May 31, 2006

Law and Order: OMFG!

Here are the email notes McBlogger was able to smuggle out of the jury box, plus my pithy comments:

Notes from jury doodie

I hate this. I get the necessity of it but oh my God I do not want to be here.

One of the jurors, an elementary teacher, said that "the law is the law. Even if you're only going 3 mph over the limit YOU'RE STILL BREAKING THE LAW." Of course, I hated her instantly.

I wonder how much detention she metes out for coloring outside the lines.

Another juror kinda reminds of a shorter Robert Plant. He spent some time in jail in WilCo so I, of course, think he couldn't possibly be bad..

I think they have people doing time there for laughing on Sunday.

I forgot my patch so I'm nicfitting like a moutherfucker. AND THERE IS NO BAR!.

I told you not to forget that flask!

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

Jury Doodie

Today at 1:00 I'll be doing my duty as an American. No, I'll not be voting or spending money to keep the economy going. I'll be participating in a jury pool. Needless to say the unfunny people who run American jurisprudence (read:clerks... what, you thought the attorneys and judges decided things?) aren't much for laptops and blogging from my blackberry is just not an option.

So, if I'm able I'll email things to McSleaze. He probably won't post it but what are you gonna do?

By the way... does anyone know if they have a bar? Smoking lounge?

Posted by mcblogger at 12:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

US SC : Whistleblowers don't have First Amendment protections

Yesterday the US Supreme Court (featuring prominently recent Bush appointee's like John 'BSD' Roberts and Sammy 'Just One More Drink' Alito) bitchslapped government employees into continuing their shamed silence, then screamed "STFU! See how crazy you make me??!?!?".

By a 5-4 margin, the justices said the government's interest in effectively managing operations outweighs the interests that protect employee speech, even in cases where employees may be reporting inefficiencies or wrongdoing.

So, I guess we won't be hearing much about $20,000 hammers at the Pentagon anymore, now will we!

Posted by mcblogger at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grand Theft Auto: The Tribulations

Who says the home schooled crowd has to miss out on the thrill of playing violent video games? Certainly not the creators of Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the latest in the Left Behind End Times marketing juggernaut.

Wage a war of apocalyptic proportions in LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces - a real-time strategy game based upon the best-selling LEFT BEHIND book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Join the ultimate fight of Good against Evil, commanding Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers, and uncover the truth about the worldwide disappearances!

· Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world

· Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City

· Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!

· Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!

I wonder what radical clerics like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, or James Dobson will do instead of pissing and moaning about this? Probably pray for another Supreme Court Justice to die.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:17 AM

Lance wasn't doping!

Oh my God! I'm sooooo relieved! Thank you, Statesman for letting me know all about this in such a timely manner!!!

The International Cycling Union appointed Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman last October to investigate the handling of urine tests from the 1999 Tour by the French national anti-doping laboratory, known by its French acronym LNDD.

Vrijman said Wednesday his report "exonerates Lance Armstrong completely with respect to alleged use of doping in the 1999 Tour de France."

For those who actually, you know, care... Lance Armstrong wasn't doping with red blood cell booster junk or whatever in the hell he was accused of. This is for the 6 of you out there who are interested in cycling BECAUSE YOU'RE NERDS.

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

Perry and the three little pigs

Karl - Thomas Musselman has numbers from Survey USA up on regarding the Governor's race. The good news is that almost 60% of the state wants a change. The bad news is, much like my sister when shopping for shoes, they can't decide who they want.

I've been waiting for someone to say this. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Honeslty, I'm tired of it. This race is shaping up to be the three little pigs vs. the big bad wolf. Unfortunately, the 2006 Texas Governor's Race version won't end like the childhood story. Granted, a great deal can happen between now and November. We've been waiting and it hasn't started. Sure, the emails and blog updates at Chris Bell's site are nice but its hardly pulling in the 90% of Democrats that we need. For the love of God, some Democrats think PERRY is better choice than Bell not to mention the Democrats who are supporting Kinky. But I think they're all stoned.

Come on, Chris! Get mean. Get nasty. Perry's a shithead and Texans know it. They are looking for the guy who'll say that. SO FUCKING SAY IT. It's not hard, just go off script in an event and throw a punch into Perry's jaw. Don't get mad, just issue the kind of verbal assault that no Texan will have a problem understanding. A majority of the voters in this state have no idea that Rick Perry's marching orders are coming from a lobbyist in Washington. It's time they find out and the only way that's going to happen is if you tell them.

Take off those fucking gloves and HIT THE SON OF A BITCH. Give those out there who've decided to vote for someone other than Perry a reason to vote for you.

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

Is Texas ready for another Rita?; Paying interest; Jeb2012 and the best photoshop in years

  • The Statesman has a great article up about the State's preparedness for another Rita-like hurricane since we are confronted with what is anticipated to be a very active hurricane season. Though Perry's office says plans will be ready by Thursday, many just don't believe it'll enough and even doubt that it will be implementable.

    "It's unrealistic to say that come June 1, everything is going to be done," said John Simsen, Galveston County emergency management coordinator. "There are not enough hours in the day."

    For example, the state's evacuation and shelter plan still isn't ready, though the governor's office says it will be by Thursday.

  • The NYT has a great op/ed piece up about the Federal Debt. Foreign ownership of US sovereign debt has increased dramatically as Republican tax cuts for the rich have been financed by borrowing. Theoretically, if pure supply-side economics worked, we'd see enhanced economic activity that would produce taxable transactions and offset the cuts with increased tax receipts. It hasn't happened. So, we've had to offload our obligations to foreign governments who now appear to be backing off on further extensions of credit to us. Which means higher interest rates will become a necessity. Yay.

    Paying the interest on the foreign-owned portion of the debt will be a burden on future Americans, draining their wallets and siphoning off the nation's wealth.

    Thanks for the burden, you boomers and senile old people who voted for Bush!

  • Will Jeb run? Not 2008. Who cares anyway? Other than Newt Gingrich and other R hopefuls, does anyone really care about Jeb? I'm only posting this because I thought it was funny that George has been calling him fat.

    In the meantime, the current president keeps talking up his younger, larger brother — up to a point. When a member of the audience in Chicago last week told the president that "we love your brother" and that "he's been very good to the restaurant industry," Mr. Bush, not missing a beat, responded to laughter that "he has been eating a lot, I noticed."

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAnything to that? Let's take a look at a recent photo...

    Yep. I would say el Presidente has a point. My hand to God, I didn't alter this image at all.

  • SuperWow! over at Pink Dome posted this yesterday.

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    Sen. Frist, [far, far] right, unsure whether to use his Super Pandering Powers to battle gays getting married or extinguish a flag on fire.

    Go read the post and say thanks for the way cool 'shopping!

  • That's it boys and girls! Have a goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:58 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    May 30, 2006

    Fight Club for Nerds

    "This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.

    Broken teeth and bones; bruises and lacerations about the face and neck; scarred knuckles. Siou, these are all signs of a real fight. If you are walking away with these then you've been IN A FIGHT.

    Siou is one of a growing number of former math nerds in Silicon Valley who evidently didn't get the trophy wives, exotic cars, massive homes and phat ESOP's that some of the higher level nerds received during the dot bomb boom. These guys got the shit end of the stick and crave something real... man on man contact, but with fists instead of handjobs.

    They are part of an adult 'fight club' that's formed up in Menlo Park, a suburb of San Francisco. When gaming is no longer enough, they turn to violence but not to solve disputes. They want to beat each other up which is cool since it makes things easier for the jocks in sales who every once in a while like to pound a little nerd ass.

    Men involved in fight clubs often carry bottled-up violent impulses learned in childhood from video games, cartoons and movies, said Michael Messner, a University of Southern California sociology and gender studies professor.

    "Boys have these warrior fantasies picked up from popular culture, and schools sort of force that out of them," he said. In these fantasies, "The good guys always resort to violence, and they always get the glory and the women. Math nerds, even the ones who grow up to be huge in the software industry, don't get the women. Unless they pay."

    There is also a sadomasochistic thread running through underground fight clubs, said Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor at Stony Brook University in New York.

    "Real-life fight clubs are the male version of the girls who cut themselves," he said. "All day long these guys think they're the captains of the universe, technical wizards. They're brilliant but empty. "They want to feel differently. They want to get hit, they want to feel something real. At the very least, for an hour or so, they won't feel like a math nerd."

    According to the founder, the movement is really akin to something spiritual.

    Gints Klimanis, a 37-year-old software engineer and martial arts instructor, started the invitation-only "Gentlemen's Fight Club" in Menlo Park in 2000 after his no-holds-barred sessions with a training partner grew to more than a dozen people. Most participants are men working in the high-tech industry.

    "You get to be a superhero for a night," Klimanis said. "We have to go to work every day. We're constantly told to buy things we don't need, and just for a couple hours we have the freedom to do what we want to do."

    DUDE... you are SOOO cribbing from the fucking movie.

    One last time for the math nerds who didn't get the fucking memo: FIGHT.CLUB.WAS.LAME. Helena Bonham Carter was the love interest for fucks sake.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    SSSSS : Another day, another shitty Exxon

    Everytime I pull off the freeway for a pit stop the anticipation rises. Is this going to be like that place in Waco? Or will it be a nice station like the Valero at Great Hills and Braker? Recently, I've been overwhelmed by NICE GAS STATIONS. Seriously, it's like they have people, you know, actually cleaning the shit and vomit off the toilets almost as it erupts from someone.

    Not at all what I'd learned to expect from service stations in Texas. I began to think my luck had changed, that somehow SSSSS had purged the curse that made my constant stops to pee a miserable testament to just how nasty guys can be. Then I happened upon this jewel, the Exxon at Solms Rd and the 35 in New Braunfels. OR San Antonio. No one really knows were one ends and the other begins.

    Here is a map so you can avoid it in your travels. Officially, the address is 4340 S IH 35. However, I can tell you... it's the only structure at the intersection of the 35 and Solms Rd. You can't miss it, should you be in the neighborhood. As a side note, the people inside were VERY nice and tried to make up for the horrendous state of the station. Almost seems mean to rip on their station but honestly you need to be warned... and I got all these great pics!

    Here's the front of the place

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    Tasteful, isn't it? Let's jump right in, shall we...

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    The door to the mens (and, I might mention, LADIES as well) room. The lock doesn't work. For it to work, the door would have to shut completely. That wasn't happening on this particular visit.

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    I thought about killing it as I hate spiders. I decided to let it live. So sad and pathetic that it called this home.

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    The toilet (recently used, natch). Guys... seriously. FUCKING FLUSH. It's less than 2 seconds out of your day you slobs.

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    Can you read that? Neither can I. Write LEGIBLY you mooks.

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    Oh... blow jobs and gays. Yep. This is definitely Hicksville, TX. The only people more obsessed than gay men with sucking cock are rednecks and preachers.

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    No paper towels. IN EITHER DISPENSER. Not that it would have really mattered since there was no soap. I opted for a handiwipe when I got back in my car.

    This was a bad one but not nearly as bad as some of the ones I've been to. At least this time I didn't have to destroy my shoes because the floor was a puddle. What, like you've never done that?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:05 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    When constabulary duty's to be done, to be done, A policeman's lot is not a happy one, ...

    On the other hand, they do seem to have developed doughnut-eating to a science...

    Three minutes. Thirteen doughnuts.

    Think you could chow down that many morning morsels in that little time?

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    Walworth County Jail Training Sgt. Howard Sawyers didn't think he could, either, but he did. In doing so, he earned the title of world champion doughnut-eating cop.

    "The secret for eating doughnuts is dunking them in water," said Sawyers, who finished third in the competition last year. "You do a semi-circle of water cups half to three-quarters full. You rip 'em, you dunk them and you shove. And you do that as fast as you can for three minutes."

    God, I love the smell of stereotypes in the morning!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:45 AM

    Yay! Snow resigns, takes eyebrows with him.

    Treasury Secretary John Snow announced his resignation today. We here at McBlogger couldn't be happier and wish Snow all the best. Not really, but it does SOUND nice, doesn't it?

    Bush announced that Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr. has agreed to take the job, which will consist primarily of being the whipping boy for the Bush Administration's economic failures. Hank follows the well worn path from Goldman Sachs to the Treasury Dept. last tread by Robert Rubin whose tenure as Treasury Secretary saw the US economy grow rapidly with excellent job growth AND real wage growth, not to mention actually retiring federal debt. Paulson takes over at a time when US growth is anemic, wage growth is decreasing and stagflation is a real possibility going forward. If anyone can fix the mess it's got to be someone from Goldman Sachs because it's pretty obvious at this point that Bush knows fuckall about the economy.

    On CNBC around 10:10, Randy Lert of Russell Investments andTony Dwyer FTN Midwest both agreed that the economy was basically good and that the biggest job for Paulson would be to get the message out about how good things were. Of course, what Randy and Tony don't understand is that for the vast majority of Americans things aren't great. Randy and Tony aren't particularly smart. That's why they don't work at Goldman Sachs.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Pissed at the MSM? So's Tom Tomorrow

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    See more at Tom Tomorrrow's website, This Modern World.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 29, 2006

    Memorial Day

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt

    1934, Gettysburg

    On these hills of Gettysburg two brave armies of Americans met in combat. Not far from here in a valley likewise consecrated to American valor, a ragged Continental army survived a bitter winter to keep alive the expiring hopes of a new nation, and near to the battlefield and that valley stands the invincible city where the Declaration of Independence was born and the Constitution of the United States was written by the fathers. Surely, all this is holy ground.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 28, 2006

    Bible thumpers

    Another heartwarming tale from the heartland...

    Couple allegedly beat child with a Bible

    Clay County prosecutors on Friday charged an Excelsior Springs couple with child abuse for allegedly beating a 9-year-old with a Bible and slamming an 8-year-old into a door.

    Authorities allege that Raymond Fairchild, 49, and Deborah Fairchild, 50, punished the foster children for numerous perceived transgressions such as eating too slowly, forgetting to bring the dog in, washing the dishes too slowly and not taking notes in church.

    You're supposed to take notes in church? Does Opus Dei know about this?

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

    Don't kid yourself. Myspace is lame.

    So last night I'm having drinks with some friends and two of them get into a discussion that quickly developed into a full fledged argument regarding who had the better myspace page.

    At first I thought they were kidding. I mean who on Earth actually takes myspace seriously? It's an AOhelL Homepage on steroids; A place where the challenged (like my two gimp friends) can revel in their self-importance, shitty music, bad images and even tackier friends who are also myspace dorks.

    'Oh, but it's a community' they say and I think they're right. A community of dipshits. To wit, I leave to get a drink thinking 'surely they will resolve this by the time I return' and 'I need way more scotch'. When I return fuckall if they WEREN'T STILL TALKING ABOUT IT. I finally started to laugh at which point one of the lames noticed and asked what was so funny. I replied that the argument was funny. The other friend asked 'how so?' to which I replied

    Two people arguing about who has the cooler myspace page is a bit like two retards arguing about which is smarter.

    I went out for a cigarette at that point. I didn't talk to them anymore. Frankly, given how they spend their free time I'm not sure I want to ever again.

    Of course, I can say all this because I'm a blogger and everyone knows bloggers are way cooler than myspace losers.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 27, 2006

    Shapleigh : Texans need to know that their children are in Grover’s bathtub.

    Eye on Williamson has a great piece up by Senator Elliot Shapleigh that should be read by every Texas Democrat. It wouldn't hurt if some of our other elected officials and hopefuls started talking the same way.

    After 10 years of the Bush era in Texas and six in D.C., we now know the pattern: tax cuts for the wealthy few, budget cuts for you and deficits as far as we can see. During this era, Grover Norquist Republicans have worked every session to shift taxes from wealth to work, from the rich to the middle class. Norquist is famous for saying “my goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” What Texans need to know is that our children are in Grover’s bathtub.
    The result of the tax shift and program cuts is that income has steadily become concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. Texas started the 21st century with the greatest income inequality in the nation between the richest 20 percent of income earners and the middle 20 percent.

    In today’s politics of the right, tax cuts are valued over children, and budget cuts are valued over good teachers.

    After a decade of right-wing leaders, Texas ranks 50th among the states for high-school graduation rates and 48th in SAT scores, and Texas’ per-pupil expenditures recently dropped from 35th to 38th. Despite these obvious failures, tax cuts, not children, come first.

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

    What not to wear

    Iraq, as our Dear Leader and his Faithful Ally tell us, is well on its way top becoming a peaceful, stable beacon of democracy. With a fashion police that does't believe in taking prisoners...

    THE coach of the Iraqi national tennis team and two of his players were shot dead in Baghdad, apparently for wearing shorts, in a district where Islamic radicals have started to enforce brutal, Taleban-style law.

    Hussein Ahmed Rashid was shot at close range with two of his players, Nasser Ali Hatem and Wissam Adel Auda, in the al-Saidiyah neighbourhood, a national Olympic Committee official said.

    One of the players, wearing shorts, had left the car to drop off some items at a laundry. When he returned to the vehicle, gunmen in a grey saloon car swerved and blocked the players’ car, witnesses said.

    Three men in civilian clothes surrounded the car and ordered the passengers to get out. When they refused, one of the men produced a revolver and shot the players. The coach sat helplessly in the back while the assailants dragged out the players’ bodies and dumped them in the road. Then one of the assailants cocked a handgun and shot the coach in the head.

    Of course, isn't it just like us libruls to not write about all the Iraqi tennis players who weren't shot for wearing shorts?

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

    May 26, 2006

    GIANT liquor stores in Austin? Thank you, Santa!

    Spec's, a Houston based mega retailer of booze and something known as 'fine food' which means nothing to me, is opening three stores in Austin. Locations for the next year include the 290 and Brodie (which a friend tells me is 'down south', whatever in the hell that means), The ArborWalk at the 360 and MoPac and somewhere near Highland Mall.

    For the readers in Houston Metro, let us know what you think about these folks. I'm excited. Anything that has WAREHOUSE paired in some way with LIQUOR has got to be good as far as I'm concerned. These beer people seemed to like them though this is kind of faint praise since I don't really get beer.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:40 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    PANIC! PANIC ooooooh, never mind!

    The Sam Rayburn congressional office building in Washington was under lockdown for a while today while a report of shots being fired was investigated. In the end, it turned out to be a false alarm... just a repair man banging in an elevator. At this point, it is still unclear just who he was banging.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:40 PM

    Greenberg : Gen. Hayden's just sooo awesome!

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Paul Greenberg has a take on the Hayden Confirmation that is completely predictable. We understand, Paul. We saw the threats from AG Gonzales as well and honestly we're nervous too. However, Paul should really grow some balls and quit being such a bitch boy. We know he's just a columnist and all but turning this into a thing about how all the illegal activity of the Bush Administration has been blown out of proportion is a bit much.

    Remember those scare headlines about domestic spying? They turned out to refer to wiretaps on international calls to and from this country, not domestic calls. And the hullabaloo died down.
    Paul, you weren't paying attention (or maybe you're just not getting good information up there in Arkansas) but no one cares about eavesdropping on calls that could possibly be terrorism related. The problem is, the Administration was doing it without so much as a 'by your leave' from the FISA court. They were doing it illegally. The pat response from the administration was that FISA took to long, then came the revelation that they could put on the tap immediately AS LONG AS THEY AT LEAST APPLIED FOR A WARRANT WITHIN 72 HOURS. Bush, from the get-go lied to the American people about this program and about Congressional oversight. That makes him a liar. While not an impeachable offense (unless it involved an oath and a blowjob), it does create a little animosity toward el Presidente.
    Remember the big story about possibly hundreds of thousands of phone calls having been "monitored" by the National Security Agency on Hayden's watch? It turned out to be about phone company records being run through a data-mining operation designed to detect any suspicious pattern of calls from terrorists to their accomplices.
    Paul needs some help... there are a few things he missed on this. There were no warrants for the data. Companies were intimidated into giving it up. There was no Congressional oversight. We don't know what filters they were using. So many questions and illegal activity and we're supposed to accept that Hayden and the President know what's best? Hayden may be OK, but I'm never going to trust el Presidente's judgement. He told us tax cuts wouldn't cause deficits; They have. He told us Social Security was in dire straights; It's not. He and his Administration misled us into a war with a country that hadn't attacked us. He told us tax cuts would create jobs; They've done no such thing.

    Trust el Presidente? I'd sooner trust a used car dealer who'll 'tote the note'

    Domestic spying! What defense is available to those whose duty it is to protect us? Only to patiently explain the decisions they've made, even if the explanation is a good deal more complicated than the accusation. Even then, much of the explanation must remain behind closed doors, for the enemy is listening, too.

    Yes, they've patiently explained their decisions. They've also lied. They've over and over used the threat of the terrorists to scare us into accepting what they say. The one conclusion I can draw is that they're doing a lot of illegal stuff and that I should mistrust them. Any official who swears an oath to defend this country and uphold the Constitution, then breaks it, deserves nothing but scorn. Most of all they don't deserve Paul's commentary on their character.

    There is a fine line between balanced commentary and being an obsequious shill. Paul Greenberg walked up to that line, took a shit on it, then got in your car and drove 80 miles past. Nice work, Paul. You're a real asset to your profession.

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

    Dell : On track to further reduce their Austin workforce

    Seriously, I had to look pretty hard for this story as it disapeered from the last few spots the Statesmen posted it. So, I'm reprinting it in the supersize just in case Mikey calls and demands they pull the story

    The company is expected to make an announcement about the location of the plant in India over the next few weeks, said Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell's general manager for South Asia.

    "The facility will be up and running by end of the year," Ferrand said. "We couldn't be happier as it will finally give us a chance to get rid of some of our rather expensive Central Texas workforce while still enjoying the abatements and other tax breaks the State of Texas and the Cities of Round Rock and Austin lavished on us. Did you know some of our employees even think they should get health insurance? Can you believe that?"

    The plant, he said, will enable "substantial" cost cuts and help the company compete in the Indian market, where it trails rival Hewlett Packard Co., Indian computer maker HCL Technologies Ltd. and Lenovo of China.

    Then there is another reason for opening a plant in India... they're working on getting around Indian taxes (is that all these guys think about?)

    Dell currently lags largely because of taxes that result in higher prices for its products. The Indian government imposes higher import taxes on fully assembled computers than computer parts, and Dell currently ships complete computers to India.

    A plant in India would help the company avoid some taxes, improve delivery time and cut logistics and transportation costs.

    Computer sales in India are expected to increase to 10 million annually over the next three to five years.

    Honestly, manufacturing to grow the business is great. I'm all for this... however, shuttering ops centers here only makes people hate you guys. Which is why HP is doing so much better than Dell now.

    Computer maker Dell sees plant in India ready by year-end
    AP Business Writer

    NEW DELHI — Dell Inc. said Thursday its plans to build a manufacturing plant in India have made progress and that it would be ready by the end of this year, helping the personal computer maker beef up its presence in one of the world's fastest-growing markets.

    The company is expected to make an announcement about the location of the plant in India over the next few weeks, said Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell's general manager for South Asia.

    "The facility will be up and running by end of the year," Ferrand said.

    The plant, he said, will enable "substantial" cost cuts and help the company compete in the Indian market, where it trails rival Hewlett Packard Co., Indian computer maker HCL Technologies Ltd. and Lenovo of China.

    Dell didn't give details about the capacity of the plant, or how it could come into operation in such short time. But Judy Low, a company spokeswoman, said Dell started production in China in just six months from announcing to set up a plant there.

    She also said Dell had done well in selling its products here. Its revenues from India increased to $80 million in the quarter ending April, up 40 percent from the same period a year ago.

    Still, the Round Rock, Texas-based company has a market share of just 5 percent in India.

    Dell currently lags largely because of taxes that result in higher prices for its products. The Indian government imposes higher import taxes on fully assembled computers than computer parts, and Dell currently ships complete computers to India.

    A plant in India would help the company avoid some taxes, improve delivery time and cut logistics and transportation costs.

    Computer sales in India are expected to increase to 10 million annually over the next three to five years.


    May 25, 2006 - 9:46 a.m. Copyright 2006, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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

    ... in which we present another SSSSS

    It's commonly accepted that there are only two constants in life... death and taxes. As any accountant can tell you, there are ways to engineer around the taxes. Death is a little harder to beat, especially if you're a kitten and Senator Herr Doktor Frist has recently adopted you. I believe, and experience has born out my belief, that there is another constant, the shitty service station. You know, the one you're forced to stop at because of an insistent bladder, despite the fact that you seriously think it could pose a substantial biohazard risk.

    This weekend we bring you another installment of SSSSS. Not today. Don't even ask. We're far too busy.

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

    A day of fun in Washington

    What? Don't be hatin' on my mad rhymin' skillz!

  • Senate passes Democratic immigration reform plan

    The AP is calling it a compromise and in some ways, it is. R's got stricter enforcement, cheap labor and their ridiculous wall (as well as the ability to keep Manolo, the bathroom attendent of whom Frist has become so fond). The D's got a clear path for immigrants to be naturalized as well as other goodies. Of course, there are ALWAYS some hateful bitches who just want to rain shit on the parade.

    "This is amnesty," added David Vitter, R-La., who tried last week to strip out provisions relating to citizenship.

    Not so, said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in a rebuttal to weeks of debate. "They have to pay a fine. They have to undergo a criminal background check. They have to pay back taxes, they have to learn English and they have to go to the back of the line," he said, referring to illegal immigrants who would apply for citizenship.

  • Treasury Secretary Snow may resign soon

    It's unclear when Snow will offer his resignation and the president said he has heard nothing about it.

    "He has not talked to me about resignation," Bush said at a news conference Thursday night. "I think he 's doing a fine job. After all, our economy is strong," Bush said, fielding reporters' questions in an appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    "He's tired of being Bush's bitch on economic policy," said one aide close to Secretary Snow. "He's really focused on a running a company into the ground while reaping millions for himself... do you happen to know if GM is in the market for a new CEO?"

    Honestly, if this really does happen, I couldn't be happier. Good riddance, John Snow.

  • Estate Tax is about to come back up thanks for Senator Herr Doktor Frist

    Frist originally wanted to vote on a repeal of the Estate Tax last year, immediately after Katrina battered the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, EVERYONE pointed out that while poor people were dying in the street Congress should really be focused on something other than a tax cut for billionaires. Given that the news from Katrina has died down, Frist and his puppet, Senator Kyl of Arizona, have decided to bring it up again... this time as 'reform' which is republicanese for 'buttfucking the poor and middle classes'.

    While passage of full repeal of the estate tax does not appear likely in the Senate (repeal passed in the House last April), a back-door repeal proposal put forth by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) could potentially garner enough support to pass in the Senate. Kyl's "reform," supported by a number of Republicans, would likely raise the estate tax exemption level to $5 million ($10 million per couple) and set the tax rate at 15 percent, equal to that of the capital gains tax. This reform previously reported on by OMB Watch amounts to little more than repeal, because it would cost upwards of 90 percent of the cost of full repeal.
  • Have a goodun' boys and girls!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 25, 2006

    A Challenge to the global warming nutters

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This is Myron. Myron works for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Republican think tank funded almost exclusively by companies for (wait for it) companies. What kind of companies? Oil companies mostly, which is why Myron is visiting us today.

    At this point you probably think I'm making Myron up. Bitches. Here's his lame bio. Myron is the director of energy and global warming policy at CEI which means that he does 'research' sponsored by the companies he's 'researching' and shills for those same companies. There's a phrase for this... it came up a little in the early part of the decade regarding investment analysts at investment banks and brokerage firms. Conflict of Interest? Does that sound right?

    Not suprisingly, Myron doesn't think global warming is real. He and CEI have joined others (including such luminaries as Matt Drudge) in a SwiftBoatLiars-style campaign to discredit Vice - President Al Gore and his new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which is about (you knew it was coming, right?) GLOBAL WARMING. Part of that campaign involves some lame commercials that are up on the CEI streams site (this one features an adorable little girl and this one is all about why the icecaps aren't really melting). The gist? Carbon dioxide is LIFE. Seriously, since plants need CO2 to live, and plants make oxygen, more CO2 means more oxygen. Honestly, that's really their point and all the established science be damned. The second video uses a little known fact to make the case for more CO2, that the Antarctic ice cap is thickening. However, it's a halftruth

    "The Antarctic ice sheet is getting thicker, not thinner," the ad cheerily declares, while an image of a study from Science flashes across the screen. Just one problem with the claim: It's completely misleading. The study's author, Curt Davis of the University of Missouri, was so horrified that he released a statement. "These television ads are a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public about the global warming debate," he said. "They are selectively using only parts of my previous research to support their claims." Global warming is melting sea ice and the coastal areas of Antarctica at an alarming rate, which in turn has increased precipitation, thus thickening the ice in the interior. In other words, the melting coasts are making it snow more in the middle. But this is a bug, not a feature. Overall, the ice sheet is losing mass, not gaining it. As Davis said in response to the CEI ads, "The fact that the interior ice sheet is growing is a predicted consequence of global climate warming."

    Of course there is the evidence that global temperatures have increased and that most life on earth exists within a pretty narrow temperature range... too hot, the biosphere collapses; Too cold and it freezes. Myron doesn't really care about that, he's too busy making bank.

    Given that Myron and his pals think CO2 is such an awesome thing, I have a challenge for them. I want to put them each in an airtight container about the size of a coffin for 4 hours. I'll even give them a fighting chance by placing an ivy inside with them. Then we'll lower it into the ocean. Every 10 minutes they'll need to hit a button that transmits a signal to let us know they're OK. If the signal doesn't come, we'll know they're already dead and just release the coffin, letting it sink. I think Myron will have a newfound appreciation for the dangers of CO2 and bad rhetoric.

    Plants do need CO2, however, they also need oxygen. As the atmosphere's CO2 load has increased over the last 200 years we can see that plants just don't grow fast enough to clean it out and maintain the balance. If Myron were right, we'd have plants even in deserts and no problem with CO2. Instead, we have ever increasing levels of CO2 and are in real danger of driving the kind of warming that will make earth inhospitable to plants and, shortly thereafter, us.

    You send Myron an email here and let him know what you think of his shilling.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



    Count One - Conspiracy : GUILTY
    Wire Fraud : GUILTY
    Securities Fraud :GUILTY
    Insider Trading : NOT GUILTY
    Lying to investigators : GUILTY
    18 total GUILTY verdicts


    2 Wire Fraud Counts : GUILTY
    3 Securities Fraud Counts : GUILTY
    Conspiracy : GUILTY

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 24, 2006

    Tom, they were laughing AT, not with, you.

    Tom DeLay's legal defense prayer team sent out a lovely email to supporters today. Think Progress got a copy of it and it is indeed hilarious.

    Apparently, Tommy thinks that Stephen Colbert's interview of "The Big Buy: Tom DeLay's Stolen Congress " creator Robert Greenwald was real. No Joke, they even have the video up on their website offered as proof that some in the media believe Tommy's story.

    UPDATE: Bluebonnet at Pink Dome has the story up as well.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    ACLU starts national phone 'snooping' campaign

    Unlike it's ineffectual and frankly somewhat lame third cousin, the Democratic Party, the ACLU has decided to go after the Administration's illegal phone snooping/tapping/gossipmongering program at multiple levels. The strategy involves lawsuits against companies involved (AT&T, VERIZON, etc.) and filing complaints with Utility Commissions in several states, not to mention the FCC.

    “We cannot sit by while the government and the phone companies collude in this massive, illegal and fundamentally un-American invasion of our privacy,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “And unfortunately, we cannot wait for Congress to act. The ACLU is mobilizing its members and supporters nationwide to demand investigations into this shocking breach of trust. And we are asking the FCC to use its authority to uncover the facts about how far the president's illegal spying has gone. The American people want answers.”

    Here's a sample of the PR campaign, not exactly colorful but it does catch your eye...

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    You can sign the petition here... come on, it'll take two minutes out of your life and leave you feeling empowered even if you are pretty much powerless.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    As if just shopping at Wal-Mart wasn't degrading enough...

    Can anyone vouch for the whereabouts od Dick Morris when this was happening?

    Police in Tulsa, Okla., are searching for a man who hid under a woman's car at a Wal-Mart parking lot and then licked her toes as she loaded groceries into the vehicle, according to a report.

    The woman said she was at the Tulsa Wal-Mart located near 81st Street and Lewis when she felt her toes being licked.

    She assumed it was a dog but when she looked down, she saw it was a man lying under her vehicle.

    A Tulsa County assistant district attorney said if the man is caught, he'll face a misdemeanor charge of battery or outraging public decency.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 12:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    State Chair Cheese : Bell Endorses Richie

    WOW. I know we're only a little over two weeks out from the TDP Convention, but am I the only one already tired of the campaign emails? Boyd, hermano, por favor no mas! I now have 7 pieces of collateral and one email to tell me Bell has endorsed you. All this is making my hole bleed.

    I have been on the campaign trail for more than a year, crisscrossing this great state to share my optimistic New Mainstream vision about building the best public schools in the country, creating a more ethical government and returning bold leadership to a state clearly crying out for it. All along the way, I have seen one candidate for Texas Democratic Party Chair show up time and time again: at the Donkey Fest in Gainesville; the annual Democratic banquet in Lubbock; Mexican American Democrats convention in El Paso; Tejano Democrats convention in Houston; the Rural Summit in Tyler - the list goes on and on. That candidate is Boyd Richie, and he is the leader who I have seen building the kind of statewide base that we will need to mobilize our party in the future and create a winning majority.” Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting “Texas Democrats are ready to lead again and Boyd Richie is ready to lead everyone in the Texas Democratic Party. Boyd has reached out beyond his political and geographic base to create important alliances with leaders in the minority communities - alliances he will work hard to strengthen going forward. He understands the challenges faced by working men and women in this day and age and will make sure that the labor movement continues to play a vital role in the Democratic Party. And he understands something incredibly important for our future: that we must attract more young people, give them opportunities to grow and make them active participants in the Texas Democratic Party!”

    “Boyd Richie and his wife, DNC Member Betty Richie, love the Texas Democratic Party and are completely devoted to seeing it thrive again. There are no two individuals I have enjoyed meeting more over the last twelve months; Boyd and Betty bring a warmth and dedication from which our party can greatly benefit and which we greatly need. As we move forward toward victory in November, I ask you as your party’s nominee for Governor to support Boyd Richie for Texas Democratic Party Chairman.”

    -Chris Bell, Democratic Nominee for Texas Governor

    Seriously. I'm voting for Chris, I'll even be one of the thousands across the State working for him this summer and fall. But please, Chris, keep out of the Chair's race. Win or lose in November, we have to work seriously on rebuilding the party and Boyd's not that guy. This is one of the those times when you have to put feelings aside and go with the person who can achieve the objective. While I like Richie, he's not the right person this time around.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    May 23, 2006

    Austin Legend Clifford Antone Dead : Could this day suck more

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    Some of you will remember Antone for his eponymous downtown blues club where the Red State Blues concert and fundraiser was held during the 2004 cycle. Some of you will remember him only as a nice guy you liked to help out where he could. Some will remember him best for the break he gave them by allowing them to perform at his club.

    All of us at McBlogger will remember him as a friend, an Austin original who will be missed long after today.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Clinton to UT Grads : Global aid cheaper than War

    I would post this under MOTO but I have too much respect for President Clinton who, while speaking to graduates of the UT LBJ School of Public Affairs, said

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    "We have to realize in an interdependent world we cannot kill, jail or occupy all of our adversaries," he said, prompting applause at commencement ceremonies for graduates of UT's Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

    Clinton's comments come as national support for the war in Iraq has eroded amid mounting casualties and sectarian violence, while President George W. Bush's approval ratings have dipped to new lows.

    The former president suggested that it would cost the United States no more than $40 billion a year to end the world's most extreme poverty, its worst threats of disease and send 130 million children to school who won't otherwise get an education.

    A big part of terrorist recruitment IS the need to feel useful and a 'part' of something. Sounds absurd, I know, but it's the truth. These terrorists are the product of their environments; Countries that gave up on their economies and on educating their populace have created terrorists that are attacking us. That's not to say I want to cut them any slack, the point here is that it's cheaper and better to make friends with people and help them modernize. No one is saying it will end all our problems. However, it's a start and one we should take if for no other reason than that it wrecks the least amount of havoc on the Federal Budget.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bigot calls Madonna "boring"

    Bill Donohue, self-styled leader of a group calling itself the Catholic League (wasn't that a group of meanies during the Counter-Reformation?) spends a lot of time being upset with modern culture. You know, blasphemous movies, kids and their loud music that's really just noise, books printed with movable type... So it's no surprise that he was just a little perturbed at Madonna's latest concert tour, which features her singing while hanging from a cross wearing a crown of thorns.

    Though Donohue said that Madonna "has been spicing up her act with misappropriated Christian imagery for a long time," he thought that her faith in Kabbalah might inspire new respect for religion.

    "I guess you really can't teach an old pop star new tricks," he said. "Poor Madonna keeps trying to shock. But all she succeeds in doing is coming across as a boring bigot."

    No Bill, you're the boring bigot. Try finding a publisher for a photobook of your erotic fantasies if you don't believe me.

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

    This will never catch on here

    Pity the poor lawmakers of Oregon.

    SALEM, Ore. --Oregon legislators and staff members should not be drunk while performing their official duties, a citizen panel says.

    The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature adopted that recommendation Monday, although the panel decided to leave it to House and Senate leaders to draft rules against intoxication and possible penalties.

    The new policy was suggested by Steve Doell, president of Crime Victims United, who said he and another member of the group noticed alcohol on the breath of at least one legislator at the end of the 2005 session while they were advocating tougher drunken-driving penalties.

    Next thing you know they'll be banning legislators from cruising around with loaded firearms, picking up hookers.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Former Senator Lloyd Bentsen passes away

    The Statesman just put this out:

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    HOUSTON — Lloyd Bentsen, a courtly Texan who represented the state in Congress for 28 years and served as President Clinton's first treasury secretary, died Tuesday morning, his family said. He was 85.

    Bentsen, the Democratic vice presidential nominee 1988, died at his home in Houston, according to the family

    His distinguished political career took him from the humble beginnings of a county office in the Rio Grande Valley in the 1940s to six years in the U.S. House, 22 in the U.S. Senate and two in the Clinton Cabinet, where he was instrumental in directing the administration's economic policy.

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

    Bush's abuse shows ingenuity of the system he's trying to destroy

    Robyn Blumner has a wonderful op-ed up at the SacBee. Supersize for the full text but first, some highlights

    Bush represents the flag-wavers who are long on enthusiasm but don't have any real appreciation for the nobility of America. It isn't our big, expensive military or our big, expensive economy that bestows greatness. It is our modesty. America's magnificence lies in its grounding principle that power must be diffuse. We built a system based on the assessed fallibility of man, where a president is limited by Congress, the courts and the Constitution.
    Nothing better illuminates Bush's contempt for American checks and balances than his abuse of the presidential signing statement.

    According to a Boston Globe report, Bush has asserted the authority to disregard more than 750 laws by essentially writing provisos into them — a power he stole from Congress.

    The Republican leadership in Congress is standing by while its house is being pillaged. The power to write federal laws is Congress' alone. The president's duty, as expressly stated in the Constitution, is to faithfully execute the laws he signs, not to add asterisks on parts he intends to ignore.

    This is a great read for anyone interested in just how far the Republicans have gone in their effort to abdicate the responsibilities, under the Constitution, of the Congress of the United States. If only there were some Democratic members of Congress talking about this...instead of just an op/ed by Robyn Blumner.

    Robyn Blumner: Bush's abuse of power shows the genius of the system he's destroying
    By Robyn Blumner
    Published 12:01 am PDT Sunday, May 21, 2006
    It's only three more years. That is the coldly comforting phrase used by people who can't wait until our destructive, intellectually limited president has permanently gone fishing.

    But the changes that George W. Bush has made to our nation's constitutional firmament may not depart with the first family's bags.

    His disregard for the separation of powers has so dramatically distorted the office of the president that he may have engineered a turning point in American history.

    Bush represents the flag-wavers who are long on enthusiasm but don't have any real appreciation for the nobility of America. It isn't our big, expensive military or our big, expensive economy that bestows greatness. It is our modesty. America's magnificence lies in its grounding principle that power must be diffuse. We built a system based on the assessed fallibility of man, where a president is limited by Congress, the courts and the Constitution.

    But from the beginning, Bush has disregarded America's well-tested formula of calibrated and collaborative governing. His can't-think-of-any-mistakes presidency has stomped on comity and established a pattern of unilateralism that future presidents may well emulate.

    Bush has taught tomorrow's leaders that, if there are no consequences for ignoring legal constraints on power and if no one stops you from conducting the nation's business in secret, you don't have to be accountable. He is ruling through the tautological doctrine of Richard Nixon, who told interviewer David Frost that as long as the president's doing it, "that means it is not illegal."

    Nothing better illuminates Bush's contempt for American checks and balances than his abuse of the presidential signing statement.

    According to a Boston Globe report, Bush has asserted the authority to disregard more than 750 laws by essentially writing provisos into them — a power he stole from Congress.

    The Republican leadership in Congress is standing by while its house is being pillaged. The power to write federal laws is Congress' alone. The president's duty, as expressly stated in the Constitution, is to faithfully execute the laws he signs, not to add asterisks on parts he intends to ignore.

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert are joining in their own emasculation when they utter not a peep during this bloodless coup. I don't know why Republicans have a reputation for strength. When blindly supporting a president from your own party takes precedence over guarding Congress' historic role, "Republican leadership" becomes an oxymoron.

    It is not just liberals who have recognized the danger. I challenge anyone to read an important new report by the libertarian Cato Institute ( and not be chilled. "Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush" is an unblinking 28-page analysis of our slow devolution into autocracy. Its message can be summed up with this quote: "Under (the president's) sweeping theory of executive power, the liberty of every American rests on nothing more than the grace of the White House."

    A meek and pliant Congress is allowing this new paradigm to take root.

    It wasn't until the White House started getting nervous about the confirmation prospects of Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA chief that it bothered to brief the full intelligence committees of the House and Senate on the domestic wiretapping and information-collection programs that had been operational for years. For the previous five months, the White House stonewalled lawmakers' questions on warrantless domestic wiretapping of Americans. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter was so frustrated that he threatened to cut off funding for the NSA's wiretapping program if the information he had requested was not forthcoming. But rather than rallying around Specter and standing firmly for the oversight role of Congress, his colleagues left him to flap in the wind, with an empty threat on his lips.

    Where is Congress? Why is it that the revelations surrounding a secret database of millions of Americans' phone records, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, secret overseas CIA prisons, memos excusing torture and other horribles authorized by Bush had to come from the press? The same press that, according to ABC News, is having its calls checked so sources can be unearthed. The same press that administration shill William Bennett suggested should be prosecuted under a 1917 espionage law for telling the American people the truth about what their government is up to.

    Our lawmakers are MIA. They have handed the game board to Bush and he has taken it and gone home. He now controls his pieces and theirs.

    But it wasn't their game to give away. It was ours.

    Holding the Executive Branch to account for its actions, demanding that it respect the law and insisting that it fully report to Congress on its activities — these are nonnegotiable duties of Congress, because they are key part of our inheritance.

    Being answerable to another is humbling. It makes you more careful in your actions. It requires that you consider how you will defend your decisions. George Bush has freed himself of this constitutional imperative and is showing the next president, and the next, how it is done.

    About the writer:

    * Robyn Blumner writes for the St. Petersburg Times. Reach her at

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

    May 22, 2006

    MOTO : Need to examine prison populations...

    Here is a brilliant article on prison population in the US. Apparently, 1 out of every 136 US citizens is in jail. This number does not include Republican elected officials who are currently only indicted for bribery and misconduct so we can expect it to go much higher.

    The sad part about this article? The very end

    Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, which supports alternatives to prison, said the incarceration rates for blacks were troubling.

    "It's not a sign of a healthy community when we've come to use incarceration at such rates," he said.

    Mauer also criticized sentencing guidelines, which he said remove judges' discretion, and said arrests for drug and parole violations swell prisons.

    "If we want to see the prison population reduced, we need a much more comprehensive approach to sentencing and drug policy," he said.

    Since when does a thoroughgoing mastery of the obvious make you a quotable source?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Republican Activists! As likely to cause panic as a dead lawn

    There's been a lot of talk recently from the more unsavory members of the Republican Party (read: the preachers and anti-tax nutters) about how disapointed they are with their electeds.

    OK. I get it. It's frustrating as hell when you work hard to elect people and they don't behave as you'd like. However, your whining and carping is making me want to puke blood, you ineffectual half-wits.

    Do me a favor: Quit whining and DO something about it. You've got Steven Hotze acting like an asshole threatening that his voters won't show up to the polls for Perry in November. While I'm thrilled about this as it makes it more likely the Democratic candidate will win, I'm also upset because these BITCHES KEEP THREATENING AND NEVER ACT.

    How the FUCK is anyone supposed to take you seriously, Doc Hotze? Honestly, if I was a Republican elected (and I very well might be), I would be laughing my ass off when you came calling. Or Dan Patrick. Or Grover Norquist. So far the only disaffected R with the sack to actually step up and put his money into actually defeating someone is Leininger and his win/loss record sucked just a little less than the A&M football team's. Even the Harris County Republican Party couldn't gather up the courage to do much more than issue a resolution against HB3. Wimps.

    It's no wonder these guys aren't listening to you... you're all gutless. All talk, no action. I would call you pussies but a friend recently informed me that's not cool. So, I'll call you cunts.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    I'm The Recycler!

    We are bombarded everyday with the claim that Democrats have no new ideas. Of course, that isn't true... in fact, you have to admit that some of their old ideas, like civil rights, a modicum of economic justice, or respecting personal privacy still have some merit. What is rarely said is that the republicans are mostly rehashing old ideas themselves.

    For example, take Busholini's plan to deploy the National Guard to the southern border. We'll be sending in too few a number of troops, who aren't trained or equipped for this mission, for what we're assured will be only a limited commitment. And of course as the Border Patrol stnads up the National Guard will stand down. Sound familiar? All that's missing is the assurance that our troops will be greeted by the illegal aliens with flowers and pan dulce.

    Also getting into the recycling spirit is Darth Cheney.

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    This is the time of year when politicos and public figures fan out across the country, showering graduating collegians with their pearls of wisdom and life lessons. Consider what Doctor Evil had to say back in 2004 in Tallahassee...

    I think, for example, of the first time I met my friend and colleague Secretary Don Rumsfeld. It was back in the 1960s. He was a congressman, and I was interviewing for a fellowship in Washington, D.C. Congressman Rumsfeld agreed to interview me, but things didn't go all that smoothly -- just 15 minutes later, I found myself back out in the hallway. Don's impression of me was that I was kind of a detached, impractical, academic type. And I thought he was a brash, cocky, young politician. And we were both right.

    Those of you who have been around a while can also recall a few times when life took an unexpected turn not always in a positive direction. As I mentioned a moment ago, I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming. My undergraduate experience, though, began at a place called Yale. But I didn't finish. I dropped out after a few semesters. Well, actually dropped out isn't quite accurate. Asked to leave would be more like it… Twice…The second time around they said, don't come back.

    And last Friday, at LSU in Baton Rouge...

    I think, for example, of the first time I met my friend and colleague Don Rumsfeld. It was back in the 1960s, when he was a congressman and I was interviewing for a fellowship on Capitol Hill. Congressman Rumsfeld agreed to talk to me, but things didn't go all that well. In fact, he pretty much threw me out of his office. Don had the impression of me that I was kind of a detached, theoretical, impractical academic type. And I thought he was a brash young politician with attitude. We were both right.

    Those of us who've been around a while can also recall a few times when life took an unexpected turn, not always in a positive direction. As I mentioned a moment ago, I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming. My college experience, though, began at a place called Yale -– but I didn’t finish there. Instead, I dropped out after a few semesters. Actually, dropped out isn't quite accurate. Asked to leave would be more like it… Twice… The second time around, they said, don't bother coming back.

    More rehash, anyone?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:05 AM

    Molested at the Hancock Plaza 24 Hour Fitness - It's not as funny as you'd think.

    I went to the Travis County Delegation meeting Saturday then afterward to lunch with some great friends one of whom works out at the 24 Hour Fitness at Hancock Plaza here in Austin. Apparently, one night this past week, a female member was swimming when a male member, pulled out his member and began to 'enjoy' himself. While watching the woman swim. At this point, most of the group I was with died laughing because it's funny. Then the reality sets in and you realize this woman was molested, which kinda sucks all the comedy out of the moment. Then you get the willies and and ask what happened next.

    The woman was of course freaked out and reported it to management WHO.DID.NOTHING. Then she went to corporate.

    I spoke to district manager Becky Most around 3:15 pm, who reviewed the security tapes and admitted that the man was, in fact, visibly masturbating. She admitted that the problems with sexual predators is an "ongoing problem at this location." If you work out here, you need to know this to protect yourself, because the club has no intention of doing so. Becky Most said "It's a public club, we can't be everywhere at once. Swim at your own risk." It is not a public club, I paid a hefty initiation fee in addition to a monthly fee, which I thought was access to the clubs without harassment.

    This is honestly, one of the biggest fuck up things I've heard about in the last several months (and I'm including the recent Special Session). Beyond the fact that it's gross, what if this guy had decided to rape her? Oh sure, it's all fun and games ('an ongoing problem at this location') when it's just some random jackass rubbing one out. What the hell are they going to do when someone decides they want more than that?

    You can see the whole story, in every graphic detail, here. If you're a member of a 24 Hour Fitness, you might want to consider cancelling your membership and going elsewhere.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    May 21, 2006

    The War on Vegetables

    How quickly Americans toss aside the heroes of previous conflicts! Who today recalls that during the Reagan regime's desperate struggle against the budget, public education and childhood nutrition, lowly ketchup was pressed into service as an ersatz vegetable? Citizen! How can you look the other way while schools crack down on condiments?

    CHANDLER, Ariz. -- One Arizona high school has added another item to its list of banned substances: bottled ketchup.

    One student at Basha High School in Chandler was disciplined after being caught with a ketchup bottle two days in a row. And the principal said the school called the parents of several others found with the contraband.

    The smuggling began after the school cafeteria limited students to three packets of ketchup per hamburger. You can get extra packets, but they cost 25 cents each.

    You also can bring your own packets. But bottled ketchup is banned because the school said it would be a health code violation."

    Dare we say it? When ketchup is outlawed, only outlaws will have ketchup?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 20, 2006

    Congressional Democrats should be on the offensive

    TNR has a good piece up (supersize for the full text) regarding calls for a presumptive Democratic majority in Congress next year to begin impeachment proceedings against el Presidente. While I would love to see the man gone, as TNR astutely points out, it's far more important to restore Congressional oversight of the Executive.

    What oversight Republicans have performed has been woefully inadequate. As documented by CQ Weekly in 2004, nearly every time a Republican chairman promises to pursue an investigation, he suddenly loses interest once the cameras turn away. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, once swore to "let the chips fall where they may" in his investigation of prewar intelligence. He then all but gave up on the probe until he was shamed into acting by Democrats. Even self-styled Republican mavericks have been timid. Richard Lugar once promised to use the Foreign Relations Committee to grill senior administration officials about their plan for Iraq. According to CQ, he "declared himself satisfied with lower-level administration witnesses after the higher-ranking ones he wanted refused to show." John McCain, the one Republican who tackled the Jack Abramoff investigation, essentially gave up on the inquiry once it started to threaten his party's pooh-bahs.

    Hear Me Now
    by the Editors
    Post date: 05.19.06
    Issue date: 05.29.06

    Nancy Pelosi, dare we say, did something smart last week. She told her Democratic colleagues, several of whom have become enamored with the idea of impeaching the president, that, if their party gains control of Congress, impeachment is verboten. "We want oversight and checks and balances," Pelosi's flack told reporters. "Impeachment was never her interest."

    These are dismal times for Republicans, and now they are even worse. Pelosi has effectively banished the specter of crazed Democrats returning to power to impeach President Bush, a handy bogeyman for Republican fund-raisers. The truth is, it is not impeachment Republicans fear; it's simply oversight. Since 2001, Congress has sat idle as the executive branch gradually proclaimed new powers for itself, and it has aided and abetted Bush's every failure by refusing to operate as a check on his administration. So, while Democrats are wise to distance themselves from the I-word, they shouldn't be bullied into abandoning promises to aggressively investigate the Bush administration. In fact, they should be running on the issue, not away from it.

    GOP control of Congress deserves to end this year, not least because Republicans have abused--and then abandoned--government oversight. Six years of chasing every wild accusation leveled against the Clinton administration have been followed by almost six years of near-total deference to the executive branch. In the Clinton years, a single House committee, Government Reform, issued over 1,000 subpoenas and spent millions of dollars investigating the White House and the Democratic Party. More than two million pages of documents were handed over. In one inquiry alone--the grave matter of the politicization of the White House Christmas list--Republicans took 140 hours of testimony.

    Nobody wants to return to those days--except perhaps to experience the sheer delight of watching a congressman solve the Vince Foster "murder" by shooting a pumpkin. But, in terms of congressional oversight, what has followed in the Bush years is even worse than the abuses of the Clinton years: nothing. Congress has brushed off the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. In the rubberstamp House of Representatives, the abuses at Abu Ghraib have merited a total of a dozen hours of sworn testimony. The use of propaganda by government agencies? A collective yawn from the GOP. The housing and urban development secretary's boast of denying federal grants to contractors who dislike Bush? Silence.

    What oversight Republicans have performed has been woefully inadequate. As documented by CQ Weekly in 2004, nearly every time a Republican chairman promises to pursue an investigation, he suddenly loses interest once the cameras turn away. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, once swore to "let the chips fall where they may" in his investigation of prewar intelligence. He then all but gave up on the probe until he was shamed into acting by Democrats. Even self-styled Republican mavericks have been timid. Richard Lugar once promised to use the Foreign Relations Committee to grill senior administration officials about their plan for Iraq. According to CQ, he "declared himself satisfied with lower-level administration witnesses after the higher-ranking ones he wanted refused to show." John McCain, the one Republican who tackled the Jack Abramoff investigation, essentially gave up on the inquiry once it started to threaten his party's pooh-bahs.

    Other Republicans have turned their committees into ideological tools to curry favor with interest groups. Religious conservatives have been rewarded with hearings on the benefits of faith-based services. Oil companies have been granted investigations about the benefits of drilling in Alaska. Pharmaceutical companies got public testimony about the dangers of buying prescription drugs from Canada. Any subject seems to take precedence over the Bush administration. Among the topics on the agenda of the Government Reform Committee for this Congress are: "Diploma Mills," "New Dietary Guidelines," and "the federal government's migration to Internet Protocol version 6."

    Republicans probably thought they were helping the president by abandoning oversight. But, facing no threat of congressional censure, the White House has had little incentive to govern more competently. The ultimate irony is that, after congressional Republicans have defended and protected the administration through all of its mistakes, voters may now take out their anger not on the president, but on his House and Senate enablers. If that happens, we say: Let the hearings begin.
    the Editors

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

    May 19, 2006

    Muthafuckin' Cellphone Guns on a Plane!

    As if SNAKES aren't enough to worry about...
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    Law enforcement and authorities at government buildings are being warned to be on the lookout for guns disguised as cell phones that are difficult to spot in metal detectors, according to a Local 6 News report.

    The report said the cell phone gun is a working .22 caliber pistol capable of firing off four rounds at the touch of the button.

    The hidden guns are made of high-grade plastic, which makes them difficult to spot in metal detectors, the report said.

    "There are beeper guns and there are also items known as pen guns," ATF Special Agent Joe Green said. "There are many, many disguise weapons out there."

    Add your "Can you hear me now?" jokes in the comments.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:16 PM

    Ask A ... Newly Retired CEO Lee Raymond late of ExxonMobil

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Recently we introduced you to Lee Raymond, former CEO of ExxonMobile. We're excited to have received four questions (seriously, you guys suck ASS... he's a former CEO of an oil company and this was all you people could come up with?) that Lee kindly answered before he needed to leave for a meeting with VP Cheney on 'energy policy'.

    Hey, you fat bastard:
    Why TF -- considering how handsomely you've been compensated -- can't you get your teeth fixed and four of those five chins liposucked? Is getting laid simply no longer an option for you? Or do you believe "hideously ugly in every way" to be a component of your (presumed) appeal? Signed, Valdez Should Have Been All the Warning We Needed

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Sure. But I just got $400mm ON TOP OF THE PHAT SALARY I'VE BEEN GETTING FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. Needless to say, I can look any way I want... and still get more pussy than a male model with a 13" dick.

    What would an elephant crossed with a mouse look like?DWP; Texarkana, TX

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    Kinda like an aardvark. We were all the time making them at Exxon Nuclear, kinda funny actually.

    Any regrets about the Valdez oil spill?

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    Sure, tons of them and especially about the way the thing was handled. I think the biggest was losing all that crude. Sure the insurance paid off, but not getting it to market was a big dissapointment. I guess the other thing I'm most upset about is that the slick wasn't ignited before it reached shore.

    Oh, and the wildlife that was hurt (laughing). YEAH, I was REAL upset about all that.

    When you're at the grocery store, do you prefer paper or plastic?

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    That's a dumb question... I don't go to the grocery store. I have staff for that. However, they better be using plastic!

    We hope you'll join us again for our next installment of Ask A...

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Something good from the war on terror... a better trip on the H Train

    I know the Bush Administration probably wasn't thinking about this when they left Afghanistan to it's own devices so that they could rush off to Iraq, but Afghanistan has always been a major poppy producer and you know what comes from poppies? No, not the black seeds on hamburgers.

    ... Jackson says, "kicked off a series of heroin seizures." It was also an early sign of a troubling, yet largely unnoticed, trend in the St. Louis area: the rise of a new source of heroin that is increasing the overall supply and expanding demand. Because the powdery white Asian heroin - flowing mostly from Afghanistan - can be smoked or snorted, users are able to avoid the health risks and stigmas associated with hypodermic needles.

    In addition to the loss of lives and treasure from the war itself, we now have to worry about John and Jane Suburb going all junky brewster because you 'don't need all those nasty needles and shit, dude!'.

    Unfortunately, there appears to be little on the agenda, as far as the Bush Administration is concerned, regarding giving the Afghani's something better than an opiate feedstock to grow as a cash crop. Apparently, they last tried something in 2004. Obviously worked well, no?

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

    No Detroit for the Democrats in 2008

    If you're thinking about going to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 you're bound to be excited about the news that Detroit will NOT be hosting it. If you're like me, you're probably also elated that Dallas and Orlando (both known for their tropical rainforest-like temperatures in August) are also off the list. Actually, it's not just the weather. I hate Dallas (sorry Dallas readers... have you thought about moving to SA or Austin?) and Orlando, home of the 4:30 DINNER buffet, is just so lame.

    I honestly wasn't even aware that Detroit was still a US city. I thought the city had been purchased by Toyota in effort to gently put it out of it's misery.

    What? Didn't you see Old Yeller?

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

    Frist gets his wish, FMA going to a vote on the floor

    The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted out (10-8... strictly along party lines)the Federal Marriage Amendment that Frist has been all excited about. The theory is that he's going to force a vote on the issue during the week of June 5th, and then use it's inevitable defeat to to pound Democrats in races nationwide. I think it's better than a theory, I think it's going to happen. And I also think it's going to backfire like a motherfucker.

    The Committee meeting looks like it was pretty funny yesterday what with Specter and Feingold going at it....

    "I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) shouted after Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

    "If you want to leave, good riddance," Specter finished.

    "I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman," replied Feingold, who is considering a run for president in 2008. "See ya."

    Who knew Arlen was channeling a VERY bitchy gay man?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    California Senator tells Bush to shove it on the border troop plan

    Though I know we'll see nothing like this coming from our retarded Legislature, it is good to see that people in other states are bit more on top of things.

    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said Wednesday he will block state money from paying for President Bush's proposal to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Perata, D-Oakland, scheduled hearings for next week, to be held by a committee he handpicked to probe how the president's plan to stem illegal immigration by sending National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile border would affect California's Guard units.

    "The president of the United States is putting California residents in high jeopardy for political purposes of his own," Perata said, noting that the border deployments would remove the state's National Guard troops from their traditional roles of responding to natural disasters and civil unrest. "This is a foreign policy matter, and he's doing it at the expense of California residents."

    Full text after the jump

    From the Sacramento Bee

    Perata rips Bush's border Guard plan
    The Senate leader vows to halt funds for deployment, sets hearings next week.
    By Andy Furillo -- Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 12:01 am PDT Thursday, May 18, 2006
    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said Wednesday he will block state money from paying for President Bush's proposal to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border.

    Perata, D-Oakland, scheduled hearings for next week, to be held by a committee he handpicked to probe how the president's plan to stem illegal immigration by sending National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile border would affect California's Guard units.

    "The president of the United States is putting California residents in high jeopardy for political purposes of his own," Perata said, noting that the border deployments would remove the state's National Guard troops from their traditional roles of responding to natural disasters and civil unrest. "This is a foreign policy matter, and he's doing it at the expense of California residents."

    The Guard is funded by both state and federal money. While Bush has suggested the federal government would pick up the cost of the proposed border deployment, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked for more assurances.

    White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said the Bush administration "did not do a tremendous amount of briefing" for state and local officials before the president's speech Monday in which he announced the border proposal.

    "Now, as we are going through and briefing the various officials that are impacted by this policy, we think that people will become more informed and more understanding of the president's proposals," Healy said.

    Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, talked on the phone for 40 minutes Wednesday with Bush's homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, about the plan. Schwarzenegger sent a blistering letter to Chertoff on Tuesday criticizing it as a "logistical nightmare."

    Gubernatorial spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said Schwarzenegger raised "a variety of issues" during the phone call, reiterating the concerns he raised in Tuesday's letter.

    "Following the 40-minute discussion, it was evident the administration didn't have the answers Governor Schwarzenegger was looking for, and there needs to be much further dialogue," Mendelsohn said.

    Schwarzenegger, after an address to the League of California Cities, repeated his concerns about the president's National Guard proposal.

    "We as a state try to be helpful with this situation," Schwarzenegger told reporters. "But at the same time I am very concerned that there are a lot of questions that are unanswered, and I think we have to now really make sure that we get the answers and we get the commitment from the White House."

    The governor said he wanted to make sure it was only a two-year plan, that troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are not sent to the border, that the federal government reimburses the state for 100 percent of the cost and that Washington develops a permanent solution to secure the border.

    He was particularly critical of the Bush proposal to rotate troops into their proposed construction, surveillance and intelligence border missions on two-week stints, saying "that's like starting a heart surgery and having the doctors, the whole team of doctors and nurses, leave after every five minutes and switch."

    But with less than two weeks remaining to decide if he will agree to use California Guard troops in the border proposal, Schwarzenegger said he remains open to allowing the state's forces to participate in the federal plan "just temporarily, not permanently."

    Schwarzenegger has been joined in his skepticism about the Bush plan by New Mexico's Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, who issued a statement Monday saying the proposal is "a stopgap measure that will have little practical effect."

    Another Democrat, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, supported Bush's proposal. Arizona Guard units are already serving on the border, and Napolitano has been asking since last year for more federal funds for the effort.

    Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry said through a spokesman he would "welcome any effort by the federal government in meeting its responsibility to secure our border," according to the Houston Chronicle.

    Schwarzenegger's office declined to comment on Perata's demand that no state money be spent on the deployment.

    Perata said he is appointing Democratic Sens. Mike Machado of Linden and Joe Dunn of Santa Ana and Republican Sen. Bill Morrow of Oceanside to the committee. He said he expects them to call California National Guard Maj. Gen. William Wade II and Office of Emergency Services Director Henry Renteria to testify about how the deployment would affect the Guard's ability to do its traditional jobs.

    "I do not want to spend any money at all -- invest a dime -- into anything that is going to weaken our ability to respond to a state disaster when it comes," Perata said.

    About the writer:

    * The Bee's Andy Furillo can be reached at (916) 321-1141 or

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

    Dregs : Castillo guilty, HB 3 is now law, Inflation kills stocks and more

  • Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWilliamson County jurors today found Fermine Castillo guilty of felony murder and intoxicated manslaughter relating to an accident he had in 2005 which resulted in the death of a migrant farmer.
    The Round Rock man faces up to life in prison for the felony murder conviction and up to 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter. He is the fifth person in Texas tried on a murder charge, rather than only intoxication manslaughter, after a fatal wreck involving alcohol.

    Jurors decided Castillo was drunk when he drove his Jeep Cherokee the wrong way on Interstate 35 near Jarrell and slammed into a van carrying 10 members of the Dyck family, Mennonite migrant farmers who live in Mexico and Canada. The April 21, 2005, wreck killed Isaac Friesen Dyck, 20, and severely injured the remaining nine members of the family.

    The jury of eight men and four women deliberated a little less than four hours before finding Castillo guilty.

    Photo:Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN

  • Goodhair signs HB3 into law, then immediately leaves the ceremony to fellate CradDICK and Dewhearse. Jason Embry at the A-AS has the predictably laudatory story along with a little bit of reality at the end

    During the next two-year budget, the Legislative Budget Board predicts, the property-tax cuts and school-spending measures will cost $10.5 billion more than the new revenue will bring in. That's caused some to warn that lawmakers will have to drastically cut services or raise the sales tax.
  • US Stocks end lower ... AGAIN as the reality of higher inflation (and subsequently higher interest rates) begins to set in.
  • Greenspan says the housing boom is over, throwing more cold water on an already bad economic outloook.

    "This has been quite an extraordinary boom," Greenspan said in remarks at the Bond Market Association's 30th anniversary dinner in New York. "Home sales are off, applications are off, everything is going in the same direction. The boom is over, and you can say that with a fairly strong degree of confidence."

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

    May 18, 2006

    Great Moments In Crime

    Don't you know it's bad luck to use a stolen credit card at the same place you stole it?

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- A Wal-Mart clerk noticed something familiar when a customer went through the checkout line -- a credit card from her own wallet, which had been stolen two days earlier, police said.

    Ashley Dawn Dover repeatedly tried to pass a credit card through an electronic scanner at the store Tuesday to pay for $120 worth of merchandise, Police Chief James Allen said Wednesday.

    Allen said the clerk then offered to try the card and noticed it was her own.

    The credit card was stolen from the cashier's car, one of two vehicles broken into at Wal-Mart on Sunday. A camera, CDs and a purse were taken from the cashier's vehicle.

    Of course, if you've ever been to Bentonville, there's no place else to shop. I think you even have to be buried in Walmart's cemetary when you die.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack which McBlogger is redesigned

    You may have noticed we have a bold, fresh new look. If you love it, thanks! If you hate it and are dumb enough to send us a critical note, we'll make sure and forward your address to a nasty spammer.

    The redesign was conceived and implemented by Mr. Melissa Nicholson. Thank you, Mike!

    Seriously, let us know what you think as we're still tweaking it a little and would love your input. We'd also love a pitcher of bloody mary's to help us cope with our post KAB hangover so hook me up!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 17, 2006

    Tom Friedman... so very, very wrong on Iraq

    FAIR has a great piece up about Tom Friedman's flexible timeline for Iraq. It seems that Tom thinks 'the next six months will be critical in Iraq'. The only problem is that he's been saying it for 2.5 YEARS.

    Normally, I like the Time's columnists and agree with them. The caveat is David Brooks who defies rationality almost as deftly as a GOP spokespuppet. I've even agreed with Friedman on a few things, Iraq of course being a notable exception (he thinks it was a kick ass idea). However, given this, I have to seriously question his credibility on other issues.

    Here's and except from the FAIR piece:

    On a recent episode of MSNBC's Hardball (5/11/06), for example, Friedman boiled down the intricacies of the Iraq situation into a make-or-break deadline: "Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months—probably sooner—whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out."

    That confident prediction would seem a lot more insightful, however, if Friedman hadn't been making essentially the same forecast almost since the beginning of the Iraq War. A review of Friedman's punditry reveals a long series of similar do-or-die dates that never seem to get any closer.

    "The next six months in Iraq—which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there—are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time." (New York Times, 11/30/03)

    "What I absolutely don't understand is just at the moment when we finally have a UN-approved Iraqi-caretaker government made up of—I know a lot of these guys—reasonably decent people and more than reasonably decent people, everyone wants to declare it's over. I don't get it. It might be over in a week, it might be over in a month, it might be over in six months, but what's the rush? Can we let this play out, please?" (NPR's Fresh Air, 6/3/04)

    And it just goes on and on...

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    The dumbest rationalization yet for the NSA phone record collection

    Sometimes you read something of such breathtaking stupidity you can't help but marvel at the lack of thought that went into it. Usually, you just sit back and call the author an idiot and give it no more thought than you would an ant you'd just stepped on.

    Not so much with this. From Richard A. Falkenrath, a Brookings Institution fellow, via the SacBee comes this defense of the NSA's phone call tracking...

    The potential value of such anonymized domestic telephone records is best understood through a hypothetical example. Suppose a telephone associated with Mohamed Atta had called a domestic telephone number A. And then suppose that A had called domestic telephone number B. And then suppose that B had called C. And then suppose that domestic telephone number C had called a telephone number associated with Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The most effective way to recognize such patterns is the computerized analysis of billions of phone records. The large-scale analysis of anonymized data can pinpoint individuals — at home or abroad — who warrant more intrusive investigative or intelligence techniques, subject to all safeguards normally associated with those techniques.

    Granted, it's a given he'd throw 9/11 into the mix. It's the natural defense for what would ordinarily be indefensible. However, the logic here is flawed as it assumes one thing... you know which telephone is associated with Mohamed Atta. If you knew that, then all you'd have to do (if you were the NSA) is go to a court and ask for warrants to obtain records on calls to and from that number and the progression from those numbers. In that way you could quickly get to good suspects with little chance of hitting dead ends. No 'large-scale analysis of billions of records' required, just a solid application of logic and VOILA!, a solid database of possible terrorist cells.

    Falkenrath praises Mike Hayden for thinking outside the box. For that, Falkenrath is a moron. Hayden skirted and possibly broke the law with the aid of companies clearly intimidated by the NSA. What's worse, he wasted resources on an effort that has yeilded NOTHING that couldn't have been obtained legally. He over thought the problem and like most in security apparatus of the US was too in love with technology, not common sense and innate logic.

    Rich... seriously. You're an idiot for thinking this way, to say nothing of your attacks on 'bureaucrats' who 'excel at finding reasons not to do something'

    They are most often guilty of sins of omission, not commission. A timid, ordinary executive might have concluded that it was too risky to ask U.S. telecommunications companies to provide anonymized call records voluntarily to an agency such as the NSA, dealing with foreign intelligence. If the USA Today story is correct, it appears that Mike Hayden is no timid, ordinary executive. Indeed, it appears that he is exactly the sort of man that we should have at the helm of the CIA while we are at war.

    What Rich fails to realize is that the best reason not to do something is because it's illegal. That was the problem Qwest's CEO had with the program and why Qwest did not participate. The USA Today article had this one interesting tidbit that affirms my thoughts on this

    The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

    If the NSA was so worried about the legality of the program, shouldn't that have given them pause? You'd think, if you were anyone other than Richard Falkenrath and Mike Hayden.

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

    Bad PR from the folks at AT&T

    From a friend in Austin who shall remain nameless. Because he/she is a freak about his/her name being mentioned on a blog. Seriously.

    AT&T sent out this mailer to customers recently, as in the last few days... as the story about the NSA call tracking was breaking. From AmericaBlog:

    For those of you who are a little slow on the irony side of things, read what AT&T wrote on the front of the envelope. You'll recall that AT&T is one of three companies alleged to have voluntarily helped the NSA spy on its customers.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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

    The Chron is sucking off the Perry campaign

    PinkDome has a good post up about The Houston Chronicle and their inability to report more than the talking points from a spokesperson...

    The Chron is reporting that all this criticism around the property tax bills is the evil genius of his opponent Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Carole is apparently miscalculating and misleading every single person that says this whole thing does not compute. Yeah, right. She's good with numbers but fuzzy math is strictly a Perry construct. (Oh, and good editorial work Chronicle. Just take Kathy's talking points and build a news story around it. Way to go.)

    Say it with me, the tax plan DOES.NOT.COMPUTE. Perry and the Republican's FAILED AGAIN. You know, I was starting to respect the Chron. Then they go and act like the Statesman*. Is it any wonder I read papers from anywhere BUT Texas?

    *except Kelso. LOVES ME SOME KELSO!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 16, 2006

    Things That Piss Me Off

    I'm starting to think I'm a little...curmudgeonly. Because lots and lots of things piss me off. To wit:

    (1) People who insist on being overly politically correct and calling Mexicans "Spanish people." "The Spanish lady who cleans my house is just fantastic!" Geography lesson coming--if someone isn't from Spain, they aren't fricking Spanish. If they're from Mexico, guess what? They're MEXICAN. Why do people think that a simple designation of national origin is somehow a pejorative and wince when they have to use the term? People from Mexico are Mexicans. Not "Spanish people."

    (2) Having to pay extra for the second bowl of chips and salsa at a Spanish restaurant...uh, a Mexican restaurant, I mean.

    (3) My congressman, Joe Barton. Name your reason.

    (4) People who get behind you in the fast lane on the highway and start flashing their lights at you so you'll move to the slow lane, even though you're going faster than the speed limit and there is NO FREAKING REASON they can't simply move to the slow lane, pass you, and go on their speed of light way.

    (5) People who think the expression is "all the sudden." Say it with me: All. Of. A. Sudden.

    (6) Lists that have more than 5 items.

    Posted by Krispy_Kreme at 09:54 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    The Special Session's enduring legacy : A 10.5Bn hole

    The next time a Texas Republican talks about fiscal responsibility, you should really punch them in the face. Or, at the very least, call them out for lying. From The Center for Public Policy Priorities (via The Red State):

    special session reveal a gap of $10.5 billion between the expected costs of HB 1 and anticipated revenues from HB 3, 4, and 5 in 2008-09

    Thanks for nothing, losers.

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

    Bush announces plan to control border, boost Mexican border bar economy

    While Presidente Bush's decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border is raising questions and causing handwringing from Austin to Washington, some groups are exceedingly happy about it. Miguel de Leon, owner of Cantina Borrico Pegar, a popular Nuevo Laredo bar, said, "We're really excited about the plan!" He went on to say he expects a large increase in business from, "Guardsmen looking to blow off a little steam. We think our business will boom, especially with the married guys".

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Leo Villareal, a respected Ciudad Juarez pimp, was almost giddy when discussing the impact of an increased US border presence.

    "This is going to be a massive plus for my business! Not only will I stop losing my girls to better paying housekeeping jobs in el Norte, but I'll also have a new clientele that's going to be in need of my girls very soon. Honestly, I see nothing but upside."

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Cigarettes don't kill people

    People who put their cigarettes out in paint thinner kill people. Or at least burn their houses down.

    DENVER, N.C. --A man taking a break from painting burned down his house after trying to snuff out a cigarette in a bowl of paint thinner.

    Stevie Spencer had put the bowl on his coffee table before taking a smoke break about 10 p.m. Saturday.

    "I forgot paint thinner was in the bowl," Spencer said. "I thought it was water."

    The fire from the paint thinner ignited some papers, Spencer said. He got his wife out of the house, then tried to extinguish the flames with a hose. Spencer suffered minor injuries.

    Once again I have to insist that had the Confederate States succeeded in winning their independence, they would not now be a nukular power.

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

    May 15, 2006

    Thinkin' 2008

    I confess I wasn't a Kerry supporter until the guy won the nomination and even then I didn't like him much, but good Lord even my ficus would have been a better choice than The Decider. Don't get too excited... I wasn't a Deanie either. From the get-go I was onboard with Wes Clark, and participated to a spirit-wilting degree in the Draft Clark movement and his fairly short-lived run for the nomination. It's pretty clear that Clark will almost certainly run again in 2008 and I still like him a lot.


    There's another guy out there who, if he runs, I'm not only onboard but I'm going on record here and now offering my services 24/7 from the day he announces til the day he (a) wins or (b) goes down in flames. Again. Again? Yep.

    Al Gore. You heard it here first. The guy is gonna run and I hope he kicks Hillary's ass.

    Posted by Krispy_Kreme at 07:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    In 6 minutes it's over. Thank God.

    According to both PD and INPT, who are channeling one another, at 5:00 today the House will Sine Die. They managed to leave huge holes in the budget, provide no new money for schools and hand out some unsustainable tax cut candy. Good work, kids.

    We hear the reason for their exit without passing a bill to ban abortions or make it illegal for homo's to own Subarus is a doctors appointment that a certain male 'member' of the House leadership has. We're not naming names, let's just call him ED.

    I keep telling y'all, girls talk.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Perhaps I was too strident...

    I've received some comments over the weekend regarding my posts Friday on CSHB 1. While I make no apologies for either, I will allow that I may have been a tad strident in my irritation with D's in the Lege. And by a tad, I mean I was a super huge bitch.


    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to erase the posts and I do think y'all fucked up huge. However, you had little to do with the miasma that ended up being CSHB 1. All y'all did on Friday was provide the bread on which the shit sandwich was served so it wouldn't get too messy. Thanks for that, yo!

    UPDATE : Rep. Pena, here's my sloppy wet kiss to you and the rest of the kids... Thanks for voting to send to conference!

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:04 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    May 14, 2006

    Tom and Katie breaking up; Cruise with Clone

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingApparently, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have broken up. Tom, seen here with new girlfriend Su Yi Kim, is reportedly working it out amicably with Holmes to settle the property acquired during their relationship and the custody of their minor child, Sumi.

    Little is known about the Korean woman who's 'stolen' Cruises heart, other than that she is apparently a partial clone of Cruise himself.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 13, 2006

    Obstructionism and where the D's keep going wrong

    Perry, CradDICK and Dewhearse have their school finance victory and something better. They now have a Democratically blessed mechanism for turning public schools private. We have little to no credibility when criticizing the bills for leaving a massive hole in the State budget (otherwise known as 'Fiscal Irresponsibility, A Republican Hallmark' ), which they will beginning in 2008.

    It was going to happen regardless, the calender rules CradDICK forced early in the Session all but guaranteed that. So, why did almost all of the Democrats vote for this shit? There will be a ton of reasons given publicly. They'll down play the negatives of the Republican finance bills and play up the positives (it's called 'ignoring reality by focusing on wishful thinking'... some call it 'spin', I've always been partial to 'bullshit'). Privately, to party insiders, operatives and (to a lesser extent) activists they'll talk about how it would have been worse if they hadn't voted for it. They'd have been called obstructionists or worse, 'tax and spend liberals' who didn't want to vote for property tax relief.

    It's all bullshit. They ignored what the polls and constituents were telling them (while the R's do that all the time, they can get away with it because there's no real opposition in Texas) and went along with what they 'knew' (tax cuts were more important)... instead of what everyone was saying (FIX.OUR.SCHOOLS.ASSHOLES.). The D's didn't have any control over anything and therefore would have been OK for voting against this crap. Now, they've no excuse.

    People did want property tax relief. However, they weren't expecting the Lege to create a massive hole in the budget to do it. They were expecting new funding; They were expecting meaningful teacher pay increases; They were expecting better schools. They were willing to pay a little more for all of it and the R's failed to provide it. Instead of a bludgeon with which to beat them, Democrats drank the Kool-Aid and went along with it, losing the moral high ground and any ability to campaign on fighting bad Republican bills.

    The question this fall will be "If the Democrat who represents me is going to vote with the Republicans, why not vote for the Republican?" and the Democrats in the Lege have NOT A GODDAMN SOUL TO BLAME BUT THEMSELVES.

    How many times did Grover Norquist's name come up during this session, attacked PUBLICLY from the floor or with the press? How many times did any D make a public comment about Norquist's hand up CradDICK's ass? OR Dewhearse's? OR PERRY'S? You could have made the R's look weak as hell, a party completely intimidated by a DC cocksucker who'd rather see Texans poor and stupid than wealthy and educated. Another missed opportunity for the D's and their strategists. Could y'all suck more?

    Lastly, aside from the missed opportunities to shift the tax debate and attack the R's for who they really are, you guys got scared of being called obstructionists. Let me tell you something I know for sure and certain. Obstructionists win. Period. You hold out long enough and you always get what you want if you fight hard enough. The only conclusion I can draw is that you either don't know how to fight or have simply lost the taste for it. People can call you an obstructionist only so long before they start to look like whiney bitches. Then you make them pay by rubbing their face in shit.

    Maybe there is some grand plan... I certainly hope there is... and all this will make sense. However, from where I sit the Democratic members of the Lege just fucked over the people who have fought so hard to elect them.

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

    Rove's indictment next week?

    PDiddie over at Come and Take It has the story.

    Rove is said to have told Bolten that he will be charged with perjury regarding when he was asked how and when he discovered that covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the agency, and whether he discussed her job with reporters. ... Sources close to the case said there is a strong chance Rove will also face an additional charge of obstruction of justice, adding that Fitzgerald has been working meticulously over the past few months to build an obstruction case against Rove because it "carries more weight" in a jury trial and is considered a more serious crime.

    UPDATE - PDiddie popped up in th comments to give credit where it's due..."Jason Leopold over at truthout deserves all the credit". So, please pop over to truthout and says thanks!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Perry does something right...

    Vince over at Capitol Annex has a post up about one of the items which Perry is expanding the Special to include.

    Gov. Rick Perry added two more items to the agenda of the 30-day special legislative session on school finance on Friday, including one that would let lawmakers bar members of an anti-gay church from protesting funerals.

    Duncan’s bill would make it a Class B misdemeanor to protest within 500 feet of the site of a funeral service from one hour prior to the time the site is used for a service until one hour after. Of course, this bill is designed to stop the psycho-Baptists from protesting soldiers’ funerals. As best as I could ever tell, they protest soldiers’ funerals because:

    Military funerals are pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom and play taps to a fallen fool.

    Oh. Well, that clears things up. Not! Clearly these people are crazy. But what is more crazy is enacting a law that infringes on Texans’ right to freedom to assemble, freedom to speak and freedom to express.

    While I agree with Vince that freedom to assemble SHOULDN'T be abridged, it's not in this case and I would feel the same way even if the group being singled out was not a bunch of nutters. Protesting funerals is just wrong, I don't care if the person being buried has the kind of resume a demon would use to apply for a job within a Republican Administration. That being said, all this does is apply a 500 foot distance barrier between the funeral and the protestors. Is that too much to ask?

    The question will come up... Where do you draw the line? You draw it at a funeral. Nothing else. I'm not a particularly big fan of anti-choice protestors at clinics. However, they have a right to assemble regardless as does David Van Os when he wants to hold a filibuster at the Capitol. It cuts both ways; However, a funeral is substantively different. For many of the people who attend, it will be one of the worst experiences of their lives. Burying a loved one is incredibly difficult and no one should trample the rights of the grieving to mourn their loss.

    This will, of course, be challenged in court. The courts will probably find it unconstitutional and there will then be a call for an Amendment to prohibit protesting at funerals. It will likely not pass but hopefully, by then, the issue will be moot. Still, this IS something the Legislature should take up and that Perry should sign, election year aside.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 12, 2006

    HB 1 and a ton of spineless Democrats


    136-8 and HB 1 goes to Perry to sign. For a recap on what a disaster this bill is click here. I've got to say I'm extremely FUCKING PISSED AT EVERY D WHO VOTED FOR THIS. Yes, Donna. That means you... maybe we should have all voted for Kathy Rider.

    The funding holes in this thing are tremendous and instead of making it all the R's fault and fighting it out this year, you guys made it BIPARTISAN so that the smell clings to you as well. When the disaster hits, do you really think Flo Shapiro and Craddick are going to take the blame? Hell no. THEY'RE GOING TO BLAME Y'ALL, just like every fucking Republican does everytime they get called on the carpet. "Blame the Democrats" is their mantra.

    So, when you call this fall, Oh 'Brave' Travis County D's, and ask for help don't expect me to do a GODDAMN THING. I'm going to be busy incorporating a Charter School so I can start sucking off the public teat!

    UPDATE - Here's the list of those voting no (from INPT):

    Lon Burnam; Garnet Coleman; Jessica Farrar; Rick Noriega; Rene Oliveira; Eddie Rodriguez; Marc Veasey; and Mike Villarreal.

    So, I guess there IS one Brave Travis County D. Thank you, Rep. Rodriguez!

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

    Skinny Jeans are back? This has to be a joke

    From the NYT Style Section:

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    First thought? This has to be a joke. Second thought... this has the potential to be both tragic AND funny. You know there is a neverending supply of fashion victims who will be buying these and will wear them even though they are EXTREMELY uncomortable. So, there should be some rules to wearing them...

  • Under 25 only please. Sorry, if you're older than this (like me) just don't bother. Unless...
  • ... you happen to have the legs of a prepubescent boy. Even then, think twice before shelling out $340 online at Barneys
  • If you're fat and you wear these, it's on. You don't get points for bravery or being uncomfortable. We're going to mercilessly rip on you. Sorry.
  • I'm sticking with a happy medium... not too skinny, not too wide. I may be out of style, but I'm 31 and I've actually got muscle on my thighs and a burning desire NOT to let the world know if I'm circumcised while walking down the street.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Bush is at 29%

    You can read about it here, here and oh, yeah... here. I would write more but, while I'm extremely happy about this, I just don't feel a need to belabor the point.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 11, 2006

    ... In which the DNC asks ANOTHER member of the Bush Admin to Resign

    Remember Alphonso Jackson from yesterday? The HUD Secretary who made a tacky comment about not giving a government contract to a man who was critical of President Bush? Yeah, that guy.

    The DNC is already gearing up with an email campaign and online petition demanding his resignation.

    The Republican culture of corruption has infected our government that we aren't even surprised to hear a cabinet secretary talk about the "logic" of potentially illegally awarding federal contracts based on political affiliation. That's right -- if this story is true, it is probably illegal. Our taxpayer dollars are required by law to be spent based merit.

    Public pressure for Jackson to resign is already building, and Democrats in Congress are calling for an investigation. You can be a part of the groundswell of support for clean government by demanding for Jackson's resignation.

    OK, so petitions are stupid. I think so, too. With that said, QUIT BITCHING AND SIGN THE FUCKING THING. It takes all of 30 seconds and it's actually kind of cool the DNC is on top of things. Aside from Howard's shitty performance on the 700 Club.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Tax Cuts : Lehman Bros, Goldman Sachs and Citibank agree?

    So yesterday the R's passed the little tax cut that President Bush wanted. Yay! Pardon me while I don't get too excited... by punching down on the liquidity accelerator, the Republicans have all but guaranteed that The Fed will have to raise the Fed Funds Rate over 6%. The Washington Post has a great story up about this and the jewel is at the end...

    Some economists say the timing of those gains was coincidental. "You might credit the cuts with providing a little bit of a jump-start. But I think the main reason the economy has done so well the last couple of years has nothing to do with tax policy, and more to do with the corporate sector starting to spend some of their record profits," said Ethan Harris, chief U.S. economist of the Lehman Brothers investment bank.

    "We had very good markets in the '90s, before all these tax cuts went into effect," said former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin.

    Profits and a good overall environment are what is required for economic growth, tax policy is really very nominal. However, in this instance, what has held our rates down are comparatively low rates in Europe, Japan, China, etc. This has contributed in large part to all the liquidity in the system (both from tax cuts AND from low interest rates). Growth is picking up overseas AND we're beginning to see real inflation here in the US. So, the Fed will have to jump up rates, especially in light of the additional tax cuts, just to try and keeep us on an even keel.

    Anyone else remember high inflation AND high interest rates?

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Upward Mobility? That is SOOO 20th Century!

    From ABC News

    America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

    The likelihood that a child born into a poor family will make it into the top five percent is just one percent, according to "Understanding Mobility in America," a study by economist Tom Hertz from American University.

    By contrast, a child born rich had a 22 percent chance of being rich as an adult, he said.

    "In other words, the chances of getting rich are about 20 times higher if you are born rich than if you are born in a low-income family," he told an audience at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank sponsoring the work.

    He also found the United States had one of the lowest levels of inter-generational mobility in the wealthy world, on a par with Britain but way behind most of Europe.

    Yeah, this is where an overemphasis on supply-side economics will take you. Exciting, isn't it? We already have so much in common with Britain, it's nice to see that we're close to them even in terms of low opportunity for our children.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Perry expands the Special : Can now include banning gays from driving Subaru's

    The Statesman has a great piece up (read : the verbatim press release from Perry's office) about expanding the scope of the Special to fucking more things up now that they've made a thoroughgoing mess of school finance.

    Topics include:

  • Legislation that provides for the issuance of revenue bonds or other obligations to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher education. "We've screwed over the K-12," noted Sen. Shapiro, "so it's naturally time to throw a wrench into universities."
  • Legislation that provides for an appropriation to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to fund debt service on revenue bonds or other obligations on capital projects at public institutions of higher education. "We're going to use this for toll roads. Just wait!" opined Rep. Krusee.
  • Legislation relating to appropriations to pay for damages and disruptions suffered by Lamar University and its related institutions caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • Legislation relating to the recovery and securitization of reasonable and necessary hurricane reconstruction costs incurred by certain electric utilities outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas area. Speaker Craddick, with a tear running down his cheek, noted his "undying love and affection for TXU".
  • Already proposed:

  • A bill that would ban homosexuals or those associated with homosexual activity from owning Subaru's. The Bill's sponsor, Representative Talton said it was essential to protecting the good name of the Subaru Corporation. When asked for comment, a spokesman for Subaru said, "Oh fuck. Now who's going to buy all those goddamn Foresters?"
  • I can't wait to see what they'll fuck up next!

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    ANALYSIS - Bush's comments

    Oh WOW. In the annals of bad PR, this will be near the top of anyone's list. The terse statement, the lack of eye contact, the quick withdrawal while questions are being asked. All in all, it was a bad performance. The funniest thing was seeing Jeff Flake and Stephanie Tubbs Jones talk about this after the briefing. Jones SOOO upstaged Flake I forgot he was standing there. With the arm waving and gesturing, I really expected her to 'accidently' hit him in the face. That would have made me laugh.

    But, I digress... back to President Cooter. Basically, he's going to use 9/11 to defend himself from charges of illegality. Stupid? Sure. No one gives a shit anymore. People remember it, and they also remember what Bush did while it was happening. They aren't buying his shit anymore so he can't hide behind 9/11 and national security.

    Next up, this was only to 'target Al Qaida'... by tracking the calls of as many as 100 MILLION Americans? Doesn't make much sense to me either since Al Qaida couldn't possibly have that many operatives in the US. A friend brought up a great point... businesses are included in the tracking. How comfortable do you think Microsoft is going to be about the possibility their phone calls have been tracked?

    'The activities are lawful' - Really? Then why not a warrant from FISA or at least a letter from the AG. Afraid you'd get neither? OK, then that should make you take a step back. Bush HAD TO HAVE KNOWN this was illegal.

    'Congress has been briefed' - REALLY? I just saw Congressman Flake on CNBC (member of the House Judiciary Committee) saying he didn't know a thing about this. Who did you tell and what authority do they have to grant you a waiver to existing law?

    'Privacy protected... no mining or trolling' - UHM, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT A TRACKING DB IS FOR YOU IDIOT. The stated purpose of this was to find patterns that would indicate terrorist activity (whatever in the hell THAT means). The NSA claimed they needed a lot of data and records to determine a pattern. Looking for something in a massive amount of data is called 'data mining'. When you lie to me, George, it REALLY makes me angry.

    'Everytime you guys find out about this stuff it hampers our ability to protect you'. - This may have been the only truthful thing that came from his mouth. As long as you substitute 'spy on' for 'protect' and 'our illegal activities' for 'this stuff'.

    There you have it folks, more illegal activity on the part of President Bush. Way2Go, shitheel! At the rate Bush is going he may be the first President to retire to Leavenworth.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:47 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    George Will throws McCain under a bus

    McCain's chances in 2008? Not so good.
    George Will has a piece in the Sac Bee regarding 'Troubling McCain-ism's'. So much for building on the established conservative base. The gist is that because of McCain-Feingold (and the ridiculous assertion that money=speech in terms of campaign finance) McCain won't really defend the Constitution. Will, as in most pieces, uses specious references to make his point which is that McCain's support of the Constitution is questionable.

    One has to wonder how he feels about the behavior of the current Administration, one he helped elect.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush's comments on NSA

    CNBC just broke in with an announcement that el Presidente will be making some comments soon about the NSA wiretaps/call tracking.

    UPDATE:Bill Seidman is on right now talking about how good the $70Bn tax cut is going to be. Of course, he makes no mention of how high rates will have to go to compensate for all that debt. He also doesn't mention that the majority of people in this country make less than 75k, won't receive any real cut and will end up paying higher interest rates and (by exchange rate extension) fuel prices.

    UPDATE: He's starting
    Mentions 9/11 - as part of the effort to protect us , I authorized comm intercepts with one party on foreign soil.
    Intel activities strictly targets Al Qaida, are lawful and Congress has been briefed. Privacy is protected. We're not mining or 'trolling'. Focus on Al Qaida and known affiliates. Everytime you guys find out about this stuff it hurts our ability to protect us.

    Bitch totally just walked away from reporters screaming at him. Will have the analysis up shortly.

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

    Comparing Bush to historical leaders

    Today we're trying something a little new. Bush is concerned about his place in history so we decided to measure him against some historical leaders who we feel he'll compare with well.

    Peter III (February 21, 1728 - July 17, 1762) (Russian Пётр III Федорович (Pyotr III Fyodorovitch)) was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. According to most historians, he was mentally immature and very pro-Prussian, which made him an unpopular leader. He was supposedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II.

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    PETER III - Considered quite ugly by everyone, even his wife
    BUSH - Considered handsome by soccer moms and fat chicks.

    PETER III - Believed that the entire country was under his command because he 'owned it'. Removed competent leaders and replaced with somewhat more incompetent personnel. Considered weak.
    BUSH - Believe that the entire country is under his command because 'God Willed It'. Removed competent leaders and replaced them with much more imcompetent personnel. Is weak; can't control people within his own administration.

    PETER III - Considered rather stupid and childish.
    BUSH - Rather stupid and childish.

    All in all, Bush is pretty much comparable to Peter the III who the Russian people loved so much they murdered and then replaced him with his wife. Of course, we couldn't do that here... even if we could, would you really want Pickles sitting in the oval?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Remember that call you made on September 26, 2004? The NSA does.

    Just in time for the confirmation hearings on Bush's choice for Director of Central Intelligence, Gen. Hayden, comes the revelation that during his time at NSA he was tracking phone calls. Tens of millions of them. DOMESTIC CALLS.

    USA Today has the full story here.

    The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

    Clear? Yeah, me neither. Basically, they are tracking who you are calling in an effort to detect terrorist activity. Supposedly, they aren't collecting names or the conversations. OF COURSE, they wouldn't tell us even if they were... it's not like they were real open about this, no? How the calls of ordinary Americans can be used to track terrorists, without obtaining any 'real' intel, is beyond me.

    Oh, and no warrants were requested.

    Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.

    The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

    Gee, if you're afraid the FISA court wouldn't approve shouldn't you have been concerned about whether or not what you were doing was ILLEGAL?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dregs : Mary Cheney, Net Neutrality and ShittyBill 1 passes

  • Rawhide over at PinkDome has posted up his take on Mary Cheney's umbrage at remarks made during the 2004 campaign by Senators Kerry and Edwards (you may remember them as a Democratic candidates for President and Vice-President, respectively) regarding the fact that she is a lesbian.

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    Cheney saves her harshest words for Bush's 2004 opponents, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry a "son of a bitch'' and his running mate, John Edwards, a "total slime'' for discussing her sexual orientation during nationally televised debates during the campaign."John Kerry didn't 'out me', nor did he offend or attack me by calling me a lesbian. It wasn't a secret that I was gay, and I certainly couldn't be offended by the truth,'' she writes. ``What was offensive was that he was obviously trying to use me and my sexual orientation for his own political gain.''

    Oh sure... like your father, el Presidente and all the R's in Congress aren't doing the exact same thing by proposing that Federal Marriage Amendment.

    We'd LOVE to feel bad for dear, sweet Mary Cheney and if she'd denounced the anti-gay stance of the 2004 Republican campaign I might have some sympathy for her. However, integrity is important and waiting until you have a million dollar book deal to speak out is just repulsive.

    Oh and Mary, that haircut SOOO doesn't work.

  • You've Been Left has a great piece up on Net Neutrality for those of us that aren't, you know, overly technical.
    Bascially, it means that ALL information that goes through the internet's "wires" has the same priority. Everything else being equal, Google's web page should load into your computer just as fast as MySpace or Aunt Millie's Page Full O' Kitten Pictures... everything is neutral.

    The thing is, there are no laws on the books that require net neutrality, and companies like AT&T want to use that to start charging customers more money if they want their webpages to go faster. So if Microsoft pays AT&T $5K/month, and their website is traveling through the wires and runs into Aunt Millie's... her site will be forced to slow down and allow Microsoft's to pass. That would also mean that this blog, or League City's website, or any small business will NOT be as easily accessible as someone's site who has a lot of money.
  • By the way, if you want to see them in full compromise mode in the Senate on school finance, click here. HB 1 passed a few hours ago and Phillip over at BOR has a good breakdown showing just how bad this piece of shit is.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 10, 2006

    Sorry C4N3P, you lose (and there's no Rice-A-Roni for you)

    All she wanted was for Roger to get his ass in gear and sample her signatures. Roger, on the other hand, wants to take his sweet time verifying each and every one of her signatures so that it'll keep C4N3P tied up for a while and out of his bosses thick, lust-provoking hair. So, she did what any Republican would do... she sued Roger.

    Unfortunately, the Feds agreed with Roger. The decision basically read...

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    Sorry, Sweets. Roger may be a bitch but he gets to do the verification his way. Anything else? No? Good.

    I personally think Roger is just being a bitch. He's known for that. Still, it looks like he gets to be just as meticulous as he wants to be. Or, rather, as he wants his staff (seen below) to be.

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    Posted by mcblogger at 07:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Strayhorn v. Williams

    Yesterday Carole Fournames-Threeparties dropped of her signatures for a spot on the November ballot. Specifically, she dropped off 101 boxes filled with signatures. Today, the Secretary of State's office had this to say...

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    “As our staff is beginning to consolidate and organize all of the petitions that Ms. Strayhorn turned in yesterday, we have consolidated her 101 boxes (of petitions) down to 12,” says Scott Haywood, communications director for the Secretary of State’s office. ... “If she had not been so hungry for media attention, we would not have had to waste time consolidating her petitions into a more usable format. By trying to get a bigger play in the media, she has made the process more time-consuming for our office.”

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    To which the 4N3P campaign responded:

    "Fuck You, Nancy-boy Roger"

    More of the boring, stupid story is here at the Statesman.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Lazy Links : It's lunchtime and I'm bored to TEARS

  • Rawhide over at PinkDome has a post up about favoritism in the Bush Administration in granting government contracts. Apparently, the HUD Secretary, an idiot named Alphonso Jackson, decided to reverse the decision to award a contract to an advertising contractor when the equally stupid contractor thanked Jackson for the contract then proceeded to tell Jackson that he had a problem with Bush. One would think the whole process would have been faster if the political appointee (who better hope Democrats in Texas have short memories when he returns to Dallas) had simply told the contractor that the contract would be decided based on who had the bigger dick. We're sure Alphonso would win that one with his 4.75" of lovin'.

    Yeah, Alphonso, girls talk.

  • Karen Brooks of the DMN has an insightful article out about what the Republican's will do when they fail to fix school finance (for what, the 20th time?). Having already banned gay marriage (and not quite prepped to set up 'homosexual re-education centers'), they'll turn their attention to abortion and stem-cell research ensuring that Texas falls even further behind the curve in biotech.

    E-mails, office visits and intense lobbying by both sides of the abortion/stem-cell/morning-after debate have shone a spotlight on those issues – as Rep. Geanie Morrison discovered when she filed a bill creating hundreds of millions in tuition revenue bonds for universities and colleges.

    Ms. Morrison, R-Victoria, couldn't get the bill passed during the regular session in 2005 because it took a back seat to public-school finance.

    So this session, her bill was waiting for the governor to give the green light when the conservatives persuaded her to revise the part that allows the bonds to pay for an adult stem-cell research center at the University of Texas at Austin.

    If you'd like to give Ms. Morrison a shout out and let her know how little you think of her for being so easily intimidated by stupid christianista's you can reach her here.

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    Make sure you tell her how cheesy that suit is. What is it with female Republicans and Chanel knockoff crap?

  • Posted by mcblogger at 01:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Huevos, hermano... HUEVOS.

    The Statesman has a piece up about a 51 year old Round Rock man who was arrested for stealing gas. Now, drive-off's happen all the time so I didn't think much about it but still felt compelled to click the link and found this...

    Travis County Sheriff’s investigators charged Hoskins with the theft of more than 1,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel from a Southeast Travis County gas station’s underground storage reservoirs while he appeared to be powerwashing the station’s parking lot.

    WOW. Not only was he stealing from his employer, a practice more common in the US (be honest) than sneezing, he was stealing big. Not post-it's, pens or scotch tape... this fucker stole more than ONE THOUSAND GALLONS OF FUEL.

    HUEVOS. Big, solid gold huevos.

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

    May 09, 2006

    Fuck you, CSPAN

    If you've recently tried to load the Colbert Correspondents Dinner videos you're no doubt aware that they've been pulled. Why? CSPAN has it's panties in a twist.


    Dear CSPAN:

    Your one shining moment of cool and you screwed it all up. You're nothing more than a bunch of smelly math nerds.

    You suck,


    You can view the video here... but it's not You Tube.

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

    Ronald Reagan ate a Big Mac here

    I wish I was in the land of cotton
    Old times there are not forgotten

    NORTHPORT, Ala. -- Customers will get more than a burger and fries at the Northport McDonald's where President Reagan chomped down on a Big Mac during a 1984 stop.

    They'll get to see a bronze bust of the former president, inside a case with a halogen light shining on it 24 hours a day. Along with a plaque, there's a framed photo showing Reagan biting down on his Big Mac.

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    A plaque put up by previous owners was often stolen. But when Hanna tore down the old building and renovated, he decided to keep the memory alive, The Tuscaloosa News reported Monday.

    Atop the case are the words that bring back the historic moment: "President Reagan ate here."

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 02:00 PM

    TX Demo's : Republicans are FAILING our kids

    The Texas Democratic Party sent out an email a short while ago featuring this graphic to illustrate just how bad the special session is going. As if this, this and this didn't make it obvious enough.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Damn, TDP! Keep it up! Though it is kinda like kicking a puppy, it's funny as hell to watch. Especially since the puppy is actually a vicious, mutant rottweiler that likes to eat whole families.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:41 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Fun With Polygamy

    OK, so I watched the HBO drama "Big Love" for the first time last week. Pretty good show, in a Desperate Housewives-y kinda way. It's certainly spurred a lot of media hoo-hah about polygamy...Tucker Carlson, Rita Cosby (also known as Smokey McHuskeyvoice), yadda.

    Here's what I don't get about polygamy, though. Granted, the TV show doesn't answer the burning legal questions that the talking heads beat to a bloody pulp so maybe I need to pay more attention to Greta Van Man-face when she talks about it... However, Bill Paxton and Chloe Sevigny give ya enough info on the show to make you wonder about the whole polygamy thing. To wit: polygamists have a legal marriage to Wifey #1, but all future wives are really just shack-ups (legally, anyway) with no legal rights. Big Daddy supports the "wives" and their offspring, but only Marriage #1 is legal and only Wifey #1 is entitled to all the goodies that marriage brings.

    So...the question is the Mormon polygamist any different than almost any player in the NBA? They have wives and shack-ups and gobs and gobs of kiddies they support, but nobody hounds them out of Utah or other super-religious states. Somebody 'splain that one to me.

    And we won't EVEN confuse the issue by talking about Hugh Hefner, who has a passel of women living under the same roof, supporting them, and taking turns in a different bedroom every night.

    Posted by Krispy_Kreme at 09:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dregs : Austin Prop 6, Gas Prices, English-only ballots

  • I'd just like to take a moment, on behalf of all the crew here (even the jackasses who CLAIM to be writers yet have never posted a thing), to thank Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex for the kind mention in his post on Texas Blogs at DallasBlog. Seriously... it was much kinder than we deserved, especially since he made no mention of our near constant use of profanity. Or profligate drinking
  • Healthcare for Austin wants us to make sure that if you live in Austin, you have voted (or will vote) in the municipal election FOR Prop 6. Early voting ends tomorrow and Saturday is election day. Polling locations (early and election day) are here... no excuses boys and girls.
  • Karl-Thomas at BOR had this great chart linked showing gas prices (actual and inflation-adjusted) over time. Check it out if you were wondering if gas prices were really all that high (they are, it's not just you being an old person)
  • House Republicans want english-only voting in the US. I know, it's about as big a suprise as the revelation that they've been sleeping with hookers. Still, wasn't something like this tried in Texas? Just seems like something Mary Denny or Linda Harper-Brown would have championed. Bitches
  • Phillip Martin at BOR has a great post up about 'Christianism' or what we should be calling the radical right's bizarro mixture of religion and politics. I guess that would make Falwell and Robertson 'Christianists' or 'Christianistas'. Andrew Sullivan's original piece on this subject is here
  • Eye On WillCo has a great piece up about the REAL tax-n-spenders, the Republican's in the Texas Lege. While they glide right through passing tax increases, they never seem to get around to the cuts. Oh, yes... they DO suck.
  • Fatal Contact : Bird Flu in America premieres Tuesday night at 7:00 CST on ABC. Yes, I'll be watching it too since I want to see what a fictional government would do in an outbreak, knowing our 'real' government wants us just to not shake hands. And stand three feet away.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    May 08, 2006

    Arkansastan latest Gulag for smokers

    Here's another reason not to venture too far north of 45th Street.

    House Bill 1046 started out as a joke to just about everyone but Bob Mathis. And now it’s his turn to laugh.

    Mathis’ bill simply bans smoking in all motor vehicles carrying children who are restrained in those seats. The bill carries a $ 25 fine, which can be waived if drivers prove they have entered a smoking cessation program.

    Violating the bill would be a “primary offense,” Mathis said, meaning police could use violations of the bill to justify pulling someone over.

    “And I’m tickled to death about it,” Mathis said.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dude, your tax cuts totally suck!

    OK, here's the generic AP article on the SSA and Medicare Trustee's report on The SSA/MedicareTrust Fund. Apparently, our bean counters didn't do too good a job last year and so we're having to shave a year off the time to bankruptcy number. OF COURSE, it's not really bankruptcy, it's just when the bonds run out and we have to finance the entire program in the Federal Budget.

    What I found interesting was this...

    "Instead of renewing his calls for private accounts and making his irresponsible tax cuts permanent, the president should be focusing on erasing the deficit and reining in health care costs," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.

    Well said, Senator Reed, especially in light of the fact that the 75 year cost of the Bush Tax Give-A-Way is MORE than the shortfall in SSA. In fact, the shortfall in both SSA and Medicare could be met almost entirely by eliminating the tax cuts. So the next question is, wouldn't that crush business in the US?

    No. If we weren't running the deficits we currently are, interest rates could be at 2-3%, employment and wage growth would be much stronger and we'd be growing at 5-6%. Deficits are more important... not DEBT, DEFICITS.

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

    Kiplinger names Austin 5th smartest place to live in US

    In a move certain to drive still more people from SoCal to Austin, Kiplinger's named Austin the 5th smartest place to live in the US. That's not so unbelievable. What IS unbelievable is their second choice, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MINNESOTA. They're ahead of us? We don't turn to a block of ice for 8 months of the year and STILL they're ahead? August isn't THAT bad!

    The sun burns bright on Barton Springs as mothers and toddlers wave from the tiny train that tootles around Zilker Park. Down the road, at Chuy's, diners tuck into tacos under the benign gaze of a cardboard Elvis. Two doors over, at the Shady Grove, outdoor tables are already packed with beer-drinking boulevardiers.

    They left out, between Chuy's and Shady Grove, Baby Acapulco because the only thing good about it are the drinks.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 07, 2006

    Oil and the ridiculously stupid John Corsi


    The things you can find with Google when you least expect it. While doing a cursory search (purely to satisfy my own curiosity, because I'm a nerd) to find out if the Thunder Horse field in the Gulf had reopened after last summer's Hurricane FunTime, I happened across this article by a fella named John Corsi. John's had a career going all the way back to 2004 lying through his crooked teeth about politicians like John Kerry! The subject of ridicule today is none other than John Corsi of the Swift Boat Veterans for Lying As Much As They Can About Damn Near Everything.

    Apparently, last Fall Little Johnny Dumbass McStupid decided to write an article for World Net Daily which is pretty clearly in support of the abiotic origin of oil. Everyone who has an IQ over 56 knows that's a BS theory because it would mean that oil was being 'created' from MOLTEN FUCKING ROCK at temperatures which would instantly crack it into gasoline and other refined products, then ignite those products. So, of course John Corsi (voted Most Likely to Believe Anything by his high school class) buys it hook line and sinker and uses none other than the THUNDER HORSE FIELD TO PROVE HIS THEORY.

    Here's are some of the choicer bits...

    Moreover, Thunder Horse also defies "fossil-fuel" oil theorists who like to argue that oil comes from dead dinosaurs and decaying ancient forests. With the water depth of nearly 2 miles, Thunder Horse is truly an ultra-deep project. From the floor of the Gulf, BP has drilled down another 6 miles to hit oil. What evidence is there that any ancient dinosaur ever walked on land that is now 8 miles down? Moreover, geologists identify the deposits in which BP has found oil in the Thunder Horse Field as Miocene, a period that occurred in the Cenozoic Era, some 24,000 years ago. Dinosaurs by then were long gone, having disappeared at the end of the Mesozoic Era, some 65 million years ago.
    1) No one says that oil comes from 'dead dinosaurs'. It comes from organic matter that was not allowed to decay in a normal, oxygenated environment and instead was covered over by sediment at a depth which created pressures and heat sufficient to slow cook the materials over thousands, sometimes millions of years.

    Organic material has been raining down on the Thunder Horse field (for example) for millions of years and sediment from North American rivers has come along and covered it up. Specifically, the layer they have dug down to is around 26-29,000 feet. Not 8 miles. Regardless, it is the Miocene and no one is saying that at that time the gulf was dry land.

    2) No one even bats an eye when someone points out that a few million years ago the Arabian Peninsula was covered with water. No one, except John Corsi who apparently has NEVER heard of plate tectonics.

    Seriously, I could go on and on but there's some good information about peak oil and current trends (as well as some great information about how oil is made for the John Corsi's out there) at National Geographic.

    Peak Oil is real... no, it won't be the end of the world and wells won't just die out one day. However, they will start to decline in production, oil will become more expensive to produce and it's time we look for alternatives to hydrocarbons.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 06, 2006

    UPDATE : Ask A ... Newly Retired CEO Lee Raymond late of ExxonMobil

    I'm reposting this due to the small (read: two) number of questions received so far. Lee's waiting... so get those questions in!

    This week we're oiling the skids for the inevitable descent straight to hell! Our exceutive committee (ExComm) has made the decision to go with someone from the world of business for this week's Ask A... . We're terribly excited to have former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond answering your questions!

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    Lee's career has in many ways mirrored my own except for the 'working for an oil company and making millions of dollars per year' stuff. We did both live in Dallas metro at around the same time, though this is more coincidence, I would guess, since so did more than 3 million other people. Lee was born in 1938 and looks every one of his 67 years. You probably would to if YOU'D BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR GASSING UP AMERICA FOR OVER A DECADE. He joined Exxon in 1963 and here are some astounding highlights from an amazing career:

  • President of Exxon Nuclear Company, Inc. in 1979

  • Executive vice president of Exxon Enterprises, 1981

  • Elected to the Board of Directors, 1984

  • President, Exxon Corp in 1987

  • Was President during the ExxonValdez 'minor oil transport accident' in Alaska

  • CEO and Chairman, Exxon Corp, 1993 where he remained through the Mobil merger and until his retirement
  • I know you'll all have a ton of questions for Lee so don't be bashful, email them to so we can get those questions answered!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 05, 2006

    Gas Tax Cut : A+ for effort, C- for policy

    I LOVE State Rep. Aaron Pena. No, not in THAT way, in the 'A Legislator I respect' kinda way so I was a little suprised to see his support of State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fisher's Gas Tax Holiday. I know they mean well and I'm sure they have polling that says they are doing the right thing.

    That being said, Martinez-Fisher's Gas Tax Holiday is, in my opinion, a bad idea. I understand the desire to do something, ANYTHING, to help out consumers. I get the time constraints of the special session and I also understand that tactically it's perceived to be a good move against the R's.

    Unfortunately, that's all a load of shit. Sorry, I'm not driking the Kool-Aid on this one...

    1) It's a pittance. Seriously. $4/per tank? YAY. I can buy a pack of cigarettes. Neat-o McNeaterson.
    2) It's self financing. Whatev. This is being paid for by money Texas is getting from the Federal Government for building highways. Sure, that money hasn't been spent anywhere yet, but it could be used to build a freeway to help ease congestion on our already congested roads. Instead, he wants to spend it on a temporary tax cut that won't do a thing but provide temporary relief. I'd rather have the road, pay a little more for gas and tell Krusee to go stick it.
    3) Does nothing to address the long term causes of high fuel costs like declines in the dollar making oil relatively more expensive, extremely tight refining capacity and independent retailers being dramatically reduced in number.
    4) R's can counter this easily.

    This is like giving Childrens Tylenol to someone whose just had their leg broken. And a few ribs.

    Here are some solutions...

    1) Create a massive tax on refiners who do not expand their capacity annually to meet growth in cars registered. Base it off the differential between their actual cost of crude and the spot wholesale price of fully fungible raw gasoline. If they're going to base retail off spot wholesale (instead of cost) then they should be taxed appropriately.
    2) Demand an immediate investigation to big oil's retail operations and collusion to buy and close independent retailers (has anyone else noticed that Racetrack became Texaco or should I drop still more hints).
    3) Use the money from item one to fund the following
    A) Technology incubator in Texas for high efficiency capacitors and battery systems as well as increasing fuel efficiency. Think MCC for cars.
    B) A 'rebate/incentive' for the purchase of a Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid automobile. Increase by 50% if at least 20% of the vehicle assembly took place in Texas.

    Something can and should be done about the ridiculously high price of gasoline. However, dropping a tax that funds roads in Texas, even for a short while, could potentially be more damaging to the economy than high fuel prices. Worse still, it's not nearly bold enough to fix the problem. We need bold vision and excellent execution. Fellas, this ain't it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    ANOTHER sucky employment number

    The U.S. economy added 138,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said, compared with a forecast of 200,000. The unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, unchanged from March.

    Without commentary, please keep in mind that the economy needs to produce 175,000 jobs monthly just to kep up with growth in the labor force. Also, the unemployment number understates unemployment (according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas) by as much as 4%.

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

    Rumor from the Lege

    Who knows why but the rumor floating around is that things are about to blow up, requiring YET ANOTHER FUCKING SESSION TO BE CALLED.

    Can you Republican FUCKTARDS do anything right?!?!?!? No wonder everyone in this state is ready to throw y'all under a bus.

    UPDATE: SuperWow! at PinkDome has more detail. Apparently, Flo Shapiro got her panties in a twist and walked off. If you see her, "tell the petulent bitch to get her ass back to the fucking hearing".

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 04, 2006

    Not so much with pork, Lardos!

    Will they or won't they pass earmark reform? The smart money is on yes and it looks like some of the R's are catching on

    "People don't want to go home and have to defend votes like the bridge to nowhere," Coburn said. "The American people are sick of wasteful government spending."

    Way to smell the coffee, Sen. Coburn. Now, if you only your R brethren will climb on board the D train, maybe something can get done.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Trash TV : The Real Housewives of the OC

    McBlogger has informed me that he wants a pop culture person to write in. I don't think he knows anyone who watches more shitty TV than me, so...I WIN! Please direct all complaints/requests to

    I haven't been watching as much trash TV lately, but I was able to view a true spectacle of poop. You might think that I am going to write about 'Blow Out', that cretinous pool of bile glorifying Jonathan Antin. However, I'm not. I am quite the bitch, but I'm not cruel. That is too fucking easy. It would be like kicking a puppy.

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    I am speaking of 'The Real Housewives of OC'. I was naturally curious because much to my brother's chagrin, I'm a fan of the Fox show 'The. O.C.'. (Seth and Summer! Awwwwww!) TANGENT: Miscah Barton. Eat something baby! Peter Gallagher... WAX.THOSE.EYEBROWS.

    I do not know where to begin with my wrap up. The reunion special is next week so this may be premature. I am not a patient person, so here are my thoughts. I will go by each housewife, in order of least favorite to favorite.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting1. Jeana.
    It is not her fault that she is so fucking boring. She is just one of those people. You know the type. No matter how sweet, generous, cute someone is, they just aren't any fun to be around. My mother used to say they were brown birds. Jeana is a brown fucking bird! Her mouth breathing children are even worse. Especially her son. My heart breaks for the dumb blonde that wakes up with a hangover next to him! What a prize! Anyway, she is a Realtor. She married a baseball player. The most interesting fact about this Clydesdale is that she was a Playboy centerfold. Go figure.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting2. Kim.
    Kimberly is the living definition of annoying. She and her husband are kinda cute and all, but shit ENOUGH WITH THE CUTE. She was also sick. That was a downer. I don't like downers in my trash TV. She seemed to have a underbelly of backstabbing gossip in the finale. I wish the production crew had played more to that.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting3. Vicki.
    I've seen nagging moms before, but this slag is THA QUEEN. It's as though if she isn't speaking she'll die. She IS a hard worker though. She sells insurance. She employs Lauri and is jealous of her looks. That is understandable. My favorite Vicki moment was in episode four, when they went to their second home. She wondered whether or not she was a MILF.

    My hand went up! I have the answer! Call on me! Please!

    She then proceeded to flirt with her son's friends who looked back with a mix of fear and bewilderment. To say Vicki is delusional is being gracious.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting4. Lauri.
    She is gorgeous. I will give her that. From what I gather, she married an asshole with money. Now, after the divorce, she has three kids and a new job selling insurance with Vicki. You might wonder what she has done to deserve such a fate? Be a twit! She eventually came to the conclusion that she makes bad decisions. You think? Her son is a juvenile deliquent and she cares very deeply for him. Don't worry little fella, your mom will be there to pick you up..... right after she gets that last Botox shot. I kid! I kid! No, really, she shipped him off to live with his grandparents. Lauri sucks ass.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting5. Jo.
    My favorite! Why, you ask? She is a tangle of contradictions and that makes for great trash TV. Jo's biggest problem is that growth of a fiance. Slade is priceless! A self-made man that likes to ride bikes, sell title insurance, and be horribly pretentious. He lives next door to Vicki in Delusionville. He has two sons from two previous relatioships. At 36, he would like a firm, young woman to do his bidding. Jo wants to work. The episode with her getting a job was classic! He actually fought her on it. He wants her to be a stay at home mom. She wants to PARTAY! Of course the relationship is filled with drama. The finale was the best. They broke up in episode six. I thought to myself 'Way to go, Jo!' She told Slade to pack her things and she would pick them up. True to form, Slade lumps her clothes into old boxes like the childish little prick that he is. The cherry on this shit sundae came when he took the license plate off her car. As she took off down the road he suffered remorse and tried to follow her. Returning home, he called her several times on her cell. Just when I thought that Jo was fortunate enough to escape the gloomy fate that is Slade, she fucking walked through the damn door! Apologizing no less! WTF?

    Oh, by the way, I so knew that Lauri liked Slade. I had that fucking called! But I guess my talent derives from nights spent watching this wretched crap. Go figure.

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

    Bush Interview Alert : Tomorrow!

    CNBC will be broadcasting a 'conversation' between President Bush and Larry Kudlow tomorrow at 4:00 CDT.

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingY'all, if you have the time I highly recommend watching this. Kudlow's last Administration interview was with Cheney and it was HYSTERICAL. Kudlow runs an investment advisory firm that apparenlty doesn't do all that well because he's on CNBC more than he seems to be at work. Kudlow hates the EPA and the SEC... he's basically the last of the old school R apologists, too stupid and proud to admit he was wrong to support Bush.

    Just think of it as an opportunity to see what the Administration is going to be pimping next. Oh, and make sure you have some booze for KudlowSHOTS! Everytime Larry says TAX CUTS or RELIEF, we drink.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oh Good! They have a plan for the birdflu outbreak that's 'inevitable'

    You thought I was serious? Oh, not so much. The AP (via the KC Star) has the story up about how the federal government is playing hot potato with the possibility of flu outbreak and offloading responsibility for how an outbreak is handled on already overburdened state and local governments.

    The government's latest national response plan, obtained by The Associated Press, acknowledges the difficulty as it warns that states, cities and businesses shouldn't count on a federal rescue if a super-strain of influenza strikes - and that people may have to rely on creative if not scientifically proven ideas such as staying 3 feet away from co-workers and not shaking anyone's possibly contaminated hand.

    Stand three feet away? Shit, this is the plan?!?!? What's next, a plan to give a $10 tax rebate for the purchase of Sudafed at preferred retailers like Walgreens or CVS?

    Seriously though, we never depend on the federal government for anything when Republican's are in charge. They let people die on roofs.

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

    May 03, 2006

    Iran's a threat? Maybe to the South Texas Nuke

    Iran continues to thumb it's nose at international community by making reactor fuel. Seriously, this is what has Bush and Condoleeza in such an agitated state?

    The announcement by nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh that Iran enriched uranium up to 4.8 percent purity tops Iran's declaration last month that it had surpassed the 3.6 percent purity level. Uranium enriched to between 3.5 percent and 5 percent is used to make fuel for reactors to generate electricity.

    Uranium enriched to more than 90 percent becomes suitable for use in nuclear weapons. Aghazadeh said Iran had no intention of enriching uranium beyond 5 percent.

    I think the only folks that should be threatened by Iran's nuclear program are these guys. They can probably see the difference between reactor and weapons grade uranium. It's odd that people at the highest levels of government can't see that.

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

    Bush : Begging for applause at ACEC

    I'm watching his speech now on CNBC. Some highlights

  • No shit, he's comparing the economy today to the state of the economy in 2001. He's mentioned several times that job and wage growth is "...the best it's been in 5 years." He can't compare himself to Clinton, so he's comparing himself to himself.
  • Wages are up 9%. What he fails to say is that ALL of that gain has been in higher income groups. NONE of it has been at the bottom where money is actually put into the economy by consumers
  • Now he's blaming his poor performance on 'natural disasters'. What a useless fuck. All he does is offer weak excuses for the horrible job he's done.
  • "My tax cuts are AWESOME". I think it's always entertaining when a politician fellates himself WHILE giving a speech.
  • This part that really bothered me... he threw in Laura. He's using her as a prop to generate good feeling and applause. Thanks, W! I really wanted to know what Pickles was up to since she's, you know, President and all.
  • He's pushing for the extension of the tax giveaway. Odd how he doesn't mention that the 75 year shortfall in Social Security and Medicare is almost identical to the 75 year cost of the Bush Tax giveaway. That's what Republican types call 'diversion (spinning) to strength' and what the rest of us call 'Bullshit'.

    His major point... don't listen to the Democrats because they're too pessimistic and wrong. Kerry said in 2004 we were heading for economic pain. Bush doesn't feel it, but we're finally seeing the real world impact of Bush's tax giveaway and it's not pretty. IF anything, the Democrats have been consistently right that Bush's economic policies do nothing to broadly grow the economy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Austin City Elections

    Simple post, but I wanted it up just to let those of you in Austin know that there's an election for City Council. I'm voting for Will Wynn for Mayor and Mike Martinez in Place 2. As for the ballot initiatives, I hope you'll join me in voting yes on 1,2 and 6. 1 and 2 are the SOS and Open Government propositions. Both are extremely good and should be supported despite the best efforts of those who'd like to keep the public from knowing what goes on in municipal government. Prop 6 gives Austin the ability to provide health care benefits to the partners of employees (gay and straight).

    Early voting is going on at a Randall's near you!

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

    May 02, 2006

    Donna Shalala : Cashing in on health care

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOh, yeah... THAT Donna Shalala, the former HHS Secretary under Clinton who was such an active participant in Clinton's ill-fated universal health care initiative. Why the hell am I digging her up? You've probably heard about all the controversy surrounding UnitedHealth Care's BILLION dollar CEO. What you haven't heard a lot about is the Board of Directors of United which GAVE him that massive salary and bonus AT THE SAME TIME THEY WERE CUTTING BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES.

    Donna Shalala sits on that board. For her time, she's collecting $5mm/year. At a time when 40 million Americans are without health care insurance, she sits atop one of the companies making health care insurance so expensive. Thanks, Donna.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Frist drops $100 gas plan like an illegitimate child

    Oh, Bill... we could have told you this was a stupid idea.

    Frist gave no indication how the rebate, estimated to cost about $10 billion, would be paid for, although he said he still planned to "find a way to bring our proposals to the Senate floor for a vote."

    The rebate proposal, meanwhile, seemed to have little appeal among motorists.

    $100? Seriously, that's barely two weeks of gas for me. What would make me even happier than you not behaving irresponsibly with taxpayer funds, would be for you to JUST.SHUT.THE.FUCK.UP.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Does ANYONE like John Snow?

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSunday, The LA Times ran a fantastic piece by Jonathan Chait that really should be read by anyone who hates John Snow as much as I. don't get me wrong, I bet he's a nice guy. I bet he'd be a blast at a drinks party... or at least he'd be someone I could depend on to fetch me another drink at the aforementioned party. Given his work at Treasury, I bet he'd an amiable companion as well...

    Me: I think we should pick up some hookers
    JS: I think that's a great idea.
    Me: I think we should set your car on fire.
    JS: I think that's a great idea.
    Me: I think we should find another country and bankrupt it.
    JS: I think that's a great idea.

    See what I mean? He's always ready to agree with whatever whacko thing you want to do. Like running up a massive deficit and screwing over the millions of people who depend on the Social Security system. My problem with Snow isn't just that he's a 'yes' man for el Presidente, it's that he's such a horrendous Treasury Secretary when compared with Bob Rubin.

    Which brings us to the topic of the article by Chait. Apparently, Snow's dander is up because of a group called the Hamilton Project which includes none other than Bob Rubin. The group has rightly assumed the Hamiltonian mantle and Snow thinks that's stupid. That makes Snow retarded, not only because he's about as opposite Hamilton as one can get but also because it's not what he's really pissed about. What he's really got his panties in a twist over is that no one in the Administration wants him in the job... but no one else wants it. So, he remains, acquiescent as ever to whims of an idiot. Gotta be frustrating as hell.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Shitting on Vets, Could Dewhurst SUCK more? and War Games, Rummy style

  • So the Secret Service is going to release records on Abramoff's visits to the White House... am I the only one who really doesn't give a crap?From the AP via the KC Star
  • TomDispatch has a great piece up regarding how the severely underfunded (thanks Kay Bailey!) VA system is unable to meet the demands of the thousands of wounded returning from Iraq.

    While the GAO's findings, when describing the VA's budget manipulations, were couched in such relatively polite bureaucratic euphemisms as "misleading," "lacked a methodology," and "does not have a reliable basis," the conclusions nonetheless were striking. "The GAO report confirms what everyone has known all along," American Legion National Commander Thomas L. Bock commented. "The VA's health-care budget has been built on false claims of 'efficiency' savings, false actuarial assumptions and an inability to collect third-party reimbursements -- money owed them. This budget model has turned our veterans into beggars, forced to beg for the medical care they earned and, by law, deserve. These deceptions are especially unconscionable when American men and women are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." Some veterans are calling it fraud. Rep. Lane Evans (Dem.-Ill.) of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee calls it "Enron-styled accounting."
  • Oh Dewhurst... leading the Texas Senate to previously unknown heights of mediocrity. Did I mention I hate the Lege? There's also an update here on the passage of HB's 2 & 3.
  • This bit of funny came my way from MJ who ROCKS! Apparently, when war games didn't go so well for Rumsfeld in 2002, he changed the rules.

    "Mr. Rumsfeld has failed 360 degrees in the job. He is incompetent," Van Riper concluded. "Any military man who made the mistakes he has made, tactically and strategically, would be relieved on the spot." One event that shocked Van Riper occurred in 2002 when he was asked, as he had been before, to play the commander of an enemy Red Force in a huge $250 million three-week war game titled Millennium Challenge 2002. It was widely advertised as the best kind of such exercises - a free-play unscripted test of some of the Pentagon's and Rumsfeld's fondest ideas and theories.
    The referees stopped the game, which is normal when a victory is won so early. Van Riper assumed that the Blue Force would draw new, better plans and the free play war games would resume.

    Instead he learned that the war game was now following a script drafted to ensure a Blue Force victory: He was ordered to turn on all his anti-aircraft radar so it could be destroyed and he was told his forces would not be allowed to shoot down any of the aircraft bringing Blue Force troops ashore.

    Read the whole thing after the jump.

  • Commentary
    After losing war game, Rumsfeld packed up his military and went to war
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    WASHINGTON - Of those generals who have stepped forward to criticize Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his conduct of the Iraq War, none has pointed out the mistakes of a man who admits no error with more specificity than retired Marine Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper.

    Van Riper is widely respected as a military thinker who emerged from combat in Vietnam determined to help get to the bottom of what went wrong there and why and how it should be fixed.

    Van Riper, who commanded both the Marine War College at Quantico, Va., and the prestigious National War College in Washington before retiring in 1997, told an interviewer in October 2004 that the military got the lessons all wrong after World War II and that mistake resulted in two disasters - Korea and Vietnam.

    "My great fear is we're off to something very similar to what happened after World War II, that is getting it completely wrong again," the general said of the course in Iraq.

    The general made it clear he is no anti-war crusader. "We have to stay," he said of Iraq this week. "We have to finish it, but let's do it right."

    Van Riper told Knight Ridder that in looking at Rumsfeld's leadership he found three particular areas of inability and incompetence.

    First, he said, if any battalion commander under him had created so "poor a climate of leadership" and the "bullying" that goes on in the Pentagon under Rumsfeld he would order an investigation and relieve that commander.

    "Even more than that I focus on (his) incompetence when it comes to preparing American military forces for the future," Van Riper said. "His idea of transformation turns on empty buzz words. There's none of the scholarship and doctrinal examination that has to go on before you begin changing the force."

    Third, he said, under Rumsfeld there's been no oversight of military acquisition.

    "Mr. Rumsfeld has failed 360 degrees in the job. He is incompetent," Van Riper concluded. "Any military man who made the mistakes he has made, tactically and strategically, would be relieved on the spot."

    One event that shocked Van Riper occurred in 2002 when he was asked, as he had been before, to play the commander of an enemy Red Force in a huge $250 million three-week war game titled Millennium Challenge 2002. It was widely advertised as the best kind of such exercises - a free-play unscripted test of some of the Pentagon's and Rumsfeld's fondest ideas and theories.

    Though fictional names were applied, it involved a crisis moving toward war in the Persian Gulf and in actuality was a barely veiled test of an invasion of Iran.

    In the computer-controlled game, a flotilla of Navy warships and Marine amphibious warfare ships steamed into the Persian Gulf for what Van Riper assumed would be a pre-emptive strike against the country he was defending.

    Van Riper resolved to strike first and unconventionally using fast patrol boats and converted pleasure boats fitted with ship-to-ship missiles as well as first generation shore-launched anti-ship cruise missiles. He packed small boats and small propeller aircraft with explosives for one mass wave of suicide attacks against the Blue fleet. Last, the general shut down all radio traffic and sent commands by motorcycle messengers, beyond the reach of the code-breakers.

    At the appointed hour he sent hundreds of missiles screaming into the fleet, and dozens of kamikaze boats and planes plunging into the Navy ships in a simultaneous sneak attack that overwhelmed the Navy's much-vaunted defenses based on its Aegis cruisers and their radar controlled Gatling guns.

    When the figurative smoke cleared it was found that the Red Forces had sunk 16 Navy ships, including an aircraft carrier. Thousands of Marines and sailors were dead.

    The referees stopped the game, which is normal when a victory is won so early. Van Riper assumed that the Blue Force would draw new, better plans and the free play war games would resume.

    Instead he learned that the war game was now following a script drafted to ensure a Blue Force victory: He was ordered to turn on all his anti-aircraft radar so it could be destroyed and he was told his forces would not be allowed to shoot down any of the aircraft bringing Blue Force troops ashore.

    The Pentagon has never explained. It classified Van Riper's 21-page report criticizing the results and conduct of the rest of the exercise, along with the report of another DOD observer. Pentagon officials have not released Joint Forces Command's own report on the exercise.

    Van Riper walked out and didn't come back. He was furious that the war game had turned from an honest, open free play test of America's war-fighting capabilities into a rigidly controlled and scripted exercise meant to end in an overwhelming American victory.


    Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and co-author of the national best-seller "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." Readers may write to him at

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 01, 2006

    I had drinks with Mike Krusee

    Well, we didn't have drinks 'together' as much as we had drinks in the same place. I had G&T, he had something that fits his personality. I think it was a lame and soda with a twist of dull. It was on the rocks, but he waited until the ice melted before drinking. He then went to Trulucks for dinner where he 'conspired' with 'someone' from a local PR firm to toll Lamar, Congress and Cesar Chavez.

    The one unpleasent moment? When he got between me and the bar. Move, goddamit, move... and no Mike, I wasn't fucking joking.

    You can take the boy out of WilCo, but you can't take the WilCo outta the boy. Don't they teach RoundRock-ites how to behave in a bar?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Oil Prices : War, Deficits and all the stupid Republicans

    Sunday morning, FOX News Sunday had new White House CoS Josh Bolton on the program and Wallace Jr. asked him specifically about oil prices. The set up was the SPR and cutting additional deposits to it. Here's the transcript:

    WALLACE: But halting deposits to the reserve would add 10 million barrels of oil to the U.S. supply. That's half of what Americans consume in a single day. I mean, isn't that basically, in terms of dealing with this problem, meaningless?

    BOLTEN: Oh, it's a modest step, and I think when the president announced it, he said it was a small step. What we've got to realize here, Chris, is that this is a very large problem. It's built up over many years — decades, in fact. It's not going to be solved in the short run by some silver bullet.

    There are a lot of policies that need to be put in place over the long run to wean ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil. That's the only thing that's going to make a difference in the long run.

    Oh sure, it's built up over decades. Right. Here's the real break down

    1) We have fewer refineries mostly because of oil industry mergers. Fewer refineries means a choke point for production of gasoline and diesel and little spare capacity to handle spikes in demand. Or, I don't know, having more than 10% of the refining capacity shut in because of a natural disaster. Like (and I'm just gonna throw this out) A HURRICANE RIPPING THROUGH LOUISIANA AND ANOTHER ONE THROUGH SOUTH EASTERN TEXAS. This is not exclusively the fault of the Bush Admin, Clinton deserves a little blame as well. Still, Bush and Congressional Republicans have done NOTHING to alleviate the problem other than give massive tax breaks to already wildly profitable oil companies and relaxing environmental restrictions that actually weren't all that restrictive in the first place.

    2) Then there's the deficit and that is EXCLUSIVELY the fault of the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans. The deficit has weakened the dollar substantially. As Democratic Congressional candidate Robert Ricketts outlined in this post on BOR, the deficit and the resulting weak dollar have added roughly $22/bbl. That's $1.00 in the price of unleaded at the pump.

    3) But let's not forget Iraq and the Administration's rather bellicose 'diplomacy' with Iran. $5-10/bbl in war premium/'global instability' (per Credit Suisse) brings another $.20 - $.45 increase in the price of unleaded at retail.

    Norming everything, without quantifying the effects of tight refining capacity, oil should be at $40-45/bbl with unleaded at $1.35-$1.60 per gallon at the pump. Why so much higher than the late 90's? Global demand is up. However, current prices are what we are paying in the real world for the failed policies of the Republicans.

    We need a massive project in terms of R&D and deployment to alleviate the problems and put us on a cleaner, more stable energy footing. Anything else is mantaining the unsustainable status quo.

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Video of Colbert at the Correspondent's Dinner, Part Three

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

    Colbert at the Correspondent's Dinner, Part Two

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