Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This is a test of the Chupacabra Alert System

This is only a test. In the event of an actual emergency, you will be on your own.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Quiz Time

Can you identify the Kinks song from these bits of Ray Davies’ excellent lyrics?

1: “Telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty”

A) Demon Alcohol

B) Dead End Street

C) Hatred

D) Sunny Afternoon

2: “I got no ambition, I’m just disillusioned”

A) Till the End of the Day

B) David Watts

C) Wonderboy

D) Twentieth Century Man

3: “He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week”

A) Sitting on My Sofa

B) Dedicated Follower of Fashion

C) Come Dancing

D) Who’ll Be the Next in Line

4: “What you need is a change, find a job, get a chick”

A) Holiday Romance

B) See My Friends

C) Mr Pleasant

D) Permanent Wave

5: “People so busy, male me feel dizzy, taxi lights shine so bright”

A) Till the End of the Day

B) King Kong

C) Waterloo Sunset

D) Jack the Idiot Dunce

6: “I Don’t Want to Die in a Nuclear War”

A) Superman

B) Apeman

C) No More Looking Back

D) Black Messiah

7: “Waves hit the shore but the people recover and come back for more”

A) Complicated Life

B) Death of a Clown

C) Autumn Almanac

D) Life Goes On

8:“Where are all the people going, round and round till they reach the end”

A) Dandy

B) Do It Again

C) Sleepwalker

D) Misfits

9: “Cause He’s Liable to Turn and Bite”

A) Tired of Waiting for You

B) Set Me Free

C) Sitting in My Hotel

D) Celluloid Heroes

10: “I’m Not the World’s Most Masculine Man”

A) This Is Where I Belong

B) Shangri-La

C) Lola

D) Victoria

Answers: 1-D, 2-D, 3-C, 4-D, 5-C, 6-B, 7-D, 8-B, 9-D, 10-C


Friday, June 13, 2014

We have nothing to fear but triskaidekaphobia. Or; it's bad luck to be superstitious.



Saturday, June 07, 2014

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat

-Been a lot of news coverage of open carry activists this week, especially after the NRA asked them to tone it down because they were scaring people by carrying their mini 14s and shotguns into stores and restaurants. Actually, I was disappointed to hear that they are prohibited from packing at the GOP Convention at the Fort Worth Convention Center. I thought it would be fitting if the tory wingnuts who have done so much to advance our rights under the Second Amendment had to take their chances with armed delegates preforming inadvertent ‘drop tests’ with their handguns while they fall all over themselves applauding Greg Abbott, Danny Goeb and Rafael “Ted” Cruz.

-The Chronicle followed the Primary Election with their usual editorial deploring the low voter turnout. Here’s some:

The numbers are pathetic. In a state with more than 26 million residents, the combined turnout in last Tuesday's runoffs was 951,461 voters. That's lower than the March 4 primary number of 1.8 million, lower than the 1.3 million turnout in the last primary runoffs in July 2012. All three of those numbers pale in contrast to the number of registered voters in this state - 13.6 million, according to the Secretary of State's office.

“Dan Patrick, the Houston state senator on the verge of taking charge of arguably the most powerful elective office in Texas, won his lieutenant governor's race Tuesday with 65 percent of the votes cast. Those 65 percent account for a paltry 3.5 percent of registered Texas voters.

“What the dismal numbers mean, of course, is that a small percentage of the voting-eligible population exerts an outsized influence on how we educate our children, how we spend our tax money, how we invest in our future. A large majority of Texans allows someone else to make those decisions for them”

Fact is, Texas is not really a “red state,” it is merely a non-voting state; much like how it is not really a job-creating state, it’s just that it has a high birthrate, which makes for a lot of service jobs.

-Last week, Dallas suburb Farmers Branch Texas spent $1.4 million to finally put to rest their ill-conceived city ordinance banning home rentals to illegal immigrants. This from the Dallas Morning News:

“More than seven years after beginning a divisive attempt to ban immigrants in the U.S. illegally from rental housing, a united City Council decided to cut its losses Tuesday — paying $1.4 million to the lawyers who fought the effort.

“Farmers Branch previously had spent more than $6 million defending the ordinance, which was never enforced.

“The legal battles galvanized many Hispanics to fight back, twice filing Voting Rights Act lawsuits.

“In 2012, a federal judge sided with the 10 Hispanic plaintiffs in the second suit and established single-member council districts in the city. That resulted in the election of the first Mexican-American on the council.

“In addition to the millions of dollars it spent on expenses related to the illegal immigration lawsuits, the city spent about $850,000 to fight the two voting rights suits.”

This city of 29,000 residents, with an annual budget of $90 million, has approved three property tax hikes in these past seven years.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chupacabra Report

-I was pleased to read that the Federal Elections Commission is still on the case of  Congressloon Steve Stockman. The Chronicle reported this week that the FEC informed Stockman that "Since the candidate is not seeking office and will not participate in the general election, any contribution received for the general election must be returned to the donors," the FEC's letter reads. "Although the Commission may take further legal action, your prompt action to refund these contributions will be taken into consideration."
"Please note, you will not receive an additional notice from the Commission on this matter," the letter read. "Adequate responses must be received by the Commission on or before" June 13 "to be taken into consideration in determining whether … action will be initiated."

Hah! Just deserts for this career grifter; hit him in the pocketbook. I wonder if he invested his campaign cash in Bitcoins last year before they fell 60% in value?

-I just read about Grover Norquist’s Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, a movement to name something after Ronald Reagan in every county in the nation. Nevada Republican Joe Heck introduced a bill in Congress to name Frenchman’s Peak, east of Las Vegas, after the 40th President. Oregon Democrat Pete DeFazio introduced an amendment to name Yucca Mountain after Reagan, as Reagan supported establishing a nuclear waste depository there. This inspired Democrat Jared Huffman of California to go them both one better and re-name the earth “Planet Reagan.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat:

I had CSPAN on for wallpaper the other day and noticed that the House General Speeches was all the Texas GOP delegation so I had to turn on the sound and see what crazy shit they were saying. I listened to Pete Olson stammering for a while and gathered that Kent Hance was retiring from his position as Chancellor of Texas Tech. This was an occasion for all the other Tories to stand up and say that Hance is ‘a wonderful human being, a great humanitarian and a personal friend of mine.’

I remember him a little differently.

Hance was an attorney and law professor from Lubbock who, after serving in the Texas Senate, ran for Congress in the 19th district in 1978. This race earned his historical footnote as the only person to beat George W. Bush in an election. He did this in part by plastering phony invitations to a ‘George Bush for Congress’ beer blast on the windshields of churchgoers in bone-dry west Texas.

Congressman Hance established a solid conservative voting record and joined the Boll Weevil Democrats faction that crossed the aisle to enact the Reagan tax cuts. In 1985 Hance switched parties to become a Republican. It was about this time that some wealthy donor took Hance and fellow party-jumper Phil Gramm to a Super bowl game. Hearing the crowd roar, Gramm told Hance “If we can lower taxes and end the deficit, they’ll cheer for us like that.” Needless to say, this didn’t happen. That would be akin to saying ‘If we lose enough weight on the beer and cheeseburger diet, we could fly.’

Hance gave up his seat to make unsuccessful races to be U.S. Senator and Texas Governor, and served on the Texas Railroad Commission (that regulates the oil business in Texas.) After his 1990 loss to Clayton Williams, (who lost to Ann Richards after making a rape joke to reporters) Hance “sought opportunities in the private sector” and he found them as a lobbyist for GOP moneybags Lonnie Pilgrim, oilfield mfr. N.L. Industries, and swiftboater Harold Simmons’ Waste Control Specialties, who won approval to build two nuclear waste dumps in West Texas.

In 2004 Hance became legal counsel to the Alabama Coushatta Tribe, who the year before paid $18 million for lobbying services to Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, a gravy train that flowed to Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, and now Kent Hance. I avidly followed this scandal at the time and never saw Kent Hance’s name come up, and must say that he was never indicted, prosecuted or convicted of any wrongdoing. For all I know, the tribe hired Hance to get Abramoff’s hand out of their pocket.

In 2006 the Board of Regents of Texas Tech University appointed him Chancellor. Hance donated $1.75 million to build a chapel there that now bears his name. He achieved his goal of raising $1 billion for the University, and will retire as Chancellor this year. The University has already named him Chancellor-Emeritus.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat

-For my morning schadenfreude today I see a Chronicle headline saying Appeals court agrees to review DeLay’s overturned conviction. This news was welcome to me, as I’ve been perplexed recently to read that DeLay has a new job as columnist and radio personality for the Washington (Moonie) Times, and that he gave $1,000 to an otherwise-credible candidate to be my representative in Austin.

DeLay was convicted in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy for a scheme to illegally spend corporate money in Texas political campaigns. This conviction was overturned in 2013 by two Republican judges on a three-judge-panel, who ruled that “the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions.”

DeLay’s attorney, Brian Wice, said that he looked forward to arguing again that the conviction should be overturned. No doubt. For a defense attorney, Tom DeLay is a gift that keeps on giving.

-President Obama’s nominee for the post of Surgeon General is tied up in the Senate, of course. The issue here is that the NRA found him referring to shootings as a public health problem. Personally, in this country where there are more gun deaths every year than fatal car accidents, I would say that he ought to be disqualified should he not recognize this fact, which is endorsed by physician and hospital groups nationwide. But if the NRA’s against it, so goes the Congress. This would be like Detroit automakers opposing a nominee for advocating a seatbelt requirement.

-NPR had a story today about an unpublished theory from Albert Einstein. This “lost theory” offers a model of a universe expanding after the big bang. Researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem found a mistake in Einstein’s calculations, a minus sign that should have been a plus. Astrophysicist Mario Livio, author of “Brilliant Blunders” a book about mistakes made by great scientists said “About 20% of Einstein’s papers contain various mistakes of various degrees. You try to think in unconventional ways and when you do that, guess what? Sometimes you encounter mistakes.” No doubt people lobbying Texas’ State Board of Education will be combing through the work of Isaac Newton now, looking for grounds to finally repeal the law of gravity.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I opened Bartcop today hoping to see a new post and instead learned that he had died last week.

Bartcop was the pen name of Terry Coppage of Tulsa Oklahoma, (which place Bart described as ground zero for stupidity in America.)

One of the first political bloggers, Bart opened up shop in 1996, at the height of the right-wing-conspiracy to undo the election of Bill Clinton by smear campaign and witch-hunt. His site was lush with photoshop fun, political cartoons and pages of eye candy called “Bartcop Hotties.” For years he ended every post with a picture of Shirley Manson from Garbage. But Bart was always “swinging the hammer” at greed, bad government, bought media and religious insanity. A redneck progressive, Bart was an avid supporter of the U S Armed Forces and was frequently outraged at their misuse and neglect by chickenhawks eager to send them into harm’s way. Bart was big on gun rights, but not opposed to all gun control, saying that on a scale of 1 to 10, with David Koresh at 10, he’d be a three. He drew outrage from many when he questioned our unquestioned support of Israel, suggesting that the country be re-located to Oklahoma. He would banter with his most rabid critics, posting long email exchanges he posted as “Monkeymail.”

As a sample of the Bart point-of-view that attracted thousands of readers, this from “Bart’s Laws:”

Bart's Law #1

Don't EVER tell the truth in a political campaign.
People want to be lied to.
They don't care if you're the best, most qualified candidate in history, they're going to vote for
a candidate who stars in a fuzzy video of him playing with the family dog while his pearl-necklaced
wife and your 2.3 small children watch in awe while the voice-over dude explains that this guy
has whatever-state-you-live-in family values.

If you doubt me, ask President Mondale about telling the truth.

Bart's Law #2

Any time a person or entity makes a "mistake" that puts extra money (or power) in their pocket,
expect them to make that "mistake" again and again and again. That's why refineries have fires now and then,
because a fire allows them to scream "unexpected shortage" so they can gouge us on the price of gas.

-Bart was a must-read for so many, often an eye-opener and what good fun! For years I would re-post items found on Bartcop on my own blog and on Faceplant, and it was always a thrill when he would post one of my comments, or send me message telling me that I had the correct answer to one of his “History Mysteries.” Koresh, he’ll be missed.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How did I miss this? It's my Congressman Steve Stockman's mug shot from 1977, when he was arrested for illegally possessing valium. The Cornyn campaign dug this up and Juanita Jean was scared to post it because Stockman threatened legal action. Stockman gave up his re-election campaign to run in the Republican Senate primary, where he was trounced. He has since threatened to run for office again in the future. Well, this isn’t a very good picture, but we can always hope to get a new one.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dave Camp's Tax Plan

Just saw an article from NYT’s Stephan Ohlemacher about Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s tax overhaul plan and to my eye it has a lot to recommend itself. As Ohlemacher says;
“In theory, the unhappiness at both ends of the political spectrum could mean that Camp has hit all the right notes..”
-I always figure that if you have both sides pissed-off you’re getting somewhere. Being a Republican plan, of course, it starts with tax cuts. Seven tax brackets become two, with a 10% levy on incomes starting at twenty-some thousand, somewhere becoming 25%, and then add a surcharge on incomes over $425,000 (or $450,000 for married households.) The corporate tax rate would fall from 35% to 25%. So where does the money then come from? Sacred cows.
“Taxes paid to state and local governments would no longer be deductible.” -That’s scary to folks in high-tax states, but sounds good to me in Texas, with no state income tax to deduct.
“The earned income credit for low-wage workers would be converted to a more limited deduction on payroll taxes.”
-Well, the EITC, a popular program since the 1970s, is designed to help low-wage workers get by. A payroll tax cut could do the same. There is the question of this being corporate welfare for low-paying employers like WalMart, the biggest welfare queen ever.
“Deductions of mortgage interest in the future would be capped at $500,000 of debt, half the current cap.”
-There is also to be, I believe, no more mortgage interest deduction for second homes. Real estate professionals will be screaming bloody murder about this, and there probably ought to be some relief for poor devils of modest means living in high-dollar housing markets, but this has largely been a deduction for the well-heeled. I don’t want to help pay for somebody else’s McMansion.
“Under the Camp plan, private equity and hedge fund managers would be prevented from classifying much of their income as lower-taxed capital gains for tax purposes, closing what Democrats have criticized as the "carried interest loophole."
-Be still my heart! This is the provision that gave Mitt Romney a tax rate lower than mine.
“Camp even embraced an idea that has taken hold in the most progressive parts of the Democratic Party, a tax on transactions by the biggest banks.”
- I love this idea. The ‘economic sector’ has been growing larger in recent decades through a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions, plus such innovations as “outsourcing,” “offshoring” and “dead peasant policies.” A modest transaction tax could raise boatloads of money while acting as a break on such plagues as automated trading and churning of accounts. I can’t believe I’m seeing it in a GOP proposal.