Friday, November 14, 2014

Frostbite Friday

Did you cover up your plants and bring the dogs inside last night?  It looks like it might warm up fast.  I'm clear of my election duties as of yesterday afternoon, but closing out my fiscal year means that time to blog at some length remains limited.

-- Yesterday Gadfly took exception with my characterization in this post of the climate pact between China and the US as a 'game-changer'.  I still think it is, and there's plenty of reasons to be a doubter (of my premise, not climate change).  Bill McKibben of in particular has several good reasons to be both encouraged and discouraged here.  I'm optimistic about the agreement being a difference-maker, and I'm capable of holding two competing thoughts in my head (and so should you).

--  From the people who complain when all schoolchildren get a trophy...

State Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, introduced a new bill Thursday to change the way Michigan's electoral college votes are allocated. Under the new bill, the presidential winner of the state's popular vote would get at least 9 of the state's 16 electoral votes. The winner would receive an additional electoral vote for every 1.5% above the 50% vote mark. For instance, if the winner got 51.5% of the statewide vote, they would get 10 of the state's 16 electoral votes. If they won 53% of the statewide vote they'd get 11 electoral votes.

The rest of the electoral votes would go to the second place finisher.

The new bill is markedly different than Lund's last bill that would have awarded the votes based on congressional district. If that scenario were in place in 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would have gotten the majority of the state's electoral votes even though he lost badly to President Barack Obama in the state's popular vote.

Similar efforts in blue states that just elected Republican majorities in their statehouses will be under way shortly.  Yes, midterm elections have long-term consequences.

-- Had a fun discussion that began yesterday on a local politico's Facebook wall about the question I asked at the top of this post about the political consultants that threw Wendy Davis under the bus.  If you can't see that because of privacy settings then I'll summarize:  a majority of Texas Democratic professional (sic) advisers responding there don't really want to go on record as favoring or opposing the repeal of Citizens United.  It should be obvious why they don't, but they certainly don't want to say so.  This conversation has a few well-worn paths; I expected someone to use the phrase "unilateral disarmament" by now as a defense.  So they're just a little late or they're ignoring my call-out.  No big deal; they can take it up with JFK or Greenberg Quinlan Rosser if they choose.

Of course it's not only the consultant class but also the corporate media who stand against, because of the millions in television advertising they would lose as a result.  So don't expect your local teevee reporters to cover developments like the annual negative reviews about attack ads (that, shockingly, suppress voter turnout), nor should you expect the lazy/overworked newspaper accounts about the latest ad on YouTube (continuing their downward spiral by giving away what they could potentially collect a fee for), etc. and so on ad nauseum.

If you're one of the 81% of Americans who do want to have CU -- and, consequently, the vast majority of the leeches on our political system known as paid political handlers -- go away, then sign on here.

Update: More political-operative-leaked email bullshit here.

-- Texpatriate and Kuffner have comprehensive posts about early legislative filings in Austin.  Of note is Sen. Donna Campbell's rerun at codifying more discrimination against the LGBTQ community.  What are the odds that it passes next year?  I'd say they are good.

Carol Morgan with more...

Less than a week has passed since Texas voters granted approval to the institutional craziness of Texas’ newest political extremists. If I could quit laughing long enough, I just might set my hair on fire. These days, I seem to alternate between laughing and crying.

Just for amusement, head over to the bill-filing frenzy, a list of the priorities of our incoming 85th Legislature.
The long list of perfectly useless bills filed by Amarillo’s Four Price caught my eye right away. There were 31 of them: Proclamations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and TWO commemorative Ronald Reagan days. Did he get these ideas from a Hallmark store or John Frullo?

One rep wants to repeal Dodd-Frank. Maybe he needs some civics remediation from one of the 12,000 teachers he laid off two years ago.


Texas Representative Mark Keough (who’s both a car salesman and a preacher) declares that there’s no separation of church and state, so he’s pushing for guns in church.

Now there’s talk from everyone, including Dan Patrick and the new governor, that voters gave them a mandate to cut property taxes and the business franchise tax (or just do away with both of them), just as Texas is facing answers to the problem of school funding. And more rumors about drug testing for anyone on public assistance or unemployment.

Crazy talk, anyone?

Thanks Carol, but I've already had my share.

-- Last, Rick Perry's 15-member appointed medical board AND Greg Abbott's Secretary of State-designate believe and recommend that Medicaid should be expanded in Texas.  Kuff also had the link to the TexTrib about the financial leverage the feds have in forcing the state to comply.  That would qualify as progress if it happened.  And the sooner it happens, the more lives of poor sick Texans might be saved.  Or extended.  Or improved.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Beyond the crazy bills you mentioned, there's already one filed to further gut the finance tax, which of course means further gutting schools: