Zippidy Doo Da

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

(Click to enlarge)

The great Charles Kuffner got the same letter that I did this week. It came addressed to the name we use on our Texas Monthly subscription. They should have sent it to our disburser, Ms. Helen Wait. If they want a check from me, they'll haveta go to Helen Wait.

Seen on BartCop

A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway outside Washington, DC.
Nothing was moving. Suddenly, a man knocks on the window.
The driver rolls down the window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped Congress, and they're asking for a $100 million
dollar ransom. Otherwise, they are going to douse them all in gasoline and
set them on fire. We are going from car to car, collecting donations."

"How much is everyone giving, on average?" the driver asks.

The man replies, "Roughly a gallon."

Thanks to Susan W

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat..

Well, the business headline said it this way; “Market suffers a supercommittee sell-off.” The DJIA fell 250 points Monday after the Congressional supercommittee failed to reach agreement on taxes and budget cuts to reduce the deficit by one and a half trillion dollars over the next ten years.

This could be good news. If the Democrats fail to make a deal with the GOP, that means that they aren’t getting rolled. One of the Republican demands was to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. That’s a hell of a way to balance the books.

So that was their whole contribution, an idea that would reduce revenues. In return the Democrats were asked to approve cuts to Social Security and Medicare. So the one side wanted to extend benefits to their base, who would reward them with campaign contributions, while the other would cut benefits to folks who would then vote them out of office. Some compromise.

Lacking a deal, the budget is slated to be cut across the board by ten percent starting in 2013. Hawks in Congress are already talking about bringing legislation to exempt Defense spending from these cuts. President Obama has already promised to veto such a bill. Good; as Willie Sutton said, that’s where the money is. Decimating every budget category is a terrible move as the country struggles through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but it is an evenhanded way to get accounts in order without new revenues.

We have national elections coming up next year, before this ax falls. Will the electorate look beyond the acute discomfort and see that one party is offering more of what made us sick in the first place? Will we see through the hired bullshit and mandate more than half-measures and phony compromise? When FDR won forty-six states in 1936 he took 61% of the popular vote, even though the other 39% were the people who owned all the newspapers and radio stations. It will be interesting to see how loudly money talks in the wake of Citizens United v FEC.

The decision will ultimately be in the hands of American voters, who, if they don’t decide that next year’s elections are really about God, guns, gays, or who should win American Idle, can make a choice between tax cuts for millionaires and austerity for the rest of us, or a progressive tax structure with continued support for popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"You don't own me."

From The Huffington Post:

“Alaska Congressman Don Young got into a heated discussion with Rice University professor Doug Brinkley at a hearing on Friday.

“Young addressed Brinkley as "Dr. Rice" and called his testimony "garbage." Brinkley replied, "Dr. Brinkley. Rice is a university. I know you went to Yuba College and you couldn't graduate."

“"I'll call you anything I want to call you when you sit in that chair. You just be quiet," Young quipped.

“"You don't own me," Brinkley shot back. "I pay your salary."

“The exchange took place at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing to discuss the possible effects of drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Later, Young admitted that he was "really pissed."

“This isn't the first time a Don Young outburst has disrupted a meeting. His illustrious record includes brandishing a walrus penis at the female head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and making an obscene reference to gay sex while denouncing the National Endowment for the Arts at a high school.

“Young famously called the BP oil spill "not an environmental disaster." He also has the lowest voting attendance among House members, aside from those who had to miss votes because of illness or presidential campaigns.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gingrich Stock Up?

As the seven dwarfs in turn shrink under the pressure of being frontrunner-of-the-week, the Anybody But Romney crowd is scraping the bottom of the barrel in search of an alternative to Windsock Willard. The latest flavor-of-the-week appears to be Newt Gingrich, who has risen from single digits to join Herman Cain and Ron Paul as unelectable rivals to Romney.

I had been thinking of the Gingrich campaign as a sideshow, merely a moneymaking operation for a character whose toxic personal history has made him repugnant to voters. Gingrich’s unique “family values” may not be widely known, but would certainly surface in a nationwide campaign and turn off plenty of voters, especially women.

But if Gingrich becomes a serious candidate, I’d say that the way to attack him is through his money. When he was asked at the CNBC debate last week about his work for Freddy Mac, he said that they paid him $300,000 to be a historian. Turns out that they’ve paid him $1.6 million to lobby Republicans in Congress. Funny because he’s been a fierce critic of the Federally-sponsored mortgage dealer. Gingrich says he’s not a lobbyist for ethanol too, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking $312,000 from ethanol lobbying group Growth Energy. He’s received over a million dollars from various coal, oil and gas producers. His financial disclosure last summer gave his net worth as $6.7 million, with 2010 income of $2.6 million. Not bad for an Assistant Professor of History at West Georgia College.

His history of influence peddling and creative use of campaign funds, for example to pay the $300,000 assessed by the House Ethics Committee for giving the Committee false information about using a tax-exempt college course for political purposes, ought to raise questions about his fitness for office even for those unconcerned about his serial philandering and twenty-four carat line of bullshit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat:

The “How They Voted” feature in Sunday’s Chronicle showed the occasionally wobbly Kay Bailey in lockstep this week with right-wing trog John Cornyn, voting positions that ought to, but probably won’t, expose them to the ire of Texas voters.

The first was a vote to repeal last year’s Net Neutrality rules from the FCC. Luckily, this move to let money talk louder on the web failed on a 46 – 52 vote. Shame on our Senators for favoring an ‘information tollroad’ where some netizens are more equal than others.

Next, the Senate unanimously voted to repeal a law requiring 3 percent of the sum of certain government contracts to be withheld and deposited with the IRS as a credit against any back taxes the contractor owes the Treasury. This would result in a loss of a billion dollars a year to the treasury, which would be made up by eliminating Medicare eligibility for 500,000 social security recipients. Congress passed this rule almost ten years ago after finding that thousands of Federal contractors owed billions in back taxes. Now they vote to let these scofflaws skate and pay for it by putting another obstacle between Americans and affordable healthcare. Go figure.

Cornyn and Hutchison of course both voted for the GOP “jobs” bill, that would, “ institute a balanced-budget constitutional amendment; reduce the top corporate and individual tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent; repeal the 2010 health law and the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill; bar the federal government from regulating greenhouse gases associated with global warming; nullify or scale back other environmental regulations; close an array of tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and others and give presidents a line-item veto.”

And last, both voted for a losing effort to repeal the EPA’s new Cross-State Air Pollution rule to require coal burning power plants in 27 states to reduce smog and soot emissions. I guess that’s just voting in the state’s interest when that state ranks 1st among states for total toxic pollutants released to air, land and water.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What He Said

Asked about a potential move to the American League that could accompany the sale of the Astros:

“I think it’s a travesty,” Berkman said. “It’s a National League franchise. I think if they were going to do something like that, Milwaukee’s the choice to go back to the American League; they’re historically an American League franchise."

Monday, November 07, 2011

Perry’s Zombie Campaign

If you wonder why I’m still picking on Rick Perry, after he puked all over himself in the debates, crashed in the polls like John McCain in a A-4E, and made a fool of himself in New Hampshire, consider this; in the last quarter he raised more money ($17 million) than Mitt Romney, ($14 million) and more than all the other GOP ‘candidates’ combined. This, even though the Texas Bush fundraising machine is mostly supporting Windsock Willard the establishment candidate.

When the voting starts in January, the seven dwarfs will start dropping like flies. Only a few will have the means to stick it out past Iowa and New Hampshire. Few of the three-quarters of Republican voters who oppose Romney will back Ron Paul because Paul is too sane when it comes to foreign policy. So the anybody but Romney crowd will have to settle for somebody. As Molly Ivins said; “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president, please pay attention.”

And about that money; I about fell out laughing last week when Perry talked about taking “a wrecking ball, a sledge hammer –whatever it takes to break up the good-old-boy corporate lobbyist mentality that is putting this country’s future in jeopardy.” This from a guy whose fingerprints were on the Cattlemans Association’s hamburger suit against Oprah Winfrey, whose Governors office has had a revolving door to rival that of ‘pay to play’ Tom DeLay.

Yeah, money: Juanita at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon reports today on a new Super PAC, Texas Aggies for Perry in 2012. One of those Aggies is Wendy Gramm, appointed to the Texas A&M Board of Regents by Rick Perry. Mrs. Gramm served on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission when they exempted Enron from regulation of trading in energy derivatives, and then resigned to take a seat on the Enron Board of Directors. Phil Gramm gave Perry $613,000 from his Senate Campaign Account. “Bailout Nation” author Barry Ritholtz called Phil Gramm the person third-most-responsible for the Great Recession. Juanita says Gramm has been linked to sixteen major financial crisis events, and that “If Rick Perry gets elected, you’re giving Phil Gramm the keys to Fort Knox.”

FYI, the Texas photo ID law doesn't go into effect untill January, don't let some tory poll judge tell you different.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

3-eyed Fish Found Near Argentinean Nuclear Power Plant

"Un grupo de pescadores cordobeses capturó una tararira con tres ojos en un lago que se encuentra cerca de una central nuclear en Córdoba.

"El hallazgo ocurrió en el lago del embalse llamado "Chorro de Agua Caliente", que se encuentra en las cercanías de la central nuclear de Embalse, según publicó el sitio cordobés Cadena3.

""Estábamos pescando y nos llevamos la sorpresa de sacar este raro ejemplar. Como era de noche en ese momento no nos dimos cuenta, pero después uno lo miró con una linterna y vio que tenía un tercer ojo", relató Julián Zmutt, uno de los pescadores."

"Zmutt aseguró que es la primera vez que le pasa y que el hallazgo comenzó a preocupar a la población porque "se empieza a hablar de la central nuclear"."

"Agregó que el ejemplar está en el freezer de uno de los pescadores y que después de que se le hagan algunos exámenes piensa embalsamarlo."