July 23, 2010

Whiney McWhinerson

Looks like the information we got last week about Sleazy Staples trying to recast for the role of a lifetime, that of Whiney McWhinerson, was spot on.

The DMN did this piece about how nasty the race for Ag Commissioner has become. Staples, through his minions since he's too much of a chickenshit to talk to a reporter, apparently thinks this is all just really too mean...

"I've been dong this for almost 30 years, and I've never seen a campaign as libelous and slanderous," said Bryan Eppstein, Staples' campaign consultant.

Really, Bryan? You sure you want to go there? After all, Staples, BEFORE THE PRIMARY ELECTION (it was in February in Tyler, wasn't it Bryan?), was shoveling dirt on Hank. What Staples didn't anticipate was that Hank's a man and owns his past, mistakes and all. Including one bad check from 10 years ago. BTW, Bryan, HALF THE STATE HAS A BOUNCED CHECK AT SOME POINT IN THE PAST YEARS. Mistakes like that are THE reason banks offer overdraft protection. So, not for nothing, but are you sure you want to piss up the leg of half the electorate?

Staples has also been upset about Hank's pointing out that he spent campaign funds on a personal vehicle, which all available evidence points to. Staples says there was a campaign car and the one he bought for himself which he currently drives. So far, we only have proof of the campaign car. If there isn't documentation on a second car, why is Staples lying about it? And why spend so much time talking about how you've been personally maligned when, so far, no one has mentioned your giant freak head, effeminate manner or, in general, goofiness? The public isn't going to feel sorry for Staples, he's just not a sympathetic character.

If anything, I'm kinda disappointed Hank isn't getting personal with Staples.

Hank, instead, has yet to say anything about Staples personal life or even his past business dealings. Yet Staples is squealing about every traffic ticket Hank's received. Hank is sticking, perfectly, to limiting his criticism to Staples professionally, all of which is valid even if Sleazy Staples might be a little peeved about being taken to task for his failure. All Staples has done is run from his responsibilities as Commissioner, and throw others under the bus. Like an inspector (and TDH) in the case of the Plainview peanut disaster.

So that was early in the week... then there was ANOTHER very well researched piece on Connected Nation, Sleazy Staples effort to give the telecom industry a handjob with taxpayer money. Here's the money shot...

"It's a scandal, a total scandal," said Art Brodsky, communications director of Public Knowledge, a public interest group that follows digital culture. A longtime critic of Connected Nation, Brodsky has tracked the nonprofit since Kentucky officials accused it of overestimating broadband availability several years ago. The agency that grew into Connection Nation started there in 2001.

Brodsky said nondisclosure agreements make it difficult to see who really benefits from the mapping process.

PD has more here.

The truly ironic thing about Staples and his blistering incompetence is that he's, accidentally, stumbled upon the plan of national Republicans to make it appear that government simply can't function. The only problem, for Staples, is that government can't really function because he's too much of a mook to make it work. There are some amazing people at TDA who are competent and capable. Staples, clearly, is the one holding them back and making us less safe on a daily basis.

Think about that the next time you bite into a burger.

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May 07, 2010

It's quite a lot for those narrow, feminine shoulders

39% has had a pretty rough time lately for a variety of reasons that all revolve around a central theme... for years he's not had to monitor what he says or does in any way. Now, everyone is so sick of his act they're observing everything he does and they find most (if not all) of it, well, lacking.

Take his comment that the spill in the Gulf was an act of God and that we shouldn't rush to judgment. So far, no one is panicking about offshore drilling, especially when you consider that the safety systems have worked pretty damn well so far, not to mention that there are more than 3800 platforms in the Gulf that don't leak (well, at least not like this one). The issue is, this time safety features didn't work and just this one, minor, 5,000 bbl/day leak is causing a massive disaster. Even that wouldn't be a huge deal except for one thing... it's really closer to 200,000 bbl/day and is under tremendous pressure. This is the thing that people like 39% will never get, that offshore drilling is incredibly dangerous not only to people but to the environment. Now we have an open hole in the floor of the Gulf, spewing out raw crude at pressures that we clearly have problems controlling. It's like trying to control the flow from a firehouse with a thimble.

The issue for those of us living in the real world is that this was always bound to happen and blaming God for it is just like a lifetime hard drinker finally developing cirrhosis at 86 and blaming it on God. Given that it's happened, we need to do everything we can to refine safety plans and contingency plans. Frankly, BP's response to this has been pretty weak. We also need to look at real alternatives because, ecological disaster aside, at some point there's just not going to be any more to pump up. Further, BP needs to pay for the lack of safety...nationalization of BP's American assets should not be taken off the table. We could liquidate those assets and use the proceeds for the remediation that will be required into the foreseeable future.

But back to 39%... he also shot a coyote last week near his rental manse in Westlake. This one really gets me because, well, you usually just scare off a coyote unless you're running cattle in which case you shoot the coyote lest it cause problems for the herd. 39% has no cows, at least not at his taxpayer funded rental mansion in Westlake. So, we have to ask, WTF... and who the hell goes jogging with a damn gun? OTHER THAN people who live in the Bronx? Is 39% just the ultimate chickenshit, scared of his own shadow?

Then there was Leo Berman's decision to announce he'll be filing a bill to double to food prices in Texas. He expected 39%'s support but, instead, 39% kinda crapped all over Leo.

More bad weeks like this and Bill White's star keeps getting brighter.

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April 14, 2010

Dialing Back The Crazy Just A little

It looks like Republican voters opted for the saner choice in yesterday's primary runoff. I don't want it to sound like I'm a Debra Lehrmann fan, but Rick Green is about as qualified to be a Texas Supreme Court Justice as I am to shill for nutritional supplements.

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February 26, 2010

Carpetbaggers and NARCs Oh My

While the bloodletting in the Democratic primary this year hasn't gone much beyond treating Jan Patterson like a rented mule, the same isn't true on the GOP side. Getting the most attention of course is the Perry/Hutchison/Medina cage match for governor, but the ballot also includes a rather nasty race in HD 47. In Southwest Travis County Paul Workman and Holly Turner are duking it out to see which of them gets the chance to lose to Valinda Bolton this November.

Now I'll admit that for a while I really didn't pay much attention to this contest. In fact, when Holly Turner's 4x8's first started popping up, I thought they were advertising a new realtor, or maybe a cosmetologist, to judge from the vivid shade of lipstick on display. But then the mailers started landing.

Once again, I wasn't paying too much attention. After all, my voting history shows a pretty consistent turnout as a D, but I figured as long as the Republicans wanted to throw their money away they were welcome to do it. But as i carried them on the short journey from the mailbox to the recycling bin I did notice that both candidates seemed to be more concerned with sending some kind of message to Washington than they were about any Texas issues. Typical of these was this one from Turner, all wound up about her kid growing up in a land crushed by debt.


image descriptionNow I've blown up the box of terrifying financial numbers from the corner of that mailer so we can all cower in fear at the evil legacy-to-be of Comrade Obama and the Dummycrat Congress. (And if you can't trust the Heritage Foundation's take on this, who can you trust?} Next I'll pose a little civics-related question to the candidate: How much influence does a member of the Texas House have over the federal deficit or the national debt? Oooh, that would be zero.

Things got more interesting when Workman quit talking about how important Voter ID was and blasted Turner's residency status:


(Quick sidebar: how do we immediately know this is a republican mailer? That's right, both babies are white.)


Workman's contention is that Turner has lived for some time in Fort Worth and rented an apartment here for the sole purpose of running for office. Turner, however, claims on her website to be just a regular ol' local gal:

Holly was raised in the Hill Country and she shares our values: less government, lower taxes, and more individual freedom.

Now, it has been stated elsewhere (like that first mailer I posted) that "Holly Turner grew up 38 miles from here in Seguin, Texas." Umm, Holly, last time I was in Seguin, it struck me as being pretty flat. And in fact it looks like it was left off the list of places in the Hill Country.

(Poor thing. Not too clear on federalism, shaky on geography. I'm starting to understand that lipstick.)

But wait, there's more.

She believes that more people need to be taking care of themselves, not relying on the government. And that government needs to serve the people – not the other way around.

So government should serve the people, but people shouldn't expect anything from the government. Logic? Fugeddaboutit!

Yes, in case you're wondering, Holly Turner is a Tea Partier, at least if we can infer anything from the Meetup Groups she's joined. (Remember Meetup.com, the social networking juggernaut that propelled Howard Dean into the White House?) Well, bless her heart.

In case voters didn't get Workman's point, he sent out another blast a few days later touting his attack website www.hollydoesnotlivehere.com where he rolls out the C-Word...


Well, which C-Word were you expecting?

CARPETBAGGERS, if you'll remember from history class, were the Northerners who came down to the South around the end of the American Civil War. Their sole purpose was to hoodwink the Southerners — to take advantage, impose their ways and force themselves into political power.

If you've done any reading since history class about Reconstruction, you might have come across the interesting fact that one other thing those hoodwinking carpetbaggers did, as part of taking advantage, imposing their ways and forcing themselves into political power, was help found the Texas Republican Party... whose nomination Mr. Workman now seeks.

The latest to hit my mailbox has come not from Holly Turner per se, but rather on her behalf...


(We know this will be trustworthy because would a bald eagle lie?)

image descriptionThat's right, folks, Paul Workman is NOT (cue creepy music) A Real Conservative because in the past he has donated to "ultra left wing liberals" like Dawnna Dukes and Pete Laney. No wonder the tea party-inspired Conservatives In Action PAC of Terrell, Texas has the vapors.

(Just a damn minute... Terrell? More carpetbaggers? Bubba, lemme git ma shotgun!)

Will there be more salvos in this mail bombardment? Still a few to go before Election Day. Kepp 'em coming, folks, keep 'em coming.


image descriptionPlease Mister Postman look and see

If there's a mailer on the truck for me

What should come today but a rejoinder from Holly Turner, repeating the same shocking accusations as her Terrell carpetbagger amigos.Workman funds the campaigns of Travis County's most liberal Democrats!

image descriptionTravis County liberals like... Kirk Watson... Mina Brees... Dawnna Dukes... Pete Laney... John Sharp... Patrick Rose... Uhhh Holly? Pete Laney? Patrick Rose? They're not from Travis County. And honestly, they're not all that liberal. Geography, civics, logic: Holly's trifecta of Fail.

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February 23, 2010

I Guess It's Time We Endorsed Someone For Governor

It's Bill White.


Texas Democrats have long needed a candidate at the top of the ticket who combines real political skills with the ability to raise serious amounts of money. Bill White is such a candidate. He has been running a positive campaign, talking about the real needs our state faces. Hopefully he can continue in that vein through November and then implement those plans, working with the Legislature next session.

Mr White's one serious primary opponent, Farouk Shami has demonstrated little knowledge of how politics actually works or what powers the governor has. All he has really brought to the table is an open checkbook. Unfortunately for his campaign, even piles of cash can't compensate when the candidate would be better suited for President of Freedonia.

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February 20, 2010

Endorsement : Commissioner of Agriculture

Nothing better explains the rationale for our endorsement of Hank Gilbert over Kinky Friedman than two of Friedman's recent screw ups...

When he reaches the General Election in November, Friedman plans to pull a skeleton out of Staples’ closet that he hopes will serve as the incumbent’s death knell.

“Not many people are aware that Todd Staples wrote the original bill for the Trans-Texas Corridor in the Texas Senate in 2005,” he revealed. "How’s that going to sit with the voters when that comes out?”BCC

Actually, the bill was HB 3588. Staples wasn't the author, FORMER Rep. Mike Krusee was but Staples was on the Senate Committee (as the chair) that sent it to the floor. He also voted for it. And it was 2003, not 2005. Hank knows all this because this was the bill that created the legal framework for the TTC and CDA's. He's been fighting it for years while Kinky has been MIA.

Then there's this. Hank would have landed this attack because he not only knows what really happened, he knows exactly where Staples screwed up. Take, for instance, his decision to take on Staples over cutting the TDA budget for meals provided to the elderly and disabled or his decision to hit Staples for joining AG Abbott and 39% on their ridiculous suit against the EPA, a key point of which the state climatologist affirmed. When Hank throws a punch, it lands and breaks teeth.

The reality is that you have to know something about the office not only to run it, but to win it. Hank does. Which reminds of me Kinky's ridiculous assertion that he'll just hire experts and get out of the way (who does that remind you of) which naturally begs the question... if Hank can do the job with out all these extra people, why the hell do we need Kinky?

Of course, I'm not the only one seeing this. There's more here, here and BOR has their endorsement along with a number of the reasons why Kinky is just unacceptable.

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February 18, 2010

Ugh, the mail...

There is literally nothing I love about primary season. For one thing, it's a chance for some asshat wannabe to run for office and screw around with the candidate who can actually, you know, WIN IN NOVEMBER. But what I REALLY hate, with the heat and intensity of the accretion disk of a black hole, about primaries are the mailers. Seriously, I get it but could we please keep them to a postcard format? Do they really need to be the size of damn place setting? Case in point, the oversize piece of shit I got from Scott Field who is running for a seat on the Third Court of Appeals. When I first saw it, I glanced at the logo and the obligatory pic of him with the family in a field of bluebonnets (it do SCREAM Texas, don't it) and thought (no joke) 'Uh, moron... is anyone running against you? Why the hell are sending out mail in the primary?'

I then shoved it in my bag and pulled it out just now while searching for a credit card bill. This time I took a little more notice of it and realized two things.

1) Scott has a hella bad stupidcut. Scott, if you're listening, the lady who cuts my hair is Amy Tsai. You shoot me an email and I'll throw you her number.

2) SCOTT IS A REPUBLICAN. Running against Melissa Goodwin for the REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR THE SEAT. This jumped out at me because I'm not a Republican.

Seriously, Scott, whoever did your mail sucks ass. You spent money sending a campaign piece to a quad D. I would have crawled into Randalls yesterday on a leg that had just broken as the result of a tragic accident involving me, a dump truck and Charo to vote early in the Democratic Primary. Which brings me to the point of this little post... if you're a Republican within one of the counties that make up the Third Court of Appeals, VOTE FOR MELISSA GOODWIN. At least she wasn't dumb enough to send a damn mail piece to me.

Oh, and just FYI... Kurt Kuhn is going to win this seat. You may as well give up now.

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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.

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November 22, 2009

Hank Gilbert : The Future

Bob Moser wrote this piece in the Texas Observer a few weeks ago, a real change from his earlier opinion that Hank was a nobody with no real business in a race for Governor.

The state’s long-suffering progressives, on the other hand, have been staring at next year’s elections — if they’re not averting their eyes, unable to look — and seeing a big old pile of nothing. What leftie in her right mind is going to do cartwheels over the so-called leading Democratic contenders for governor, Tom “George W.” Schieffer and Kinky “Book Tour” Friedman? Or the Democratic contenders for the imaginary U.S. Senate seat, John “Who the Hell?” Sharp and Mayor Bill “What’s the Opposite of Charismatic” White?

But one Democrat running for governor is showing flashes of actual (gasp!) progressive life. Last week Hank Gilbert, the anti-toll road activist and rancher who ran for Agriculture Commissioner in 2006, burst out with a clarion call to combat anti-gay discrimination in Texas. Among other things, Gilbert called for the state to recognize same-sex unions, for universities to recognize domestic partnerships, and for the state to make it easier for transgender folks to change their gender on birth certificates and drivers’ licenses.

“Just because some people see this as controversial or say that Texas isn’t ready for this,” Gilbert said, “is not a reason I can use to justify remaining silent on the issue.”

Dear God, can this be true? A Democrat with guts? This is highly irregular, people. Texans are used to Republicans swinging for the ideological fences and paying no political price for even the wildest swings. But Texas Democrats? Pure-T wusses.
More than anything, Gilbert’s moves show that there’s at least one Texas Democrat with the basic good sense to understand that you don’t win elections without giving people something to vote for. The days when mealy-mouthed, money-soaked DINOS (Democrats In Name Only) like Lloyd Bentsen could win statewide elections have long since passed.

Bob seems to be coming to the same conclusion activists, the media and voters are coming to...Hank is the only candidate in the race, from either party, who belongs in a race for Governor. Not only is he willing to take on tough positions, he persuades and holds his ground. With Hank, we don't need to fear the tough issues because, for the first time since Ann Richards, we have a candidate who can persuade.

Ask Tome Schieffer or Farouk Shami, point blank, their position on a woman's right to choose. Or gay marriage. Or any of a thousand things that usually tie Democratic candidates in knots. They can't handle it, not the way Hank can. Now let's help him out and make sure that he's our next Governor!

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November 18, 2009

Live Streaming the TCU Candidates Forum

The debate that's not so much a debate...

Video streaming by Ustream

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November 16, 2009

On raising the gas tax...

Apparently, Burka and Sen. Carona agree with Hank. Meanwhile, the rest of the Democratic field is no where on the issue. Well, except for Schieffer who got soundly slapped down for saying no to taxes and no to tolls, with the lame statement that he's for eliminating waste.

No shit, Tom. What would be helpful is if you knew what the rest of us already know... there's not enough waste to cut at TXDOT to make up the funding gap. And your solution to that gap is a rhetorical non-answer?

Granted, no one likes taxes but people like paying $3.20 PER DAY in tolls even less. The reality is that we are piling on debt in guarantees to private contractors that will take generations to pay off. And it's doing nothing but providing corporate welfare. That's the Republican solution. Apparently, Tom Schieffer also thinks it's OK as a final option. Hank, on the other hand, is absolutely opposed to it. Because what the Republicans and Schieffer aren't being clear about is that if we don't fix this now, all new roads will be tolls roads. All improvements made to existing roads will be tolls. You will not, under any circumstance, be able to avoid paying a toll.

And Hank's plan costs the average Texan $1.60 PER WEEK. That's it. I know about 100k people in Willco and Travis County who'd gladly pay that rather than the tolls they are paying now.

So, you have two options... Hank's plan which restores fiscal responsibility to TXDOT OR the Republican/ Schieffer plan which will crush the taxpayers of this state by piling on debt and guarantees that will burden our children and grandchildren.

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November 13, 2009

Kay Bailey concedes to 39%

PhotobucketSenator Support Hose decided today NOT to resign prior to the primary. Instead, she's decided to continue her project in the Senate which consists, primarily, of fucking things up for her constituents. And wasting her contributors money in a vain attempt to beat 39% who will, because of this, beat her like she owes him money.

I find it interesting that this comes not long after Hank Gilbert's campaign rolled Kay's Magic 8 Ball. I also loved Hank's comment...

Anyone who says they are shocked by her announcement hasn't followed the lengthy trail of broken promises she's left in her wake, starting with her promise to serve only two terms. She is an unreliable and undependable public servant who dodges and weaves as it suits her political ambitions. Senator Hutchison has left her supporters and contributors holding the bag.

Cause and effect? Certainly didn't hurt. I do think it's funny that, once again, Gilbert's campaign is the only one with a pulse, hitting Republicans hard. And Hank even had time today to go live in the comments on a post at Kos regarding his LGBT policy.

B team member Tom Schieffer was busy telling that retarded little story about his tux while Kinky was trying to con someone into buying one of his books by promising that it was really written by someone with talent. Farouk Shami was busy scribbling out checks to every Democratic club in the state of Texas in a sad attempt to make up for years of neglect. Just like my mother. Which reminds me, if you have a Democratic club (especially one that endorses) you need to hop on the gravy train soon. I just set up three new clubs last week and am looking forward to making enough to have a very merry Christmas (Thanks Farouk! I can even say it like Ms. Texas, it's really something in real life).

39%, meanwhile, celebrated his rapidly approaching victory in the R primary with a 'close friend' at Charlies.

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November 12, 2009

Is KBH really this stupid?

FORMER Vice President Dick Cheney offered to endorse Sen. Hutchison in her race for Governor. Like an idiot, she accepted the endorsement. Not missing a beat, Hank Gilbert's campaign ridiculed the endorsement and the idiot who accepted it.

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November 09, 2009

Guest Post : Hank Gilbert on LGBT policy

Last Wednesday night in Houston, I did something that no statewide candidate in Texas history has ever done: I released a comprehensive policy statement on issues of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

In front of a packed house at a meeting of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, I outlined my plan to repeal the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and all statutory and constitutional barriers to equality for LGBT citizens, as well as ending discrimination in hiring and employment, public accommodations and real estate transactions, insurance, and more.

After The Advocate took note of this policy release, a Texas reader in their comment section said he though, with a policy like that, I don't stand "a snowball's chance
in hell," of winning this election because of the reputation Texas has under Rick Perry.

But you and I know different.

You and I know that Texas has come a long way since 2005 when bigotry and hate were written into our state constitution in a low turnout, low information election. By and large, Texans recognize GLBT citizens deserve these rights and recognize that the discrimination our state shows to this group of individuals is inappropriate. America's most successful Fortune 500 companies provide domestic partner benefits to their employees yet Texas' universities do not. You see what is wrong with that picture and so do many others. They may not be as vocal as the rightwing Perry/Palin echo chamber, but they recognize this as an inequality.

You and I know that, when the time comes again (and it will when I am governor) to right the injustices done to LGBT citizens in Texas, that Texans will step up to the plate. So, I'm going to ask you to do two things
for me: go to Facebook and join the group "I Stand with Hank on LGBT Issues." When you get done there, head over to my website and add your name to
the rapidly growing list of Texans who support this policy.

While you are there, you can sign up for my mailing list to keep up to date with my campaign. And, if you have a few bucks to spare during the Rick Perry Recession, campaign contributions through Act Blue are always welcome.

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November 06, 2009

Shami on over to our side

Photobucket Is this guy even a Democrat? Apparently, he is now. Say hello to Farouk Shami who has announced his intention to run in the Democratic Primary. He's the guy who is an owner of the company that makes the Chi hair iron and Biosilk hair care products. He just moved a bunch of jobs from China, where he still makes many of his products, to Houston which is really good. He's also a friend of Kinky and 39% which isn't so good and makes us wonder exactly why he's entering the race. Or, rather, entering the race as a Democrat.

Shami says he's willing to spend $10mn in the primary. I'm thinking close to double that which might, depending on how they spend it, get him into a runoff which he'll then lose. And he can give away as much shampoo as he wants and it won't change anything. But seriously, Mr. Shami, I'd LOVE some Silk Therapy shampoo.

Photo Credit : Cox News

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October 31, 2009

Tommy Terrific on Transportation

What. A. Joke. Then, read this.

Not for nothing but the Schieffer campaign's pathetic attempt to step on the coverage of Hank Gilbert's transportation policy was really stupid on a number of levels.

  • You point out, far better than the Gilbert campaign ever could, that you don't have a plan. You have an incoherent statement followed by another incoherent (and conflicting statement). EXACTLY what is the last resort!??! Tolls or the gas tax? Where's your urban transit plan?!?!
  • You propose a solution (cutting waste) that EVERYONE agrees won't solve any of the formidable problems we face regarding infrastructure. There just isn't enough fat left to cut to get us where we need to be to actually fund transportation. Anyone who disagrees with that is, frankly, out of their depth on transportation issues.
  • You talk about how Hank's plan will hurt the poor and middle class which gives Team Gilbert yet another opportunity to point out just how cheap the gas tax increase is vs. your 'last resort', tolls (it's $1.60 a week vs. $1.60 or more PER DAY for the average family)
  • You once again allow Hank to point out he's way ahead of you in terms of understanding the real problems facing Texas and proposing realistic solutions to them.
  • You reopen questions about your support for tolling and privatization which is overwhelmingly opposed by Texans. You also show you know nothing about business growth in this state which is heavily dependent on infrastructure.
  • Finally, by being bitchslapped within hours by Hank's campaign, you further undermine any faith your supporters had in your ability to beat 39% in the general and reinforced the argument being made persuasively by the Gilbert campaign that only Hank can beat 39% or Sen. Hutchison.
  • We finally have a Democrat who not only makes sense on transportation but can persuade the electorate to agree with him. There is one guy on the Democratic side that can win against 39% or Hutchison. That man is Hank Gilbert. At this point is there ANYONE out there who thinks the other Democratic candidates have a campaign or a candidate that's even close to Hank?

    Yes, I'm supporting Hank. I'm volunteering for him as well. Now you all know why.

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

    October 29, 2009

    Hank Gilbert takes the lead on Transportation

    FINALLY, a transportation plan Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Hank Gilbert released his transportation policy proposals today at a press conference in Ft. Worth. The full proposal is here and the press release is here.

    Some of the details include

  • An elected Transportation committee made up of 14 regional commissioners and one chair elected statewide
  • Better integration between TXDOT and local authorities
  • No tolls on existing roads. No tolls in long range plan. Only locally proposed tolling with voter approval will be allowed
  • An absolute end to all public private partnerships
  • Enhanced auditing of contracts and the agency as a whole
  • And finally, FUNDING

  • Increase the gas tax in 2011 by 8 cents and then index to the Highway Cost Index with reevaluations annually and a four percent cap in the application of the HCI, should it be more than 4% in a given year. Overage would roll and any extra money would be used to pay down existing debt to free us from those obligations
  • It's the funding piece that I love because it automatically means restoring pay as you go to infrastructure construction in Texas, no new debt, no need for toll roads and privatization, no ridiculous gimmicks and pulling the politics out of transportation funding. All this with the average family in Texas only paying an extra $5-6 per month. I paid that much the last time I was on the 45/130 tollways in Austin. In a day.

    This is the kind of leadership Texas has been waiting for! Good job, Hank! And if you have a chance, go throw the man a few bucks to make him our next Governor!

    For more coverage, check out EOW.

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

    September 25, 2009

    Racing to the Governor's Mansion (even though it's still kind of a burned out shell)

    So, McBlogger has been up my butt like a suppository to support Hank Gilbert. Despite the fact that we emerged from the same gene pool, we don't always agree on candidates to support (you didn't get to witness the dramatic Edwards v Hillary blowout in 2007 that led to many tears. Oh, so many tears). ANYHOO, here are my thoughts on the current Democratic batch...

    1) Mark Thompson - Who is Mark Thompson? Can he help me get back into a size 2? No? Well fuck him, then. He also has no website which makes finding out about him very difficult.

    2) Felix Alvarado - When I asked a friend who's involved in Dallas County politics to tell me what he was all about, she replied "A surname". I went to his website and it seems there is more than that. Apparently there are pictures. And a calendar. And a link to donate. But nothing about issues.

    3) Hank Gilbert - McBlogger loves him which is obviously a plus. It's also, surprisingly, a drawback. It really depends on how much he's annoying me. And how much I've had to drink.

    4) Kinky Friedman - He's the human equivalent of a dog throwing up after being fed scraps from table. I don't know if has a website or not. I was afraid I'd get sick if I searched for it.

    5) Tom Schieffer - Joined his email list just to see what was up. He kinda reminds me of my paternal grandfather. On Thursday he sent out a blast about drop out rates and claimed to be 'leading the charge to redefine our educational system as one that successfully keeps kids in school and immersed in a culture of learning'. He has a one paragraph education plan which makes me want to ask him to define LEADING.

    McBlogger says he's been in the race for months. I only heard about him back in August so that doesn't bode well. Neither does the fact that he claims to be 'leading the charge' on an issue, but can't be bothered to actually publish a policy proposal. After months of 'leading'. He's only slightly ahead of Alvarado on this and way behind Gilbert.

    So, what about the Republicans, you ask? Why not take a look at them? You sound like my father. He's really smart except for one day, every 2 years in November, when he turns into a retard.

    1) Prick Perry - Not so much with this momo. I've had enough. And he looks like he needs to soak in moisturizer for a couple of years.

    2) That Senile Old Lady From DC - Ahhhh... no. I thought Estelle Getty was funny on Golden Girls, but that doesn't mean I want her to be Governor. I'm all about voting identity, but this is damn stretch. It's like carrying a bag you know is fake but pretending it's OK because no one else knows it's fake. Meanwhile there are some bitches two tables over from you and your date laughing at your fake Marc Jacobs. She may be a woman, but she's not my kind of woman.

    So, yeah, I'm really no closer to a decision.

    Posted by barfly at 02:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 21, 2009

    Hank Tours Texas!

    PhotobucketHank Gilbert, Democratic candidate for Governor, hit the road (or, rather, the air) today to make his campaign official... you can track his progress on The Road To Prosperity Tour here!

    Gilbert doesn't hesitate to take shots at political rivals. In a 2006 speech to the state Democratic convention, Gilbert called Gov. Rick Perry "just one notch lower in stupidity" than then-President George W. Bush.

    "I'm a no-bull kind of person," Gilbert said in an interview Friday. "I'm not always politically correct in the way I say things or present things, but people who know me ... understand that whatever I tell them, they can take it to the bank."

    Margaret Byfield of Taylor, a Gilbert supporter who hosted a fundraising party for his campaign Sunday night, said she likes his straightforward nature.

    "He's going to tell you what he thinks," Byfield said. "If you're looking for a political response, you're not going to get it from him."

    Byfield, who said she voted for author/musician Kinky Friedman for governor when he ran as an independent in 2006, said she and her husband, Dan, are conservatives who appreciate Gilbert's fiscally conservative philosophy.

    "We've already had friends ask why we're supporting a Democrat," said Byfield, who got to know Gilbert when they both fought against Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor. "He's appealing, I think, to both parties."

    Yes ma'am! And that's just one of the many reasons I'm supporting him! GO HANK, GO!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 13, 2009

    Gotta love some red meat!

    Once again, I'm volunteering for Hank Gilbert's campaign for Governor. So understand... I'm biased in the race. I promise I won't be too mean to the other people. However, YOU may think it's too mean. Suck. It. Up.

    So, let's take a moment and look at what the campaign released Friday regarding 39%'s idea to send the Ranger's to the border...

    Texas Governor Rick Perry has repeatedly campaigned on border safety issues, including a pricey electronic monitoring system that allowed citizens to monitor the border. “All of Perry’s border policies have been a dismal failure, best summarized by the phrase ‘too little, too late’. If the Governor was using the border as anything other than a campaign issue, then why didn’t he get his predecessor, George W. Bush, to do something to curb border violence when he was president,” Gilbert continued.

    “Perry has never bothered to pay attention to the border until it is politically expedient. Earlier this year, when it became evident that he would have a battle for the hearts and minds of GOP primary voters, he began his faux begging to the Obama Administration for resources the state already possessed. He’s comical. He’s a drugstore cowboy who thinks Texas exists in a vacuum.”

    Gilbert also said that Hutchison’s criticism of Perry’s announcement was laughable. “Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a U.S. Senator for more than a decade. She hasn’t done anything to curb border violence and drug cartels. For her to even lift a finger to criticize Governor Perry from her ivory tower on the Potomac is irony befitting a fiction writer,” Gilbert continued. “If sniping from Washington is her idea of leadership, then maybe she should stay in Washington and do what she does best, nothing,” he continued.

    First off, just FYI, the money has been allocated for this years ago. 39% has been whining about Washington since January because this has only been a problem since January when President Obama was sworn in. It wasn't at all a problem when Bush was talking about sending troops to the CA border. Nothing at all was happening in Texas.

    So, yeah, the cocksucker was all about political posturing, meanwhile the people on the border need some help. And his solution is to send in a few Texas Rangers. All bullshit about one riot, one Ranger aside, this is really the absolute least he could do and shows he doesn't give a crap about the folks on the border.

    And Hank took the time, during the DNC meeting, to call him out on it.

    So, here we have a candidate for the Democratic nomination to be our Governor who is aggressively taking on 39% and Senator Hairdo. And from the other folks in the race, nothing. We have one up in Dallas hawking his line of shitty products. Another who expects everyone to part the sea for him. Another who has to be begged to enter the race (and has been leaning toward running for so long I'm afraid he's gonna fall over). No even knows what Alvarado and Thompson are up to. In point of fact, my analysis from June is still spot on WRT the rest of the field.

    To the other candidates in the D primary, feel free to keep running. But do it right. If you want to represent this party and lead this state, mount a credible campaign. Actually talk clearly and concisely about issues. Take on Republicans. Show some fucking heart.

    Or, put your ego aside and let Hank do it. You may have noticed, he's pretty good at it.

    UPDATE : Kuffner and Todd Hill at BOR have posts up about yet another story about Ronnie Earle's potential run. I was one of the people who wanted to draft Earle in the summer but with Hank in the race, I feel like we have our candidate.

    That and I'm goddamn sick of Earle LEANING. Shit or get off the pot, Ronnie.

    As for what his entry into the race does, opinions will be many. My read is that it will be the last gasp of the Schieffer campaign as Hank builds support among all Democratic Party segments from the establishment to activists to the student Democratic orgs at the universities. Earle will get a narrow segment of the liberal base that doesn't go for Hank. Kinky won't gain any traction with Hank in the race (let's face it, Hank's more interesting and can talk about things other than his line of cigars and badly written books). Thomposon and Shami can fight it out for 2% and that'll probably leave Hank in a runoff with Alvarado.

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

    September 02, 2009

    Gettin' Kinky...

    So without any of the pomp and bullshit that surrounded his gimpy run for Governor as an independent in 2006, Kinky announced his intention to run for Governor yesterday to a bunch of reporters who, more than likely, were thinking of ways to kill themselves during the interview.

    Reaction around Texas could best be described as angry and/or bored.

  • First up, Phillip over at BOR who REALLY doesn't like Kinky. I can't really blame him... I think the guy is a dbag, too. I just don't need quite as many words to say so.
  • Kuff analyzes 2006 v 2010 for the kinkster and comes to the conclusion that he'll fall, hard.
  • TXSharon over at BlueDaze just thinks it's all very embarrassing, much like your creepy Uncle Melvin. OMG! Doesn't Kinky totally remind you of Melvin?!?!?
  • For my part, I'll just rehash this piece from 2006 and ask Kinky to fuck off. Or, to use the words of SpaceNerd Will Wheaton, die in a fire.

    Either way.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 30, 2009

    The Schlockman offers some AWESOME advice

    It's pretty awesome that the Statesman is so much in love with Democrats that they're urging them to run a full slate in the general election in 2010. That's one of the reasons Hank Gilbert (whom The Schlockman mistakenly referred to as a lesser-known candidate than Tom Schieffer who, until earlier in the year, no one even knew existed) is running. He's working on doing just that, finding a full field and doing the job that Tom Schieffer should have been doing since May.

    This is party building at it's best and Tom's and it's clear Team Schieffer just can mount an effort to decide which fundraiser to use, let alone with whom to share the ticket. Apparently all he's been able to do is secure the endorsements of four good folks in the House which was done long before Gilbert became a factor in the race (just sayin', Ed Board).

    It's remarkable that a paper that's been so staunchly Republican and so consistently wrong would even bother talking about the 2010 D primary. Still, it's great to see them finally right on something. Even if there's probably no way in hell they will endorse any of our candidates for the general election.

    Oh, and just a note for Selby and Embry... you look kinda stupid pretending that Hank Gilbert is a non-entity. The man ran a campaign on less than 100k in 2006 and still managed to get more votes than any other Democratic executive office candidate. Since then, he's worked tirelessly all over the state and was a significant part of the reason the Republican drive to privatize infrastructure was shut down hard in the Special. I'll be the first to offer that he has a hard to climb to build the kind of cash on hand that Schieffer has, even if most of that is from loans. However, he knows that money cost him that election in 2006.

    And he's not about to let that happen again.

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

    August 27, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    August 26, 2009

    What I've been up to...

    I'm sure you've noticed the paucity of posts today and for that I can only offer my apologies. I'm sure some of you are jonesing for a little profanity since you've been without all day long.

    Sorry about that. I was kinda fucking busy living my fucking life. We cool?

    It's not like there aren't 86,000 authors for this site who could have, I don't know, stepped up to the goddamn plate and written something. Meanwhile, the post I put up before going to bed is the one that was up ALL DAY LONG. And it kept making me feel like shit.

    So, anyway, a brief accounting of my time...

  • I had breakfast here. You should do the same tomorrow since I'm repurchasing some of the stock I sold and would really a lot appreciate a Merry Christmas. REALLY. A LOT.
  • I was helping with this. More here, here, here and here. I'll be, once again, a never ending shill for Hank so you're going to have to get used to that. And the best part about this is that it all but guarantees 39% will be the R's standard bearer

    My favorite thing... from Swing State

    It looks like there'll be an alternative to Bush-backer Tom Schieffer and weirdo self-promoter Kinky Friedman in the Democratic primary after all: Hank Gilbert, a cattle rancher who lost the 2006 Agriculture Commissioner race (although he did do the best of any Dem statewide candidate that year), says he'll run.

    No. no... stop. You had me at weirdo self-promoter!

  • I did a ton of actual, you know, work at my real job. Which I still, remarkably, love despite the fact that financing real estate is still hard. So very, very hard.
  • I went to a Texas Tribune happy hour and met some of the really awesome who work there. Oh, and Evan Smith.

    I kid, I kid... actually, it was very cool and even without the little HH love, I was hella excited about this project. But I didn't tell them that until my drink had already been delivered. Evan even said he actually enjoyed McBlogger. I'm sure it was probably something The Mayor wrote. Or Krispy Kreme. Or FruitFly. Who have all been noticeably absent lately, right?

  • I'll try to do better tomorrow. Until then, havagoodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 19, 2009


    Perry slaps Hutchison whose friends then beat up Perry.

    Seriously, a sign truck? That's sooo lame. Wait until fall 2010... then we'll have some real fun.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 04, 2009

    The most recent Republican screwups

  • Coby has a terrific post up about yet another GOP family man who cheated on this wife. This time, it was with a real girl!
  • Republican's ability to hide from the health care reality of the uninsured in this country is really very stunning. And also really very stupid.
  • The Angelides Commission, set up to determine the causes of the bursting credit bubble (AKA the 2008 Financial Crises) is populated by Republicans and Democrats. It would appear that the Democrats are mooks and the Republicans are class A idiots. Especially one Peter Wallison. Petey's from the American Enterprise Institute which is populated almost exclusively with fools willing to say anything for a buck. Petey's one of those morons who thinks that restricting dangerous financial products to the financially savvy is just un-American. Isn't it great we have someone taking up for the shysters who want to rob the rubes? It's like denying someone apple pie to keep them from obtaining a mortgage that far exceeds their capacity to repay!

    It's simple, yo! He's going to use his little platform as part of this Commission to blame everything on the government. A sawbuck says a ton of the responsibility will lie, in Petey's eyes, with the Community Reinvestment Act. We already know it's a lie, but that won't stop Petey from fibbing. Again.

  • Oh, and while we're on the subject of think tank integrity, the American Conservative Union offered it's full throated endorsement and support to FedEx for the bargain basement price of $2mn. We at McBlogger are formally announcing our intention to seek their endorsement in exchange for a membership (paid ahead one month) to Blockbuster Total Access, a lottery ticket for next Wednesday and a book of Camel Snus coupons that, inexplicably, keep getting sent to me. And half a dozen doughnut holes from Krispy Kreme.
  • No one ever accused Pete Sessions of being smart. And it appears they were wise. It's also good to know we can add hypocrite to the list of things Pete Sessions actually is.
  • Stupidity, it turns out, isn't limited to serving Congressmen like Pete Sessions. It also applies to former Congressman like Dick Armey. Mr. Dick seems to think there's absolutely no way we could affect God's creation.

    DICK ARMEY: What I’m suggesting is we have a sort of an eco-evangelical hysteria going on and it leads me to almost wonder if we are becoming a nation of environmental hypochondriacs that are willing to use the power of the state to impose enormous restrictions on the rights and the comforts of, and incomes of individuals who serve essentially a paranoia, a phobia, that has very little fact evidence in fact. Now these are observations that are popular to make because right now its almost taken as an article of faith that this crisis is real. Let me say I take it as an article of faith if the lord God almighty made the heavens and the Earth, and he made them to his satisfaction and it is quite pretentious of we little weaklings here on earth to think that, that we are going to destroy God’s creation. [...]

    I guess no one told him about all those pesky species mankind has hunted to extinction.

  • Sen. Hutchison's people have been having some with 39%'s alleged gayness. Jobsanger has the deets.
  • Why are the Republicans telling the elderly that they'll be 'euthanized'? THEY already have really good government funded health care.

    Seriously, Republicans, why would you scare the fuck out of sweet old people by lying to them?

  • With regard to the health care debate, Rayburn's old quote “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it took a carpenter to build it" has just as much meaning today as it did back when he was Speaker of the US House. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you THE Jackasses.

    It's always nice to see a bunch of poor trash get all worked up by a horrible Democrat whose only crime is trying to help make their miserable, poor people lives a little better. These are the folks who are barely scraping by, working-class, paycheck to paycheck slobs who make up the grassroots that the Republicans use as their collective cockwipe. Don't worry about these folks too much... they're on their socioeconomic way back to their roots as subsistence farmers.

  • Posted by mcblogger at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 30, 2009

    TDP calls out Sen. Hutchison on Sotomayor

    Sen. Hutchison Breaks Promise, Opposes Sotomayor

    I'd just like to add my thanks to TDP for addressing this head on and my laughter at Sen. Hutchison for being played. Again.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 03, 2009

    Draft Earle : But Paul, we want to win this time!

    Barely 72 hours into Draft Earle and so far there has been press coverage all over the state. And now, Burka whose crystal ball seems ever focused on 1994 when it comes to Democratic prospects in Texas, has said it's a dead candidacy. Which is funny coming from someone like Paul 'There's No Way Craddick Loses The Speakership' Burka. Now, we all make mistakes from time to time and I'm no exception. However, instead of focusing on the future and what's possible, Burka focuses on an old battle, namely Earle vs. Hutchison.

    What Burka leaves out is the tremendous latitude this affords Team Earle to talk about something KBH doesn't ever want to think about again. Let's be real for a moment and remember that two Texas Grand Juries thought there was enough evidence to indict her. The first time, Sen. Hairdo's attorney got the indictment dismissed on a technicality. The second time resulted in a clusterfuck of an acquittal that rested on the highly questionable decision of a judge in Fort Worth that no one (least of all Burka) seems to remember accurately.

    During pre-trial, Judge Onion and Earle clashed over admissibility of evidence that was the nail in Hutchison's coffin. Thinking that the Judge wouldn't allow the evidence and knowing that without it the jury would likely acquit (making it impossible to re-indict her for what she'd done), Earle motioned to dismiss. Judge Onion, in what has to be considered a questionable (at best) act of judicial fiat, empaneled the jury and ordered them to acquit Hutchison, rather than allow the charges dismissed. Keep in mind that the only reason this ended up in Judge Onion's court was that Hutchison's attorney venue-shopped... he wanted THIS judge for a reason.

    Judge Onion later claimed he would have allowed the evidence which makes one wonder about his pretrial decision not to rule on it's admissibility. Earle's decision to ask for a dismissal was based exclusively on the prospect of justice being done against an elected official who, evidence indicated, was corrupt. Not some kind of a mistake.

    Now, the awesome thing about a Earle v. Hutchison matchup is that there's no Judge Onion this time and once people get to know the REAL Sen. Hutchison, there's no amount of makeup that'll help. That's what 'experts' like Burka are missing. That's a battle that Earle is uniquely positioned to fight and win.

    Further, there is once again this idea that Democrats need a moderate, Republican-lite candidate who can convince middle aged white guys in the burbs to vote for a Democrat. We've been trying that for the better part of a decade and hasn't worked. The current crop of candidates in the D primary don't have that combination of balls to the wall brilliance and, in equal measure, grit that sells with Texas voters. Real Texans have been voting for faux Texans for so long, when they see the real thing they'll jump at the opportunity to support them. And that, my friends, is Ronnie Earle, a Democrat who's fiscally conservative, socially libertarian just like the majority of Texans.

    As for the Delay prosecution, maybe Burka should take a look at some of Delay's polling numbers statewide. He's pretty roundly reviled among Republicans and Democrats alike because of his links to Abramoff and other lobbyists. Delay is the poster child for what's wrong with Washington and Earle was the man who helped bring him down. And you really think that's going to hurt him with crossover voters? You're kidding me, right?

    I've been a part of a statewide race. I know what works and what doesn't. I've seen overfunded candidates lose worse than my guy who was outspent more than 22:1. Needless to say, you learn pretty early on that candidate selection is the important part of a campaign. Oh, sure, money and organization are essential but the initial decision is THE single most important. It's the equivalent of 'making your money on the buy' when flipping a house.

    There is such a thing as a natural and Ronnie Earle is one of them. The rest of the players on the field may be impressive in their own spheres, but they suck in this one. Statewide races require a hell of a lot more.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 01, 2009

    Draft Ronnie Earle!

    draft ronnie.jpgI found this site tonight on Facebook and am extremely excited. I think Ronnie Earle has the perfect combination of intelligence and personality to really impress people all over the state and take the Office of Governor back for real Texans! Vince has a post up about this Draft over at Capitol Annex.

    One of the reasons I like Earle is the fire and passion he brings to everything he does. He's the kind of candidate who won't let Republicans in this state know that it's OK for them to vote for a Democrat, he's the kind of man who can convince them the Republicans are full of shit, with a smile on his face and a beer in his hand.

    Click the link and let's get ready to beat some 39% (or KBH) ass in 2010! It's time for REAL leadership in Austin! Run, Ronnie, Run!

    For those of you wringing your hands over such a partisan choice, keep in mind that Earle prosecuted Tom Delay, a man universally reviled by Republicans and Democrats for his corruption and deep ties to lobbyists (Abramoff ringing a bell?). I'd say some other nasty things about 'worrying' and being 'stupid' and thinking that the Austin bubble represents Texas, but I'm under the impression that some of your are persuadable.

    So get on board or get the goddamn hell out of the motherfucking way.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 30, 2009

    2010 : Watson and Reality

    Paul Burka has a piece up about Sen. Watson's chances in the '10 gubernatorial race. Honestly, it's not a bad read but it's a conventional analysis about an election cycle that's going to be strange in many ways, in state that is anything but conventional, especially right now. Where Burka and I differ on this is that while I think Sen. Watson can easily slide through the primary, I do not think he has the talent to win statewide at the top of the ticket. His best shot is Lt. Gov, but it remains to be seen whether or not his ego can handle not being at the top (insert bad relationship joke here).

    Oh, and every politico in and around Austin who thinks Kirk is the golden boy for '10 needs to rethink things a bit. Seriously, they're offbase and don't know the state (outside of Austin) or the mood of it right now. Sorry to rain doodoo on the parade, but reality is reality... and if you think Kirk will sell well in Smith or Gregg Counties, think again. Kirk's only shot is predicated on 39% winning the R primary (not at all a given) AND managing to work the campaign well. Therin lies the problem... his 02 run was pathetic, even worse than the 2006 Van Os run with that retarded 254 county strategy. Even if that's fixed, he's a drag at the top given some of his 'reasonable, but hard to defend' votes in the Senate. Down ballot, there's less pressure and an easier sell for a respected Senate insider that can actually be an amazing Lt. Governor.

    Texans are angry. Like a nest of hornets that's been disturbed, the people of this state are looking for someone to blame for the shitty roads, the shitty schools, their economy which is not so great everywhere BUT Austin and their horrendously inflated property taxes driven up by the fact that businesses pay little in taxes. Let's not even mention they have to pay for the most expensive insurance and some of the most expensive electricity in the country.The state, in short, ain't in especially great shape as anyone who's driven on 35 between Austin and Dallas already knows. And the blame is being assigned to 39% and the worthless R's in the Lege. 15 years of Republicans have worked hard to turn Texas into Guatemala.

    39% is, of course, trying to make it about 'hating Texas'. What his brill strategists don't seem to get is that Texans already think their guy is a piece of shit. His 39% of the vote in 06 wasn't, you know, an accident. All that's needed is a nasty, drag you through the mud and junk punch you on the way down, fighter to remind them all who's been in charge while the state's been going to hell. Sen. Watson ain't that guy.

    They're pissed as hell because they're proud of where they live and what they've accomplished in spite of 39% and the Republicans. They're mad because they see the state circling the drain while 39% gives taxpayer money to big banks, asking nothing in return and who then turn around and screw Texas homeowners with their toxic subprime loans.

    Texans are looking for a warrior, someone who can throw a punch into 39% glass jaw, then sit down and have a beer with them but at all times know that he's the kind of guy who doesn't let anything slide. I don't think that guy is Sen. Watson. I think it's Ronnie Earle.

    Burka says the 'burbs will be the big battlefield because of toll roads and schools. They're a bigger deal this cycle for D's and easier to pick up in but the real opportunity is East Texas. And this year, with all the TTC 69 bullshit and the R primary, Democrats have the first real shot they've had since the 80's at rebuilding a Democratic base in East Texas.

    Now, there are a number of constituencies hoping and praying that Sen. Watson runs statewide. I'm one of them, but where we break is for the office. TTLA and others are rumored to be pushing for Governor and I'd urge them to reconsider. I'd also urge Senator Watson to be realistic about what he really wants and to really think about where he can do the most good.

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

    June 25, 2009

    The Come To Jesus - Democratic Gov Primary edition

    Let me preface this, once again, by saying that neither myself nor anyone who authors on McBlogger has a preference in the Democratic Primary for Governor. I think we're pretty unanimous regarding Perry on the R side but, frankly, we feel like a Democrat can beat Sen. Indecisive Old Bitch, too.

    I'm going to be reprising my efforts in 2006 by once again working for Hank Gilbert as he gears up to win the Ag Commissioner's office which is the reason I'm posting this. Not for nothing, but we're playing to win and, frankly, the amateur hour fuckups in the D primary for Governor are giving me indigestion.

    KT has a nice discussion post over at BOR regarding the race for Governor. The parts that caught my eye were the referenced quotes like this...

    "And also remind people that this is not going to be easy. It's going to be really hard. And if they want to do that, I get to be governor. And if they don't want ot do that, I can go make money, and I've done my civic duty of trying to lay it out."

    Well, Geewhiz, Tom. Looks to me like you're saying that we'll either make you Governor or we won't. It's awesome that you can so easily absolve yourself of responsibility. Like it or not, you can't just put your name on a ballot and hope for the best. You're going to have to persuade people to vote for YOU. We can help, but you gotta give us something to work with.

    Tom, I like you as a person and I think you might actually make a good Governor. But this was just a fucking stupid thing to say. Of course, that was eclipsed by Mark Thompson. It's always the peanut gallery that chimes in with something pithy...

    Tom Schieffer Channeling Sam Rayburn now to run as a Democrat? Didn't he channel Benedict Arnold to sellout the TX Democrat Party with Bush?

    All bullshit aside, calling Schieffer a traitor just pisses me the fuck off. The man was asked by the President to represent the United States of America. He wasn't asked to change parties. He wasn't asked to sign off on Bush's policies and this is inexcusable politicking of the worst kind. It makes people hate you, Mark, and it validates the opinion many had of you as an angry, irritating fuck in 2008.

    On the subject of also-ran Kinky Friedman, to paraphrase a very good friend of mine up in far North Texas, fuck me to tears. Anyone else remember his halting, ridiculous performance during the 2006 debates? Yeah, that was a real high-water mark for a campaign that featured nothing of any real value. His particular appeal centered on "Why not Kinky?". I'll refresh your memory... he's a miserable attention whore with an ego that comes close in size to AK Governor Sarah Palin's.

    Now, let's not make this about keeping people out of the primary. I'm all for people running but they need to take it (and Democratic voters) seriously. So far we have half-assery, snide remarks that are largely buffoonish and off base and a lame comedy routine from the man you brought you 'nigger eggs'. Is it any wonder why no one is real excited right now about the D Gubernatorial field?

    Texas Democrats deserve a whole lot better and so do the down ballot candidates. It's time for those who choose to run (don't act like you're doing us a goddamn favor) to straighten the fuck up and run like real people who are serious about doing a good job for their fellow Texans.

    And it's 'DEMOCRATIC', Mr. Thompson. Quit channeling Tom Delay.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2009

    Sen. VDP out, throws support to Draft Watson

    Sen. Van De Putte has decided to opt out of a run for Governor in 2010 (more and more) and has thrown her support to Austin Senator Kirk Watson...

    "That's why I think Senator Kirk Watson should raise his sights and run for Governor. I've watched as Senator Watson has emerged as a leader in the state Senate on the issues of most importance to Texans. While staying true to Democratic values, he is a bipartisan pragmatic leader solidly focused on addressing the priorities of all Texans. I intend to lobby Senator Watson to run for governor, and I'll wholeheartedly support him if he does. But if he declines, Democrats should recruit and support someone who, like Watson, is energetic, pragmatic, focused, and smart; and who can fully energize Democratic supporters while also attracting a broad range of independent voters in every region of the state.

    Being undecided in this race leaves me open. I like Sen. Watson but I don't know if he can really take this race to the Republicans. My issue is his bipartisanship in the Senate which leaves him exposed should he try to mount an aggressive attack on, for example, infrastructure privatization which happens to be one of the many issues where a Democrat can come in and pick up solid Republican support.

    What worries me is the type of campaign he would run. In 2002 he got beat pretty bad and it wasn't just because of illegal contributions. There were a number of things he could have tagged AG Wheelie with but when push came to shove he didn't bring it. How much of that was his fault and how much was the fault of the Sanchez campaign remains to be seen.

    With that aside, I'd be an enthusiastic supporter of Watson since, as of right now, I really don't know how well Schieffer will run. Thompson and Kinky just bore me to tears.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 28, 2009

    Mark Campos is spot on...

    ... about Kinky.

    I'll just add that we think Kinky is pretty gross. And we want to see him not run because it'll be a disaster.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Hans Klinger gets bitchslapped

    Phillip over at BOR took a moment to school Hans Klinger of the Hutchison 'campaign'.

    PhotobucketThe best way to stop your "campaign" (can we even call it that if Senator Hutchison lives in D.C.?) from spinning is to make a decision. Tell that to your boss. Tell her to own a decision for once in her life.

    Tell her to act like an elected official. Tell her to act like a leader. Tell her to act like she wants to be Governor. Tell her to act like she cares about the people in Texas that aren't herself, her family, and her fundraisers.

    To help make a decision, it would be useful if you learned the difference between "will" and "may." As the Houston Chronicle reported, though, that seems difficult for your campaign -- especially when you issue conflicting statements

    Is it just me or is it clear that Hans and Old Lady Kay aren't even remotely up to this campaign?

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 29, 2009

    uhm, yeah, but not so much

    PW has a nice piece up on the number of whackjob R's in Texas who think we should secede. However, that's not the important piece...

    The 2010 Texas gubernatorial race is no contest for Democrats, with either Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) easily beating Tom Schieffer (D).

    This really comes as no surprise given that both Hutchison and Perry are well known in the state and Schieffer is unknown by 63% of the state. The striking thing was that quotas were assigned by registration, but the problem is we don't register party affiliation in Texas. Which means they're probably going off general election results when they should be going off 08 primary rolls. Wanna bet the numbers would have been a little different?

    While we're still undecided on the 2010 D gubernatorial primary, we will say this... Schieffer, if he runs a tight, aggressive campaign, can beat either R. Perry because he's a douche and with the right pressure he'll collapse. Underneath the hair and bravado, there's nothing... no real conviction, no real faith in himself or the people of this State. Hutchison because she's a nitwit who can't make up her mind and will fall apart with a serious opponent... or show the world what an asshole she really is.

    Burka's agitating for her switch parties. Were she to do that, she would win a hardfought Democratic Primary and then win overwhelmingly in the general. Not that I'm happy about it, but that's the way it would roll.

    But Sen. Hutchison won't do that. Dead-enders never realize, until it's too late, that is what they are.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 04, 2009

    Self-funding candidate vs Self-funding candidate

    JackMac, which IS seriously what we're going to call him, has raised a bunch of money heading into the Democratic Primary in 2010 for the CD10 race. Which is kinda cool until you realize that his likely opponent, Rep. Mike McCaul, can also self-fund his campaign.

    Anyone have anything to get me excited about this guy? He seems like just another high tech gimp. What else is up with him? Seriously, ANYONE?!?!?

    Don't get me wrong, money's great but other than that, what does this guy have going on? He's not another of those CEO's who just knows once he gets to Congress he'll put it all right, is he? And there's no way in hell I'm supporting another goddamn blue dog. Those folks are pretty stupid and one couldn't win the district consistently anyway.

    So, seriously, anyone know anything?

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 02, 2009

    Run, Hank! RUN!

    One thing is damn clear... we need a new Agriculture Commissioner.

    A disastrous mistake by the Texas Department of Agriculture raises questions about how well the agency is functioning under Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and could cast a pall over Staples’ future political aspirations.

    On Friday, the Associated Press reported that an inspector for the Texas Department of Agriculture failed to note that the Plainview operation of Peanut Corporation of America failed to note that the facility was operating without a state health permit in at least three visits to the plant prior to hundreds of people becoming ill after consuming the company’s products.

    Staples was elected in 2006 after defeating Hank Gilbert in the general election. It helped that he outspent Hank more than 20:1. Now, with higher name ID and a broad base of Republican support across the state that's willing to vote for at least one Democrat, he'd easily best Staples in a rematch.

    The only question is, WILL HE RUN?

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

    March 27, 2009

    Introducing Tom Schieffer

    Todd Hill over at BOR has a nice two part introduction to Tom Schieffer. First up the interview. The first section that caught my eye was the one on his electability...

    PhotobucketOk, I'm a student, a hard working Texan, and activist in the Democratic Party, give me three reasons why Todd Hill should vote for Tom Schieffer in a Democratic Primary?

    I can win. And winning the governor's office is a game changer in Texas politics. I think that my politics and my profile can bring people back to the Democratic Party that hasn't voted there in a while. I think I can raise money in places that other Democrats can't. When you look at the last election and you analyze where Obama lost and won, he carried four out of the five largest urban areas, but he didn't carry Tarrant County. Well I'm from Tarrant County, and the neighborhood education that I got and my brother got make us hometown boys made good. I think it gives me credibility to get votes here in Tarrant County that no other Democrat can get. In the next five largest counties - which are suburban counties compared to the big five - Obama did substantially better than Kerry did in the last election. He particularly did well with higher-educated, higher income voters in those suburban areas. I think that is a natural constituency for the kind of emphasis on education and general policies that I'm advocating. In the thirty counties that had a Hispanic majority Obama beat McCain 2 to1. I think I can do that well or better. In the last 214 counties he lost badly and while he won the Hispanic counties 2 to 1, he lost the rural counties 3 and 4 to 1. I think I can do substantially better than that.

    You think you can do well in rural counties? Where a Democrat hasn't performed well in many cycles?

    I can, and...

    You intend to run a more suburban, rural strategy versus strictly urban?

    Yes. Mark White has told me that, Pete Laney has told me that. These are guys that used to run quite well in rural counties. I think I can do that. I also think I can put together a winning combination that Democrats haven't had in a while.

    The section on transportation is also good though I am a little disturbed by the lack of outright distance from public private partnerships, especially in light of the fact that they are never a good deal for taxpayers. Seriously, if someone, ANYONE, could just show me one instance where (without juicing the issue with credit enhancement) a private company raising money for roads can obtain financing cheaper than a state, you'd have a case. But there isn't because of one simple fact... states have the ability to tax, private companies do not. Still, he has the same outlook on tolling that many of us have, if it's the best way then lets do it and let's put an irrevocable clock on the tolls.

    What really struck me was his very astute analysis of polarized politics in Texas, especially how Republicans are governing for their primary voters instead of doing what's best for the state. It's clear the man loves Texas and that's what makes him lightyears ahead of both 39% and Sen. Hutchison. Todd also posted a followup with his personal thoughts on Schieffer that's worth the read.

    Mean Rachel also has her take and it's a pretty good indicator of the kind of fight Schieffer is going to have to get the nomination should another contender step to the plate (sorry about the baseball pun, just couldn't resist).

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 26, 2009

    Cowardly Kay

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

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

    February 07, 2009

    Give Gov. Perry credit for high tuition costs

    Texas children and their parents can thank special interest driven Gov. Rick Perry for unaffordable tuition costs.

    In his reelection bid [2010], Perry is proclaiming himself to be the hero who will reduce tuition costs. Unfortunately, the reality is that Gov. Perry is a major cause of increased tuition.

    Is college for wealthy elitists only? The answer is, "Yes."

    Three years ago Gov. Rick Perry and various legislators lobbied for their higher education special interests and approved the bill to deregulate tuition costs under the guise of creating free competition, which would result in lower costs.

    Since that time the University of Texas raised its tuition costs at least 4 times and other universities and colleges followed suit. Today, fewer Texas families can afford to send their children to college for a higher education degree, which once again ensure that degrees will be held by the children of wealthy families.

    All children have the right to complete a higher-level education and become productive citizens despite the opposing efforts of Gov. Rick Perry, special interests and wealthy lobbyists.

    Thank Gov. Perry by NOT reelecting him in the November 2010 election!


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

    July 31, 2008

    Thanks for nothing, Todd Staples

    Well, we have yet another issue where Todd Staples, our ertswhile Agriculture Commissioner has dropped the ball. In the Statesman today, the 'tomato' salmonella outbreak has been traced back to growers in Mexico that supplied (you had to see it coming) Texas companies with peppers that carried the disease.

    The CDC and USDA are catching hell for it, but so far nothing has penetrated through to the Texas Dept. Of Agriculture which must share some of the blame. It's not like they didn't know about questionable irrigation and growing practices in Mexico... in 2006, Hank Gilbert, then Democratic candidate for Ag Commissioner talked about JUST THIS THING.

    Of course, Staples was distracted with finally doing the part of his job with regard to gas pumps. After being in the office for 18 months. Maybe he'll do something about tainted, diseased produce sometime in 2010.

    Way to fail Texans, Todd.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2008

    Dumb and dumberer

    Attention Morons... know your limitations.

    State Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano on Tuesday unveiled a committee headed by Dallas Cowboys' great Roger Staubach to explore the possibility of seeking the U.S. Senate seat that Kay Bailey Hutchison might vacate to run for governor in 2010.

    Meanwhile, another Republican hinted interest. Elizabeth Ames Jones, a member of the Texas Railroad Commission and former Texas House member from San Antonio, said there's no opening yet.

    But Jones, who raised $1 million for her state campaign kitty in the past year, said: "I would certainly not want to be left out of anything that would benefit Texas. It's going to be a long campaign for ... that Senate seat."

    While I LURVE the idea of these two idiot bitches beating the hell out of the one another, honestly I'd like a stronger Republican. It'll be more fun in the general. Campaigning against either of these halfwits would be like kicking a puppy.

    Dumb bitch vs. REALLY dumb bitch who is a decorator. God, I can't wait. Hey, Liz... I'm still waiting on you to give me the geologicals for that massive oil field you're just certain is right.under.our.feet!

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 04, 2008

    TXDOT, Tolls and riding off into the Sunset

    Some interesting things floating 'round the sphere...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hava goodun!

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

    May 28, 2008

    Really, FloShap? Really?

    STATE Senator Florence Shapiro fancies herself US Senator Florence Shapiro.

    Bryan Eppstein, a consultant to Shapiro, says, “At this time it’s just an interest in running and it’s a growing interest.” Eppstein also threw in the obligatory “she’s getting encouraged to run” bit.

    Yes, I know this is almost a month old. Much like a nasty wine, I had to let it breathe for a while before I could stand to drink it. Honestly, I don't know if it's possible to heap the kind of derision on this that it deserves. But I'll try. Because Flo's just that big a loser.

    On second thought, I'm just not up to the task. Of all the inane 'moves' I've heard politicians plan, this one is near the top of the list.

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

    May 04, 2008

    Rumor : Farm Bureau to support KBH?

    There is a rumor circulating that Farm Bureau, after supporting 39% in 2006, intends to support KBH in the 2010 Republican Primary. This should surprise no one given FB's opposition to 39%'s TTC. What surprised all of us was that they supported him in the first place.

    No, no... I won't tell you where I heard it. Don't even ask.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 18, 2008

    EXCLUSIVE : Dildo claims responsibility for 39%'s plans

    Yesterday afternoon I, like everyone else in the state, was stunned to learn that 39% intends to run for re-election in 2010. Stunned because, frankly, it's solid gold comedy. I had to read the email a few times just to make sure it wasn't some kind of prank. Then I got a call from The Dildo.

    dildo.jpg McB : Hello?
    Dildo : What's up, bitch?
    McB : Oh Fuck...
    Dildo : That's right...
    McB : I thought you were melted in that fire.
    Dildo : Not so much, as it turns out. It was a nice try, though.
    McB : What the hell do you want?
    Dildo : Oh, come on. I know you've seen the news...
    McB : About Perry? I just assumed it was some kind of a joke.
    Dildo : Well, it is. But not the kind you think. I made him do it.
    McB : Forget the how. Why?
    Dildo : Because he's a loser. And I thought it would be funny. You don't?
    McB : Funny? How so?
    Dildo : You have to ask? 61% of this state hates the man. He's a wholly ineffectual Governor whose balls rest in CradDICK's desk. Well, one of them anyway. The other is with the Dew. You Democrats could run Jennifer Gale against him in '10 and win. However, I don't think he'll get through the Republican primary. Even those mouthbreathers won't vote for him. It will be absolutely devastating to his ego. I'll laugh and laugh...
    McB : I keep forgetting what a dick you are. So how?
    Dildo : You always were kind of a dumbass. What do I have to do? Paint you a picture?
    McB : No, I've seen you do more than enough.
    Dildo : How's that quitting smoking thing going?
    McB : Fuck you. (screaming) I FUCKING HATE YOU!
    Dildo : Nice talking to you, cocksucker. Be seeing you soon! GO MOFO IN '10

    It's always been assumed that evil stands behind the actions of malevolent people. Now we know for sure that isn't so much behind them as inside them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    March 12, 2008

    CradDICK and Dewhearse SPRING into action

    You know, it DOES make me laugh a little to think of tweedle dee and tweedle dum 'springing into action' on anything. Far more likely that they'd be moving with all deliberate sloth. However, this time they are actually being aggressive on transportation funding... and it has nothing to do with tolling.

    The short letter — signed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick, Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden and House Appropriations Chairman Warren Chisum — recommends that TxDOT borrow another $1.5 billion against future gas tax revenue to bridge a temporary financial tight spot. The Legislature, the letter promises, will make sure that some of the gas tax money now diverted to other, nonhighway-construction needs will be returned to the agency to back the bonds.

    Left unsaid? An increase of (and indexing) the gas tax which is what the majority of Texans want and what will likely happen as tolling falls completely off the cliff.

    TXDOT, predictably, shifted the response on the letter back to the Governor. Retard Rick's spokesman, Robert Black, said that 39% wasn't interested in any of this and that the Lege would have to reopen road privatization 'to the lowest bidder'.

    "What this letter is asking TxDOT to do is a two-year stopgap, two years of going further into debt," Black said. "A long-term solution comes first. Last year the Legislature came in and all they did was say 'no.' With the rate this state is growing and the needs and challenges we have in transportation, we can't afford to say 'no' anymore."

    Just as a side note, does Black rock or what? I mean, the guy goes to work for a terrible pig of a man who spends an inordinate amount of time pandering to every special interest that will listen and who may be one of the worst Governors in the history of the State of Texas. Seriously, when we look at his association with privatization interests and the political contributions from them coupled with his support for their cause... well, it looks an awful lot like corruption. And this is what Black has to work with. Robert, I know we used to make fun of you but I've developed a new kind of respect for you. What's your trick? Anti-anxiety meds with a vodka chaser?

    But back to the issue at hand... TXDOT's 'financial crises'. TXDOT said it was cutting all constructions projects because of a lack in future years of money to pay for them. Money that the Lege has simply not appropriated. Which is a bit like me saying I won't do my job now because I may or may not get my expense reimbursement in June, 2010. I got news for the folks at TXDOT... you let the Lege worry about your funding. You build the damn roads.

    I guess that's a big part of the problem with TXDOT right now. It's controlled by our idiot Governor, Retard Rick, and overly politicized. These folks don't really do their jobs, they don't know how. They're mostly political hacks. The other big problem is that THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO COUNT.

    TxDOT had announced the construction slowdown in November, citing inflation in construction costs and cutbacks in federal grants. In early February, at a hearing called by two Senate committees, TxDOT revealed that it had double-counted $1.1 billion in scheduling construction projects. That mistake, officials said at the time, had a lot to do with the crunch.

    The state auditor is now looking at TxDOT's finances.

    There's your funding gap, morons. GET. TO. WORK.

    And to our friends at the Lege who will no doubt read this, y'all need to go hyper aggressive against TXDOT. How about dismantling them next year and reconstituting the TTC to make it composed of statewide elected officials, like the RRC?

    Seriously, we can't afford to wait out Retard Rick. Hope Andrade alone could do some serious damage and not even realize it.

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

    December 06, 2007

    No, not this guy either.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket According a number of sources, former car salesman turned Republican politician Roger Williams is the guy many in the Republican party are thinking about running for Governor in 2008.

    Just one question for the Republicans in the audience who think this craptacular douche would be a good candidate... have y'all lost your damn minds or are you just trying to make it easy for us??!?! Who's next? That nebbish Staples or the irredeemably stupid Combs?

    Roger, right now(this VERY minute!), is working hard on the laughably named Victory 2008 Republican coordinated campaign. Though his fundraising has been lackluster, he's still pressuring donors just like he would a single mom about clear coat. And credit life.

    What pisses me off most is that if he IS the candidate in 2010 Bill White is going to WALK into the mansion. I did at least want him to work for it. Maybe break a sweat every now and then.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 30, 2007

    No. Not him either.

    Recently we wrote about the Republicans being talked about as possible Goob candidates in 2010. They're all a mostly worthless bunch. Now comes word from Kuff that Lance Armstrong is also being talked about as a candidate.

    If we're going to start pulling in athletes, I'd like to ask Mary Lou Retton to move to Texas and run. At least she won a gold medal. And she could give the State of the State speech while walking a balance beam. That would be more than 39% has done in his over 6 years as Governor.

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