June 29, 2010

Country FAIL

Two things crossed my path today... this from Bob Herbert

The June 28 cover story of Time magazine is headlined, “The Broken States of America.” As I’ve mentioned here several times, the states are facing a catastrophic fiscal situation that is short-circuiting essential services, pushing even more people out of work, and undermining the feeble national economic recovery.

As Time reported: “Schools, health services, libraries — and the salaries that go with them — are all on the chopping block as states and cities face their worst cash squeeze since the Great Depression.”

We are submitting to this debacle with the same pathetic lack of creativity and helpless mind-set that now seems to be the default position of Americans in the 21st century. We have become a nation that is good at destroying things — with wars overseas and mind-bogglingly self-destructive policies here at home — but that has lost sight of how to build and maintain a flourishing society. We’re dismantling our public school system and, incredibly, attacking our spectacularly successful system of higher education, which is the finest in the world.

How is it possible that we would let this happen?

We’ve got all kinds of sorry explanations for why we can’t do any of the things we need to do. The Democrats can’t get 60 votes in the Senate. Our budget deficits are too high. Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck might object.

Meanwhile, the greatness of the United States, which so many have taken for granted for so long, is steadily slipping away.

In an economic environment that is the worst since the Great Depression (and still only marginally better than that) WHY THE FUCK ARE WE EVEN HAVING A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE FEDS SHIFTING MONEY TO THE STATES?

Forget partisanship and bickering. Forget the damn debt. This is not an issue about which there should be any damn debate. This is the United States and, frankly, there isn't any problem we can't cover. And this is an EASY one! So, why is everyone playing politics with it?

Then I saw this piece

Barack H. Obama seems to be following W’s footsteps. He has failed — twice — to is rise to an occasion of great import. In the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, he has “wasted a good crisis” — for the second time. The financial collapse was a grand opportunity to undo three decades of misguided decision-making and radical deregulation. He chose to focus on . . . Health Care.

Now, we have another crisis — the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster. And yet again, we see another missed opportunity. The Oval Office speech last week was just that — a speech, filled with platitudes and mere words. Where was the challenge, the sense of national need, the urgency? It was the same tired energy speech [3] that, as The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has pointed out, every single president since Nixon [4] has given.

For the greatest orator of his generation, our president appears to be lacking in imagination.

What's so infuriating about this is that it reinforces the perceived weakness of Democrats. You can be thoughtful and appear decisive at the same time.

Yes, Mr. President, it is possible. And no, you don't have to dress in cowboy drag a la W to do it.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2010

Things that make me happy

  • Dr. McLeroy lost
  • Betty Brown lost
  • Borris Miles beat Al Edwards. Again.
  • Hank Gilbert won... like we knew he would. And Kinky is, honestly, being supportive.
  • One thing and this is purely directed at you folks in CD 22 ... KESHA ROGERS? She's a Larouchebag!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 03, 2010

    KBH Circling the Drain?

    BOR notes (as do many others) that Kay Bailey Hutchison is losing ground in her race to win the TexGOP goobernatorial nod from Governor For Life Rick Perry. Most interesting is that Senator Aging Barbie seems to be shedding likely voters to Calhounatic fruitcake Debra Medina, the sweetheart of the Ron Paul crowd. Guess it's a good thing Kay didn't quit her day job.

    Especially lucky are Texas Democrats, since if KBH had resigned her US Senate seat Bill White would still be running against John Sharp and a potential cast of thousands to replace her and the leading contenders going into Monday's Democratic debate could well have been Farouk Shami and Kinky Friedman. While that matchup might not have been lacking in entertainment value, it would have been a gruesome scenario for the TDP, still struggling for relevance after a decade and a half in the statewide political wilderness. Probably not entertaining enough, though, for San Antonio TV station KSAT to have shown it live, bumping The Bachelor.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 14, 2009

    When You Lie Down With Dogs

    No one was happier than I was when Hank Gilbert entered the Democratic Primary for the gubernatorial nomination. Tom Schieffer, the semi-official candidate of what passes for the Texas Democratic Establishment, struck me as possessing all the charisma of Chris Bell taking a nap, making very real the awful prospect of getting stuck with D-List buffoon Kinky Friedman as our nominee and an automatic four more years of Governor For Life Goodhair. At last we had a guy who really seemed up to the job of kicking Rick Perry's sorry ass down Congress Avenue.

    So I suppressed my initial cynical thought "I guess Ag Commish wasn't really the only job he wanted after all", applauded instead, even made a donation that I really couldn't afford. But... what should land in my inbox a few days ago but this fascinating communique...


    TUESDAY: Hank Gilbert, TURF, and American Stewards Of Liberty Officials will be available via conference call to discuss the "death" of the Trans Texas Corridor and potential taxpayer liability

    TYLER-Hank Gilbert will be available, along with leaders from Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and American Stewards of Liberty (formerly the American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range) to discuss the demise of TTC-35 and potential taxpayer liability related to the state's contract termination with Cintra-Zachry.

    WHO: Hank Gilbert, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Texas; Dan and Margaret Byfield, American Stewards of Liberty (formerly the American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range); Terri Hall, Texans Uniting For Reform and Freedom (TURF) [NOTE: Mrs. Hall's availability is subject to change]

    WHAT: Phone-in Press Conference, Media Q&A Session

    WHEN: Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 12:00 P.M. CST

    HOW: Participants must dial into the conference call as follows:


    Now, for a lot of people, Hank Gilbert included, the Trans Texas Corridor has been a Great Satan. Me, not so much. Oh, to be sure, I figured that anything the governor wanted so bad probably couldn't be good thing. But I just never really bought into the menace of a concrete Gargantua, sixteen football fields wide straight as an arrow from the Gulf of California to wherever the hell it supposed to be going; Rick Perry as the unholy spawn of Ozymandias and William Tecumseh Sherman, not so much. I figured that the TTC, like fluoride in the water, like broccoli, might turn out to not be quite as horrible as predicted. And who knows, it might not even really happen.

    Well, who would have guessed it, the TTC was pronounced dead last week. Which you'd think would be Good News except apparently it's bad news if a big part of your message has been fighting the TTC... kind of like how all the professional anticommunists who had flourished under Reagan weren't all that happy about having to find new gigs after the Evil Empire landed in History's Out Box. So Hank Gilbert is one of those proclaiming the project as The Thing That Wouldn't Die. Fine, that's his opinion, he can argue his case as he sees it. But his cohorts mentioned in the press advisory, I have to ask: Who ARE those guys?

    The website of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (that's TURF for those who can stomach cutesy acronyms) identifies it as a grassroots group. Of course, these days that's a claim made by just about everyone smaller than Microsoft. Maybe a clearer picture of just who TURF is can be found by visiting their links page. It's certainly no surprise to find the libertarian/paulite Texas Toll Party front group, together with its local cells. A little bit more on the crazy side is the NAU War Room, "leading the fight" against that bête noire of the black helicopter crowd, the North American Union. If you've never heard of it, they have a video of Tom Tancredo who will edjumacate you all about it. And then there's Habeas Corpus Canada the lonely project of an activist who "is preparing legal proceedings in Habeas Corpus to halt the annexation of Canada to the United States." (Anybody got Orly Taitz's cell number?}

    The American Stewards Of Liberty is a little harder to pin down, since it's a merger of two groups and they haven't finished construction on their new website. But we can get a taste from their "news service" Liberty Matters, which proclaims...

    One of the most critical elements of the Liberty Matters project, however, is its strong affiliation with major think-tanks such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. While these groups already compile and provide sound, credible public policy solutions and very effectively influence lawmakers and the major media, often these ideas do not reach the grassroots until the political opportunities have passed. As a result, these ideas do not get the kind of push and backing that only the grassroots can provide.

    In November 1994, the grassroots clearly demonstrated their political power by overloading the Capitol Switchboard more than once. The result was the shelving of every major piece of environmental legislation by the attachment of property rights amendments. By combining and coordinating the political strength of think-tanks and the grassroots on these issues, the political direction of this country will change.

    I expect that most readers of this blog need no introduction to the Heritage Foundation. The Competitive Enterprise Institute isn't as well known, in spite of actions like its campaign against the threat to civilization posed by World Car-Free Day.

    A few months ago Rick Perry came in for his share of criticism for speaking to the motley collection of tea baggers, birthers, and unaffiliated nuts at the Fox News-inspired Austin Tea Party. Texans should expect better of their political leaders than associating themselves with the crackpots and astroturfers of the lunatic fringe. And that holds true even if you're a Democrat.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    June 07, 2009

    A Cafeteria of Candidates

    Trying to figure out who is going to run for senator and governor on the Dems side is confusing. This person is too conservative, another too liberal, one too close to Bush, another has no name recognition, this one can’t raise money, one’s just too weird, another has too much baggage. On and on and on.

    Who’s the correct candidate?

    Well, there is one who is a Texas icon, serves our need for fiscal responsibility and a friend to working families on a limited budget, welcomes diversity, known all over the state, has a loyal base, steeped in the entrepreneurial spirit, currently on billboards all over the place, and a champion of fried foods and mac & cheese.

    Here’s hoping Lu Ann Platter throws in.

    Posted by Captain Kroc at 03:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 06, 2009

    Fiorina for Senate : Is this a joke?

    I seriously thought this might be a joke, but as it turns out it's true!

    We at McBlogger would like to go ahead and take a moment to offer our Congratulations to Senator Barbara Boxer on her now inevitable re-election in 2010.

    In other news, Hewlett-Packard employees are in the beginning stages of organizing a movement against failed former CEO Fiorina, known in Palo Alto as 'The Bitch Who Almost Destroyed Us'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 11, 2009

    Just what we need, Part 2...

    Oh, damn. NO.

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


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

    March 01, 2009

    The Ticket, 2010

    With the 'action' in the Lege creating the kind of excitement not seen since watching paint dry, it's little wonder that people have already begun to discuss the Democratic Ticket for 2010. My friends at BOR have been exceptionally busy with posts from both Phillip Martin and David Mauro who are doing yeoman's work to keep us all informed.

    Being an opinionated asshole, I just assumed you'd want to read my two cents.

    PhotobucketTom Scheiffer

    Scheiffer has some nice qualities. He's got a good foundation in the statewide business community, he's well known in Dallas and Fort Worth and he has some good cross party support from people who will be hard pressed in a matchup between him and Sen. Hairdo. His only apparent downside, right now at least, is that he was a friend, business partner and supporter of President Bush (the bad one). It'll be interesting to see how he handles issues related to that relationship. I'm keeping an open mind on this because while I loathe President Bush, I also remember that the SOB came within a hair of winning even Travis County in the 2000 election. In other words, a LOT of Democrats voted for Bush one or more of the times he was on the ballot. It's kind of hard to get pissed at someone for doing what a lot of other people did.

    Lt. Governor
    PhotobucketLeticia Van De Putte

    VDP, which is what we're going to call her (at least until she's a candidate), has a massive amount of support from the grassroots. While she has a name recognition issue, the rumors flying around are that if she runs, the money will be there to support her which will easily overcome that issue in the general. From my perspective, I don't want her in the Governors Mansion. I want her running the Senate.


    Anyone's guess. No one has announced and honestly, I can't think of anyone who would want to take on Comptroller Tall Bitch who can self-fund if needed, or at least that's what folks focus on. Which kind of amazes me because she's been a terrible Comptroller and her efforts in the office have yielded a massive loss of experienced personnel. In short, she's been a disaster for Texas taxpayers. We deserve far better.

    Attorney General
    PhotobucketRonnie Earle

    While we'd love nothing more than to see Sen. Watson make another go of it, he apparently wants to sit this one out. I've heard rumors (VERY unconfirmed) that Earle is interested in the race. The former Travis County District Attorney is well known for being a paragon of ethics who has at one time or another struck fear into the hearts of both Republican and Democratic officeholders. He also enjoys a solid conviction record for crimes committed in Travis County which gives him a lot of crossover appeal to law and order independents and Republicans. The only drawback that I can see (don't even bother saying his prosecution of Tom Delay will be a problem) is that as a campaigner he's mostly untested. Though he's been reelected for more than two decades, he's rarely faced a serious opponent.

    Agriculture Commissioner

    PhotobucketHank Gilbert

    Seriously, did you think it would be any body else? Most of you will remember I worked for Hank in 2006. His command of issues and politic savvy impressed me greatly during the run. He is one of the best natural politicians I've ever seen which is ironic since running for office is really the last thing he'd want to be doing. Still, he recognizes that the Ag Commission has been run very badly and is willing to put himself forward to lead it to better days. After his surprisingly strong showing in 2006, he's continued to build support statewide among Democrats and Republicans. He's also lead the fight against the TTC as a co-founder (along with Republican Terri Hall of San Antonio) of TURF, fulfilling a campaign promise.

    Hank has the unique advantage this cycle of being the one candidate in the primary that everyone seems to agree on.

    Land Commissioner

    This one is up for grabs. Obviously, with redistricting coming up, we need a strong candidate. While I've never been a big fan of Rep. Patrick Rose, he's been mentioned a number of times, as has Rep. Raymond.

    We're almost at the one year mark to the primaries. I'm sure there will be others who roll out and throw their hats into the ring. And we'll take a look at them. For now, and not to jinx anything, this is my Dream Team, which desperately needs to be filled out.

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

    February 14, 2009

    Tom Schieffer wants to run?

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

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

    February 11, 2009

    A duo for Dunbar

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

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

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

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