Zippidy Doo Da

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chupacabra Report: News that Gets My Goat

The San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle ran a column by Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond titled “Dioxin rules could hurt recovery: Regulations are based on questionable science.”

The TAB is trying to forestall new EPA regulations governing how much of these substances can be released into the air and water, as well levels in the soil that would require remediation. Major sources of dioxins are waste combustion, smelting, refining, chemical manufacturing, and the bleaching of paper and textiles.

Dioxins are a bioaccumulative toxin; a likely carcinogen and mutagen. Concentrating in fat, babies are born with a burden of dioxins passed to them by their mothers. Dioxins move up the food chain to humans through fish, meat, and dairy products. It was the toxin used in the assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Viktor Yushenko in 2004.

The Texas Association of Business is a player in the axis of Texas polluters and Republican politicians. They paid a $10,000 fine to the State of Texas in 2008 for making unlawful direct campaign expenditures. Bill Hammond was the key figure in this illegal corporate campaign funding before the 2002 elections, which packed the statehouse with GOP lawmakers to carry-out the Tom DeLay- directed off-year redistricting that lead to the loss of five Democratic Congressional seats. DeLay faces trial on state charges of money laundering and conspiracy in that same election. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everybody Registered to vote? Deadline's Saturday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In a Chronicle op-ed piece titled “Oxymoron of 2010: feminist conservative” former NOW President Eleanor Smeal is quoted, saying “identifications have to be rooted in reality. You can’t just eat at Olive Garden and call yourself Italian.”

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We are pleased and privileged to have a new commenter post on ZDD coming soon to enlighten us. Iwon't spoil the surprise since he might have his own non de plume to secret his identity.
Hizzoner and the lovely Mrs. Hoarse visited recently to receive another honorarium,(what this time,Chief?), and he pointed out we have had a significant up-tick in readership. Hail, to anyone new - please feel free to join in.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toles’ cartoon of Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in a bubble is a comment on her pulling out of scheduled appearances on last week’s Sunday morning talk shows. O’Donnell joins a long list of GOP candidates whose handlers keep them isolated from the public and the press. This happens because the candidates are gaffe-prone, inarticulate, or just plain crazy. Sharron Angle in Nevada, Rand Paul in Kentucky and of course Sarah Palin, no longer talk to reporters because when they tried they said ridiculous stuff that lost them votes. (Such as laboratory mice with human brains, headless bodies in the Arizona desert, Jim Crow laws being optional for the states) So they provide softball questions for friendly media sources to ask them, stick to their script, and only appear before hand-picked audiences.

Ever notice how when you hear Republican congressmen comment on issues, they all say the same things? Word for word? They call this “staying on message.” What they are really doing is regurgitating the latest talking points from GOP consultant Frank Luntz. Unfortunately, this works for them. They sell their candidates like cornflakes.

You don’t see this with the Democrats. It’s like Will Rogers said, “I don’t belong to any organized political party; I’m a Democrat.”

We have the same situation here in Texas, where Governor Perry has refused to debate his opponent Bill White. Perry has even declined to do the traditional meetings with the editorial boards of major newspapers. He speaks at tea party gatherings and twitters to his fan base, but you won’t see him taking questions about how he intends to square the $21 billion shortfall in the state budget.

Texas deserves better. Bill White is determined to put a stop to the wedge- issue politics practiced by our current governor. White has a record of reaching across party lines, of governing by consensus. He needs your vote, and Texas needs the honest and competent leadership he has demonstrated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat..

This graph comes from Rachael Maddow, one of the smartest people doing news today. I can relate some when I hear people rant about the debt, but have to wonder where they were 20 or 30 years ago when all this started. Paul Tsongas and Warren Rudman founded the Concord Coalition in ’92 to educate the public about our unsustainable economy, but people kept electing the same tools preaching about “God, gays, and guns.”

Now the GOP and the teabaggers are up in arms about spending, except when it’s for their Social Security, Medicare, or colossal military. Give me a break. What did we get for all that money? Reagan built a 500 ship navy so it could be mothballed. We cut capital gains taxes and reduced tax rates on top earners resulting in a massive upward transfer of wealth, while giving tax considerations to corporations moving jobs overseas. It was during this time that the “Made in USA” label disappeared from Wal-Mart’s shelves. Like Chickens for Colonel Sanders, American voters have been cutting their own throats for 30 years.

Now that we have a president who inherited two wars and an economy going over the cliff, people have hit the streets to scream about spending. I’m no economist, but I am a student of history, and I’ve learned that Keynesian economics saved this country from anarchy and despair during the great depression. I swear, if we hand over the reins to the Republicans this fall, we’re headed for breadlines and riots when they try to move us forward into the 19thcentury.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time for a Change

The Houston Chronicle, who has endorsed almost every GOP candidate for major office since LBJ, has endorsed Bill White for governor. Maybe they're rightfully pissed that Rick Perry has refused to do the traditional interview with their editorial board. You can read the whole piece here;

Here's the last paragraph..

"We've watched Bill White run the mayor's office, appointing both Democrats and Republicans and building bridges across ethnic and ideological divides. We believe he'll do the same at the state capitol, and we urge Texans to give him that opportunity."

And how. That's what I hear from almost everybody I bring it up with; now if that just translates into votes in November.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Burka Balances Budget

In the October issue of Texas Monthly, Paul Burka takes up Texas’ upcoming $18 billion budget deficit. He warns that it won’t be pretty.

Burka closes this humongous gap by eliminating state agencies such as the Railroad Commission, Agriculture Dept, Public Utility Commission and the Commission on Environmental Quality, releasing non-violent drug-possession offenders, delaying school construction, adjusting student-to-staff ratios to 2006 levels, reducing standardized testing, delaying the purchase of new textbooks, reducing TEA grants to districts, reducing the merit pay for teachers program, removing “special item” funding to state colleges and universities, eliminating the A&M AgriLife Extension Service, cutting TxDOT earmarks, and cutting all state agency budgets by 5%.

This gets us halfway there. Next he goes for new revenue, the ground rules being that there will be no tax increases because Rick Perry says that if he is re-elected he will veto any tax hikes. So Burka would raise fees, fines, licenses, and permits by 20%, ask the Legislature to allow video lottery terminals at racetracks, and finally, withdraw half of the Texas Rainy Day Fund, or $4.5 billion.

That easy huh? Burks wraps up by saying that this is only the beginning.

“Because of decisions that the state’s leaders made several years ago, budget cruises will be a permanent feature of state government. In 2006 the Legislature cut school property taxes by one third, reaping great political benefits in the process, but its attempt to raise new revenue fell far short of projections. This underperformance has created what state finance experts describe as a structural budget deficit, an ongoing inability to generate enough revenue to pay for the current level of state services. Governor Perry and other state leaders have evidenced no concern about the structural deficit. Instead they supported reducing the revenue from the business tax, notwithstanding the structural deficit and the looming shortfall. Their fiscal policy is (1) never raise taxes and (2) pray for a boom. The structural deficit is the elephant in the living room of state government. And it may crush us all.”

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chupacabra Report

The San Antonio Express-News’ Peggy Fikac reports that the Rick Perry Campaign has offered door prizes to supporters who sign up registered voters. The big prize is eighteen holes of golf with Rudolph Giuliani. The second prize thirty-six holes of golf with Rudolph Giuliani. This is Perry’s reward for backing the wrong horse in the 2008 primaries, where Rudy found that his monster ego, which propelled him into the limelight after the Sept 11 attacks when Bush and Cheney were still hunkered in the bunker, was not enough to get voters over his colorful personal life, which includes marrying his cousin and moving his mistress into New York’s Gracie Mansion. At least Giuliani’s mansion didn’t burn down.

Seriously, Perry’s campaign has a ways to go in the glitz department. He might could get Pat Boone, the geriatric white-bread rug model, who recently called for the White House to be fumigated. He’s got Ted Nugent, the gun-nut draft dodger turned chickenhawk who shows up at events to shred The Star Spangled Banner. And don’t forget his fellow secessionist Chuck Norris, a right-wing nut with his own joke generator.

The Bill White campaign was awarding tickets to a private concert at Jerry Jeff Walker’s home. Jerry Jeff, the man who first drove Jimmy Buffet to Margaritaville; wouldn’t you rather stretch out on that Navajo Rug with some Sangria Wine and enjoy some gonzo country music? This is just another example of the bad company Governor Perry keeps.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Toles two-fer

Chupacabra Report

Last week I bought a new Texas all water fishing license so I could get in a couple of last trips before the Coastal Conservation Association’s STAR tournament ended. Forty dollars! When I started buying these I think I paid $35 for a combo hunting/fishing package, and it was one of my favorite checks to write because all the money, along with a cut of the sales tax on sporting goods, went to Parks and Wildlife for conservation and enforcement.

Well, somewhere along the line, GOP legislators, who like to spend money as much as the rest of us but don’t like to pay the bills, raided those earmarks and now send those monies to the general fund like it was supplemental federal funding for education or something.

Due to ideology, venality, and plain meanness, the Lege has failed for decades to come up with an equitable system for school funding, the State Constitution is a monstrosity bloated with hundreds of amendments, and since the decline of the oil economy that once funded state operations, has been at a loss to come up with a workable tax system.

In the upcoming session, there will be no Federal stimulus money to make up the projected $18 billion deficit.

In 2003 the Lege made up a shortfall in part by laying off 2,900 state workers who administered the Food Stamp, Medicaid, and Childrens Health Insurance Program, giving a $900 million contract to Bermuda-based Accenture Corp, spawned from the Enron-tainted Arthur Anderson accounting firm. The contract was a disaster that lead to, among other things, 200,000 children losing their health coverage and 90 day waits for people applying for food aid, even as Perry’s Enterprise fund passed out $200 million in corporate welfare, such as the $20 million it gave to sub-prime lender Countrywide Mortgage. We can expect more of the same under Republican leadership in the next session. The state will shred the social safety net, cut back funding to already-strapped school districts and colleges, and close more mental hospitals, all while spinning-off more state assets and operations to well-connected private operators and developers.

This why I urge people to get out and vote Democratic this November 2nd. When Texas was a one-party state under Democrats, the election battles were fought between the mainstream tory democrats and the liberal wing. But under the GOP, the ruling party is under the sway of the right wing extremists who dominate the primary elections, leaving no room for moderates and pragmatists. The officials we elect are faithful to the corporations and wealthy individuals who support them, and secure in their gerrymandered seats, because instead of the voters picking their representatives, here the representatives pick their voters.

There is just too much going wrong in this state to blame on any one party or faction: re-electing the tools who have put us in this mess is not an option. The Texas Republican platform is rife with non-issues such as withdrawing from the United Nations, praying in school, denying rights and privileges to same-sex couples and requiring voters to show a picture ID. We have an opportunity this fall to put an end to “wedge-issue” politics and pull together for the betterment of all. Let’s do it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I'm Back (In the Rear)

I wanted to mention a few items that I am finally able to do after many months of lonely absence.
First, I had last reported that Lucy and I were sharing the fate of millions of other Americans during this George Bush economy. I had lost my job, house, insurance, savings, credit, car, friends, my dogs, other beloved pets, and almost my mind, my heart and my faith in God.
Today, Lucy who is a tenured and masterful teacher in the public schools rated "Tile 1" rural and innercity schools, who I am so very proud of, and who positively effected the lives of poor mostly minority kids, received word from the Texas Retirement System Board that her application to retire under disability was denied. It was denied by nameless/faceless men who have never layed eyes on her and who brushed aside the records and opinions of a rheumatologist, podiatrist,pulmonogist, family physician and psychologist without any rationale or cited authority.
These are the same Rick Perry goons who bankrupted the system by investing 300 million in Enron stock under immense political pressure. Like Perry, they don't care to admit that they stole all the money and now have a state-wide budget short-fall of 18 billion dollars. This chicken shit decision is likely happening a lot now because they just don't have the money, and like soulless, evil moral pip-squeeks everywhere, they find it easier to rob disabled people, blind and poor children than demand that Texans actually pay for something that is their moral and political obligation.
Still, after all this bad luck we endure and in some ways are even stronger. But I would be extremely grateful if some one out there using the Google machine could offer ther experience with TRS.
I for one intend to holla all I can to fight the corruption that elected crooks senseless red-necks allow to persist.
On a happier note: KEVIN,I CANNOT GET THE E-MAIL ADDRESS JUDGE HOARSE SENT ME. please-mail me here so I can bring you aboard.
I think when this summer heat breaks we will all go outside and peer at the sun.

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