June 30, 2008

Not encouraging...

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

Change? My ass.

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

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

Trailer Wars : Brad Pitt

I just love it when one celeb will have movies coming out one on top of the other. I have to admit I'm very curious about 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'. It looks like it could be interesting; It also looks like it could be thoroughly craptastic. That's what makes it curious. I guess we will have to wait until Christmas to find out for sure, but McB and I will be running book on it. The line is 2:1 that it'll suck, 5:1 that it'll be great. We're also offering 20:1 that it will be nominated for an Oscar. Yeah, I know... but we're thinking there have to be a few suckers out there... after all, people actually DID pay to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith in theaters.

Mr. Pitt also has 'Burn After Reading' coming up. Which do you think will be the better movie? I have to go with ' Burn After Reading', if only for the "security of your shit" line which totally cracks me up! It is only the second time I've ever found Brad Pitt funny. The first, of course, being when he is hit by that car in 'Meet Joe Black'. THAT was fucking hilarious. I think it was the best part of the entire movie, and I know I'm not the only one who thinks so...

Posted by barfly at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tell me when it melts...

Thanks, AP, but I'd really much rather read about it actually happening. That's so much better than one asshole shouting about a one in two chance that the ice cap will melt.


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

June 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    WOW... I hate all of you!

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


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

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

    Get Over It!

    Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times today describes a woman named Carmella who attended the Barack and Hillary "Unity" rally on Unity Day at Unity Hour in Unity, N.H. The theme, you may be surprised to know, was UNITY, but Carmella was having none of it:

    Carmella Lewis, with her Hillary T-shirt and Hillary placard, came all the way from Denver to make sure there would be plenty of ambiguity, duality and ferocity in Unity.

    Just as Hillary was testing out the unfamiliar familiarity “Barack and me” Friday and talking about “his grace and his grit,” Carmella began loudly booing and waving her sign.

    “We want Hillary!” screamed the 57-year-old retired ad saleswoman and Clinton delegate.

    “It’s over, lady!” yelled some Obama supporters a few yards away.

    It got worse:

    Carmella and her friends continued to cry, “Nobama!” “We love you, Hillary!” and “We need Hillary!” as Barack Obama sat onstage on a stool behind his former rival, his finger studiously at his lips.

    Carmella was not impressed with all the kissing, laughing and whispering that Hill and Bam were diligently doing for the cameras, so that the moment could produce, as Obama press aide Robert Gibbs put it on “Larry King Live,” “a great picture.”

    When it was Obama’s turn to speak, Carmella announced loudly, “I wish I had ear plugs.” Then, as Obama tried to ingratiate himself with the Hillary partisans in the crowd by saying that because of the New York senator, his daughters “can take for granted that women can do anything that the boys can do and do it better and do it in heels,” Carmella put her fingers in her ears.

    As Obama tried to curry favor with Hillary, looking over at her sensible, sturdy shoes and marveling, “I still don’t know how she does it in heels,” Carmella tore up a tissue and stuffed it in her ears.

    When Obama pandered with a line about how he wouldn’t “perpetuate a system in which women are paid less for the same work as men,” she put her hands over her tissue-stuffed ears.

    Clearly, this woman is deranged. Seriously, folks. I know and love many people, men and women alike, who worked their asses off for Hillary Clinton. Not because she was a woman, or because she was the first serious female candidate for the presidency, but because she is a smart, talented, capable, national political leader who'd make a great President. But mostly because they're good Democrats, tired of the lies and incompetence and hypocrisy and greed and narrow-minded self-righteousness and cronyism and warmongering and oil-addiction that is the Bush Administration and, although the GOP does not like to admit it, the modern Republican Party, and they want a good Democratic candidate to take over the reins because, God knows, THE COUNTRY NEEDS IT.

    And so they worked their asses off for Hillary Clinton. And as they stuffed envelopes and phone-banked and block-walked, they were joined by others -- surlier, impatient, haunted and hardened by all the slights and inequities they'd endured as women and contemptuous of the give-and-take of politics. They were on a mission, and they were ENTITLED, goddamit. Entitled to see Hillary as President. Entitled to rage and thunder at anyone who dared to stand in her way, certain that only rank blatant sexism of the sort they'd be putting up with or lashing back at all their lives could explain opposition to The Coronation.

    They fumed at the media's condescension towards Hillary. They marveled that anyone found Bill Clinton's South Carolina remarks patronizing or detected a subtle racial appeal in Hillary's comments about "white America." They roared at the injustice of the caucus process, ignoring the fact that caucuses were designed to measure the kind of activism and dedication they themselves were showing.

    And most of all, they raged at The Upstart -- young, untested, undoubtedly charismatic and all the more dangerous because of it. Didn't he know it was not his time yet (if it ever would be)? Didn't he realize it was Her Turn, Her Right, that she was Entitled? And who were all these unshaven boys and tattooed girls charging like a tidal wave behind him? (And what were those girls thinking? Didn't they respect their elder sisters in the movement, who got them this far? Ungrateful bitches.)

    The Carmella Lewises are mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. They're going to vote for McCain, who's endorsed a constitutional amendment banning abortions and called for more Scalias and Thomases on the Supreme Court. John McCain, who routinely votes against funding for women's health and family planning services. John McCain, who once called his trophy wife and sugar momma the "C" word.

    As a lifelong Democrat who believes this country is on the brink of disaster and desperately needs a Democratic President -- and yes, specifically, needs Barack Obama -- I have this to say. Vote for McCain if you want. See you. Don't let the door of the Democratic Party hit you in the ass on the way out.

    And if McCain wins and appoints another right-winger to the Supreme Court, and we're still in Iraq in four years and your grandson gets killed there, and middle-class life is in a tailspin while the rich get richest -- not a word. Not a single word. Not a single fucking word out of you.

    It's over, lady.

    Posted by BigDrunk at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Blues For Allah

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

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

    "Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.

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

    You might be a cult member if...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 28, 2008

    Having some fun (at Brewster's expense)

    We're everywhere... including City Hall

    PhotobucketMayor Pro Tem is always given to the Council member with the most seniority which is, at the time, unfortunately Brewster. But, rumor has it, as of Monday there was not a Council member willing to make a "motion", or even "second" a motion, on Brewster's nomination to MPT. Awkwardly, the Mayor - who usually runs the meeting - had to act as a "second" to nominate the MPT.

    Now, here's the thing that really sucks... Despite the need to hold a vote, a full week before the inauguration ceremony and council election of MPT, Councilman McCracken moved into the Mayor Pro Tem office, creating anger in City Hall at his complete disregard for process.

    We at McBlogger fully expect Brewster to use the office of Mayor Pro Tem to relentlessly run for Mayor. Honestly, we're looking forward to it. It's always amusing to see Brewster masturbate his ego by jumping in front of the reporters who are desperately trying to escape from him.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 27, 2008

    McBlogger does... Haiku

    See if you can guess, from the following, what's going on in my life...


    checkcard, spoofed. Again
    stolen numbers must pay well
    thieves are cocksuckers

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Michael Crofton : Ugh! The Democrats!

    In an interview with Bloomberg TV this afternoon (yes, you guessed it, I'm stuck in my office), Michael Crofton the CEO of The Philadelphia Trust Company, said it would be a disaster if the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency.

    A disaster for the economy, that is.

    At this time, we at McBlogger HQ would like to take a moment to point out to Mr. Crofton that the following things have occurred since President Bush and a mostly Republican Congress (they controlled it completely from 2003-2007) took over:

    1) Job growth has been non-existent. In fact, using real world statistics, instead of the BLS stats, a strong case can be made for negative real job growth.
    2) Deficits are at historic levels. And have been for years.
    3) The Dollar has devalued against the Euro by more than 50%.
    4) Oil prices have increased close to five times
    5) Wage growth has been nil
    6) Inflation is once again a problem
    7) Food prices are up dramatically
    8) House prices have collapsed

    And that's just a few of the Republicans greatest hits. Which makes me wonder, what IS Mr. Crofton fearful of? A vibrant economy? Low inflation? Paying off the national dent and running surpluses? Real wage growth and an increase in national savings?

    Come on, Mr. Crofton. Tell us what is so scary about the Democrats...

    (Am I going a little overboard on the lists today?)

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    What you need to know

    1) San Marcos has a municipal airport.
    2) It is now on fire.
    3) I did not start it (I'm no where near SM at the moment).

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Japan and US agree to accelerate global warming

    Oh, shit... this has 'bad idea' written all over it.

    AOMORI, Japan (AFP) — Japan and the United States on Saturday agreed to cooperate on research into methane hydrate, known as the "ice that burns" which is seen as a promising future energy source.

    Energy ministers from the world's two largest economies signed the cooperation agreement at a meeting in northern Japan that comes amid mounting concern about record-high oil prices.

    Methane hydrate, or methane gas trapped in frozen water, looks like ice but burns. Its deposits can be found in permafrost regions and seabeds.

    Under the three-year cooperation agreement, Japan hopes to conduct an on-shore production test in Alaska.

    The deal was signed between Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari and US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman.

    The Japanese ministry and US department plan "extensive research with respect to methane hydrate exploration and resource assessment," a statement announcing the bilateral cooperation said.

    "To establish technology for commercial production, we have to conduct test-production for several months," a Japanese ministry official said.

    Yeah. There are so many problems with this, it's not even funny. For one thing, this stuff will be extremely difficult to bring up. For another, it's methane, a much nastier greenhouse gas than CO2. All that carbon that was in the atmosphere millions of years ago? This is where a lot of it is stored. And it's comparatively easy to destablize. In fact, temperature changes in the oceans RIGHT NOW may soon cause deposits of the stuff to flash over from their frozen form to gas. And then they'll bubble up, which will make the current carbon load in the atmosphere look like a non-issue.

    Oh, and most of the stuff is in international waters. It'll be a lot of fun going to war over this crap.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 26, 2008

    I hate being right...

    ...though, I must admit, when it comes to energy policy and what we need to do (and need not to do), it's happening pretty damn often.

    If Congress were to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, crude oil prices would probably drop by an average of only 75 cents a barrel, according to Department of Energy projections issued Thursday.

    The report, which was requested in December by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, found that oil production in the refuge "is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices."

    At this point, I'd like to invite the Republicans in Congress (as well as Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry) to drink a nice tall glass of shut the fuck up. Oh, and media... if you'd like to, you know, REPORT THIS, that would be great. I love McClatchy but I'd like to see this elsewhere.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I'm sick of Ghostland Observatory

    Actually, I'm just sick of electroclash.

    Here's a question for the morning 'tards over at 101X... if you're going to play GLO, why not Ladytron? Or Peaches?

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

    Curveball still serving Whoppers

    One of the douchebags who peddled questionable intelligence, of the variety that helped Bush and Co. make their flawed case to invade Iraq, is living, working and lying in Germany. Now at a Burger King.

    When you read this article, please try to keep in mind this guy is a joke. He was a joke way back in 2002 and 2003 when the assweevils were trying to bring their case for war (when Condi and Cheney were talking about mushroom clouds). I wonder sometimes if they were dumb enough to believe him (the Germans already knew he was a liar) or if he just came around at the right time with the right lies.

    It really doesn't matter now. Especially since it's unlikely anyone in this Administration will ever go to jail for lying us into war.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    If you're in Houston tonight

    Here's something fun for you to do!

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

    Something funny

    I Think I Just Went Too Far

    See more here... and if you're offended, you're a tard.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 25, 2008

    Why Does Nancy Pelosi Hate Chet Edwards?

    Nancy Pelosi, caught on video with a misty glow in her eyes as she remembered Bobby Kennedy, makes me wonder if she's ever had sex with a Kennedy. I'll let you stew on that one for a while.

    Then she goes completely off the deep end and gets all territorial, lamenting that no House member is being discussed as a vice presidential candidate for Barack Obama. She then goes on to suggest that Chet Edwards is good VP material. Where do I begin?

    Under the Republicans, the House of Representatives distinguished itself as the biggest group of corrupt, ideologically-moronic, hypocritical poltroons to ever get their hands on a bunch of teenage pages. Under the Democrats, the House of Representatives has distinguished itself as the bigget group of direction-less, spineless, amateurish poltroons ever to get better health care than their employers, the taxpayers.

    Consider, Madame Speaker, the cast of numbnuts, also-rans, and delusional megalomaniacs from the U.S. House who littered the early months of the presidential campaign. Tom Tancredo? Duncan Hunter? Dennis Kucinich? Compared to them, Ron Paul -- the loopiness of whose political ideas cannot be overstated -- looked like a Titan. And now Bob Barr, whose vengeful partisan pettiness while a Republican congressman ought to make any self-respecting Libertarian weep for the future of the party?

    There's a reason the House of Representatives is ignored in most discussions of national leadership material.

    Now, I like Chet Edwards, but he is George Bush's congressman in more ways than one. As a congressman representing a conservative and occasionally backwards Texas district, he does fine. But let's not prove the Peter Prinicple by making him (so much) more than he is.

    Posted by BigDrunk at 05:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    No. Really? You're Kidding me. Stop.

    Welcome to George Bush's economy... and just FYI, don't feel too bad for some of the poor, especially the rural poor. They've been voting Republican and they'll keep voting Republican.

    Actually, screw that. Feel bad for them anyway. You try to feed a family of four on minimum wage. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

    And thanks to the Statesman for pointing out the mind numbingly obvious. Really. I never would have guessed that someone would have problems surviving on a wage that, hourly, barely pays for a gallon of unleaded.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Partisan hiring at the DOJ?

    Imagine my surprise upon finding out that political considerations were used in the determination to hire interns at the DOJ. Which is, coincidentally, against the law (via MSNBC and WaPo)

    Ivy Leaguers and other top law students were rejected for plum Justice Department jobs two years ago because of their liberal leanings or objections to Bush administration politics, a government report concluded Tuesday.

    In one case, a Harvard Law student was passed over after criticizing the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. In another, a Georgetown University student who had previously worked for a Democratic senator and congressman didn't make the cut.

    Even senior Justice Department officials flinched at what appeared to be hiring decisions based — improperly and illegally — on politics, according to the internal report. (MSNBC)

    There's a reason these laws exist. It's to keep partisan politics out of prosecutions. Of course, we all see how well that's worked out. Still, the law is there to protect both Republicans and Democrats.

    How would you R's like it if President Obama appointed a really partisan AG who started prosecutions of a bunch of R officeholders around the country?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Apple Annie's gets a loan

    The City has agreed to give a downtown restaurant/bakery/catering company a loan to keep it downtown. Before you get upset, read the details. It's a small part of their overall financial need and it's not forgivable.

    I do have a bit of a problem with the below market interest rate, but honestly, it achieves an objective... namely keeping a business and jobs downtown.

    Good work, y'all.

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

    Now That Was A Speech!

    Yesterday evening, Sen. Chris Dodd gave a ripping speech on the Senate floor regarding FISA, the rule of law, and the disrespect for the institutions of government that supporters of telecom immunity have shown. It was the best speech anyone has given since this whole illegal domestic spying program was revealed.

    read more | digg story

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly blog round-up. The round-up is compiled from posts submitted by member blogs.

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson takes apart the new GOP Business tax in Tearing At The Margins Tax.

    Off the Kuff published the rest of his convention week interviews, with Joe Moody (HD78), Ernie Casbeer (HD59), and State Rep. Juan Garcia (HD32).

    McBlogger asks why are the Republicans so ideologically driven on energy policy? Then he remembers that knowledge isn't so useful in the faith-based economy.

    Something stinks about the Webb County Sheriff's election. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme can't wait to find out who did what.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that we have more than just McCain and Obama running for president. And Then Theres Bob Barr - Born Again Libertarian; one-time conservative Republican Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, offered a scathing critique of Sen. John McCain today and predicted he would garner substantial conservative Republican support in a handful of battleground states critical to McCain in his campaign against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

    Obama needs Texas to win the presidency, but only -- as with recent previous Democratic nominees -- for its money and not its electoral votes, claims PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    WhosPlayin piles on after Joe Barton, Michael Burgess, Pete Sessions, and Kay Granger hold a press conference to blame Democrats for high fuel prices. It was so bad that even Fox 4 News called B.S. on it.

    Lightseeker at Texas Kaos continues to keep an eye on Blackwater's shenanigans. The latest is that Erik Prince loves him some Sharia law-if it will quash a lawsuit for him.

    Wonder how long it will be before the company dress code includes a burqa?

    refinish69 reviews the GOP's Big Bad John at Doing MY Part For The Left. While the video is wonderful for a laugh and has wonderful production values, it is as full of crap as John Cornyn's career as a US Senator.

    Vince at Capitol Annex takes down the new platform of the Republican Party of Texas.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oh. God. No.

    Right up there with the news that Kinky wants to run as a Democrat in 2010 at the top of a list of 'Things That Will Make Me Vomit', is the news that Congressman Chet Edwards is being seriously considered as a VP nom. For Obama, not McCain.

    Seriously, Pelosi is out of touch. This is the same guy who turned tail on his own Oath of Office, sided with the Republicans and PASSED A BILL TO LET THE GOVERNMENT INDISCRIMINATELY SPY ON ITS OWN CITIZENS. But, of course, so did Pelosi.

    Lookit, boys and girls, this IS a big issue. This isn't gays and lesbians getting married and any one of a thousand other issues we give these assholes passes on because 'they're in a tough district full of mouth breathers'. In other words, This is the foundation of our country. The basis of our laws. The Republicans disregarded it and we've seen the results. Do you have any idea how crushing it is to watch DEMOCRATS now taking their turn shitting on the document that created the nation our ancestors fought desperately to establish?

    Today is the vote in the Senate. Feingold is nervous.

    Holding up his BlackBerry, Feingold warned, “Every time you e-mail my daughter or text message her in England, anybody contacts their son or daughter in Iraq, anybody has kids [spending] junior year abroad, anybody that has a business associate anywhere around the world, all of that is now sucked up into a database over which there is essentially no control for the first time in American history. All of this has happened to you, and your communications, in a way that you never would have thought was possible in this country.... We're going to fall over on this.”

    There's more from PDiddie and FDL. If this thing passes, we will never get a determination from a court that the actions of the President were illegal. And make no mistake, they were...

    SPECTER: OK. So what the administration, executive branch of the president, did was not illegal.

    COMEY: I'm not saying -- again, that's why I kept avoiding using that term. I had not reached a conclusion that it was.

    The only conclusion I reached is that I could not, after a whole lot of hard work, find an adequate legal basis for the program.


    Well, now I understand why you didn't say it was illegal. What I don't understand is why you now won't say it was legal.

    COMEY: Well, I suppose there's an argument -- as I said, I'm not a presidential scholar -- that because the head of the executive branch determined that it was appropriate to do, that that meant for purposes of those in the executive branch it was legal.

    I disagreed with that conclusion. Our legal analysis was that we couldn't find an adequate legal basis for aspects of this matter. And for that reason, I couldn't certify it to its legality.

    And don't kid yourself, this isn't about terrorists. It never has been. And it certainly doesn't give me a lot of faith in our nominee, who is apparently as big a booster for this bill as his opponent. And President Bush.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 24, 2008

    Where a certain R gets his money...

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

    Winning the Stupid OFFSHORE Olympics, Pt. 4

    As McBlogger has already pointed out, the oil industry (forget this "energy Industry b.s.; while they are running slick green-washing commercials mocked here, they're doing everything they can to sabotage actual progress on renewable energy), has come up with a formula for mindless repetition of their latest terrible, pointless idea: "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." As David Kobierowski pointed out in his first-hand report on the Republican state convention a couple weeks ago, after Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had given their speeches, hundreds of Republican could be seen walking around the George R. Brown, zombie-like, chanting "Drill here, drill now, pay less."

    Leave it to Joe Biden to get at the black little political heart of this idea on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, taking on a flustered Lindsey Graham:

    This is a gift, a gift to the oil companies by John McCain. They have now leased 41 million acres of offshore leases. They're only pumping in 10.2 million of those acres. Seventy-nine percent of all the offshore oil available off the coast of Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, lies within those acres that they now have. Why are they not pumping? Why are they not doing this? Why are they not pursuing what's estimated to be a total of 70--54 billion barrels of oil at their disposal right now if they pump? Why are these greedy fellows deciding they want to go beyond that? It's because they want to get it in before George Bush leaves the presidency. It's because they're not pumping the oil to keep the price up. They are not even drilling. So here you have 30 million leased acres they have right now that possesses 79 percent of all the offshore, and they're not drilling. And John says they need more? And it would take 10 years for it to come online.

    A very important point: none of this newlw-permitted drilling in ANWR and along our coastlines will lower the current cost of gas by a penny; under the most optimistic scenarios, oil will not be flowing from any of the new areas for ten years. Besides, they're not extracting from the areas they can explore now; why would they extract from the new areas?

    Even if this was a workable idea, which it isn't, it would still be a bad one. Tom Friedman nails it in yesterday's New York Times. The whole piece is worth reading, but here's a tasty excerpt:

    Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was “addicted to oil,” and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Now we have the new Bush energy plan: “Get more addicted to oil.” ... It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.”

    The bottom line is, nothing in this proposal is going to give us any relief from high gas prices -- but it will give the oil and gas industry the illusion that it's meeting the long-term needs of the American people. The hypocrisy stinks.

    Posted by BigDrunk at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Winning the stupid olympics, pt 3

    REALLY. That's enough with the stupid, Republicans. I'm so sick of hearing all the lies coming from y'all. Well, it's either lying or just rank stupidity.

    Maybe I should call John McCain's spokespuppy and find out which.

  • Bush, clearly drunk, proposes expanding offshore drilling. There are a couple points here including
    1) There's not enough oil to really make a dent in demand.
    2) You can't bring what's there up fast enough to have a real impact on prices without stomping on speculation.
    3) Bush could end high oil prices in an afternoon by starving speculators.
    4) Did I mention there's not enough oil down there?

    But the biggest one is that there isn't enough equipment for offshore drilling available. Because it's already being used in the areas where you CAN drill offshore. Which also, it just so happen, is where 80% of the total oil available on the continental shelf (for those of you who've been voting R, 'right off the coast') is located. In other words, anyone that tells you we're missing out on some kind of oil panacea in the deep water is lying to you. But hey, it's not the first time Bush has lied.

  • This op/ed nails the delusional case for drilling offshore...

    There is no doubt that a lot of people have been discomfited and genuinely hurt by $4-a-gallon gas. But their suffering will not be relieved by drilling in restricted areas off the coasts of New Jersey or Virginia or California. The Energy Information Administration says that even if both coasts were opened, prices would not begin to drop until 2030. The only real beneficiaries will be the oil companies that are trying to lock up every last acre of public land before their friends in power — Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney — exit the political stage.

    To those who rise in support of expanded drilling I tell you earnestly that it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  • Hava Goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The most endangered R you don't know

    Oh, and there's more to come... just wait.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2008

    Winning the stupid olympics, pt 2

    Here's the WaPo. Click on it and scroll down the second story (the one under the thing about the douchebag lobbyist).

    Congress has tied itself in knots over whether to permit more domestic drilling for oil and gas. But Gingrich, through his organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, has come up with a phrase that has inspired a torrent of support via the Internet.

    In just three weeks, more than 750,000 people have signed on to a cyber-petition that endorses the phrase "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." In a single day last week, nearly 100,000 people endorsed the simple-to-understand concept.

    "It's far exceeded all of our expectations," said Dan Kotman, spokesman for the group.

    Really, Newt? I always thought of you as the smart Republican. Exactly where would you like to drill where you can bring up 2-3 mn bbl per day?

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

    Yes, I know. It has Dane Cook in it.

    Photobucket I loathe Dane Cook. I've never been able to fathom the depths of stupidity required to find his stand up comedy routines entertaining. I have only been able to withstand one of his films which was 'Waiting...'. It's main redeeming quality is that it's a quick cure for any self esteem issues the viewer might be experiencing. Oh, and it swore me off Bennigans for eternity, so I guess that's a plus. I could not see any upside to seeing 'Good Luck Chuck'. Especially since it has Jessica Alba in it. She is a big, bright, beaming beacon of DER. If she is in a movie, it is fucking guaranteed to make you lose IQ points. To wit.

    But I digress. When I saw the trailer for 'My Best Friend's Girl', it actually made me smile.

    I thought, 'Holy shit, I might actually see something Dane Cook is in. This can't be real. Maybe that fucking quack was right and I DO need to cut back on my drinking!' Since then my best and worst natures have been at war in my head. Can I live with myself afterward? Maybe... if I go see it in a theater where I won't run into anyone I know. Am I alone in thinking this looks somewhat amusing? Perhaps I've just seen too many crappy movies lately.

    Posted by barfly at 12:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 22, 2008

    Hope Is Just A Four Letter Word

    Uppity Woman, who is fast becoming one of my favorite Pumas, notes that Prince Charming may have some troubles as he tries to weasel his way out of his pledges in this era of YouTube . Things like committing to use public financing for his campaign this fall. Of course, that doesn't stop the True Believer Baracksheviks from chugging another pitcher of Koolaid and insisting that just because the Obamessiah said He was in favor of it didn't mean He would do it.

    By the time we're done with this wretched mess you'll learn the only Change We Can Believe In is a plan to take away our dollar bills and replace them with those crappy coins that don't fit in vending machines.

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

    June 21, 2008

    FISA roundup

    If you stand for nothing, you'll fall

    for anything

    And now, we know there are some members of the Democratic Congress who will sell us out swiftly. Like Hoyer and Rahm Emmanuel. For those of you who remember my previous defense of Rahm, I'd like to point out this is the Constitution, not some stupid minor issue. There was NO ACCEPTABLE compromise on this.

    First, the showdown now moves to the Senate where Feingold and Leahy are already saying they'll stop it. Will Reid let them or ignore him as he's done previously?

    And lets not forget that more than half the Democrats in the House DID vote against this capitulation... Folks like Conyers and Barbara Lee. They deserve some of your love.

    Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) pointed to a constitutional concern.

    "The grant of retro-active immunity is inconsistent with our basic principles. We are breaking with a very proud tradition and intervening in a pending court decision in an effort to reach a preordained legal outcome. This is a bad precedent," he said.

    Republicans without exception spoke in favor of the bill, often citing the dangers of terrorism.

    Greenwald and others are raising money to take on Hoyer and some of the other weak sisters who think selling out is standing up.

    Obama issued his statement on FISA (take one and take two) and, to say the least, it's weak. Not much of a surprise to those of us who never really bought the new kind of politics bullshit, one hell of a shock to those of you who actually thought fucko was something different.

    Gadfly has more on the Texans who caved in. Edwards and Lampson are standouts, but not surprises... you had to know their names would be there. Reyes is seriously too senile (and frankly stupid) to fully grasp what he's done. The rest of them, like Al Green, were just following orders. Like the Nazi's. As a side note, for those of you in 22, is Lampson really as much of a bitch as he appears? Seriously, the guy is pathetic... does he have ANY backbone?

    Doggett, of course, voted against it. EVERY Republican voted for it which is to be expected since all of them look at being a Representative not as a sacred public trust but as an opportunity to line their pockets. Seriously, while Lampson may be a jellyfish, the Republicans here in Texas really believe that we should give up essential liberty for temporary safety and security. As Benjamin Franklin put it, they deserve neither.

    Some Texans y'all turned out to be. Scared to death of the terrorists. Cowards. You're pathetic even for Republicans.

    At this time, I'd like to urge you to do what just about everyone I know has already done. Stop all contributions to the DCCC, DSCC and DNC. Focus on candidates and organizations that do not support this abortion of our Constitutional rights. It's time for certain members of the Democratic leadership to understand that the tail does not wag the dog. While they're some good people at these organizations, the leadership is thoroughly corrupt. Until we find a way to marginalize folks like Steny Hoyer, Rahm and Pelosi, they'll just keep pulling the same shit on us. And we'll all end up losing people... voters are repulsed by gutlessness. And that's what these traitors displayed.

    I'll be completely honest... I grew up Republican. I grew up thinking Democrats were weak, didn't have any real feelings or values. I learned yesterday I was partially right (I've known for a while Republicans were pandering idiots without an intellectual core). I moved over to the Democratic Party based on economic issues and social issues and I've been proud of that decision. But, I have to admit, we've seen little of substance out of this Democratic Congress. There's no balanced budget. There's no sound energy policy. There's no expansion of social justice. There's a definitive effort to destroy our civil liberties. There's no real oversight of the executive branch.

    There are a number of Democrats that join with Republicans on such a consistent basis that they may as well take a trip up to Minneapolis this August instead of coming to Denver. It's those folks that deserve absolutely no support. Let them seek support from the people they really care about. It certainly isn't us.

    Why, after all this time, are Democrats caving in to Republicans? Why aren't we forcing half of their caucus to fold? Because, while they may be wrong, they've got the strength of will that many of our folks in Congress find irresistible. Go on, Steny, give Blount a hummer... we know you're dying to.

    Finally, there's this from Dan Froomkin at the WaPo

    What kind of a country is it where, when the head of state asks you to do something that may well be illegal, but assures you that he considers it legal, you can't be held accountable for doing it?

    Welcome to the new U.S. of A.

    Under the surveillance "compromise" that the House of Representatives approved today, telecommunications companies that participated in the government's warrantless surveillance program would get immunity from civil lawsuits as long as they showed that they were told that the program was authorized by President Bush and was determined by his legal team to be lawful.

    With Congress having largely abandoned its oversight obligations on this issue, and with little chance of Bush's Justice Department investigating itself, these lawsuits were really the only remaining avenue of accountability -- at least until the next administration.

    But the new law would prohibit federal judges from addressing the merits of these suits. Instead, since the government did provide assurances about legality that the companies can easily document, judges would be required to dismiss them.

    In a system of laws, a permission slip from the president isn't supposed to supercede duly enacted legislation -- and the Constitution.

    So how did Bush get his way with Congress -- again? It was just four months ago that House Democrats defiantly rejected what they called Bush's fear mongering and refused to vote on a surveillance proposal that included telecom immunity. It appeared that Bush's iron hold over Congress on national security had finally been broken.

    But, on some issues at least, Congress is apparently still willing to cave to The Man.

    And this from Digby... and just let me say, I don't want to hear you bitch until you've made a donation to a one of those people who stood up for the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 20, 2008

    Is Krauthammer really this ideologically driven?

    In all the craziness about offshore drilling and 'exploration' of ANWR and other Federal lands, it's become readily apparent that people on the 'drill more, drill now, pay less' side of things are really uninformed. Either that or they are just hellbent on advancing ideology over common sense, wishful thinking vs. hard reality.

    The reality is we can already drill in the 4/5 of coastal waters where oil is theoretically located. I say theoretically because we really don't know how much is or isn't down there. Given the finds that have already been made the Gulf, it's clear there IS oil under the bottom. It's also clear there is not nearly enough of it to make a difference in current prices. Nor is there enough in ANWR. Krauthammer, in his column in the WaPo, thinks there is enough for 22 years in ANWR and offshore. At current rates of global consumption. Try 10 at best, Chuck. And that's if you can suck it all out in a steady stream which anyone who bothered to actually study the issue would know you can't do. It's also predicated on those estimated reserves being recoverable reserves. There's a difference, but apparently Krauthammer doesn't know what that difference is.

    Now, Chuck's just a columnist and like all columnists he pretty much sucks at research. So, I'll cut him some slack for now. But really, in the future, I'd ask that he at least try to be a little less embarrassingly cocksure?

    Look, I've been blogging about this for years. We're running out of cheap oil and as this accelerates additional barrels become incrementally more expensive. Its the nature of a natural resource. Eventually, the easy stuff plays out and what's left is expensive to produce and doesn't come in nearly the quantity it once did. That why you either find something to replace it or you find a way to artificially increase supply.

    When it comes to oil, we can do both. If only the ideologues will get out of the goddamn way and let us get to it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    I have but one question...


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Anyone want to have dinner at Castle Hill?

    I've loved Castle Hill for years. I've taken people there for lunch, dinner and occasionally on some really awful dates. To hear that it's closing hurts.

    Castle Hill Cafe, the restaurant that became well known as an affordable fine-dining spot, is closing at the end of this month after more than two decades in business because the owner says it has become too expensive to operate with rising food and gas prices.

    "It's too hard, to be honest, way too hard for us," owner Cathe Dailey said Thursday. She said it seems like each day brings another cost increase in one or more items.

    Next week she will shut down the nearly 22-year-old restaurant and transform the space into an interior Mexican eatery with a full bar.

    Now I know how some of you folks felt about Las Manitas. Even though their food sucks ass.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 19, 2008

    Winning the stupid olympics

  • Even though there's very little cheap oil left, that didn't stop the Republican Pander Express from making it's way to Dallas to talk about their brill plan to deal with energy costs... drill. Lookit, there isn't enough in the ground that you can bring up in any cost effective way to reduce oil prices. You've got to stop speculation, then you have to develop real alternatives.

    PhotobucketThere is NOT some giant, trillion barrel reserve under the Rockies. Or ANWR. Or the Gulf. Oh sure, there's a ton of oil down there but it's expensive to bring up. Too expensive by far to help us out. So quit lying to people, Joe Barton. And lose some weight because you're getting hella fat. Assweavil.

    Hey MSM... ask Kay Granger what the per barrel cost will be to produce oil out of ANWR and how much it could realistically produce in a year. Watch the steam come out of her ears. Yes, Reporters, things really are that goddamn simple. Ask any analyst. Better yet, since you won't believe my blogging ass, ask Matt Simmons.

    WP has more including information on Burgess' little Energy Expo which just sounds precious. If you like pandering bullshit and lies. Someone go and tell us if he actually says prices will fall immediately.

  • Apparently, the R's had themselves an interesting vendor at their little convention.
  • And finally, there's this from our moribund friends on the right. Love y'all, but y'all have to understand. People hate you. Seriously, I love my Republican friends, mostly because even they hate the R electeds. Especially 39%.
  • Hava Goodun!

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

    Apparently, I'm a douchebag

    Thanks, Vince and SCCS.

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

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

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

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

    Remember when Karl put that guy in jail?

    Remember former AL Governor Siegelman? Yeah, that guy.

    Apparently he's appealing his conviction which will, it seems likely, be reversed. As for Rove, the man who landed him in hot water by brow beating the FBI and the US Attorney, he's being called before Congress. And has refused the subpoena.

    Tell you what, Conyers. This guy is not EVER going to testify. Put him in jail for contempt of Congress. There isn't a soul in this country who would care.

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

    The good news and the bad news

    PhotobucketThe good news is that Austin Energy apparently has 3GW of capacity to keep us airconditioned. The bad news? This is likely to be the hottest June on record.

    Austin has an average of 11 triple-digit days each year, but so far this year there have been 14, KVUE chief meteorologist Mark Murray said.

    "Right now, this is on track to be the warmest June in Austin history," Murray said.

    I hate you, Mark Murray. I really, really hate you.

    And yes, I know I said quit whining about the heat. Because it's Texas. But this is hella hot and it's way too early.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Help Democrats TODAY

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

    June 18, 2008

    So, will CapMet be smart or dumb this time?

    CapMet has a number of plans for Light Rail projects (like the starter line from Downtown to Mueller) but they have to be approved by voters prior to starting. So, one has to ask... WITH NOVEMBER COMING UP, WILL CAPMET BE SMART AND PUT THIS ON THE BALLOT?

    I mean, it's not like there won't be a flood of progressives going to the polls in November. If ever there were a time to get voters to sign off on long range plans, this would be it. Everyone is feeling higher fuel prices and the voters that will show up in November will be ones who are very likely to vote for anything that will cut the Austin Metro's carbon footprint.


    Posted by mcblogger at 01:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Spot on, Hermana!

    Couldn't agree more.

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

    June 17, 2008

    The Republican Convention

    Well, I'm sad to report that no one from Team McBlogger made the trip to Houston for the Republican Convention. The excuse I heard most often (other than "Are you fucking kidding me?") is that we don't like funerals. Or the walking dead. Apparently, neither do Republicans since they had around half as many delegates as the Democrats did at their convention.

    This post over at BOR tells the story...and leads me to a question. If the Republicans and the Democrats and the Libertarians are against the TTC, then WHY THE HELL DO WE STILL HAVE THE TTC? Is it just 39%'s massive ego?

    Apparently, the R's also aired this video. It shows Sen. Cornyn play acting like a real Texan. Yeah, we know all about that. Now run on, Jr. John, and play with your little shotgun.

    Finally, is Newt Gingrich going senile? I mean, senility is the only plausible explanation for thinking we can drill for oil to make ourselves energy independent. Then again, fantasy is the basis of Republican reality.

    Come on... I can't be the only one who remembers such classics as "Deficits don't matter/pay for themselves" and "The Iraq invasion will pay for itself".

    Y'all need a whole new set of bullshit free leaders. Check that, you just need to vote for Democrats.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Half In The Bag

    Baghead.... this is a movie?

    It sounds more like a Saturday Night Live sketch. That they showed in the last half hour. During one of those seasons they've now erased all the tapes of.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    More good polling out of CD10

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

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

    Give until it hurts!

    Rain Minns needs your help! She's running against the corpulent Sen. John Carona (R-Jelly Doughnut). The same Senator Carona who talks a big game about tolls, the TTC and TXDOT and always ends up giving in to what 39% and the Trans Commission want. This 'man of the people' is really only good at serving the people, by extending corporate welfare to as many of his contributors as he can. So they can eat more of our money than ever before, with government sanctions.

    Dallas flipped blue in 2006 and this year looks to be even stronger. It's time for Dallas to shed another incompetent R, John Carona. Give Rain some money so she can get her message out.

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

    Culberson steps in poop

    This is a not-so-brill article about members of Congress and their staffers using BlackBerry's, basically saying that they are addicts (full disclosure : SO AM I AND MILLIONS LIKE ME) in constant contact with lobbyists, etc. Which is bullshit, but someone in the comments called that out.

    And they make Rep. Culberson (R-Asshat) a hero. For using Twitter. When I read it I thought, "Surely it's not that asinine thing that Pink Lady got me wrapped up in that's currently showing me playing with my balls while sitting in a Starbucks. Which is what I'm most definitely NOT doing". But, alas, it was. Which means Rep. Culberson is wasting untold amounts of time detailing the minutiae of his daily actions.

    The comments are truly enlightening for a thoroughgoing indictment of Culberson. And leaves us with only one question... Why is Culberson afraid of Michael Skelly? Well, that and WHY THE HELL DO POLITICOS GET ON BLOGS?!?!?!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 16, 2008

    What smart people do about immigration...

    In Spain, they use it to their advantage. Here, we act like it's the worst thing ever. And you know who complains the most? Transplants, not native Texans.

    This dovetails rather nicely with this report that shows the real, positive economic impact of immigration.

    Sorry about the brevity. It's Monday and I'm feeling it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 14, 2008

    OMG, the R word!

    No, not 'recession'.


    Gasoline rationing and small car loan subsidies are measures intended to bring oil consumption for private transportation under predictable control and to encourage drivers to adopt small private vehicles. Gasoline rationing has been viewed as a last resort, but it is an essential step toward reducing oil consumption in a planned way while giving everyone an equal shot at gasoline regardless of her or his income.

    A planned, progressive cutback in U.S. petroleum consumption through gasoline rationing could bring an immediate moderation in world oil prices.

    Gasoline rationing would also be a major step in reducing exhaust gases that are causing global warming.

    Two years ago Harvard economist Martin Feldstein proposed gasoline rationing as an equitable way to cut gasoline consumption. His plan is similar to that of the Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan drafted by the U.S. Department of Energy exactly 28 years ago, in June 1980, to address the threat of oil shortages. Putting gasoline rationing into effect, the plan says, would be costly and complex, but "options have been incorporated into the plan to provide, to the maximum extent practical, equity among gasoline users throughout the nation and to provide flexibility to minimize disparities among states."

    This is almost as stupid as that assweavil McCain's dipshit idea to drop the gas tax, because it's worked everytime...

    Instead, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's chief economic adviser, told McClatchy that a "holiday from the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gasoline tax has lowered prices every time it's been tried "and it is felt all through the economy."

    It works, as long as you're goal is drive oil company profits up and create a black market with it's requisite crime. In point of fact, Dougie, it's never worked. Some economics advisor YOU turned out to be.

    But, boys and girls, before you lose all hope and decide the world has gone full tilt crazy, there's a glimmer of hope and reason.

    Perhaps the quickest action, the experts said, would be ordering curbs on financial speculation. Financial industry heavyweights have acknowledged in recent testimony before Congress that such speculation is driving oil prices higher.

    Pension funds, endowments and other big institutional investors are pumping big money into index funds linked to commodities, including oil, driving up demand — and prices. The popular Goldman Sachs Commodities Index attracted $260 billion in investment last year, compared to $13 billion five years earlier.

    Complicating any effort to harness that, about 30 percent of the trading in crude oil is done in "dark areas" — markets in London and Dubai — that aren't regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

    President Bush could order the CFTC to regulate U.S. investments in those markets with a snap of his fingers, said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former director of trading for the CFTC.

    "Essentially this could be ended this afternoon if the Bush administration had the stomach to do it," he said. "Those abdications of responsibility and allowing these exchanges to trade in 'dark' markets ... provides an environment for speculators to thrive."

    The CFTC is investigating the link between speculation and oil prices but hasn't scheduled any action.

    And there you have it, take out the speculation and there's the end. I, personally, think it's much easier. Take up taxes on capital gains made in energy or energy related trading to 75% and watch as people stop dumping money into the commodities markets. But either way, really, would alleviate the situation rapidly.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 13, 2008

    You know, I may not have liked the guy...

    ...but this sucks. Our best wishes to his family.

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

    Transportation Funding : You're doing it wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yes, TXDOT lied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In other news...

  • Round Rock will be getting an A&M Medical School. This one will be teaching human doctors, not animal doctors. I'm sure the graduates will have no problem finding gainful employment at an HMO or maybe a third world hospital
  • It's hot. And it's going to stay hot. Quit griping.
  • SoS Wilson is leaving to be a lobbyist at an energy company. I'm sorry, 'VP of Governmental Relations'. In his new job, he'll make far more money hitting up the contacts he's made over the years (while on the taxpayers dime) for legislation beneficial to his new employer and detrimental to the people of Texas.

    He'll also get a 401(k). Always nice to know that useless people can find gainful employment in the private sector. Even if they're only useful working the levers of government while there.

    What a douche

  • Kelso has a great idea for the Governor's Mansion
  • Hava Goodun!

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

    Oil at $250/bbl??!?!

    So sayeth the Russian. However, don't count on it. We're already seeing demand destruction at this price point.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What color cummerbund?

    While the Mayor and I anxiously await the victory coronation of El Cid, petitions addressing local energy, traffic, and immigration issues are being composed for presentation to Galindo on his first day as city councilman.

    1. Construct a nuclear power plant in Zilker Park. Relax already, the neighborhood associations will come to the rescue and compromise will allow the environmentalists to paint a giant peace sign on the cooling tower, and xeriscape the surroundings. There, don’t you feel better? Now, go back to your “Sex and the City” update before you stroke out.

    2. Make I35 a toll road from county line to county line. Again, don’t get your panties in a bind. A toll-free bike lane will be created down the middle. In a compromise with developers, the bicyclists will have to share the lane with beam-hauling semis and cement trucks traveling downtown to build more high rises. Hat’s off to the “Big Morph”

    So all you anti-toll road people go away, your making my head hurt. Jennifer Kim’s stance on toll roads didn’t help her, Kirk Watson is on the rise, and Dawnna Dukes is still alive and kicking. As for Sarah Eckhardt and Mark Strama – we won’t go there. Maybe you need to rethink that oust the louse strategy.

    3. Johnston High School. Forget about it. We’re sure Cid has contacts with detention center operators. Seriously, I’m getting tired of driving out to Taylor to protest. If East Austin activists chain themselves to the bike racks and go on a hunger strike, then maybe Cid will be forced to convert the school into real low-cost condos to house the workers who will do the labor in developing the 130 corridor.

    Of course, Richard Suttle will negotiate these deals with his Texas cornpone homespun charm and the compassionate conservativism that his “progressive” wife instilled in him. That sure sounds familiar.

    What is the point of this rant? When neighborhood associations and a loose coalition of a small number of activists are your last line of defense against developers who have all the time and money in the world, don’t expect a miracle from your city council members who are either overwhelmed by the onslaught or have their own agendas to nurture.

    Keep Austin Developed

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 07:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 12, 2008

    Thanks for nothing, Nichols

    Ladies and Gentleman, the idiot Robert Nichols taking credit for TXDOT dropping a controversial part of TTC-69. The really stupid thing is that these folks still think they're going to get an old school interstate.

    Seriously, y'all, you're going to get assraped with tolls.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Best Autobio Title EVER

    For those of you in NYC, there's a reading tonight that sounds like a fucking blast...

    “I Have Fun Everywhere I Go” is the enviable title of Mike Edison’s memoir. But he’s earned it, really: He’s been the publisher of High Times, the editor of Screw, the author of many pornographic novels, a semiprofessional wrestler and a musician who’s worked with the likes of G. G. Allin and Jon Spencer. Mr. Edison will cultivate your jealousy when he reads tonight at Freebird Books; if you’re lucky, he’ll bring his bong guitar.

    Seriously, is that not the best goddamn title for an autobiography EVER? Well, other than the one I've set aside for my planned autobiography, And Then We Had Drinks, which is due out as soon as I write it. And sell it to someone dumb enough to publish.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    In other news...

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

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

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


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

    BE YOURSELF AND RUN. You'll win.

  • Hava goodun!

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

    Pathetic : Cornyn and McCain

    Two emails showed up today, one from Cornyn and one from McCain. Both are clearly indicative of panic...While you're laughing open another tab and send some money to Rick.

    In Cornyn's email, the assweavil has taken to using his daughters as a fundraising gimmick.

    As most of you know, this Sunday is Father's Day. Like many others across Texas, we have been contemplating what we are going to give Dad this year, and we think we came up with a great idea that we need your help with. But before we get into that, let us tell you a little bit about our dad. From the time we were little girls, our dad has always been there for us. The older we have gotten, the more we realize how amazing that it is. For over a decade now, Dad has represented the entire state of Texas. As you may remember, he was elected Attorney General in 1998 and then was elected to the Senate in 2002. Both jobs demanded a lot of his time, yet from family vacations to holidays to our graduations, our dad was always there. As he enters another campaign and Father's Day nears, we want to be there for him…which brings us back to you and your help. We would like to show Dad all the supporters we gathered for him. All you need to do is click HERE and join the public supporters list. Will you do that for us…and for him?

    Once at his site, you get to donate. Exciting, no? This is especially interesting since the right side of the blogosphere, really more of a minor adjunct than a side, is all a flutter about Rasmussen's new poll numbers that mirror Baselice's. The interesting thing? Both polls are DRAMATICALLY oversampling Republicans and represent a dramatic shift in Rasmussen's polling.

    Hey, y'all go ahead and keep overestimating your turnout and underestimating Noriega's. It'll be fun watching y'all cry.

    McCain's fundraising piece was even worse...

    We have some catch-up work to do -- and we must to do it now.

    I hope you will take a moment right now to make a special RNC Victory
    2-MONTH EMERGENCY CAMPAIGN PLEDGE of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $100 or $50. Here's why I'm personally asking for your immediate help:

    In the heat of their primary battle the Democrats launched a massive 50-state voter registration drive which will result directly in dramatically increasing Democrat voter turnout on November 4th.

    We must respond by dramatically increasing our own Republican registration efforts, matching them voter-to-voter, district-by-district, state-by-state all across America. But we can only do that with an immediate, emergency injection of funds.


    Damn, it must suck to be a Republican today.

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

    June 11, 2008

    OPEC ain't the problem

    OK, here's the deal. There are a bunch of people (D and R) clamoring for an increase in supply from OPEC. Let me let you uneducated folks in on a little secret... they can't just increase the amount pumped.

    Of course there is additional capacity. The Saudi's could, with some difficulty, increase production to 12 mn bbl/per day, possibly. However, that's going to do three things...

    1) Damage the field for the long term, sacrificing future production
    2) Have minimal impact on supply since demand will automatically rise

    The additional capacity can't come from Mexico, either. Venezuela has some excess capacity, as does Nigeria and Iraq. ALL of these producers have internal issues preventing this from happening. The reality is that we're going to have to fix this ourselves. And we can't do it with coal.

    Wait a second! Didn't we already talk about this? There IS a way to do it and moderate carbon in the atmosphere. The cool thing is that none of this is new... all we need is for Congress to act. I even know how to pay for it.

    Finally, gas prices will come down as refiners continue to add cokers to their plants and expand heavy crude (both sweet and sour) capacity. This will allow them to process cheaper crudes into gasoline, lowering the price of the end product. It's a large reason why gas isn't at $5.00/gal even now as some facilities, most notably Valero refineries picked up from El Paso, are already set up to process heavy sour.

    This is all short term stuff. The long term reality is that at current prices, biofuels are far more competitive. And a lot smarter.

    For some real laughs, check out this over at the Statesman, specifically the comments. Pretty clear that Mass isn't a McBlogger reader.

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

    TXDOT to concede to big changes in TTC - 69

    In an effort to get around the 391's that Hank and others have been working so hard to put together, TXDOT is changing the path of TTC 69 substantially. The best part? The thing is STILL going to be a privatization. AND nothing is changing on TXDOT's plan to toll all new capacity.

    For a good piece on the gas tax vs tolls, take a look at this Burka post. After you've done that, think about this little fact...in 2003 when funding was originally 'approved' for the expansion and conversion to a freeway of US 281 just north of SA into the Hill Country, the cost was estimated at $100 mn. Now, with inflation, that cost is $175 mn. That's the taxpayer cost if the road is built free with public funds. If it's privatized, the cost goes above ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

    Now, would someone please explain to me how that's cheaper?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 10, 2008

    I'm going to Denver!

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

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

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

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

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

    Its Run-Off Time...Again!

    OK everyone! Time to rally your politicalness and get motivated one more time (for now)!

    If you are anywhere in the Austin area, and don't live under a rock, then you are aware that Laura Morrison and Cid Galindo are ready to duke it out for Austin City Council Place 4.

    As we all know one of the most entertaining and inspiring things about being involved in politics (aside from the good to be accomplished) is the dirt... So do your part and get informed!

    It is very apparent among our fellow Austinites that the CID Galindo Campaign for Voter Harrassment has more than a few people a little bent out of shape. Just incase you are one of the few not receiving numerous calls per day from the Galindo Campaign let me share a little of your neighbors pain...

    A push poll, in which the caller tricks voters by telling them they are taking a "survey" sponsored by the "Small Business Group". When the caller asks whom they're supporting, if their preference is Morrison or Undecided, they are told false statements about our campaign. Push Polling is near-universally reviled because of its negative and deceptive nature. The Small Business Group also launched an automated phone message this week with a new deceptive message.

    An automated phone "poll" asking voters to indicate their preference in the runoff, which has been repeated over and over, including multiple times in the same day. Some people say they have been called as many as 6 times in one day.

    Numerous automated calls from city lobbyists and other Cid Galindo surrogates touting their support of Galindo and misrepresenting my positions on important issues.

    Who's paying & who's phoning?

    Cid Galindo Campaign - Automated and Live Calls
    City of Austin Campaign Finance records show that Cid Galindo has paid Opinion Strategies over $40,000 for computer and live phone calling and consulting. Opinion Strategies is a San Marcos political consulting firm run by Sam McCabe and Eric Heggie located at 1013 Chestnut St. D2, San Marcos 78666.

    Galindo Supporters, Small Business Group – Live Push Polling and Automated Calls
    City of Austin Campaign Finance records show that The Small Business Group has paid E-Communication Advantage, an Austin telemarketing center, over $6,400 to conduct deceptive push polling. The Small Business Group is led by ex council candidate Carl Tepper and Roger Chan. The wording and timing of the calls suggest illegal coordination with Galindo's campaign.

    This is one of the most deliberately deceptive campaigns Austin has seen in years. Cid Galindo needs to stop this harassment of voters by his campaign and surrogates. Apart from the one single automated call I made a week ago and one live call, my campaign has not made any other calls. We have not been part of this telephone assault. The voters deserve to know that only Cid Galindo can put a stop to this harassment.

    So...Who are you voting for on Saturday???

    Posted by Lovelie99 at 02:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    It wasn't me...

    Apparently, someone thought the Governor's Mansion remodel wasn't going too well. So, they decided to torch the place.

    One thing is absolutely certain... there is no possible way I could have done this. I complete my projects.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 09, 2008

    Available Accessories

    Sister Ruth called to say she'd bought a bicycle. My first reaction was to ask if it came with an ashtray.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Lehman finally comes clean

    $20 bn in mortgage-related asset writedowns. $6 bn in new capital. Deleveraging complete to 22% of gross assets.

    Which means that Lehman has $22 of assets floating on every $1 of equity. Which is a bit like a 400 lb man going ice skating. It can be done, but if there's any problem things get ugly fast.

    For weeks, Lehman management has been saying that everything is just peachy. During that time, speculation has run rampant. While today's news is worse than expected, it's still not as bad as some of the rumors. This should provide some stability to the financial sector, at least in realizing that the remaining shoes yet to drop aren't the equivalent of a Bear Stearns type debacle.

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

    June 07, 2008

    Party Elections goodness

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

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

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

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

    In the spirit of party unity...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    June 06, 2008

    We went drinking


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

    I'm sorry for laughing at you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    THIS is what that child would grow old to be.

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

    Or am I thinking of Carole Strayhorn?

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

    June 05, 2008

    Communion as a Weapon

    An opening salvo from the religious right comes from the lunatic fringe of the Catholic Church. Sadly, Southern Baptists do not have a monopoly on nutty.

    This is just an attempt to keep moderate Republicans in line. Since the GOP is on the short end of the stick on every issue, they’ll try to ratchet up the rhetoric on reproductive rights to scare and humiliate thinking conservatives.

    While there are already rumblings in the parishes about Catholic politicians, will it filter down to supporters in the pew?

    In this case, it has.

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 11:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Roundin' up the TPA

    It's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up--the pre-Convention edition. Don't forget about the Third Biennial Texas Blogger's Caucus set for this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Cedar Door in Austin. Joe Jaworski, Sherrie Matula, Melissa Noriega, and more will be joining us!

    WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on A Texas Myth: The Citizen Legislator.

    BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Bush has been successful in preventing accountability and that Bush is at Center of an Intelligence Leak in The Leaky Bush - Probable Cause For Treason.

    Captain Kroc declares that McBlogger now has a patron saint. That means we're protected so don't mess with us or we'll have our BFF, God, gut punch you.

    PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had some questions for Boyd Richie.

    Vince from Capitol Annex reviews the Texas Legislative Study Group's excellent recommendations concerning what the Texas Legislature needs to do to improve higher education.

    North Texas Liberal thanks Michelle Malkin for letting us know why we should boycott Rachael Ray, the terrorist scarf-wearing daytime chef.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme crowns Victoria DA Steve Tyler the new DA Hissy Fit after the grand jury indicts the Victoria Police Chief and former City Attorney. Both may have used the Victoria Advocate newspaper to prod the child rape investigation of Tyler's chief of staff.

    WhosPlayin? takes a humorous look at how Rep Michael Burgess (R, TX-26) missed the mark again with recent comments, showing how out of touch he is with his middle-class constituents.

    The burning question at Doing My Part For The Left is will Republicans return Rev, Hagee's hate money.

    Off the Kuff completes his early tour of the Harris County races with a peek at the race for Harris County Department of Education Trustee, which in a normal year would be a pretty low-profile affair. Of course, as we know, this is anything but a normal year.

    The Texas Cloverleaf tells us how Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wants to support the communist Cuban regime.

    Texas Kaos gets into the nuts and bolts of coming events. If you're headed to Austin for the Texas Democratic State Convention this week, check out this Netroots Nation convention in Austin we're preparing for a great service event, Netroots for the Troops to prepare care packages for those who are putting themselves into harms way as our nation has asked them to do.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bottoms UP


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

    Shhhh... don't anyone tell Sen. Cornyn how much Rob Jesmer sucks

    Rob Jesmer works for Sen. Cornyn. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but then again neither is Sen. Cornyn (the man with a hardon for ladies' firearms) which may explain why Cornyn hired him to send out inane emails like this one. Even the old, standard "let's beat up on the Democrat by calling him a librul" is just so goddamn tired I want to fall down right now and sleep.

    Really, Rob? This is the best you fucko's can come up with?

    You know, it's pointless talking about how many jobs will be created by this bill. Or how well Texas will do because of it. It's not even worth discussing the benefits to us all of arresting, then reversing, the carbon load in the atmosphere. Why bother even considering that this will help free us from dependence on foreign energy sources, saving us close to $1 TRILLION PER YEAR (and, coincidentally, defunding terrorism).

    Let's forget about all that because it's really a point by point refutation. Let's just look at one simple fact...


    This is, after all, one of the people who told us the Iraq Invasion would pay for itself. The same guy who has claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves. It's also the same idiot who has let the utility companies bleed Texans dry.

    Needless to say, as a real Texan would put it, your credibility (and that of your boss) is shot all to shit. I'd sooner believe Ralph Nader than John Cornyn, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    While you're good and irritated, go throw Rick a few bucks.

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

    The Convention Post We Can No Longer Avoid

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

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

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

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

    Cheese Anyone?

    So! Let's go ahead for the good of our country, or possibly just my peace of mind, and cut it out with the "Bathtub Cheese?" With Bush running this country into the ground as it is we have enough to deal with without consuming questionable dairy products that are manufactured in bathtubs....JaNo?!?

    Be a "normal" American, buy Kraft Cheese from HEB and avoid tuberculosis.

    Thank You!

    Posted by Lovelie99 at 12:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2008

    Thank you, Hillary!

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

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

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

    TXDOT, Tolls and riding off into the Sunset

    Some interesting things floating 'round the sphere...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hava goodun!

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

    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

    In 1976 people were seriously talking about the extinction of the Republican Party. The Democrats had made huge gains in Congress following the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, and the future of caretaker President Gerald Ford was bleak. With the American people weary of Republican corruption, incompetence and crisis, the stage seemed set for an era of Democratic dominance.

    Then a funny thing happened. The Democrats nominated someone who was not part of the Washington scene, a folksy peanut farmer from Georgia who promised a new kind of politics. That candidate, Jimmy Carter, won narrowly, and his Administration went on to become one of the most disastrous in our history. Inexperienced in dealing with (a supposedly friendly) Congress, Carter floundered as economic and energy problems went unaddressed, detente with the Soviet Union slipped away, and the US suffered the stunning humiliation of the seizure of our embassy in Tehran by goons and the taking of our diplomats as hostages. And so four years later here came Reagan to dismantle the New Deal.

    Sadly, it seems like the Democratic Party's taste for self-immolation is still unsated. It now seems unlikely that the "superdelegates" will actually do their duty and prevent the nomination of our least-qualified candidate since William Jennings Bryan. (Look him up... he was another windbag with a famous speech.) Well, if that's what you kiddos want, have at it. But as for me, I've seen this movie. And it sucked.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Unity Party

    Looks like we are all part of the Unity Party now.


    We need a slogan.

    UP with People?

    UP yours, Bush?

    UP to no good? UP a creek without a paddle? What's UP, doc?

    I'm UP to here with all the folks running for national delegate? (did I say that?)

    See yall UP at the bloggers caucus on Thursday. Or, check back here for more bitching, whining and moaning about how "this is our time" and "what did Hillary do wrong?".

    I am UPset.

    Posted by at 12:30 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    June 03, 2008

    In which we endorse...

    Much like everyone else in Austin, we're endorsing Laura Morrison for City Council, Place Four.


    We can't say the same about her opponent, Cid Galindo. This little bit makes it very clear. You'll also notice this at the end...

    Morrison said residents have been getting push-poll phone calls — in which callers ask a question and then push a particular point of view — that are critical of her. Galindo said his campaign placed calls asking residents only whom they plan to vote for.

    Carl Tepper, president of the Small Business Group of Austin, said his group has placed calls asking voters if they're aware of Morrison's stance on the energy upgrades.

    Carl Tepper, it just so happens, is a Republican. Which is interesting since he's using his time and resources campaigning in a non-partisan race against a Democrat. It's also interesting since Galindo has made a big deal about being independent. Which, of course, naturally makes us wonder why a Republican would expend time and resources supporting Galindo. After watching our former Republican electeds screw things up, not to mention the ones currently in office, this an absolute deal killer for us.

    No, we're not at that point where we can afford to let even one Republican in. Right now, the only thing they are good at is mucking things up.

    The Statesman basically said Galindo was a single issue candidate. That issue is density which, as you know, we support. However, there have to be limits for it work and having a council member focused narrowly on high cost housing in the central city ignores the very real needs of the city as a whole (which does, for those who don't realize it, extend beyond SoCo/SoLa and Midtown). We love his plan to build town centers to the north and east, but that's already happening without him.

    While we'd absolutely adore having mass transit everywhere, it's not reality and won't be for a decade or more. That means we need roads and a rational traffic plan to alleviate our current choke points. Morrison, at least, has some solid ideas on things to do NOW with an eye on what needs to happen in the future. Galindo is focused on changing where people live which will take a lot of time and depends on infrastructure that does not yet exist. Needless to say, we're going with better ideas.

    And the better candidate. We urge you to support Laura Morrison in this race.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Will she or won't she?

    Here's the obligatory link to the news... Whether it's tonight or this week, it seems likely Clinton's out. Which shatters my belief in justice, truth and the strange idea that the seemingly impossible can happen (or is real).

    Which means I'm also fucked on the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and Environmentalist Republicans (which I'm convinced exist). Not to mention that whole winning the lottery plan which, up until now, has been my retirement strategy. And yes, I do underwrite loans for a living.

    So, what's next? Some think that both Clinton and Obama may be here this weekend for the convention. Others, like me are PISSED AS HELL because now EVERYONE is going to be running as an Obama delegate. Which means delegate selection will be ENDLESS. Which, in turn, will delay my arrival at a bar of my choosing. While I won't be running for national, I will be voting so, a word to the wise, if you're in SD 14 KEEP.IT.SHORT.

    I'm very persuasive and will shit can the first person who goes over 60 seconds. Seriously, who are you, why do you want this, and what will you do when you return. That's what we need to know. Anything more is ego masturbation and an automatic 'I hate you'. We also won't tell you where we're going to drink which will mean you'll be forced to enjoy Bennigan's on Riverside. BY YOUR SELF.

    Finally, I'm not particularly glad this is over. I still have serious doubts about Sen. Obama in the general. That doesn't mean I won't vote for him or that I don't think he's a swell guy. However, I do have doubts about whether he's mean enough. Many of you out there are true believers. Take some time to convince me.

    And do it without using the words 'hope' or 'change'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    All roads lead to Alaska

    Spencer Abraham is our former Secretary of Energy. While at the Department, Spencer spent a lot of time thinking about energy alternatives. A LOT of time which frankly would have been better spent drinking in a bar. I mean, really, he was sober while working and this is what he came up with...

  • We should drill in Alaska

  • We should start a development program for hydrogen fuel cells (we get hydrogen from natural gas and oil, but no one told Spencer that... they told him they were cracking it out of water. AND HE BELIEVED THEM)

  • Corn based ethanol. The same corn based ethanol we've been subsidizing since Jimmy Carter. And biodiesel made from soya. Making gas out of food sure seemed like a good idea at the time

  • We should drill in Alaska
  • I heard all this yesterday when Abraham was inexplicably interviewed by Bloomberg TV about the rise in energy prices. It would seem that the corpulent rat (not unlike Templeton from Charlotte's Web) has started his own energy 'advisory' firm, The Abraham Group LLC. Please feel free to click the link and let me know if you notice what I noticed.

    Yeah, it's surprising that he'd have so many pictures of himself with... President Bush. I think he may have a crush on him. It's certain he knows more about sucking up to our retarded Commander in Chief than he does about rational energy policy and investment. And his number one, super brilliant idea for curing our current high energy prices is...drilling in Alaska.

    And you already know what we think about that brill idea. Of course, it may explain his lack of strategic partners and clients. See, in the real world, you actually have to COMPETENT at your job. Not just be loyal to an asshole from Texas.

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

    June 02, 2008

    Pants for the Homeless!

    One of the things I love about Austin is that the second you step out of your house you put yourself at the mercy of this weird city. You can just never tell what is going to happen or who you are going to meet. There are those who actually go looking for Austin's weirdest, and we all know 6th Street after dark is a great place to indulge. But why fight for parking or wait in line at a bar when you can simply travel down Congress Avenue before noon on a Sunday and get everything you are looking for!! (Or NOT) So the story is this: Sunday morning about eleven I had to run to work for a minute and then decided to have lunch with a friend. Normally I would not suggest lunch downtown because parking and traffic are crazy but it was a quiet Sunday morning and I thought "why not?" So there we are, looking for parking, and we noticed an obviously homeless man on the opposite corner. He is in his early forties, tall, pulling a small metal cart full of god knows what behind him; a pretty typical looking downtown resident who would not have otherwise stood out but for the huge lengthwise tear in his pajama pants. It really wasn't a big deal but unfortunate that his pants were such a mess. While we waited at the light he started to cross the street and about half way across he decided to adjust his britches. And that's when it happened - the torn pajama pants were ALL that he was wearing because he adjusted "himself" right out of his pants. OUT OF HIS PANTS!!! Right there in the middle of Congress Avenue in front of GOD and EVERYONE. There it was, and all anyone could do was stare. SO that's where I came up with my idea for a "Pants for the Homeless" campaign. I mean we give "Coats to Kids," and in my opinion this is just as worthy a cause. No homeless person in Austin should have to walk around with their ding-dong hanging out! I intend to make this my very own charity commitment for the year and I invite you all to join. Keep Austin children warm and Austin homeless in their pants. Please!

    Posted by Lovelie99 at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    ...And sometimes, the press is REALLY stupid

    Here's a dreadful piece of journalism from R. A. Dyer of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He leaves out...

    1) Deregulation has failed Texas consumers
    2) The excuses, regarding fuel costs, are irrelevant. If the standards to market entry are set so low that retailers end up being financially unable to manage their businesses (and, you know, HEDGE THEIR RISK) then clearly there is something wrong.
    3) This is related to excessive speculation in the energy market coupled with the decline in the dollar which is setting prices high for ALL natgas, even that produced domestically since we don't produce enough to meet domestic demand.
    4) The cheapest, most dependable electricity in the state is in two markets, SA Metro and Austin Metro. Neither deregulated.
    5) The price spikes are clearly indicative of market manipulation.

    Dyer, if you're going to write about something at least learn about it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 01, 2008

    Stupid Person of the Week : Tara Setmayer

    I woke up early on Sunday (well, for me anyway) and, while flipping through the guide, saw KLRU had on a program called To The Contrary.

    Truly, it's an insipid little show with shallow analysis from people who clearly don't really understand the subject matter. Take 'Conservative Commentator' Tara Setmayer. No, really TAKE HER. What? You don't want her? Damn. I guess we'll just have to spend some time pointing out where baby got something wrong.

    When asked a question about flextime, Tara attempted to answer the question... by discussing how airlines almost went out of business due to 'high retirement costs'. Bonnie Eber, the ridiculous host on loan from usnews.com, mentioned that 'while it may have been the case years ago, oil is really driving the margin squeeze now'. Tara agreed in general with that but pointed out they were 'just recovering from the pension issues and then oil prices hit them'.

    How many times do you think we're going to have to do this? When the Republicans, as part of Kemp-Roth in 1981 if I remember correctly, allowed companies to change their pension calculations to basically anticipate a higher rate of return, it set events in motion that were destined to create problems for retirees. At the time, the rate was set low for expected returns, far lower in fact than the US 30 Year Treasury. So they changed things to allow companies to anticipate a return based ON the 30 Year Treasury. Which meant their current liabilities were actually much lower.

    Basically, let's say I agree to pay you $100 per year from age 65 until you die (you're 35 now). Actuaries would tell me I need to start putting away money so that I can pay you from the income on that money, plus the principle. Ideally, it would be great if you'd die before 65, but since you probably won't, the actuaries will tell me that I need to put away around $17 per year now in order to give you the $100 per year until you die (which the actuaries tell me should be around 85) assuming I get a return of 5% on my money. Yes, I COULD get away with around $12 per year, but there are no guarantees that you'll die right at 85. So, I'll consider my over contribution 'insurance'.

    I'll also hope like hell you die before 85 since if you do I get to pocket the remaining money after a pittance payout to your survivors.

    Now, I'm 'overcontributing' to the plan because I'm cautious and smart. For years, this was how pensions worked in the US with rational people making rational decisions. Then came the Reagan Revolution which thoroughly screwed up pensions.

    Now, back to where everything went off the rails... In the early 80's, companies were struggling to put enough into their pensions because of the anticipated payouts to WW2 era retirees (which was essentially an actuarial time bomb) and the fact that their investments had not grown much. So they went to Congress and there was singular moron Jack Kemp, ready and willing to cut them a break. His solution? They could dramatically increase their expected rate of return. Which means that to cover the liabilities they didn't need to invest as much money up front. This meant they could realize more profit and, because of performance related compensation plans, more money would be paid to top management.

    It's not that management did a good job. The companies didn't really make any more money. They just changed their accounting and suddenly their profits went up (and so did pay to ineffective management teams ). Fast forward to 2001 when pensions were seriously starting to get burdened with retirees (SOME boomers and the WW2 generation that simply wasn't dying fast enough) and then, the stock market crashes (not to mention the next time bomb, the retirement of the boomers). If they'd put away what they were supposed to, it wouldn't be a problem. Now they have a massive pension short fall. The culprit is, of course, not bad management and those who came before that management, it's all those greedy retirees. The same folks who allowed you take money out of their paycheck for their pensions every single month. What to do?

    Well, if you're an airline, you declare bankruptcy. And you also pay your management bonuses of more than $100 mn. The best part, which Capitalista Setmayer failed to mention? The bankruptcy wiped out all those pesky shareholders!

    There were four other women on this program. NONE OF THEM EVEN BOTHERED TO SET HER STRAIGHT.

    I now have a better understanding of why Democrats can't get ahead on the pure economic debate. They aren't smart enough to contradict the retarded things the Republicans say.

    What's wrong with you people?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack