Zippidy Doo Da

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

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The Chronicle today led with a story about business group The Greater Houston Partnership opposing the Department of Homeland Security’s new “no-match” regulations which would penalize employers of illegal immigrants with fines and criminal charges.

It seems that last year, the Social Security Administration sent out letters to over 12,000 Texas businesses, each of which had at least ten employees with fishy Social Security numbers.

The partnership has created a group to lobby against the new regulations, and will raise $15 million to $20 million from its members to lobby for immigration reform.

Jeez; the last time those folks got this riled up, it was to fight a proposed hike in the minimum wage. Oh, wait, one big employer quoted anonymously predicted that if these rules go into effect, “wages could go up significantly.”

I can see a lot of dire consequences to the application of immigration and labor laws. For one, we’d have to learn to cook our own food, as rising prices would limit how often we could eat out. I think the acreage devoted to St. Augustine would fall, and xeriscaping would gain popularity as we look for landscaping methods requiring less labor and less water. Rising costs of homebuilding might shrink the size of the houses we build, saving materials and energy. Higher costs for roadbuilding might slow the rate at which we pave over the state. And we might have to institute a draft to supply personnel for our foreign military adventures, replacing the 5-10% of foreigners in our armed forces.

And as for the poor devils we’re demonizing, those that don’t turn to crime, becoming fodder for our growing criminal justice industry, (the “injustice system”) might return to their home countries, where their voices and energies could help their societies progress.

This reminds me of a scene in Billy Brammer’s “The Gay Place,” a novel of Texas politics in an earlier period of one-party rule. In it, the Governor, styled after LBJ, disappeared from a barbecue on his ranch, and showed up later in his touring car, stoned drunk, accompanied by a small town mayor he’d brought back from across the border. He announced that he had agreed to give Texas back to Mexico, the whole state, and that the Mexicans, likewise, had agreed to give it back to the Indians, “the first chance they get.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dismal Science

Sometimes I wish I was a Lexis-Nexis subscriber. Today I would like to see how often terms such as “economy,” “recession,” “bank failure,” “forclosure,” and “bail-out” are appearing in news reports. Sure seems to be a rash of them.

I’m not a big investor, and I try to practice the “couch potato” management method, but all this titillation has me reading the business section like other guys read the sports pages. Maybe a better analogy would be reading the gossip pages
to learn all about the latest celebrity train wrecks.

Regular readers may be sick to death of me citing Princeton Economist Paul Krugman, but he was right on the mark again when he said that none of the presidential candidates has offered any constructive ideas on what to do with the Bush economy, which is currently circling the drain.

He chides Obama for blaming the current crisis on war spending, -the war is a stimulus in the short term, until the bills come due; and points out that some of the de-regulation of financial markets happened on Bill Clinton’s watch, -and that the Clintons were never shy about taking campaign money from Wall Street.

The real shocker to me was when he looks at John McCain, “who has both admitted not knowing much about economics and denied ever having said that.” Krugman says that “if McCain makes it to the White House, his chief economic adviser is former Sen. Phil Gramm, a fervent advocate of financial deregulation. In fact, I’d argue that aside from Alan Greenspan, nobody did as much as Gramm to make this crisis possible.”

That’s right folks, our very own Phil Gramm, that Georgia transplant who flunked the third grade twice, became an Aggie Professor, a party-jumping Congressman, whose wife Wendy sat on the Enron Board of Directors while they cheated and lied their way to collapse, and now is Vice President of UBS Financial Services, an outfit he used to oversee as a member of the Senate Banking Committee. Gramm was behind Rick Perry’s scheme last year to privatize the Texas Lottery and was godfather to that awful bankruptcy “reform” passed by the last Republican congress at the behest of the credit card mongers.

Can’t you just see this beady-eyed Gramstander as Treasury Secretary in a new Republican administration? We might as well elect Montgomery Burns to lead us forward into the nineteenth century.

We're Only In It For The Money

They say necessity is the mother of invention.

When I was little, all the grown up musicians I knew, whether it was Gary Dorsey, Lowell Thomas, Ozzy Middleton, whomever, they all said that the rule no. 1 of music was "get paid." The pressure is always on to get paid, because people ALWAYS seem to want music for free, or as little as possible. This is true throughout the art world generally and has been forever.

Somewhere in the history of this nation, we acquired a Stalinist hatred/suspicion of anything intellectual, coupled with an intense appetite for entertainment. This is a bad mix.

As if this weren't bad enough, corporations learned to take advantage of things by making people pay, but not paying anything to the artists, and for some reason the public is OK with that arrangement, too.

The great Billy Bragg wrote a inspiring piece in the NY Times Op-Ed, Saturday, portions of which I'm dying to share with you. Regarding last week's sale of for $850 million, of which $650 million went to co-founder Michael Birch:

"In our discussions, we largely ignored the elephant in the room: the issue of whether or not he (Birch) ought to consider paying some kind of royalties to the artists. After all, wasn't he using their music to draw members - and advertising - to his business? Social networking sites like Bebo argue that they have no money to distribute - their value is their membership. Well, last week, Michael Birch realized the value of his membership. I'm sure he'll be rewarding those technicians and accountants who helped achieve this success. Perhaps he should consider the contribution of his artists?

The musicians who posted their work on are no different from investors in a start-up enterprise. Their investment is the content provided for free while the site has no liquid assets. Now that the business has reaped huge benefits, surely they deserve a dividend.

What's at stake here is more than the morality of the market. The huge social networking sites that seek to use music as free content are as much to blame for the malaise currently affecting the industry as the music lover who downloads songs for free. Both the corporations and the kids, it seems, want the use of our music without having to pay for it."

Like I said last week, band width is content-driven. No single person can embrace this truth and make a difference. There has to be a unifying movement to protect all intellectual property rights from the Rolling Stones to the street person banging on pickle buckets.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Attention Deficit

Now that the Bush recession has finally made the news, along with the prospect of the still incalculable costs of the taxpayer bail-out of investment banks in the tank from making bad home loans, I would like to direct your attention elsewhere.

Through this election year, news reports often rank issues supposedly in the forefront of voter’s minds. This year I keep hearing that the economy is the number one issue. Many are frantic about gasoline prices, too.

(Just imagine for a moment if we had elected Al Gore in 2000 with a mandate to institute a BTU tax. The heavy lifting would have been over by now, with conservation instituted, alternative technologies coming on line, and the price at the pump skyrocketing to over $2.00 per gallon.)

And of course, with hard times comes scapegoating, with the attendant outcry about immigration, and distractions like gun control, abortion, and gay marriage.

Remember that war we used to have?

I saw US News and World Report Assoc. Editor Alex Kingsbury on John Stewart’s show last week. He has just returned from his second trip to Iraq, or, “the suck” as troops there call it. He says that the surge has made it possible to patrol the streets in some areas policed by US forces without finding so many headless bodies laying around.

Kingsbury said that our people in Iraq have a different take on patriotism than we have back here, that they not interested in “which side you wear your flag pin on, but in who’s more informed; they don’t care if you’re for or against the war, they just want us to pay attention to what’s going on.”

He next pointed out that the Iraq war now makes up about 4% of all news reports.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter, Everybody

I like Easter because it makes children happy. Hope you guys have a nice one.


Zippidy Doo Da

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Spitzer Was Bushwhacked

By F William Engdahl, Asia Times Online

The spectacular and bizarre release of secret FBI wiretap data to the New York Times exposing the tryst of New York State governor Eliot Spitzer, the now-infamous client "No 9", with an upmarket call-girl had relatively little to do with the George W Bush administration’s pursuit of high moral standards for public servants. Spitzer was likely the target of a White House and Wall Street dirty tricks operation to silence one of the most dangerous and vocal critics of their handling of the current financial market crisis.

A useful rule of thumb in evaluating spectacular scandals around prominent public figures is to ask who might want to eliminate that person. In the case of former governor Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, it is clear that the spectacular "leak" of the government's FBI wiretap records showing that Spitzer paid a high-cost prostitute US$4,300 for what amounted to about an hour’s personal entertainment, was politically motivated.

The press has almost solely focused on the salacious aspects of the affair, not least the hefty fee Spitzer apparently paid. Why the scandal breaks now is the more interesting question.

Spitzer became governor of New York following a high-profile record as a relentless state attorney general going after financial crimes such as the Enron fraud, and corruption by Wall Street investment banks during the 2002 dotcom bubble era. Spitzer made powerful enemies by all accounts. The former head of the large AIG insurance group, Hank Greenburg, was among his detractors. He was bitterly hated on Wall Street. He had made his political career on being ruthless against financial corruption.

Most recently, from his position as governor of the nation’s second largest state, home to its financial industry, Spitzer had begun making high-profile attacks on the complicity of the Bush administration in covertly arranging bailouts of its Wall Street friends at the expense of ordinary homeowners and citizens, all paid for by taxpayer funds.

On February 14, Spitzer published a signed article in the influential Washington Post titled, "Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers."

That article, laying clear blame on the administration for the development of the subprime crisis, appeared the day after his ill-fated tryst with the prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel. Just a coincidence? Spitzer wrote, "In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act pre-empting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks."

In his article, Spitzer charged, "Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye."

Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the "predator lenders' partner in crime". The president, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet. Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."

With that article, Spitzer may well have signed his own political death warrant.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dance Monkey, Dance!

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~Japanese Proverb

What's up with politicians and punditry showing up in very public places attempting to dance? It's not something I'm used to observing as a general rule. Hitler did a jig at the Arch du Triumph in a very famous newsreel in 1940. And there, I can't think of any other historical instance of this phenomena.

Yet, looking back to Tucker Carlson's game attempt to win Dancing With The Stars by never raising from a chair, we've been victims of dreadful dancing by Karl Rove as MC Rove, and George Bush's insane gyrations while in Africa and on the front porch when endorsing an equally demented John McCain for president. But the topper is this week's mugging of Ellen Degeneras by the sweaty porcine Chris Matthews.

Granted, he was no doubt dead drunk from St. Patty's Day parties; still, he threw her down, grabbed her titties and everything after doing some weird Philly-shuffle onto the stage.

What's next? Paul Wolfowitz on Soul Train?

I see a trend, but I'm baffled as to what it means. Agnes de Mille used to say that "the truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie." One common thread here is that all these men are ballsy liars, persistent and serial in nature. They might be striving to express a deep regret for poisoning their mortal souls one black falsehood at a time? Nah.

I'm more convinced that since every one of these guys are intensely despised by untold numbers of people. They know deep down that they are hated. To dance is to be human. Perhaps they need to be forgiven?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Could You Sing Something About Citibank?

This 22nd annual SXSW conference has turned into a delicious shit sandwich. The more bread you got, the less shit you got to eat. The throng of 12K attendees and estimate 1,700 bands have been munching them down by the score with zesty chips and salsa in all the raging dweeb enthusiasm we've come to expect lately.

Of course, if you ain't got any bread, you're left with the traditional SXSW snacks, hot turd on a stick, or my favorite, the shit taco. Jon Pareles explains on the NY Times on-line this week, "in an era of plummeting CD sales and short shelf lives even for current hit makers, the festival is full of people seeking ways to route their careers around what's left of major recording companies."

By eating "shit," I mean what Jon calls, "alternative revenue streams:" touring, downloads, ringtones, T-shirts, sponsorships, Web site ads and song placements in soundtracks or commercials.


Say hello to the new boss - same as the old boss.

In order to sort of distract people from the shitty snacks being served 24/7, the formerly musical event has become a celebration of all things media. Face Book, Myspace, Twitter, You Tube, and the internet tubes generally all have a crucial place in the new musical design for living.

More from Jon, "if record labels can't help them, corporations might. Few musicians worry about selling out to a sponsor; now it's a career path."

Pass the ketchup please.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I don’t understand why he’s on the front page of today’s Chronicle. He did show up a the CPAC Convention last month to talk bad about John McCain, but that just shows that he still picks up radio signals from the same planet as Rush and Hannity.

The article tells that he’s still awaiting trial on charges of money laundering and conspiracy over the 2002 statehouse elections, and that the US Justice Department won’t comment on whether he is still under investigation over his involvement with Jack Abramoff, convicted along with two other DeLay associates of conspiring to bribe members of congress.

The two “longtime allies” quoted in the piece were Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, and Ralph Reed, formerly of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, both of whom have been implicated in schemes to launder Indian casino money scammed from the Tribes by Abramoff and former DeLay staffer Mike Scanlon.

As Fox News tries to rebrand itself, (Slogan: “No Longer Rabid”) I’ll be happier when Delay, Reed, Norquist, Gingrich, and Ollie North are finally seen as such a disgrace that we don’t have to see them on television, except maybe wearing jumpsuits.

Roll out the tumbrels.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

When Hams Are Outlawed...

Associated Press
GLOUCESTER, Mass. — A meat thief is no match for an angry restaurant owner swinging a ham.
Joe Scola said he heard a noise in his Scola's Place restaurant in Gloucester and saw a man trying to get away with his arms full of meat taken from the restaurant freezer.
Scola said that when he caught up with the man and started taking back his stock, the man raised a 5-pound log of frozen Italian meat over his head as if to use it as a weapon.
The restaurant owner had a frozen ham in his hand and slammed it into the man's face, making a gash. The stunned thief dropped his loot and ran.
Police said they haven't found the man responsible for the Wednesday confrontation.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Me and Shelby Foote

I became a Shelby Foote fan after seeing him on Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” in 1990. Last fall, I finally started reading his three volume narrative, “The Civil War.” This was no chore, it kept me up late turning pages over 100 nights, but be warned, if you doze off reading a tome like this, you can hurt your nose.

Check out this bit, from Virginia in 1864:

“As we lay there watching the bright stars,” one veteran lieutenant was to say, “many a soldier asked himself the question: What is this all about? Why is it that 200,000 men of one blood and one tongue, believing as one man in the fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man, should in the nineteenth century of the Christian era be thus armed with all the improved appliances of modern warfare and seeking one another’s lives? We could settle our differences by compromise, and all be at home in ten days.”

-Foote spent twenty years writing these Pulitzer Prize winning books. In his epilogue he points to the future, quoting Senator John Sherman:

“The truth is, the close of the war with our resources unimpaired gives an elevation, a scope to the ideas of leading capitalists, far higher than anything ever undertaken before. They talk of millions as confidently as formerly of thousands.” Soon the nation was into a raucous era whose inheritors were Daniel Drew, Jay Gould, Jim Fisk, and others of that stripe, operating in “a riot of individual materialism, under which,” as Theodore Roosevelt was to say, “complete freedom for the individual… turned out in practice to mean perfect freedom for the strong to wrong the weak.”

-And discussing the failings of President Grant, he points ahead to two other Republican Presidents of dubious reputation:

“Grant, with his mistrust of intellectuals and reformers… admired the forthrightness of the Vindictives, as he did that of certain high-powered businessmen, who also profited from his trust; with the result that the country would wait more than fifty years for an administration as crooked in money matters, and a solid hundred for one as morally corrupt.”

-The Republicans to this day refer to themselves as “the party of Lincoln,” they don’t talk much about Harding and Nixon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bush Family Touched by Subprime Crisis

By F William Engdahl Asia Times Online (Hong Kong)

Carlyle Capital Corp Ltd, a subsidiary of one of the most influential US private equity funds and closely tied to the Bush family, is in default on several of its securities. Carlyle is an offshore subsidiary of the Washington-based Carlyle Group, one of the most politically powerful private equity firms of the past two decades.

Among the leading partners of the Carlyle Group in recent years have been George H W Bush, father of President George W Bush; James Baker III, the Bush family's attorney and fixer; and former British prime minister John Major.

Carlyle Capital reports it is attempting to convince lenders holding US$16 billion in securities not to liquidate the company's remaining collateral. The company is a listed mortgage-bond fund managed by the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group already has loaned Carlyle Capital $150 million to cover debt obligations since July 2007. In the past several days it failed to meet margin calls with four banks.

The fear in the market according to informed reports is that its entire portfolio, recently valued at $21 billion, could be sold off in a distress sale, putting major downward pressure on all mortgage bonds globally. A collapse at Carlyle would hit the value of all fixed-income securities, which have already dropped sharply as banks pull back on their lending, and force a new global round of asset sales.

And the Blackstone Group too?
Carlyle is by no means the only elite US private capital group in serious trouble. Blackstone Group, manager of the world's largest buyout fund, said fourth-quarter profit plunged 89% after a "meltdown" in the credit markets and warned that getting loans for takeovers will be difficult in 2008. Profit declined to $88 million from $808.1 million a year earlier.

Blackstone decided to list the private equity company on the stock market in June 2007 in a move some date as the last gasp of the huge securitization and private equity buyout mania of the past decade. Since June its stock has fallen 53%. More serious, it hasn't completed a takeover of more than $2 billion in five months and is struggling to close the $6.6 billion buyout of Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems Corp, a credit-card processor, announced in May 2007.

Crisis spreads to US municipal debt market
The ongoing financial market crisis was nominally triggered by a crisis of confidence in the value of the most risky securities, subprime home mortgages in the US, mortgages often made by banks without checking the borrowers credit history or income. Because the securitization revolution was premised on the flawed illusion that by spreading risk throughout the global financial system, risk would disappear, once the weakest part began to collapse, confidence in the multi-trillion entire edifice of securitized debt began to collapse.

The process unravels over time, which is why most have the illusion of a localized crisis. In reality, centered in the US economic and financial sector, what is now underway is a crisis not even comparable to the 1930s Great Depression.

Now the normally high-quality debt of US local and state governments, so-called municipal debt, is getting hit. California, New York City and the owner of the World Trade Center site will replace their floating rate debt, sharply raising costs for local governments as the economic depression is slashing their tax revenues.

Bond fund managers in New York and London tell us they have never seen such troubles in the municipal bond market before.

The market for floating rate or auction-rate municipal bonds in the US, once thought safe, entered crisis as losses tied to subprime mortgage bonds and related securities threatened so-called monoline bond insurers' AAA ratings, causing investors to avoid the bonds they had insured.

The same monoline insurers, specialized New York financial security insurance companies, had insured subprime mortgage securities and municipal debt. The monoline companies guarantee about half the $2.6 trillion of outstanding state and local government debt, some $1.2 trillion. Higher interest rate costs for states and local governments will aggravate local US fiscal crises as the depression spreads, creating a self-reinforcing downward spiral. The process is in its early stages yet.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Piraro Vision

Kansas Ban on Funeral Protests Blocked

The Star’s Topeka correspondent

TOPEKA | Kansas lawmakers must try yet again to pass a law prohibiting funeral protests, now that the state’s Supreme Court has ruled it cannot be enforced.

The decision leaves last year’s funeral picketing ban in legal limbo: It remains on the books, but cannot be enforced until the Legislature takes action.

Lawmakers will waste little time, said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt.

In fact, a House committee introduced a bill Tuesday that would do just that.

Like those passed in Missouri and at least 35 other states, the Kansas protest ban was written to rein in the activities of Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church, which is headed by Fred Phelps.

Members of the church protest funerals of fallen soldiers and others across the country, saying their deaths are divine retribution for U.S. tolerance of homosexuality.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a Westboro leader and a lawyer, said she was pleased by the court’s decision. She said the court cannot allow itself to become an advisory panel to the Legislature.

“They need to stop climbing on our backs to make political hay,” she said.

Phelps-Roper said continual legislative failures to pass a workable ban in Kansas are “embarrassing all of us in the state.”

Asked for a response, Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt threw back his head and laughed.

“You can report loud peals of laughter as I considered the irony of that statement,” he said.

Westboro is challenging a $5 million award given to a Pennsylvania man who successfully sued the church for invasion of privacy after members protested the funeral of his son, a Marine.

A jury initially suggested an $11 million verdict, but a judge later reduced it.

The church is also embroiled in a federal court case in Missouri.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chupacabra Report

Today the Chronicle Austin Bureau reports that Gov. Rick Perry has suspended collection of the unemployment insurance levy, saying that high employment in Texas last year makes collection of this “tax” unnecessary. Hallelujah, not content with rescinding the business cycle and resetting the age of the earth to 5,000 years, Perry must see full employment as Texas’ inalienable future. I suppose that he can next solve our transportation troubles by repealing the law of gravity, or altering the space/time continuum.

This isn’t as obtuse as it seems. The wealthy troglodytes that installed and maintain Governor 38% in office simply don’t believe in unemployment insurance, and would do away with it altogether if they only could, like they would Social Security and the rest of The New Deal. They will be happy when the current recession pushes the system into insolvency.

Is there something familiar about all this? Does HUD Scandal ring a bell? How about S&L Scandal? Maybe Enron Scandal? Or maybe the latest, the Sub-Prime Lending Scandal.

In all these cases, there were smart guys who claimed to have re-invented the wheel, when it was more a case of office holders and regulators having re-discovered “the world’s oldest profession.”

For all their professed disdain for “welfare,” Perry and the Plutocratic Party are big believers in Corporate Welfare, as evidenced by the $20 Million Perry slushed from his Texas Enterprise Fund to Countrywide Financial, the biggest, slimiest subprime outfit out there, in a “job creation” scheme that, as written, would have paid the company $13 million for doing merely nothing.

Granted, at the time, Countrywide was seen as a miracle stock that had grown 240% in
five years time.Did this success come as a result of some breakthrough in the science of economics? Ask the FBI, Senate Committees, and numerous State Attorneys General that are now investigating Countrywide for fraudulent lending practices, stock manipulation, and civil rights violations.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Laugh 'Till You Cry

Click to enlarge

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Leonard Cohen in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Leonard Cohen, Canada’s answer to Serge Gainsbourg, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame Monday for his status among “the highest and most influential echelon of songwriters.”

Cohen emerged from what Martin Mull called “the great folk music scare of the sixties,” to gain cult status as a singer/songwriter, and has remained a folkie heartthrob for forty years. He has recorded eighteen albums, and written twelve books, including his 1966 novel, “Beautiful Losers.” (thought we didn’t notice that, eh, Bob Seeger?)

He may be the most famous songwriter you’ve never heard of. Since Judy Collins charted “Suzanne” in 1967, there have been over 1,200 released versions of his songs. Remember “So Long Marianne,” “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” or “Like A Bird On a Wire?” How about the soundtrack from Robert Altman’s 1971 film “McCabe and Mrs. Miller?” He once appeared on Austin City Limits with three French girls singing back-up, don’t miss it when ACL finally released the tapes.

Cohen’s work has always had a spiritual bent, working themes of religion, love, loneliness, sadness, suicide, and social justice. In the 1990’s he wrote a song titled “Democracy Is Coming to the USA.” (we’re still waiting) and then spent five years as a monk at the Mount Baldy Zen Center. He was nominated for a Grammy last year for his work on Herbie Hancock’s winning album “The Joni Letters.”

This May, he is scheduled to make his first tour in fifteen years.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What Voters Think

eesh weathurmans

eesh hatez juz dis mush

eesh likes shlum gise

eesh no wear flagz pinz

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Post Mortem

I have seen the silliest remarks I could ever imagine from chastened Obama supporters this morning. Taking in all the fall-out, I just had say one thing: She won Texas. BOR, and others are parsing the results in the most Clinton-esque fashion. Fellas, she won the popular and the delegate count, period.

Instead of imagining things that didn't happen, deal with the fact you've pinned your hopes in a national election to an inexperienced liberal black man named Hussein.

I don't want to love my enemies, I want them destroyed, imprisoned, stripped of power, to where they can never attempt to kill this country, plunder the treasury, and create a police state ever, ever, EVER, again.

Texas Calls for Another Round

Why should we be surprised to see that the Texas Democratic Primary split so evenly? That’s how it was at my house, sort of how it was at this blog. Clinton had a slight edge in total votes, and Obama will probably end up with an edge in delegates awarded.

So we have, in effect, kicked the ball on down the field. We’ll wait and see what Wyoming, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Sylvania, and Freedonia have to say about it.

I heard that Clinton suggested this morning that she and Obama might share the ticket this fall.
“That may be where this is headed,” Clinton said. “But of course we have to decide who is at the top of the ticket.” (See - 27k )

The good news here in Harris County is that the Democratic Primary drew 409,000 voters, or 22% of 1,809,000 eligible voters compared to 170,000 or 9% for the republicans.

Get ready to see a lot of GOP party-jumpers, along with office holders resigning “to spend more time with my family,” or “to seek opportunities in the private sector.” This last being a well-used euphemism for setting up shop as a lobbyist, which ain’t gonna be the gravy train it used to be with so many influential Torys sent out to pasture if not up the river.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Voting Twice in Texas

Trying to explainTexas' goofy caucus system lately I found that I had more questions than answers, and I've done it before. So I was glad to see this primer in the Chronicle today. Now all you have to do is find your precinct polling place and be there at 7:15 PM.


Anyone who voted in the Democratic primary can take part in the party's caucus Tuesday night. Caucus turnout will determine roughly one-third of the Texas delegates needed by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Republicans distribute delegates based entirely on primary votes, although they will caucus Tuesday night to conduct party business.

• Where: Caucuses are held at precinct polling stations. Early voters may have gone to a different place. Check your precinct address beforehand.

• Who: Try to bring proof that you voted in the Democratic primary, either a stamped voter registration card or a receipt of primary voting from the polling place. If you have neither, you may still participate in the caucus; your vote will be confirmed later.

• When: Arrive before 7:15 p.m., but be prepared to wait. Caucusing cannot start until polls close, and high turnout means voting could run late.

• How: You may "sign in" your presidential preference and leave. Your "sign in" will be used to allocate delegates among Clinton, Obama and other candidates. If you stay, you can also vote to choose delegates to the next level from your precinct.

• What: Some locations may see crowding and delays. Bring folding chairs and snacks. You can bring your kids, but be aware that the evening could last two or three hours.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Can't Endorse Anybody

I really can't. Therefore, I will repair to the dome of contemplation, and hopefully, find wisdom. This is the hardest decision I have ever made in politics. I wish this party could just come together on a compromise. Soon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Record Breaking Turnout for Texas Primaries

In Harris County, early voting totals have already surpassed the primary election turnout record set in 1988, with Democratic ballots outnumbering Republicans three to one.

Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson projects a total of 3.3 million votes, which would break the state record by half a million votes.

For years I’ve wondered when the young people were going to show up.
Maybe this is the year.

Voted Early

When I signed in to vote the primary, I had to ask the clerk to stamp my certificate to show that I’d voted the Democratic Primary, next I had to ask him for my sequence slip.

After voting, I asked the Election Judge about this and, as she always does when I question her, the bottle blond battle axe got belligerent, telling me that “a lot of people don’t want their card stamped,” and that “there’s no law requiring us to stamp peoples cards,” and that “they don’t stamp them as a courtesy.”

Get real, it’s public record which primary you’ve voted in, you’re not gonna fool anybody. Could it be that she’s doing it to make problems determining eligibility to caucus at the Democrat’s Precinct Conventions?

Well, it’s been years since I’ve had election training, and I know that the rules are always changing, so I’ll have to ask about this, but I know I’ll feel better after this woman and her patrons are swept out of office so that I don’t have to worry about what kind of screwing they’re giving people whenever I go to vote.

Or maybe she’s bought into that story about the Repugs voting in the other primary so they can vote against Hillary or vote for Hillary or whatever those pinheads are spinning these days. They’re just whistling past the graveyard. Hear that? You in the American flag blouse? We will bury you.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pastor Hagee Endorses McCain

PHOENIX — John McCain is refusing to renounce the endorsement of a prominent Texas televangelist who peddles anti-Catholic and other intolerant speech with his insane end-time ravings.

Instead, the Republican presidential candidate issued a statement Friday afternoon saying he had unspecified disagreements with San Antonio megachurch leader and raving nutcake John Hagee. Hagee endorsed him at a news conference Wednesday in San Antonio.

"However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee's views, which I obviously do not," McCain said in the statement.

His campaign issued the statement after two days of criticism from the Democratic National Committee, the Catholic League and Catholics United.

Sanctimonious kleptomaniac Hagee says the Catholic Church conspired with Nazis against the Jews and that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution for homosexual sin, and then the philandering money grubbing bible-beater recited his demeaning comments about women and flip remarks about slavery.

McCain was pressed on the issue Friday morning in Round Rock, Texas. Hagee "supports what I stand for and believe in," McCain said.

"When he endorses me, that does not mean that I endorse everything that he stands for and believes in," McCain said. "I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my campaign."

He added that he was "proud" of Hagee's spiritual leadership at the 17,000-member Cornerstone Church where he fleeces his flock.