broken modem so Bluedaze is suffering but she managed to post about The RRC's approval of Atmos Energy's extravagant spending--bendover Texans. Also read about howPhil King meets Karma in Wise County and hear the horrendous sounds of the Barnett Shale.

    Off the Kuff offers his incomplete list of endorsements for the Democratic primaries, and for his birthday rounds up his complete list of candidate interviews.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News has blogged an eventful week or two climaxing with Paul Burka becoming a believer in the Obama Borg - Democrats can take back Texas. Wow.

    Over at McBlogger Mayor McSleaze commemorates Kirk Watson's Deer In The Headlights Moment while McBlogger, beverage in hand, watches the Debate and puts the smackdown on wingnuts still drinking the school voucher Kool-Aid

    The Texas Cloverleaf makes it back safely from Oklahoma City and discusses the National Stonewall Democrats meeting there, as well as the upcoming LGBT Presidential Town Hall in Dallas on Monday night.

    PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had a report on Obama's visit to Houston last Tuesday, and also noted the end of the Fidel Castro era in Cuba. Open Source Dem had part three of his "Texas in Play" series, entitled "Jim Crow Lives".

    Hal, who writes Half Empty, went to early vote last Wednesday and has some poll observations and some Fort Bend County stats.

    Bill Howell of StoutDemBlog reminds us of some Texas election history that is relevant for this year's Democratic Primary, in Don't Be Confused By Names.

    Muse was at the Bill Clinton fundraiser in Houston this week where she fulfilled a lifelong dream to touch him – handshake! She notes that not all college students are for Obama – witness the Daily Texan endorsement for Hillary. And, she receives an email where Obama encourages Republicans to crash the Democratic primary, to vote against the bad, scary Hillary. More Hillary stuff coming this week on musings!

    WhosPlayin tries to explain the "Obama Movement", and has a run-down of which Texas blogs are endorsing Clinton or Obama.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that the Texas Democratic Party has instructed county and precinct officials not to interpret election results for the media or political campaigns, and asks if national Democrats will still respect us (or call or visit) after March 4.

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

    February 27, 2008

    THIS makes me so mad!

    As unbelievable as it sounds, there are some really stupid people working at the Dallas Fed, namely W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm. Well, maybe calling them stupid is too harsh. They are more like idiot savants, so narrowly focused on one piece of data that they ignore the fact that their research is largely pointless.

    Cox and Alm hypothesized that the gap between rich and poor isn't that large in terms of of per person consumption. And they've proved it!

    Richer households are larger – an average of 3.1 people in the top fifth, compared with 2.5 people in the middle fifth and 1.7 in the bottom fifth. If we look at consumption per person, the difference between the richest and poorest households falls to just 2.1 to 1. The average person in the middle fifth consumes just 29 percent more than someone living in a bottom-fifth household.

    To understand why consumption is a better guideline of economic prosperity than income, it helps to consider how our lives have changed. Nearly all American families now have refrigerators, stoves, color TVs, telephones and radios. Air-conditioners, cars, VCRs or DVD players, microwave ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers and cellphones have reached more than 80 percent of households.

    They do acknowledge that the gap in income is 15 to 1. They also acknowledge that people in the lowest fifth of wage earners (also known as more than 30% of this country) are basically living on double what they earn. They explain this a number of ways...the poor are selling assets (because everyone knows that the poor are very asset rich), cashing in insurance policies (because everyone knows the poor are loaded in terms of fully vested insurance policies) and living off their savings (because everyone... you get the gist, right? On this one though, I have to ask these two idiots, When, exactly, were the poor supposed to build up positive balances in their bank accounts while spending more than they make?).

    Ok, so I lied. These are two of the DUMBEST economists on the face of the planet. Seriously, they lump in here the working poor, retirees and people who are taking time off from work (or are between jobs). Now those people do have disposable savings and non-taxable sources of income. However, even these folks aren't living on 9k per year. But, let's think in terms of averaging. What do you do about the massive number of people in this group who are making the average or less and have nothing to fall back on? Obviously, they aren't living beyond their means. What is THEIR level of consumption? These two brill economists make no attempt to even consider that. Nor do they even bother to analyze the fact that at a certain level of consumption, income becomes largely irrelevant. Which is the most interesting bit of data that can be used to refute the claims of certain 'conservatives' who think if you pay the poor an actual living wage all they'll do is spend every dime. This data supports the progressive idea... the poor would actually build savings just like those in the middle fifth and above income groups if they actually made enough TO SAVE.

    This data could have been very useful in terms of talking about wage inequality and the need for living wages. Instead, the two economists from the Dallas Fed choose to make it all about buying stuff. Nice work, guys.

    For another excellent counterpoint, click here.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | 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

    Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) and magical wiretap (that's not illegal)

    Last night, Rep. Heather Wilson was on CSPAN bleating on about how we're "less safe and less secure" because the D's in the House won't pass retroactive immunity. What she's leaving unsaid? That it was illegal. What Bush did and what the companies aided and abetted, was ILLEGAL.

    So, who is Heather Wilson? A former topless dancer, Heather has fear-mongered her way into the US House despite her horrendous haircut and criminal sense of style. Mostly by making the people of Albuquerque so scared they've actually become incontinent.

    Later, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia) came on to lie about the telecom companies by saying that they were REQUIRED by the Patriot Act to comply with the wiretaps. Which is why they now need retroactive immunity for doing something illegal. Phil, seriously, does your brain actually control your speech or are you simply a robot controlled by the White House?

    Finally, toward the end of the Republican's pantomime, was Michael McCaul, my Congressman, who's scared of them terrawrists. He called this all a 'dangerous game of politics'. He's right... the future of our country is at stake. Will we cave in to fear and allow Republicans like Michael McCaul to take our rights and make us slaves or will we turn them out and drive them from office?

    The bottom line, Republicans, is that the American people will NEVER forgive immunity. NEVER. The only thing you can do is pass a liability cap. However, we're going to find out just how far up it went.

    And people will be going to jail.

    (Oh, and Mike... I feel shame when it says 10th Congressional District of Texas under your name. That was Jake Pickle's seat. Before that, it was Lyndon Johnson's. Those were real Texans, brave men who did what was best for their nation. You are a scared little politician. And Dan Grant is going to beat you like a drum.)


    Posted by mcblogger at 08:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 25, 2008

    DHS and the plan to gut civil service

    Apparently, DHS has given up on that brill idea to gut civil service laws and hire non-union folks.

    The Department of Homeland Security, in a court filing Friday, said it will not pursue rules to curb union rights and will abide by regular civil service labor-management procedures.

    Shortly afterward, a federal court issued an order closing the case, and the union that fought the rules declared victory.

    Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, yesterday called the result "a welcome end to a battle well worth fighting."

    The battle began in the summer of 2002, when the Bush administration signaled that it wanted to create a separate personnel system for Homeland Security, changing how employees would be paid, promoted and disciplined.

    Bush officials contended that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks required changes that would give more discretion to managers and permit quicker deployment of workers without notifying their union representatives.

    The plan outraged federal union leaders and a number of Democrats in Congress. When the department and the Office of Personnel Management issued rules for a new personnel system in February 2005, the NTEU and other employee groups sued. The union also began lobbying campaigns to stop the rules on Capitol Hill.

    The proposed rules would have allowed the Department of Homeland Security to override any provision in a union contract by issuing a department-wide directive. The rules also would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for unions to negotiate over arrangements for staffing, deployments, technology and other workplace matters.

    In August 2005, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer blocked the department's plan, saying it did not ensure collective-bargaining rights for Homeland Security employees. A year later, a federal appeals court ruled against the department.

    Just curious, but how much taxpayer money was wasted on advancing a stupid idea dreamed up by retarded Republicans on a purely ideological crusade?

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

    Rich : Grand Old White Party

    Oh, if you haven't read Frank Rich's column this week then go take a look here. Well worth the read.

    I know, I know... short posts suck. Sorry. It's the end of the month (look at a calender!) and I'm terribly busy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 22, 2008

    Wilkes Sentenced and the Grand Old Docket

    You too want to know what's happening with all those Republican corruption scandals? Cool how great minds think alike. TPM is doing the Grand Old Docket, a list of the players and linking them to the current disposition of their cases.

    In related news, Brent Wilkes was sentenced to 12 years. In the federal pen. When he comes out he'll be far more buff. He'll also answer to the name 'Princess'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Muth's (half) Truths and outright lies

    Vouchers are a great idea, according to some guy named Muth. So is a Contract with Conservatives. Welcome to the world of the nutter right blogosphere.

    In Muth's world, public education is a bottomless money pit into which our tax dollars sink. Of course, he's right if only because we haven't been putting enough into them since the 1980's.

    There is only one way to truly improve the public schools…and paying teachers more money ain’t it.

    The only way to force the public schools to perform better is to force them to compete with other schools. And that means giving parents the power and the authority and the means to make a free choice in education.

    If the neighborhood, government-run, union-controlled public school does an adequate job in a safe environment, parents will send their kids there. If not, they’ll send their kids elsewhere. It’s as American as apple pie.

    This is the exact same concept as the Kenny Guinn Millennium Scholarships. Students who qualify can go to any approved public OR PRIVATE college or university in Nevada. Why shouldn’t the parents of elementary or secondary school kids have the same choice? Our priority should be on saving our students’ futures, not saving our schools.

    Where to begin... first off, if you invest just enough money into a company to keep it going but not enough to really improve effiency and production, you have what's called a stripper company. For a while, things will be OK. However, as your capital investment continues at a super low rate, you'll lose your best staff and eventually you'll start losing money. That's basically what Republicans have done to public schools. By not making necessary investments in Teacher pay and pensions, not to mention our substandard facilities, we're seeing poor test scores and substandard educations.

    The Republican answer? Rather than admitting the error and correcting it, they decide to throw up their hands and scrap the whole thing by giving folks vouchers. In Texas, your voucher would be around 6-7k per year. You'll need all that and more to send your kid to a private school. Think about paying 8-10k PER SEMESTER.

    Of course, the point is ALWAYS lost on Republicans that if WE put 20k per year per student into public schools they'd be in pretty good shape, too.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack