February 09, 2010

An AWESOME day at the DMN

Kinky and Hank had an ed board interview at the DMN. As you can guess, fun was had by all...Here are some outtakes from a very flawed synopsis

Friedman balked when he arrived and heard Gilbert was attending. He said he had not been told of the joint session. Editorial board staff told him it was written in a letter he had received.

Not for nothing, but reading is Teh Cool. Letters, especially. Oh, but there's so much more...

His counterpart showed up half an hour late. This left Friedman time to talk about following the "Hightower model," throw in some jabs at Gov. Rick Perry and use his latest line, "putting the culture back in agriculture."

Gilbert said he was delayed because he was feeding his cattle enough to last the six days he would be on the road.

This would make Hank look bad except for the failure to mention one thing... the DMN moved up the meeting by 30 minutes. Oh, and he did call ahead.

This is the closest the two will come to a debate. Despite Gilbert's demands for one, Friedman's campaign says he doesn't have room in his schedule.

Oh, so that's the excuse this week? Last week, it was that Kinky thought no one cared. Which was really funny since four organizations across the state have asked for debates. Hank really likes the opportunity to show that, at least with him, you don't need additional help. Because he knows the job and the Department it heads.

"I would find an expert that had integrity and shut up and get out of the way to let him work," Friedman said.

Mook. We already have an asshat named Staples who has done that. We'd really rather elect someone who could just, you know, DO THE DAMN JOB. Oh, and what the reporter with the DMN left off was that the expert with integrity that Kinky would hire was Hank Gilbert. No shit. Again, why pay Kinky to do a job that Hank can do better?

Of course, the DMN released their endorsement of Kinky. Read it if you don't believe me. Here are some highlights...

Gilbert knows agriculture issues in vastly greater depth than Friedman, but he would lead Texas in the wrong direction in key areas. One is a move away from globalization and toward protectionism for farm products. He says he is not a big fan of crop subsidies, yet he thinks Congress caved to foreign nations that complained Washington was propping up U.S. producers too much.

Gilbert, 50, of Whitehouse, also opposes key parts of the state water plan. He would take the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir off the table as a possible water source for the burgeoning Dallas-Fort Worth area. He would bank on a less-certain strategy of shipping in water from other regions and building massive desalinization plants to purify brackish water.

Friedman, 65, of Austin, doesn't get into such details. He says he'd hire experts to hash out policy so he could concentrate on being a spokesman for family farms and kindness to animals. That's not a great model for the job, but a better one than Gilbert proposes.

Forget, for a moment, the mischaracterization of Hank's position on global trade (he's for FAIR not FREE trade... I think we can all agree that the effect of free trade has been detrimental on balance to this country as we've seen GDP go up and wage growth stagnate). The issue is Hank's opposition to impounding, under water, 72,000 acres of productive land in East Texas. And what the DMN failed to mention is that the water district that covers Dallas is the most wasteful in the state.

Hank's position, which he made clear, was to enhance conservation and begin building desalinization plants capable of producing the water that Texas needs. For one thing, desertification is becoming a problem in Texas and rainfall more and more erratic. In point of fact, reservoirs are just not going to cut it. We need a better solution and pressure exchange desalinization is very cheap and very easy. Who knows, maybe our good buddy on the Ed Board William McKenzie just hasn't been keeping up with changes in technology.

This is all extremely funny when you contrast this endorsement of Kinky with what they wrote in their endorsement of Todd Staples in 2006...

With 11 years in the Texas Legislature, GOP Sen. Todd Staples of Palestine knows Austin better than his Democratic opponent, Hank Gilbert, a knowledgeable and articulate rancher. Mr. Staples' familiarity with Austin makes him the better voice for Texas' farmers and ranchers. They deserve a commissioner who knows agriculture but can also navigate Austin.

I point this piece out because of one thing... navigating Austin. Hank learned how to do that as a private citizen and was instrumental in killing the TTC and road privatization, something Todd Staples supported. Which pissed the DMN off because they fell for the line that we absolutely had to have tolls, at least until Hank rolled out HIS transportation plan in the fall and showed that, no you don't have to have tolls.

But here's the part that really caught my eye...

Mr. Staples, 43, served on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, where he has helped set up groundwater districts to better manage aquifers. We'd like to see him actively overhaul the law that allows landowners to pump as much water as they like, but he's versed enough in water issues that he can help the state balance its growing water demands. By contrast, Mr. Gilbert seemed more skeptical about developing reservoirs that would help big cities like Dallas.

Mr. Gilbert, 46, also shuns the Trans-Texas Corridor, citing how much acreage it would take out of production. Mr. Staples is more realistic about the state needing to balance its transportation and agricultural demands.

He's got a better idea than reservoirs and, as in 2006, the DMN is turning a deaf ear. In 2006 they also said that Staples was more realistic on transportation issues and it turned out that no, Hank was the one who was right all along.

At least I'm not the only one puzzled by the endorsement...check here, here and here for starters. And check here for yet another endorsement of Hank.

Of course, what else should I expect from a paper that endorsed George W. Bush. Twice.

Yep, I'm working for Hank. And yes, the authors on McBlogger are unanimous in their support for him as well.

Posted by mcblogger at February 9, 2010 01:19 AM

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