Zippidy Doo Da

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watching the Tory Convention, I've heard that out-of-context "you didn't build that" so many times, I'm glad that this isn't a drinking game like 'Hi Bob.' Here's the wrap-up of President Obama's remarks that day; I'd like to hear them dispute this:

"So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together."

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat..

A friend asked me the other day about financial aid for his college student. I’m no expert, but I could tell him a little from what I’ve seen from my girl’s experience. I was able to tell him that under Republican government in Texas, that the Texas Grant program hasn’t been fully funded since 2004, and that the state deregulated college tuition some years back, which has allowed Texas state colleges to raise tuition by an average of 39% in recent years. I also told him that House Republicans cut funding for Pell Grants by $600 million last year.

As for good news, the Obama administration was able change the federal student loan program so that loans are now administered directly by the federal government, so that money once diverted to private lenders is now available to students. This was done over the vehement opposition of Republican lawmakers, who screamed about a socialist government takeover of private lending companies.

And since I was preaching politics, of course I told of Mitt Romney’s advice to students who found college unaffordable; that they shop around for a good deal, and borrow money from their parents if necessary. There’s also Ann Romney’s tale of getting by in college by selling off some of the stock holdings their parents had given them. –That’s it kids, sell off those silver spoons.

I was able to tell of one instance where the GOP supports higher education and that is their support of for-profit colleges. These are those outfits that do the job of community colleges only at a higher cost, often using moonlighting community college instructors for faculty. They may have abysmal graduation rates, and not place many of their graduates into the workforce, but they do a hell of a business of accepting anybody with a pulse who is eligible for federal student aid. For-profit schools get 75% of their revenue from federal grants and loans, over $25 billion last year. They also lead the industry in students defaulting on student loans.

Why are Republican legislators so cozy with for-profit schools? I’d say it’s another example of the Willie Sutton rule; “that’s where the money is.” That’s why Jack Abramoff lobbied for Indian tribes. It wasn’t out of compassion; he called them monkeys and troglodytes, he pitched to them because he wanted to skim millions out of their casino money. That’s why Republicans fought to water down regulation of banking and trading after the Crash of 2008, isn’t it? The Center for Responsive Politics reports that over 90% of Wall Street contributions to candidates and super-pacs this year have gone to Republicans. I can’t say that there aren’t sluts on both side of the aisle, but it’s pretty obvious which side the big moneys lining up on, meaning, as usual, that it’s open season on Boobus Americanus should he decide to vote with the plutocrats again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recently, a woman was playing golf when she took a big swing and fell.

The party waiting behind her was a group from the RNC that included Romney.

Romney quickly stepped forward and helped her to her feet.

She thanked him and started to leave, when he said, "I'm Governor Romney and I hope you'll vote for me this November."

She laughed and quickly said, "I fell on my ass, not my head!"

-from Talen on BartCop

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  Aiken stays in Senate race. Says he is "legitimate, forcible" candidate.

Monday, August 13, 2012

E. J. Dionne today says Romney’s selection of his running mate could result in a second term for a pragmatic Obama..

“Now, it is liberals who question conservative master plans and point to the costs of conservative dreams. And in Ryan and his budget proposals, they have been gifted with the perfect foil.

“How can Ryan justify his Medicaid cuts when, as the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found, they would likely leave 14 million to 19 million poor people without health coverage? How can he justify tax proposals that, as The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis pointed out, would reduce the rate on Mitt Romney’s rather substantial income to less than 1 percent? How can he claim his budgets are anti-deficit measures when, as The Post’s Matt Miller has noted, his tax cuts would add trillions to the debt and we wouldn’t be in balance until somewhere around 2030?

“In this race, Obama — far more than today’s conservative theorists and to the occasional consternation of his more liberal supporters — is the pragmatist. He’s talking about messy trade-offs: between taxes and spending, government and the private sector, dreams and the facts on the ground. In embracing Ryan, Romney has tied himself to the world of high conservative ideology. As liberals learned long ago, ideology usually loses.”

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat..

Texas icon Maury Maverick, who lived to see the GOP takeover of Texas (and to oppose the Iraq War) likened the Republicans to a dog chasing cars and wondered what they would do “now that they finally got their teeth on the tire.” Well, as we’ve seen these years, Republican officeholders like to dance with the ones that brung ‘em. Privatization and de-regulation are in vogue, along with “lawsuit reform,” capital punishment, concealed carry, and Bible classes in the public schools. Clean air and water, tax reform, public health and education not so much.

Well, maybe we get the government we deserve. Many Texans can tell you more about pro football or so-called reality TV than they can about their own government, which might even make our low voter turnout a sort of blessing. As Texas author Gore Vidal said, “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it’s the same half.” When Bill White challenged Governor Rick Perry (who refused to debate White because he wouldn’t release twenty years of tax returns) he garnered a record number of Democratic votes. Unfortunately, Perry garnered a few more himself.

As seen in the results of the April 3rd Texas GOP primary races, (held on May 29th because of Court objections to the latest gerrymander) the Tea Party is big here. The party faithful selected some doozies, such as Canadien trial lawyer Rafael “Ted” Cruz for U.S. Senate, and former homeless person Steve Stockman for my congressional district, the brand-new 36th. Just the candidates an old lefty like me would pick to run against. The problem here is that these two might just win. This craziness goes on all the way up to the top of the ticket, where Willard Romney has selected aspiring plutocrat Paul Ryan as his running mate, doubling down on that ‘cut spending in response to recession’ school of thought that Hoover used to bring on the Great Depression in 1931, and that FDR used to take the country back into recession in 1937. Romney’s marketing department must be telling him that people will buy this.

So I have to wonder if seniors will vote to “keep government’s hands off their Medicare and Social Security” and hand it over to those nice folks on Wall Street, if women will vote to shut down Planned Parenthood and let the states decide whether to ban birth control, if people living paycheck-to-paycheck will vote to lower the capital gains tax and abolish the inheritance tax, if young people of draft age will vote for peace, or vote at all.

We’ve got our work cut out for us.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Chupacabra Report

From The Houston Chronicle last Wednesday:

-A 12-year-old Hockley boy accidently shot and killed his younger brother when they were playing with shotguns unsupervised, officials said.
They were playing with the guns, a 12-gauge pump shotgun and a 20-gauge shotgun, found in the bedroom closet, said Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith.
The Waller County District Attorney's office is determining whether the parents would face any possible charges.

-A Houston police officer shot a man who had waved a gun at a Pasadena restaurant, officials said. The man had refused orders to drop his gun when he was shot by officer Michael Lareau, Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell said.

-A southwest Houston woman was shot to death Tuesday as she was getting out of her car, the likely victim of a robbery, police said. Relatives pleaded with anyone who had information about the case to contact police.

-A northeast Houston shop owner on Tuesday fatally shot a man trying to burglarize his property, police said. The man ran, police said, and collapsed on the street a short distance away.

-A man shot himself Tuesday in a supermarket parking lot in Sugar Land after earlier firing several rounds at his estranged girlfriend’s car, Missouri city police said. Police said the man shot himself in the head when officers approached.