Zippidy Doo Da

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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

They did it again!

BartCop had this screenshot from Fox News. Note that Fox identified adulteror Mark Sanford as a Democrat. They did the same thing when it came out that Republican Congressman Mark Foley was preying on teen-aged boys, and when Republican Senator Larry Craig was busted by vice cops in an airport mensroom.

Roger Ailes, who runs Fox News for Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, worked for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Rudolph Giuliani. Is it any wonder that they cannot tell the truth at Fox News? And the lintwits that get their "facts" from them will never know the difference.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letter to the editor..

No free lunch in Canada
David Manning mentions visiting a Canadian family of five whose health insurance premium is (only) $90 Canadian dollars per month (Letters, Friday, June 26).
This sounds like a deal until you look at the Canadian tax tables. The lowest federal rate is 15 percent, which applies to all income up to approximately $41,000 Canadian. To that you add a provincial rate that varies but is typically 12-15 percent.
The result is a total effective tax rate of about 27-30 percent in Canada’s lowest income brackets.
You will find that those rates aren’t reached in the U.S. until you are almost making enough to be considered “wealthy.” Sadly, there is never such thing as a free lunch.
— Michael Arvanetakis, Cypress

Mr Arvanetakis,

Consider the cost of a typical family HMO policy. Mine runs about $15,000 this year. If I was earning $41,000, that would come to 36% of my income for insurance that might bankrupt me if I ever had to use it. After that I have to pay my federal, state and local taxes, some of which go to pay for healthcare for the uninsured. Do the math!

-Chupy The Goat

Friday, June 26, 2009

Think somebody'll buy his skeleton?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend at Liquiddaddy’s

What a swell party. Lotta talent there, just off the Austin Highway. This judge says Chris and Jake can come play Houston anytime. Eldy and Miss Lucy really put the bun on their friends and neighbors, and still had the juice to play till nearly midnight. Speaking of juice, after the margaritas I dreamed there was a ferret in my skivvies. Sorry about the screaming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do the math, Joe!

“Two degrees Celsius, which is less than one degree Fahrenheit.” -Joe Barton, (R. Texas) still denying global warming. (One degree Celsius equals nine-fifths of one degree Fahrenheit.)

Aren’t you proud of them?

The House of Representatives last week approved by a vote of 307 to 97 the Senate version of a bill giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco. Twelve of the ninety-seven votes against came from the Texas Republican delegation.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Huey Long 1904-2009

Former Ink Spot guitarist Huey Long dies at 105

By MONICA RHOR Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
June 12, 2009, 12:32PM

HOUSTON — Huey Long, a jazz guitarist whose sprawling career included stints with musical giants Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and as part of the famed Ink Spots vocal group, has died. He was 105.

Long was first drawn to music as a teenager when a group of minstrels visited his hometown of Sealy, a small Texas town about 20 miles west of Houston. He began playing the banjo and joined the Frank Davis Louisiana Jazz Band in the mid-20s.

In the 1930s, Long — by then a guitarist — went to Chicago where he recorded with pianist Lil Armstrong and joined with Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, who brought him to New York in 1943.

There, Long joined Earl "Fatha" Hines, whose big band included Gillespie, Parker and Sarah Vaughn. In 1945, Long was leading his own trio when vocalist Bill Kenny invited him to join the Ink Spots, whose velvet harmonies and flashy performing style had helped them become one of the first black groups to gain acceptance among white listeners.

The Ink Spots, whose recordings included "My Prayer," "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Java Jive" and others later reinvented for newer generations, were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

They are often credited with having a direct influence on the evolution of doo wop groups and rhythm and blues.After his stint with the Ink Spots, Long went on to form his own combo and studied music in California. He also lead a version of the Ink Spots in the 1960s.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Texas Governor Breaks Collarbone in Bike Accident

The Associated Press

Texas Gov. Rick Perry broke his collarbone while riding a mountain bike near his home.

The governor's office said in a news release that Perry was treated in the emergency room at Seton Medical Center in Austin and released Tuesday night.

He broke his right collarbone and had a minor abrasion to his right elbow.

Governor's spokeswoman Allison Castle says Perry was wearing a helmet, but she had no other details on the accident.

The accident forces the postponement of Perry's planned trips to Galveston, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island to sign bills recently passed by the Legislature.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free (Except to Clear Channel)

I've been noticing huge advertising on local AM radio lately that sniffs suspiciously of corporate money masquerading as grass roots efforts to oppose the "performance tax" on music played heretofore for free. It could be that mom and pop stations and college radio are joining in to fight the power on this, but all I've heard is crap similar to the spots the health care lobby ran on nationalized single payer government insurance in 1993. That is, radio vignettes portraying Joe and Jane Blow at the supper table railing against "foreign" record companies milking regular guys for "more taxes."

I found some net chat that raised interesting points:

In the opening salvo of what could be a contentious fight in Congress, the music industry this week introduced a bill to close what it calls a loophole in U.S. copyright law that exempts over-the- air broadcasters from paying performers. Like webcasters, satellite radio providers and cable companies, the musicians argue, radio stations should pay performers a fee for the music they broadcast.

"Today marks the beginning of the end for corporate radio's loophole," Jennifer Bendall, executive director of musicFirst, a lobbying group for performers, said in unveiling the legislation this week. "It's unfair, unjustified and un-American that artists and musicians are paid absolutely nothing when their recordings are played on AM and FM radio. Music is their work, their livelihood. They deserve fair pay for air play."

But the National Assn. of Broadcasters calls the idea a "performance tax," arguing that the music industry is just trying to use the issue to recover from the disastrous impact of the iPod, which has encouraged music sharing and online downloading and sent sales of CDS plummeting. And, note broadcasters, they already pay $500 million a year to compensate the songwriters and music publishers who write the music.

"With the iPod, music fans no longer have to shell out 20 bucks for an album that only has one good song," said Kristopher Jones of the National Assn. of Broadcasters. "It's 99 cents. Apparently, the record labels have decided that bankrupting their number one promotional vehicle – free radio airplay – is a better business strategy than adapting to technology."

The Record Industry Assn. of America acknowledges that the music industry is definitely in a period of re-invention but argues that digital revenues are actually increasing. "The music industry is reinventing itself by transitioning from a CD-based model to a performance-based model," said the RIAAs Cara Duckworth. "A performance right for AM/FM radio just makes sense. The landscape has changed, and the time is ripe."

Yes, the music industry wants more money to replace sagging revenue lost to file swapping and music pirating. Yes, the radio industry wants free music to increase their larder, even though the practice of "pay to play" have stayed the same since the days of Alan Freed, which has brought us the world of crap populated by the worst of the worst; everything from Brittany to Briana. All the changes to the status quo the last few years have benefited artists not at all. I say, let it burn, baby - let the motherfucker burn.

Chupacabra Report

Well, if you’ve been watching the Congress, you must have noticed that the moneyed interests in the oil, coal, electric and chemical industries are having their way with the energy bill. Same way with the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries lobbying to neuter the coming healthcare legislation.

President Obama will go to bat for these issues crucial to the health of the US economy, and that of the planet itself. Healthcare costs are breaking this country, while we fall behind all but third-world nations in quality and delivery of care; and carbon emissions are changing the climate, while we send a billion dollars a day to some of the worst dic-taters on earth to fuel our gas guzzlers and plastic trash habit.

Remember the story about the Pullman porters going to Washington and telling FDR that they needed the right to organize? He told them “I agree, now build yourselves a constituency and make me do it.”

Please write your Congressman, call or send an email,
even if they are useless Torys or blow-dog Democrats. Tell them that you want a real cap on carbon emissions; to put a price on pollution that will give us all incentive to be more energy efficient. And tell them that you want the healthcare bill to include a robust and affordable government run health insurance plan to compete with the for-profit insurance companies.

Make them do it.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I see that Caribou Barbie visited upstate New York last weekend for founder’s day in Auburn New York. I wonder who dressed her and paid her airfare and accommodations.

Auburn was home to William Seward and Harriet Tubman. Both were eminent abolitionists. Seward was a two-term N.Y. governor and rival to Lincoln for the 1860 Republican nomination. He travelled west to campaign for Lincoln and became Lincoln’s Secretary of State. According to Doris Kearns Goodwin, Seward thought Lincoln a lightweight and expected to wield great power from this post, but soon revised his opinion and became a valued confidant and advisor to Lincoln.

If only modern Republicans could drop their sore loser act and make themselves useful this way.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

nine eleven?

Driving in to town today I saw a kid driving a big new dually pick-up the size of a locomotive sporting Texas vanity plates reading “SEPT 11.”

I figured that the kid never considered that a piece of every dollar he puts into that 38 gallon fuel tank goes to Arabia into the pockets of the same people who financed the Sept. 11 attacks.

Or maybe he’s proud of that and is plotting to drive his truck into some target.

But the words “nine-eleven” are still potent, and so are hijacked themselves by many with an axe to grind, like former Vice-President Cheney, who spoke them twenty-seven times in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute last week.

Cheney was doing a hatchet job on President Obama, trying to ratchet up the fear factor to titillate his creepy base, who seem to think that everybody thinks just like them, the losers.

Apparently Richard A. Clark heard Cheney’s rant because he wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post last week that rips Cheney a new one. Clark’s tenure in Washington dates back to the Reagan administration, and he retired in 2003 after serving as chief counter-terrorism advisor under Clinton and George W. Bush.

I will paste up John Amato’s ‘Crooks and Liars’ post on the article here, which should give you a link to it. Check out the George Tenant story he opens up with. I also highly recommend the Digby’s Hullabaloo post that‘s linked here too. A real eye-opener, it tells me that the Bush administration knew that they blew it all along, and that their primary consideration was covering their ass after ignoring warnings about Bin Laden.

Crooks and Liars
Richard Clarke speaks the truth: 'The Trauma of 9/11 Is No Excuse'
By John Amato

"At least Bush kept us safe," is the war cry from conservatives whenever they try to find something good to say about the Bush Administration and their eight disastrous years of rule. They forget about everything that came before Sept. 11th apparently. That's not supposed to count. It's true that it's difficult to keep a nation completely safe and it's hard to assign blame, but let's not forget that George Tenet seemed to know a little about who the hijackers were after we found out who hit us.

According to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, on the morning of 9/11, as aides rushed over to George Tenet’s table at the St. Regis Hotel restaurant to tell him the news of the World Trade Center strike, the CIA director was overheard to say: “I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training.”

That being said, the media is very afraid to ever bring the facts up that Richard Clarke pointed it out in the Washington Post in a column called: The Trauma of 9/11 Is No Excuse
Top officials from the Bush administration have hit upon a revealing new theme as they retrospectively justify their national security policies. Call it the White House 9/11 trauma defense.

"Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans," Condoleezza Rice said last month as she admonished a Stanford University student who questioned the Bush-era interrogation program.
And in his May 21 speech on national security, Dick Cheney called the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a "defining" experience that "caused everyone to take a serious second look" at the threats to America. Critics of the administration have become more intense as memories of the attacks have faded, he argued. "Part of our responsibility, as we saw it," Cheney said, "was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America."

I remember that morning, too. Shortly after the second World Trade Center tower was hit, I burst in on Rice (then the president's national security adviser) and Cheney in the vice president's office and remember glimpsing horror on his face. Once in the bomb shelter, Cheney assembled his team while the crisis managers on the National Security Council staff coordinated the government response by video conference from the Situation Room. Many of us thought that we might not leave the White House alive.
I remember the next day, too, when smoke still rose from the Pentagon as I sat in my office in the White House compound, a gas mask on my desk. The streets of Washington were empty, except for the armored vehicles, and the skies were clear, except for the F-15s on patrol. Every scene from those days is seared into my memory. I understand how it was a defining moment for Cheney, as it was for so many Americans.

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. "If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans drop out of eighty-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people," Rice said in her recent comments, "then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again."

I have little sympathy for this argument. Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years -- on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping -- were not appropriate.
Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.

Thus, when Bush's inner circle first really came to grips with the threat of terrorism, they did so in a state of shock -- a bad state in which to develop a coherent response. Fearful of new attacks, they authorized the most extreme measures available, without assessing whether they were really a good on

I've talk to Digby many times about this and she brought up the Cuban Missile Crisis and what would Bush and Cheney have done if it had happened under their watch instead of Kennedy's. Would we all still be standing here today?

I have been desperate for someone other than bloggers to say this for years. Here's Richard Clark:...

Despite all of Cheney's attempts at redemption and the ongoing conservative insistence that their policies "kept the country safe" the truth is that they behaved hysterically and irrationally after the attacks and reinforced every bad American stereotype in existence. Because of their blindered conservative worldview, they simply assumed that anything that had been done by someone other than the airbrushed version of Ronald Reagan had to be wrong and that anything other than schoolyard bully tactics were a form of weakness.

It's true that 9/11 did present an opportunity. America could have shown mature and intelligent global leadership. But it didn't. It behaved like a wounded adolescent giant, its leadership carrying on with "bullhorn moments" and talk of wanted posters and playing cards while an irresponsible media entertained the masses with war porn.

It was an embarrassing --- and dangerous --- display. If there was ever a time for the leadership of this country to play it cool it was then. And they failed the test in almost every way. Good for Richard Clark for calling them out on this.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another Doctor Murdered by Right Wing Terrorists

Dr. George Tiller was murdered Sunday while serving as an usher at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita Kansas, the first such killing since the death of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1998. Doctors David Gunn and John Britton were murdered in Pensacola Florida in 1993 and 1994.

Police have arrested Scott P. Roeder, 51, of Merriam Kansas. Roeder, associated with the Freeman Militia in the 1990’s, was arrested in 1996 after sheriffs deputies pulled him over for having a homemade license plate on his car. They found ammunition, a blasting cap, fuse cord, and a pound of gunpowder in his trunk. He was found guilty of criminal use of explosives and sentenced to probation, but his sentence was overturned on appeal. Roeder told acquaintances that he considered the killing of “abortion doctors” to be justifiable homicide.

President Obama released a statement on the shooting.

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, today issued the following statement on the murder of reproductive health care provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, KS.

“The entire Planned Parenthood family is deeply saddened by the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While he was not a Planned Parenthood provider, he was an integral part of our community and his loss is felt by all of us.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those close to him who are suffering a personal tragedy. Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. He provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances. He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career - his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protestor, and he was recently targeted for investigation only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago.

“None of this stopped George Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer. His death is an enormous loss for the patients who relied on him, his dedicated staff, the medical community and for women and their families across America.”