Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Hillary bled all over the carpets"

Booman has observations. I'll jump to the end:

So, where do we stand? The one thing that needed to happen, happened. Hillary bled all over the carpets from beginning to especially the end. If there is any movement in the polls from this debate it will be away from her. Yet, no one set themselves up to be the main recipient of her loss of support.

As for the issue of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants: regardless of the merits, it will now be used against Hillary with a breathtaking relentlessness not seen since they found out that her husband let his peter out of his pocket. Clinton, if she supports this initiative, needed to stand tall on it, be aggressive, and explain the rationale...which is certainly a hard one to explain in a sound byte. Instead, she said she was for it even though it is a really bad idea, but she is not for it, but it is a gotcha question, but what the hell else can we do, but she doesn't endorse it. It was the worst of all worlds. And it will make Kerry's flip-flop look like peanuts.

If I were advising Hillary, and I'm not, I'd get her out front tomorrow to give a speech about the urgent need to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, because there is no going back now. Either she convinces people she is right, or she is going to get destroyed on that issue in the general election.

That sounds about right to me.

Update (11/1):

A day after she appeared to struggle to give her views on the subject, Hillary Rodham Clinton offered support today for Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s effort to award New York driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, as her campaign sought to contain potentially damaging fallout from what her own supporters saw as a tense and listless debate performance.

Nooses in the news in Houston

I just have to wonder what these people have displayed at home, if this is what they think is OK for work:

Four contract workers were banned from FMC Technologies after they hung nooses at one of the firm's Houston facilities, the company announced Tuesday.

The three men and one woman also were fired from their jobs with the contractors for FMC, an oil-field services equipment manufacturer, said Maryann Seaman, FMC spokeswoman.

"FMC has zero tolerance for workplace harassment," Seaman said.

Seaman said about a month ago an employee notified company officials that he had seen a noose hanging in the FMC's Gears Road facility.

Three workers were banned from FMC after they were discovered to have been involved in placing the noose, she said.

Last week, another noose was seen hanging in the same facility, Seaman said, and another person was banned from the firm because she was involved in placing that noose.

And on and on it goes. But hey, there's some good news:

The number of lawsuits the EEOC filed related to nooses has dropped steadily from 10 in 2001 to two so far this year, said James Ryan, EEOC spokesman.

The EEOC recently won settlements in three harassment cases related to nooses, including one in the Houston area, Ryan said.

In May, the EEOC reached a $390,000 racial harassment litigation settlement with Pemco Aeroplex of Birmingham on behalf of a class of black employees who were subjected to racist graffiti, slurs and the display of nooses, Ryan said.

The EEOC settled a racial harassment suit in January for $600,000 against AK Steel Corp. of Butler, Pa., Ryan added, after nooses were displayed and Klu Klux Klan videos were shown in employee lounges.

In March 2006, Ryan said, the EEOC obtained more than $1 million in a case against Commercial Coating Service, Inc. of Conroe, Texas, in which a black worker was racially harassed and choked with a noose by his coworkers in a company bathroom.

Read the comments from a few enlightened locals who just still don't see anything wrong with this sort of thing.

Spooo-ooky Toons

Hillary Flip-floppery?

Not a pleasant evening on the hustings for the front-runner:

Mrs. Clinton was attacked for not offering specific plans on what she might do with Social Security. She was challenged for voting to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization. She was assailed at one moment as being disingenuous, the next as a symbol of tired Washington establishment and the next for being unelectable.

At one point, she appeared to say she supported an attempt by Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, a plan he abandoned in the face of fierce opposition. A moment later she backed off, leading her opponents to denounce her again for obfuscating.

John Edwards and not Barack Obama led the way:

But for all the attention Mr. Obama drew to himself coming into the debate, he was frequently overshadowed by former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who — speaking more intensely — repeatedly challenged Mrs. Clinton’s credentials and credibility, and frequently seemed to make the case against Mrs. Clinton that Mr. Obama had promised to make.

“Senator Clinton says that she believes she can be the candidate for change, but she defends a broken system that’s corrupt in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Edwards said.

He added, “I think the American people, given this historic moment in our country’s history, deserve a president of the United States that they know will tell them the truth, and won’t say one thing one time and something different at a different time.”

And there was also this:

Mr. Edwards offered a similar line of attack. “I mean, another perspective on why the Republicans keep talking about Senator Clinton is, Senator, she — they may actually want to run against you, and that’s the reason they keep bringing you up,” he said, adding, “I think that if people want the status quo — Senator Clinton’s your candidate."

Boom. Thud.

But Clinton had moments of her own undoing, as witnessed by this:

In an exchange with Mr. Russert, arguably her third toughest opponent on the stage, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly declined to say whether she would push the National Archives to release correspondence from Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Clinton in the White House when he was president. Mr. Russert held up a copy of a letter from Mr. Clinton asking the Archives not to release any of those documents until 2012.

“Well, that’s not my decision to make,” she said. “And I don’t believe that any president or first lady has. But certainly we’ll move as quickly as our circumstances and the processes of the National Archives permits.”

Mr. Obama raised his hand, asking for a response. “We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history, and not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, as you’re making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem,” he said.

"Not her decision to make". How thoroughly disingenuous. An excerpt from Christopher Hayes' article about Rudy Giuliani identifies the former mayor as the candidate most likely to advance the secrecy of the presidency down the trail Bush and Cheney have blazed. Mrs. Clinton now grades out as the salutatorian in that contest.

Back-runner Bill Richardson, in the most obvious display of pandering for the vice-presidential slot ever witnessed, tried to defend Hillary:

“You know what I’m hearing here, I’m hearing this holier-than-thou attitude toward Senator Clinton,” he said. “It’s bothering me because it’s pretty close to personal attacks that we don’t need.”

As Chris Matthews noted in the post-debate spinning, in his forty years of covering elections, never has he observed a candidate at the back of the pack take up for the person at the front. That's simply not a strategy for victory ... if you're running for the presidential nomination.

And Senator Clinton is going to have some 'splainin' to do about that illegal immigrant/driver's license thingie. That could actually be the pivot upon which the worm turns for her. We'll see how things play out in the days ahead.

Finally, which line did you like best; Joe Biden's:

There's only three things (Giuliani) mentions in a sentence, "a noun, a verb, and 9/11."

Or Dennis Kucinich's:

"I believe more people have seen UFOs than approve of Bush's presidency."

A good time was had by all -- with the exception of Hillary Clinton and her supporters, that is.

Update: Meant to insert the Dodd Talk Clock...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Voter's Guide Wrangle

(This collection of election news and endorsement posts is brought to you by the Texas Progressive Alliance in anticipation of the November 6 general election. Some of the blogs and sites included in this round-up are not member sites of the Texas Progressive Alliance, but are included to give a wider picture of the many issues facing voters in local races around the state. The round-up was compiled by Vince at Capitol Annex.)

On November 6, Texans will go to the polls to vote on a variety of state and local issues. First and foremost, voters decide on 16 amendments to the Texas Constitution including Proposition 15, the much-touted amendment to fund cancer research in the state.

In addition voters in some municipalities, most prominently Houston, will be casting votes for city officials including mayors and city council members. College districts, independent school districts, and special districts across the state will also hold elections for their leaders. A number of cities and school districts will also hold bond elections to fund everything from jail construction to parks and recreation and school facilities. Some school districts will also hold elections to authorize tax rates higher than those allowed by the tax reform plan passed by the Texas Legislature in special session in 2006.

Texas bloggers have dedicated a considerable amount of coverage to election issues across the state, from the statewide constitutional amendment election to local issues. Much of this coverage is highlighted below.

Local Elections, Bonds, & Referendums

Charles Kuffner at Off The Kuff has exhaustive coverage of local elections in Houston from city council elections to college district elections and city bonds. There are a large number of posts, but mosts can be found in two categories, here and here.

Bill Howell in Stoutdemblog recommends a 'Yes' on the Dallas referendum on the Trinity River in River Don't You Weep.

Texas Cloverleaf has a round-up of campaign spending on the Trinity River campaign.

Grits for Breakfast has a collection of jail-related propositions on the ballot across the state, including in Smith County (Tyler).

North Texas Liberal explores the pros and cons of the Trinity River referendum in Dallas.

Other Key Local Election Coverage:

Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race (Doing My Part For The Left)

Endorsements & Voters Guides: Statewide Amendments & Local Races

Non-partisan voter's guides on the 16 statewide Constitutional Amendments: Texas League of Women Voters, Texas Legislative Council (full version), Texas Legislative Council (condensed version--warning, this is a .doc file), Texas House Research Organization.

Newspaper Endorsements For Constitutional Amendments: Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Waco Tribune-Herald (split editorials: here, here, here, here, here), El Paso Times (Prop. 4) Lufkin Daily News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, San Antonio Express-News.

Bill Howell at Stoutdemblog provides links to analyses of the amendments, then compares different stands taken on them by some other bloggers and Republicans and Libertarians, then gives his personal stands on each at Web Resources On The Endless Amendments.

Muse at Musings urges voters to just vote the opposite of the Harris County Republican Party's endorsements.

Capitol Annex has endorsements of the 16 Constitutional Amendments with detailed information behind the reasons for their picks in their four endorsement posts.

Gary at Easter Lemming News in Harris County has his thoughts on all the propositions, amendments and bonds to follow his election page.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson has "Early Voting in formation for Williamson County" along with several guides and couple of opinions on the amendments .

Off the Kuff gives his recommendations for the state and local bonds and propositions.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme points at some resources to decipher the proposed Texas constitutional amendments.

Other Notable Statewide Amendment Coverage:

Proposition 4 (Off The Kuff)

Proposition 15 Ramps Up (Off The Kuff)

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Weekly Wrangle

Once again it's time for the Texas Progressive Alliance blog round-up, wrangled each week by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left is outraged with certain politicians in Fort Worth. Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race tells who is being a jerk and how to contact one of them.

Muse was at Armando Walle’s campaign kick-off and reports why it’s time for a change in Texas House District 140. Kevin Bailey (D-Craddick) has been serving the speaker and not his constituents. Walle, who grew up in the district and has a proven track record of service and leadership, already has a large group of supporters lined up to help him take back 140 for the people.

Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report provides a detailed chart and analysis updating what's going on with the Craddick D's. The post brought forth an interesting reader response as well.

TXsharon at Bluedaze gives the Texas Railroad Commission Protection Money Breakdown, and makes it easy for you to take action. So please take that action before you become the next victim of RRC malpractice.

Hal at Half Empty wonders whether FEMA has finally taken a page out of George Orwell's book when they held a 'news conference' this past week without a single journalist in attendance.

WhosPlayin notes that he would gladly pay the $13.30 per year per person to pay for SCHIP.

McBlogger takes a look at the strange world of Focus on the Family and the very odd people that attended their Values Voters conference.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that Gov. Perry appointed a public corruption figure to the UT System board of regents.

Johncoby at Bay Area Houston finds the highest and lowest costs for electricity in the Houston area in his post entitled "Power Watch: Highest and lowest rates for November".

Stace at DosCentavos features the trailer to the upcoming Jesse Salmeron film "This Is America", the story of a family torn apart by deportation.

NatWu at Three Wise Men exposes the truth about why we need net neutrality, especially with all the recent telecom shenanigans.

North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad gives a breakdown on the factions of the 'Trinity Vote' in his post entitled "Dallas Weighs Pros and Cons of Trinity Toll Road".

WCNews at Eye On Williamson wonders: What Will John Carter's Excuse Be This Time For Voting Against Health Care For Children?

Off the Kuff gives his recommendations for the state and local bonds and propositions.

NYTexan at BlueBloggin asks how many wars and how many enemies can Bush have?

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Tom Craddick has borrowed a page from Warren Chisum in announcing that trial lawyers were behind efforts to remove him during the 8oth legislative session and wonders why, since he reported it some months ago, it is suddenly "news" to the mainstream media.

In the wake of the Houston Chronicle's announcement of a "position-elimination program", PDiddie at Brains and Eggs recounts his personal experience with Hearst newspapers, budgets, and staff cutbacks in The Trouble with the Newspaper Bidness.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Late Sunday Funnies

How conservatives use e-mail to advance smears and lies

Two more premises from the previous posting on the Christians and the Republicans deserve some further examination. First, the widely advanced postulate that Hillary hurts Democrats in ways that other candidates do not:

Many conservative Christian leaders say they can count on the specter of a second Clinton presidency to fire up their constituents. But the prospect of an Obama-Giuliani race is another matter. “You would have a bunch of people who traditionally vote Republican going over to Obama,” said the Rev. Donald Wildmon, founder of the Christian conservative American Family Association of Tupelo, Miss., known for its consumer boycotts over obscenity or gay issues.

In the Wichita churches this summer, Obama was the Democrat who drew the most interest. Several mentioned that he had spoken at Warren’s Saddleback church and said they were intrigued. But just as many people ruled out Obama because they suspected that he was not Christian at all but in fact a crypto-Muslim — a rumor that spread around the Internet earlier this year. “There is just that ill feeling, and part of it is his faith,” Welsh said. “Is his faith anti-Christian? Is he a Muslim? And what about the school where he was raised?”

“Obama sounds too much like Osama,” said Kayla Nickel of Westlink. “When he says his name, I am like, ‘I am not voting for a Muslim!’ ”

That last part is where we pause and consider just what conservative blind hatred blended with garlic-strength stupidity hath wrought: have you heard the one about Barack Obama being a Muslim? That he attended a "madrassa", a school for children associated with the radical Wahhabist sect?

On August 10, 2004, just two weeks after Obama had given his much-heralded keynote speech at the DNC in Boston, a perennial Republican Senate candidate and self-described "independent contrarian columnist" named Andy Martin issued a press release. In it, he announced a press conference in which he would expose Obama for having "lied to the American people" and "misrepresent[ed] his own heritage."

Martin raised all kinds of strange allegations about Obama but focused on him attempting to hide his Muslim past. "It may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel," read Martin's statement. "His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles where Obama now enjoys support."

There's more about Andy Martin, but you can go to the link for that. We'll continue:

Within a few days of Martin's press conference, the conservative site Free Republic had picked it up, attracting a long comment thread, but after that small blip the specious "questions" about Obama's background disappeared. Then, in the fall of 2006, as word got out that Obama was considering a presidential run, murmurs on the Internet resumed. In October a conservative blog called Infidel Bloggers Alliance reposted the Andy Martin press release under the title "Is Barack Obama Lying About His Life Story?" A few days later the online RumorMillNews also reposted the Andy Martin press release in response to a reader's inquiry about whether Obama was a Muslim. Then in December fringe right-wing activist Ted Sampley posted a column on the web raising the possibility that Obama was a secret Muslim. Sampley, who co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry and once accused John McCain of having been a KGB asset, quoted heavily from Martin's original press release. "When Obama was six," Sampley wrote, "his mother, an atheist, married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian Muslim, and moved to Jakarta, Indonesia.... Soetoro enrolled his stepson in one of Jakarta's Muslim Wahabbi schools. Wahabbism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad on the rest of the world."

On December 29, 2006, the very same day that Sampley posted his column, Snopes received its first copy of the e-mail forward, which contains an identical charge in strikingly similar language. Given the timing, it seems likely that it was a distillation of Sampley's work.

Yes, despite the e-mail that continues to be forwarded today, and the FOX and Friends news analysis (sic) and the Insight magazine article and the BS, Barack Obama did not ever attend a madrassa. painstakingly details how wild this exaggeration became (similar to Nigerian yellowcake, for example). CNN debunked it, and even FOX themselves corrected the smear, but the damage to fragile conservative minds, as you can see above, remains done:

Despite the fact that CNN and others have thoroughly debunked the smear, the original false accusation has clearly sunk into people's consciousness. One Obama organizer told me recently that every day, while calling prospective voters, he gets at least one or two people who tell him they won't be voting for Obama because he's a Muslim. According to Google, "Barack Obama Muslim" is the third most-searched term for the Illinois senator. And an August CBS poll found that when voters were asked to give Obama's religion, as many said Muslim as correctly answered Protestant.

Oh yeah. And the e-mail continues to circulate.

"Everybody started calling me" when the e-mail first made the rounds, Andy Martin told me. "They said, 'Hey, did you write this?' My answer was 'they are all my children.' "

Heard the one about Hillary Clinton snubbing the Gold Star Mothers? That John Kerry didn't earn his medals in Vietnam? That Al Gore invented the Internet?

Such is the power of the right-wing smear forward, a vehicle for the dissemination of character assassination that has escaped the scrutiny directed at the Limbaughs and Coulters and O'Reillys but one that is as potent as it is invisible. In 2004 putative firsthand accounts of Kerry's performance in Vietnam traveled through e-mail in right-wing circles, presaging the Swift Boat attacks. Last winter a forward began circulating accusing Barack Obama of being a secret Muslim schooled in a radical madrassa (about which more later). While the story was later fed through familiar right-wing megaphones, even making it onto Fox, it has continued to circulate via e-mail long after being definitively debunked by CNN. In other words, the few weeks the smear spent in the glare of the mainstream media was just a tiny portion of a long life cycle, most of which has been spent darting from inbox to inbox.

The profoundly uninformed, relying almost entirely on FOX and Limbaugh and Hannity for their "news", is at greatest risk for this kind of glaring ignorance:

For a certain kind of conservative, these e-mails, along with talk radio, are an informational staple, a means of getting the real stories that the mainstream media ignore. "I get a million of them!" says Gerald DeSimone, a 74-year-old veteran from Ridgewood, New Jersey, who describes his politics as "to the right of Attila the Hun." "If I forwarded every one on, everyone would hate me.... I'm trying to cut back. I try to send no more than two or three a day. I must get thirty or forty a day."

Do you have a Republican relative who forwards these, and other messages of similar intellectual laziness, to your inbox once a week or so -- which may be the only time they turn on their computer? Well, you're not alone:

Mike D'Asto, a 29-year-old assistant cameraman living in New York, received so many forwards from his conservative father he started a blog called, where he shares them with other unwitting recipients. "I suddenly have connected to all these people who receive these right-wing forwards from their brothers-in-law," D'Asto told me. "Surprisingly, a very large number of people receive these."

And that, as The Nation's Christopher Hayes notes, is the problem.

For conservatives, these e-mails neatly reinforce preconceptions, bending the facts of the world in line with their ideological framework: liberals, immigrants, hippies and celebrities are always the enemy; soldiers and conservatives, the besieged heroes. The stories of the former's perfidy and the latter's heroism are, of course, never told by the liberal media. So it's left to the conservative underground to get the truth out. And since the general story and the roles stay the same, often the actual characters are interchangeable.

Did you ever get the one about the Senator questioning Oliver North about a terrorist (who was named Osama bin Laden in the e-mail but in reality named Abu Nidal -- hey, they all sound alike, right?) In 2000, it was Gore; in 2004 it was Kerry.

"A lot of the chain letters that were accusing Al Gore of things in 2000 were recycled in 2004 and changed to Kerry," says John Ratliff, who runs a site called, which, like Snopes, devotes itself to debunking chain e-mails. One e-mail falsely described a Senate committee hearing in the 1980s where Oliver North offered an impassioned Cassandra-like warning about the threat of Osama bin Laden, only to be dismissed by a condescending Democratic senator. Originally it was Al Gore who played the role of the senator, but by 2004 it had changed to John Kerry. "You just plug in your political front-runner du jour," Ratliff says.

So what can we expect for the next twelve months? Hillary's a lesbian? Check. Her husband still catting around? Roger that. Barack Osama hates America? John Edwards got an expensive haircut, and he and Al Gore are both gay and live together in a 40,000 square-foot house with a $10,000 monthly utility bill?

The next time you get one of these howlers in your inbox from you-know-which-relative, do two things: check out whether it's accurate at Snopes, and then send it back to the forwarder correcting their understanding.

Our republican democracy thanks you in advance.

The flock begins to scatter

The Christians are breaking up faster than the polar ice cap:

Today the president’s support among evangelicals, still among his most loyal constituents, has crumbled. Once close to 90 percent, the president’s approval rating among white evangelicals has fallen to a recent low below 45 percent, according to polls by the Pew Research Center. White evangelicals under 30 — the future of the church — were once Bush’s biggest fans; now they are less supportive than their elders. And the dissatisfaction extends beyond Bush. For the first time in many years, white evangelical identification with the Republican Party has dipped below 50 percent, with the sharpest falloff again among the young, according to John C. Green, a senior fellow at Pew and an expert on religion and politics. (The defectors by and large say they’ve become independents, not Democrats, according to the polls.)

Some claim the falloff in support for Bush reflects the unrealistic expectations pumped up by conservative Christian leaders. But no one denies the war is a factor. Christianity Today, the evangelical journal, has even posed the question of whether evangelicals should “repent” for their swift support of invading Iraq.

“Even in evangelical circles, we are tired of the war, tired of the body bags,” the Rev. David Welsh, who took over late last year as senior pastor of Wichita’s large Central Christian Church, told me. “I think it is to the point where they are saying: ‘O.K., we have done as much good as we can. Now let’s just get out of there.’ ”

This news may contain the fallen dry leaves of the GOP dynasty, or it may contain the seeds of John McCain's revival. Lots of insights; read it all.

Greg similarly recommends and suggests he may have more to say on the subject.

Early Sunday Funnies

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rudy Awakening

Many Giuliani watchers already understand that Rudy is a hothead and a grandstander, even a bit of a dictator at times. These qualities have dominated the story of his mayoralty that most people know. As that drama was unfolding, however, so was a quieter story, driven by Giuliani's instinct and capacity for manipulating the levers of government. His methods, like those of the current White House, included appointments of yes-men, aggressive tests of legal limits, strategic lawbreaking, resistance to oversight, and obsessive secrecy. As was also the case with the White House, the events of 9/11 solidified the mindset underlying his worst tendencies. Embedded in his operating style is a belief that rules don't apply to him, and a ruthless gift for exploiting the intrinsic weaknesses in the system of checks and balances. That's why, of all the presidential candidates, Giuliani is most likely to take the expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still. The blueprint can be found in the often-overlooked corners of his mayoralty.

Perhaps you better go read the whole thing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

DOJ to investigate CPS Energy (hangman's noose)

On the heels of the discovery of a hangman's noose in the cubicle of a supervisor at municipally-owned CPS Energy in San Antonio, the US Department of Justice will investigate the allegations of ... oh, let's be charitable and call it "decades-long racial insensitivity".

Specifically the Community Relations Service division of the USDOJ. From their mission statement:

The Community Relations Service is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS is the only Federal agency dedicated to assist State and local units of government, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony. CRS facilitates the development of viable, mutual understandings and agreements as alternatives to coercion, violence, or litigation. It also assists communities in developing local mechanisms, conducting training, and other proactive measures to prevent or reduce racial/ethnic tension. CRS does not take sides among disputing parties and, in promoting the principles and ideals of non-discrimination, applies skills that allow parties to come to their own agreement. In performing this mission, CRS deploys highly skilled professional conciliators, who are able to assist people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.

CRS was in Jena, Louisiana in September of this year, and went to Jasper, Texas in the wake of the death of James Byrd in 1998.

David Van Os, the attorney for the IBEW, which brought the original complaints of unfair work practices against the company, is contemplating litigation on a handful of fronts by a number of former CPS employees, union and non-. Quote:

"The situation is intolerable and we intend to do everything possible to clean it up."

So there will likely be more about this to be blogged in the future.

Update (10/27): Sharon has more on the other nooses in the news.

TexBlog PAC event Monday, 10/29

So our merry little band of bloggers is going to start doing more than just writing about the outrageous things the Republican-and-Blue-Dog-led Texas House does: we're going to begin influencing it by electing more (and better) Democrats.

Come to our Houston fundraising event next Monday evening:

Join TexBlog PAC
with special guests:

State Representatives

Senfronia Thompson Garnet Coleman
Dora Olivo Jessica Farrar
Rick Noriega Ana Hernandez
Ellen Cohen

State Senators

Mario Gallegos
Rodney Ellis

Special thanks to our sponsors who include:

The Texas Democratic Party The House Democratic Campaign Committee
Congressman Chris Bell Congressman Nick Lampson
Council Member Melissa Noriega Barbara Radnofsky
Jim Henley Joe Jaworski

Monday, October 29th, 2007 5:30 to 7:30 pm

At the Home of David Mincberg
5406 Braeburn, Bellaire, 77401

For additional information, or to sponsor the event, call Charles Kuffner at 713-825-0013.

Or throw a little in our kitty here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An 'Office" Party

I'm going to be Marching to Stop Executions in Houston this weekend, but I wish I had time to get to Scranton, PA for this:

As Michael Scott, the clueless boss on NBC's "The Office," would say, "ain't no party like a Scranton party."

With that in mind, the city where the Emmy-winning cubicle comedy is set is hosting a weekend blowout for thousands of fans.

The inaugural "Office Convention" promises to be as quirky as the show itself, with highlights including an Office Olympics (Dunderball, anyone?), a character lookalike contest, appearances by cast and crew and performances by the Scrantones, the band that recorded the show's theme music.

"The Office" is absolutely hands down the best thing on television. I try hard to never miss it.

It starts Friday with the "Today" show's Al Roker broadcasting live from the University of Scranton and wraps up Sunday.

About 2,000 tickets ranging from $25 to $250 have been sold so far — 70 percent of them to out-of-town fans.

A remake of the acclaimed British series of the same name, "The Office" is shot in mock-documentary style, following the exploits of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and his sad-sack underlings at the fictional Dunder-Mifflin paper-supply company.

In its fourth season on NBC, "The Office" boasts a devoted following.

Fans have been making pilgrimages to Scranton, a small city about 100 miles north of Philadelphia, to check out real-life landmarks referenced on the show, from Poor Richard's pub and Farley's restaurant to Lake Wallenpaupack and the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour.

One bummer:

Fourteen cast members, along with the show's writers and executive producer, are scheduled to appear this weekend. None of the actors who play the main characters — Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer — have signed on.

Alas, fame and fortune and movie-making (and a fear of being typecast, I suppose) keeps this weekend from being an all-star event.

Maybe next year I'll go, too.

SCHIP re-vote scheduled today

And also a reminder from the children: no health insurance, no photo ops...

BarbinMD sums it up:

Vote for a bill that has the overwhelming support of the American people or stand with Mr. 24% and endanger your own job security? What's a rubber stamp Republican to do?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The trouble with the newspaper bidness

Banjo and blogH cover the Chronic's latest woes: more staff cutbacks coming.

I posted previously about some of my newspaper experience; for the sake of full disclosure, I worked for a handful of Hearst's Texas newspapers, on the ad side, between 1981 and 1992.

The profit margin of an urban daily like the Chronicle probably averages something around 20-25%. It might have dropped into the teens lately. The general state of affairs in the newspaper industry -- going back twenty-five years to my time -- is that as circulation and subsequently advertising continually erode, expenses have to be reduced in order to sustain that margin. See, most newspapers don't cut staff to stay in business; they cut staff to maintain the highest profits for any business you can think of. Smaller "community" newspapers run higher margins; the Plainview Daily Herald ran 30% in 1987 and Hearst budgeted 33% in 1988. I know this because I prepared the corporate budgets both years. When the Beaumont Enterprise was sold to Hearst in 1984, the publisher at the time -- who was also the president of Jefferson-Pilot Publications, the seller -- bragged to the Hearst guys that he was running that newspaper at a 40% profit margin. Their response: "You're not paying your people enough."

"A position-elimination program" is the only way left to Jack Sweeney and his brethren at newspapers large and small, all across the nation, to preserve their bonuses and ultimately their own jobs. Just as it was a generation ago, they're all hoping to make it to their own cushy retirements before the really bad shit hits the fan.

Every now and then I get the distinct impression that the printed newspaper as we have all known it will be read only in a museum by the next generation. See, I grew up reading the funnies with my dad, sitting on his lap. When I was a teenager he would announce, as I ambled into the kitchen in the morning: "the Astros won last night". That's how I became a newspaper reader, not a newspaper employee. And that just doesn't happen any more. Kids get what little news they care about any place except from the newspaper. They're too busy texting to get ink on their fingers.

I have absolutely no idea who's going to pay to gather the news in the future. Those profit margins provided the hundreds of staffers to work city hall, the courthouse, the football games and so on. Newspapers have been paying that freight -- to go out and get the news and then get it to us -- for well over a hundred years. But they don't want to do it any more. Costs too much.

And that's where the breakdown will be -- make that, 'is'. The one between the truth and the spin. If the business model doesn't make it worthwhile to gather news, and everybody just prints or posts the press release, and something like net neutrality stifles the blogosphere ...

We can all whine about bias and lack of coverage and cutbacks, but when the newspaper business quits (more likely than going under), there's precious little in terms of infrastructure in the news business to fill the void. TV and radio haven't been doing that job for years (decades, in some cases).

Maybe the corporate media is lazy and too heavily influenced by its profit motive and its ultra-Republican managers, but it's the only thing most of us bloggers -- and citizens -- have. We kinda need them to hang in there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Watts will withdraw

Rio Grande Guardian:

McALLEN, October 23 - San Antonio-based attorney Mikal Watts will announce this morning that he is pulling out of the race for U.S. Senate, the Guardian has learned.

Watts, a Democrat, made calls to close supporters early this morning to explain his decision. He cited family reasons.

One of those Watts called was state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, one of the first lawmakers to endorse him.

“Mikal called this morning, around 7 a.m., and told me he was pulling out of the race. He cited family reasons,” Hinojosa said. “Mikal is very close to his kids and he has never held public office before. It can take a lot out of you."

After he didn't appear at the Harris County Democratic Party's Johnson-Rayburn-Richards dinner this past weekend -- having previously paid $10,000 for the privilege of introducing the keynoter, D-Trip-C head Rahm Emanuel -- rumors began to fly that he was considering ending his exploratory campaign. Apparently those rumors are accurate.

This blog has been harsh on Watts' senatorial bid. In the wake of his announcement today that stops his run for the US Senate, let me say to Mr. Watts: thank you for standing for public office. And I wish you would consider a judicial slot; we need better judges on the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, and you would be a fine candidate for either of those.

Al Franken in Texas tomorrow

Sorry Al, but all my money's staying inside the state, and my US Senate contributions will be solely devoted to Rick Noriega. Best of luck to you, though. Seriously. Love your books, loved the way you busted BillO's chops at the book fair, hope you kick Norm Coleman right out.

Just not going to make any more out-of-state contributions when we've got elections here that we need to win.

Naomi Wolf: One step away

The same language, images, manipulation that would-be despots have used in the past to break down existing democracies are being employed now. ... Mussolini created the blueprint, Hitler followed suit, Stalin studied Hitler and these methods just get passed down to the next generation of dictators throughout the world. NeoFascism in ten easy steps:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens' groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

Can't happen here, you say? You don't think so?

In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: "I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don't want to get on a list." In D.C., before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head -- probably a Republican -- confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State -- but he is scared not to sign it: "If I don't, I lose my job, my house. It's like the German National ID card," he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military man who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration -- his family is now on the list. His elderly mother is on the list. His teenage son is on the list. He has flown many dangerous combat missions over the course of his military career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.

Jim Spencer, a former columnist for the Denver Post who has been critical of the Bush administration, told me today that I could use his name: he is on the watch list. An attorney contacts me to say that she told her colleagues at the Justice Department not to torture a detainee; she says she then faced a criminal investigation, a professional referral, saw her emails deleted -- and now she is on the watch list. I was told last night that a leader of Code Pink, the anti-war women's action group, was refused entry to Canada. I hear from a tech guy who works for the airlines -- again, probably a Republican -- that once you are on the list you never get off. Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York's LaGuardia, I reluctantly found myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey's excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the sirport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said "We Will Not be Silenced" -- with an Arabic translation -- that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo.

Still don't buy it?

I read the news in a state of something like walking shock: seven soldiers wrote op-eds critical of the war -- in The New York Times; three are dead, one shot in the head. A female soldier who was about to become a whistleblower, possibly about abuses involving taxpayers' money: shot in the head. Pat Tillman, who was contemplating coming forward in a critique of the war: shot in the head. Donald Vance, a contractor himself, who blew the whistle on irregularities involving arms sales in Iraq -- taken hostage FROM the U.S. Embassy BY U.S. soldiers and kept without recourse to a lawyer in a U.S. held-prison, abused and terrified for weeks -- and scared to talk once he got home. Another whistleblower in Iraq, as reported in Vanity Fair: held in a trailer all night by armed contractors before being ejected from the country.

Last week contractors, immune from the rule of law, butchered 17 Iraqi civilians in cold blood. Congress mildly objected -- and contractors today butcher two more innocent civilian Iraqi ladies -- in cold blood.

Is it clear yet that violent retribution, torture or maybe worse, seems to go right up this chain of command? Is it clear yet that these people are capable of anything? Is it obvious yet that criminals are at the helm of the nation and need to be not only ousted but held accountable for their crimes?

Is it treason yet?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Weekly Wrangle

Time again to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance from the preceding week, brought to you once again by Vince at Capitol Annex. I get to bat leadoff this week:

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has an advance of the Max Cleland-Karl Rove debate, coming up this Friday, October 26.

Diarist Scott Cobb at Texas Kaos updates on the growing movement to hold rogue judge Sharon Keller accountable for her callous disregard for the responsibility of the Court of Criminal Appeals, while she displays her intoxication with its power.

State senator Craig Estes, Senate District 30, was given numerous examples of Texas Railroad Commission malpractice, negligence, incompetence and cronyism at his recent town hall meeting in Wise County. TXsharon at Bluedaze asks: Will Senator Estes Investigate the RRC's Malpractice?

Adam at Three Wise Men looks into the future to give us his expert opinion on the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race.

McBlogger has been keeping a watchful eye on what's happening in Congress with FISA expansion.

At Half Empty, Hal ponders the question: which Republican candidate can the evangelicals support for President?

Muse vs. state senator Kevin Eltife. A whole lotta safe sex going on, or should the the state of Texas get involved in adults getting free condoms on campus?

Todd Hill at Burnt Orange Report interviews Dan Barrett, the only Democrat in the special election race for HD 97 in Fort Worth.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson reports on some unbelievable statements made by county commissioner Cynthia Long on the children that are being detained at the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas.

Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at a state representative, Fred Brown (R-Bryan), who has scheduled an oversight hearing of an agency that is investigating his business partner.

Bradley at North Texas Liberal celebrates one of the first and only times Sen. John Cornyn has been on the right side of the issue: securing H-2B visas for seasonal workers and joining with Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland to help save small business... at least for another year.

Are government emails covered by open record laws? Off the Kuff takes a look.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme wonders if a Dallas minister will lose his church's tax-exempt status by slamming Mitt Romney because "he's not a Christian."

Nytexan at BlueBloggin wonders why the Department of Homeland Security purchases products from China when American industry is disappearing and jobs are declining.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks into the pending libel and slander lawsuit against Dallas Republicans, including State Rep. Tony Goolsby.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News updated on political news and gossip in the Pasadena area. Like most gossip, one item was wrong.

Think arbitration is fair? Think again. John Coby at Bay Area Houston notes that the bottom line from the data is clear. In the nearly 20,000 cases where NAF [National Arbitration Forum] reached a decision, First USA prevailed in an astonishing 99.6 percent of cases.

Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left thinks state senator Kevin Eltife needs some education.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Cuban missle crisis in Dallas

(There's been too much nasty talk around here lately, so here's an NBA post.)

Kenny Smith, the former Houston Rocket, expounds on Association expansion:

While on the NBA Europe Live Tour, which featured NBA teams playing in Turkey, Italy, Spain and England, I pondered this question: Is it possible for the league to have teams that reside in Europe?

I've talked to commissioner David Stern on several occasions about this subject, and he contends that due to scheduling, logistical nightmares and time-zone changes, it is out of the question at this time. He also told me that the All-Star game would be too difficult to have in Europe because of the same reasons at this time. He always ends such statements with "at this time." (There's the hint.)

Do I think it's possible? Yes. There are a lot of variables, but if planned correctly, European expansion could and should happen.

I used to be one of those purists that thought basketball is our game and that European players are inferior. Am I right? Who cares? The real truth came from Bill Russell when I was complaining about foreign players and their inclusion. He said, as an African-American, I never should complain about inclusion. So I'm all for adding teams from overseas.

I agree that scheduling would be a huge problem. For example, if there were a team in Spain, it would have approximately an eight-hour flight to the United States. Then when it got here, it would have to deal with the time zone change, a seven-hour difference if it played on the West Coast. How could you give the team fair time to adjust?

The solution is simple: Add approximately six new franchises at once.

They would make up the new Euro Division, with teams based in Italy, Spain, France, England and Greece. Clubs from North America would have to spend two weeks of the regular season in Europe before the All-Star game and again after the All-Star game. To further accommodate this expansion across the Atlantic Ocean, the NBA would have to shorten the schedule to 70 games. (I feel it's worth shortening the season to add the global market to the league!)

I know the next comment from my former NBA purist brothers is: "The NBA is already watered down in talent. These new teams would dilute the league even more!" Do I really have to bring up the Olympics or world championships? Or the fact that American dominance is over?

We have seen Spain, Greece and other countries fare extremely well against our so-called best. The world has caught up. (OK, there – I said it!)

Growing up in New York City, this reminds me of the time when all of the hot rappers came from New York – Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Run-D.M.C., etc. Then someone realized that, damn, they're rapping in Cali, too, with N.W.A. and Ice-T. Even Coolio ain't half-bad. (OK, I'm overdoing it.) Then came the Dirty South with Outkast and Dungeon Family. Then the Midwest popped off with Bone Thugs and Common … you get my drift?

There is talent out there, and it's creeping into the NBA instead of making a splash all at once. Don't sleep! Do you really think a team featuring Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Dirk Nowitzki couldn't contend? Hell, the past two MVPs came from Canada and Germany. Yao Ming could be next.

So, come on – expand your mind and be global. The commissioner is. And trust me, you will be wearing that Team Italia fitted and the Greece throwback one day. Count on it.

And in the run-up to the beginning of the NBA regular season, a few choice comments from my Rotisserrie tip sheet, Rotoworld:

The Mavs have their own version of the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' going on as they try to prove that they are not soft. Howard's forearm to the back of Brad Miller's head and the fact that Jerry Stackhouse (who has never walked away from a fight) is starting are good examples of changes the team is making in an effort to send the message. If Mark Cuban was on a deserted island, locked in a house with 12 strangers or trekking across the world in a race with his ex-roommate, he might gain a little more street cred than he's getting with the dance thing.

The New York Post reports "the Knicks are monitoring the Kobe Bryant soap opera, but indications are they will not place Eddy Curry in any trade, making a deal near impossible."
Knicks fans' suffering does not look to be ending any time soon. This report seems merely speculative, but if it is true it belongs in Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not.

Sacramento Kings reserve center Justin Williams has been accused by a Sacramento woman of sexual assault, a source told The Bee on Thursday, and the reserve big man has been given an indefinite leave of absence from the team as the investigation continues. The woman told police last week that she met Williams and another woman at a party and went with the couple to Williams' home. The woman said she did not drink before arriving at Williams' home and felt woozy after having a drink at the house. According to the source, who asked to not be identified because the investigation is ongoing, Williams and the other woman tried to have sex with the alleged victim in Williams' bedroom.

: The lawyer for Justin Williams, accused of sexual assault, says the sex his client and girlfriend had with a Sacramento woman was consensual:

"The truth is nothing happened that night that was not consensual, and we have proof of it," William J. Portanova said. "While some people may find it distasteful to think about it, it's a reality of 21st-century life." Police searched Williams' house on Wednesday and discovered evidence, but spokespeople for the police refused to say what was found.

Crap. More sex talk on this blog.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Putin: "Political Eroticism"

Moneyshot Quotes of the Week, first from Vladimir Putin. Excerpted for context:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the US war in Iraq was a "pointless" battle against the Iraqi people.

"One can wipe off a political map some tyrannical regime . . . but it's absolutely pointless to fight with a people," Mr Putin said on television.

"It is strong enough to protect its interests within the national territory and, by the way, in other regions of the world.

"Thank God Russia is not Iraq," Mr Putin added.

When asked about supposed US intentions to gain control over Russia's huge, resource-rich interior, Mr Putin said: "I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians. I think it is a sort of political eroticism which maybe gives someone pleasure but will hardly lead anywhere and the best example of that is Iraq."

More on the theory that war is sexual hell from George Carlin, going back a few decades:

I also look at war itself a little differently from most. I see it largely as an exercise in dick-waving. That's really all it is: a lot of men standing around in a field waving their dicks at one another. Men, insecure about the size of their penises, choose to kill one another.

That's also what all that moron athlete bullshit is all about, and what that macho, male posturing and strutting around in bars and locker rooms represents. It's called 'dick fear.' Men are terrified that their dicks are inadequate, and so they have to 'compete' in order to feel better about themselves. And since war is the ultimate competition, essentially men are killing one another in order to improve their genital self-esteem.

You needn't be a historian or a political scientist to see the Bigger Dick Foreign Policy Theory at work. It goes like this: 'What? They have bigger dicks? Bomb them!' And of course, the bombs, the rockets, and the bullets are all shaped like penises. Phallic weapons. There's an unconscious need to project the national penis into the affairs of others. It's called 'fucking with people'.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Broke Brownback quits

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is preparing today to abandon his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, after struggling financially and falling flat in a key test among Iowa Republicans.

Brownback was expected to announce his withdrawal Friday in Topeka, Kan., where he announced his long-shot bid in January. He spent part of today calling supporters to share his decision.

The Christian conservatives, lately in the news for their whining, bitching, pissing and moaning about Giuliani and the other front-walking candidates, just lost their best hope. Sen. Bareback was the most virulent homophobe of the whole lousy lot:

The 50-year-old, two-term senator was a favorite among social conservatives, who appreciated Brownback's firm stance against abortion and same-sex marriage. But even admirers gave him little chance against better known rivals, such as former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and candidates with far more money, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

But it was really all about the Benjamins:

Brownback's biggest problem, however, was a lack of money.

In the most recent campaign finance reports, released earlier this week, Brownback reported a mere $94,000 cash on hand, far less than any of his opponents. In all, he raised just less than $4 million, compared with $62 million for Romney and $47 million for Giuliani.

In a gamble, Brownback spent heavily to compete in an August Republican straw poll, hoping a strong showing would vault him into serious contention in the state that will vote first in 2008. But he finished a disappointing third behind Romney and Huckabee, and his campaign never recovered. A Des Moines Register Poll earlier this month showed Brownback with just 2% support; Romney led the survey with the backing of 29% of likely Republican caucus-goers.

Farewell, Senator Brokeback. Don't let the door hitcha where the Good Lord splitcha.

One Republican's sophistry on SCHIP

Behold the asshattery of Rep. Steve King (R-Douchesack, Iowa).

Everyone knows, of course, that Bush's SCHIP veto was sustained today by King, 150 other Republicans and two Democrats not to stop the nation's inexorable slide toward "socialized medicine" but because that money would pay for almost three whole months of military operations in Iraq.

And that's much more important than a bunch of poor sick kids.

Cleland v. Rove, 10/26

Let the following serve as a lesson to organizers of the current snoozers that somehow pass for presidential debates:

First, take a controversial learning institution. Say, Regents University in Virginia, founded by evangelical politician and broadcaster Pat Robertson.

Pick two pairs of debaters. Put former U.S. senator Max Cleland and retired Army general Barry McCaffery on one side. Set up ex-White House guru Karl Rove and former Florida governor Jeb Bush opposite them.

Toss in a question: “Should America bring democracy to the world?”

Then let the feathers fly, leaving the preservation of civilization to a single moderator, PBS journalist Charlie Rose.

This will happen on Oct. 26. Witnesses will be charged $40. Splatter sheets will be provided to occupants of the first three rows.

So far as we know, this will be the first time Rove and Cleland have met. Many supporters of Cleland believe that Rove — during Cleland’s unsuccessful re-election campaign — was behind the TV ad that paired the triple-amputeed, Vietnam veteran with an image of Osama bin Laden.

Rove was asked about it as he exited the White House last month. “We’ve got better things to do than write television ads in Senate campaigns in Georgia,” President Bush’s brain said.

So ... who will you be rooting for?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nine-Eleven-MoFo '08

Did you catch it live this morning on FOX and Friends?

I'm now convinced that Rude-y is going to be the nominee. Not because Governor 39% has jumped on his scooter fire engine bandwagon, but because the esteemed Jeffrey Feldman says so. The Right, you see, is a lot like teenagers on a Friday night date: they like to be frightened. And just like Bush before him, they like guys who talk tough with no history of ever backing it up. They especially like men who are a little wimpy, a little soft. They really like men who are gay-friendly-just-not-publicly that talk real, real tough.

The Right likes the fact that Rudy will bomb Iran, so they will overlook his three marriages and his cross-dressing, his mobbed-up pals like Bernie Kerik, and his exceptionally rude, selfish behavior. Rick Perry fits right in, you see.

The Log Cabins will be thrilled with a Giuliani-Perry ticket. One man loves gays, the other man IS gay ...

Not Mitt's money, not Frederick of Hollywood's hard-working ethic, and not poor John McCain's pandering to the Christian conservatives is going to stop Rudy. For the record I'd like to be as wrong about this as I would Hillary killing us in Texas, too. Any of the other GOP front-runners would be much easier to defeat.

On the downside -- and on the horrid thought that the nation would actually send the GOP back to the White House -- Texas will have once again exported its sorriest Republican to Washington. David Dewhurst moves up to first-string. A scrum breaks out for the second chair: Greg Abbott runs to the head of the pack.

Make that 'rolls'.

And Rick Perry would inherit all of the assumed authority that Dick Cheney spent eight years amassing. Ponder THAT.

Monday, October 15, 2007

B.A.D.* for the Environment

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

In honor of Blog Action Day*, here's the video of Friends of Earth Action and their endorsement of John Edwards for president:

The Weekly Wrangle

Time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. As always, the posts are wrangled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Rep. Barney Frank responds to GLBT activists: "Now this is the issue: does a political party say to its most militant, committed, ideologically driven believers in purity that they have a veto over what the party does?" Evan at The Caucus Blog responds.

BossKitty at Bluebloggin asks why are so many Texans still illiterate?

The Texas Cloverleaf endorses Karen Guerra for 16th District Court Judge in Denton County.

Burnt Orange Report highlights the hard work being done across the nation: a broad coalition has launched a campaign to override President Bush's SCHIP veto, and Kay Granger is public enemy number 1 in Texas. Ads, analysis, polls, and outrage... BOR has it all.

North Texas Liberal asks, "Could Congress override Bush's veto?" Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Kennedy seem to think that SCHIP is worth fighting for. So do we.

Vince from Capitol Annex notes that Kay Granger should have known better when it comes to her recent "no" vote on the reauthorization and expansion of SCHIP.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News cannot stop writing about conservative bloggers repeatedly attacking a family who were in a terrible automobile accident and received government health care and liked it: Maybe next time your kids are in the hospitable you'll be attacked by right-wing idiots, and more slime in the right-wing noise machine.

McBlogger has a story up about a state representative you should know.

A supervisor for CPS Energy in San Antonio has a hangman's noose displayed in his cubicle. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posts the details, including a photo. Update: A press conference is scheduled for this morning.

Muse notes that Kay Bailey Hutchinson is trying out harder helmet hair styles so that the words of mean bloggers will bounce right off her in her imaginary (or not) run for governor in 2010.

Warning from TXsharon: Calibrate your outrage meter before visiting Bluedaze to read how Bush policies have weakened the Clean Water Act so much that Texas water is no longer fit for drinking, swimming or fishing.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme notes that presidential candidate Tom Tancredo wants to build that d*mn fence north of Brownsville. Either you're with the fence or he'll move the boundaries so your town's part of Mexico.

Unsurprised at Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, nor at his acceptance speech, Hal at Half Empty surprises everyone with the Moonwalking Mannequin Bird.

Rattlebrain Randy prefers a little bit of disaster -- sure, it may hurt his constituents but it helps his friends in the insurance industry, notes Blue 19th.

At Texas Kaos, diarist persiancowboy invites members of the general public to sign on to the complaint against rogue judge Sharon Keller for her callous use of judicial power.

Off the Kuff reports that state Rep. Garnet Coleman is urging AG Greg Abbott to sue to block a recent Center for Medicaid and State Operations directive that will result in the loss of CHIP coverage for thousands of children.

Stop Cornyn is fuming about Cornyn's vote against children. After voting against Texas children twice, now Junior John wants a watered-down version to save face. It is time to fully fund children's health insurance.