July 01, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance is fired up and ready to go with its post-convention blog roundup.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up four reasons Bill White will beat Rick Perry and, in so doing, become the next Governor of Texas.

John at Bay Area Houston says Before you run for Chair of the Texas Democratic Party get a clue.

As people across the nation react to GASLAND now showing on HBO, TXsharon @ Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS reminds us that the FRAC Act, Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, has no Texas co-sponsor.

Musings has a bloggers roundup from the convention.

It's redistricting season again, and Off the Kuff comments on a report from a public hearing on redistricting in San Antonio.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme had a good time at the convention. Corpus Christi was beautiful and the facilities for the convention were great - except for the lack of food. Too bad the local paper and their political reporter suck.

Over at TexasKaos Libby Shaw asks will the GOP do about the Enrergy legislation? Check out TX GOP and its Blind Obedience to BP.

WhosPlayin reports that the City of Farmers Branch would like to add 200 feet to the height of its municipal landfill, which is actually located in America's 10th fastest growing city, Lewisville, Texas.

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June 24, 2010

EVERYONE wants to drink with me...

Speaking of the Democratic Convention is Corpus, there is a lovely party Friday evening that's you're sure to enjoy, mostly because it's an open bar.

AND YOU'LL GET TO HAVE DRINKS WITH ME UNTIL I TELL YOU TO GO AWAY!

The TexBlog PAC party is Friday, June 25, 2010 at 8:30pm to midnight at Bourbon Street Bar & Grill (313 Chaparral Street Corpus Christi, TX). Admission is a sawbuck and it's so worth it, especially if you like to binge drink with other people who'll probably be in the room next to you at The Betty.

Brought to you by these very special sponsors who I love dearly for helping the PAC raise money for candidates this cycle.

Senator Leticia Van De Putte
Senator Kirk Watson
Senator Rodney Ellis
Representative Senfronia Thompson
Council Member Melissa Noriega
RepresentativeGarnet Coleman
Representative Ellen Cohen
Representative Jessica Farrar
Mayor Annise Parker
Ben Tulchin
Grant Martin

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June 18, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance salutes that grand old high-flying flag as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at an alternate universe in which the DeLay-engineered re-redistricting of 2003 never took place.

Captain Kroc at McBlogger is not at all impressed with all the cross Atlantic chatter regarding British Petroleum and their oopsie in the Gulf.

Bay Area Houston says that the Republican party convention was invaded by dickheads.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why a Hidalgo election is allowed to stand after so many fraud allegations.

The Republican Party of Texas is either under siege or on a crusade, depending on the POV of Dave Mann at the Texas Observer and Wayne Slater of the DMN. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs just thinks they're a bunch of gun-and-Bible-clinging bed-wetters.

TXsharon has a video of water from a private well that was contaminated from hydraulic fracturing a Devon Energy Barnett Shale gas well. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

WhosPlayin has been analyzing discipline data obtained via open-records request from Lewisville ISD, and find finds that the data reported to TEA through the PEIMS system regarding fights and assaults might be vastly under-reported. (0 reported last year, but 750 so far this year by mid April.) TEA explains that districts may choose to report some of those incidents as "violation of local code of conduct".

Three Wise Men takes another look at the current outlook of national and state races in the midterms.

Libby Shaw over at TexasKaos shines a light on an article that really should get more attention. "....37 of the 64 judges in the Gulf region from Texas to Florida, have financial ties to big oil and gas." Check out the rest - Most Judges in Gulf Region Have Financial Ties to Oil and Gas.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about Renew Houston. This proposed ballot initiative for the 2010 Houston ballot would dedicate money for wastewater removal. Yet it is funded by regressive means, and appears to add no progressive green solutions to Houston's wastewater removal strategies.

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June 13, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance is sitting in the shade with a cool drink as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

It's been a busy week in the Barnett Shale. TXsharon has the TCEQ Timeline of Deception posted which makes it more difficult for that agency to say, "Oops!" Just in time for summer droughts we find that hydraulic fracturing seems to be contaminating Barnett Shale water.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know why the Texas Medical Board takes a year to suspend a doctor caught jerking off repeatedly in front of his office staff? Just suspension?

Lightseeker over at TexasKaos comments on Rick Perry's management of the Texas state bureaucracy. In short, it is a study in incompetence. Or as I have said elsewhere, if you hate government then no one should be surprised when you can't govern. Check it out....An Open Letter to Rick Perry: TCEQ screws up, lies about it - Gov.Perry has full confidence in them .

WhosPlayin is doing a server move this weekend and may not be back up by Monday, but wanted to spread the word about plans by Williams Co. to put a centralized gas production wastewater collection facility in Lewisville..

Off the Kuff looks behind the numbers of the recent UT/Trib poll on the ACA and the public schools.

McBlogger has never been a fan of self-aggrandizing politicians which may explain his intense dislike of Todd Staples.

A federal judge in Houston wants all the lawsuits that will be filed against BP for damages associated with the Gulf oil disaster. Oh, and BP wants him to hear the cases as well. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs gathers some links on Judge Lynn Hughes.

Neil at Texas Liberal wondered how Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a Democrat, could cite an article calling Houston a successful model of urbanism for the nation when 47% of Houston kids live at or below the poverty level? It is time for liberals, progressives and Democrats to ask more of Mayor Parker.

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May 26, 2010

Choking on 39%'s failure

Since 39% and his appointees at TCEQ have consistently failed to protect the citizens of this state in the name of ever expanding profits for the Governor's largest donors, the EPA had to step in and take over the permitting process for 40 facilities around the state. This action is, of course, unprecedented and completely due to the lack of any real oversight at TCEQ.

“We've (the EPA) never objected to 40 permits issued by a state permitting authority, and we've not federalized a permit in a state in this manner before unless we were requested to do so by a state or a particular facility,” Armendariz said. “The action we're taking today, together with the 40 objections, is unprecedented.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which issues permits, released a letter from Executive Director Mark R. Vickery to the EPA that lays out the state agency's efforts and communication with the EPA and said it “remains committed to reaching resolution of Title V (operating permit) objections.”

“We still have significant differences in opinion on a number (of) issues, but processes for moving forward have been developed,” Vickery wrote. “A collaborative effort will continue to be beneficial for both agencies' limited resources and the continued protection of the environment and public health.”

Oh, Mark... you've done an appallingly bad job of protecting public health. Here are just a few examples of your failure featured in the Texas Observer. We've even discussed some of the problems with the revolving door between TCEQ and industry. Frankly, you should be giving thanks that EPA hasn't turned TCEQ and 39% over to the Justice Department for prosecution under RICO.

39% was about as angry as a hornet since he's facing a stiff challenge on the campaign finance front from Bill White. Without the polluters he's protected from actually having to do much of anything to reduce their emissions, he's going to have a tough time raising money. With the EPA stepping in, they don't really need to pay off 39% any more since they're going to be spending a lot of money to actually, you know, install pollution control equipment.

“Because Texas involves the Legislature, TCEQ, business owners and the public in the process, and focuses on results instead of big-government control, our state’s air is cleaner than it was ten years ago and our economy is stronger than most other states.

That part about the air being cleaner? That's because the Fed's made us start burning additives in auto fuels and using cleaner diesel. Texas fought both actions tooth and nail, by the way. Not to mention the fact that as individuals started polluting less, industry started polluting more. The Observer has a nice little counterpoint for that 'our air is cleaner' lie...

Garcia and his colleagues frequently cite gains in urban air quality over the past decade or so. They usually fail to mention that the reductions are the result of federal mandates, or that local elected officials in the Metroplex and Houston have had more aggressive smog-cutting ideas repeatedly shot down by the TCEQ.

What pisses me off most about this is that we have a coward Governor who is the preferred cockwipe for polluters. The question is, Governor, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOUR BALLS? Why aren't you telling polluters who refuse to clean up their act that if they leave, the state will take over the plant and run it at cost, completely eliminating ANY potential gain from moving the plant overseas to a more pollution friendly environment? You sure do love eminent domain, why the hell not use it for something good? THAT'S how you dance with the big boys, moron. You threaten to bankrupt their companies and watch how quickly they fall over themselves to do whatever is necessary.

The reality is that every other state requires far stricter controls. The only reason these businesses are here is because they know they can spew anything they want into our air and water without so much as a slap on the wrist from TCEQ. In fact, their management teams will, if so desired, be able to obtain a deeeeeelightful hummer from 39% as a thank you for making Texas home to what is usually their most pollutive enterprise.

The EPA is forced to step in and do the job we taxpayers pay TCEQ to do and 39% puffs out his chest and starts talking about the 10th Amendment? What an asshole.

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May 25, 2010

Oh, I agree

Harold Cook took a bite out of the highly subjective PolitiFact and in the process gave me some great laughs. Go check it out when you have a chance.

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May 12, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone had a lovely Mother's Day as it reviews the highlights from the blogs.

WhosPlayin has election results and commentary for Lewisville, Lewisville ISD, and Flower Mound.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted a picture of the Mayflower landing in West Texas. Under Texas State Board of Education guidelines, you can teach kids just about anything as long as it is false.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme applauds South Texas for supporting their schools. Tea Party tax brats take note.

Indemnification language exposes industry known threats to safety, public health and environment from hydraulic fracture. On Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Bay Area Houston posted Governor Rick Perry's personal offering on National Prayer Day, Let Us Prey.

Off the Kuff reminds us of the cost of Rick Perry's rejection of stimulus funds for unemployment insurance.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson states that the 2003 Texas GOP/DeLay redistricting scheme continues to cost Texas dearly The perils at the national level of being a majority minority-party state.

Rick Perry's ad attacked Bill White's ad this past week, and Rick Perry's ad lost. Not because it was filled with lies and mischaracterizations, and not because it used Yao Ming in a weirdly inappropriate way. No, Rick Perry's ad got kicked because Rick Perry is man so terrified of everything in his life that even laser sights and hollow points aren't enough to comfort him. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has "Perry v. White over the air", a fight which resembled Mayweather-Mosely in its one-sided outcome.

At TexasKaos, JRBehrman poses three questions about the BP oil spill and gives useful perspective on their answers... Check it out : Three Questions Hint: no quick fixes here!

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April 30, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance can't believe that school is finishing up and summer will soon be upon us. Before it gets too hot, here's a look at what's been going on this past week.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy takes a look at the beginning of the campaign for TX-17 between Chet Edwards and Bill Flores. Also, Teddy covers money in local politics by looking at the campaign finance reports of College Station and Bryan municipal candidates. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

TXsharon stepped in DoodyGate this week! It appears Range Resources fabricated a toxic spill to cover up their illegal dump. When a toxic spill causes less hassle than doody, you know the Texas Railroad Commission "regulations" need updating. Will the City of Denton exercise their new found powers?

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme urges you to tell the Texas Legislature that legalizing drugs will stop the border violence. No profit. No drug war.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson post on the Texas GOP's ploy to raise taxes next year, if they're left in power, and try to blame it on Obama - we won't let them! Dewhurst lets the cat out of the bag.

Help send the Texas Cloverleaf to Netroots Nation by voting on a DFA scholarship.

This week, McBlogger would like to send out a massive thank you to Hank Gilbert for standing up and actually calling out Toll Road Todd for beating up, yet again, on Teh Gays.

Just a few weeks after WhosPlayin wrote a blog pointng out Lewisville ISD's illegal "zero tolerance" policy, the school board unanimously overturned it. But WhosPlayin continues to look for answers.

Off the Kuff took a closer look at that Rasmussen poll from last week.

The same thing that caused the deaths of miners in the Upper Big Branch mine is the same thing that caused the bursting of the housing bubble, the Lehman crash, and the implosion of our financial system. Read more at PDiddie's Brains and Eggs post entitled Consumer regulation as coal mine canary".

There is an old saw which says it is a poor general who blames his soldiers for defeat. With the question of Texas public education still unresolved and hurling toward the latest crisis of funding and quality, lightseeker at TexasKaos takes on a San Antonio Express editorial which proceeds to bash teachers and unions as the overlooked villains in this recurring horror show. Check it out : On Teacher Bashing , or Beating Up the Easy Target on Educational Failures.

Neil at Texas Liberal is pleased to announce that the blog now has a New York City correspondent. Lyuba Halkyn, a daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, will now offer up her views for the blog reading public. This post also has a great picture of a blimp flying over Manhattan in the 1930's.

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April 22, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

Time for another roundup of the week's blog highlights from the Texas Progressive Alliance.

Something bubbles up from the ground in Bartonville. Could this be why so many dogs nearby have cancer? Since drilling toxins were found in Barnett Shale residents' blood and urine, maybe it's time to test the animals too. TXsharon struggles to keep pace with the latest Barnett Shale news at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

The Texas Cloverleaf highlights the case of the Christmas goose in Flower Mound.

Off the Kuff writes about the pitch from the gambling industry.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders about the wisdom of building a silly, damaging border fence while allowing foreign companies to control our ports.

It was a wild week for the economy and, surprisingly, for economic history. McBlogger takes a look at one historical revisionist who like misrepresentation almost as much as Ayn Rand. Then he goes on to explain just what Goldman Sachs did.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote a comprehensive preview post of the upcoming election in the United Kingdom. Election Day is May 6. The post is being updated daily with new developments and it took some time to write. So please give it a look if you find the topic to be interest.

Bay Area Houston finds another one of Bob Perry's bitches.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson shows that the 2006 Texas tax swap created a $5 billion annual budget hole, the bill is coming due next year, Texas Republicans created a budget shortfall to cut programs that help working Texans.

Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw catches up with Johnny Cronyn . He and Mitch McConnell "continue[s] to serve Wall St. breakfast in bed." More to the point, Libby explains the battle lines being drawn between Obama and the Dems and those lap dogs of the priveleged, the Republican Pary. Check it out John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell, the GOP Stand by Their Wall St. Man .

The TeaBaggers and the regular GOP nuts fought each other to a stand-off on Election Runoff Day. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the sordid details.

In Flower Mound, gas drillers have crossed the line into express advocacy in local elections, sending out a letter to mineral owners telling them who to vote for in a town council election.

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March 26, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog roundup will reach 32 million more Americans regardless of their pre-existing conditions.

Last week, TXsharon made a video statement at the EPA Public Hearing on the proposed ozone standards.

Who Needs a Proctologist when you have former State Representative Rick Green running for the Texas Supreme Court?

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy looks at the voter turnout in the Bryan and College Station municipal elections and has to ask the question if minority rules? Teddy also unpacks the misleading poll on health care reform that the Chamber of Commerce commissioned to attack Democrats in conservative congressional districts. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know why monuments to racism and fear are so important to Republicans. Why not spend taxpayer dollars on something constructive like education or health care?

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the continuation of skyrocketing homeowners insurance rates in Texas Homeowners insurance corporations - increasing our pain, Perry, GOP sit idly by.

Off the Kuff writes about tough times for school districts. Get ready for another school finance lawsuit, because it's coming sooner or later.

The Texas Cloverleaf tells the Dallas Trinity Tollers I told ya so.

Phillip Martin at Burnt Orange Report has covered Rick Perry's "secret" border plan in great detail -- namely, the lies and politics Perry has thrust into a very serious and dangerous situation along the Texas-Mexico border. Be sure to read his post, Rick Perry's Political Grandstanding Misrepresents Definition of "Spillover Violence and follow the links at the bottom of that post to learn much, much more.

WhosPlayin's story last week about a tax-dodging Lewisville City Councilman resulted in a tearful admission at the next council meeting, where news cameras were running. WhosPlayin follows up on the results of that meeting, and analyzes the media coverage and truthfulness of the councilman in his response.

As if sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, and more extreme weather events weren't bad enough... not the Golden Cheeked Warbler too! Texas Vox is sad to report this week that birds of a feather feel the heat from climate change.

A little March madness in the form of preparations for his Senate district convention overtook PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, and he lumped in two updates on the campaigns of Bill White and Lakeisha Rogers (completely unrelated, trust him).

LibbyShaw over at TexasKaos, checks in on Representative Rep. Louie Gohmert who, in speaking to a Tea Bagger rally "declared that "demons" - yes, demons - have invaded the capital (and likely the souls of Democrats), forcing lawmakers to mislead the public about the content of the health care bill." Check out the rest of the fun here: TX U.S. House Rep: "Demons have Invaded the Capital".

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March 21, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance heads into March Madness with its own bracket of news and links for the week.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders how Republicans can be so violently against having services they desperately need?

Off the Kuff analyzed county returns in the primaries for Governor, Lite Guv, and the Commissioners.

When are you "too gay" for your job? The Texas Cloverleaf finds out.

WhosPlayin broke the story of a Tea-Partying Lewisville City Councilman who has failed to pay his business property taxes for the 28 years he has been in business. On the same weekend, the story came out that the son of the Flower Mound mayor and her public school Bible class promoting husband was busted with marijuana, a BB gun, and stolen property in his car. (But don't worry, he wasn't actually arrested.)

Bay Area Houston says When Capitalism Works we buy from China.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson says it's Time for Democrats to go all in on health care.

This week, McBlogger brings you Tom Pauken, Moron (NSFW).

Karl Rove is "proud" that the Bush administration tortured suspected al-Qaeda terrorists. That -- coupled with the Obama administration's recalcitrance to prosecute Rove, Cheney, Bush, et.al for their admitted war crimes -- has PDiddie at Brains and Eggs a little more pessimistic than usual.

Attention all Breathers! It's URGENT that you attend the EPA Public Hearing on the proposed new ozone standards. The hearing is Tuesday in Arlington and to help get you motivated TXsharon posted a video on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Neil at Texas Liberal says that with one-in-three folks in Houston lacking health insurance, Houston Mayor Annise Parker should be speaking up in favor in health care reform. Mayor Parker has already spoken up on the federal issues of the census and EPA air quality standards. So why not speak up on this federal issue that impacts Houston?

Lightseeker at TexasKaos tells us, again, why Rick Perry Must Go. It seems his cronies want the private sector bozos who messed up the validation procedure for Food Stamps, to advise on fixing the system, and they don't understand what all the fuss is about. I mean doesn't every vendor get a no-bid contract?

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March 07, 2010

Roundin' up the TPA

From the Barnett Shale, TXsharon announces a new "Watchdog" for drillers and her SOS to EPA about benzene and other dangerous toxins in the Denton Creek Watershed was heard. The EPA has responded! Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS

After the latest prevarication on her date of departure from the Senate, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs opines: "Kay Bailey, won't you please GO HOME?!"

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme shows the Texas Supreme Court flipping the finger to Texans, yet again.

SNOWMAGEDDON may have stricken Austin, Texas -- but don't let that cold, hard evidence convince you that global warming ain't real. Let Citizen Sarah (with a little help from President Obama) break it down for you at Texas Vox.

Bay Area Houston highlights yet more hypocrisy from Rick Perry with his I Came and Took it! teabagging campaign.

At WhosPlayin the recent discussion has centered around equity in the Lewisville ISD. It looks like the district may be taking a big step by considering a tear-down and rebuild of the district's oldest high school after costs for asbestos remediation and fire sprinkler installation in the old building went too high. Construction is not equity, though, and there are still issues to be addressed.

Over at McBlogger, Mayor McSleaze takes a look at the Republican HD 47 primary fight and finds it almost as entertaining as an old-fashioned pie fight.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison changes her story again about when she might leave the Senate. Off the Kuff has lost count of how many times this has happened.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has a round up of the campaign cash and who's giving in Williamson County, Bob Perry looms large in Williamson County GOP House races.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the early voting turnout in Denton County and the GOP surge.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy makes the case for Brazos County Democrats to vote in the Republican primary, and releases the Left of College Station Democratic primary candidate endorsements. Left of College Station also covers the debate in the Texas A&M Student Senate over the anti-discrimination policy.

Pollchecker , over at TexasKaos calls out McCain on using Texas Health care as an example of "success". And he wonders why he is not president?

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up his 2010 Democratic Primary slate. Neil also noted that Texas Liberal passed one million page views. Thanks to everybody who has read the blog.

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February 21, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog notes that Houston is the first locale President Obama named in his Lunar New Year Greeting. Could there be a political meaning behind it?

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme marvels at the jackassery presented to voters on the Republican ballot. No, we're not talking about the candidates. It's the propositions that disenfranchise voters, turn Texas into Colorado Springs or California, and humiliate pregnant women.

Fake Consultant, over at TexasKaos, gives us a tale from the health care frontier. He points out that even in the little things the present system is fundamentally broken. Check it out here.

From TXsharon: How Oil and Gas industry bullies turned an ordinary, honest man into a modern day hero. Read it on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

WhosPlayin is watching candidates file for the 2010 Lewisville ISD School board election.

Contrary to what the Star Telegram keeps repeating, the Texas Cloverleaf reminds everyone that there is a Democrat running in CD-26.

"Why I'm supporting Dr. Alma Aguado for Texas governor" is PDiddie's endorsement in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Read more at Brains and Eggs.

MeanRachel endorses Bill White and Linda Chavez-Thompson in the two top spots on the Democratic primary ticket.

Adam at Three Wise Men lays out our blog's endorsements for the 2010 Texas Democratic Primary.

Off the Kuff says there's a smart way to do budget cuts and a dumb way to do budget cuts, and we need to do it the smart way.

Neil at Texas Liberal endorsed Hank Gilbert in the Democratic Primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. The post includes a picture of a Longhorn steer, a watermelon, and of a Channel Catfish.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the coming budget woes and that we can't balance the budget on the back of the poor again, the 2011 budget cannot be balanced like in 2003, not this time.

This week at McBlogger, Mojito takes a look at a Travis County JP race and find the challenger lacking.

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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 26, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the city of New Orleans for its first Super Bowl as it provides an instant replay of its blog highlights for the week.

Something stinks about the recent TCEQ Barnett Shale air quality testing in Fort Worth and in Flower Mound. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Off the Kuff looked at a report on the economic impact of dropouts.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme sympathizes with Lamar Smith's constituents who were told they must contact Smith's office if they want him to stop illegally calling their cellphones. Smith's breaking the law and his solution is to make his constituents ask him to stop.

At Texas Vox we're pleased as punch to see that Austin isn't alone in preparing for a clean energy future; Portland General Electric plans to shut down its coal plant by 2020!

WhosPlayin reposted a article from 2007 about the corporation: Don't hate the player, change the game, which is especially apropos this week.

A Republican in Democrats clothing tries to ride into office in Dallas County. SDEC members and precinct chairs say no way to this Eagle Forum darling at The Texas Cloverleaf.

Citizens of Texas say &^%$ Governor Perry! for screwing up the state after 10 years. Add your own!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson takes a glass half-full approach in analyzing the muffed election last week Let's HOPE it's seen as a wake up call.

Right-wing bloggers gathered in Austin to worship Rick Perry's pistol. Seriously. Read the entire revolting display of sycophancy at Brains and Eggs.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is continually amazed at general ignorance concerning the actual words in the US Constitution. Interpretations abound from the mouths of people who have never read the document, or do not comprehend the words in context. Embellishments and fantasy surrounding this document are spoken every day. What is especially disturbing is how these fantasies infiltrate America's politics. To be elected in some regions, a politician must fertilize the fantasy. Perspective must return to how Americans regard the Law of the Land. American Theocracy divorces US Constitution, promotes terrorism.

Over at TexasKaos, Boadicea offers a little not so subtle advise to Democrats who find themselves unmanned by the events of last week. She calls it .Dear Democrats: Balls.. Trust me, you will like the video she found to illustrate her point!

Neil at Texas Liberal made note of the fact that just two months remain before his tenth wedding anniversary. Neil is damned glad about his marriage. Neil is not certain he could advocate for liberal causes if he did not have such a solid personal relationship in his life to help him manage his frequent anger at the world. The personal and the private are often connected in many ways that we may not often consider.

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January 22, 2010

SC says give till it hurts, Zachry!

Unbelievable... and I'd like to send a big shout out to the asshole D's who flipped and voted to approve Alito and Roberts. Seriously, wishing you nothing but the worst, fellas!

So what does this mean in Texas. My read? Corps can now run ads for or against candidates. Corps still can't give money directly to candidates. Sounds like no big deal, right? Re-read that first sentence and think about what Zachry American Infrastructures first ad for Perry will look like.

This may well spell the end of the conservative movement. Even they don't want this.

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January 14, 2010

Governor Johnny Come Lately wants an Amendment...

As if I could make this shit up...

Gov. Rick Perry continues his criticism of Washington, proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to balance the federal budget.

Perry said Thursday that federal spending is out of control, and unless it's reined in, it will ruin the country.

In a Wednesday appearance in Lubbock, Perry issued proposals that would make it difficult for the Legislature to raise taxes and would limit how much state spending could grow.

Lookit, this asshole has been in elected office for almost 30 years AND HE'S JUST NOW REALIZING THAT FEDERAL SPENDING IS A PROBLEM? A real MOTO, this guy. Gee, 39%, where were you when the R's were ramping up all this spending? When they passed a drug benefit that was basically a giant taxpayer handout to pharmaceutical companies? Where were YOU when Republicans abandoned the balanced budget which the
Democrats had left them and started massively issuing new debt to finance deficit spending?

I really, really hate a poltico who stands up and points fingers, especially when they were silent about things for so long. 39% is a fiscal conservative like I'm Jerry Falwell.

In other 39% news, he's also decided to not have Texas participate in a federal program that would have helped Texas increase educational standards. Nice work there, 39%.

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January 13, 2010

Gold Star Texans - 2009

“Gold Star Texans” for 2009

Ramey Ko - Ramey Ko is an attorney and activist in Austin. He should be best known for his work in Asian Americans for Obama, but Republican stupidity assured us he will be best known as "the guy who held his cool while on the receiving end of a massive dose of both ignorance and racism from Betty Brown." With extreme professionalism, he tried to help Brown understand why it would behoove her and all Texans that voting rights for Asian Texans and all Texans not fall prey to bureaucratic errors creating name mismatches. Brown's ignorance/racism and Ko's cool reasonableness drew worldwide media attention. Watch the video of their exchange.

Calvin Tillman - Calvin is mayor of a tiny town at the epicenter of the Barnett Shale. Several industry giants seized DISH land and installed a several huge compressor stations and processing plants right next to neighborhoods. They built a crisscross of pipelines all through the town and on private property. He has taken a hard line with industry, crafting a strategy to get the most bang for his press releases.

Calvin and the DISH City Council spent @ 10% of their yearly budget for a private ambient air study. This is the first such study where the results were made public so that all citizens in the Barnett Shale area might benefit. The levels of toxins were amazingly high and many DISH residents are seriously ill but they are poor and do not have health insurance. Calvin worked with TDSHS and finally got them to agree to test DISH residents. This is the first time a state agency has tested residents for drilling toxins. Calvin travels to other areas and speaks about these issues. He has offered to speak and assist others and refuses any compensation for travel or time.

Calvin is largely responsible for TCEQ's changed policy, announced today, in responses to Barnett Shale air emissions. Also, he is a blogger.

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat and his Capitol Staff - While he may not be a native Texan, the work that Representative Naishtat has done for the State of Texas earns him a spot on the Texans of the Year List for 2009. Even with Voter ID putting a choke-hold on progress, Naishtat and his Capitol staff worked diligently to pass more legislation than any other member of the House during the 81st session.  The Representative from Queens, who just completed his 10th session, has consistently proven himself to be an advocate for the sick and elderly, passing legislation that will create the Legislative Committee on Aging and ensuring Texas receives $15.2 million in Violence Against Women Act grants.  We would be remiss in acknowledging Elliott Naishtat -- as the Representative is always quick to remind people -- without also recognizing his longtime staffers (Dorothy Browne, Nancy Walker and Judy Dale) who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help make Texas a better, safer place to live.

Texas Watchdog - Texas Watchdog had a role in breaking stories in the just completed Houston city elections. Though their work can, at times, be controversial, we welcome another online news organization to the Texas media landscape with our nomination of the group.

Hank Gilbert - For his continuing work to defeat infrastructure privatization schemes and working with Democrats and more than a few Republicans, he helped put a stop to CDA's this past session and handed Governor Perry and Commissioner Todd Staples a rare defeat.

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January 12, 2010

Roundin' Up The TPA

With blue lips and chattering teeth, the Texas Progressive Alliance brings you a hot steaming mug of blog highlights for the week.

This week on Left of College Station: the filling deadline has ended and the primaries in the Brazos Valley are crowded with candidates. Also, a look at who tweets among the primary candidates for Texas Congressional District 17 and which does not want Left of College Station to follow their tweets. Teddy also takes a look at the modern day slavery of human trafficking, and how Houston has become one of the biggest hubs for the modern day slave trade. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Texas GOP's inability to govern and the opportunities that provides for Democrats, GOP divisions can bring Democratic gains in Texas.

The Denton County candidates are ready to go at the Texas Cloverleaf.

How does Texas compare with other states? A statistical analysis with graphs reveals the truth at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Off the Kuff has a modest suggestion for how to handle Harris County's current budget shortfall.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme agrees it's time to put our money in community banks.

Thinking and acting both locally and globally, Neil at Texas Liberal sent membership donations to both Greenpeace and the Democratic Women of Denton County.

After a noted anti-gay and Republican activist filed to run as a Democrat against an unchallenged incumbent GOP county commissioner, investigation determined that the man used the wrong address and was disqualified from the ballot. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has more on the story.

Bay Area Houston nominates Dave Wilson for the "Dripping with Hypocrisy" award with One Man. No Woman.

WhosPlayin has the story of a public servant who manages a $13 million facility, where he works for the taxpayer by day, and for the private club that rents the facility at night.

McBlogger sees some problems with Sen. Hutchison's ad taking on 39% and some of the people making excuses for 39%.

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December 22, 2009

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance brings you the highlights from the blogs.

As the deadline to file for a place on the 2010 March primary ballot drew near, there was lots of activity on the Democratic side: Kinky Friedman followed Hank Gilbert over to the race for agriculture commissioner, Linda Chavez-Thompson was rumored to be running for lt. governor, and, late on Friday, Ronnie Earle dropped his name in the hat for that same post. There's more on all this news from PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

BARNETT SHALE GAS THREATENS HUMAN HEALTH !!! TXsharon posted the Final Results of the DISH TX health survey at Bluedaze.

WhosPlayin broke the story about a former Republican County Commissioner who got arrested this week for shoplifting a vacuum cleaner.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why some men in power (here, here, here, here and here) think that abusing women and children is their right? Why does Senator Cornyn choose to enable rapists?

Over at Bay Area Houston, John Coby is bored and thinks Kay Bailey Hutchison's commercial sounds like a Whataburger commercial.


Looking for ways to green up your life? Start by making some thoughtful changes to the way you spend your holiday, and check out Texas Vox' Green Up Your Life: Holiday Edition for tips and tricks!

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about the fifth anniversary of the terrible Indian Ocean tunami. Five Years Since Terrible Indian Ocean Tsunami—People Are Recovering While many are still suffering from the impact of this killer wave, there are also many who are recovering and getting back their lives.

The folks over at McBlogger are desperate for your help! Find out how you can do them a solid when you help get a planet named for the blog!

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men covers the utter failure of tort "reform" in Texas (with a h/t to John Coby.)

The Texas Cloverleaf highlights the charge against the Denton County District Attorney's office of racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the fact that elected Texas Republicans still have no sensible ideas about how to pay for roads, Dewhurst and transportation funding.

Off the Kuff took a look at precinct data in the Houston Mayor's runoff.

lightseeker has a question for you over at TexasKaos, Is Arnold's California a foretaste of our nations' future? Check out his analysis in Deadlock, facts ,Partisans -Is California a Fore taste of Our Collective Future?.

XicanoPwr reports that anti-immigration grinches are wanting to replace dreams of success with a lumps of coal by filing a lawsuit challenging Texas’ DREAM Act, the statute that allows undocumented students to pay in-state rates, provided, they meet certain criteria. Their grinch-like behavior would rather punish these extremely vulnerable students for the sins of their undocumented parents, instead of rewarding them for wanting to contribute to our society by making college tuition a bit more affordable, since they already are ineligible for financial aid.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog is excited that Houston has one of the first hospital Asian care units in the nation

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December 09, 2009

Houston... but not the mayoral race

I often chide my friends in Houston for having kind of dull, stupid muni elections based on 'qualifications' and 'skills' instead of the more fun 'bullshit' that often permeates city elections here in Austin. That's not to say candidates in Austin elections aren't qualified and possessed of the skills necessary to govern, it's just that at least here the elections devolve so quickly (and thoroughly) into a race to the mud that it's more entertaining.

Until recently, we had Houston beat on this count. And no, I'm not talking about the mayoral race which is receiving the vast majority of the attention(and we're STILL for Annise... she's prettier than Locke and has better friends). I'm talking about the District A race which pits Lane Lewis against, no shit, a woman who is, apparently, a barfly.

Like I could make this shit up.

Not that there's anything wrong with drinkin'. They know me by name at three different liquor stores, one of which is Spec's, so don't think I'm coming from some sort of holier than thou place. This is more along the lines of... YOU'RE RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND IT'S NOT TOWN DRUNK. It would also be a good idea if you didn't accept endorsements from people like Hotze especially when you have family that's gay. What kind of message does that send to them? Not only about who you'll pal around with to gain support but what you really think of them?

So, yeah, in Houston District A, go vote for LANE LEWIS.

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December 02, 2009

Meet Anna Campos!

If you're in San Antonio, even if you're not in Commissioner Precinct 4, please take some time tomorrow to swing by and meet Anna Campos

Wednesday, December 2nd
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Azuca
713 S. Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78205

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November 25, 2009

Houston Mayor : You're so gay! No, YOU ARE!

Well, it didn't take long for the runoff in the Houston Mayor race to turn nasty. Apparently, Gene Locke has been busy building himself a little coalition made up of people who don't like teh gays including Dr. Stephen Hotze (who is anything but and whom I've always thought was a lover of teh cock). No one seems to like that much including the Chronicle, Muse and Kuffner.

None of it seems to have had much of an impact on the Chronicle which decided to endorse Annise Parker in the runoff. Voters don't seem too concerned either as recent polling indicates that Parker is far ahead of Locke. And it has nothing to do with her being a lesbian, it's because she's a great leader and she'll make a fantastic mayor.

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November 22, 2009

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance is starting to feel an odd craving for can-shaped servings of cranberry sauce as it brings you this week's highlights from the blogs.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story. It's all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is really p*ssed that some South Texas Democrats voted against women's health care.

WhosPlayin posted an interview with Neil Durrance, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Michael Burgess in Congressional District 26.

A guest post from the ReEnergize Texas blog is the pick of the week over at Texas Vox, where we were quite disappointed that Georgetown City Council Snubbed Students over Nuclear Power.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on some of the talk this past week about raising the statewide gas tax. All that being said there are only two options to pay for transportation in Texas, which will we choose Taxes or tolls?.

McBlogger takes a look at Sen. Hutchison's decision not to resign from her Senate seat.

Off the Kuff looks at a threatened outbreak of homophobic behavior in the Houston Mayor's race.

The War on Christmas starts early at The Texas Cloverleaf, complete with a beach landing at WalMart.

Sue Schechter announced for Harris County Clerk last week and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs caught the press release.

With Thanksgiving almost here, Neil at Texas Liberal ran a picture of a sultry pilgrim holding a turkey, and included in this post information about the status of women in Colonial New England.

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November 08, 2009

Roundin' Up The TPA

Aruba Petroleum is drilling a Barnett Shale gas well in the backyard of Tim and Christine. Their property was taken, it's value diminished, they were threatened and now Aruba Petroleum spilled toxic drilling waste a few feet from where their daughter plays. Another tale (with VIDEO) about the Victims of the Shale on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog has a roundup of the Houston city elections and proposed Texas constitutional amendments.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the high cost of low turnout elections by examining Denton County. $25 a vote, anyone?

This week at McBlogger, we took a look at Hank Gilbert's plan to Get Texas Moving Again.

Big news from San Antonio, where with just days before City Council was to vote to move forward with the South Texas Nuclear Project expansion, officials suddenly announced that the cost estimate for the project had ballooned by up to $4 Billion! Find out more from Citizen Sarah over at Texas Vox.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Texas' GOP leadership that thinks our state's economy is just fine, Dunnam hammers Perry, Dewhurst - GOP needs to face rality on economy in Texas. They'll be singing a different tune when they're out of work in 2011.

TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association's political action committee, hosted a forum where all six declared US Senate candidates -- John Sharp, Bill White, Elizabeth Ames Jones, Florence Shapiro, Michael Williams, and Roger Williams -- made an appearance. See the videos posted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston wonders What does it take for a republican to resign?

Off the Kuff takes a look at how Houston's mayoral candidates are spending their money.

At WhosPlayin, Trace makes his case for why we need to talk to Iran.

Mean Rachel wonders why Texas Democratic statewide candidates have Electile Dysfunction.

At TexasKaos, liberaltexan brings us up to date on Republican efforts to "fight liberalism" on the A&M campus, and it ain't pretty. Check it out : Young, Conservative, and Intolerant.

This week Teddy at Left of College Station writes about the

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October 29, 2009

Houston Mayor : We LOVE us some Annise

While I don't live in Houston, some of the authors and readers call it home. And they've been bitching that we haven't endorsed a candidate yet in the Houston mayoral race. So, here goes...

WE ENDORSE ANNISE PARKER. GO VOTE FOR HER

She's talented, articulate, competent and has done an excellent job during her time in public service, no matter the position she's held. And we like her smile.

Good enough?

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Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for the start of the World Series, and it presents to you its weekly highlight reel as we await the first pitch.

quizas of South Texas Chisme wonders about the US detaining a Mexican human rights activist.

WWJD on Carter Avenue? TXsharon wants to know if Chesapeake Energy or anyone in Fort Worth government has stopped to consider the answer to that question. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Bay Area Houston wonders if the Hispanic community will dump their endorsement of Gene Locke.

WhosPlayin lost a fight with the Lewisville ISD, whose board voted unanimously to define media as print and broadcast only and give itself permission to shut out bloggers. (includes video of meeting)

Not sure how to green up your life? Lucky for you, there's a whole series of tips to that topic at Texas Vox, the Voice of Public Citizen in Texas. This week's suggestion:Start a compost pile! Even in your freezer...

The Texas Cloverleaf picks up on the "Pay to Play" system, alive and while with Rick Perry and the TABC.

Problems for the Democrats in 2010? Harry Balczak at McBlogger uncovers something that says that's what we're exactly heading toward.

Dembones at Eye On Williamson Posts on TX-31 Rep. John Carter's latest hypocrisy Carter’s income disclosure problem spoils GOP tactic.

Progressive Coalition candidates for Houston city council (and a Socialist running for mayor) are the subject of PDiddie's post at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at Texas Liberal suggested that voters in Houston consider Progressive Coalition candidates running for Houston City Council. It is hard to see how voting for Democrats year-after-year in city elections has been of great benefit to the people of Houston.

Over at Texas Kaos, libbyshaw provides a public service by providing a Republican hypocrisy score card. Check out her Texas GOP Hall of Hypocrites. You can't tell the hyprocrites without a scorecard. Wait, you can almost. If there is an "R" beside their names, the odds are better than even....

Off the Kuff notes that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit between Democrats and the Harris County Tax Assessor's office over allegations of voter suppression.

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October 23, 2009

Roundin' Up The TPA

The Texas Progressive Alliance celebrates the start of early voting for the 2009 elections with its always on time weekly blog roundup.

Human tragedies are mounting in the Barnett Shale as study after study shows high levels of toxins in the air. The only ones who can't seem to find anything wrong are the regulators. TXsharon asks, "Will the EPA intervene in Texas?" at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Why did the US forcibly detain a Mexican human rights advocate? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know.

Bay Area Houston says Tort Reformers in Texas suck.

The Texas Cloverleaf presents the Kay Coward Bailey Hutchison plan for health care mediocrity.

Off the Kuff takes a look at Cameron Todd Willingham's supposed confession, and finds the evidence for it lacking.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson states that no matter what you hear Transportation schemes are continuing, despite “death” of the TTC. EOW also had a guest post this week on the PEC, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC): Who’s Electing Your Board Representative?.

"Other big names" may enter the Republican primary for governor if Perry and Hutchison can't get their acts together, according to a right-wing talker in D-FW and passed along by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

The folks at Texas Vox would like to thank everyone who participated in Blog Action Day on Climate Change last week. Following that trend, check out our round-up of Texas Blog Action day posts, let us know who we're missing, and read up on the Business of Climate Change.

WhosPlayin posted an update on gas drilling in Lewisville, and also breaks the story that a local group is looking to ban smoking in public places in Lewisville.

refinish69 reopens Doing My Part For The Left with the latest installment of his series Homesless in Austin-An Insider's View Part 7.

Mean Rachel got to see President Obama speak in College Station on Friday.

We have known for a long time that Governor Perry is a bottom feeder, but letting an innocent man die and then refusing to get at the truth about his execution? Well, I would not want that on my conscience. Let Libby Shaw bring you up to speed in his posting, All the Good Hair on the Planet Won't Make the Cover Up Go Away.

Neil at Texas Liberal ran a picture he took this week of the confluence on White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou in Downtown Houston. This spot, important in the founding of Houston, is still a place of connection. If connection could be found in the hot and Hell-like Houston of 175 years ago, we can find connection even in tough circumstances.

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October 06, 2009

Texas is all about FUN!

  • Texas is now #1 in SECOND teen pregnancies. You know, because condoms would promote sex.
  • Would you buy sex from this lady?
    Photobucket

    Apparently, the cops in University Park (with the help of their big brother, DPD) think this lady is a prostitute. She claims to just be a masseuse. Honestly, having met some female masseurs, she looks more like one of them than like a prostitute. I think this is a case of a neighbor in UP not liking this lady or the house she's renting. Or wanting it as a tear down.

  • Apparently, we're not the only ones pissed about lack of a public option in some Democratic plans. And you gotta see the art that goes with the post.
  • Muse wants to know if it would be a good idea to expand Rep. Chisum's Twogetherness law to Teh Gays. So they don't get Teh Divorced which is apparently just as bad as them getting Teh Married.
  • I've been loathe to wade into the Houston mayors race, mostly because I don't live there and frankly could care less. Don't get me wrong, I like Annise Parker, but it's hard to care about a race for a city office in another place. That being said, this did catch my eye. Seriously, Gene Locke? $640 AN HOUR.

    In my world, you better damn well deliver full release to charge an hourly rate like that. And it better be AWESOME.

  • TXDOT has to give money back to the Feds... not because of some rescission issue but because they JUST DIDN'T ALLOCATE IT FOR CONSTRUCTION. Score yet another fuckup for the boys and girls managing TXDOT.
  • Speaking of transportation, the revolving door between tolling and government continues.
  • Y'all have a goodun!

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    October 02, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    As early voting for the November elections looms on the horizon, the Texas Progressive Alliance says good-bye to September and hello to another weekly blog roundup.

    BREAKING NEWS: Natural Gas Development Brings "amazing and very high" Levels of Carcinogens and Neurotoxins to Barnett Shale area! Take a deep breath before you read this study because the findings will take your breath away! TXsharon at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS broke this story and the study evaluation by MacAuthur (Genius) Award winner, Wilma Subra.

    This week Left of College Station, Teddy reports on why the anti-choice movement is not about abortion but about the oppression of women. Also, guest blogger Litia writes about asking non-tradition questions about Texas A&M traditions; Litia writes a weekly guest blog for College Station about a liberal teaching in Aggieland. Left of College Station also coves the week in headlines.

    Neil at Texas Liberal writes that Socialist candidate for Mayor of Houston Amanda Ulman should run a serious campaign or not run at all. There once was a solid base of socialist voters in Texas and the U.S. Who says that cannot someday happen again?

    McBlogger takes aim at people who think that adjusting to climate change is just something that will unfairly hurt the poor.

    Off the Kuff contemplates the possible entry of Farouk Shami into the Governor's race.

    Over at TexasKaos, boadicea, Warrior Queen, is seeking a pulse, any pulse over at the Tom Schieffer campaign, as she opines that Tom Schieffer Needs Something Original to Offer. It seems that lifting policy ideas from Hank Gilbert is the best he can do right now. Read the rest at TexasKaos.


    The old Easter Lemming has a useful post on voting for the Constitutional Amendments in his area.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the 22 year high TX unemployment rate. What recession? We're in one?

    Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples opened his mouth and out fell a big wad of stupid. Stupid so ignorant that it topped anything Rick Perry or John Cornyn or even Glenn Beck could manage this week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has it -- if you can stand it.

    WhosPlayin followed up on an open records request for internal emails related to Lewisville ISD's decision to ban President Obama's speech to children. The emails, including a racially charged email from a board member to the superintendant, do not paint a pretty picture..

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on money, energy, and the economy in the Texas governor's race, Perry's cap and trade photo op.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Rick Perry does his best George Bush cowboy imitation with Ranger Recon.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:19 PM | Comments (0) | 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

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's the week before Labor Day, and the Texas Progressive Alliance is hard at work bringing you the best of the Texas blogosphere. Here are this week's highlights.

    The Texas Cloverleaf wonders why only one person showed up to a budget meeting where taxes are being increased in Denton County. No tea bags left?

    Neil at Texas Liberal offered the fullest extension of the back of his hand to opponent's of Houston's Ashby High Rise.

    TXsharon wonders what Governor Perry is thinking to appoint a global warming denier as the highest environmental official in Texas at a time when polling shows Americans support Obama on reducing greenhouse emissions and when the EPA has just confirmed water contaminated with hydraulic fracture fluid. Maybe the question should be: Does Perry think?

    South Texas Chisme wants you to know that Medicare is a PUBLIC heath care option. Ciro, stand up. Henry, wise up.

    Bay Area Houston has video of Republican Pete Olson punking himself punked at his own town hall meeting while trying to use a sick kid for political gain.

    Lightseeker over at TexasKaos insists that we not hold health care reform hostage to solving the Abortion Wars. See this and more in his posting, Abortion Wars, Health care and Private Enterprise.

    Off the Kuff analyzed some policy papers from Houston's leading Mayoral candidates, examining Gene Locke's crimefighting plan, Annise Parker's education plan, and Peter Brown's energy plan.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts about The good news health care reform would bring to TX-31 and Williamson County.

    Setting a date for the eventual US Senate special election is all about the MoFo, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    This week, McBlogger asked a very good question... Why do we even care about Joe Lieberman?

    At Texas Vox, Citizen Sarah reports on Houston Mayor and Senate Hopeful Bill White's Energy Security Policy, per his panel at Netroots Nation. Video included.

    Teddy at Left of College Station covers the Chet Edwards town hall on health reform live from the Brazos Center, and then shares his thoughts on the town hall, and why a vocal minority is against health care reform. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines: remembering Senator Ted Kennedy.

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    August 27, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 20, 2009

    Accountable much?

    Ladies and gentlemen, Judge Sharon Keller revealing herself as THE ONLY PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE WHO THINKS SHE DIDN'T FUCK UP.

    Prosecutor Mike McKetta’s closing question to Judge Sharon Keller:

    McKetta: “Knowing what you knew then, and based on the specific things Ed Marty said to you on Sept. 25, 2007, is it correct that there is nothing different you would do if the same questions were put to you today?”

    Keller: “Yes, that is correct.”

    Defense lawyer Chip Babcock begins questioning his client at 1:45 p.m.

    Another key exchange before the prosecution rested:

    McKetta: “Would you not agree that each time you said ‘No” on Sept. 25, 2007, that was a decision?

    Keller: “No. It did not because the clerk’s office closed at 5 regardless of what I said.”

    McKetta: “Would you not agree that each time you said ‘No’ on Sept. 25, 2007, it had consequences?

    Keller: “It did not. The clerk’s office closed regardless of what I said.”

    McKetta: “Would you not agree that each time you said ‘No’ on Sept. 25, 2007, your choice affected Michael Wayne Richard?

    Keller: “It was not my choice. By state law and court custom, the clerk’s office closed at 5 o’clock.”

    WOW. With a few notable exceptions, I've never seen anyone so devoid of ethical responsibility or so unwilling to even acknowledge a mistake. Is there anyone who doubts that if Judge Keller has been working in a real business, she would have been shown the door that day based on her actions?


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 12, 2009

    Stop with the litter, yo!

    Some of you may have noticed a marked increase in the amount of trash all over the place. And now, there's something you can do about it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 07, 2009

    Now announcing...

    ... just in time for 2012, TEXAS AS SWING STATE!

    Now, watch it swing back if President Obama doesn't start bitchslapping some Republicans and that asshole from Montana.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Around Texas : Toll increases; AMPO changes; Killer changes the rules and more

  • EOW caught NTTA's massive toll increase. Apparently, because of the economy, fewer people are driving on the tollways in North Texas. So they increased the tolls, ensuring that even fewer people will drive on the tollways. Good thinking, y'all!
  • Terri Hall has a great write up on changes at the Alamo Metro Planning Organization. Finally, someone interested in making good transportation choices is the chair. We look forward to the changes he'll bring to transportation in San Antonio!
  • OMG, could Killer Keller get any more ridiculous?

    Just so we're clear-the spoiled little princess who thinks the state should pay for her attorneys (despite not having reported all her real estate holdings), and who effectively killed a man because his appeal couldn't get filed before 5 p.m. on the day he was to be executed is concerned that she might be judged in a possibly "arbitrary" way.
  • The Coxuckers have decided to pull the Statesman off the market. This is, of course, disappointing to the Mayor, Barfly, Krispy Kreme, Spamburglar and myself as we had been patiently awaiting the the decision on our offer, which we sweetened in June with the addition of a cherry nut bread loaf from the Czech Stop in West, a half eaten bag of Craisans (thank YOU, Krispy Kreme!) and a shopping spree at Costco on my check card.
  • Shorter Ben Wear... The 290 tollway is going to be smaller than expected. It's also going to be way more expensive, all but guaranteeing that few will use it. CTRMA's Mike Heiligenstein thinks it'll all fine.

    Gee, the tollways just seem better and better all the time, don't they?!

  • Havagoodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 05, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    Here we are in August, and like every other week it's time for another Texas Progressive Alliance blog roundup.

    TXsharon needs your help to Expose This Dirty Video.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme calls out KBH and the GOP for using racism and the NRA to get out the vote in 2010. Having a competent, experienced Latina judge? Not important.

    Off the Kuff reminds us that Governor Perry's consistently wrong decisions regarding unemployment insurance will cost the state two billion dollars, maybe more.

    McBlogger takes a look at a lawsuit against TRS and discovers losses, possible corruption and a nightmarish problem for the Republicans in 2010.

    John Coby says you better think before you trust a republican with your family's health care.

    Mean Rachel decides that Democratic gubernatorial candidate is still too Bush League for her tastes.

    Our governor is living the life of the rich and famous. It does so on our dime and on the "dimes" of his fat cat contributors. Libby Shaw gives us the ulgy details over at TexasKaos, Our Kept Governor to the Unemployed: Eat Cake.

    Why did Ciro Rodriguez vote against the Waxman-Markey climate change bill and then suddenly flee the House? And why is he taking grip-and-grin meetings with David Dewhurst? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs would really like to know.

    Vince at Capitol Annex tells why he believes that the smart money is on Texas Governor Rick Perry picking Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to replace U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison if she resigns before the end of the year.

    Neil at Texas Liberal posted a video he made that will take only 39 seconds your life to watch. Also, Neil made a post marking the third anniversary of Texas Liberal. Texas Liberal has run 1500 page views a day so far this year and had racked-up over 725,000 views since it began. Thank you blog reading public!!

    WhosPlayin notes that the City of Lewisville is cancelling its Cinco de Mayo celebration for 2010 due to budgetary concerns.

    Dembones at Eye On Williamson points out Rep. John Carter's latest nuttiness, Franking Commission draws the line on Rep. Carter.

    Mike Thomas at Rhetoric & Rhythm reviews Debra Medina's campaign video and deems her the Sarah Palin of South Texas.

    Teddy of Left of College Station was forced to evacuate his home in Bryan due to a warehouse fire that was burning toxic materials, but was able to return to his home the next day. Before the evacuation Teddy was able to write about Michael Vick’s return to the NFL, and whether or not he deserves a second chance. Left of College Station also covers the local and progressive events in the Bryan-College Station this month.

    If nuclear power companies are already having trouble with their credit ratings, why are Texans rushing to throw them billions for plants that even the builders can't finance themselves? Good question, says Citizen Sarah at Texas Vox.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:44 AM | 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

    August 02, 2009

    Using TRS like daddy's credit card

    Apparently, Harris County District Judge Dion Ramos has dismissed a suit filed on behalf of retirees against Teachers Retirement System of Texas (TRS). The case was based on their benefits being diminished by risky investments made by TRS.

    TRS argues in its response that the members have no standing to sue because they have not been harmed.

    “The premise of the suit is that because the net value of assets of TRS trust fund has declined as a result of the historic upheaval in the world economy that plaintiffs have somehow been damaged. That is simply not the case,” TRS lawyers wrote.

    “Members and annuitants have no investment account or interest in the pension fund; their interest is in the benefits as defined by law,” and those benefits have not been threatened, the brief says.

    While it's true that TRS is a defined benefit pension plan, there are three issues...

    1) Half of the funding for TRS comes from the people who will eventually receive benefits from it, people who work in the public school systems all over Texas. While it doesn't give them an actual account, it's still their money. Unless you want to call their contribution an income tax. And call their retirement checks an entitlement.

    2) The benefits can be reduced by the Legislature IF the fund performs poorly and the Lege doesn't feel like making up the gap. Which, just FYI Judge Ramos, they AREN'T required by law to do.

    3) The likelihood of the Lege making up losses in TRS to fulfill current statutory obligations is about zilch. Just ask Sen. Duncan.

    Needless to say, it's one hell of a stretch for this case to be so blithely dismissed. Especially when retirees haven't received a COLA since 1995, proving clearly that retirees ARE negatively impacted by poor performance at TRS.

    The more interesting thing here is that some of the advisers and board members at TRS (all appointees of 39%) are financial professionals at firms that may be doing business with TRS. One has to wonder where AG Abbott is on that issue. Has he even looked into the possibility that there may have been some self dealing?

    Go on, Abbott. Run for LG. I'm sure no one from a school district will mind your failure to investigate exactly what happened.

    Let's also keep in mind that during Britt Harris' time as Chief Investment Officer, the fund has lost a THIRD of it's value. And these high risk investments aren't necessarily going to turn around like stocks. Some of them may have expired worthless and simply have ceased to exist or may have counterparties that no longer exist. It's almost comical that this happened WITH financial professionals in advisory roles. The same number of professionals 39% wants to keep on...

    Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have given more voice to retirees on the board of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

    That additional voice for retirees would have meant one less financial professional on the nine-member board, which would have been “an inappropriate adjustment in these uncertain economic times,” Perry said in his veto statement.

    “The significance and ramifications of the board’s decisions on the futures of those who steward our children’s education make it imprudent to dilute the board’s financial expertise with House Bill No. 2656,” Perry continued.

    The final House Bill 2656 was a much more watered-down version of the measure that easily cleared the House. That version would have stripped Perry of much of his authority to appoint members of the nine-member board.

    Sure, 39%. Right. Because of that 'financial expertise' retirees haven't seen a cost of living adjustment since 1995 and the fund itself will be exhausted by 2040. Sure does look like they're doing a bang up job at TRS.

    And, finally, a MASSIVE shout out of thanks to the Republicans in the Lege who voted against the stronger bill which would have stripped 39% of the authority to appoint members of the TRS Board. I bet the teachers in your district will be THRILLED to get mailers telling them how voted to make sure they would be able to enjoy the fancy catfood during their retirement, not the cheap kind.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:17 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 24, 2009

    TABC speaks

    And the fallout from the June Rainbow Lounge raid continues. TABC has finally decided to get out in front of the mess...

    “I don’t think you have to dig very deep to figure out that TABC has violated some of their policies,” Steen said. “We know that, and I apologize for that. Like I said in my original press release, we have in the past and we will in the future act very swiftly in making sure that those issues are corrected. It’s real clear that however it is that we were doing business that night is not the typical TABC. ... I have good policy in place, I have good training in place, and I have good supervision in place to ensure that things like this don’t happen.”

    Steen said if the two agents, who are on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation, sought approval from the supervisor before the Rainbow Lounge inspection, it shouldn’t have been granted. The agents were accompanied by six Fort Worth police officers.

    Steen said he doesn’t think there was sufficient cause for the inspection, which apparently was based on the fact that one person had been arrested for public intoxication at the Rainbow Lounge on Thursday, June 25. Steen also indicated that the eight law enforcement officers and the paddy wagon that were present likely constituted an excessive show of force.

    “You can read that policy and you can figure out really quickly, TABC shouldn’t have even been there,” Steen said. “If our guys would have followed the damn policy, we wouldn’t even have been there. … We have these conversations all the time, and we don’t participate in those kinds of inspections when there’s not probable cause or reasonable suspicion or some public safety matter to be inspected.”

    Goddamn, son, only took you 18 days to get out and say something? Well, I gotta tell you while your timing is for shit, your message is loud, clear and unequivocal. And it's appreciated. It won't stop the inevitable civil suits but it will stop the public perception that the Agency is out of control. And yeah, some of us were worried about that.

    Next time something like this happens (and you know it will), you might want to jump on this THE NEXT DAY. Just a suggestion...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 17, 2009

    Arbortion is wrong

    Ladies and Gentleman, it gives me no pleasure to call out a friend, but Muse is an arbortionist. What's worse, she's a former Austinite who frankly should know better.

    We at McBlogger are very disappointed in our friend and blogging colleague.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2009

    CA vs. TX

    Much has been made of this article in The Economist regarding TX 'overtaking' CA as the premier state in the country. It's bullshit (not that I'm not a fan of Texas exceptionalism, but there's little to be proud of these days).

    1) Our business climate is AWESOME because we welcome any enterprise to this state, let them use our resources and infrastructure AND give them tax abatements on top of not making them really contribute much of anything. Plus, if you're really lucky, your business can even get money from 39%'s slush fund.

    2) Our schools (public and private from the elementary level to university) are seriously behind. For the love of God, we're actually wondering if kids should be taught whether or not the Earth is 6000 years old.

    3) Taxes are low. Tell that to property owners. And anyone who buys something. At least people in CA get to deduct what they pay in state income tax from what they pay the Feds. In Texas, ordinary citizens shoulder the burden exclusively. In other states, it's usually aided by business.

    4) Regulation is lax in Texas compared to CA... no shit. Just ask refiners along the coast. People in CA actually complain about toxic releases and flares.

    5) The budget in Texas is balanced. It's true, but it's only true because of $12bn from the Feds.

    Very little mention was made of the regressive tax structure, our crumbling and woefully inadequate infrastructure (or of the desire of some to sell it off, in some cases with taxpayer subsidies), our super high electric and insurance rates and the list goes on and on.

    California's problems are largely of their own anti-tax design. It's when citizens decide they don't want to pay for the services they use. Combine that with a massive recession and an overextended housing market and CA today looks, well, a lot like Texas in the 80's. But, even still, they're way better in a lot of categories.

    I write this not to shit on the state I love but because I don't want people crowing about this. We should be doing much better, but we can't because 39% and the Republicans have been a miserable failure. Remember that while you write your check for your electric bill. And insurance bill. And property tax bill. Think real hard about it when you're sitting in traffic on a freeway that's basically the same as they day it was opened.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Another look at electricity deregulation

    No, don't worry... it's still a massive, unalloyed failure as Coby points out in this well done post.

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

    July 13, 2009

    STFU, Burka...

    Goddamn, if it ain't one thing, it's a-fucking-nother with that motherfucker Burka. Now he's talking about how badly Team Hutchison is running and giving them issue advice.

    Senator and Hans, y'all please just ignore Burka. He's cranky about God knows what. Y'all are doing exceeding well and I hear your fundraiser in Athens this weekend was a smashing success. You're making all the right moves so just keep going in that direction. xxoo, McB.

    As for you, Burka... find something else to talk about.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:02 PM | 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 09, 2009

    Please, feel free to become our friend

    You may have noticed that McBlogger has joined the ranks of Facebook networked blogs. You hadn't? Oh, well it's probably because you didn't look far enough down on the sidebar. To the right of what you're reading now.

    Feel free to follow us on Teh Facebook and you might even win $1000 in gasoline!

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

    David Barton screws up history (again) and an URGENT SBOE appeal

    For some insane reason, David Barton, the ethically questionable evangelical with a penchant for reinforcing his own beliefs with made up quotes, has done an evaluation on social studies curricula in Texas. Which Vince over at Capitol Annex neatly and thoroughly destroyed here and here.

    The most troubling part of Barton's evaluation was his concentration on the Declaration of Independence and his false assertion that it is the founding document of this country. In actuality, the Declaration separated 13 colonies from the rule of the British Crown. It did not establish the United States which would not happen for another 12 years until the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified. The government of the United States did not even begin functioning until March, 1789.

    Further, he asserts incorrectly that moral law is the basis of law in the United States, a fallacy promoted by many evangelicals but thoroughly dismissed by the courts and the Constitution.

    Please take moment to read Vince's excellent work. And while you're in the mood to click on links, go here and ask 39% NOT to appoint that moron Dunbar as chair of the SBOE.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 07, 2009

    Rainbow Lounge : Ain't this just some bullshit

    Like Todd over at BOR, I'm sick to death of the 'the gays grabbed our crotches, so we arrested some of them' BS that's been floating around since the first published accounts from police reports last Sunday. None of the patrons at the bar that night have been able to corroborate this account and questions have surfaced as to who authored the report (TABC or FWPD) and if any of the other officers can verify the account.

    Further, while it's great to see FWPD Chief Halstead's commitment to better relations with the GLBT citizens his department serves and his decision not to carry out any further joint operations with TABC until the full investigation is complete, it all begins to feel like a gloss-over intended to silence critics. The reality is that something triggered this raid and no one has been able to answer the question as to what that was specifically... the 'disgruntled employee' is absolute bullshit. If TABC is making investigation calls based on 'disgruntled employees' then it has become the law enforcement agency equivalent of Gladys Kravitz. As such, it would need to be dismantled post haste and it's responsibilities handed over to a more professional organization like DPS (I say that, not at all, tongue and cheek because the problems at DPS are exclusive to the shitty leadership at the top and for that, we have to blame 39%).

    So, how about we start at the beginning with some real answers and find out if any of the TABC officers involved have a history of being overly aggressive during raids. Let's really look at this and see if there are patterns. I and many others want to know why this bar was raided after being open for a week. No vague BS, real answers.

    Either that or sooner or later some of you are going to fry. Had any of you pulled this shit on Sixth Street here in Austin, you'd have been gone within days. What these agents have done calls into question the integrity of an entire state agency.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 03, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's Fourth of July week, and so it's time for an extra-patriotic rendition of the Texas Progressive Alliance blog roundup.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the latest Lyceum poll on the Governor and Senate races in Texas.

    Neil at Texas Liberal suggests that instead of blowing of your fingers lighting fireworks--during a drought in Harris County no less---that maybe you would be better off reading a book instead.

    With 2010 spinning up, it's funny to watch all the different players already on the field line up to take their first hits. McBlogger, of course, thinks they're all deeply in need of a little advice which he graciously provides (with surprisingly sparse use of profanity)!

    WCNews & Dembones at Eye On Williamson post on the latest controversy involving the Williamson County Commissioners Court, Budget officer not just a good idea, it's the law.

    John at Bay Area Houston says Turn out the lights, the family values party is over.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks online Texas Republican commentary on Mark Sanford is interesting.

    The similarities between Mark Sanford and Ray Bolger (as the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz") are just too weird, notes PDidde at Brains and Eggs.

    The wise men are willing to pay a tax on their favorite junk food to pay for health care reform.

    WhosPlayin.com Video bring you EXTREME Congressional Town Hall - Special "Losing our freedoms" edition, sponsored by Prozac.

    Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw calls our attention to Confessions of a Former Health Insurance Exec: "We Dump the Sick". Who knew? All the posturing , hypocritical , offers of self-reform and insurance relief are just so much bogus cover up for an industry too greedy to ever be trusted to regulate themselves!

    The Texas Cloverleaf discusses gay pride, bar raids, and millions of gays marching in DFW this past weekend during the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

    Burnt Orange Report covers TX-10 Congressional candidate Jack McDonald's campaign expansion in the Austin area.

    Texas Vox reports on Texas' record setting energy consumption and the need for renewable peak energy over boring old baseload from coal, gas, and nuclear.

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

    July 01, 2009

    What really happened at the Rainbow Lounge?

    Early Sunday morning, 40 years after the Stonewall Riots, TABC and Fort Worth PD raided a gay bar in Fort Worth. A few things were strange... the bar had only been open for a week and it was clear from the get-go, this raid wasn't about service at the bar. It was about harassing the patrons of the bar. Asterisk has a detailed account of what happened that night pieced together from multiple sources.

    Normally when there's a raid on an establishment that's been overserving, TABC is looking to arrest servers and bar tenders who are violating regs. That didn't happen. Instead, they arrested patrons on the flimsiest of charges, Public Intox. To see how vague the law is, take a look here. This gives law enforcement an enormous amount of latitude, something the courts usually take into account on contested PI charges. PI is used as frequently against the violent as it is against the non-violent. To get arrested for PI, you need only be walking down the street after a drink or two. That's how easy it is.

    According to the account, the raid was based on the report of a 'disgruntled employee'. Now, the bar had been open for a week so that was a weak excuse. Further, taking the word of a 'disgruntled employee' makes about as much sense as me asking one of my exes to write a profile for me on a dating site.

    Fortunately, it looks like political leaders in Fort Worth are asking questions and trying to investigate the true nature of this raid. These officers have just cost the city, in terms of bad PR and lawsuits, probably a couple of million dollars. Whatever your feelings on gays and lesbians, ANY taxpayer should be pissed as hell about these officers going commando on the taxpayer's dime.

    Additionally, Fort Worth's PD Chief Jeff Halstead has promised to look into the 'inspection' and determine what happened. From reports he's received, it appears that the TABC agents were the bad actors in the all this.

    "Why didn’t they do something?" asked Elizabeth Pax, ambassador for Queer Liberaction, a Dallas-based advocacy group. "Why didn’t your officers speak up?"

    One Fort Worth officer made an initial call for assistance early on, Halstead said. Investigators think that call took place while Gibson was being injured, Halstead said.

    Once patrons confronted the officers, Halstead said, the bar check took on a very different tone.

    Halstead asked again for people who were at the Rainbow Lounge to come forward and tell police what they saw.

    He said that the department had received about 500 calls but that only two were from people who had been at the bar. Investigators need to hear from witnesses, not just from people who want to complain, he said.

    Halstead promised that he will work to employ a liaison between police and the gay community.

    "We’ve got to work together," Halstead said. "Be patient, and you will see that this is just not lip service. I will meet with you wherever you want to meet. I will go to your restaurants, your house, we can eat barbecue, whatever you want to do. But we’ve got to talk.

    "We will heal beyond this."


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 27, 2009

    Lyceum Poll fun

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

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

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

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

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

    June 25, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 16, 2009

    Stimulus, the budget and a whole bunch of BS

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

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

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

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

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

    Nice job, Jason.

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

    June 15, 2009

    Houston Mayor : Loving infrastructure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 14, 2009

    Having some fun with Rep. Berman

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

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

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

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

    June 05, 2009

    Better still, you and Mikey move to Florida!

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

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

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

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

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

    June 03, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 27, 2009

    Going down with SBOE's McLeroy

    According to Muse, there are now enough votes in the Senate to crush the hopes and dreams of dentist Don McLeroy to continue to use the minds of millions of Texas school children as his ideological cockwipe.

    Which does, as you can imagine, fill me with joy and happiness at the victory of common sense over political crap and pseudoreligious garbage.

    Unfortunately, some people just can't take the beating they richly deserve and slink off into the sunset. SOME people have to double down on their loser hand. What AM I talking about? Well, the rumor that 39% intends to nominate fruitcake attorney Cynthia Dunbar should McLeroy not be confirmed by the Senate. Her distinguishing feature is that she's even crazier than McLeroy (though both are one baby step up on the evolutionary ladder from shit flinging monkeys). Seriously, try reading her incomprehensible tome on the separation of church and state, a long settled (since, what, 1802) legal doctrine in which Dunbar, an attorney, doesn't believe.

    Go ahead, 39%... nominate her and watch as the Senate sends you another love letter instructing you as to what you can do with your nominee.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:43 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

    Goodbye, TRCC

    One of the few bright spots from this legislative session has to be the end of the Texas Residential Construction Commission.

    Make no mistake, letting this Commission die and restoring access to the courts for homeowners who've been wronged is an unalloyed good thing.

    Good work, John!

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

    May 23, 2009

    Uhm, yeah... it would really help if y'all could get things right

    Not for nothing but a little research really wouldn't kill Republicans (or Ben Wear*). First up is Rep. John Carter who mistakenly thought cap and trade would COST Texas electric users $20 bn per year. It will actually SAVE Texans $20 bn per year.

    Then there's this. And I really don't know how I can top the ignorance here. Oh, sure, it's unintended funny but I just have to ask... REALLY?

    I can't WAIT until Rep. Bonner or Rep. Brown (who is throwing her own little nutty about worthless Voter ID) decide to explain the culture of Teh Gays.

    *Just as a side note, and not to pick on poor Ben, but his reporting is lackluster and puddle deep. Reading his pieces on transportation over the last few years has been enlightening in so far as revealing how far someone will go to avoid ever looking deeper into, well, anything.

    I've often wondered if Wear was really a head of cabbage. I'm sure he's a hell of a guy, but he's a stenographer. Not a reporter.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 21, 2009

    The Republican Party of Texas... completely in the bag for privatization interests

    SB 855 is up today which will allow the state to index the gas tax and give MPOs the ability to raise the local gas tax within their area by no more than 10 cents per gallon. The Republican Party is, of course, panicking.

    While it's true no one likes their taxes increased, EVERYONE realizes we need roads. Lots of them and we need to improve the ones we have. Everyone, except the Republican Party of Texas, realizes that roads cost money. Well, that's not true... the R's realize roads cost money. That's why they want to sell off your roads, convert them to toll and then build more toll roads with the proceeds.

    That's called progress, friend. At least here in Texas they call it progress. In other states, they call it 'extortion' and 'political corruption'.

    Just to show you how stupid this is... the RPT claims this increase, which won't be a full 25 cents anyway (I know, shocking that the Republican Party of Texas would lie. It's almost as disappointing as finding out that Santa's not real or that the bartender you've been flirting with all night and thought was flirting back, bats for the other team), will cost jobs and cause costs to go up. Which is funny because the last time we increased the gas tax, the State of Texas boomed for a decade. And D's controlled the Legislature.

    Take a moment to think about that. The last time the State did really well economically was when we had a Democratic Legislature.

    The Republicans also failed to mention that the gas tax per mile would be less than a penny. Under some of their plans, it would be as much as $1.00 in toll taxes. PER MILE.

    Call 512-463-4630, ask for your State Rep and ask them to please vote YES on SB 855.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 20, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

    At Bluedaze, TXsharon asks: What are the chances that an industry in charge of conducting its own testing to determine waste disposal methods will find toxin levels too high if that means disposal of the waste will be more
    costly? Landfarms: Spreading Toxic Drilling Waste on Farmland. With VIDEO.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger sees lessons never learned ... it is NOT about religion, ya'll! How does it fit that US Military crusader evangelists want to save these souls right before we blow them away. How can we justify putting Mulims on death row, by their own people, just because we convinced them to become APOSTATES?! General Order Number One, Forbid Proselytizing – Evangelists Cannot Protect Murtads - Wars fought using 12th century religious mentality means that civilization has made two steps backwards!

    Mean Rachel is reminded on Mother's Day of children, the lack thereof and why The Pill should be available over the counter.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know how can Rick Perry brag about how well Texas is doing when over 22% of our children face hunger every day?

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News showed a video from the Texas
    Freedom Network
    of our own Texas Department of Miseducation in action.

    WhosPlayin covered the Denton County Democrats' election of a new County Chair, after previous chairman Neil Durrance resigned to run for U.S. Congress in District 26 in 2010.

    The bad news is that unemployment keeps rising in Texas. The good news is that means there's more federal stimulus money available for unemployment insurance, if the Lege and Governor Perry take it. Off the Kuff has the details.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the latest stunt by our member of Congress, AusChron asks a question about Rep. John Carter - is he a nutball?

    Neil at Texas Liberal is very glad that the left won a big election victory in India, Strong Victory For Center-Left Congress Party In India—World’s Two Largest Democracies Now Firmly Reject Conservatives, and that now the world's two largest democracies have firmly rejected conservatives.

    Harry Balczak is a little upset. Come by McBlogger so you to can understand how much he hates the idea of Texas becoming so $%@*$%%^ puritanical.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston says it is Time to Sunset Bob Perry's Builder Commission.

    This week Teddy at Left of College Stationcovers President Obama’s decision to continue to use the Bush Administration “con-missions” to prosecute detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Also, Wednesday Teddy will be a co-host of Biased Transmission, a progressive talk radio show on the community radio station 89.1FM KEOS. This week Jim Olson, Texas A&M University Senior Lecturer and CIA-Officer-in-Residence, will return to the show to discuss the “enhanced interrogations” used during the Bush Administration.

    Over at TexasKaos, liberaltexan takes on the Obama administration's decision to continue the military Con-Missions. He seems to believe we should, like, trust our own judicial institutions and not make up new, untested ones with no demonstration of necessity or superiority.. See his diary, President Obama to Continue Con-Missions…

    Xanthippas at Three Wise Men takes heed of journalist Ahmed Rashid's warnings about Pakistan, which teeters on the brink of chaos.

    Good ol' boy Gene Green got real scared by some progressive activists who came to his office this past week. PDiddie recounted the poor Congressman's terror at Brains and Eggs.

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

    May 19, 2009

    Shut the door on Bob Perry and his TRCC

    The Texas Residential Construction Commission has been, since it's inception, an absolute disaster. So why is Rep. McClendon trying to save it?

    In response to the concerns of the Sunset Commission, House Bill 2295 by Representative McClendon (D-San Antonio) has been filed. According to the rules of the Sunset Commission, if this “sunset” bill is not signed into law, the TRCC will be abolished. The bill has passed the House and is currently lingering in the Senate with time running out in the legislative session. ... HB2295 continues to deceive. The bill calls for licensing of home builders, but exempts over 28,000 builders currently registered with the TRCC. The licensing oversight will be controlled by the TRCC an agency with 6 years of failure, instead of by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation with 100 years of outstanding service and experience in oversight. And the requirements for licensing are nothing more than paying a fee, taking 8 hours of training, and passing a test administered by the inexperienced TRCC.

    The mandatory State Sponsored Inspection and Resolution Process (SIRP), a process to help mediate complaints, continues to be a convoluted, complicated, legal nightmare that requires legal assistance to navigate. The bill offers an optional, extremely expensive mediation process chock full of legal loopholes that will do more harm than good for the consumer. The bill also reduces the time required to complete the SIRP, but does nothing to reduce its overwhelming complexity and legal ramifications.

    John Coby has more over at Bay Area Houston... it's time to put this miserable excuse for a regulatory agency to death and give homeowners full access to the courts.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 15, 2009

    How much is enough?

    Take a deep breath, go pour yourself a drink and read this article over at the Observer on payday lending.

    Aren't you glad I made you get the drink? The thing is this... how much is enough? These are the ultimate in secured loans, secured either by an auto title or a postdated check from the borrower. There's little if any chance the borrower will default especially in the case of the check because the next step for a dishonored check is the county attorney. Still, our electeds have allowed these companies to charge interest that would, frankly, make even Satan blush. And session after session, the Lege let's it happen.

    Well, the REPUBLICANS in the Lege let it happen. The few Democrats who love the payday people could easily be shamed into signing off on regulation. The Republicans, obviously, can not.

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

    May 14, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

    The city of DISH, TX is one of several municipalities that have already adopted a resolution calling for the repeal of Big Oil's exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act. TXsharon gives DISH a high-five and hopes your group, organization, club, city or county will do the same, at

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is glad the internets have Texas Progressive Alliance! The Republicans have their house of cards and a batsh*t crazy base.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger sees danger in the watered down, dumbed down attempt to educate students by committee. Sanitized History, Truth or Consequences is an example of why education needs serious attention.

    Houston political reporter Jane Ely passed away this week. PDiddie collected some recollections of her life at Brains and Eggs.

    WhosPlayin was totally absorbed in the municipal elections in Lewisville, and was glad to see conservative radio talk host Winston Edmondson soundly defeated by 30 points in his bid to turn Lewisville into the next Farmers Branch.

    Is it a good idea to give TXDOT it's own taxpayer funded investment bank? Yeah, McBlogger doesn't think so, either.

    Over at TexasKaos, lightseeker thinks it is time to reconsider moral absolutism in politics. He talks about how Obama made progress on this issue nationally and how his tatics may apply in Texas. Check out his posting:Moral Absolutism and Politics - What Obama's Victory Has to Say to Texas Progressives

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the latest polls in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson has a wrap-up of the action taken on the TxDOT Sunset bill in the House last week, CDA/PPP’s kicked to House Transportation Committee.

    Neil at Texas Liberal writes that using Twitter in politics may well have the effect of further isolating a narrow elite from the larger mass of folks.

    Vince at Capitol Annex discusses the rightwing's email lobbying campaign against legislation that would have subjected the State Board of Education to Sunset review provisions.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 05, 2009

    Attention anti-smoking forces : I still win, bitches.

    You will NEVER bring down Altria. Which means you'll never be able to stop my dream of retiring way early.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:55 AM | 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 17, 2009

    Defending 39%'s sedition

    First, there was That Obese Drug Addict who jumped up to support 39%. As if being defended by a blowhard from Florida with a sweet tooth for hillbilly heroin wasn't bad enough, 39% was also defended by disgraced former Rep. Tom Delay.

    Early in the morning there is nothing like the hilarity of being defended by a junkie and the poster boy for Republican corruption.

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

    April 16, 2009

    Those Who Recall History Are Condemned To Blog About It

    While tossing out rhetorical chunks of red meat to the double-digit IQ teabagger mob on Wednesday, Governor Knucklehead asserted

    Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,

    Perry is, of course WRONG. The Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States (which I invite you to read) contains nothing about a right to withdraw from the Union. What it did include was that the Republic of Texas would be admitted as a State (skipping the territorial phase) and that

    said state when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States all public edifices, fortifications, barracks, ports and harbors, navy and navy yards, docks, magazines and armaments, and all other means pertaining to the public defense, belonging to the said Republic of Texas, shall retain funds, debts, taxes and dues of every kind which may belong to, or be due and owing to the said Republic; and shall also retain all the vacant and unappropriated lands lying within its limits, to be applied to the payment of the debts and liabilities of said Republic of Texas, and the residue of said lands, after discharging said debts and liabilities, to be disposed of as said State may direct; but in no event are said debts and liabilities to become a charge upon the Government of the United States.

    So Texas, unlike other states retained possession of its public lands, but also was still on the hook for all the debts of the Republic (which were considerable.) Further

    New States of convenient size not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas and having sufficient population, may, hereafter by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such states as may be formed out of the territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise Line, shall be admitted into the Union, with or without slavery, as the people of each State, asking admission shall desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory, north of said Missouri Compromise Line, slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime) shall be prohibited.

    So we see that there actually is truth to the tale that Texas can divide into five states (unlike the pro-secession easy in/easy out myth). But this does need to be put into some context. Recall that Article IV Section 3 of the Federal Constitution already provides that, with the consent of Congress and a state's legislature, a new state can be carved out of an already-existing state. And prior to the Texas annexation, Kentucky had been formed out of the western reaches of Virginia and Maine had been a district of Massachusetts. So why the mention in the Joint Resolution?

    Well, the boundaries claimed by the Lone Star Republic were considerably greater than those of the Lone Star State we know today. map The land Congress was annexing included present-day New Mexico east of the Rio Grande as well as chunks of what are now Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. I assert that the language on forming new states is there to clarify that any new state formed north of the Missouri Compromise Line would be a free state, while the question of slavery south of that line would be left to popular sovereignty.

    Slavery. The discussion of secession inevitably comes round to the only issue which has actually led to an experiment in destroying the Union. But I fear that this has already gone on at too great a length so I will end now and return to the discussion later.

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

    April 14, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the TExas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chismes noticed Fort Bend County was slapped by the DOJ for actual election integrity problems. Voters were illegally denied provisional ballots and Spanish speakers were not accommodated. Betty Brown probably wishes those voters would make life easier for English-speaking poll workers.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger cannot accept that Tax Laws, Tax Legislation and Lawmakers are ignorant to the fact that keeping the taxpayer clueless brings in more revenue. Built in vagueness and contradiction guarantee more tax dollars collected. This country has brainwashed its taxpayers, that it is easier to waste their money on sleazy preparers and tax software, than to learn what taxes are all about. Taxpayers are complicit in their own misery, even though the government really tries to make the facts available. Taxpayers are convinced that taxes are just a necessary evil ... "Death and Taxes". But today, Can You Trust Your Tax Software When It Can’t Keep Up.

    Neil at Texas Liberal posted a video using Franklin Roosevelt and George W. Bush dolls to illustrate the recent liberal ascendancy in the United States.

    We all had some fun at Rep. Betty Brown's expense last week, but Off the Kuff noted that there was a bill pending before Rep. Brown's Elections Committee that would actually help alleviate some of the problems that prevent eligible citizens from casting their ballots.

    At Texas Kaos, it's been a bemusing week of watching Glenn Beck prepare to storm the Alamo City with Tea Bags. But nothing could have prepared us for Rick Perry linking his fortunes with Beck after his gasoline drenched performance Apparently a primary threat in the Texas Republican Party means you double down on the batshit crazy lies. Who knew?

    Kim Jong Il wasn't the only person to fire a missile this week. McBlogger went ballistic over that dapper Senator Watson.

    The Employee Free Choice Act met the Democratic Senator from the Great State of Wal-Mart and is headed down to defeat as a result. PDiddie at Brains and
    Eggs
    has more on the Senate's caving in once again to the
    corporations.

    Asian American Action Fund Blog has extensive coverage of Betty Brown’s ridiculous questioning of Ramey Ko from our first report to Brown’s “apology” and Ko’s description of their conversation. In addition, there are link roundups of most coverage of the incident from the 9th and 10th. And don’t miss law professor Frank Wu’s exploration of the matter. We will provide further updates as this story continues to develop.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the 20 Republicans in the Texas House who voted against education benefits for veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Texas Observer is no damn fun

    TO is apparently kinda upset that it was so easy for a guy to move from TCEQ to being a lobbyist for Waste Management. Not long after helping to push through their application to deposit radwaste in West Texas.

    And no, by radwaste, I'm not talking about MBS.

    Bunch of damn killjoys over at the Observer. What's next, y'all... forbidding political contributions from lobbyists?


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 08, 2009

    Werewolf of Austin

    Don't know nothing about no iambic pentameter


    I saw a werewolf with a taser in his hand
    Walking through the streets of SoCo in the rain
    He was looking for a place with immigrants
    Going to dish out that old conservative pain
    Werewolf of Austin

    If you see him tweeting around your bedroom door
    Better not let him in
    Another minority got executed late last night
    Werewolf of Austin again
    Werewolf of Austin

    He’s the hairy headed gent who ran amuck in Hearne
    Lately he’s been overheard in Manor
    Better stay away from him
    He’s a Bilderberger, Jim
    I’d like to meet his tailor
    Werewolf of Austin

    Well, I saw Rick Perry walking with a queen
    Doing the werewolf of Austin
    Again, I saw Perry walking with a queen
    Doing the werewolf of Austin
    I saw a werewolf drinking a mojito at Oil Can’s
    His hair was perfect
    Werewolf of Austin
    Adios Mofo

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 10:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 03, 2009

    There goes the gayborhood

    OMG! World comes to an end! The breeders are moving into the Dallas gayborhood of Ceder Springs and the mo's are being displaced?

    It’s a little before 1 on a wednesday afternoon, and most customers at JR’s Bar & Grill on Cedar Springs aren’t ordering from the grill. TV screens play dance videos and at the bar ashtrays line up in parade formation. A man named Chris orders a Bushmills, neat. He’s an older guy, trim, tailored. He has called Oak Lawn his home for more than a decade. And no—sigh, eye roll—he’s not too happy about the ilume, the huge new retail and residential project going up on the corner of Cedar Springs and Douglas.

    “It’s going to bring”—beat—“people like you,” he says, with a laugh and a slap to let me know it’s nothing personal. “Suburbanites. Straight people. There goes the gayborhood.”

    Chris and a handful of older gay Cedar Springs loyalists aren’t happy about the ilume—and not just because the development eschews capitalization. Their concern is simple: is Cedar Springs about to become less gay? The answer—well, sure—won’t make them happy. But the more interesting question is, with more straights coming to Cedar Springs—to have a drink, to rent an apartment—what happens next?

    Historically, whether you’re talking about Dallas or New York or Chicago or even San Francisco, a pattern has developed with gay neighborhoods. Gays and lesbians create an entertainment and/or residential enclave so they have a place to call their own. The gentrification draws hip straight people and money. Rents and real estate values increase. Crowded out, gays and lesbians migrate to another area, fix it up, then get displaced. Which leads to complaints from folks like Chris.

    “Whineybags,” says Nancy Weinberger, a mainstay in the Perry Heights neighborhood and a member of the Oak Lawn Committee. “I understand not being thrilled about the additional traffic, but that’s progress, honey. And the developer has really tried to be sensitive to all the neighborhoods around. We can’t keep it like it’s 1950.”

    Well, AMEN, NancyPants! Things change and as the old saying goes, tough titty if you don't like it.

    I'd like to take a moment to welcome Chris and the other loyalists to the world the rest of us live in. We no longer separate ourselves into ghettos. Even our bars are spread out and, frankly, if you're drinking on a Wednesday at one in the afternoon, you are too old to be hanging out at the Crossroads. And you can't go to S4 anymore. I'll see you at Hideaway next time I'm in town.


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

    March 27, 2009

    Crusading with Bay Area Houston

    I love me some John Coby... He's been hard on the worthless TRCC and urging it be ripped to shreds by a pack of rabid boars. This is his latest installment, Fun Facts about the TRCC.However, you really need to spend 20 minutes and read through the most recent posts. Absolutely eye opening regarding just how corrupt the TRCC actually is.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 26, 2009

    Cowardly Kay

    PhotobucketPhillip has a nice piece up over at BOR regarding Sen. Hutchison's half-assed attempt to rub 39%'s nose in shit regarding the stimulus money. But that's just the top... the bigger issue is why Cowardly Kay is intending to run for Governor of Texas from DC. Is she really that scared of 39%?

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

    March 25, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    With the arrival of Spring, a legislative session in Austin, municipal campaigns revving up around the state and Texas' primaries less than a year away, the blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance continue to bring you insights from our members around the state. Here's a roundup of what we've been reporting.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is now saying that the recession has landed full-force in Texas. Spared from the worst job losses during the first six months of the current recession, Texas is now shedding jobs at an alarming pace. Wcnews at Eye On Williamson looks at the trends, and offers a sobering assessment of the hard line, let 'em crash, mentality of Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas GOP.

    Off the Kuff points to a bill by State Rep. Dwayne Bohac to demonstrate that the push for voter ID really is about vote suppression.

    If Republicans really cared about election integrity, then why do we still have non-auditable electronic voting machines? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger sees an opportunity to get a degree in the dark arts If Texas HB2800 Passes, I Want A Masters Degree In VooDoo

    In a post that took some work and came out well, Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about what Google searches miss. Also, Neil read the bird sermon of St. Francis to a dancing duck chicken.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston says Why Ethics Reform is Needed in Texas.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks at a few local Twits in the GOP. Twittering Republicans, that is.

    Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw tells us that in Hutchinson's world "It's All About Me". So she is going to run for governor, keep her Senate seat and give the people of Texas absentee represenation. Whatever makes her happy, heaven forbid she should put her constituents first.

    WhosPlayin examined HB 4441, an attempt by Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles to solve some problems related to pipelines.

    Nytexan at BlueBloggin is stunned that Obama Taps CitiGroup Economist For Treasury Spot. So, how does Washington's logic work? They offer a job, at the Treasury Department, to Lewis Alexander of CitiGroup. The Global Marketing Division, that Alexander heads up, was just fined $2 million by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) for trade-reporting violations, including publishing flawed quotations. Let me know how that works out for you!

    Xanthippas at Three Wise Men has some thoughts on the goals of American foreign policy, and is wondering if the war in Afghanistan is winnable, at least as we appear to be defining victory.

    Molly Ivins warned us years ago about AIG, "too big to fail", and Phil Gramm. So says PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    McBlogger takes a look at the valuations being placed on the evil CDO's. Lots of laughs, of course, follow.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 18, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's the first of another week, so that must mean it's time to take a look at some of the best posts from last week by members of the Texas Progressive Alliance. Here are the submissions:

    Vince of Capitol Annex took a new look at the latest creationist attack on science in Texas classrooms in Bill Would Make "Strengths and Weaknesses" Teaching Of Evolution State Law.

    Bay Area Houston says State Representative Wayne Christian has filed a bill that would scare Texas citizens from filing ethics complaints against elected officials.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at who would be affected by the voter ID legislation that is being pushed in the Lege by Republicans.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the turmoil facing some inside Texas GOP regarding Gov. Perry's decision to turn down$555 million dollars of unemployment insurance from the stimulus money, UI debate must be maddening for the GOP supporters of Hutchison.

    Neil at Texas Liberal reads Malcolm X in a cemetery and says that Rick Perry has found his schoolhouse door to stand in and block.

    The Texas Cloverleaf expands upon Capitol Annex's look at Garnet Coleman's proposed repeal of the anti-gay marriage amendment in Texas.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger truly believes there is profit for everyone when wasteful and costly opposition to Medical Marijuana is brought in to the economy instead of keeping it out. The War on "Illegal Activities" should focus on smuggling Heroin and Human Trafficking. Can Marijuana Rescue The Economy In 2010 Like Booze Did In 1933

    At Texas Kaos, Lightseeker highlights the Texas Shakedown for those who make the mistake of driving in Tenaha, Texas while not white.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes thuggery isn't the first choice for governing Democrats addressing drug cartel violence. Analysis and coordinated effort is.

    Governor "Good Hair, Bad Policy" Perry starts his primary campaign against Hutchinson by piling on the unemployed. Libby Shaw over at TexasKaos has the details and the outrage.Pendejos Perry Says YES to Roads, NO to the Jobless

    Mayor McSleaze of McBlogger returns from his holiday to post his thoughts on developments in the Wall Street infotainment industry.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin is disgusted, but not surprised, by the new Republican strategy; >GOP: Divide and Conquer The Democrats, Then Do Nothing For The Country. As tent cities pop up in Sacramento, unemployment is at 10% in may states and the Wall Street continues a downward slide; the GOP response, to the past 8 year Bush disaster, is to lower approval numbers for Pelosi and House Democrats.

    WhosPlayin is focused on local races for Mayor and City Council in Lewisville. This week he interviewed Shelley Kaehr and David Thornhill, who are running for Place 2.

    There was harmonic convergence in the left and right Texblogosphere last week. See PDiddie's Brains and Eggs for what happened.

    Xanthippas at Three Wise Men takes down the right-wing handwringing and disingenuous criticism over Obama's stem cell decision.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | 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

    Union Bar offers hugs, kisses

    Apparently, the management of the bar has made up with the LGBT community in Houston that their door staff managed to piss off.

    In the end, I'm left with the impression that this venue was too small. The place has a firecode capacity of 117 and even small invasions here in Austin have 50-75 people that show up. I can only imagine what happens in Houston. This really looks like a communication error on the part of the bar... and a major logistics fuckup by the organizers.


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

    March 16, 2009

    Chuck Norris, Carpetbagger

    As it turns out, Chuck Norris isn't even a damn Texan.

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

    March 14, 2009

    Fuck a whole bunch of that

    Apparently, Houston now has a Guerrilla Queer Bar group. I've been going occasionally to the one in Austin since 2002. Part of the reason I don't go that often is that we overwhelm the bar... No one drinks like more than 100 gays and lesbians. The bars LOVE it because it usually gives them the best night of their entire year.

    Apparently, the inaugural invasion in Houston didn't, you know, go so well...

    Nearly 100 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were refused entry to Union Bar and Lounge in Midtown Friday while others were welcomed.

    Patrons started lining up at about 9:40 p.m. and were told to wait in line and not allowed inside, even as straight-appearing people were waved through. As the line grew and patrons waited in the rain, employees at the door told those who were that they were maintaining a "ratio." Later, the bar employees simply indicated they had the right to refuse anyone.

    "I was shocked to be a victim of that kind of discrimination in a city like Houston in 2009," said Neal Falgoust, a Houston law student. "I have never experienced anything like that before in my life."

    I don't know who is dumber... the morons managing the bar or the mo's waiting IN THE RAIN to get in. Go spend your money somewhere else.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 11, 2009

    Just what we need, Part 2...

    Oh, damn. NO.

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

    NO

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

    March 10, 2009

    Things you may have missed : Pay raises, Cornyn and more

  • Apparently, the state has been pretty generous with it's employees. Well, the management level people. The ordinary folks didn't get much of anything.
  • Cornyn just keeps fucking up... first there is this over at Greg's Opinion followed up by Musings which asks if Bunning might be willing to throw things to give Democrats that magical 60th seat.
  • A new blog has launched to keep track of Rep. John Carter. Check it out here
  • Apparently, a bill has been filed to eliminate the Texas Residential Construction Commission. Which is a good thing since the TRCC is a pointless waste of taxpayers funds. How else would you describe an industry controlled regulatory body?
  • There's talk about expanding gambling in Texas which will probably cause folks in Waco to run amok with anger. While I'm all for gambling, I have to agree with EOW on their assessment that it's less a revenue panacea for the state and more of a way to kicking the funding problem 'can' down the proverbial road.
  • Finally, there's VOTER ID. We've posted about this so often that it's really irritating and I want to see a fistfight over this in the Senate. I'd put $100 on Whitmire to beat down Dan Patrick. The only way the R's are going to stop is if they get their own way or make things to nasty for them that they never bring it up again.

    Obvs, I'm for the latter. People like Dan Patrick are like dogs and children. They have to be trained to be nice and play well with others.

    BOR is liveblogging the bullshit.

  • Posted by mcblogger at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 07, 2009

    Old Lady Is Missing Alert

    Last night I was on 183 heading home and noticed the Amber Alert signs where flashing... about MISSING ELDERLY IN GARLAND. Which is not at all unusual since 95% of the time the signs are going off because someone let their grandma out of the home and she's loose on LBJ. Or the 30 heading toward central Dallas.

    Seriously, when was the last time YOU saw the signs going off for a missing or abducted child?


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

    March 03, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's the first of another week, and that means it's time to look at some of the best posts by TPA members in the last week. Here are this week's submissions:

    McBlogger takes a look at possibilities for 2010.

    Bay Area Houston is following a bill to abolish the Texas Residential Construction Commission.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is sad to see that some things have not changed in the minds of the loosers - CPAC Fans Fuse of Hatred - Seeks Civil War

    jobsanger discussed a couple of Supreme Court cases. The first case discussed in A Good Supreme Court Decision denied anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse the right to own a gun, and the second case discussed in The Right To Know The Penalties, which will be heard this Fall, will settle the matter of whether an immigrant defendant has a right to be informed of all penalties that could be imposed in his case -- including deportation.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the push for expanded gambling in the Lege this session.

    Can you read this resolution, posted on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS and find any good reason why Big Oil should get to keep the hydraulic fracturing exemption from our Safe Drinking Water Act? Yeah, TXsharon didn't find one either.

    nytexan at >BlueBloggin comments on the >Hypocritical GOP Fiscally Responsible and with no surprise, the world of the GOP is definitely a parallax view.

    The Texas Cloverleaf reviews the TX Stonewall biennial conference in Austin, and notes who was or wasn't there, among elected officials and hopefuls.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the economic changes that are starting to show up locally in The state of the economy in Williamson County.

    Neil at Texas Liberal states his intent to make videos for the blog in Big Texas Liberal Blogging Announcement and Innovation. Also, Neil discusses if Ice Age beasts in Massive Fossil Find-Should Ice Age Creatures Be Brought Back From The Dead?

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is hopeful that the adults will address the drug cartel violence and figure out how to end the war - the drug war that is.

    Rhetoric & Rhythm laments the fact that George W. Bush has become a scapegoat for the conservative movement. Bush did everything they wanted. It's not HIS fault that their ideas don't work.

    Xanthippas at Three Wise Men, on the mixed bag that is the Obama administration's decision to try captured terrorist suspect al-Marri in the criminal justice system and what this might mean for the future of the "war on terror."

    Do you know the real reason John Sharp and Bill White aren't running for governor? Because they're afraid they will get whipped by a girl, just like Rick Perry. So says PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    Over at Texas Kaos the 2.7 trillion that Duyba forgot to mention as part of his deficit. As Libby tells it the bubble dwellers who should have been on top of this little detail weren't. "...The bubble dwellers don't know what is going on outside of their self-fixated bubble. Now I understand why President Obama leaves that nutty and toxic place when he wants to speak to real people..."

    WhosPlayin has video and commentary on Lewisville's first Barnett Shale gas well.

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

    February 26, 2009

    Take Action to stop water pollution!

    The Fed's are looking to rewrite drilling rules and exempt fracturing from the requirements. Fracturing, for those of you who don't know, is the process of injecting materials into a well to free oil and gas deposits. It also has a nasty side effect, when done poorly, of polluting groundwater.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 23, 2009

    Don't go away mad, Judge Keller. Just go away.

    This is good news and I'm thrilled that there is the potential, no matter how slim, that Judge Keller will be removed from the bench.

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

    February 14, 2009

    Tom Schieffer wants to run?

    I think this might be a good thing, connections to Bush aside. I also wish someone would explain to me why being a pro-business Democrat is bad. Why is that the standard issue press comment when talking about a successful person considering a run as a Democrat?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 12, 2009

    Rep. Pete Olson, Chickenshit

    Really, Pete Olson? REALLY?

    I'M A TEXAN. For damn near a decade I've watched our leaders in Washington, some of them from Texas, act like chickenshits about terrorists. Most Americans I know aren't scared of terrorists. Every Texan I know would grab a gun and fight before running and hiding. In fact, they'd be more concerned with how to lynch these 'terrorists' if they end up in a Texas prison than they would about other terrorists attacking.

    Pete, you're a Grade-A coward. Quit whining, titbaby and man up.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 11, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up. Enjoy this week's look at the best of the TPA.

    TXsharon made another video this week and it's gross! Watch it on Bluedaze then answer this question and this question if you can and know that HELP IS ON THE WAY!

    And speaking of Oil and Gas, WhosPlayin analyzed a contract his city of Lewisville made, leasing its mineral rights cheap to purposely bring in oil and gas development to the suburban Texas city of 92,000.

    The Texas Cloverleaf brings you the Trinity Toll Road Boondoggle, soon to be funded by your tax dollars.

    There are four US Attorneys in Texas. Off the Kuff takes a look at the people who want one of those jobs.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about the changing mental state in America. Are people becoming meaner? What do you think about our Mean Economy Spotlights Mean Spirits - Op Ed

    Violence in Mexico and on the US border can't be ignored any longer. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants Hillary Clinton, not Glenn Beck, to provide solutions.

    Adam at Three Wise Men explores the possibility of Howard Dean as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Neil at Texas Liberal writes about President Obama's policies for rural America. Our cities and rural areas have more in common than we realize. It would be good if urban and rural office holders in the Texas Legislature would think about and talk about how they could help each other.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the fireworks over UTIMCO this week in Oh, the outrage!.

    Over at Texas Kaos, lightseeker asks How Long Will We Have to Put Up With these Arrogant Tools? What has set him off is deposed Czar Craddick's last corrupt act - destroying potential evidence of big a tool he is and was.

    jobsanger tells us A Tale Of Two Coaches. Both are winning high school coaches, but one is a real teacher and the other is an embarrassment.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the fact that State Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stepehenville) is spending campaign cash to buy stocks in companies like AIG, Halliburton, and more.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A duo for Dunbar

    Kuff and BOR have posts up about the fight for the seat on the SBOE now occupied by the odious Cynthia Dunbar (named by her HS graduating class as Most Likely To Go Full-Tilt Nutter... Who said HS superlatives were not accurate predictors of the future?!?).

    Both announced candidates are insanely overqualified for SBOE by virtue of the fact that they aren't crazy. So, the choice boils down to, who is most likely to take this to Cynthia and really go for the jugular? Who is going to actually fight this to win, not as some sort of grand debate?

    My money is on Shelton... well, it will be as soon as she can start raising money.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | 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

    Deregulation FAIL

    In 1999, Texas deregulated the retail electricity market. Austin kept it's municipal power company and remained regulated. Since 1999, rates have increased by 25% in Austin. In the deregulated parts of Texas, rates have gone up 64%. The industry wants to blame it on increases in natural gas prices but other states that are dependent on natural gas saw far lower increases in prices.

    The best part of the Statesman piece was this from Senator turned industry lobbyist David Sibley...

    The Legislature passed a sweeping deregulation law in 1999 that sought to break down electric company monopolies and remove strict government control over retail electricity rates. The idea was to allow competitive market forces to drive down prices. The sponsor of the legislation, former Sen. David Sibley, acknowledges that rates have gone up but said he still considers the law a success.

    Sibley, who now lobbies for power companies and others, blames the hikes on increased natural gas prices. He said Texas is far too dependent on natural gas and would see lower rates if it diversified to coal, nuclear and other energy sources.

    "The fuel mix is a problem," Sibley said. "We're building nothing but natural gas plants."

    But the report found that even when compared with neighboring states that are also heavily dependent on natural gas, Texas has higher rates. Oklahoma and Louisiana, for example, are big users of natural gas but did not deregulate their markets as Texas did, the data show.

    So, David, you told us that deregulation would save us money. Now, while working as an industry lobbyist, you want us to believe another of your lies? Sure thing. But first, would you mind setting your hair on fire?

    Texans will see lower electricity rates when we reregulate the market. Let's be honest, markets work best when someone is looking over industry's shoulder.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 03, 2009

    Uniball and the Magic Smoking Crusade...

    Why is it that EVERY FUCKING ARTICLE about Lance Armstrong has to mention that he's a survivor of testicular cancer, especially when the article is about a smoking ban?

    Seriously, smoking doesn't give you ball cancer. Bad genetics and doping are usually the factors that cause testicular cancer. I just don't understand why it has to be mentioned in the same damn sentence. Take this one, for example, from an article about the roll out of the anti-smoking anywhere crusade...

    On Thursday, when seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong stood outside the Texas Capitol to tell supporters that he was calling on lawmakers to support a statewide smoking ban, about seven protesters held signs telling him to "butt out" or "Go back to France."

    The funny thing? This is an article about the protesters being treated unfairly by State Troopers, not about the ban or Lance Armstrong. The press falls all over this guy but really, everyone else is just sick of his shit. Of course, they're really going to enjoy him telling them that they can't have a drink and a cigarette at a bar.

    I'll let you all in on a little secret... we smoke to make the annoying losers like Lance Armstrong go away. We don't want you little pipsqueaks around, get it? If you've ever whined about a club or a bar being 'smokey', you're one of those people. People stopped inviting you out because, really, you're a goddamn drag.

    Just wanted you to know.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Blog Round-Up.

    In her first ever YouTube video, TXsharon shows the emissions boiling into the air when a Barnett Shale gas well undergoes hydraulic fracture.

    jobsanger examines the modern Republicans who call themselves conservatives, but have betrayed the beliefs and philosophical standards of past conservatives in Where Are The Real Conservatives?

    Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men has something to say about the student loan mess that's making it impossible for many young adults to attend college these days.

    The Texas Cloverleaf shows that pictures can tell a thousand words. And the pictures of ships at anchor in Singapore is telling the world we are screwed.

    Burnt Orange Report discusses the over 22,000 voters
    being purged from the Hidalgo County Voter Rolls.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme explains how the Republican free market principles work in real life using contaminated peanut butter as exhibit A.

    Redistricting isn't just a state issue. The City of Houston is under pressure to redraw its City Council lines Off the Kuff takes a look at where this stands.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed at the social progress creeping around the world. America elects a half black, half white President. Iceland appoints an openly lesbian Prime Minister. Whats next? Yes We Can - Iceland Courageous

    Easter Lemming Liberal News writes his congressman while considering the Republican death spiral.

    WhosPlayin announced 46,000 layoffs this past week - just in the blogging industry.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out John Carter's latest shenanigans in Carter's political ploy, the "Rangel Rule".

    Things can get pretty ugly between fans of competing sports franchises and we at McBlogger were not immune as Cap'n Kroc and Harry tear each other apart.

    Over at Texas Kaos, Libby Shaw's keeping an eye on Senator Jackass of Texas as he tries to heighten his national profile at the expense of American families. in his latest hit, the buckskin fringed one votes against children having health care. Again.


    The Republicans are having an identity crisis, and the election of Michael Steele as RNC chair is not likely to help them solve it. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs observes that Rush Limbaugh is still calling the shots, and they are all cheap.


    Neil at Texas Liberal offers some thoughts on city elections in Houston.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston publishes what Rick Perry really said at his campaign kickoff speech in the Capitol.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:34 AM | 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 29, 2009

    The return of a non-native son

    PhotobucketPresident Bush returned to Texas last week, receiving a hero's welcome in Midland. Because those people are fuckall crazy and most of them think he's a native.

    I wish the son of a bitch, his mamma and his daddy would go the hell back to Connecticut. Coby has a bunch on just how well Bush did in office.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | 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 20, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    While you're waiting for the nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue to end, please read the best postings from the Texas Progressive Alliance.

    Easter Lemming Liberal News is pondering the future of newspapers with net marketing guru Seth Godin and the Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston is counting down till the end of an error

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks at an outgoing Denton County Commissioner becoming a TxDOT spokesperson.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the early campaign finance reports for KBH and Rick Perry.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that while the house plays nice with Straus, the senate went all Craddick/DeLay/Rove batsh*t crazy. Many think that Republican bully partisanship will continue to bite them at the polls.

    Neil at Texas Liberal contuines to wonder how Houston Democratic Councilman James Rodriguez, and others, can support a Republican for citywide office. This post also includes a happy picture of dancing from Singing In The Rain.

    McBlogger gets some answers from Sen. Carona (well, from Steve Polunsky who was channeling Sen. Carona) about why Sen. Carona is still keeping CDA's on the table. It'll come as a HUGE shock that McBlogger is still not buying it.

    jobsanger takes on a couple of the Panhandle's worst legislators. He notes that while the Panhandle is a natural for renewable wind energy, Sen. Kel Seliger is pushing coal energy in Has Seliger Flipped Out Or Sold Out? and points out that Rep. Warren Chisum is the Panhandle's Biggest Embarrassment.

    As Kay Bailey Hutchison starts her semi-annual tease about running for Governor, Texas Kaos diarist Libby Shaw notes that Fat Cats (are) Emptying Pockets for Senator-Will-She-or-Wont-She. Some folks never learn. At least with this week's Quorum Report analysis about Henry Cisneros as a potential candidate there will be something else to talk about for 2010...

    After Twittering his experiences in the Capitol on the first two days of the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature, Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at why Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has adopted the personality of former House Speaker Tom Craddick.

    refinish69 continues his harrowing journey through the homeless situation. Part 6 of the series leaves more questions than answers but gives some insight into his situation. While not having access to Doing My Part For The Left, he does appreciate Texas Kaos and other blogs for allowing him to post his story.

    Burnt Orange Report compiles all the information from the first campaign finance reports for candidate seeking to join the Austin City Council or become the city's Mayor.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson takes a look at Diana Maldonado's first day in the Texas Legislature.

    Big Oil is just exactly like Big Tobacco so even though the Texas Railroad Commission recommended legal action against Braden Exploration for illegally dumping drilling waste in Wise County, TXsharon won't be surprised if nothing much happens. We just keep trying over at Bluedaze: Drilling Reform for Texas (DRTX).

    There was some contentiousness in the blogosphere last week, as a dinner with John Sharp and and a photograph of James Rodriguez created a little friction among kindred spirits and fellow travelers. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs rounded that up.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 19, 2009

    Reviewing Gov. Perry's claims of tax relief through Constitutional Amendments yields tax increases instead

    Questioning Perry's Truthfulness
    2005's Proposed Amendment 12: Revisited After 4 Years


    Once a liar, always a liar!

    Almost half a decade ago Texas Gov. Rick Perry put on his ten-gallon Stetson, saddled-up his tax-paid plane and rode all over the state lobbying to eliminate what he and his special interest health care industry called "frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits."

    Texans were promised that if they voted for this proposal, they soon would see a reduction in the costs of health care and medical related services.

    Well, just as in the most recent proposed amendment election where only 8 percent of all registered voters approved ALL 16 amendments, back in 2005 Perry and his good ol' boys got what they wanted. Proposition 12 was approved and Texans were duped.

    Looking at it 4 years later you don't have to be an Einstein or brain surgeon to see that Perry was touting another pack of lies, just as he did this time re: Proposed Amendment 15, a.k.a., "the cure for cancer."

    Also 4 years ago Perry lobbied to deregulate higher education tuition, promising Texans that doing so would decrease the cost of a college education while making institutions more competitive in associated learning costs. That proposition was approved also. After 4 successive tuition increases since the proposal was accepted, tuition costs are the highest ever in the state.

    Texans already have seen what a load of buffalo chips their governor REALLY is regarding Prop. 15.

    By the way, I just got another letter from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Texas telling me that they have to increase my family's premium again and another notice from the University of Texas stating it regrets having to increase my children's tuition!

    ---

    Peter Stern of Driftwood, Texas, a former director of information services, university professor and public school administrator, is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a disabled Vietnam veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees.



    Posted by pstern at 05:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 14, 2009

    Karl Rove joins TP&W Foundation Board of Directors

    One question for you, dough boy

    When’s the last time you went deer hunting with Cheney?

    Well, that’s too long. Go now, right now. Heaven forbid someone might think you’re feminine.

    Forget the muzzleloaders though. Takes too long to load and the accuracy is suspect, and hang fire can make someone flinch.

    While we’re talking about guns and the foundation, another new board member is Austin gun dealer Joe McBride, who last summer had this to say about the fear of an Obama presidency.

    “This summer, sales at McBride’s Guns in Austin are 10 percent higher, compared with the same time last year. “Our regular client base is very concerned about anti-gun legislation if the wrong people get elected,” adding “what they see as the wrong people.”

    We’re sure Ole Joe has nothing but the utmost respect for that colored boy.

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

    January 08, 2009

    Shocking Toll Developments!

  • Bush increasing toll rates across the country as a final 'fuck you!' to working men and women. If nothing else, the son of a bitch is consistent.

    Here's the thing... most of the public authorities aren't required to operate at 'fair market value' because they don't have to make a profit and fmv would include a profit for a private company and it's shareholders.

    Lookit, privatizing roads makes no damn sense. The market works when there are choices and it's best with goods that are fungible to a certain extent. However, making consumers choose between sitting at traffic lights for 20 miles or paying $10 to travel a limited access roadway is not the ultimate freedom of the market. It's extortion of the public by a private entity (a de facto monopoly), fully sanctioned by the government.

  • Legislative Study Committee on Private Participation in Toll Projects is out and, yes, we missed it. Well, we missed it for a couple of days but we've really just been studying it. And frankly, this picture rather neatly sums up our opinion of the work done by our elected officials.

    Photobucket

    EOW has a nice and civil post up about this that's pretty detailed. Benny also did an article about it and hit on a couple of high points. Of course, the authors found that what the TTI concluded in it's report two years ago was incorrect. Without showing their math. Seriously, what more would you expect from people who all support or supported privatization?

    Honestly, the dissents coming off this thing would make it a worthless document even if it didn't directly contradict far more competent work by far smarter people. Issues they missed...

    1) The report of the TTI.
    2) They performed no critical analysis regarding the actual transportation shortfall or the funding available to meet demands.
    3) A naked assumption (that private is always better) is absolutely, empirically wrong. 130 is still not open on time. Work is still being done on 45/1. 130 is falling apart. These just a few of the local issues. I've driven on private and public toll roads all over the state. The public ones are better (and they collect tolls exactly the same way)
    4) They completely failed to address forced buyback/taxpayer paid risk. There are clauses in some privatization contracts that call for taxpayers to pay the difference between actual and projected toll revenue should the private operator not make what it thought it would make. As a diehard capitalist, I make money by taking risk so it offends me when a private company negotiates a deal with the government in which they make money regardless.
    5) Completely failed to address benefits of government financing vs. private financing (the private is more expensive)

    Of course, among the laughable 'conclusions' were the necessity of non-compete clauses (No shit, right? You don't say that a private company will only be interested in a monopoly? How surprising!) and private roads are more likely to be on time (which completely disregards the fact that most reconstruction of an existing roadway is going on in, wait for it, A BUSY URBAN AREA and the projects are funded on a pay as you go basis. Meanwhile, the private roads are fully financed and funded upfront. So, the question smart people would ask is, "WHY NOT FUND PUBLIC ROADS THE SAME WAY?").

    Needless to say, the report so eagerly awaited by so many is complete and total bullshit.

  • Texans for Public Justice has released an excellently written (and very well researched) report on bribes from toll developers to public officials. I'm sorry, did I say bribes? That's such an ugly word. I meant contributions but you can surely see the similarity.

  • Posted by mcblogger at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 07, 2009

    Innovative Connections In Dookie

    TXDOT has killed the TTC. No longer will the massive project building new roads and tolling existing roads be called TTC. It will now be known as Innovative Connectivity in Texas. I don't know about y'all but that sounds more like a seamless WiFi system than rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure but that's that they want to do. Call it ICT.

    Which is just as easy an acronym to hate on because, in aggregate, what people hated about this was the privatization of infrastructure and the funding mechanism. And, of course, the abusive use of eminent domain.

    EOW, Vince, Kuff and Todd at BOR all have their takes, but they're united in thinking this is more a name change, less a strategy change.

    Now the focus shifts over to the Lege. Everyone wants a piece of TXDOT and it's time, frankly, to divvy it up. Sen. Carona (lookit! We're being nice!) has also said that he's focused on indexing the gas tax. What's being left unsaid is the termination of the public private partnerships which have been used as a euphemism for road privatization. Now, the politicos won't admit it but the meltdown in the financial markets have really been a drag on issuing toll revenue bonds because

    1) No one wants to buy anything right now, other than Treasuries.
    2) Toll revenue bonds perform like subprime mortgage credits.
    3) To reinforce point 2, IF YOU INVEST MONEY IN TOLL PRIVATIZATION BONDS, YOU WILL LOSE MONEY.

    Of course, this is just for the privatized stuff. While I have a massive problem with the unfairness of tolling, my overriding issue has always been privatization with no risk being born by the free market and taxpayers left on the hook indefinitely. Regular tolling may not be fair for the working poor but neither is the sales tax. And, frankly, the vast majority of you deserve what you get. You either didn't vote or voted for Republicans. Just so you know my motives really are pure, I make a lot of money. I can afford to drive on these roads all day.

    Regardless, I want the door completely closed on public private partnerships. They aren't innovative, they don't magically create money and they are basically only a way to take money from taxpayers and give them to friends of the Governor. What we need is fiscal responsibility and rational decision making. And no mas with the political hacks running transportation, right Deidre?

    Oh, before I forget, in case you were wondering soon I will be posting about that Legislative Study Bullshit on Transportation Financing. Trust me, it won't be pretty.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Four more seats

    According to Greg, it looks like Texas will get four more congressional seats as a result of the 2010 census. What WILL we do with those seats? Is there no way we could give them all to Doggett? Or at least give Travis County another seat so I didn't have to be represented by that asshat McCaul?

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

    January 02, 2009

    TPA - Texan Of The Year

    TPA logo.jpg

    The Texas Progressive Alliance Tuesday announced that the Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign had been named its “Texan of the Year” for 2008.

    Also earning honors from the Alliance were Texans for Obama, TexBlog PAC, and the late Jim Mattox, who were each named “Gold Star Texans” for 2008.

    Winning 27 of 34 countywide races in Texas’ most populous county didn’t happen overnight, and the Harris County Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign managed not only to win seats with quality candidates, but to increase Democratic voter turnout and revive the Democratic Party in Harris County.

    “The Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign is a shining example of what is possible with the help and support of thousands of grassroots Democrats and a well-run party infrastructure,” said Texas Progressive Alliance Chair Vince Leibowitz. “Every person who knocked on doors, made phone calls, and volunteered in Harris County should be very proud of what they accomplished in 2008,” he continued.

    The Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign is the Alliance’s fourth recipient of its “Texan of the Year Award.” The campaign joins former State Rep. Carter Casteel of New Braunfels, who won the award in 2005; Carolyn Boyle of Texas Parent PAC, who took home the honor in 2006; and the trio of State Reps. Garnet Coleman, Jim Dunnam, and Pete Gallego who shared the honor in 2007.

    Also honored this year were the organizations Texans for Obama and TexBlog PAC along with the late Jim Mattox, the former Texas Attorney General who passed away on November 20.

    The Texan of the Year Award is voted on annually by the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance, the largest state-level organization of bloggers, blogs, and Netroots activists in the United States.

    ABOUT THE HONOREES

    TEXAN OF THE YEAR: Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign

    The Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign faced a daunting task in 2008: Take Texas' largest county, which hadn't elected a Democrat to any countywide office in over a decade and which went for George Bush by ten points in 2004, and turn it blue. And they had to do it amid the high expectations that followed Dallas' fabled blue sweep in 2006, with the Harris County GOP knowing they were being targeted. And they had to start from scratch, since there hadn't been any kind of effort like it in anyone's memory. Oh, and in the middle of it all they had to abandon their headquarters and move to a new location thanks to the damage that Hurricane Ike wrought.

    But they had a plan. And a budget. And buy-in from all the candidates. And strong leadership, starting with the vision of people like Dave Mathieeson and Gerry Birnberg, the operational know-how of Bill Kelly and Jamaal Smith, and the dedication and hard work of many, many people. They opened branch offices all around the county and drew on the energy of Democrats new and old. They knocked on doors, made calls, sent mail, and spread the message of Democratic change everywhere.

    And in the end, they succeeded, with Democrats winning 27 of 34 countywide races. They boosted turnout in the traditional Democratic areas, and improved performance all across the county. They relentlessly pushed an early-vote message, which translated into leads of 50,000 votes or more for most candidates going into Election Day. They stressed the importance of voting Democratic all the way down the ballot, which minimized undervoting in the lower-profile races. They brought in new voters and brought back those who had given up hope, and got them all on the same page.

    Add it all up, and the new year will bring new Democratic judges, a new Sheriff, a new County Attorney, a new District Clerk, and two new County Department of Education trustees. For that, and for the promise that 2010 will bring even more success and help pave the way towards turning all of Texas blue, the Texas Progressive Alliance is proud to name the Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign its Texan of the Year for 2008.

    GOLD STAR TEXAN: Texans For Obama

    Texans for Obama highlights what a group of activists and politicos can do when they work together. Texans for Obama never was formally part of the Obama campaign, but its size and influence made it a force in Texas politics. In 2007, before Senator Barack Obama had even announced he was running for office, Texans for Obama organized the largest rally in Texas political history with over 20,000 in attendance. Its leadership and numbers grew from Auditorium Shores. Once Senator Obama announced his candidacy, Texans for Obama became the Texas campaign. In a bizarre twist, they become the most interesting campaign in the nation after Super Tuesday and leading into the March 5 Democratic primary. With little early help from a national infrastructure, Texans for Obama talked to hundreds of thousands of Democrats in Texas and beyond. It educated Texas primary voters about the “Texas Two Step” or primacaucus system and even sparked a debate on the future of how the Democratic primary system will proceed. Novice political activists turned into seasoned political consultants overnight and a new generation of Democrats were born. This grassroots campaign’s impact is still its infancy, but its potential is limited only by the imagination of everyday Texans.

    GOLD STAR TEXAN: TexBlog PAC

    TexBlog PAC is a group of seven members of the Texas Progressive Alliance that worked to help Democrats win back the Texas House in 2008. TexBlog PAC raised over $65,000 this year for Texas Democrats. Four of five endorsed PAC candidates went on to win their election, with each candidate receiving support in the online community as well as at least $6,000 each in contributions. The PAC also worked on a GOTV program in Travis County. Run entirely through volunteer efforts, TexBlog PAC made a simple yet strong contribution to Texas politics in 2008, and will only grow as the power of the netroots is realized across the state of Texas.

    GOLD STAR TEXAN: Jim Mattox

    Jim Mattox rose from a working class neighborhood in Dallas to the top of Texas politics, leaving an indelible mark on an entire era in state government and creating a legacy that continues to touch the lives of ordinary Texans every day. A luminary and a fighter, Jim Mattox was hailed in death as a man who, as “The People’s Lawyer,” helped shape Texas Government in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The son of a sheetmetal worker and waitress, Mattox rose through the electoral ranks from the state legislature to Congress to the Attorney General’s office, a post from which Mattox doggedly fought for the little guy. From taking on the airlines to the insurance industry on behalf of Texas consumers, his heart, always, was with the people. After unsuccessful runs for Texas Governor in 1990 and an attempt to regain the AG’s post in the late 1990s, Mattox retired to a more private life, but continued to work for his party. Most recently, Mattox fought to change the complex and time consuming “primacaucus” system that plagued the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in Texas, calling the system an embarrassment to the party. He spoke out on the issue about a week before his death in what would be his last public appearance. From taking on insurance companies to bringing a truckload of furniture to the Travis County Democratic Party Headquarters this summer after hearing the office was in need, Mattox was always helping the underdog.

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

    January 01, 2009

    Roundin' Up The TPA - 2008 Year End

    Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind...and, if you remember the rest of the song, you're doing one better than we are. At any rate, it is the last Monday of the year and that means it is time for the Texas Progressive Alliance's End-Of-Year Round-Up For 2008.

    2008 was a heck of a year for Texas Progressives. The Presidential Primary came to Texas (for real), we caucused, conventioned, challenged, credentialed, voted, elected, counted, re-counted, brought Netroots Nation to Texas, watched Tom Craddick fight for his life, said farewell to legends, got a head start to on the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison and more. A lot more.

    It is in that spirit that we bring you the final round-up of 2008. Enjoy.

    jobsanger has posted on a variety of subjects, including the popularity of George Bush in 11% Of Americans Are IDIOTS, the Ku Klux Klan in The Klan Is Still Stupid, a plan to steal water from the Panhandle in The Coming Rape Of The Ogallala Aquifer, the fall of a county sheriff in Potter County Sheriff Indicted On Felony Charges and Potter County Sheriff Convicted, and the 2010 governor's race in Who's The Dem In 2010 Governor Race?

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston has blogged on a number of issues concerning Bob Perry's home building industry, the Texas Ethics Commission, insurance deregulation, electricity deregulation, and including some humorous posts. One of his favorites series is Spending Campaign Cash which has resulted in a number of stories in the news and contributed to a bill to be filed by State Representative Senfronia Thompson.

    South Texas Chisme covered such entertaining South Texas stories from the original
    DA Hissy Fit
    to his poor imitation, various ethics problems including a
    few felonies to helping Republicans recover and Democrats to prosper. And, we
    never forget about that Republican monument to racism and fear otherwise known as that d*mn fence!

    As he approaches his seventh anniversary as a blogger, Off the Kuff decided to look forward rather than back on the year. My thanks to my TPA colleagues for all they do, and my best wishes to all for a great 2009.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks back on 2008, as it's first full year on the blog scene comes to a close. The DNC kicked off the year by picking the Jewish named donkey over the black one for it's mascot, in what would become the ultimate irony of the political season. Adding to ironies, cash strapped TxDOT gave away $20 million for a Dallas park. We were introduced to GOP family values: 16 US Senators, including our own from Texas, voted against funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, leading to more deaths, and the Palin clan popped out more replacements as part of God's will. Don't forget to carve the backwards B on your face for posterity. 2008 was a whirlwind and couldn't have been more dramatic. Here is to a 2009 with the same kind of flair!

    Neil at Texas Liberal wishes everyone good luck in the New Year. Here is my post on controversy regarding what may or may not be the world's largest potato. Please visit Texas Liberal in 2009. I work hard to make the blog worth reading.

    As 2008 comes to a close, circumstances have limited Refinish69's access to his own blog, Doing My Part For the Left. He's nonetheless written a compelling series hosted on various national and local blogs that shares what it is to be homeless in Austin. Homeless in Austin-An Insider's View is a four part series so far and Refinish69 wants to thank all those who've helped him get this story more attention. Part 1 at Momocrats. Parts 2, 3, and 4 at Texas Kaos.

    Texas Kaos frontpagers have covered a wide variety of issues both national and Texan. Krazypuppy wrote a cautionary tale of how far Republican hubris can go inAll Southerner's Should Know Don Siegalman's False Imprisonment Story" Refinish69 shared one man's story of unexpected impact of the historic Democratic extended primary in A Trip to the Gas Station: No it's not a Curious George book Lightseeker reported on the convention for SD 15 and the contrast between previous years. He also gave great pointers on political discourse with the neighbors. SCCS did a series on the congressional races all over Texas, and was our correspondent in the Big Tent at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Txsharon's contributions keeping us abreast of what Big Dirty Oil and Gas are up to are so valuable it's hard to pick only a few, but proving that a picture is worth a thousand words, Barnett Shale Sludge Pond Pictures is a must see (and read).

    BossKitty at TruthHugger sees no other options ... Retirement or Exile, Show Bush The Exit.

    At Eye On Williamson this year the election took up much of our time on the blog. From candidate filings, to the massive turnout for the Williamson County Democratic Party primary and convention, all the way through to electing the first Democratic state representative in Williamson County since 1992 - Diana Maldonado. There were still the same local issues popping up like road projects that are bad deals for the taxpayers, the county landfill, and the T. Don Hutto family prison in Taylor.

    It's been a year of excitement at McBlogger. We've looked deeply at medical tourism and James Dobson's fear of homos. We've also, occasionally, talked about the meltdown in the financial sector. And Mr. The Plumber.

    WhosPlayin shared his experience working the Democratic Primary and then the Denton County Democratic Convention back in March. In May, the Earth
    opened up and
    swallowed part of Daisetta, TX. In September, WhosPlayin suggested how a financial industry bailout could work and be transparent. Over the Christmas holiday, WhosPlayin rolled out a new Congressional Campaign Finance research website.

    Over at Capitol Annex, Vince Leibowitz had a difficult time trying to select his favorites out of 2,470 posts published (so far) during 2008, but finally settled on a few. After a long PrimaCaucus season and hair-raising state convention, he posted some Random Thoughts on the 2008 TDP Convention. As the election cycle went on, he pondered why anyone would want to re-elect State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake), and told the world about a racist mailer that had been sent out against State Rep. Allen Vaught. After the election season, he memorialized "The People's Lawyer," Jim Mattox, and noted that Tom DeLay's wife was trying to quash a subpoena in a civil lawsuit related to the now-defunct Americans for a Republican Majority.

    Mean Rachel started off 2008 with An Open Letter to Whom She Was in 2007, and proceeded to write open letters to just about everyone, including Mark Strama and Elliot Elliott Naishtat. She met Barack Obama, got Obama license plates, and subsequently had her tires slashed because of them. She also wrote for the Texas Observer in Denver and daydreamed about Republican pornography. Finally, in June, Mean Rachel asked for serenity now, and wondered if Americans would ever have the wisdom to change. By November, she had her answer.

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

    Roundin' Up The TPA - 2008 Year End

    Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind...and, if you remember the rest of the song, you're doing one better than we are. At any rate, it is the last Monday of the year and that means it is time for the Texas Progressive Alliance's End-Of-Year Round-Up For 2008.

    2008 was a heck of a year for Texas Progressives. The Presidential Primary came to Texas (for real), we caucused, conventioned, challenged, credentialed, voted, elected, counted, re-counted, brought Netroots Nation to Texas, watched Tom Craddick fight for his life, said farewell to legends, got a head start to on the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison and more. A lot more.

    It is in that spirit that we bring you the final round-up of 2008. Enjoy.

    jobsanger has posted on a variety of subjects, including the popularity of George Bush in 11% Of Americans Are IDIOTS, the Ku Klux Klan in The Klan Is Still Stupid, a plan to steal water from the Panhandle in The Coming Rape Of The Ogallala Aquifer, the fall of a county sheriff in Potter County Sheriff Indicted On Felony Charges and Potter County Sheriff Convicted, and the 2010 governor's race in Who's The Dem In 2010 Governor Race?

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston has blogged on a number of issues concerning Bob Perry's home building industry, the Texas Ethics Commission, insurance deregulation, electricity deregulation, and including some humorous posts. One of his favorites series is Spending Campaign Cash which has resulted in a number of stories in the news and contributed to a bill to be filed by State Representative Senfronia Thompson.

    South Texas Chisme covered such entertaining South Texas stories from the original
    DA Hissy Fit
    to his poor imitation, various ethics problems including a
    few felonies to helping Republicans recover and Democrats to prosper. And, we
    never forget about that Republican monument to racism and fear otherwise known as that d*mn fence!

    As he approaches his seventh anniversary as a blogger, Off the Kuff decided to look forward rather than back on the year. My thanks to my TPA colleagues for all they do, and my best wishes to all for a great 2009.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks back on 2008, as it's first full year on the blog scene comes to a close. The DNC kicked off the year by picking the Jewish named donkey over the black one for it's mascot, in what would become the ultimate irony of the political season. Adding to ironies, cash strapped TxDOT gave away $20 million for a Dallas park. We were introduced to GOP family values: 16 US Senators, including our own from Texas, voted against funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, leading to more deaths, and the Palin clan popped out more replacements as part of God's will. Don't forget to carve the backwards B on your face for posterity. 2008 was a whirlwind and couldn't have been more dramatic. Here is to a 2009 with the same kind of flair!

    Neil at Texas Liberal wishes everyone good luck in the New Year. Here is my post on controversy regarding what may or may not be the world's largest potato. Please visit Texas Liberal in 2009. I work hard to make the blog worth reading.

    As 2008 comes to a close, circumstances have limited Refinish69's access to his own blog, Doing My Part For the Left. He's nonetheless written a compelling series hosted on various national and local blogs that shares what it is to be homeless in Austin. Homeless in Austin-An Insider's View is a four part series so far and Refinish69 wants to thank all those who've helped him get this story more attention. Part 1 at Momocrats. Parts 2, 3, and 4 at Texas Kaos.

    Texas Kaos frontpagers have covered a wide variety of issues both national and Texan. Krazypuppy wrote a cautionary tale of how far Republican hubris can go inAll Southerner's Should Know Don Siegalman's False Imprisonment Story" Refinish69 shared one man's story of unexpected impact of the historic Democratic extended primary in A Trip to the Gas Station: No it's not a Curious George book Lightseeker reported on the convention for SD 15 and the contrast between previous years. He also gave great pointers on political discourse with the neighbors. SCCS did a series on the congressional races all over Texas, and was our correspondent in the Big Tent at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Txsharon's contributions keeping us abreast of what Big Dirty Oil and Gas are up to are so valuable it's hard to pick only a few, but proving that a picture is worth a thousand words, Barnett Shale Sludge Pond Pictures is a must see (and read).

    BossKitty at TruthHugger sees no other options ... Retirement or Exile, Show Bush The Exit.

    At Eye On Williamson this year the election took up much of our time on the blog. From candidate filings, to the massive turnout for the Williamson County Democratic Party primary and convention, all the way through to electing the first Democratic state representative in Williamson County since 1992 - Diana Maldonado. There were still the same local issues popping up like road projects that are bad deals for the taxpayers, the county landfill, and the T. Don Hutto family prison in Taylor.

    It's been a year of excitement at McBlogger. We've looked deeply at medical tourism and James Dobson's fear of homos. We've also, occasionally, talked about the meltdown in the financial sector. And Mr. The Plumber.

    WhosPlayin shared his experience working the Democratic Primary and then the Denton County Democratic Convention back in March. In May, the Earth
    opened up and
    swallowed part of Daisetta, TX. In September, WhosPlayin suggested how a financial industry bailout could work and be transparent. Over the Christmas holiday, WhosPlayin rolled out a new Congressional Campaign Finance research website.

    Over at Capitol Annex, Vince Leibowitz had a difficult time trying to select his favorites out of 2,470 posts published (so far) during 2008, but finally settled on a few. After a long PrimaCaucus season and hair-raising state convention, he posted some Random Thoughts on the 2008 TDP Convention. As the election cycle went on, he pondered why anyone would want to re-elect State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake), and told the world about a racist mailer that had been sent out against State Rep. Allen Vaught. After the election season, he memorialized "The People's Lawyer," Jim Mattox, and noted that Tom DeLay's wife was trying to quash a subpoena in a civil lawsuit related to the now-defunct Americans for a Republican Majority.

    Mean Rachel started off 2008 with An Open Letter to Whom She Was in 2007, and proceeded to write open letters to just about everyone, including Mark Strama and Elliot Elliott Naishtat. She met Barack Obama, got Obama license plates, and subsequently had her tires slashed because of them. She also wrote for the Texas Observer in Denver and daydreamed about Republican pornography. Finally, in June, Mean Rachel asked for serenity now, and wondered if Americans would ever have the wisdom to change. By November, she had her answer.

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

    December 29, 2008

    Oh, Pauli...

    EOW has a nice summary piece up about Burka's post tearing down a John Sharp Senate run. Now, I like John Sharp, but Burka is quite possibly right about his inability to run a good race.

    Honestly, I can say that about a lot of Democrats. What Burka and many others aren't ready for is a real, funded, total war campaign with a candidate who can get away with calling his opponent a son of a bitch in front of a bunch of little old ladies. I know of a few candidates like that.

    And I know of a few campaigns on the 2010 horizon that are going to be just like that. Sharp has the potential to be that, but I don't think he will. I don't think he's got the desire to stab his opponent in the gut, have him made into chili and then serve him to guests.

    But I could be wrong.


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

    December 19, 2008

    39% is a...

    ... failure. And it's detailed. Here.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:48 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 12, 2008

    Get. Out. Of. My. Way.

    As someone who is constantly stymied by slower drivers who tie up the left lane because they are:

    1) Going the speed limit and that's perfectly fine for everyone. I like to call these people the Community Cops. I hope they all get eyeball headaches every afternoon. At 3:00.

    2) People going 5 miles over the limit who think they are being dangerous while trying to pass someone.

    3) People going 10 miles over the limit who think they are badass. These are usually college or high school kids in their giant trucks or SUVs who have no concept of other people. This group also includes hicks whose egos simply can not take the defeat of being passed on the freeway.

    and finally...

    4) People who get into the left lane then drive at exactly the same speed as the people in the right lane. These people I hate with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Imagine my happiness when I found that in Washington and other states they are now fining people who drive too slow in the left lane. Or linger there.

    Until the Lege can pass something similar, I'll be buying this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    December 09, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    The long held assumption that Texas was safely red seems to be taking a few hits, notes Lightseeker at Texas Kaos, in Trouble in Red Paradise?

    DosCentavos expands on comments from LatinaListaon the one tool that Latinos have failed to use to get ahead in politics, business, etc.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme warns us that Republican agitators are on the loose making stuff up for their wedge'em and hate'em crusades. Are there enough Hispanics in top roles? What will happen for Rick Noriega and Juan Garcia?

    According to jobsanger, the War on Christmas is alive and well. Another Volley In "War On Christmas has been fired, this time from the heartland of America, as an Iowa publisher is selling christmas cards for atheists.

    Off the Kuff takes a look that Hill Research Consultants poll that says the Republican brand is eroding in Texas.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston says Speaker Tom Craddick Can't have his cake and health care too concerning how Craddick fought for health care for his adult well to do daughter while fighting to deny health care to poor kids.

    McBlogger's latest rant on the state of traffic in Texas prompted this little bit of comeuppance from Mayor McSleaze.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Houston Mayor Bill White is expected to announce his plans in regard to 2010 this week.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is angry that the Texas Republican Party, in general, has favored BIG Business, including Medical Corporations who see the sick as dollar signs. Texas looks like it leads the pack in putting dollars above life quality. Texas needs to reinstate the Hippocratic oath and throw out the Hypocritical oath it has been following. US Health Care Plunges, Texas Drops 9 Points

    Dembones at Eye On Williamson analyzes the recent poll that's causing a stir Texas GOP In Panic Over Recent Poll.

    The kinder, gentler Kay Bailey Hutchison -- with a little help from her pal Karl Rove -- is trotting out for display. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the revoltin' development.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:25 PM | 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 06, 2008

    What's going on in Houston? Help Bell, Trautman

  • PhotobucketHELP CHRIS BELL! The race to win SD 17 is on and EDay is a little over a week and a half away and early voting has started (click here for locations). Click here if you live outside the district but would like to phonebank. Click here to donate to the campaign... I know, it's close to Christmas but you can give a few bucks. And to volunteer, click here.

    This is the last race in Texas and winning this one gets us one step closer to winning back the Senate. This session is going to be critical for all Texans and Texas needs Chris Bell in that seat.

  • The balls out crazy Paul Bettencourt has resigned which is really a great thing for Harris County since they won't have to worry about him spending millions to fight non-existent voter fraud. Of course, this does come less than a month after he was reelected. Which makes him a MEGA douche. Annie's List is putting Diane Trautman out there. Let's see if we can help her out!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 04, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    Now that the turkey has been eaten and your holiday decorations are up--or at least out of the garage--it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the large donors from DFW who supported Prop 8. Over $335,000 went to California from 59 individuals. Time to consider the DFW Black List!

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston is giving thanks to the GOP .

    jobsanger looks at the $7.5 million of sales tax money that Wal-Mart gets to keep every year here in Texas, and says it is time to cap the amount of tax money a business may keep to cover the cost of collecting the tax in I Learned Something New & I Don't Like It.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme wonders how hard can it be to elect someone other than Tom Craddick Speaker of the House? Geeez!

    Stace Medellin at DosCentavos reminds us why guest worker programs will fail with a story on Braceros still trying to collect monies owed themby Mexico after decades.

    Toni at WhosPlayin took some time off from political work to take in a bilingual performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Fort Worth by Teatro De La Rosa, and offers her review.

    North Texas Liberal wonders why Democrats are so anxious to throw former President Bill Clinton under the bus.

    The Burnt Orange Report takes a look at Austin activism and the Austin Prop 8 Blacklist.

    If sometimes you feel like a nut, McBlogger reports you'll be right at home on the State Board of Education.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger reflects how Bush tried and failed to show the world a morally superior nation, instead, he showed the world what hypocritical horse's asses we really are, and Why America Is No Longer THE Role Model - Op Ed

    Off the Kuff continues his analysis of Harris County precinct data with a look at HD133, the microcosm of the county.

    Neil at Texas Liberal is a big time player who drinks expensive scotch and gambles at first class casinos.

    Dembones at Eye On Williamson takes Gov. Rick Perry to task for defending Texas polluters.

    PDiddie gave thanks for illegal immigrants, the inanity of Jared Woodfill, and the life and memory of Jim Mattox at Brains and Eggs.

    Over at TexasKaos, Txsharon explains how Cheney Helped Halliburton Hide Secrets About Dangerous Chemicals in YOUR Drinking Water. . As she reports,

    The oil and gas industry is the only industry in America that is allowed by EPA to inject KNOWN hazardous material-unchecked-directly into or adjacent to underground drinking water supplies.

    EARTHWORKS-Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil and Gas Wells


    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that a state district judge has ruled that he does not have jurisdiction to rule on a case related to the House District 105 recount.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 03, 2008

    I'd just like to take a moment to say thanks!

    PhotobucketI'd just like to take a moment to say thank you to our wonderful Republican Governor, Republican Lt. Governor and Republican controlled Legislature for their hard work making it exceedingly difficult to get around this state. In fact, your fiscal irresponsibility and failed leadership have given us what I enjoyed Sunday afternoon... a two hundred mile traffic jam.

    In case you were wondering, that works out to moving at 33 MPH on a freeway with a speed limit of 70 MPH. However, the only reason the average is so high is that for the limited amount of time there were three lanes, I was able to drive 90 or faster if people moved the hell out of my way. Much of the journey was at 10 miles an hour or less.

    So, yeah, I just wanted to say thanks for putting your ideology and retarded ideas first while making the needs of your constituents a very distant second.

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

    December 02, 2008

    No more checks from Bo

    PhotobucketPilgrim's Pride has filed for bankruptcy protection. No word has been received on what Bo is going to do now that his equity has been scrubbed out.

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

    December 01, 2008

    Gee, Governor...

    I thought the Conservative paradise you've been telling us Texas is didn't need help from the Feds.

    Gov. Rick Perry lashed out at the federal government Thursday, calling its efforts to help Texas recover from Hurricane Ike "underwhelming" and "irritating."

    Perry said that more than two months after the Sept. 13 storm hit, Texas is still not getting the federal help it needs — particularly on paying for debris removal from affected counties and finding housing.

    So Texas is taking matters into its own hands and creating the Governor's Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal, Perry said at a news conference.

    Watch as what 39% does ends up screwing things up even more.

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

    November 27, 2008

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Photobucket

    Seriously, y'all, havagoodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 26, 2008

    It's official... Energy Deregulation failed

    Coby and Vince have more on the reports out recently detailing the absolute failure of electricity deregulation in Texas. Which comes as a huge shock to us.

    So why make a big deal out of it anymore? Texans in deregulation markets are getting screwed. It is plain and simple, but instead of standing up and demanding that promises of lower rates be kept, they instead tuck tail and pay twice as much as they were paying. Without question.

    According to a press conference by Governor Rick Perry:

    "There is no reason to consider re-regulating the electricity market even though rates have soared. The consumers of Texas are dumber than turkeys in a rain storm and they aren't complaining, so I ain't doing nothing."

    Ok. Perry didn't really say that, but he should. Texas consumers are dumber than dirt. Maybe they will get off their dumb ass and demand to re-regulate the industry or at least hold someone accountable.

    Those of us who have voiced our opinions would appreciate it.

    This will be an issue in 2010. While people are comfortable paying their electric bill monthly and don't really understand they COULD have it better, as soon as they find out they're going to be mad. And they'll find the Republicans an easy target.

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

    November 25, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Blog Round-Up. This is your pre-Thanksgiving edition, so enjoy it while you bake your pumpkin pies, stuff your turkey, or whatever your holiday traditions are.

    jobsanger notes that some racists seem to think this election gives them permission to once again publicly display their sick beliefs in Racist Reaction To The Election.

    The Texas Cloverleaf discusses the upcoming study that may result in a mileage based user fee rather than a gas tax for drivers in the US.

    John Coby at reports the Texas Ethics Commission Fines State Representative Carl Isett $25,000

    BossKitty at TruthHugger watches, with the rest of the world, America: A Spectator Sport or Soap Opera

    Off the Kuff analyzes the precinct data for Harris County and declares the coordinated effort to get out the Democratic vote there a success, and that the Democratic base was everywhere you looked.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme claims the religious right exposes its dark underbelly with opposition to Prop 8.

    McBlogger takes a moment to talk about the deficit, the economy and bailing us out. Because it's, you know, important.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson post on the issues the Texas GOP is grappling with post election in, The GOP brand is tarnished in Texas.

    Barnett Shale Radioactive Waste is Bone-Seeking Carcinogen When Airborne and Has 1622 Year Half-Life TXsharon at Bluedaze.

    Environment and education have been greatly on the mind of the Texas Kaos community this week. Front pager TxSharon gave us a heads up on Brett Shipp's expose of the Texas Railroad Commission on Bill Moyers Journal Friday, and diarist liberaltexan kept an eye on a Faith Based Initiative: Fundamentalist Religious Attack on Science in Texas.

    Neil at Texas Liberal says that Galveston was a disaster before as well as after Hurricane Ike.

    Vince at Capitol Annex poses a couple of questions about Tom Craddick's Secret Police and asks exactly why former State Rep. and ex-deputy parliamentarian Ron Wilson is running around the capitol with Parliamentarian Terry Keel and serving as a media escort/hatchet man for the Speaker.

    The Texas Blue looks at how Tom DeLay's gerrymandering of the state has actually made Texas weaker on the national level than a fair apportionment would have.

    The passing of Jim Mattox prompted a few reminiscences from Texas bloggers and corporate media. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs assembled a few, ahead of Monday's memorial service.

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

    November 20, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up.

    Barfly at McBlogger takes a moment to remind all of us that we better not fu*k with Barbie.

    Ruth Jones McClendon gets the Speaker's race dangerously wrong says CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the race for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and provides answers to two important questions: is a secret ballot legal and will a secret ballot doom Tom Craddick?

    Phillip at BOR counts heads for the Speaker votes, and finds that Craddick's ceiling of support is much lower than most realize.

    The Texas Cloverleaf attempts to stop the H8 in Denton, with over 120 people; and explains why the marriage amendment in Texas, and other states, is not valid.

    TxSharon atTexas Kaos warns of what should be unthinkable, but in too many Texas towns and cities is a real danger: Imagine If This Pipeline Explosion Happened In Your Front Yard.

    Dembones at Eye On Williamson maps the Democratic resurgence in Williamson County in The color purple.

    jobsanger looks at a change coming to the Democratic Party in Dean To Resign as DNC Head, and another change that is needed when he has his 1st Disagreement With Obama over kicking Lieberman out of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

    Neil at Texas Liberal posted this week on the subject of Ass Headed Demons. An upcoming new feature on Texas Liberal is going to be the Ass Headed Demon list. Stay tuned and see who makes the list. It might someday even be you!

    Off the Kuff analyzes where and when the vote was in Harris County.

    Donna at Texas Education ponders her future as a Catholic in these days of Eucharastic litmus tests.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger recognizes that Disasters Increase BioHazards - Global Health Is Personal and sees the media flashing more stories about "green living" "low carbon footprint" and "fuel economy". But underlying all that, is the unspoken reality that floods, fires, earthquakes, etc, unearth buried hazards from past and present irresponsible behavior, and are seeping back into our lives.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston says Stephanie Simmons was a candidate for State Senator in Texas Senate District 17 running as a so-called "Democrat", but her campaign donations say otherwise. See Raising Campaign Cash 2008: Stephanie Simmons.

    The week-long drama of Paul Bettencourt's continuing attempts to suppress the last of the Harris County votes, the Texas Democratic Party's legal action against him, and the anticlimactic outcome was dutifully chronicled by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    Looks like the neocon flamethrowers in the media barely waited for the ink to dry on Election Day results to commence with their right-wing fabrications. The Texas Blue takes a look at the first salvo.

    Over 300 protests took place over the weekend against California's Proposition 8, which reversed marriage equality in that state. North Texas Liberal has stories and photos from the protest march that took place in Washington, D.C.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:12 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 13, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA - Election Edition

    It's time for another Texas Progressive Alliance weekly blog round-up--but with a twist. In this edition, TPA member blogs bring you some of their best posts from the last year of election coverage. Enjoy this trip down memory lane, courtesy of the TPA.

    Muse enjoyed all things Hillary leading up to the March 4th Texas Primary. There was the Hillary endorsement post that made her mom cry. A high point was the event where Muse fulfilled her lifelong dream to touch Bill Clinton. (Little did she know there would be a more up close and personal opportunity.) She got to see Hillary four times in person, including this event. Even her Prius got in the act: Prius Owners for Hillary!

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is angry that Sarah Palin's nasty rhetoric has ignited hateful fallout, she let the white Supremacist Genie Out Of The Bottle, Thanks Sarah - There are still 'stone aged' creatures marching around calling themselves Christians, wearing NAZI paraphernalia! Woe be to anyone who would harm the first family of America! On a more personal note, BossKitty has ideas about what to do when you lose your job ... but, the most daunting agenda on our plate is that our New America Must Reduce It’s Seven Deadly Sins if we want to survive as a nation.

    Brains and Eggs had the good, the bad, the ugly, and some TBD in a series of election postmortems, and then a little more of each. PDiddie wrapped last week with the finger-pointing and recriminations that marked the last throes of the McCain-Palin campaign, which included an luxury undergarment update.

    It's been a tumultuous week for everyone, but at McBlogger it was remarkably calm. We're chalking it up to a change in prescription medications. First up was Donna Keel attacking Austin Interfaith. Then there was an attack on Diana Maldonado by her parish priest and, for us, that was enough religion for all week. The funniest thing we saw was a commercial shot by former celebrities going after Al Franken that made us want to move to Minnesota and vote for him. There was also some funny about people upset that they weren't getting help from the Federal Government, even though they didn't need it. Wrapping everything up was our final farewell to those who loved them some Austin Proposition 2.

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog covered the presidential primacaucus in Texas including Clinton’s sweep of Asian American surrogates and both candidates' Asian American outreach . Justin also scolded Hubert Vo, evaluated Noriega’s immigration plan, and was amazed that both Barack Obama and Sherrie Matula were "That Ones."

    Off the Kuff has some early observations about what happened on Election Day, plus a look at turnout figures and statewide trends.

    At Texas Kaos, the bitter and the sweet mix together as we look back on an amazing rollercoaster of an election season. While it looked like there was a contest for the U.S. Senate nomination, Boadicea put together Rick's answers for Democracy for Texas to paint a picture of the candidate, This is Rick Noriega-Texas Progressive Leader Covering the snark beat, our friend from the Soggy North, Fake Consultant, gave some pointers to a hockey mom thrust onto the national stageOn Dressing for Success, Part One, or, How Much is Armani, Anyway? and followed up with more helpful tips in On Dressing for Success, Part Two, Or, We Costume Palin… for 2/3 off! Lightseeker took a reasoned and sober look at a more serious element this election: Respecting Life, Making Hard Choices and finally makes the point that the Nov 4 vote was not an ending, but a beginning, Looking Now, Looking Forward.

    Ah the memories at The Texas Cloverleaf during the 2008 election season. The candidates would make their case on WWE Monday Night Raw. We learned that McCain would lose early on, with our own Congressman Michael Burgess advising him on healthcare. We wished Governor Palin well on her first Grandparents Day. We learned Texas Republicans can't figure out education, much less spell it correctly. But we finally came out on top with Barack Obama, and some mixed Texas results. Here is to a classic 2008!

    Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex focused a considerable amount of energy this cycle covering Texas Democrats' attempts to retake the Texas House of Representatives. From racist mailers and decitful TV ads in Dallas and Houston area House districts to the battle to unseat Texas' most ethically compromised legislator, down to catching Republicans telling blatant lies, this was a busy cycle in Texas. In the primary, he was one of a few Texas bloggers who supported Senator Hillary Clinton, and offered her this open letter when she left the race.

    Neil at Texas Liberal offers up his post on early voting in Downtown Houston. The post tells what Democrats Neil enjoyed voting for and also has colorful pictures that will please the eye.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme debunks 10 Republican excuses.

    In the 2008 primary and election, Jobsanger continued his penchant for supporting losing candidates by backing Bill Richardson, Rick Noriega, Sherrie Matula and Nancy Moffatt, before finally breaking through with a winner in Barack Obama.

    What a long strange journey it has been for the Easter Lemming. Gary has started pushing for a poll-workers union after working the primary and then another election this Spring. He found out people read blogs about as much as newspapers! Guess who the Easter Lemming supported? And finally, he ended too tired to party but not too tired to blog with a special mention that MoveOn.Org is bigger and more important than the NRA in politics now.

    It is the Monday after the election, and that means it is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance weekly blog round-up--but with a twist. In this edition, TPA member blogs bring you some of their best posts from the last year of election coverage. Enjoy this trip down memory lane, courtesy of the TPA.

    Muse enjoyed all things Hillary leading up to the March 4th Texas Primary. There was the Hillary endorsement post that made her mom cry. A high point was the event where Muse fulfilled her lifelong dream to touch Bill Clinton. (Little did she know there would be a more up close and personal opportunity.) She got to see Hillary four times in person, including this event. Even her Prius got in the act: Prius Owners for Hillary!

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is angry that Sarah Palin's nasty rhetoric has ignited hateful fallout, she let the white Supremacist Genie Out Of The Bottle, Thanks Sarah - There are still 'stone aged' creatures marching around calling themselves Christians, wearing NAZI paraphernalia! Woe be to anyone who would harm the first family of America! On a more personal note, BossKitty has ideas about what to do when you lose your job ... but, the most daunting agenda on our plate is that our New America Must Reduce It’s Seven Deadly Sins if we want to survive as a nation.

    Brains and Eggs had the good, the bad, the ugly, and some TBD in a series of election postmortems, and then a little more of each. PDiddie wrapped last week with the finger-pointing and recriminations that marked the last throes of the McCain-Palin campaign, which included an luxury undergarment update.

    It's been a tumultuous week for everyone, but at McBlogger it was remarkably calm. We're chalking it up to a change in prescription medications. First up was Donna Keel attacking Austin Interfaith. Then there was an attack on Diana Maldonado by her parish priest and, for us, that was enough religion for all week. The funniest thing we saw was a commercial shot by former celebrities going after Al Franken that made us want to move to Minnesota and vote for him. There was also some funny about people upset that they weren't getting help from the Federal Government, even though they didn't need it. Wrapping everything up was our final farewell to those who loved them some Austin Proposition 2.

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog covered the presidential primacaucus in Texas including Clinton’s sweep of Asian American surrogates and both candidates' Asian American outreach . Justin also scolded Hubert Vo, evaluated Noriega’s immigration plan, and was amazed that both Barack Obama and Sherrie Matula were "That Ones."

    Off the Kuff has some early observations about what happened on Election Day, plus a look at turnout figures and statewide trends.

    At Texas Kaos, the bitter and the sweet mix together as we look back on an amazing rollercoaster of an election season. While it looked like there was a contest for the U.S. Senate nomination, Boadicea put together Rick's answers for Democracy for Texas to paint a picture of the candidate, This is Rick Noriega-Texas Progressive Leader Covering the snark beat, our friend from the Soggy North, Fake Consultant, gave some pointers to a hockey mom thrust onto the national stageOn Dressing for Success, Part One, or, How Much is Armani, Anyway? and followed up with more helpful tips in On Dressing for Success, Part Two, Or, We Costume Palin… for 2/3 off! Lightseeker took a reasoned and sober look at a more serious element this election: Respecting Life, Making Hard Choices and finally makes the point that the Nov 4 vote was not an ending, but a beginning, Looking Now, Looking Forward.

    Ah the memories at The Texas Cloverleaf during the 2008 election season. The candidates would make their case on WWE Monday Night Raw. We learned that McCain would lose early on, with our own Congressman Michael Burgess advising him on healthcare. We wished Governor Palin well on her first Grandparents Day. We learned Texas Republicans can't figure out education, much less spell it correctly. But we finally came out on top with Barack Obama, and some mixed Texas results. Here is to a classic 2008!

    Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex focused a considerable amount of energy this cycle covering Texas Democrats' attempts to retake the Texas House of Representatives. From racist mailers and decitful TV ads in Dallas and Houston area House districts to the battle to unseat Texas' most ethically compromised legislator, down to catching Republicans telling blatant lies, this was a busy cycle in Texas. In the primary, he was one of a few Texas bloggers who supported Senator Hillary Clinton, and offered her this open letter when she left the race.

    Neil at Texas Liberal offers up his post on early voting in Downtown Houston. The post tells what Democrats Neil enjoyed voting for and also has colorful pictures that will please the eye.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme debunks 10 Republican excuses.

    In the 2008 primary and election, Jobsanger continued his penchant for supporting losing candidates by backing Bill Richardson, Rick Noriega, Sherrie Matula and Nancy Moffatt, before finally breaking through with a winner in Barack Obama.

    What a long strange journey it has been for the Easter Lemming. Gary has started pushing for a poll-workers union after working the primary and then another election this Spring. He found out people read blogs about as much as newspapers! Guess who the Easter Lemming supported? And finally, he ended too tired to party but not too tired to blog with a special mention that MoveOn.Org is bigger and more important than the NRA in politics now.

    Hope you caught the Texas Blue on Election Day -- we did a "heckuva job" picking out the states that would and wouldn't matter for an Obama victory on Election Day. We also ran down the biggest federal, statewide and local results of E-D in our Election Day '08 executive summary, checked out how the fight for the Democrats' 75th seat in the Texas House is looking, and did some deconstruction of why the Republicans were never going to win the presidential election, Sarah Palin or no Sarah Palin.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 07, 2008

    The Lunatic Round

    Apparently, some church in Ft. Worth is debating, in a one sided format, the relative merits of intelligent design vs. THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION.

    The Discovery Institute, the whacko's who think humans and dinosaurs walked the Earth together that the oil is created by magical rocks, will be putting the whole thing on. There, obviously, won't be one shred of science that's peer reviewed by anyone considered an expert in, you know, science, but it will have been approved by Dr. Hagee.

    If you're going, don't absorb too much nutty!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 04, 2008

    A bailout plan for Boone

    PhotobucketI hate Boone Pickens, mostly because I always thought he was little more than an amateur hour promoter who got lucky, not a brilliant businessman who managed to build a successful company. In short, I've always thought of him as someone whose only real talent was in confusing brains with luck. And in giving gifts he could take advantage of.

    And lookit, I was right.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 03, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    October 29, 2008

    Stand up for Sherrie!

    Coby has a good run down on John Davis than and now... and, I gotta tell you, it's a good piece on someone who has absolutely no integrity. And would say anything to stay in office.

    He'll also take money from anyone to stay in office. Which makes him something of a poliwhore.

    Help Sherrie Matula today to send Davis back to Houston next week.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 28, 2008

    Hank has some fun with Cornyn's guy

    Hank Gilbert was campaigning for and with Rick Noriega in East Texas yesterday. While at the Smith County Democratic Party HQ, Hank noticed a guy with a video camera. Hank asked who it was and he was told that the guy worked for the Cornyn Campaign.

    Which tickled Hank and when Hank walked up to the guy and asked him to leave, the idiot actually asked if he was serious.

    No, the poor guy didn't end up at Mother Francis with a boot stuck up his ass. But he sure as hell didn't stay in the office at the Smith County Democratic Party.

    This little story made me realize

    1) That Hank Gilbert STILL rocks!
    2) That John Cornyn is scared to death of Rick Noriega.

    Go help Rick out today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Roundp-Up. This week's edition is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Oh, and don't forget to vote early!

    The Texas Cloverleaf helps spread the truth about ACORN.

    McBlogger takes a look at our own Congressman from Clear Channel, Mike McCaul, and discovers that he is indeed different.

    jobsanger points out the dysfunctional aspect of this year's Republican campaign, first in Palin Disagrees With McCain, and then in Repubs Can't See The Reality.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is sad to recognize that while America’s Foreign Policy Suffers - Unemployment Soars - Religion Goes Toxic America's short attention span has been grabbed by personal survival and courted by political and religious philosophies.

    As early voting begins Eye On Williamson charts the early voting numbers in Williamson County. HD-52 Democratic candidate Diana Maldonado continues to rack up the endorsements and launches her latest ad, taking on the insurance companies and high homeowners insurance.

    Neil at Texas Liberal posted the second part of his Who I Would Have Supported For President series. The latest entry covered the years 1824-1852.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News is keeping the early voting info up for the voters who need it but did notice that all the PUMAs have come home to Obama.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that the Texas Association of Business has finally pleaded guilty in connection with its 2002 violations of Texas' campaign financing laws and that State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake) and State Sen. Kim Brimer (R-Fort Worth) have taken big bucks from a company the TCEQ fined more than a quarter million dollars last week for polluting.

    CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme has some hints about how to get your specific sample ballot. Be prepared!

    Off the Kuff analyzes the high level of early voting in Harris County so far.

    XicanoPwr analyzes the GOP attack on ACORN and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters carried out by Paul Bettencourt in Harris County.

    John McCain describes the economy as a drive by shooting. The Texas Cloverleaf calls it a whack job.

    North Texas Liberal reports on Sarah Palin's $150,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and discusses why it could signal the end for her and John McCain's faltering campaign.

    As Democrats in Harris County appear on the verge of something historic, the trends in the extraordinary early voting turnout portend the same blue surge that the rest of the country
    is about to experience. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the deets.

    refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left wants everyone to say thanks to Barbara at Avenue Gallery- NOT!!!

    nytexan at Bluebloggin points out just how McCain and Palin are alike with their FEC violations. We’ve gone from 8 years of the “emperor has no clothes” to “the empress has new clothes.” The GOP is priceless. Palin is following in McCain’s footsteps for FEC violations, what a pair of mavericks. CREW Files FEC Complaint Against Palin. And, for McCain, apparently he and Palin have an affection for Russia; McCain’s New FEC Violation: Asks Russia For Campaign Money.

    George at The Texas Blue wants you to know your job's not over just because you voted. We look at the early voting excitement across the state and remind you that it's critical
    to tell your friends and family to vote as well!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 25, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    The Texas Cloverleaf took part in Blog Action Day this past Wednesday. Find out how you can combat poverty in your neck of the woods.

    Bay Area Houston listed the fines for State Representatives and Senators issued by the Texas Ethics Commission in 2007 and 2008. Enjoy!

    jobsanger discusses voting and registration. He says the E-Voting Can't Be Trusted without a paper trail, and ACORN Is Not Committing Fraud in their effort to register over a million new voters.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake) is misleading voters about his poor record on education in his newest mailer, and that the mainstream media is calling John Cornyn's performance in the final senatorial debate "less than senatorial."

    In the first of a series of posts on past presidential elections, Neil at Texas Liberal offers up Who I Would Have Supported For President 1788-1820.

    WhosPlayin goes off on a Republican County Chair who thinks a candidate's sexual preference is more important than the substance of his ideas.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at why some people won't be able to cast their ballot during the first few days of early voting.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants a fair election without Republican voter suppression and questionable electronic voting machines.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the fake controversy about voter "registration" fraud, Gone nuts about ACORN. And Diana Maldonado released her first TV ad this week, HD-52: Diana Maldonado is on TV, "Texas' Comeback".

    Now that McBlogger has torn him a new cesspool, Joe The Plumber's fifteen minutes of fame are OVER

    North Texas Liberal dissects Obama's wide lead on McCain in the polls and the projected electoral map. Also, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorses Obama for president. (Start following us on Twitter for mini-updates and breaking news!)

    North Texas Liberal dissects Obama's wide lead on McCain in the polls and the projected electoral map. Also, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorses Obama for president. (Start following us on Twitter for mini-updates and breaking news!)

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News has put up his Early Voting Info post but also announced he is rapidly becoming a clueless Cassandra.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is sad to recognize that Sex Scandals, Scams, Phishing and Your Bank Account are signs of deeper disorders. Power, Money and Sex are hopelessly intertwined with EGO.

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog laments the loss of Gordon Quan as a future candidate.

    Burnt Orange Report takes a look into the numbers of the latest poll in the U.S. Senate race and tells why it might be even closer than it looks.

    Over at TexasKaos, fake consultant discovers a Gaint Load of Hooey in one of THOSE emails. Just for fun, he investigates the "facts". The result is an education in how desperate the McCain-Palin crowd have become.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 22, 2008

    Things that you can tell just by looking at polls

    I gotta tell you, I'm pretty sick of this cycle. I'm tired of the inept people running the online portions of the campaigns who have decided to masturbate by sending 20-30 emails. A DAY. This long ago stopped being communication and has become polivomit.

    Take the latest from the Obama campaign imploring us Texans to go to Ohio. Or New Mexico. As if Texas was solidly red and not at all in play. Obvs, it was written by someone who has no idea WTF is going on here, how close things are in Lege races and good local races around the state are looking.

    Of course, while I'm irritated about all the emails from the campaigns, I'm even less tolerant of all the puma garbage coming over...

    As a former Clinton supporter, y'all can go fuck yourselves. Slowly. With a telephone pole. Seriously, you may not like Obama but making shit up about him is just goddamn stupid. Even dumber is using the goddamn NY Post as a source. And your defense of Joe The Plumber was laughable. Seriously. The only reason the media cares about old Joe is because McThuselah kept using it over and over again in the debate. Unfortunately for McThuselah, his campaign didn't bother to vett him beyond the 'he doesn't like Obama' stage.

    All this campaign garbage is a necessary evil. You have to win if you want to govern. However, we can't ever forget that the right is to blame for the mess we're in. The right got what they wanted, control over a major political party. They used this power, along with some help from some stupid Democrats and more moderate Republicans, to create the most business friendly environment since the robber barons. Ideologically, the right won and we've had 30 years of concentrating wealth at the top, stagnate wages and a deteriorating standard of living. Now we're at the point where tax cuts won't work to stimulate the economy... and no one is buying the bullshit.

    And no, Grover, this wasn't the failure of Bush. It was the failure of you, your friends and your desire to put ideology over reality.

    So, here I am realizing that the emails aren't done quite yet and that, in the end, they irritate me less than Grover Norquist.

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

    October 15, 2008

    Biogen Idec vs. Fred Baron

    Biogen Idec has found itself in a rather unique position. It apparently has a drug that is extremely effective against certain cancers, specifically multiple myeloma which happens to afflict Fred Baron.

    Here's the rub...

    1) The drug, TYSABRI, is approved for treating MS and Crohn's.
    2) Tysabri can cause, in a very few cases, a deadly infection in the brain
    3) As a result of certain side effects in immunocompromised individuals, the drug's only available to registered patients. No offlabel uses are allowed.
    4) Tysabri is already in a trial to treat multiple myeloma

    Which is why it's not as easy as just getting Baron's oncologist to order treatment. Baron, to his credit, has gone to some extraordinarily lengths to get this drug including enlisting help from the FDA in letting the company know that this falls under a compassionate treatment variance. Baron has offered to sign a waiver of liability and FDA has apparently indicated that the MM trial will be unaffected by the results from this treatment which neatly punches holes in the arguments being offered by the company for refusing the request of Barron and his son (who kicked everything off with this letter) based on side effects.

    This also opens a larger discussion on medicine and it's future in the United States, specifically the pharmaceutical industry which has been making some big money, especially off the Fed's prescription drug benefit. Doctors do the research and a private company benefits from that research. At what point to do ethical considerations, compassionate considerations, come into play? Simply put, at what point do we fully nationalize research that we are, to a large extent, already paying for with our tax dollars?!?!

    Yeah, the vast majority of the medical research in the US is funded by ... wait for it... the United States government.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 14, 2008

    Roundin' Up The TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up. This week's roundup is compiled
    by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme agrees with Webb County Elections Commissioner Patricia Barrera and Webb County voters: Electronic Voting machines need a voter verifiable paper trail.

    jobsanger thinks the Texas
    Legislature should rescind the Texas Driver Responsibility Program,
    which has one million href="http://jobsanger.blogspot.com/2008/10/texans-owe-815-million-in-fines.html">Texas
    driver's owing $815 in fines, and wonders if a Denver mural is href="http://jobsanger.blogspot.com/2008/10/artwork-or-political-sign.html">artwork
    or a political sign.

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog makes note
    of near-violent anti-Iraqi
    racism at Texas A&M
    .

    Captain Kroc at href="http://www.McBlogger.com">McBlogger has href="http://www.mcblogger.com/archives/2008/10/evangelical_sav.html">some
    advice for evangelicals narrowly focused on abortion.

    href="http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com/2008/10/voter-suppression-in-news.html">Voter
    suppression by Republicans in Harris County is carefully
    distinguished from href="http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com/2008/10/conservatives-keep-on-shrieking-fraud.html">the
    "voter fraud" the conservatives continually whine about, but
    PDiddie's favorite (indeed his only) conservative
    commenter studiously doesn't get it. At href="http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com">Brains and Eggs.

    nytexan of href="http://www.bluebloggin.com">BlueBloggin points out that once
    again Bush lied and Congress went along with href="http://www.bluebloggin.com/2008/10/11/nsa-eavesdropping-on-americans-and-bushs-bs-war-on-terror/">NSA
    Eavesdropping On Americans And Bush’s BS War On Terror. Americans
    now have the pleasure of knowing that NSA has listened to US citizens.
    Happy now!

    Off the Kuff takes a look at
    the href="http://www.offthekuff.com/mt/archives2/2008/10/012582.html#012582">30-day
    finance reports for Harris County candidates.

    href="http://thetexascloverleaf.blogspot.com/2008/10/mail-in-ballots-returned-for-postage-in.html">Mail
    in ballots returned for postage? It has already happened in Denton
    County. The Texas Cloverleaf has more.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News posted videos, from
    href="http://elemming2.blogspot.com/2008/10/why-barack-obama-is-ahead-in-north.html">why
    Obama is leading in North Carolina to the new GOP base and other
    stuff in one of his rambles around the web.

    target="_blank">BossKitty at target="_blank">TruthHugger is saddened how some Americans cannot
    progress beyond old thinking. href="http://truthhugger.com/2008/10/12/i%e2%80%99d-rather-not-say-its-about-race/"
    target="_blank">I’d Rather Not Say Its About RACE
    is an expose showing how Republican Politics exploits "old thinking" to
    control voters.

    If you live in Bellaire, Sugarland, Galveston, or another part of the
    oddly gerrymandered SD 17, you may have gotten a "push poll" from folks
    trying to whittle down Democratic candidate Chris Bell's lead in the
    state Senate race. George at The
    Texas Blue
    points out some href="http://www.thetexasblue.com/dirty-tricks-in-sd-17">dirty tricks in
    Texas' 17th Senate district.

    Vince at Capitol Annex--freshly back from a six-day hiatus after moving
    servers-- href="http://capitolannex.com/2008/10/06/election-2008-preview-twelve-hot-house-races/">has
    ranked "Hot" Texas House races in anticipation of the 2008 elections.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 10, 2008

    I'm voting for you, Rick

    ...but this was politics, it's shitty and you're a goddamn braindead simp for saying it. Cornyn has done soooo many things wrong that there are tons of issues to attack on. Instead, like any other craven politico, you attack him on the right decision on an unpopular issue that the mouthbreathers out in the hinterlands don't understand (but just so happens to be the one thing that might keep them from abject poverty).

    You could have beaten him up for supporting the very deregulation that created this mess. You could have gotten him on supporting the very lack of oversight that allowed companies to offer mortgages at insane rates to borrowers who were clearly not qualified.

    "We can't believe anything that we hear out of Washington, D.C., any more," Mr. Noriega said in a debate broadcast statewide on public television.

    "This decision was made in haste," he said, adding that the stock market's negative reaction shows the bailout wasn't well thought out.

    "It didn't have the accountability," Mr. Noriega said. "Quite frankly, we need to see that people go to jail.

    WOW. Where to begin... the first sentence is just stupid. THIS WASN'T COMING FROM WASHINGTON YOU ASSHOLE. This has been rolling downhill all over the planet for a year. Just because you only recently became aware of it doesn't mean it wasn't out there and it wasn't just as big as many of us said.

    The second point shows nothing of the sort. This is about redemptions and people panicking, it's hardly the market passing judgment on the TARP. TARP hasn't even been started. That's analogous to saying that a miscarriage was God's way of saying that he didn't want someone to be a mother.

    As for sending people to jail, for what? Doing stupid, but legal, things? Wanna make changes to the law and regs retroactive?!

    That's fucked up, hermano. As someone who has supported you from the Draft movement on, it's absolutely shameful to me that you would politicize what is in fact a very real disaster. If this really is how you feel, then I have serious doubts about your temperament and capabilities. If I were to tally up good vs bad decisions under both you and Cornyn, I'd have to say that you're still solidly beating the hell out of Cornyn. And I'm still voting for you.

    But I'm no longer voting FOR you. I'm now simply voting for the lesser of two evils and despite the fact that you're dumb enough to box yourself in on this, you're still the lesser of the two which ain't saying much.

    Thanks a lot, Prick.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    October 07, 2008

    Campaign Updates

    Really, I'm voting for all of you and I like a great many of you. Some of you, frankly, I can't stand and I promise I'll eviscerate you at every opportunity.

    But that's enough about my feelings for little Patty Rose who, coincidentally, had a big, big, BIG fundraiser recently to celebrate his ability to take money from someone, then stab them in the back. Congrats, Patty!

    I just gotta tell you that I LOVE the 18,000 emails I get a day from candidates around the country, not just those in Texas. At least 4,000 of them alone come from Jeff Merkley who is running in OR to unseat Sen. Smith who is just slightly more stable than the lady down the street who tried to kill her husband.

    I kid. She's actually a rock in comparison to Smith who damn near went into seizures over the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (or, as I like to call it, the I Won't Have To Eat Ramen Economic Recovery Act Of 2008).

  • Sherrie Matula moves into the final stretch of the cycle with a BIG fundraising advantage over a certain Republican douche who unfortunately DIDN'T receive the endorsement of ParentPAC... Matula got that as well.
  • Sen. Brimer lost his appeal to get Wendy Davis off the ballot. With all the bullshit he's pulled, we're wondering not if Davis will beat him, but by how much
  • Some bitchface retard Governor of some state that has a total population less than Austin called Texas "Alaska's little sister". Why don't you come back after the election, say that over the PA in a bar and then try to make it to the door. I know more than a few ol' gals who would beat your hockey mom ass down like a baby seal.
  • Larry Joe is kicking some ass in CD 10. A recent poll has him within 5 points of Mike McCaul (R-Clear Channel). I'm moving this race to TOSS UP given Doherty's talent in the campaign organization and in media and McCaul's polling weakness. This is an election that is going to bring large numbers of voters who are outside the usual polling samples and those voters are going to be overwhelmingly Democratic.
  • We're still waiting to hear about Diana Maldonado's CFR. Word on the street is more than $200k was raised this quarter. This is a seat we KNOW is Democratic. We're only sad Diana has to win it from some nebbish and not from that ratfucker Krusee.
  • Havagoodun!


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 01, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    The Texas Progressive Alliance had another great week discussing the politics of Texas and the nation. Here are some of the best of those posts:

    The Texas Cloverleaf has the new Palin plan for foreign experience: sitting pretty with puppets.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says welcome to the United States of Corporate Greed.

    Dembones at Eye On Williamson posts on the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) and their status quo endorsements for the November election,
    TAR needs to be tarred and feathered.

    The past week has been one filled with brilliant people trying desperately to accomplish what is extremely difficult (namely, keeping the US out of a depression) and some exceptionally (some might say BREATHTAKINGLY) stupid people who are narrowly focused on the last shreds of a failed ideology. And their own egos. We at McBlogger have done our best to keep up with all the ups. And downs. First up are the always cretinous folks from the American Enterprise Institute who decided to blame the wrong people for the failures of their own plans. Then there was Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R -unfortunately from Texas) who decided his supercharged ego and underpowered little rat-brain had something useful to add. He found out pretty quickly that wasn't the case.

    Off the Kuff projects what the Houston Chronicle endorsements for November will look like.
    A majority of voters thought Obama won the first debate, but all the media pundits could talk about was what a great job McCain did.
    jobsanger wonders what debate the "Talking Heads" were watching.
    North Texas Liberal led an interesting discussion on John McCain's brief campaign suspension.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has refused to answer whether or not the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts should be subject to the Texas Public Information Act and discusses why that was a really stupid move.
    Neil at Texas Liberal did not allow the dent in his car to be fixed
    by the guy who solicited him for the work in a parking lot. That's just the type of post-hurricane scam people are being warned about.
    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News does not like
    Bush and McCain's response to the Wall Street crisis. He has someitems he wants included in a bailout bill and not bags of money thrown at the problem.


    BossKitty at TruthHugger notes: This is where you and I must take a crash course in the money structure of this country and how to avoid loosing everything down to our underpants, because Bush Sold US Another PONZI Scheme.
    nytexan at BlueBloggin worries that McCain's Health Could Mean President Palin.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 30, 2008

    Helping ourselves. Helping our neighbors. Helping our heroes.

  • First up, Rick Noriega could use your help!
  • John McClelland could also use your help to get rid of Myra Crownover.
  • I gotta tell you, I LOVE the fact that we have some amazing people who are running against demons.

  • CHILDREN in Webster have started Operation Crayon to help out their classmates who lose everything in Ike. This is, honestly, just goddamn heartwarming. Seriously. This is what Texans do when things aren't so great and when their idiot Governor is more concerned about the election than doing his job


    Operation CRAYON
    McWhirter Elementary
    300 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Webster, TX 77598

    Needs:
    new or gently used clothing and shoes
    standardized dress attire
    backpacks
    lunch kits
    school supplies

    Open: M-F 8 to 4

    They are also enrolling students displaced by Hurricane Ike there.

    Clear Creek Independent School District is overseeing this kids initiative, so I can assure you it is a quality operation.

    Also my town is accepting donations:

    City of Seabrook Distribution and Donation Center
    Hampton Inn on NASA parkway
    running from 9/27 through 10/11

    Needs:
    clothing
    small household items (pots, pans, dishes, small appliances)
    toiletries
    cleaning supplies
    food (if you send cans, please send pop top or a can opener too)
    personal hygiene items

    Volunteers are needed!

    Question:
    Karen Campise 713-594-9422
    Lori Wauls 281-635-6363


  • Take a look at who is the Guest Poster at MOMocrats. WAY cool!
  • Y'all have a goodun and seriously, help these people out. They are putting their lives in hold to try to represent you.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:09 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

    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 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 13, 2008

    What part of EVACUATE wasn't clear?

    Calls from more than 100 received on Galveston.

    Seriously, not knowing your individual situations, it's hard for me to criticize. But REALLY? It's not like there weren't people on every damn channel saying if you stay, you'll die. Were you just trying to be the jackass that proved them wrong so you could tell people until they're bored out of the minds that you "rode out Ike... wasn't no big deal"?


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 04, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another weekly roundup of the Texas Progressive Alliance. Click on for the week's highlights.

    Is John McCain's vice presidential pick some kind of joke? McBlogger's Mayor McSleaze thinks it's more like a situation comedy.

    CouldBeTrue is happy for Webb County! Finally, the long sheriff's primary is over and Martin Cuellar is the official sheriff-to-be. And, yeah, the AG is looking into the hinky first recount.

    With Tom DeLay and the TRMPAC indictments back in the news, Off the Kuff conducts an interview with Cris Feldman, one of the attorneys who won a civil judgment against TRMPAC for its violations of campaign finance law in the 2002 elections.

    Stace Medellin at DosCentavos is celebrating ten years of living in the Houston area. Read about what brought him to Houston and what has kept him in the big city.

    Neil at Texas Liberal is glad to note that the Galveston County Democrats Club http://texasliberal.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/galveston-county-democrats-club-is-working-hard-for-victory/ is, as always, working hard for all the people of Galveston County---Both on the mainland and on the island.

    The Texas Cloverleaf reminds everyone that McCain is older than fiberglass. His new sidekick leads a state with a population smaller than Collin County. Sitcom indeed.

    jobsanger wonders why the Democratic Convention didn't show a little respect for Lyndon Johnson's 100th birthday, and prepares to enjoy the prospect of dueling Republican conventions.

    What is the linkage between radioactive waste dumps, smear ad campaigns and HD-52 Republican nominee Bryan Daniel? Dembones at Eye On Williamson follows the money trail back to Swift Boat financer, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, whose latest smear campaign tries to link Barack Obama to '60s radical William Ayers.

    Doing My Part For The Left's refinish69 wonders if Texas Deferred Adjudication is helpful or shameful.

    North Texas Liberal has video of Sen. Hillary Clinton condemning John McCain's use of her picture and quotes in his ads.

    PDiddie assembled some of the satirical ridicule of John McCain's selection of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld Sarah Palin of Alaska at Brains and Eggs.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger observes "

    FEMA Gets A Second Chance - NOLA Redux for “Mother Of All Storms”

    and what our fearless leaders plan to do about it THIS TIME.

    Vince at Capitol Annex offers his opinion on Michael L. Williams' manipulation of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. concerning Barack Obama's experience. For added value, one of Williams' campaign staffers decided to comment on the post and attempt to defend his boss.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin wonders why PUMAs are exhibiting a high level of disrespect to Hillary and her request for full support and asks PUMA, Was It Ever About Hillary Clinton ?

    Mike Thomas at Rhetoric & Rhythm is unhappy with some liberal bloggers who decided to label his Congressman - Ciro Rodriguez - as a so-called "Bush Dog Democrat".

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

    August 29, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    Do you know what the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs and bloggers have been up to this week? Well, our weekly round-up will tell you. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    refinish69 explains why Travis County and Texas doesn't need another Keel at Doing My Part For The Left.

    Two White guys in Houston want each others' jobs. Former Gov. Mark might run for for mayor, and current Mayor Bill may run for governor. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the Frick-and-Frack report.

    Prepare yourself for a shock when you visit Bluedaze and see the BILLIONS in handouts given to Big Oil. TXsharon shows how these handouts, paid with our taxes, enable Big Oil to buy influence, work against our best interest, blatantly ignore laws and keep the US dependent on hydrocarbons rather than moving forward.

    Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger wonders why, if Washington is broken as McThuselah's campaign says, McThuselah himself hasn't done something to fix it since he's been there more than, you know, 25 years.

    The major media outlets may be arguing about whether experience, the war or the economy is the most important issue in this year's presidential election, but jobsanger says there is only one issue that matters , and it's not any of those three.

    The Texas Cloverleaf exposes the plan by Congressman Michael Burgess and the Bush DOT to make I-35 from Dallas to Denton a toll road!

    BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about WATER and what our fearless leaders plan to do about it: "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

    Justin at AAA-Fund Blog wonders when Houston will find good leadership – in government, in corporations looking for good PR, anywhere – for recycling.

    Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

    Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

    Texas Liberal says that he is not a bridge builder.

    Before she took off for the DNC convention in Denver, and the Big Tent, Texas Kaos frontpager SCCS took a look at the state of the Central Texas Congressional races.

    The rich get Visas while the poor were asked to self-deport notes CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chimse.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts about Perry, Dewhursts, and Craddick's new toll road plan, Texas GOP Leaders Want To Use Public Pension Funds To Build Corporate Toll Roads.

    Vince from Capitol Annex takes a look at Republican State Representative candidate Van Brookshire's stupid press release about immigration and the incorrect facts he based it on.

    North Texas Liberal shares a stunning tribute to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, penned by a great friend of the late congresswoman.

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

    August 20, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

    To kick the week off right, the TPA is unveiling its newly redesigned website where you can connect with the Alliance and our member bloggers via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, DFA, Party Builder, Ning and other social networking tools.

    Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm looks at a week's worth of opinion columns from the San Antonio Express-News and determines there is a nearly three-to-one imbalance of conservative/Republican columns compared to liberal/Democratic ones.

    On Bluedaze, TXsharon busts the myths that Natural Gas is cleaner, that shale drilling will make us safer, and that Domestic Drilling can make us Energy Independent.

    There was no attempt of a citizens' arrest of Karl Rove while he visited Houston last week, raising money for Texas House Republicans. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs hoped it would happen, to no avail.

    WhosPlayin is concerned about operators wanting to drill for gas in Lewisville's urban forest area near Central Park.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why sexual assault equates to perjury - wink, wink - if you're a person of power in Texas.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on HD-52 Democratic candidate Diana Maldonado's opponent Bryan Daniel sharing his campaign office with a local charity, IRS Complaint Filed Against Round Rock Charity.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the possible effect Libertarian candidates may have on some close State House races.

    Texas Liberal uses the ancient epic Gilgamesh to discuss reactions to vulnerability and innocence in both the ancient and modern world.

    McBlogger takes a look at the latest Republican fundraising pitch and finds that it's only appealing only to the same geriatric patients who are McThuselah's base. And those elephants are very tacky.

    This week jobsanger is outraged by an Arkansas city that's trashing the Constitution and a small Texas country school that's allowing teachers to carry guns.

    refinish69 awards the Infamous Cheese Tray Awards over at Doing My Part For The Left.

    Mean Rachel supports Obama but argues against Maureen Dowd's assertion that Hillary Clinton's appearance in Denver will "dampen the dreams of our daughters."

    Libby Shaw puts the pieces together for us over at TexasKos in his dairy Military Contractors Charge U.S. Taxpayers $85 Billion. Not only are we NOT saving money by outsourcing military support functions, we are pissing off people worldwide. Worst of all? Eisenhower's worst fear has come to pass, the MIC is real , alive and in control....

    Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog marvels at the coming Charlie Wilson Chair at UT, which will become the first Pakistan Studies chair in the nation.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at a scandal that links State Sen. John Carona (D-Dallas) to a condo development in Houston that is falling apart.

    Don't forget to check out other TPA member blogs for the latest news on Texas and national politics: The Agonist, Asian American Action Fund, B & B, Bay Area Houston, Beginning to Wonder, BlueBloggin, Bluedaze, Brains & Eggs, Burnt Orange Report, Capitol Annex, The Caucus Blog, Common Sense, Dallas South Blog, Dig Deeper Texas, Doing My Part For The Left, Dos Centavos, Easter Lemming Liberal News, Eye on Williamson, Feet To Fire, Grassroots News U Can Use, Half Empty, In The Pink Texas, jobsanger, Latina Lista, Lubbock Left, Marc's Miscellany, McBlogger, Mean Rachel, MindSpeak, MOMocrats, Musings, North Texas Liberal, Off The Kuff, Para Justicia y Libertad, The Red State, Rhetoric & Rhythm, Same Blog, Different Day, South Texas Chisme, StoutDemBlog, The Texas Blue, The Texas Clover Leaf, Texas Education, Texas Kaos, Texas Liberal, Texas Truth Serum, There... Already, Three Wise Men, TruthHugger, Who'sPlayin'?, and Xpatriated Texan.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 15, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    (Thanks, as always, to Vince)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Neil at Texas Liberal talks about AIDS and African Americans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    August 12, 2008

    Rational Radio opens in Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

    If anyone goes, let us know the deets!

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

    August 10, 2008

    We're close to a deal to retake McBlogger

    "Our long national nightmare is over." Gerald Ford, President of the United States
    "Dude... they aren't going to cave. I'm offering to buy the damn thing back. " McBlogger to Mayor McSleaze


    Just wanted to let y'all know that we couldn't come to an agreement with ACC regarding working conditions. However, they have apparently been doing so poorly with their investment that they are willing to sell the blog back to us. We're currently negotiating the trade and it's complex. Eurodollar futures, credit default swaps and a derivative based on the future price of milk. In 2190. So, if on a bright summer day in 2190 we show up on your doorstep asking for room and board, the trade went the wrong way and we owe more than the US owes China.

    Of course, it could go the other way which would mean we will own the blog forevermore and we'll become thousandaires. Which is hella exciting.

    You should also know we'll be keeping some of the new talent, mostly because ACC is paying to get rid of them and they'll work for free. People like Rose Petal, Vinnie and Chandra.

    In the meantime, here's a little bit of our special, unique and altogether unerringly correct take on current events.

  • House Republicans continue their little stunt. Democrats like Prick Lampson (the cocksucker from CD22) continue to pander about Drill.Everywhere. Meanwhile nothing gets done to actually fix the motherfucking problem. Oh, and dipshit Obama, our fucktard candidate, can't keep his goddamn mouth from pandering almost as much as that senile old bastard. Almost. McCain has earned his own special place in hell... the man is demanding that Congress do something. Meanwhile, he's been an absentee Senator for damn near, what, a year? Fuck you, old man. AND GET OFF MY LAWN.

    While we're on the subject of ABC's dippy little poll, it's worth noting that the only thing the damn poll reveals is that Americans don't know a fucking thing energy policy or sustainability. It also shows that the Democrats are once again pandering to the lowest common denominator in a futile effort to try to deny the Republicans an issue... by playing to their strengths. From a strategy perspective, you can all eat out my asshole while I'm shitting out corn from last night.

    You know, I expect this kinda crap from the Republicans. But you Democrats are smarter and should know better. Instead, like the weak little bitches you are, you're folding up like lawn chairs. To hell with all of you. And especially you, Rep. Noriega. We're done with your ass and your shitty campaign. When y'all get a goddamn clue, run for something else. Until then, don't waste the fucking money if you're not going to run a real fucking campaign.

    Don't get me wrong, Democrats will probably have a big year in Texas anyway. Even Lampson and Noriega will more than likely win because the environment is just so toxic for Republicans... well, it is except for the wildcard energy bullshit that the Democrats refuse to stand firm on and the R's are rather effectively turning on them. However, none of you will win because of talent or skill. You'll be accidentally elected. Which, though not necessarily bad, will make a lot of you look better than you are. And give you a false sense of security.

    As for you staffers, frankly some of you suck balls. Actually, a lot of you suck balls. Some of your people will win but it won't happen because of any special talent you bring to the table.

    I'm tired of sing-song, party line bullshit. If it smells like shit, looks like shit and motherfucking tastes like shit then it's shit. Don't act like I've got to eat what you serve because the shit from the other side is so much worse. Your JOB is not to pander, it's to fucking lead and fuckall if almost every Democrat I support hasn't forgotten that and become about as clueless as the short bus Republicans. Some that is bad staffing and bad consulting. Some of it is bad candidates. However, the reason doesn't matter. What matters is fixing it NOW.

    If this were 1948 and you people were running Truman's campaign, we'd have elected Dewey. That's how bad you're doing and the fact that you'd bother to argue the point with me makes my case.

  • RUSSIA AND GEORGIA ARE AT WAR. While this little conflict has been mostly ignored by everyone, our own Mayor McSleaze has been keeping up with it. Meanwhile, the conventional press has been obsessed with John Edwards and where his dick has been which is interesting since he's never been a big moral crusader unlike Republicans who really love their condemnation of others... and their off the record pussy. And ass.
  • There is also this from the Washington Post...
    This administration will leave office having trashed the place -- and I'm not talking about a few "W's" pried loose from White House computer keyboards by the exiting Clinton crew. I'm referring to the myriad ways in which this administration, dismissive of the role of government, abused the enterprise it was entrusted with overseeing.

    My favorite sentence in the Goodling report sums up the hiring practices in the department's supposedly nonpartisan career ranks: "Tell Brad he can hire one more good American."

    This was the response by Goodling, who served as Justice's liaison with the White House, to a request from Bradley Schlozman, the interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo., to bring aboard a new prosecutor. "Good American" is Goodling's code for "Republican."

    Every victorious administration enjoys the legitimate spoils of government. The president is entitled to bring in his people -- those who have voted for him, written checks to him and back his policies. Every administration has its Goodlings, inexperienced punks who flaunt their authority as conspicuously as a West Wing badge.

    Most administrations find ways to keep the Goodlings under control and the grown-ups in charge. The trouble with this one is that it is riddled with Goodlings Gone Wild, incapable of or unwilling to distinguish between the proper pursuit of political aims and the responsible administration of government.

    To take one other recent example, the NASA inspector general found last month that press officers in the space agency "reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized" studies of global warming, toning down politically unwelcome conclusions. A news conference on global warming was postponed, according to a senior scientist, because the "administration does not want any negative environmental news before the [2004] election."

    So what's the deficit got to do with it? The deterioration of the nation's budgetary picture under the reckless stewardship of this administration is the fiscal equivalent of the Goodlingization of the executive branch. President Bush put adherence to Republican theology -- taxes must be cut -- over prudent governing.

    In February 2001, when the new president presented his first budget to Congress, he described the fiscal situation this way: "We have increased our budget at a responsible 4 percent, we have funded our priorities, we have paid down all the available debt, we have prepared for contingencies and we still have money left over."

    That happy situation, he said, justified -- no, necessitated-- a tax cut: "The growing surplus exists because taxes are too high and government is charging more than it needs. The people of America have been overcharged, and on their behalf, I am here asking for a refund."

    The next president will confront a far gloomier situation. The deficit, the administration's budget experts reported Monday, will be $482 billion -- a huge number that is probably a low-ball. Among other things, it assumes only $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    HAVE. A. GOODUN.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 03, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time once again for another Texas Progressive Alliance roundup. Here are the blog highlights for the week of July 28:

    TXsharon challenges you to view these pictures of Domestic Drilling Armageddon in the Barnett Shale and still support the Drill and Burn Domestic Drilling agenda.

    U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez' Republican challenger for the 23rd Congressional seat is taken to task by Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm for shirking his responsiblity on a critical hospital expansion vote before the Bexar County Commissioner's Court.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the GOP's "latest" energy plan in Carter, Oil, & Hair Of The Dog.

    Neil at Texas Liberal asks what would be the impact if Polar Bears could vote.

    Off the Kuff looks at a Texas Monthly overview of the effects of the Presidential race on downballot elections in Texas and offers his criticism of it.

    Guest Columnist JR Behrman at Texas Kaos has a few strong words about Energy Policy: Democrats Routed. He also has a Texas Plan.

    Julie Pippert of the MOMocrats asks the Obama campaign to explain its absence in Texas after they announced the roll-out of their Spanish-Language ads as an outreach to Hispanic voters, then discusses a Senate proposal that would require 50% of US cars to have a flexible fuel system by 2012, and finally the MOMocrats share the draft of their position paper to be submitted to the Democratic National Committee for inclusion in the party platform.

    McBlogger had a great time in the subprime panel at Netroots Nation. So good in fact that he decided to offer some of his own solutions since the panelists, including the dimwitted Rep. Brad Miller, decided to offer nothing of substance.

    XicanoPwr reports on the latest poll by the Pew Hispanic Center on the Latino vote. Latino polling shows that 66% of Latino registered voters will support Obama.

    Burnt Orange Report points out that Ag Commissioner Todd Staples finally comes around to what Democrat (and future Ag Commissioner) Hank Gilbert has been saying all along- Texan's are being overcharged at the gas pump due to lack of state inspections.

    BossKitty at TruthHugger dreams about the "Count Down To Accountability - Bush, Cheney Indictments"

    refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left invites everyone to meet Annette Taddeo- A True Progressive Democrat.

    jobsanger writes about how after years of the Bush Presidency even our cloest traditional ally no longer trusts us in Brits Don't Trust Bush On Torture.

    Obama and the down-ballot races in Texas are the focus of two articles by R.G. Ratcliffe of the Houston Chronicle. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs summarizes, and finds some to agree with and some not.

    Mean Rachel writes an open letter to Rep. Elliot Naishtat, encouraging him to consider joining the technology age and starting an inexpensive, easy-to-use website tailor-made for state legislators with Wired for Change's DLCCWeb, a Netroots exhibitor.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin keeps an eye on Mitch McConnell, the GOP king of distortion and extortion. McConnell plans to block legislation that can impact Americans now and push for a bill whose product will not be seen for 10 years; McConnell Extorts Senate For Off Shore Drilling. McConnell never fails to please Bush and his corporate buddies.

    WhosPlayin looks at a new USGS petroleum estimate for the Arctic Circle, and notes that only a small portion of ANWR is estimated to be productive, and that the study doesn't address economic feasibility. (Includes Map)

    Vince from Capitol Annex tells us that, while indicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) won't accept a presidential pardon, he'd love one from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme gets upset with crappy newspaper article.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 01, 2008

    Sen. Kirk Watson NAILS IT

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

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

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

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

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

    July 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 25, 2008

    A Buttertroll, CradDICK and John Davis walk into a bar...

    The more things change... John Davis is in trouble. Sherrie Matula is kicking his ass for being as useless as tits on a boar. She's outraising him and now little Johnny is starting to freak out. So bad, in fact, that he's requested none other than the electorally toxic CradDICK and Karl "Buttertroll" Rove to come to his aid. While they aren't good for votes, they're great for money.

    So, we need to make sure Sherrie keeps in the advantage. Give what you can, even if it's a dollar, and let's help the folks in HD 129 get rid of this worthless bastard. Remember, change in one seat in the Lege may be the advantage we need to get rid of CradDICK and start rebuilding our State.

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

    July 24, 2008

    Were you wondering what was up at the NCSL?

    If you're curious about what's happening at the National Conference of State Legislators, the crew at KXAN has you covered.

    And no, I don't know what it's all about.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:26 AM | Comments (2) | 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

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

    This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    The Texas Cloverleaf asks if John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison want more HIV in the global pandemic? Our TX Senators were 2 of the 16 votes against the latest HIV/AIDS bill in the Senate this week that passed overwhelmingly.


    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on Diana Maldonado's great fundraising numbers in Diana Maldonado Has Almost 4 to 1 COH Advantage In HD-52.


    WhosPlayin at WhosPlayin steped outside of his comfort zone a bit and commented on the Fannie and Freddie situation.

    jobsanger blasts Republican attempts to allow offshore and ANWR drilling in Drilling Won't Make Us Energy Independent and in Bush Playing Politics With Oil.

    The bar may be open, says TXSharon at Texas Kaos in Fire Water: With Compliments from EnCana, but if Encana's serving up the cocktails, it might be better to abstain.

    McBlogger's own
    Harry Balczak has a new recurring feature, href="http://www.mcblogger.com/archives/2008/07/harry_balczacs.html">Harry Balczak's Reminder To You People. In this edition, he'd like to remind Those Of You Who Just Couldn't Vote For Kerry that your decision was, well, pretty stupid. He is nice about it, though.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that poultry kingpin Bo Pilgrim paid to jet around Texas Governor Rick Perry's staff to promote the ethanol waver he bought and paid for with a $100,000 contribution to the Republican Governor's Association.

    Mean Rachel contemplates whether Fannie and Freddie have anything to do with being raised in 78704, but living through young-adulthood in 78749 in Crashes.

    The final word, for now, on the Webb County Sheriff's race says Martin Cuellar wins by 41 votes. Since the various 'official' totals for Cuellar have been +37, -133, +39 and finally +41, CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders what the h*ll happened!

    Off the Kuff looks at the Harris County campaign finance reports and finds good news and not-so-good news for Democratic campaigns.


    The Texas Observer's Melissa Del Bosque had an observation about one
    of the panels at Netroots Nation this past weekend, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had some observations about what she observed.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin shows us smuggling humans into the US is no problem at all; From Africa to Mexico to US, Any Way They Can Immigrate.

    BossKitty as TruthHugger points out the continued struggle by our soldiers suffering from PTSD and the inadequate response by the incapable VA, in But, When They Come Home ….

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:17 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

    Roundin' up the TPA

    South Texas Chisme got what they were asking for - a spotlight on the Webb County Sheriff's race. BlackBox Voting's Bev Harris has asked for relevant auditable materials. CouldBeTrue can hardly wait to find out what happened.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the "rail-rage" that's hitting Central Texas, Rail, Rail, Rail - Do It Right, Not Fast.

    President Bush hasn't seen Russian President Medvedev since his 'election' to the Russian Presidency. Last week, he had his first opportunity to look into his eyes. Check out McBlogger to see what he saw.

    Lightseeker at Texas Kaos tells the chilling tale of Goodhair and the Fire at the Governor's Mansion. Governor Rick Perry didn't light the match, but decisions laid at his door certainly made things a lot easier for the arsonist who did.

    The Texas Cloverleaf examines T. Boone Picken's Plan to save us from evil oil men and move forward with greener energy.

    Texas Senators Cornfed and Bailey scored a perfect ten in synchronized flip-flopping on the Medicare bill last week, shortly after they and the rest of their Republicans exhibited mirror-image coordination on FISA. PDiddie at Brains and
    Eggs
    has the details.

    BlueBloggin sees Maliki making the same mistakes as King George Iraq Hands Out Stimulus Money As Us Shifts Occupation.

    BossKitty worries about the consequences of revaluing human life in AmericaDollar Value of American Life drops - Now What.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Senate Democrats have taken a strong stance on calling for reform of the Texas Department of Insurance, with one senator even calling for the Insurance Commissioner to be an elected official.

    MeanRachel wonders when politics became unpatriotic on July 4th.

    Off the Kuff had a guest post from Rep. Pete Gallego about the HDCC and its efforts to reclaim the State House for the Democrats.

    WhosPlayin was impressed that Ken Leach, candidate for U.S. Congress in CD 26 got good coverage in the Gainesville Register, even though his totally honest quote didn't pass the "smell" test.

    jobsangertook a look at the lies being told in a McCain campaign ad in this post.

    Nat-Wu of Three Wise Men ponders whether long-suffering American Indians could Bay Area Houston details the record $52,000 fine by the Texas Ethics Commission against State Senator Craig Estes.

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

    July 10, 2008

    Attorney General Greg Abbott, arbiter of all things Constitutional

    Our AG, Greg Abbott, has unilaterally (and after a minor amount of half-assed research) determined that the bible classes being pushed by the Republican controlled SBOE are Constitutional.

    In other news, AG Abbott also determined that the Earth is flat, the Sun orbits the Earth and he has ruled that drownings and stonings are also Constitutional.

    Meanwhile, while the AG is working on meaningless puff that a federal court is going to knock down, the TEA's Inspector General has been effectively gutted by the very people they are supposed to be watching. Which makes one wonder what the Republican appointees to the TEA have to hide.

    An agency spokeswoman confirmed that at least two employees of its inspector general's office were placed on leave late last month, but she wouldn't say why. One of the employees said he was punished for complaining that he wasn't allowed to do his job.

    "Every time an issue of fraud presented itself, we were not authorized to look into it," James Catazaro said.

    For example, he said, top agency officials kept him and his colleagues from investigating allegations of possible kickbacks to a superintendent.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 09, 2008

    Sen. Hinojosa : Insurance Commissioner should be elected

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

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

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

    July 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 06, 2008

    Texas, 2025. Atlanta, today

    Wanna see what Republican leadership and planning will do? Check this out.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:49 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

    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

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly blog round-up. The round-up is compiled from posts submitted by member blogs.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson takes apart the new GOP Business tax in Tearing At The Margins Tax.

    Off the Kuff published the rest of his convention week interviews, with Joe Moody (HD78), Ernie Casbeer (HD59), and State Rep. Juan Garcia (HD32).

    McBlogger asks why are the Republicans so ideologically driven on energy policy? Then he remembers that knowledge isn't so useful in the faith-based economy.

    Something stinks about the Webb County Sheriff's election. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme can't wait to find out who did what.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that we have more than just McCain and Obama running for president. And Then Theres Bob Barr - Born Again Libertarian; one-time conservative Republican Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, offered a scathing critique of Sen. John McCain today and predicted he would garner substantial conservative Republican support in a handful of battleground states critical to McCain in his campaign against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

    Obama needs Texas to win the presidency, but only -- as with recent previous Democratic nominees -- for its money and not its electoral votes, claims PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    WhosPlayin piles on after Joe Barton, Michael Burgess, Pete Sessions, and Kay Granger hold a press conference to blame Democrats for high fuel prices. It was so bad that even Fox 4 News called B.S. on it.

    Lightseeker at Texas Kaos continues to keep an eye on Blackwater's shenanigans. The latest is that Erik Prince loves him some Sharia law-if it will quash a lawsuit for him.

    Wonder how long it will be before the company dress code includes a burqa?

    refinish69 reviews the GOP's Big Bad John at Doing MY Part For The Left. While the video is wonderful for a laugh and has wonderful production values, it is as full of crap as John Cornyn's career as a US Senator.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes down the new platform of the Republican Party of Texas.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    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

    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 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

    Help Democrats TODAY

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

    June 17, 2008

    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

    Give until it hurts!

    Rain Minns needs your help! She's running against the corpulent Sen. John Carona (R-Jelly Doughnut). The same Senator Carona who talks a big game about tolls, the TTC and TXDOT and always ends up giving in to what 39% and the Trans Commission want. This 'man of the people' is really only good at serving the people, by extending corporate welfare to as many of his contributors as he can. So they can eat more of our money than ever before, with government sanctions.

    Dallas flipped blue in 2006 and this year looks to be even stronger. It's time for Dallas to shed another incompetent R, John Carona. Give Rain some money so she can get her message out.


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

    June 13, 2008

    Transportation Funding : You're doing it wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yes, TXDOT lied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 12, 2008

    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

    June 06, 2008

    We went drinking

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

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

    I'm sorry for laughing at you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    THIS is what that child would grow old to be.

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

    Or am I thinking of Carole Strayhorn?

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

    June 05, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up--the pre-Convention edition. Don't forget about the Third Biennial Texas Blogger's Caucus set for this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Cedar Door in Austin. Joe Jaworski, Sherrie Matula, Melissa Noriega, and more will be joining us!

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on A Texas Myth: The Citizen Legislator.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Bush has been successful in preventing accountability and that Bush is at Center of an Intelligence Leak in The Leaky Bush - Probable Cause For Treason.

    Captain Kroc declares that McBlogger now has a patron saint. That means we're protected so don't mess with us or we'll have our BFF, God, gut punch you.

    PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had some questions for Boyd Richie.

    Vince from Capitol Annex reviews the Texas Legislative Study Group's excellent recommendations concerning what the Texas Legislature needs to do to improve higher education.

    North Texas Liberal thanks Michelle Malkin for letting us know why we should boycott Rachael Ray, the terrorist scarf-wearing daytime chef.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme crowns Victoria DA Steve Tyler the new DA Hissy Fit after the grand jury indicts the Victoria Police Chief and former City Attorney. Both may have used the Victoria Advocate newspaper to prod the child rape investigation of Tyler's chief of staff.

    WhosPlayin? takes a humorous look at how Rep Michael Burgess (R, TX-26) missed the mark again with recent comments, showing how out of touch he is with his middle-class constituents.

    The burning question at Doing My Part For The Left is will Republicans return Rev, Hagee's hate money.

    Off the Kuff completes his early tour of the Harris County races with a peek at the race for Harris County Department of Education Trustee, which in a normal year would be a pretty low-profile affair. Of course, as we know, this is anything but a normal year.

    The Texas Cloverleaf tells us how Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wants to support the communist Cuban regime.

    Texas Kaos gets into the nuts and bolts of coming events. If you're headed to Austin for the Texas Democratic State Convention this week, check out this Netroots Nation convention in Austin we're preparing for a great service event, Netroots for the Troops to prepare care packages for those who are putting themselves into harms way as our nation has asked them to do.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    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

    The Convention Post We Can No Longer Avoid

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

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

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

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

    June 04, 2008

    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 02, 2008

    ...And sometimes, the press is REALLY stupid

    Here's a dreadful piece of journalism from R. A. Dyer of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He leaves out...

    1) Deregulation has failed Texas consumers
    2) The excuses, regarding fuel costs, are irrelevant. If the standards to market entry are set so low that retailers end up being financially unable to manage their businesses (and, you know, HEDGE THEIR RISK) then clearly there is something wrong.
    3) This is related to excessive speculation in the energy market coupled with the decline in the dollar which is setting prices high for ALL natgas, even that produced domestically since we don't produce enough to meet domestic demand.
    4) The cheapest, most dependable electricity in the state is in two markets, SA Metro and Austin Metro. Neither deregulated.
    5) The price spikes are clearly indicative of market manipulation.

    Dyer, if you're going to write about something at least learn about it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:03 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 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

    May 22, 2008

    Help Them Help You

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

    Aquarelle Restaurant, 606 Rio Grande Street, Austin


    hors d'oeuvres & refreshments


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


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


    For information: 512-535-1235

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

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

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

    May 21, 2008

    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 18, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's another week (no, really) and that means it's time to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance for the preceding week. Check out the best that the Alliance has to offer, brought to you this week by refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left.


    McBlogger has some advice for State Delegates aspiring to a seat on the floor in Denver.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says all the fuss over 'wrongful' healthcare benefits in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and the Texas House is misplaced. Universal healthcare makes that problem disappear!

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston reported on Bob Perry's attempted take over of a local City Water Authority in order to develop on our golf course. The developers lose big in Clear Lake


    Off the Kuff continues his series of countywide race previews with a look at the race for Harris County Tax Assessor.

    The Texas Cloverleaf looks at right wing blowhards on tour, coming to a local amphitheater near you.

    Doing My Part for The Left is thrilled that Another Poll Shows Rick Noriega just 4 points behind Box Turtle.

    WhosPlayin notes that along with many more Republicans, Michael Burgess (TX-26) voted AGAINST supporting Mothers Day.



    Dembones at Eye On Williamson has the latest on Rick Noriega's run for the US Senate with this post, Republican machine grinding for Cornyn.

    The sinkhole in Liberty County catches PDiddie's attention -- not literally, thankfully -- and he blogs about it at Brains and Eggs in "Rural Texas finally
    collapses from GOP 'Leadership' "
    .


    Vince Leibowitz at Capitol Annex ponders the civil liberties thicket that Texas AG Greg Abbott could wander in to if he allows the Texas Lottery Commission to use the electronic strip on Texas driver's licenses to verify the age of gamblers at lottery vending machines.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin points out Racism In The Secret Service and asks how can the Secret Service perform their jobs when supervisors write and send racist emails to one another regarding interracial sex, killing Jessie Jackson and his wife and ridiculing African American slang.

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News talked to a friend of his that received a GOP Push-Poll against local Democratic judges in GOP running Scared in Harris County. He also wondered if this picture is of a Pasadena neighbor who can't spell.

    Lightseeker takes a look at What Rick Perry Promised, What the Republicans Delivered over at Texas Kaos.

    Don't forget to check out all the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs, too:

    B & B
    Bay Area Houston
    Blue 19th

    Blue Bloggin
    Bluedaze
    Brains & Eggs
    Burnt Orange Report
    Capitol Annex
    Common Sense
    Doing My Part For The Left
    Dos Centavos
    Easter Lemming Liberal News
    Eye on Williamson
    Feet To Fire
    Grassroots News U Can Use

    Half Empty
    In The Pink Texas
    Marc's Miscellany
    McBlogger
    MindSpeak
    Musings

    North Texas Liberal
    Off The Kuff
    Para Justicia y Libertad
    People's Republic of Seabrook
    South Texas Chisme
    StoutDemBlog

    Texas Kaos
    Texas Truth Serum
    The Agonist
    The Caucus Blog
    The Jeffersonian
    The Red State

    The Texas Blue
    The Texas Clover Leaf
    Three Wise Men
    Who's Playin'?
    Winding Road in Urban Area

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    It's only a contract as long as we say it's a contract

    So there's a company called National Power Company (really imaginative, right?) that wrote contracts guaranteeing electricity at 11 cents /KWh to customers. They then discovered, much to their chagrin, that they'd mispriced their rates and should have been charging 15 cents per KWh. So, being responsible corporate citizens, they decided to eat the loss and honor the commitment to their customers.

    KIDDING! They totally rolled and fucked their customers in the pooper.

    There's a clause in their little 'contract' that says they can do that with 45 days notice and no early termination fee. ISN'T THAT AWESOME?!??!

    I know, right! I'm wondering if I can do that on my mortgage. Or my car. Or my credit cards. I mean, I know I agreed to pay these interest rates but seriously, yo! This shit is jamming me up and I need to drop it down.

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

    May 15, 2008

    Does it still smell like cowshit in Amarillo?

    If not, I'm totally thinking of moving there.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (2) | 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

    May 08, 2008

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

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

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

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

    And finally...

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 05, 2008

    Noriega within FOUR POINTS of Cornyn?

    According to Rasmussen... yes. Even HRC and Obama are within a few points of McCain in Texas putting us solidly in play.

    Keep in mind, Noriega is a relative unknown with little name ID. This is a PARTY ID poll and it's clear that whatever advantage the R's had in the past has evaporated under the heat of rank incompetence.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 02, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    North Texas Liberal analyzed the arguments from Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound, and Newt Gingrich in favor of the flat tax. See our conclusions here.

    The Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas is a monumental ass. PDiddie of Brains and Eggs has the dirty details in "Discussted".

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News informed his readers about the local elections and other events taking place in a Local Early Voting Edition.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson has This Week's Transportation Wrap-Up.

    WhosPlayin resumes his watch on GOP Congressman Michael Burgess, and joins North Texas Liberal in rejecting his "flat tax" proposal as a tax increase on the middle class.

    Hal at Half Empty wonders why Texas' junior senator, John Cornyn, doesn't support our troops.

    Over at McBlogger, Captain Kroc has a real problem with some of the concessions the City made to a certain developer looking to build condos on Lake Lady Bird.

    The Texas Cloverleaf promotes a story about more shenanigans in the Texas Youth Commission, this time forcing a Denton County superintendent to quit before she is fired.

    Last week, KUHT (PBS Channel 8) in Houston ran a special on immigration and public attitudes towards it called Houston Have Your Say, which included public officials, activists, ordinary citizens, and a couple of bloggers. Off the Kuff was one of those bloggers, and he wrote about his impressions here.

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that the Texas Association of Business is calling for education reform and wonders if anyone else sees the hypocrisy in that situation.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin looks at yet another VA screw up and continues to ignore the welfare of our troops in the VA Caught In Suicide Coverup.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Cocktail Flu and early conference calls

    It's been a rough morning at McBlogger HQ. We overdid things last night first at the SFA, then at the Alamo where we went to see The Beast Within.

    I probably wouldn't have had quite so much had I known that the downtown Alamo has a LIQUOR LICENSE, making it a vast improvement over all the Alamo's in existence and those that came before. And now we don't have to sneak in a flask.

    Quit judging me.

    Truth be told, it's less alcohol and more lack of sleep since I had a conference call that started at 7:00.

    YES. I can go to bed at 3:00 and wake up at 6:30. I'm cool like that. And by cool, I mean ready to bitchslap folks for even minor infractions.

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

    May 01, 2008

    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

    April 27, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    Once again, it's time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is compiled by The Texas Cloverleaf.

    In honor of Income Tax day, Lightseeker at TexasKaos examines the Republican's tax cut claim here in Texas and discover that what it really amounts to is "tax shifting" and we are the ones getting shafted. Tax Shifting With Bohac's Assessment Cap as Our Example.

    WhosPlayin notes that John McCain has proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax, and points out that McCain would do just as well to try to suspend the law of gravity.

    The Texas Cloverleaf is helping to save the earth on Earth Day weekend with helpful tips for saving energy and your wallet, as well as picking up trash with Stonewall Democrats. Don't mess with Texas!

    CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme wonders if all Republicans are Tom Craddicks in training. Listen to Nueces County Republican chair Mike Bertuzzi ignore all the 'Point of Order' calls at the county convention. Sound familiar?

    John Coby of Bay Area Houston has the real press release from Rick Perry about his run for Governor in 2010.

    Here are local activist Jose Orta's Impressions Of T. Don Hutto, Williamson County's immigrant detention facility, that were posted at Eye On Williamson after his recent visit.

    At McBlogger, barfly analyses what's really important to the American voter in this hour of cultural brouhaha.

    Off the Kuff takes an early look at the race for District Attorney in Harris County, which is sure to be one of the hottest local races this year.

    Today is San Jacinto Day and PDiddie of Brains and Eggs will be at the commemorative ceremonies taking place at the battlefield near Houston.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Your $300 - $1,200 Economic Stimulus Payment Cost $767 Million

    Hal at Half Empty questions whether one person running for President is actually temperamentally fit to be in that office.

    Vince at Capitol Annex thinks it is terrible that Texas teacher salaries are so low that that more than a quarter of all teachers must work a second job to make ends meet.

    North Texas Liberal reports on a homophobic journalist's question to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, and the smackdown she gave in response.

    George Nassar at The Texas Blue takes some time out of Friday's morning news roundup to point out that were the Bush administration to use a logical metric, it would be clear to them that the surge has failed.

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

    April 15, 2008

    Everyone loves a party

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

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

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

    Happy Birthday, BOR!

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

    April 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

    April 03, 2008

    Here's where you're wrong

    The primaries this year threw a lot of people off, mostly because it was a much more significant event than anyone realized it would be. Everyone expected record turnout, but no one thought it would be as large as it was. I've waited a month for someone to point out the obvious and damn if it still hasn't happened. Then I read this retarded little analysis and thought "Goddamn, none of the mooks are going to say it". So, allow me.

    The Democratic Primary effectively sucked the life out of the majority Republican Party in Texas.

    There's a theory floating out there that somehow the non-partisan ParentPAC has lost it's strength. Here's the brill primary analysis...

    To make it even worse, best estimates put Parent PAC’s arch nemesis, pro-voucher supporter James Leininger, at 4-2 this primary cycle. And three of his four victories came against Parent PAC backed candidates.

    Here’s a closer look at Parent PAC’s primary cycle. In races where they put in 10,000 dollars or more, they managed a mere 2 - 5 record. In their marque race of the season, Parent PAC again targeted a top Craddick Lieutenant in Phil King, but this time they poured over 60,000 dollars into a poor showing with Joe Tison, who got rolled-up by 31 points. Jim Shepherd took 5,000 of their dollars and front-runner status into his quest to not make his run-off to replace Fred Hill. Likewise, Bob Leonard took 7,500 of their dollars only to get trounced by Mark Shelton. But I’m sure that was one they didn’t mind losing, this way Parent PAC is saved the awkward moment of having to chose in the general between Leonard and Democrat Dan Barrett, who they’ve donated to in the past.

    The El Paso duo of Moreno and Haggerty took a combined 16,000 Parent PAC dollars and flushed it down the toilet. All in all, in the ten races Parent PAC lost, totaling over 131,000 of their dollars, 6 were by ten points or more. But it’s not all bad news. It only took the badly bruised PAC just 161,000 dollars to squeeze out a 17 vote victory over Nathan Macias.

    First, there is a really good reason why some of these races were lost. Democrats pulled people out of the Republican primary all over Texas for the first time in decades. That's the only way Haggerty loses and it's not like that will be a CradDICK win. Moody's going to take that seat with ease in November. As for King, shit... I think even he sees Sean Penn when he looks in a mirror. Even if he survives November, he'll be bloodied, beaten down and shrunken under the weight of knowing that it's going to happen all over again in less than 2 years. I don't think those narrow shoulders can bear that kind of load.

    Of course, going into the primary, I like many thought it would be business as usual. But I'm a dumbass blogger. Some of these people are well paid political analysts who should have been able to see in the numbers the trouble ahead. My problem was in thinking this was only a slightly larger Pres primary with a 'slightly larger' universe of voters. I certainly never anticipated it would suck the life out of the Republican party and nothing I saw that night made me think differently. I mean, I live in Travis County. I'm used to dramatically outnumbering the Republicans at precinct conventions. What surprised me was that Democrats were doing it all over the state. And those numbers flipping over weakened the chances that challengers and good incumbents in the R primary had against CradDICK and Leininger opponents.

    Just like Grusendork in 2006, King would have gone down this year in the primary from crossover support. So, in large part for no real reason, Leininger looks like he's got his teeth back. But looks can be deceiving. He's still the same neutered dipshit he was just after the 2006 primaries. However, no one will see it until November.

    Many people are going to be surprised by how many races Democratic candidates win around the state with seemingly little support. It's because overnight March 4th, the Texas Democratic Party became THE 800 pound gorilla in the room.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:10 AM | 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 21, 2008

    Runoff - Henry and Lehmberg

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

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

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

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

    March 20, 2008

    HERA (hearts) Equality Texas

    The Houston Equal Right Alliance is announcing is integrating with Equality Texas. Together, they will work to make LGBT Texans safe from discrimination. And, hopefully, polyblend (seriously, have you seen some of the hideous things people are wearing around with a straight face?)

    Full release in the supersize... where all the big boys belong.

    Houston Equal Rights Alliance (HERA) Announcement EXCITING NEWS!!!

    HERA to Integrate with Equality Texas

    Dear Friends and Supporters,


    The past four to five years have been amazing as we have
    seen much progress in terms of electing pro-equality
    legislators both at the local and statewide level. HERA has
    been the lead organization during this time in identifying
    voters, reaching out to the Houston community through our
    educational work and building alliances with other GLBT and
    progressive organizations. We are proud of our
    accomplishments including the identification of literally
    thousands and thousands of voters since 2004 who said that
    they would without hesitation support gay, lesbian, bisexual
    and transgender civil rights. Our progress....simply
    put...has been because of YOUR faith and support.

    With progress comes change...and we are excited to announce
    that as of March 15, 2008 that HERA will officially
    integrate with Equality Texas. Equality Texas is our
    statewide political organization working to advance the
    cause of equality for all Texans. Equality Texas, whose
    programmatic and advocacy work across the state has mirrored
    HERA's in the greater Houston metropolitan area. Equality
    Texas has been a longtime alliance partner of the Houston
    Equal Rights Alliance and we are proud of our collaborative
    and successful efforts.

    HERA's Board of Director's began a dialogue last year with
    Equality Texas about how we could best achieve our common
    goals and objectives in the Houston metro area. The
    decision was made by both Boards to look at the possibility
    of an integration. Since then, we have talked to many of
    our supporters to get feedback on the proposed integration.
    The dialogue and feedback were overwhelmingly positive and
    this resulted in our respective Board's adopting a proposal
    to integrate HERA with Equality Texas.

    There are three primary reasons why the HERA Board voted to
    integrate with Equality Texas.

    a.. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Equality
    Texas and the work the organization is doing across the
    State of Texas. We have always considered the success of
    Equality Texas core to our work in Houston. This
    integration represents an opportunity for Equality Texas
    to have a greater level of infrastructure and support in
    the greater Houston metro area.
    b.. This integration is a natural progression for HERA
    considering our key areas: building alliance
    relationships, developing infrastructure and a strategic
    focus looking out to the next 3-5 years and beyond.
    c.. The primary reason is that this integration is in the
    best interests of the Houston GLBT community. All the
    work and accomplishments through HERA have always been
    about serving our community and this decision is no
    different.
    This is a "win-win" situation because Equality Texas will
    benefit from the infrastructure that HERA has developed
    through the years and the Houston community wins because we
    will have a larger presence with our statewide organization.
    We need Equality Texas to be successful...not just for
    Houston but for the place we all call home...Texas. The
    HERA Board is working to make this integration successful
    and we will continue to work with and support Equality Texas
    until the day when the gay, lesbian, bisexual and
    transgender community is no longer treated as second-class
    citizens.

    Your support has been and will be critical going forward.
    Because of your commitments of time and financial support,
    we have achieved incredible programmatic, electoral and
    grassroots achievements. And as we look ahead, the HERA
    Team is asking you to support Equality Texas because this is
    an organization that is truly making a difference 365 days
    a year for our community.

    Please visit www.equalitytexas.org to learn more about
    Equality Texas.

    Keep an eye out for an announcement about our Launch
    Party!!!! You will have an opportunity to learn more about
    the exciting plans for 2008 and beyond.

    Thank you again for ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!

    For Equality,

    Rob Scamardo
    President

    Tammi Wallace
    Founding Board Member, Former Executive Director and
    Immediate Past President


    About the Houston Equal Rights Alliance (HERA)

    The Houston Equal Rights Alliance (HERA) is an alliance of
    individuals and organizations committed to building a
    sustainable strategy through community building to promote
    equality and respect for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
    transgender people through education and advocacy.


    THANK YOU!!!

    Thank you for all of your amazing support over the years!!!! The
    years ahead are going to be exciting as we push forward with
    Equality Texas to work on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
    transgender civil rights.

    Look for details on our upcoming Launch Party !!!! You will be
    able to hear more about the exciting plans for 2008 and beyond!

    Please visit
    www.equalitytexas.org to learn more about the amazing work of our
    statewide organization.

    The HERA Board wishes to express our deepest appreciation for Paul
    Scott, Executive Director of Equality Texas and to the Board for
    their dialogue, openness and commitment to this integration and
    putting our communities best interests in the forefront at every
    discussion.

    THANK YOU!!!

    TO OUR
    VOLUNTEERS:

    You are the absolute best! All of your blood, sweat and tears
    have made a difference in Houston and will continue to do so. We
    look forward to working with you through Equality Texas!!!

    TO OUR
    FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS:

    Every voter ID, discussion with a voter about GLBT civil rights,
    political victory, etc., is because you funded work that has truly
    made a difference in Houston! Every dollar made a difference and
    we thank you for your support!

    TO OUR
    ALLIANCE PARTNERS:

    Thank you for every hour, every meeting, collaborative effort and
    working together for a cause we all believe in - EQUALITY!

    Click here to learn more about Equality Texas:

    Mission and Values
    Board and Staff
    History
    Issues
    Victories
    Press Room
    Upcoming Events


    Call To Action - Sign up to receive Equality Texas emails.

    Visit the Action Center to sign up


    Click Here to Contribute to Equality Texas and support the local
    work in Houston:

    Contribute to ET!!!


    DON'T MISS THE LAUNCH PARTY!!!! MORE DETAILS SOON!!!




    For more information about the Equality Texas-HERA integration,
    please contact:
    info@equalitytexas.org
    512.474.5475



    Email Marketing by

    Houston Equal Rights Alliance (HERA) | 1915 Commonwealth, Suite 104 | Houston
    | TX | 77006

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:08 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

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up. The round-up is compiled each week by the TPA based on submissions made by our member blogs and bloggers. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    The leader of McBlogger's crack legal team has an interesting take on Gov. Spitzer's premium taste in hookers.

    TXsharon at Bluedaze asks if Texas Railroad Commission malpractice like this will cost you your life or only your health.

    WhosPlayin looks at plagiarism by a Republican candidate for city council: John Gorena, of Lewisville who lifted quite a bit of his website from a Democratic judicial candidate.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at downballot voting in the Democratic Primary in Harris County.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson shines a light on the latest Texas GOP voucher scam in HD-52, Education Matters.

    Hal at Half Empty came across the latest production by the DSCC, and to his surprise and delight, found it was about (or going to be, eventually) our own senatorial candidate, Texas Democratic senatorial nominee Rick Noriega.

    Good luck unemployed people of Texas. The Texas Cloverleaf exposes Governor 39%'s recent appointment of GOP idealogue and fellow blogger, Tom Pauken, as the new chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme shows how Republicans shaft Texas workers on behalf of their business cronies. Insurance companies are forced to reveal medical data on perspective employees and unemployment insurance premiums are cut to give companies a 'tax break'.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at a number of scorecards ranking Texas' Congressional Delegation in which Texas' Republicans score big, fat "F's" when it comes to children, families, the middle class, the environment, working Americans, and more.

    In "Bulletins from the front lines", PDiddie at Brains and Eggs advances some of the challenges the forthcoming Senate District conventions will face, with the expected huge turnout expected to overrun facilities and organizers.

    nytexan at BlueBloggin looks at the different delegate counts provided by the media and asks So You Think You Know The Delegate Count.

    Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left writes a Letter to Hillary.

    Fake Consultant takes a shot at predicting a perfect VP for Obama at Texas Kaos.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 12, 2008

    Montford receives one hell of an endorsement

    I don't think I've ever seen anything like this...

    Rosemary Lehmberg has been endorsed by Ronnie Earle as his hand picked replacement. She led the Public Integrity Unit for a time in Travis County and has been an assistant DA in Travis County for many years. She will continue on the policies of Ronnie Earle...policies that most Republicans are not fond of.
    For those Republicans that "crossed-over" to become Democrats this year, I ask you to vote in the runoff for Mindy Montford for Travis County DA. The Republicans do not have a candidate in the general election this year, so the winner of the Democrat Primary will be the new Travis County District Attorney. Put your new voting power as a Democrat to good use, and vote in the runoff for Mindy Montford.

    So, what Travis Monitor is (in effect) saying is that Montford will be more compliant to the Republicans? And that Rosemary Lehmberg will continue to prosecute political corruption, both Republican and Democratic? Are you saying that Republicans don't want to see public corruption prosecuted and Montford will sit on the prosecutions Republicans don't like? Would that include the one of Tom Delay? The same guy Democratic AND Republican Texans think is carnival scum?

    We're sticking with Rosemary.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 11, 2008

    Relevance and Unity

    One thing last Tuesday night made clear was that people are paying attention to Democrats. Recent polls indicate that more than 52% of people in the US are now calling themselves Democrats. None of this is good news to the Republican candidate who now has to convince people he even matters. Which, not surprisingly, even Texans are clearly indicating, he doesn't.

    While the Presidential race is going to continue and continue to draw attention, we in Texas have had our primary. We know, mostly, who our candidates are. Now is the time for unity. Frankly, I'm not all that jazzed about certain candidates who will represent us in November. However, the alternative is far, far worse.

    While we move in this direction, we should pay attention to runoff races. My two are the RRC race (between Dale Henry and some other guy) and the Travis County DA's race (I'm still for Rosemary). What's on your radar?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time for the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Refinish69 joins John McClelland, Democratic nominee for Texas House District 64n in asking "Where's Myra"?

    Seems Shrub has a new title to add to his list. Torturer in Chief doesn't seem like one most people would want but then Shrub is a fool.

    Eye On Williamson wraps up Tuesday's primary. Dembones points out that Obama won Williamson County and SD 5, as well as the unprecedented turnout for the caucuses. WCNews has initial impressions and more impressions from the primary.

    Offt the Kuff has been busy poring through the data from Tuesday's primary, with posts about the blueing on Harris County, and a series on Republican crossover votes.

    The Texas Cloverleaf begs the question, who the hell is Mark Thompson? Is another dead dancer in our midst, or did voter apathy give us another odd run off?

    Where is Myra? State Rep Crownover is missing, and the Leaf wants you to watch a video to help locate her.

    PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wrote the advance story of Election Day in his precinct with "Today's agenda", and the postscript in "244".

    McBlogger had an exciting and mostly hateful Primary Week. Things kicked off with Mayor McSleaze's recap of the primary itself, while McBlogger took the time to bitchslap John McCain for taking an endorsement from some weird-o preacher in San Antonio and chastise adults for following the lead of a child. McBlogger finishes up the week with a plea for relief from a devastating force, Rachael Ray.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin asks democrats to unite and explore Make It So! A Clinton-Obama ticket?

    WhosPlayin thanks his city's staff for the help in Tuesday's primaries, and wonders why the big deal about the use of the "M" word.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston wonders When Hope turns into Whine.

    Vince at Capitol Annex starts taking a look at the March 4 primary, with the first of many Primary Postmortem posts.

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

    March 10, 2008

    I'll have water without the diazepam

    Feeling a little mellow? Maybe you find yourself developing erections without any provocation? Do you find that you're growing hair in weird places? It's nothing to worry about. It's probably just the pharmacological residue in your drinking water. Unless you live in Austin. Then it's just you being a freak.

    A vast array of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

    To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

    But the presence of so many prescription drugs - and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen - in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists about long-term consequences to human health.

    To expand a bit, we've got a lot of long term usage data about the effects of medicinal doses of Valium, for example. What we don't know are the longer term effects of near constant microdosages. Not to mention that some of these drugs are harmful to reproductive health at ANY dosage. The scary part? That bottled water you're drinking may not be safe either since most of it comes out of a tap.

    The good news? Those of us that live in Austin have no detectable levels of pharmacological residue in our water. The bad news? Austin's water has no detectable level of pharmacological res...

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 08, 2008

    Gore/Obama '08?

    According to Chris Crain, that may well be the outcome of a brokered convention. Stupid? Oh, fuck yeah. Chris, like most nutters, seems to think that if Obama doesn't get it the whole party will disintegrate. So he proposes a coup led by the superdelegates to install Gore in an attempt to maintain party unity.

    The only solution I see is for a group of wise superdelegates to begin a "draft Gore" movement, placing his name in nomination at the convention, and try to organize a large enough bloc of delegates to deny a majority to either Clinton or Obama ballot after ballot. After it becomes apparent that neither will get the nomination, I would hope Obama would throw his delegates to Al Gore, giving him the nomination.

    Gore is someone that the followers of both Obama and Clinton could get behind. Each faction would rather have Gore as the nominee than feel they had lost to their primary opponent. Feelings are that hard between these two camps. Gore just may be able to bridge these feelings as well as the fault lines in the party created by the two candidates.

    As a reward for throwing his delegates behind Gore, I hope Gore chooses Obama as his VP.

    This is the Gore/Obama version of the Gore/______ fantasy that's been making the speculative rounds since, oh, LAST SUMMER. Way to stay on top of things, Chris.

    The reality is that we've, in many ways, moved past Gore. There a supporters of both Clinton and Obama that would have a problem with Gore being forced on them from the top as in Crain's little elitist scenario. Of course, that doesn't stop him from predicting calamity should this deal not occur...

    Hillary Clinton's problem is that even if she wins big in all the remaining primaries, she will still trail Barack in pledged delegates. To win the nomination, she would have to convince superdelegates to overturn the will of voters, just as the U.S. Supreme Court did in appointing George W. Bush president in 2000.

    That result would poison the Democratic Party. Young people and African Americans would be angry, and the party would split in an ugly convention scene that would likely propel John McCain to victory. There is not enough time in the eight weeks between the convention and the November election to heal wounds and win. The irony is this is supposed to be a Democratic year -- and yet the Democrats are on a certain path to blow it.

    Barack Obama’s problem is that even though he will have the most pledged delegates at the convention, he is having a hard time tapping into the traditional Democratic base to close the deal.

    As someone in another forum pointed out to me recently, either way we lose a third. And I don't for a minute buy it. People are voting this year FOR a Democrat. Obvs, some have their preference and I can tell you right now that they WILL show up in November. Either way, there are going to be some people who'll have to vote for someone other than their preferred candidate. There's no way to avoid it. Quit crying about it, Chris.

    As if the whole article wasn't bad enough (in that annoying, back-of-hand-to-the-forehead, 'woe is me' way) he then drops the bomb on some of Clinton's adverts leading up to Tuesday.

    Additionally, Americans are showing once again that they can be stampeded by fear.

    Senator Clinton’s closing "3 a.m" ad was very effective, and Senator McCain is guaranteed to use the same tactic, probably just as effectively. And while Obama and Clinton battle each other for six months, McCain will define Obama however he wants to, so if the superdelegates nominate Obama, he will be so beaten up by Clinton and McCain, I think he will fail in the fall.

    Oh hell, that ad was WORTHLESS. If it didn't do as much as harm as good, I'd be surprised. For one thing, just from the professional perspective of people who actually produce television spots, it was bad. Like a cheesy attempt by a Democrat to copy a Republican. Whoever did should be shot for rank incompetence. Seriously, y'all, you folks are too nice to really pull off something like this.

    Hillary didn't win on Tuesday because of that retard ad. She won because many of us, WANT HER. Yes, we can is a hell of lot less powerful than YES WE WILL.

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

    March 05, 2008

    How much is really being held up?

    (We're working on the recap... not that any of you psychotics really care. It's pretty clear the lot of you voted to FUCK US in the general by voting for retards. Seriously, re-electing CradDICK D's? Oh, hell... you deserve the 'leadership' you get)

    Think the war on drugs is not only essential but going well? You're wrong...

    That large number of arrests must also mean they're mainly catching "little fish" with little tangible effect on overall drug supplies. Most of the bigger fish captured, with one or two high-profile exceptions, have come from the Gulf Cartel, which has led me to wonder if the overall strategy of the Mexican government might not be to pick a side in the cartel wars instead of to stop all illegal drugs. The quickest way to reduce violence in Mexico, which after all stems mainly from competition among rival illegal businesses - would be for the government to enforce an informal monopoly for one side or the other, probably the Sinaloa drug syndicate. By comparison, the Sysiphian task of halting all illegal drugs likely cannot be accomplished any time soon, even if it's what the US might prefer.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 04, 2008

    Election Results

    Here's the Travis County results page...BOR also has a page up for results from around the state. We're going to do a recap manana. It's pretty clear Thompson lost and East Austin gets the Representative they deserve. I'm thoroughly disgusted by people who blatantly vote against their self interest.

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

    March 03, 2008

    In politics today...

  • Larry Joe Doherty is apparently distributing campaign lit that doesn't have a union bug on it or 'Printed In House'.
  • Things are getting really nasty in the Thompson vs. Dukes race for HD 46...First, the ethics complaint filed by a Dukes crony against Thompson has been dismissed. And then there is the ridiculous little lawsuit filed by Dukes' family against Thompson regarding the CTRMA's employment of Dukes' sister immediately before Dukes voted, as part of CAMPO, to turn control of Central Texas toll roads over to CTRMA.

    Sal over at Muckracker has brought this up a number of times. So have I. Why she declined to sue us is unknown. I mean, it's not like Sal and I are poor.

  • Laura Morrison's having an open house at her campaign office on Thursday after all this primary bullshit is over...Thursday, March 6th; 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm; 632 B North Lamar
  • Dukes Desperately Tries to Stop Thompson's Momentum: Has Family File Bogus Defamation Claim for Ad Based on Austin American-Statesman Reporting

    Just a day after the Texas Ethics Commission summarily dismissed a bogus ethics complaint filed by a known Dukes supporter against Democrat Brian Thompson, the Dukes family has filed a lawsuit against Thompson for a campaign ad that contains facts that were first published by the Austin American-Statesman in 2004.

    The advertisement over which the lawsuit has been filed can be viewed here.

    "I welcome the chance to have my day in court," said Brian Thompson, Democratic candidate for HD 46. "Since defamation cases allow for an open and extensive discovery process, I look forward to exploring Rep. Dukes's and Stacy Dukes-Rhone's alleged contracts and associations with numerous governmental entities around Austin."

    The baseless lawsuit takes issue with a campaign advertisement that criticizes Rep. Dukes for voting to toll roads while hiding her sister's $44,000 toll road contract.

    "Rep. Dukes's vote for toll roads and her sister's toll-road contract were well-established by the news media in Austin prior to this campaign," said Thompson.

    According to the Austin American-Statesman, Rep. Dukes was "feeling the heat for voting to approve a project that financially benefits her sister, Stacy Rhone." (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)

    With specific regard to whether a member of the Dukes family had a toll road contract, the Statesman makes a definitive and unambiguous statement:

    "As the American-Statesman's Ben Wear reported, Rhone holds a $44,000 contract with the general engineering company for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which will run the toll roads approved by CAMPO. Though officials with the general engineering contractor, HNTB, said Rhone started her public relations work in February this year, she did not sign a contract with HNTB until July 7, about a week before Dukes voted to pass the toll road plan."

    (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)

    The Statesman even called into question the suspicious timing of Dukes' sister's toll road contract: "The timing throws gasoline on a fire of suspicion about the toll roads." (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)

    The Statesman took Dukes to task for refusing to disclose the fact that her sister had a toll road contract:


    "It is her [Stacy Dukes-Rhone's] relationship to Dukes .... that has caused people to criticize the circumstances under which she got a contract with HNTB. That could have been avoided if Dukes had disclosed those details herself."

    (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)

    The Statesman offered two suggestions aimed directly at Rep. Dukes:

    "Members of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board should voluntarily and immediately disclose their potential conflicts of interest, and moreover, abstain from voting on matters that represent financial gain for themselves, business partners or family members."

    (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)


    "In the meantime, CAMPO members should publicly disclose their potential conflicts of interest, including those that involve siblings."

    (Source: "Questions about conflicts of interest on CAMPO board" Austin American-Statesman, published on September 23, 2004)

    The facts are clear, and substantiate the ad.

    FACT: Rep. Dukes voted for toll roads.

    FACT: Rep. Dukes' sister had a $44,000 toll road contract.

    FACT: A sister is considered family.

    FACT: Rep. Dukes failed to disclose her sister's $44,000 toll road contract prior to voting for toll roads.

    FACT: Drivers all across Travis County are now paying tolls on toll roads that Rep. Dukes supported.

    In a previous version of the lawsuit that was leaked to the media before Thompson was actually served (which suggests that the true intent of the baseless lawsuit has more to do with trying to score political points than actually litigating a legitimate claim) the Dukes family attempted to sue Thompson for an ad that was not even his.

    According to a write-up on the Austin Chronicle web site, "The family of Rep. Dawnna Dukes seems to be trying to sue her primary opponent Brian Thompson for an attack ad he didn't have anything to do with."

    (Source: Austin Chronicle, "The Man Behind the Ad" available online here)

    The Chronicle confirms that the Thompson Campaign had nothing to do with the primary ad addressed in the leaked petition:


    "Now we've heard from the person who did create the ad: Sal Costello, the man behind the People for Efficient Transportation PAC (which runs AustinTollParty.com) and a perennial critic of Dukes, has weighed in. And yes, he confirms the ad the Dukes family quotes at great length in their complaint against Thompson is not a Thompson ad, but came from Costello's group, and is hosted on Costello's YouTube account. Isn't he worried that now he might get dragged into the legal battle? Not so much. "She's threatened to sue me personally, and it's always nonsense," said Costello."

    (Source: Austin Chronicle, "The Man Behind the Ad" available online here )

    For more information contact the campaign office at (512) 524-5682 or e-mail info@electbrianthompson.com

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

    March 02, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time again for the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Burnt Orange Report is covering all kinds of races this week. In addition to their notable endorsement of Obama and analysis of how he can win and his Presidential primary poll numbers, Matt Glazer has reported that State Rep. Kino Flores has some ethics violation troubles, beyond the $50,000 he received from Craddick supporters.

    Eye On Williamson has two posts on the upcoming Presidential Primary in Texas, Why I'm For Barack Obama and Barack can seal the deal in Williamson County. And locally, The Silly Season Is Upon Us - The WCGOP Machine Makes It's Choice.

    TXsharon at Bluedaze, while not a football fan, reports on illegal gifts of SuperBowl tickets to Phil King and Michael Williams. Considering that the most recent pipeline explosion sent flames 600 -700 feet into the air, we need Railroad Commissioners without conflicts making decisions that will keep Texans safe.

    WhosPlayin of WhosPlayin.com endorsed Obama for President and Aimlessness thinks Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia needs to go back to law school and get a refresher course on the U.S. Constitution. Talk about your "tortured" logic.

    Musings endorses Hillary Clinton for President,citing her toughness, service, compassion, ability to work across the aisle and her solutions-oriented approach to governing as reasons why she is the choice for a new direction in Washington.

    The Texas Cloverleaf digs up a report by the GAO that toll road public-private partnerships might not be the best thing for taxpayers. While at the same time, a new state rail system venture is brought back into the public spotlight in Texas.

    The Texas Cloverleaf gets its hide chapped when the Dallas Morning News endorses the primary opponent of Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The endorsement is destroyed in typical Cloverleaf fashion.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme wonders if James Leininger is giving up the fight for school vouchers, i.e. destroying public schools in favor a theocratic education. In any case, Leininger is distancing himself from Tom Craddick.

    Off the Kuff looks at the yard sign primary in his neighborhood.

    Team McBlogger has decided to swim against the tide and endorse Senator Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Primary. Then they compounded the good decision making with a trip to the opening of her Texas HQ in Austin to see Bill Clinton. You know, the guy who's married to the candidate. Apparently, a couple of thousand people also had the same idea.

    At Half Empty, with Edwards gone, Hal has thrown his support to Barack Obama. And, after a day of sAfter much soul searching, thought and input from great bloggers across the nation, Refinish69 has decided to endorse Obama for President in 2008.eething anger, Hal at Half Empty asks this question of the Republican Party of Texas, who are acting as surrogates for the John Cornyn senatorial campaign: Are you sure you want a dog in this hunt?

    After much soul searching, thought and input from great bloggers across the nation, Refinish69 has decided to endorse Obama for President in 2008.

    Open Source Dem at Brains and Eggs has`part two of "Texas in Play."

    BossKittyat BlueBloggin shows us that voting is still a major problem in this country considering Washington DC Has 10,000 Mystery Voters.

    Jaye at Winding Road in Urban Area endorses Hillary Clinton for President.

    John Coby's mom is for Hillary Clinton. "I can't remember when our country was in such a horrible situation considering the war in Iraq, our debt, our status in the world. My country is in trouble and I believe Hillary Clinton can begin to solve the problems beginning on day one."

    Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Marissa Marquez in House District 77 has been trashing bloggers, and endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 01, 2008

    Color me impressed

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

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

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

    Take a well deserved bow, Mike!

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

    February 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

    This is what really angers me...

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

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

    And I shit in Matzo's hat.

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

    UPDATE - CD10 : Endorsement Fun

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

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

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

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

    The Candidate. Brought to you by Valero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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

    Dawnna Dukes and the art of lying like a rug

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

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


    NOTHING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    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 26, 2008

    Texas House News O The Day - Thompson and Betty Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    February 25, 2008

    More good news for Skelly

    We wrote up Michael Skelly a while back. Tuesday came some more good news for him in terms of polling vs. Culberson and fundraising. Needless to say, it looks like a Democrat has a great chance to take over CD 7.

    And the people of Houston could really use the help.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 23, 2008

    Tolls : Overspending; Safety Concerns and more

  • It should come as no surprise that despite TXDOT's protestations of poverty, they still found the time to give TXDOT MANAGERS thousands of dollars each from a massive taxpayer funded bonus pool. It shouldn't surprise anyone because it's always the Republican way to give money to managers... not the people who actually, you know, do the work.
  • Senator Hinojosa is thinking about sunsetting TXDOT? Oh, be still my beating heart! However, we'd much rather you just got rid of the management. Like the 'tards Saenz and Houghton. Seriously, even for Republicans y'all are pretty damn stupid.
  • There's a rumor going around that Rep. Leo Berman (R - I CAN DO WHAT I WANT) recently told a crowd that he didn't care if taxpayers wanted an indexed gas tax, he was only for toll roads and he'd never work to index the gas tax.

    Does he have a Republican opponent? Or D running against him?

  • No one in East Texas likes TTC - 69. And those good folks own lots of guns.
  • Toll roads are in even worse shape than non-toll roads? You mean privatization isn't giving us better roads? Say it ain't so
  • Posted by mcblogger at 04:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 22, 2008

    Tolls : Dunnam calls out TXDOT

    Spot.On.

    Jim Dunnam Waco Tribune-Herald Copyright 2008

    Take the toll route?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So what is that agenda?

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

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

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

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

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

    Threatening Waco

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

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

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

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

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

    And lack of legislative accountability is the exact reason TxDOT feels safe in threatening our communities and thumbing its nose at the Legislature. TxDOT’s main funding, the gas tax, is dedicated by the Texas Constitution.

    That means TxDOT can ignore the Legislature and still know it will get its money.

    Bonds from toll roads will be like another dedicated revenue source, making TxDOT autonomous and the situation worse.

    TxDOT needs to be reined in and made accountable. TxDOT should provide the Legislature with accurate information; but how to pay for the roads should be decided by the Legislature.

    The Legislature will work to address Texas transportation needs responsibly through cooperation at the federal, state and local levels. But in order to do that, TxDOT must be an honest and accountable partner.

    Our forefathers gave us great free roads in Texas. Our legacy should not mean our children have to pay an extra $3 to drive from Lorena on I-35 to buy a Health Camp burger. Instead, Central Texans need to stand up and say “no” to toll lanes on I-35 — and I intend to do just that.

    Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, is State Representative for District 57.

    (Via TTC Archives)

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

    Loving me some Hillary

    Photobucket

    Hill's opening statement and her closing statement. Honestly, The Mayor and I were impressed and the crowd tonight was pretty clearly divided. We did, of course, differ on the impact of this statement...

    Hillary just said, "If your campaign is going to be based on words, I think they should be your own." Best line of the night. She added, "If you talk about change, it's not change you can believe in, it's change you can xerox." It's a good line, but... ooh. Ouch. Even the media didn't like that one.

    Does she have a tin ear? Or do people just love Obama and don't want to hear it?

    When she starts saying things like that, the first reaction is "there's a good line;" the second thing you think is, "ooh, I'm glad my wife isn't like that."

    For us, we were thinking..."Damn, I hope she gets to use something like that against Old Grandpa 100 Years In Iraq." Frankly, THAT'S the bite in the knife we need in this country. We need someone who cares enough about winning this election to pull out the stops and call bullshit.

    Obama came across as tired and irritable. Hillary had a sharp tongue and used it to great effect. The gooders watching the debate with us of course thought she was over the top. Get over it. Politics ain't an ice cream social in Texas. Feel good crap is only going to get you so far and then you better have something there. Obama's weak on that and that's where Hillary has her impact. She gets it. She knows how to fight and win.

    One last note... we got to see some OLD friends tonight, Mike, Melissa and Todd from our Austin For Kerry days. They're all about Obama. We love them anyway!

    (Photo : WMM - Taken at Guero's)

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 21, 2008

    In which we endorse candidates (Outside of Austin)

    This is list of races and the candidates we're endorsing around the State of Texas in the Democratic Primary.

    HD 36

    Sandra Rodriguez is our pick in a race pitting her against Rep. Kino Flores. The only thing that distinguishes Flores is his support for Republican Speaker CradDICK. That and his ethics issues.

    HD 20

    Leonard Surrat is the best choice for Williamson County Democrats.

    SD 11

    We're endorsing Joe Jaworski in this race. He's the best candidate for a number of reasons, among them are his professional experience and the fact that he's clearly positioned best to beat 'Toxic' Mike Jackson.

    The rest of these people we're just going to blanket endorse. Many of them have served for years, some are running against CradDICK D's or are being challenged by CradDICK D's. All deserve your support.

    State Representative, District 43 - Rep. Juan Escobar
    Fighting against Tara Ybarra Rios. A Republican in Democratic clothing.

    State Representative, District 77 - Rep. Paul Moreno

    State Representative, District 140 - Armando Walle
    Running against Rep. Kevin Bailey who really needs to be retired.

    State Representative, District 145 - Carol Alvarado

    State Representative, District 146 - Rep. Borris Miles
    A little crazy at times? Perhaps. The alternative, though, is unthinkable. It's Al Edwards. Ugh.

    State Representative, District 147 - Rep. Garnet Coleman
    Really? You need to be told to vote for this guy? Really? Just go do it!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Debate-O-Rama

    As you no doubt are aware, the D Presidential candidates (GO HILLARY!) are in town tonight for a debate. I'll, of course, be watching at a bar with a scotch in one hand and a cigarette in the other that I'll be gesturing wildly with to show my support for HILLARY while other, lesser people (Obama people who drink beer, natch) will try to stay out of the way, lest they get burned.

    So who is covering all the madness? KXAN, of course! You can access their coverage here. They also have a cool new poll out showing a dead heat here in Texas.

    In other Presidential primary news some people endorsed Obama and Todd Hill over at BOR has a great piece up on the Obamathon in Dallas yesterday. Muse over at Musings is loving some Bill (so do I, but not in THAT way).

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dan Grant and The Ad

    Here it is, boys and girls! Dan's television debut. I gotta say I love the endorsement contrast.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Making the funny go away... The Watson Incident

    There are two rules in comedy:

    1) NEVER try to piggyback off another comic's work
    2) NEVER forget the first rule

    Hank Klinger and the always late to the party (to the point where they're hanging out with the dregs) TXGOP, sent out an email this AM about Kirk's little incident on MSNBC. The same one that ran out of funny about the time Kirk sent out an email OWNING the gaffe and making it just another part of who he is.

    We had three posts about this up by noon yesterday. It took the TXGOP almost 48 hours to get something mediocre out. Want to know why Republican's suck? Because they're stupid and slow and have all the comedic genius of Larry, The Cable Guy.

    You're lame, Hans. LLLAAAMMMEEEE!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 20, 2008

    TLR no mas?

    The morons who brought us 'lawsuit reform' have been dissolved, according to a press release from TXIR (via BOR).

    Good riddance, douchies!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 19, 2008

    CD10 : NAIS on the brain

    Remember this post? It prompted this, this, this and this all in a very short timeframe. So what's the dealio?

    Well, for one thing, the information WAS up on Doherty's website. For another, KUT did pull it down after being asked by the Doherty campaign. The campaign itself has not, to my knowledge, distanced itself from the comment.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 16, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It is time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up, compiled by TXsharon from Bluedaze.


    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News
    urges Texans to NOT give to veterans by mail. At least not without some investigation. Read about the fake veteran's charities scam supported by Republicans in Cheating Charitable Givers and Veterans.

    Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger takes some time out of his busy schedule to ask a few important questions of Michael Moore and our friends at MoveOn.Org.

    What is Congress to do?! The Texas Cloverleaf looks at how the Bush administration continues to ignore the US House and hurt Texas, in it's blatant disregard of the Congressional order to end the DOT's plan for Mexican trucks in America.

    Plastic bags are now extinct in Ireland. TXsharon at Bluedaze wants to know why the U.S. can't do the same.

    How much was the Katy Freeway expansion in Houston supposed to cost? Off the Kuff digs through some story archives to show that what TxDOT is saying now about initial cost estimates is not what it was saying then.

    Open Source Dem at Brains and Eggs comments on the possibility of brokered conventions in both Austin and Denver this summer, and how the March 4 primary in Texas will clarify -- or muddy -- the outlook.

    CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme cautions reasonable people to be wary about arguing over that d*mn fence! Republicans are building a monument to racism and fear not trying to solve any problems with a coherent policy.

    Hal has a a couple of postings this week at Half Empty, this one is the main event, a new theory on whether there is a new canary about to sing to the Feds about Tom DeLay's past indiscretions, and this one is about some motivation for that.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson has this wrap up from last week's hearings on TxDOT at the capitol, Without Williamson, TxDOT Becomes Scapegoat.

    Phillip Martin at Burnt Orange Report has done an exhaustively comprehensive analysis of how Texas hybrid primary/caucus system works, as well as looked at some of the politics of each of Texas' 31 Senate Districts that will award delegates on March 4. Read the two-part series here: Part 1 (caucus explanation) and Part 2 (delegate analysis).

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin looks into Customs:
    “Hand Over That Cell Phone, iPod & Laptop”
    and just how intrusive the government has become putting travelers and their company's private information at risk.

    As we get ever nearer to the most important Texas primary in recent memory, The Texas Blue thinks potential prognosticators should keep five things in mind when it comes to making predictions.

    In addition to a ton of Texas presidential race coverage, Vince at Capitol Annex reveals that State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) has taken an illegal contribution from an energy lobbyist.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    If it talks like a Republican and thinks like a Republican

    It must be Nelda Wells-Spears. The reality, as Spears should know, is that illegal immigrants voting is a non-existent problem. However, requiring a photo ID to vote, instead of just a card, is a de facto POLL TAX. So then, the question becomes what does Spears have to gain from keeping the poorest among us from voting?

    In a time when gas is $3.00/gallon, why heap another cost on to the backs of our poor?

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

    February 15, 2008

    How underwhelming...

    Hightower, in an effort to stay relevant outside of his weekly column, has endorsed Obama and pledged to campaign for him. This would make it the first time in years he's actually done anything. Remember how much he helped the Democrats in 2006?

    Yeah, neither do I. Oh sure, it was promised but there was never any follow through. But maybe this time will be different, Obama people!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sandra Rodriguez is NOT Kino Flores

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

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

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

    February 14, 2008

    Oh, Lubbuttocks...

    You know, despite a few friends and an uncle that went to Texas Tech on a dare, I don't know squat about the school. Other than that it's the West Texas version of Sam Houston State. Or, maybe even more accurately, Austin Community College. I keed, I keed... except that this makes my facetiousness sound legit.

    What a bunch of crybabies. Not to mention the fact that they've got an Okie leading a YCT chapter? What kind of Texans are y'all? How can they be so pathetic as to be led by someone from Oklahoma? You know, it's hard enough attracting good, qualified educators to Lubbutocks and it's smell. Now they'll have to contend with a bunch of whiney, bitchy students?

    Yeah, I too think they'll be saying "Fuck That. I'd rather work at a JuCo". At least the kids there were smart enough not to go to school in Lubbuttocks.

    (apologies to KC who we love!)

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

    AusChron endorsements

    Disappointment and joy, all mixed into one noxious cocktail. Think a manhattan made with cheap bourbon.

    US Senate - Rep. Noriega
    353rd Judicial District - Scott Ozmun
    District Attorney - Rosemary Lehmberg
    Railroad Commissioner - Dale Henry

    We couldn't agree more with these. However, it was the dual endorsements that began to show a trend toward the weak.

    CD10 - Dan Grant and Larry Joe Doherty

    They seem to like Dan and clearly found him to be more knowledgeable on the issues he'll face in Congress. However, they are buying to the hokey idea that Doherty's 'AwShucks' good ole boy manner will win votes and will charm what they perceive to be bunch of yokels in Houston metro and the mid-counties. Despite the fact that Dan is clearly doing well (at least in terms of endorsements) in Houston. And those people are anything but yokels.

    TAC - Glen Maxey and Nelda Spears

    Oh. Come. On. The TAC from Travis County has been MIA almost as much as Dawnna Dukes (who we'll get to in a moment). Glen is clearly the stronger candidate and a large part of the reason Travis County has a what they call a 94% voter registration rate.

    Not to mention their absolute lack of an endorsement of Judge Coronado who is clearly more qualified than his opponent. However, this pales in comparison to their endorsement of Dawnna Dukes for HD 46. There, they spend an inordinate amount of time chastising Thompson for criticizing Dukes' very bad votes including the one that led to many of the bad acts she was supposedly trying to stop, her vote to continue the corrupt Speakership of Tom Craddick. Without that vote, she wouldn't have needed to be such a "strong advocate of crucial social programs on the budget committee". Frankly, I think she could have done absolutely nothing and achieved the same effect. Everyone knows it was the rest of the caucus, NOT DUKES, who did the truly heavy lifting with the help of some Republican allies.

    While completely ignoring her absenteeism at critical times, they do chastise her for 'taking her constituents for granted'. What they fail to do is even take her to task for possibly profiting from legislation she helped to pass that also happened to benefit the film community. The same film community that helps make the Chronicle publisher Black's year during the SouthBySouthwest Festival.

    It should be noted that Thompson yesterday received the endorsement of the powerful League of Conservation Voters endorsement. Glad to see someone still putting thought into endorsements.

    UPDATE - This afternoon I was informed that Black was not involved in the decision to endorse Dukes. I apologize for the error but not for criticizing what was a tone-deaf endorsement.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    February 13, 2008

    Tolls : A week of fun

  • Carona comes out in favor of raising the gas tax. He still won't commit to ending toll deals which is a real concern. The reality is that tolling isn't a good way to raise money. Period. It's not good for taxpayers and it's certainly not good for invesotrs.
  • Speaking of investors, they're taking a bath on the Central Texas toll roads...

    According to that statement, the three roads will make $8.7 billion in toll revenue through 2042. In that same time, there will be $7.2 billion in debt payments for that borrowed $2.2 billion, $1.1 billion in operations costs, $752 million in routine maintenance and $388 million for long-term maintenance. The net of all that? Almost $750 million in the hole over 35 years.

    More like an economic jalopy.

    Yeah, the traffic projections aren't panning out either. Traffic is about 73% of the projections. Didn't see that one coming

  • TURF's suit moves ahead with depositions due this week from TTC Commissioners Saenz and Houghton. Good luck, TURF!
  • In other privatization news, the Camino Columbia toll road (the first private 'superhighway' in Texas) was sold... to one of it's original investors. The road was built for $90million and sold for $12million. What a great investment! If you're looking for other great investments with a similar return, you might try Bear Stearns. I hear they are trying to unload some SIV's chock full of subprime paper.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 12, 2008

    Mamas, don't let yer babies be taught no messican!

    Via Salon come comes word that a mama in Grapevine doesn't want her baby to have to learn spanish as part of a bilingual education program in the public school system.

    "Ashleigh feels the course would be a waste of her time since she has no aspirations in the future to have a career requiring bilingual talents," Allison wrote to the principal, "nor does she feel compelled to accommodate those who live in our country who refuse to learn the primary and current native tongue of English."

    The comedy is, of course, that 'Ashleigh feels...'. I'd be willing to bet that deep down, mama and daddy's undiluted racism aside, Ashleigh doesn't really care. Apparently, her parents care more about their prejudice than making their daughter smarter.

    And, just a heads up to the mom, Spanish has been spoken in Texas a hell of lot longer than English.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 11, 2008

    Does Bob Perry own John Davis?

    He does,according to John Davis.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Endorsement vomit

    I thought I would wait and just do one post about all the recent endorsements out... It's like some rank tasting medicine. Better all at once.

  • Rick Noriega was endorsed on the D side of the US Senate race by the Texas State Teachers Assoc. over Ray McMurrey who is a teacher
  • CapCity YD's also announced their endorsements. I'd join this if I could find someone who'd take my money. I thought y'all loves alcoholic bloggers? Where's the love, Kim?
    U.S. Senate: Richard J. (Rick) Noriega
    U.S. House of Representatives, District 10: Dan Grant
    Texas Railroad Commissioner: Art Hall
    Texas Supreme Court, Seat 7: Sam Houston
    Texas Supreme Court, Seat 8: Susan Criss (in a runoff with Linda Reyna Yanez)
    Texas State Rep. Dist. 46: Brian T. Thompson (unanimously)
    353rd District Court Judge: Scott Ozmun
    427th District Court Judge: Jim Coronado
    Judge, 98th District Court: Andy Hathcock
    Judge, County Court at Law #8: John Lipscombe
    Travis County District Attorney: Rosemary Lehmberg (in a runoff with Gary Cobb)
    Travis County Tax Assessor/Collector: Glen Maxey
    Travis County Democratic Party Chair: Andy Brown
    Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 3: Karen Huber
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 1: Willie Joe Madison
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 2: Paul Labuda
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 3: Richard McCain
    Travis County Constable, Precinct 4: Maria Canchola
  • Dan Grant was endorsed by Rep. Senfronia Thompson. This is a huge deal for us, at least, because we love us some Senfronia!
  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 08, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA - Feb 5th

    Here's this week's round-up, compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

    Why would Bill Peacock write a commercial for the energy industry? Find out on Bluedaze as TXsharon shines a light into the dark corners of Texas Public Policy Foundation.

    Off the Kuff takes a look at the messy finances of State Supreme Court Justice David Medina, and wonders what else is out there that we haven't heard about yet.

    Phillip Martin at Burnt Orange Report says thank you to John Edwards.

    McBlogger at McBlogger takes a look at the
    Free Market Foundation's campaign against the Parent PAC and it's leader, Carolyn Boyle. Apparently, they are unhappy that we endorsed her in 2006. And that she's been beating them and their lame candidates.

    Nat-Wu of Three Wise Men tells us why free trade isn't everything it's cracked up to be, at least for the American worker.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson has more from the recent House Elections Committee hearing on voterr fraud, Abbott May Have To Explain His Partisan Voter Fraud Record.

    XicanoPwr begins a Politics of Humanity series. The first one takes a look the Department of Homeland Security recent decision to eliminate the Violence Against Women Act's domestic violence program that was meant to protect undocumented immigrants from abusive spouses who use their position as citizens to intimidate their spouses who did not have legal immigrant status in the United States. The second post in the series takes a look at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) inhumane policy of of drugging immigrants and their recent settlement case.

    We recently passed the "one-year mark," meaning President Bush now has less than one year left in his job. Is he planning on coming home to roost when his tenure ends? Not everyone in DFW thinks that's the best idea.

    Open Source Dem at Brains and Eggs has the inside dope on the Harris County Democratic Party's efforts to turn the county blue (and why the partners-in-charge may be shooting themselves in the feet).

    Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News sent people to his other blog for a lesson in how to put someone to sleep with government lies about economics, among other items.

    Vince
    at Capitol Annex wonders if State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) will actually make good on his claim that he will ask AG Greg Abbott to answer to charges that his "voter fraud" prosecutions are race-based.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 06, 2008

    The TXDOT hearing... doodie aflyin'

    Well, it's been interesting. First off was this article in the Star-T detailing out the problems with TXDOT's claims of poverty.

    Poor planning inside the Texas Department of Transportation -- and not a shortage of state or federal funding -- is to blame for an ongoing cash crunch that led the agency to stop most road work in 2008, members of two state Senate committees said.

    "I think we have an agency in turmoil. I think we have an agency in chaos," state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, said during a joint meeting of the Senate finance and transportation committees in Austin. "I think it's intellectually dishonest to blame Congress or the state Legislature for problems caused by poor planning."

    Then we moved on to the Trans hearing yesterday during which TXDOT got bitchslapped. Or did they? Sources have told us that members of the Senate Trans Committee met with TXDOT officials the day before the hearing a closed door session. Additionally, other's have called the Republicans on the commission 'chummy' with TXDOT officials during the meeting yesterday with the exception of Sen. Ogden who is really feeling the heat from anti-privatization forces. Not from the Stahls, of course, because they have lost all influence as a result of their sellout during the session last year on a toll moratorium.

    CapAnnex has their own take and a great quote from Zaffrini

    “The impression out there is that, really, this is a ploy to put pressure on us to go back to the toll road plan,” said Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who said the Texas Department of Transportation is scheming to promote its own agenda.(DMN)

    Then there was this one from Ogden...

    “This is screwed up,” said Sen. Steve Ogden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “I understand how to do a cash flow statement. I understand how to do an income statement. This isn’t one of them. This is really bad.”

    EOW brings the point home by pointing out (again) that the Republicans who've stood in the way of gas tax increases repeatedly since 1993 are the ones who should bear the blame. These same folks then pushed through the privatization legislation in this first place.

    Finally, in what I'd like to call "To MOTO, with love", I'd like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to Sen.'s Watson and Zaffirini. Glad to know you guys are finally seeing through the bullshit and the lies. Welcome back to the light, kids!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 05, 2008

    Give Brian Some Love

    PhotobucketTravis County is the bluest county in Texas and on March 4th, voters have a chance to make it a TRUE BLUE Delegation in the Texas Legislature. Brian Thompson is running against Dawwna Dukes for District 46. Brian has received every major endorsement in the Travis County area and for good reason. He cares about the district and is willing to vote for the people of Texas instead of supporting Tom Craddick and his minions who have thrown children of SCHIP, stolen women's rights away each legislative session, sold out Texas land owners for the Trans Texas Corridor, and were instrumental in writing legalized discrimination into the Texas Constitution.

    Click here to help Brian beat Dawnna Dukes.

    Brian Thompson has been endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance. He has also been endorsed by :

    Austin Progressive Coalition
    University Democrats
    Victory Fund
    Central Austin Democrats
    Texas Environmental Democrats
    Southwest Austin Democrats
    Capital Area Progressive Democrats
    Teamsters Local 657
    Capital Area Asian American Democrats
    Austin Stonewall Democrats
    South Austin Democrats
    Austin Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus

    Brain has also been endorsed by Lon Burnam
    House District 80

    Lon Burnam is the only Democrat in the House who has voted against Craddick from the beginning. It is time we had more strong Democrats in the Texas Legislature who are not afraid to speak out against the autocratic rule of
    Tom Craddick and the devastation which is being wrought on Texas and our quality of life. The time has come to hold our elected officials accountable for their action and non-action when it comes to taking care of their districts and the rest of Texas.

    Brian is willing to work to make the quality of life better for all Texans and not just a select few. Teachers and students alike will have a strong advocate in the Ledge once Brian is elected. Women and children will not
    have to worry about their rights being stolen from them by the privileged who can buy their way out of any problem and are willing to let the rest of Texas suffer. Our retired teachers will not see Brian vote against a raise in their pension. Brian will be at the forefront leading the charge for changes and fighting injustice as an elected officials should be instead of skipping votes or voting the right way but not speaking out. It is time for strong leadership in HD46. Brian will be a welcome addition to some of the already strong voices for Texas and Travis County!

    Go help Brian today!

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    See Dawnna Vote

    You've heard time and time again why Dawnna Dukes is wrong for her district. However, much of that has centered around her absenteeism, campaign finance reports, and "Vegas Vacation."

    But, what about her voting record? Dukes apologists claim that her voting record is in line with her district. But, it isn't. Here are a large number of reasons you should support TexRoots candidate Brian Thompson in the House District 46 race.

    Dawnna Dukes has voted against renewable energy. Dukes voted against requiring that a certain portion of money from Governor Perry's slush funds, (aka the Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund) be required to be spent on companies that develop renewable energy technologies. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 8, Record Vote 220, House Journal, p. 1275 & House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 12, Record Vote 221, House Journal, p. 1277.]

    Dawnna Dukes has voted against Texas children. Dawnna Dukes thought that making sure Governor Perry could give corporate welfare to his campaign contributors was more important than at-risk youth. She voted against taking money from the Emerging Technology Fund to fund programs for at-risk youth prevention with the Department of Family and Protective Services, and voted against additional funding for the same program in another instance on the same day. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 18, Record Vote 223, House Journal, p. 1283 & House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 21, Record Vote 226, House Journal, p. 1278].

    Dawnna Dukes voted against HIV/AIDS Prevention. Dawnna Dukes betrayed hundreds of thousands of Texans who need to be educated about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 29, Record Vote 228, House Journal, p. 1291.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Quality Schools & College Students. Dawnna Dukes thought it was more important for the Office of State Federal Relations' budget to have enough money to hire Washington lobbyists than to put more money in the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Program, which serves to recruit and retain quality public school teachers and help college graduates who are over-burdened with student loans. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 76, Record Vote 236, House Journal, p. 1324]

    Dwanna Dukes Voted Against Halting Public Corruption. Dukes didn't believe it was important to fund the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County DA's office (which prosecutes public officials) at higher levels. She thought courthouse preservation was more important. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 84, Record Vote 240, House Journal, p. 1331.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Clean Air. Dawnna Dukes voted against additional funding for the Texas Emission Reduction Plan grants. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 98, Record Vote 242, House Journal, p. 1345.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted For State Funding For Washington Lobbyists. Dawnna Dukes voted against restrictions that would have prevented state funding being used for hiring Washington Lobbyists. [House Bill 1, 80th Legislature, Amendment 132, Record Vote 246, House Journal, p. 1363.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Restoring CHIP To Pre-2003 Levels. Dawnna Dukes voted against restoring CHIP to pre-2003 levels and voted against using all federal funds appropriated to the state for the Children's Health Insurance Program to actually insure children. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 23, Record Vote 279, House Journal, p. 1522.] She also voted against paying providers for care provided to eligible CHIP recipients in the event of a state error that led to a child being dropped or denied coverage. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 24, Record Vote 280, House Journal, p. 1523.]

    Dawnna Dukes Voted Against Infant Children. Dawnna Dukes voted to require infant children to be subjected to a waiting period for CHIP qualification. [House Bill 109, 80th Legislature, Amendment 26, Record Vote 282, House Journal, p. 1525]

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

    February 04, 2008

    Paul Moreno - Progressive Leadership for Texas

    (McBlogger's note : We're doing something new to promote TexRoots candidates. Today, It's Rep. Moreno)

    This election season, Tom Craddick and his allies are playing a skillful game of chess. Recognizing that he is unlikely to gain any votes for his continued Speakership in the general election--as Republicans are projected to fall like flies across the state--Craddick has, in effect moved all of his pawns on the chessboard into Democratic districts in an attempt to defeat progressive, anti-Craddick state representatives.

    One district where Tom Craddick has deployed his pawns is Texas House District 77, against none other than the Dean and Conscience of the Texas House--Rep. Paul Moreno (D-El Paso).

    Paul Moreno was born in El Paso. He served six years as a U.S. Marine in Korea, and was awarded the Silver Star and numerous Bronze Stars. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas Western College (now UT-El Paso), and a law degree from UT School of Law. He was first elected to the Texas House in 1967, and is among the longest serving members of that body, and the longest serving Latino elected official in America.

    Paul Moreno has a distinguished record of public service to his district, and the entire state. He has been endorsed as part of the Texas Progressive Alliance's TexRoots 08 slate, and needs our support.

    Some of the most important legislation of the past three decades bears Moreno's fingerprints, such as The Bilingual Education Act of 1983-84. Moreno, along with the Mexical American Legislative Caucus (of which he was the first Chair in 1975), helped push this legislation through the House. He fought to add farmworkers to the unemployment compensation legislation for the first time since 1913 in 1985. In 1987, he fought for a minimum wage bill for farm workers and helped end conservative attempts to alter House Bill 72 (comprehensive education reform).

    Too, in more than four decades in the House, Moreno has worked hard to provide El Paso's citizens with a quality public education system.

    Moreno was key to the passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program, and has fought for teacher pay raises and teacher retirement.

    Moreno has also brought billions of dollars in appropriations to the el Paso Community. The University of Texas-El Paso, Texas Tech Academic Health Science Center, and Franklin Mountain State Park are only a few institutions which have seen the benefit of Moreno's tenure.

    A member of the "Dirty Thirty" and the "Killer Ds," Paul Moreno is a true Progressive. He is a true champion for the poor, the working poor, the elderly, students, teachers, minorities, the handicapped, and more.

    Moreno is often called two things, "The Conscience of the Texas House" and "Kill Bill." He's called "Kill Bill" because, over the years, he has killed more anti-Progressive legislation than most any other members. He's called the "Conscience of the Texas House" because he is that not-so-little voice who speaks up when that body goes down the wrong path and does things that aren't in the best interest of ordinary Texans.

    Last session, following a hate-filled personal privilege speech by Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler), Rep. Moreno took the floor for a point of personal privilege. Many thought it would be the moment he announced his retirement. Instead, he renewed his commitment to the people of El Paso and the people of Texas:

    I heard that yesterday, my city, my beloved city of El Paso, was accused of having a bond issue of $240 million, or something like that, and that we were doing nothing but educating illegal aliens. When I heard that, that really hurt me. When you talk about the city of El Paso, educating illegal aliens, you're talking about my children.

    My family has been in El Paso for seven generations. Five of my brothers, and many of you have heard this, five of my brothers have served in the military. Five of my six brothers have served in the military. Two of my brothers-in-law, one of them was severely wounded in Europe. My other brother-in-law died as a result of agent orange, suffered in Vietnam. I have a cousin that was killed in Korea with me, died, from Denver. In El Paso, a very good friend of mine received the medal of honor. His name is Sandrocio Guillen, we call him El Mocho. And when they say that they're teaching illegal aliens, that hurts. That hurts very, very, very, very much. We should have the respect and the dignity that we as humans should give other people.

    We had a good government here when Pete Laney was speaker. When he was elected the first election, I voted against him. I voted against Pete Laney because I thought he wasn't liberal enough, and I voted against him, and I think I'm the only one who's ever voted against Pete Laney. But most of you members that were here, during the Pete Laney era remember the appropriations bill that we had. Pete Laney placed me in the appropriations committee and we were able to bring an appropriations bill to this house. I opened up the debate in favor of the appropriations bill, thanks to my good friend Representative Pitts. He asked me to open the debate for the approval of the appropriations bill. We passed that appropriations bill without one dissent. At that time I said, "Paul, we're doing a good job." This is Texas, this is finally America, this is finally what you've been looking for—then something happened.

    Leadership changed, and please, please, Mr. Speaker, don't take anything personal, but you have your deep political beliefs, and so does your group, and I noticed a lot of changes that happened. And when those changes happened, we started going down. Tonight I was determined to make a decision, and none of my friends changed my opinion. This country, this state, is in a worse position for Mexican Americans than it was when I first got elected. When I first got elected, there were eight of us, eight Mexican Americans. Yes, we knew—we knew our stand, we knew where we belonged. But there was respect. Now, the respect, in my opinion, has somewhat diminished. And in those days, the Mexican Americans were low in numbers, but we were still satisfied because we knew that there were very little of us and we were glad we were getting at least a little bit of it. Now things are changing.


    If you have any doubt that Paul Moreno deserves re-election to the House, you should read his personal privilege speech.

    Paul Moreno is a true progressive champion. He deserves our support, which is why he is endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance. Please join us in supporting Rep. Moreno by making your contribution to his campaign today, via the TPA's Act Blue page for TexRoots.

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

    February 01, 2008

    Tolls : Polls are fun!

    As part of TURF's successful lawsuit against TXDOT, a number of embarrassing documents have been recovered. Among them is a poll conducted last year regarding the TTC. It's a push poll, meant to 'educate' respondents about all the amazing benefits of the TTC and then ask them how they fell about it.

    It's a bit like calling someone, saying that President Bush is going to give them $1,000 and asking how they feel about President Bush. I'd bet $100 that his approval would be in the mid to high 50s, instead of the 20's where he currently sits.

    The best part about it... TXDOT PAID FOR IT WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS! The second best part, the poll is tainted and couldn't be used anyway.

    1) The sample is HEAVILY Anglo
    2) The sample was obviously concentrated into three geographic areas, Dallas Metro, Houston Metro and possibly Austin Metro.
    3) Privatization is not mentioned. Not one single time.
    4) Tolling is mentioned only in the abstract.
    5) There's no mention of the fact that TXDOT will NOT be able to make major improvements to 35 due to the special provisions of the TTC privatization agreement.
    6) There's nothing in the poll regarding TXDOT being forced by CintraZachry/Bluebonnet to drop speed limits on 35 to make the TTC more attractive.
    7) There's no mention of the fact that should the traffic figures fail to materialize, the taxpayers will be responsible for paying off the bonds... and the profits of CintraZachry/Bluebonnet
    8) The sample was not representative of average Texans in terms of party ID, income or education

    Of those that actually knew something about TTC35 or TTC69, 18% were likely to support which contrasts nicely to the 28% that were less likely. The remaining people wanted to know what was going on with Britney and K-Fed who were in a custody battle at the time.

    One thing is for sure, the more Texans find out about the TTC and the alternatives to it, the less they like the TTC. This was the Governors best shot to put perfume on this pig and it failed.

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

    January 30, 2008

    Art Hall and a real conflict of interest

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

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

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

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

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

    January 29, 2008

    Roundin' up the TPA

    Another week, another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog Round-Up. This week's edition is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex, with thanks to Charles from Off The Kuff for assistance.

    Off the Kuff looks at the woes of the Harris County GOP and what it may mean in November.

    North Texas will have one less class II commercial injection well pumping toxic soup underground. Reported by TXsharon on Bluedaze.

    TXDOT has dug itself into quite a hole by using your money to lobby for the TTC and to pay for an advertising campaign to sell the wildly unpopular TTC to the citizens of Texas. McBlogger at McBlogger has the details and a great video.

    Hal at Half Empty got his TI-83 out and ran the numbers on the Presidential Primaries. Conclusion? Texas has a chance to crown a king (or queen).

    WhosPlayin? looks at the case of a teen brought up on charges for "huffing" hand sanitizer and is frustrated at the lack of discretion caused by "zero-tolerance" policies.

    The action plan for Monday's FISA-with-telecom-immunity legislation is contained in PDid's post at Brains and Eggs. Don't strain your dialing finger, and don't forget to
    call Senators Corndog and Hutch. It's a waste of time, yes, but they still need to hear from us.

    NYTexan at BlueBloggin explains who Voters, Pledged Delegates and Super Delegates are and how they influence the democratic party nomination at the convention.

    Are you a MOTO? If not, you will be after reading State Sen. Kirk Watson's guest blog this week at Capitol Annex.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 25, 2008

    Have some fun... take a survey!

    Tinafish and the TX GOP have decided to do a survey to find out what's really important to voters...

    We are pleased to share with you today our next set of questions related to foreign policy. I'm certain that you are frightened like me at the thought of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama making these important decisions.

    Remember that the results of these surveys will be provided directly to each presidential candidate. We want your voice to be heard right now even as the candidates are in other states.

    Click here to take their little survey.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    TOLLS : BUSTED!

    Here's a bit of fun... at the TTC-69 Townhall in Hempstead, Hank Gilbert filmed Texas Transportation Commissioner Houghton ADMITTING to using taxpayer funds to lobby for the TTC in violation of state law. In this clip, Houghton admits to hiring a lobbyist in DC to lobby for more highway money for Texas.

    He's right about that number. The problem is, we've been sending majority R delegations to Washington for years and getting nothing in return. See, that's what members of Congress from this state are supposed to do... get transportation dollars flowing in.

    Way to go TURF and fantastic job to Hank Gilbert for leading this fight. For those of you who don't know, one of Hank's promises during the election was to stay on top of the TTC and tolling whether he won the election or not.

    Good to see at least one guy who ran for office is keeping his promises. God knows Staples isn't.

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

    Senator Watson talks to YOU

    Note from McBlogger: State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) was kind enough to write a guest blog for the Texas Progressive Alliance as we continue to push our TexRoots 2008 Slate of Candidates. Texas Progressive Alliance Blogs are publishing this guest blog today. We have a special place in our heart for this piece... click here to find out why. While we do get irritated with our Senator from Travis County from time to time, we do love him to death.

    A few months back, a certain progressive blogger took note of a piece I had published. This writer responded with an entr