Friday, April 08, 2005

More quick hits

...because there's more springtime golf to play.

This is the best update on the Texas Governor's race, from all angles, and it's from the perspective of Tim McCann, who is the operations manager for Chris Bell's exploratory committee.

The House Majority Leader is assaulting the judiciary again this morning.

The junior Senator from our Great State joined in, then backed off, but still doesn't understand what he did wrong.

And the Whiskey Bar (damn I'm glad that place is open again) has the last word on the Schiavo "GOP talking points" memo. But some folks are having trouble getting that also.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Richard Morrison, Tom DeLay, and TX-22

Tonight I was on a conference call, organized by Charlie Kuffner, with Richard Morrison and about a dozen other progressive bloggers talking about his campaign -- the one that did not stop with his defeat last November -- to represent the people of the 22nd Congressional district of Texas.

There was the occasional whiff of insecticide in the air.

But we didn't spend a lot of the time stepping on cockroaches.

Morrison spent an hour with us answering questions about how he can win in 2006, against DeLay or some other Republican, and assuming he advances from a potentially strong field of Democrats in the primary, possibly including another former Congressman. Besides the obvious (getting more votes, raising more money) he must do a couple of things much better in order to win: he must take on Tom DeLay in his own backyard, Fort Bend county, where the Majority Leader ran an appallingly low 52%; and he must not just run against the Bugman but he must run on some core issues important to the voters in the 22nd, which he identified as health care, mass transit -- specifically light rail -- and the environment.

He talked about the Catch-22 struggles he had last year ... that in the beginning, because his name recognition was nil, the Democratic power brokers wouldn't take or return his calls, and when he got them on the phone they wouldn't donate to his campaign because they had never heard of him or were waiting for a bigger name to jump in the race, and so on. But those are hurdles Morrison has already cleared for 2006. Thanks to his own hard work and the contributions of the Left Blogosphere and lots and lots of committed people, Morrison has name recognition and money starting to flow and the attention and the respect of the movers and shakers who make the difference in this early going. And because of his success -- and of course, the ongoing meltdown of La Cucaracha Grande -- there have been murmurings that another Democrat is going to take advantage of the water he has carried, jump in the fray and challenge a now-obviously weakened DeLay. Be that Gordon Quan or Nick Lampson or someone else, Morrison intends to run hard against any primary opponent. "I'm not 'considering' (the race)", he said.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I worked on Richard's campaign last fall; I donated money, made phone calls and handed out push cards for him at a Pasadena polling place on Election Day. And at least half a dozen voters at that precinct sought me out and recited some variation of: "You know, I voted for Bush and mostly all the other Republicans, but I couldn't vote for that a**hole DeLay, so I voted for your guy." The numbers bear out this diminished enthusiasm among the GOP, as Kuffner has more exhaustively detailed.)

I've spent a lot of space railing against Tom DeLay, and many others do it deeper and better, so in the months ahead I'll probably link to them and spend my time talking about Richard Morrison's news, views and issues.

One is the "birth tax". More on that later.

Update: Gary Beason at Southpaw has more.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A few quick hits before I'm out the door

Seems I'm about an hour behind this morning, and it's too nice not to play outside...

Maureen Dowd's got her indignant on, and as usual it looks sexy on her:

This is the fourth exhaustive investigation that has not answered the basic question: How did the White House and Pentagon spin the information and why has no one gotten in trouble for it? If your kid lied and hid stuff from you to do something he thought would be great, then wouldn't admit it and blamed someone else, he'd be punished - even if his adventure worked out all right for him.

When the "values" president and his aides do it, they're rewarded. Condoleezza Rice was promoted to secretary of state. Stephen Hadley, Condi's old deputy, was promoted to national security adviser. Bob Joseph, a national security aide who helped shovel the uranium hooey into the State of the Union address, is becoming an undersecretary of state. Paul Wolfowitz, who painted the takeover of Iraq as such a cakewalk that our troops went in without the proper armor or backup, will run the World Bank. George Tenet, who ran the C.I.A. when al-Qaeda attacked and when Saddam's mushroom cloud gained credibility, got the Medal of Freedom.

And another Republican blogger says it's time for Tom DeLay to go, and lays out the compelling case (yes, most of us know this already, but those with their heads in the sand will find it shocking news). Don't miss the comments, either. And John Zogby via the Houston Chronic gives La Cucaracha Grande the bad polling news.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A post about rotisserie baseball if you're looking for something on Tom DeLay, scroll down (or wait a few minutes, because it shouldn't be long before he's in the news again for threatening federal judges or something).

I'm in seven different leagues again this year, and this website has consistently proven to be the most helpful in terms of who's healthy, who's not, who's winning a position coming out of spring training, who's going to close for the Dodgers now that Eric Gagne has gone on the DL, and so on. Unlike most sites of its type, it's also free. But it's the high level of sarcasm that I really enjoy the most. Look at this post about Danny Graves, the Reds closer:

Danny Graves has been wearing vision-enhancing contact lenses.''They help you pick up the ball more easily,'' Graves said. ''Nike makes them. You can see every blade of grass. It's like a picture.''

The benefits of this are obvious for a hitter, but what exactly does it do for a soft-tossing closer, let him see the gopher balls he serves up more clearly?

You gotta love that (even if you own Graves).

Update: From another good site for this sort of thing, Fanball:

Padres pitcher Jake Peavy completed four innings of work against Single-A Lake Elsinore on Saturday. He allowed six hits and three runs and struck out four. Peavy is scheduled to start in the Padres' home opener on Thursday.

No word on if Doug and Bob McKenzie were playing for Lake Elsinore, but that's not really important, eh.