Easter Lemming Liberal News

Friday, May 30, 2008


Link Dump, some Democratic gossip


Pictures from the SD-11 Obama delegate meeting Wednesday. Best news - I am not on them.

The strong case for caucuses. Even Kos is leaning toward every state going to the Texas system.

Congressman Wexler: Scotty should testify under oath. My thought is why? He only says what anyone paying even a tiny bit of attention already knew. The fact that this seems news to people only shows the GOP propaganda domination of American media.

Rick Casey has some evidence of the back deals being made for the Texas State Convention. What Rick doesn't emphasize is that the Obama camp is doing everything possible to have a smooth convention and to minimize the hurt feelings of Clinton delegates on her loss. He also doesn't say that TDP Chairman Boyd Richie has been a known quiet supporter of Obama for many months. He is not being rewarded in a sudden backroom deal. Three, not brought out clearly in this column is that Roy LaVerne Brooks has no chance. Texas progressives opposed to Richey decided not to support her, they would rather see Boyd Richey continue as chair than her. Richey has greatly mended fences in the past year.

2008 Election Resource - Dave's Presidential Election and History Pages.

Bush as draft dodger - Camp Mabry tales from Mary Mapes' Truth and Duty. Mary Mapes explains how the Killian memos were confirmed as accurate.

Scott McClellan's current treatment by the Right Wing Noise Machine Media reminds me of the witch hunt of Dan Rather. Dan Rather had an explosive story against Bush and the RWNMM ignored the story and made it about him and one detail of the story - the memos. The right got the detail wrong, the memos were typewritten as proven by the unevenness of some letters. The right and their media enablers ignored all the other evidence that Bush would have been declared AWOL and sent to Vietnam in any other Guard outfit. But Bush's outfit was set up for family and friends of politicians. Those on the news shows from the 70's Ellington ANG unit were the ones who participated in the cover-up at the time.

It's all about baseball. The most statistically rigorous electoral college projection analyst outs himself. Chuck Todd, referred to in Nate Silver's headline, is the best of the news election analysts.

Posted with ScriptFire for FireFox. I don't usually use FireFox as I have somehow blocked all videos and haven't bothered figuring out how to unblock YouTube and others. (Looks like I still have some kinks to work out, I had to cut and paste this.)

To what extent is news coverage biased by the corporate interest of the parents?

Was Ferraro always this Archie Bunker stupid? Probably, which is why she has remained unnoticed in obscurity until Clinton needed her. Some of my favorite bloggers and email list moderators are ex-Republicans like John Cole.

Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. interview with Madeleine Duncan Brown - video.
The night before the Kennedy assassination, Lyndon Baines Johnson met with Dallas tycoons, FBI moguls and organized crime kingpins - emerging from the conference to tell his mistress Madeleine Duncan Brown that "those SOB's" would never embarrass him again. It's a jaw-dropping deposition and it's the biggest JFK smoking gun there is - despite the fact that it has received little media attention.
The Nation: Obama, Not Clinton, Leads in Popular Vote.

Daniel Brook: The only people leaping ahead in winner-take-all America are in the top 1 percent--and more specifically the top .1 and .01 percents.

Newest SurveyUSA - adding Edwards to ticket would provide big boost to Obama. I think it's the Appalachia vote - lower middle-class whites who mistrust a black man running things without one of their own as backup. It's amazing how Hillary has transformed herself into one of their own. USN&WR calls it the Jacksonian vote. Again, amazing that tossing back a few boilermakers can establish yourself as one of them. Also note the two corrections, had Michael Barone had a few when he wrote it?

Stuff God hates - blog.

Captain America Creator- Fighting On.

Glenn Greenwald on combating "the Right's notion that our elections should be decided based on petty personality-based themes -- euphemistically known as, justified and glorified as, "character issues." Decrying that principle while simultaneously subjecting the Right to it is not "hypocritical" or "contradictory" but, instead, is a means -- the only means -- for undermining it." "I object to that pig-headed lying fool calling me pig-headed" is defended as a necessary response. Oddly, I am leaning to that being true in politics.

"Hogwash. Hogwash! HOGWASH" - The McClatchy newspaper editors on the other media protestations that they are not enabling propagandists.

Politico still whoring for the right. CNN/MSNBC reporter: Corporate executives forced pro-Bush, pro-war narrative. Are you surprised?

How the Southern Baptist Convention became unAmerican. Heh, I seem to have something to offend all Bush supporters today. Might as well continue with how Christianity became unAmerican. An important history lesson about the hijacking of Christianity by some who never knew Jesus. A follow-up is needed on how Christian leaders sold out to become the state religion of a police-state Empire. Houston claims the distinction of having the largest church involved in the Right-Christian GOP alliance to institute Christ-centered, Christ-favored government.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Excitement is building for Texas Convention


Texas bloggers kick assI have my hotel room.

I just got nominated to be a leading candidate for Credentials Committee.

I just sent off for my official blogger credentials.

I am getting the party lists. Of course, the Texas bloggers are throwing the best party.

I listened to all the speeches last night by Obama delegates wanting to get nominated for a committee posting or other job or to go to Denver.

Should be a lot of media there because this will be the biggest Obama win after the primaries end on the third.




Bush's Third Term: McCain




Moveon is giving away this sticker. Sweet. You can also buy a hundred.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alex Jones’ Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement



Free Screening at Clear Lake Public Library

June 4, 2008, 6:00 p.m.
Freeman Memorial Branch Library
(one block north of Bay Area Boulevard, first meeting room to left after main entrance, 50 seat limit,)
16616 Diana Lane @ Buccaneer
Houston, TX 77062
281-488-1906


In 2007, Daniel Estulin wrote: “In 1954, the most powerful men in the world met for the first time under the auspices of the Dutch royal crown and the Rockefeller family at the luxurious Hotel Bilderberg in the small Dutch town of Oosterbeck. For an entire weekend, they debated the future of the world. When it was over, they decided to meet once every year to exchange ideas and analyze international affairs. They named themselves the Bilderberg Group. Since then, they have gathered yearly in a luxurious hotel somewhere in the world to try to decide the future of humanity. Among the select members of this club are Bill Clinton, Paul Wolfowitz, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Tony Blair, and many other heads of government, businessmen, politicians, bankers, and journalists from all over the world.”1

For the New World Order (NWO), a world government is just the beginning. Once in place, they can engage their plan to exterminate 80% of the world’s population, while enabling the “elites” to live forever with the aid of advanced technology. For the first time, crusading filmmaker Alex Jones reveals their secret plan for humanity’s extermination, Operation: Endgame.

Alex Jones chronicles the history of the global elite’s bloody rise to power and reveals how they have funded dictators and financed the bloodiest wars—creating order out of chaos to pave the way for the first true world empire.

  • Watch as Jones and his team track the elusive Bilderberg Group to Ottawa and Istanbul to document their secret summits, allowing you to witness global kingpins setting the world’s agenda and instigating World War III.
  • Learn about the formation of the North American transportation control grid (Trans Texas Corridor), which will end U.S. sovereignty forever.
  • Discover how the practitioners of the pseudo-science eugenics have taken control of governments worldwide as a means to carry out depopulation.
  • View the progress of the coming collapse of the United States and the formation of the North American Union.
Never before has a documentary assembled all of the pieces of the globalists’ dark agenda. Endgame’s compelling look at past atrocities committed by those attempting to steer the future delivers information that the controlling media has meticulously censored for over 60 years. It fully reveals the elite’s program to dominate the earth and carry out the most wicked plan in all of human history.

Endgame is not a conspiracy theory, it is documented fact in the elite’s own words. To obtain your own copy of Endgame, visit Jones' Web site www.infowars.com or www.amazon.com.

1 The True Story of The Bilderberg Group, Daniel Estulin, www.DanielEstulin.com.

Posted for a Pasadena friend.



Lyin' SOBs in High Office


It was not so funny about the huge uproar that the conservative media caused about a President lying about a blowjob. Calling for his impeachment and tied up the country for many months. Of course, that was because it was a moderate Democratic president.

Every since our current conservative Republican glorious leader got in office I have been unable to watch most of his speeches because I know it when he starts lying. There was a brief exception just after 9/11. But a few weeks later a massive infection of lies spread like a pandemic through out the administration. Mainly to get Saddam but about everything. Distorted and crazy reasons on why we were attacked. Lies that seemed calculated to inflame the angry country and gather power.

Now the president's press secretary admits that one of my passions that I knew to be true and tried to tell and write conservatives about was true.

My biggest crusade, and what generated most of the outrage against me for pointing out the truth, was my informing people that the vice president, and other high officials with the encouragement of the President, had outed a covert CIA asset and harmed efforts to prevent Iran from getting nuclear materials. Almost worse was the reason, a petty effort to harm someone's reputation.

At the time, I received the most insults in my life. Not only did I not know what I was talking about it wasn't true and I was "a lying scumbag insulting good Christians." (How that got into the insults was that people mistakenly decided a nickname I got in 1974 over story tales and making up a holiday to give gifts really was a recent calculated insult to Christians.) People get crazy. When high officials stroke the flames people hate being told they are being lied to.

I told people that was a scandal worthy of immediate impeachment. It involved national security and nuclear proliferation and high crimes and treason for petty vindictiveness. They told me I was the liar.

Now Scott McClellan on Plamegate:
"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. There was one problem.

It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."
That is from the formerly very highly praised by conservatives presidential press secretary and what must be the new bastion of far left hippie liberalism - Forbes Magazine.

Watch the conservatives, and most of the pundits - a tautology, go into action now. They will soft play this and attack Scotty, who must be a troubled, bitter and ambitious man.

"If he had doubts he should have expressed them."

"This was really not that big a deal."

"He is mistaken."

"Not important."

"Didn't we already have a trial about this?"

This is a tiny part of the lies, pettiness, disregard for truth, propaganda, reach for unprecedented power, and shredding of the Constitution that has marked this administration.

I started blogging over the lies of this administration and the absolute failure of the So-Called-Liberal-Media. That has been the two constants of the blog - that the Bush administration lies and that the SCLM isn't liberal and doesn't inform. Scott even admits "The collapse of the administration's rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise.... In this case, the "liberal media" didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served."

That was picked up by Glenn Greenwald who also became involved as a blogger and a writer because as a lawyer he knows the law and the constitution and what anything that claims to be non-partisan news media should be reporting on and isn't. Glenn also caught the amazing Today Show where the network anchors praise the horrendous job they did in the run-up to the war.

Will this admission change anything? Not really. Although the media doesn't like being told they were lied to, they expect it. They more don't like being told what a lousy job they are doing. The real story is that now the mass media's only job is to repeat what the powerful tell them, to get viewers, and that to expect anything else create your own paper or find the little outlets.

The story might continue the peel off the conservatives who love our country and love and respect the constitution from the Republican cause. Even if their rationalization is that Bush and national Republican Party aren't true conservatives.

Can we get a little impeachment talk before Bush and Cheney finally leave? It seems the least that can happen after what media and conservative put Clinton's and the Democrats through.

I've decided to cross post this on Daily Kos.

Labels:


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Truth about McCain and Women's Rights


You get involved in politics and you realize how insane some of it can get.

A good example, Arianna Huffington writes about the female Hillary supporters who also think they will like McCain:
We've seen the exit polls. We've read the unequivocal quotes. Many women who are avowed Hillary Clinton supporters are declaring they won't vote for Barack Obama in the fall.

I get the anger and the disappointment. But to quote SNL's Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers: Really? You'd rather vote for John McCain, a man who has a 25-year history of voting against a woman's right to choose? A man who over the last eight years that NARAL has released a pro-choice scorecard has received a 0 percent rating (in his time in office, Obama has received a 100 percent rating)? A man whose campaign website says he believes Roe v. Wade "must be overturned"? A man who has vowed that, as president, he will be "a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement"?

Really?

In Clinton vs. Obama, the policy differences were minor (hence the overriding focus on minutiae like flag pins, Bosnian sniper fire, and the real meaning of "bitter"). In McCain vs. Obama, the differences are enormous. Staying the course in Iraq vs. ending an unnecessary and immoral war. Universal health care vs. less regulation for insurance companies. Rolling back the Bush tax cuts vs. making them permanent.

And nowhere is the difference more profound than with reproductive rights.

For anyone -- male or female -- who cares about reproductive rights, family planning, and women's health issues, the choice this fall is not even close.
....
The only way John McCain can win is if his reactionary views on choice and women's health issues remain obscured by his faux maverick reputation and the blinding disappointment of Clinton die-hards.
I agree with Arianna. I have seen many older women who right now are so ticked off they can't think straight because of the way they feel Hillary has been treated and her being denied her rightful place. They almost view it as a personal attack on themselves and all they have gone through. I want to get in their face and say "This is not an attack on her or you!"

Hillary captured the hearts and minds of older women voters. Obama did the same for most younger voters and many well-educated. Obama supporters saw there were little differences in their positions but saw a few that were in Obama's favor. A huge majority of Obama supporters could support either. But then the Clinton campaign started the desperate anything to win phase.

Sigh...

We could still use Sen. Hillary Clinton's tenacity and experience in the White House - as VP. Her experience on the campaign trial and her attack dog posture would be good as a campaign running mate to Barack Obama. That is the best she can hope for. If she wants it. If her judgement returns.

The sooner her campaign and her supporters realize she has lost and join with other Democrats to stop a man and a party deeply opposed to their beliefs the better off the Democratic Party will be. The better off America will be.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Texas Roundup For May 26, 2008


It's Monday and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly round-up.

refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left is trying to understand why John Cornyn is such a.....

McBlogger takes a look at an email from Republican Chair TinaFish begging for money.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders how the Webb County elections administrator can claim one recount where the votes didn't change vindicates their work on the Sheriff's recount where 160 votes flipped.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin tell us how truck owners and operators are delving into long-ignored gas saving subjects like aerodynamics, slower cruising speeds and all the snake oil scams to increase mileage. This could lower your food prices and consumables; Ten mpg is now feasible … may save you money!

WhosPlayin's grbtexan posted some "rules" guaranteed to invite feminine wrath.

State Rep. Myra Crownover wants West Texas to have their very own radioactive waste dump. North Texas Liberal has the story.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that the word around Austin is that Rick Perry is planning on calling a Special Session of the Texas Legislature prior to the November elections. You won't believe why.

Chris Bell is widely rumored to be considering a run for the Texas Senate seat being vacated by Kyle Janek, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs joins the call to encourage him to do so.

Social wing nuts are up to their old tricks, as the TX State Board of Education give the finger to teachers and parents alike this past week. On a 9-6 vote, your kids get a decade's worth of grammar lessons etched on a napkin.

Lightseeker of Texas Kaos takes on the question of what to do with all these new Democratic/Progressive activists and voters? Are they doomed to grow quickly disillusioned, retreating into political cynicsm again ? What can be done to keep the momentum for change going? What's going on in your precinct to organize for November?

Gary D at Easter Lemming Liberal News last week blasted Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams, Texas Monthly Blogger Paul Burka and Senator John 'Forget the Alamo' Cornyn because he is not bitter but sometimes he gets angry.

Don't forget to check out all the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs:

B & B
Bay Area Houston
Blue 19th
Blue Bloggin
Bluedaze
Brains & Eggs
Burnt Orange Report
Capitol Annex
Common Sense
Doing My Part For The Left
Dos Centavos
Easter Lemming Liberal News
Eye on Williamson
Feet To Fire
Grassroots News U Can Use
Half Empty
In The Pink Texas
Marc's Miscellany
McBlogger
Musings
North Texas Liberal
Off The Kuff
Para Justicia y Libertad
South Texas Chisme
StoutDemBlog
Texas Kaos
Texas Truth Serum
The Agonist
The Caucus Blog
The Jeffersonian
The Texas Blue
The Texas Clover Leaf
Three Wise Men
Who's Playin'?



Politics and Orgasms in Popular Culture




I liked the political context of Bree's first orgasm on Desperate Houswives. That is from Episode 48 in season 3 which first aired September 24, 2006.


Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain's health - 35% chance of dying before 2010


Why the late Friday pre-holiday weekend dump of massive amounts of McCain health papers? This is the favorite time to bury bad news.

The McCain camp has been putting this moment off for months and constantly delaying it. Finally, the McCain campaign picked this morning — late Friday before Memorial Day weekend — to “show” the materials to a select few for a few hours, none of whom were able to even make a photocopy of a single page.

Buried in the reports is the fact that in 2000 McCain was operated on for invasive melanoma, what doctors call an "intermediate risk" melanoma. Other doctors say that 10-year survival rate for that type of melanoma based on the records is 65%. So, is an over one-third chance of dying in a first term acceptable odds for a President? Many doctors also suspect, based on the extensive removal of lymph nodes, McCain was really diagnosed with "high risk" melanoma with a much worse prognosis.

What’s more, according to the Carpetbagger Report, McCain’s psychiatric records are off-limits.

The New York Times, not invited to look at the records, says the doctors participating in a conference call minimized any health problems McCain is suffering from. His doctors and campaign staff say there is now less than a 10% of cancer return. This despite the fact that another melanoma occurred and was removed two years after the 2000 diagnosis.

There was no discussion of McCain's anger management problems which have been on display again with his responding to criticism from Obama.



For the birds



from Miya Shay.

Many conservative bloggers and other far-right loons have just abandoned John McCain, again. Will they come back this summer or by November? I love the ending of the Fire Dog Lake link - there is video of McCain in 2000 saying he would be too old to run for President in 2008. Can we say this loon just forgot he said that?

Finally, why is the media and conservatives repeating the discredited bird-brained charge that Obama is the most liberal member of the Senate? He is only the most liberal if your definition of liberal is almost solely based on being against corruption and conflicts of interest. Are Republicans saying that is what they meant by liberal all along? The National Journal makes up a voting record scorecard each election to always brand the Democratic presidential nominee as the most liberal.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunday Democratic Picnic and Fun


Democrats for Victory '08 Family Picnic (Social)

Picnic with food, fun, families, and festivities.


Food: Hamburgers, hotdogs, lots of sides and desserts
Fun: Entertainment for kids and adults, including volleyball, face painting, piñatas, three-legged races, and lots more!
Contests between Obama and Clinton supporters.

Families: bring your family, friends, and fellow Democrats!

Festivities: live music, candidates for office, and FRIENDLY Obama-Clinton Competitions

When: May 25, 2008, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Clear Lake Park @ 5001 NASA RD. 1, Seabrook, TX
Time: Sunday, May 25 at 1:00 PM
Duration: 4 hours
Host: Sarah Bobbitt
Location: Clear Lake Park (Seabrook, TX)
5001 Nasa Rd. 1
Seabrook, TX 77586
281-326-6539 Clear Lake Parks/Pavilions 5002 Nasa Road 1 77586




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Senator Cornyn - support our troops




Why they expect Senator John "Forget the Alamo"* Cornyn to support our troops is beyond me. Call the soon-to-be Senator Rick Noriega instead.

* Senator John Cornyn said on December 20, 2005: "None of your civil liberties matter much after you're dead."



Are the Clinton blow-outs in Appalachia changing the VP race?


Dee Davis looks at the rural and Appalachian Obama vote problem in an interesting piece in Salon.
How Obama fares in rural America may, in the end, have to do with whether he shows up. In politics not showing up and losing are kissing cousins. Obama made three visits to West Virginia. In Kentucky, he limited himself to appearances in the state's two biggest cities, Louisville and Lexington. He didn't come to my part of the state, or try to make any friends in rural areas.
How will this poor rural performance affect Obama's decision on a VP candidate? More specifically, will this improve Clinton's chances or John Edwards? Both Clinton and Edwards connected with rural voters. Or does it add another reason to choose Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who just helped Democrats by vetoing a voter ID bill?

SurveyUSA did an interesting VP ticket poll in Pennsylvania which has Edwards improving Obama's chance by 2 to 9 percent depending on the McCain VP. Sebelius hurts Obama's chances. That probably was because this early many voters likely went "who the Hell is Sebelius, are you fooling me, that sounds like a disease?" Unfortunately, SurveyUSA don't have an Obama-Clinton ticket as a choice. Edwards also helped in New Mexico. Huckabee looks like McCain's best choice in these two states.

I had looked at VP choices for both sides in early February and lately have been coming around to Hillary, who carries baggage for progressive Obama supporters. With Hillary Clinton will Obama make the same choice that John F. Kennedy made about LBJ? Is it better to have a strong competitor on the inside pissing out instead of leaving the person on the outside pissing in?





Why is McCain firing his staff?


To slow down the political ads like this from MoveOn.org. McCain also ran against Washington lobbyists and it turns out his campaign staff is almost entirely Washington lobbyists, some working by phone from within his so-called Straight-Talk-Express.





Business Week found ShadowStats


In line with my recent economic series, a librarian showed me that Business Week last year in a front page article blasted the BLS for producing phantom Gross Domestic Product numbers. They say that out-sourcing has blown the economic statistics to Hell and the productivity, inflation and GDP numbers could be worthless.
By BusinessWeek's admittedly rough estimate, offshoring may have created about $66 billion in phantom GDP gains since 2003 (page 31). That would lower real GDP today by about half of 1%, which is substantial but not huge. But put another way, $66 billion would wipe out as much as 40% of the gains in manufacturing output over the same period....

In terms of trade policy, the new perspective suggests the U.S. may have a worse competitiveness problem than most people realized. It was easy to downplay the huge trade deficit as long as it seemed as though domestic growth was strong. But if the import boom is actually creating only a facade of growth, that's a different story.
There are a number of linked stories and charts. Here is a follow-up.

The one thing they don't mention by name is shadowstats which had a good primer on the GDP in 2004. Note that John Williams of Shadowstats is not convinced by the BusinessWeek analysis which is separate from his issues with the numbers. I find a lot of the BW argument compelling with their evidence that the sectors most affected by out-sourcing and imports have the most unbelievable inflation and productivity figures.



Texas Monthly Blogger Burka holds on to the past


Paul Burka disagrees with the California Court legalizing gay marriage.

I disagree with Burka.
“The argument that separate but equal is inherently unequal was true in cases involving race. It is not true in cases of sexual orientation.”
I don’t see it and Burka’s arguments seem but an echo of those against inter-racial marriage as well as those for separate-but-not-really-equal educational systems.

If a couple can get a church or JP to marry them the state should butt out.



'Bush intends to attack Iran' - Jerusalem Post

I figured the ME meetings were more about this than the price of oil.
The official claimed that a senior member of the president's entourage, which concluded a trip to Israel last week, said during a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for.

However, the official continued, "the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice" was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic, for the time being.



Are you smarter then a Texas 8th grader?


This is a little late for me but Muse points us to the Texas TAKS 8th grade science test.

Some of the questions are hard. I got 48 out of 50 but one mistake was carelessness. On the other question I missed, none of the answers was completely correct and it seems a poor question. That score seems to put me at the 99% level.

My argument over the question I missed: If you scrape off the ground and create a gravel pit you remove the plants that would have absorbed some of the ground water but those plants also would reduce Carbon Dioxide and increase Oxygen and otherwise affect air quality. Which is the lesser environmental impact? Are you sure? Is this a reasonable 8th grade question?




Electoral Projections


FiveThirtyEight.com has the race a toss-up now for either Hillary or Obama but they are favored in different states.

I am back to thinking Hillary is the best VP candidate although I hate her judgement on military and foreign policy advisers. Her domestic and economic advisers are also not progressive.

Electoral-vote.com has a bit of a McCain lead right now over Barack Obama. The Midwest will be the key battleground this time. It is nice to see that Texas is not solid red but only pink. The main page compares Clinton and Obama in the swing states. Clinton would help Obama in Florida, Ohio, Arkansas, West Virginia and New Hampshire. She might help in Michigan and Missouri.

The national poll numbers have Obama beating McCain by about 4% but this is way too early. Here is the Pollster graph. The problem for McCain is that every negative indicator for the GOP is likely to get worse by November and Obama will greatly out raise campaign funds which will be poured into GOTV efforts. Sen. Barack Obama also responds immediately and effectively to smears which is something Kerry never learned.

On these polls I want to pass along the word that there is a slight bias against Obama in the way surveys are normally done. Cell phone only households which are becoming significant are 4% more likely to be Obama supporters.

The GOP counters to this trend and the enthusiasm of new voters for Obama are their efforts already underway to suppress the vote.

Added - The Karl Rove maps (pdf) which show the election a toss-up but Clinton doing better.




Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams Defends Exxon


Interesting what people write when they get a blog. The Texas Railroad Commissioner Chair uses some funny math to defend Exxon and the high profits the companies he regulates makes. The Railroad Commission was originally established to represent the consumers, not those it regulates.

In his latest post Williams writes:
From 2000 to 2007 the average crude oil price was about $39 per barrel and the crude oil cost share of the retail gasoline price averaged 48%. In comparison, in 2007, the average price for crude increased to $68 per barrel and accounted for about 58% of the national average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline. So far in 2008, the price of crude has increased further to an approximate average of $99 and accounts for about 72% of the national average price for a fill-up on regular gasoline. Which means the Saudi royal family, Chavez and others are making money hand over fist as the recipients of the lion’s share of what we pay at the pump.

The ratios for the other components have dropped or remained stable, as the share of crude oil has ballooned. The percentage shares for:
• Federal and state gasoline taxes dropped from 32% in 2000 to 12% in 2008;
• Distribution and marketing costs and profits slid from a high of 13% in 2000 to about 8% today; and
• Refining costs and profits have remained at about 8% from 2000 through 2008.
Let me break this down -

1) he states the obvious - those who own the oil are making lots of money,
2) he seems to feel that taxes on oil should have gone up,
3) because of the higher price for oil, distributors were able to raise their profits but they get a lower share of the final price,
4) and finally, refiners have raised their costs and profits at the same rate as the price of oil has gone up.

Unasked by the oil companies friend - If the distributors were able to increase profits but at a lower rate than the price has gone up, why didn't the refiners do the same?

Is he trying to justify a raise in the state gasoline taxes? Why else point out the taxes have gone down to 12% on a gallon of gas from 32%?

The Railroad Commission under Williams has become known for passing questionable costs on to consumers, not stopping pollution caused from injecting into the ground the saltwater brines created by oil and gas drilling, allowing urban drilling for gas in the Fort Worth area, and being slow to require natural gas companies to replace faulty pipe couplings which cause explosions. All of this while members are running for reelection with donations from the people and companies in the oil and gas business that they are supposed to regulate.

Just more crony capitalism and phony regulating from a party that can't govern. Keep an eye on the Blue Daze blog where TXsharon tries to keep up with TRRC abuses.

ADDED - refinish69 has a more colorful post calling Michael Williams an idiot.

UPDATE 2: This was a Houston Chronicle opinion page link and McBlogger opines more about Exxon and related company profits.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas Round-Up for May 19


It's Monday, and that means it's time to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance for the preceding week. Check out the best that the Alliance has to offer, brought to you this week by refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left. You can see the Easter Lemming posts by just scrolling down.

WhosPlayin took a look at the Daisetta Sinkhole and wonders what part the saltwater disposal well on the site exceeding its licensed capacity might have played.

Boadicea of Texas Kaos has a clue for hapless Congresscritter John Culberson, who had his ass handed to him on the floor of the House this week.Memo to Cubby-Read the Bill BEFORE You Speak.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme joins the chorus criticizing the border patrol's plan to use hurricane evacuation as a means to find undocumented residents.

Refinish69 has a little talk with progressives over at Doing My Part For The Left about how Tomorrow never comes.

Not all of the countywide offices up for election in Harris County this year are high profile, but some of them should be more prominent on the public's radar. Off the Kuff takes a look at one such office with his early overview of the County Attorney race.

In response to the Mainstream Media's declaration (or whitewash) that the March 29 county and senate district caucuses were perfect, Vince at Capitol Annex says otherwise in the first of several pieces that looks at individual challenges to the conventions.

$422 Million. That is what most oil companies settle out of court for with Dallas super law firm Baron & Budd this past week. But the Texas Cloverleaf asks why is Exxon the lone holdout to want to go to trial in an election year?

Harry Balczak over at McBlogger takes look at a new website that's really nailed Chris Matthews and Tim 'Gotcha' Russert.

North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad explores the GOP's tarnished brand.[Also, please note that NTL has a new home: northtexasliberal.org.]

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on Speaker Tom Craddick giving up his number one job, protecting members of the Texas House in Lots Of Smoke, Little Fire, But Lots Of Ire.

Don't forget to check out all the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs:

B & B
Bay Area Houston
Blue 19th
Blue Bloggin
Bluedaze
Brains & Eggs
Burnt Orange Report
Capitol Annex
Common Sense
Doing My Part For The Left
Dos Centavos
Easter Lemming Liberal News
Eye on Williamson
Feet To Fire
Grassroots News U Can Use
Half Empty
In The Pink Texas
Marc's Miscellany
McBlogger
Musings
North Texas Liberal
Off The Kuff
Para Justicia y Libertad
South Texas Chisme
StoutDemBlog
Texas Kaos
Texas Truth Serum
The Agonist
The Caucus Blog
The Jeffersonian
The Texas Blue
The Texas Clover Leaf
Three Wise Men
Who's Playin'?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Principal bans rainbows as sexually suggestive - Court overturns
After a two-day trial in which a Florida high school principal testified that he believed clothing or stickers featuring rainbows would make students automatically picture gay people having sex, a federal judge today ruled that the school violated students’ First Amendment rights of students. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a junior at the school who had been forbidden by her principal to wear any sort of clothing, stickers, buttons, or symbols to show her support of equal rights for gay people....

Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind. The principal went on to admit that while censoring rainbows and gay pride messages he allowed students to wear other symbols many find controversial, such as the Confederate flag.
I fully support the ACLU. I also find easily suggestible conservatives like this principal often are discovered to be crazily perverted in their private life.



Sen. Cornyn urges Texas GOP to walk to victory


There are more Republican robo-calls out now. They aren't focussed very well on who gets them. Sen. "Forget the Alamo" Cornyn is urging Republicans to walk on March May 17th, although March would have been funnier, for victory in November.

I am thinking of showing up with my Obama signs and get more Obamicans to sign up.

If those Republicans start walking now maybe they'll make it to Utah in time for the election.




Joe Klein is still usually an idiot


He once called me "flaccid, feckless, dimwitted and loathsome."

Not me personally. Just anyone who thought that Bush wasn't abiding by the spirit of the Geneva Conventions.

This is contrasted with his own mass gulping of the torture and war Viagra energy pills.

I don't recall him apologizing. Did he call you names? Has he personally apologized? Doesn't he still work at Time?




Bay Area New Democrats President Steps Down


Houston Clear Lake Area Democrat steps down as Bay Area New Democrats club president to devote full time to political campaigns. The following is from John's email:
I will be stepping down as BAND President effective immediately.

As you might know I have been a consumer advocate for almost a decade, and quite frankly, we consumers are losing. We have lost in electricity deregulation, insurance deregulation, in college tuition deregulation, and especially in homebuilding issues. I have testified in many hearings in Austin on my own money and time, and I am tired of losing.

In order for the citizens of Texas to have a balance, Democrats must regain control of the House and I believe Sherrie Matula, candidate for District 129, has the opportunity to win and to help Democrats regain control.

Because of this, I will be resigning from BAND to dedicate my time to her campaign, so we can take back the House.

I truly appreciate everyone’s interest in BAND and I am sure our club will continue to prosper and make a difference in the Bay Area!

Let’s win in November!
--

John R. Cobarruvias
The membership in BAND has greatly expanded during John's term in office. Sherrie Matula, who is running in what was formerly a very solid Republican district, is now given a reasonable chance of winning.

John also blogs on politics for the Bay Area.

Recently, John was absolutely correct to note the 11 News report on the harm the Texas Supreme Court and local hard-right cold-hearted and greedy advocates are doing to workers in Texas. The Texas Supreme Court has been for sale for the last decade to the highest business bidder. Another friend of mine was so impressed she recorded the 11 News report and has been inviting friends to watch it.

Stepping down to play a bigger role for change. Good luck, John.




John Edwards sends a message: 'The race is over'

Meanwhile Senator Clinton and her supporters surges further ahead in the great state of denial. When Tim Russert appeared on The Today Show and pointed out that Hillary needed to win West Virginia by a much greater margin because now she needs to win the remaining states by over 90%, Hillary supporters argued loudly that this was an example of media bias.

Many Texas and national Democratic email lists continue to ban discussions of the presidential primary due to the heated rhetoric between those who recognize the race is over and those who are unable to accept that information.

Who else is in denial? The media and supporters of John McCain who believe he is a maverick. This is a maverick?


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Very nasty but funny


Hillary Clinton explodes at the news of her imminent Downfall -- from inside her bunker. Some other funny videos there.



Kevin Phillips at Harper's Magazine Discovers Shadowstats


Why the economy is worse than we know

Fair use from Mindfully.org

Do you think the government is lying to you about inflation and unemployment and that Social Security checks should be much bigger? You're right.
If Washington's harping on weapons of mass destruction was essential to buoy public support for the invasion of Iraq, the use of deceptive statistics has played its own vital role in convincing many Americans that the U.S. economy is stronger, fairer, more productive, more dominant, and richer with opportunity than it actually is....

"All in all," Williams points out, "if you were to peel back changes that were made in the CPI going back to the Carter years, you'd see that the CPI would now be 3.5 percent to 4 percent higher"—meaning that, because of lost CPI increases, Social Security checks would be 70 percent greater than they currently are....

The real numbers, to most economically minded Americans, would be a face full of cold water. Based on the criteria in place a quarter century ago, today's U.S. unemployment rate is somewhere between 9 percent and 12 percent; the inflation rate is as high as 7 or even 10 percent; economic growth since the recession of 2001 has been mediocre, despite a huge surge in the wealth and incomes of the superrich, and we are falling back into recession. If what we have been sold in recent years has been delusional "Pollyanna Creep," what we really need today is a picture of our economy ex-distortion. For what it would reveal is a nation in deep difficulty not just domestically but globally.

Undermeasurement of inflation, in particular, hangs over our heads like a guillotine. To acknowledge it would send interest rates climbing, and thereby would endanger the viability of the massive buildup of public and private debt (from less than $11 trillion in 1987 to $49 trillion last year) that props up the American economy. Moreover, the rising cost of pensions, benefits, borrowing, and interest payments—all indexed or related to inflation—could join with the cost of financial bailouts to overwhelm the federal budget. As inflation and interest rates have been kept artificially suppressed, the United States has been indentured to its volatile financial sector, with its predilection for leverage and risky buccaneering.....

Were mainstream interest rates to jump into the 7 to 9 percent range—which could happen if inflation were to spur new concern—both Washington and Wall Street would be walking in quicksand. The make-believe economy of the past two decades, with its asset bubbles, massive borrowing, and rampant data distortion, would be in serious jeopardy. The U.S. dollar, off more than 40 percent against the euro since 2002, could slip down an even rockier slope....
This is really nothing more than Kevin Phillips discovering shadowstats.com which I have been harping on for a while now.

Like me, and real economic experts, he also found that hedonics, which the government uses to discount raise the price value of new items and lower the inflation rate, is utterly laughable. If hedonics had real meaning all numbers in the 40's thru 70's should have been readjusted when real significant improvements in products were made. Instead it is just a scam.

Of course, the Harper's article is condensed from Phillips' book so Kevin discovered shadowstats some time ago.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Someone Favorited Me


Took me a long time to realize it but virushead did it on technorati. I like her websites too.
To the extent that there are still distinctions to be made between the political parties, I think the right wing feels most comfortable with language games these days. They employ (and I mean employ) rhetoric in two modes - I call them the hammer and the weasel. Unfortunately, these fly rather well with a large segment of our population.

As a culture, we don’t seem to be able to become more sophisticated in our interpretive abilities. It’s bad for us as a nation, very bad, because we all need interpretive tools and the inclination to use them. Unfortunately, our culture has been dumbing down for a while - and that’s everyone’s fault, everyone’s.

I haven’t given up. Commercials give us practice, and Americans do smell mendacity… sooner or later.

Bloggers can make a difference. Become the media.
There is a virushead.com graphics group in Japan so she uses virushead.net.

I don't know the two other fans either.



It's the racism, stupid!


Obama's white working class problem is EAST of the Mississippi or SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon line. Even Massachusetts whites went for Hillary. The only state I can find with a quick survey where whites voted for Obama in an Eastern state was Virginia.

What has the media been avoiding talking about? The Washington Post opened up today - racism. Bomb threats and vandalism and insults from racists now plague Obama volunteers.

As expected, WV goes to Hillary.



Expelled - No intelligence allowed


Scientific America takes on Ben Stein's Expelled with several links. None of the reviewers have anything good to say about it. "Dishonest" is a common response.

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Newest foreclosure hero - mosquito fish

What to do with the swimming pools of the thousands of foreclosed homes that have become breeding grounds for mosquitos?

If you spray pesticide in them you have to come back every few weeks. Many communities have found a biological answer.
The Gambusia affinis is commonly known as female mosquito fish - gambusia affinis
the "mosquito fish" because of its healthy appetite for the larvae of the irritating and disease-spreading insects. Lately, the fish is being pressed into service in California, Arizona, Florida and other areas struggling with a soaring number of foreclosures.

The problem: swimming pools of abandoned homes have turned into mosquito breeding grounds.

"They are real heroes," says Josefa Cabada, a technician at the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a government agency. "I've never seen a mosquito in a pool with mosquito fish."

The mosquito fish is well suited for a prolonged housing slump. Hardy creatures with big appetites, they can survive in oxygen-depleted swimming pools for many months, eating up to 500 larvae a day and giving birth to 60 fry a month.



On the Ground in WV


John Cole - former Republican who did not see the light until he had voted for Dubya twice:
Just finished walking my precinct, going door to door doing the GOTV for the Obama campaign, and I have to tell you, I am impressed with the level of organization. I was given a packet that included google maps, lists of supporters names, addresses, and how they are trending (strong supporter, undecided, etc.), literature to hand to people with the address of the precinct polling place and time the polls open, and literature to place on the door knob should they not be home.

I fully expect Hillary to win tomorrow, but I don’t think we are going to see a 40 point or whatever margin. At least I hope not. I can tell you this, however- Barack’s support here may not be as broad as Hillary’s, but it is deep. The people I spoke to were all folks like me- crawl-over-glass voters. They would, to a person, crawl over glass to pull the lever for Obama tomorrow. No one needed to be told when the polls were opening tomorrow, they knew. No one needed to be told where to go, they knew where they had to be tomorrow to vote.

....Additionally, I have personally received multiple calls from the Obama, yet have not received so much as a mailer from Clinton. As I am a newly registered Democrat with accurate phone and address on my registration, I thought at the very least the Clinton campaign would call or mail something.


How New Voters Could Redraw the Map


One of the keys to Obama's success has been attracting new voters to the polls, mainly the young, the black and even the Latino. Part of his general election strategy is to massively increase those efforts. Here are maps with different projections of what new voter turnout would do. This is following this model explained here.

Ask Sherrie Matula and BAND how new voters and block walking outreach are changing her very solidly red district in Southeast Harris County Texas blue.

One of my fellow bloggers doesn't think that the new Obama people, or the new Dean people from four years ago, will commit the time and energy to pull this off. I tend to disagree.





The rice success story in Uganda


The lesson from Uganda - Ignore the WTO and free market economists and subsidize local production just like all the big countries and you too can keep prices down and even export rice.
Uganda’s importers, seeing the shift, have invested in new mills in the country, expanding employment and creating competition for farmer output, thereby improving prices. New mills, meanwhile, lowered the cost of bringing domestic rice to market. While people in developing countries across the globe are clamoring about the sharp rise in food prices, Ugandans are still paying about the same for rice as they always have. And Uganda is poised to start exporting rice within East Africa—and beyond.

The secret of Uganda’s homegrown success? Ignoring decades of bad Western advice....

What Uganda recognized is that the world’s major rice exporters actually practice the opposite of what the World Bank and IMF preach. Much of the rice grown in Pakistan, Vietnam, and especially the United States is stimulated by subsidy payments to farmers. Then the rice is “dumped” into African markets at low prices—sometimes below the cost of production. These producers also maintain stiff duties against imported rice, contradicting free-market ideology but helping protect domestic farmers against global competition. And for good reason: Virtually every successful Asian economy was built on selective trade barriers—and in China and India, the world’s two fastest growing economies, such barriers remain in force. Even South Korea and Japan maintain massive duties on imported rice simply to protect the livelihoods of their own rice farmers. Rice duties are working in Uganda—and also in Nigeria, where rice output is also soaring. In both countries, the value of imported rice is declining and locally produced rice is winning the hearts and minds of ordinary consumers.
That is from those "far-left radical hippies" at Foreign Policy magazine.



Monday, May 12, 2008

A brief reminder


CJR has a selection of quotes from conservative pundits at the beginning of the Iraq Occupation that reminds me how they are all clucking idiots.



Working For Democracy - How about a Poll Workers Union?


Saturday was local Election Day and I put in a long day. I took off before 6 AM to pick up my alternate judge and then head to Morgan's Point. It would have been a lot earlier but Morgan's Point City Hall refuses to open its doors much before 7 AM to allow setup.

Why Morgan's Point you might ask and why was I going there? Morgan's Point is a historical small town located at the tip of Galveston Bay. It is the site of the former Morgan Plantation, home of the Yellow Rose of Texas who supposedly kept General Santa Anna occupied during a siesta. This helped Sam Houston surprise him at the battle of San Jacinto and gain Texas's independence. Now it has 251 registered voters, of which probably a bit over 20 have moved or are deceased. I was there because when I agreed to work the San Jacinto College bond election that is where they decided to send me on election day - to my and Morgan's Point residents surprise.

Morgan's Point was having a heated local election but no one would explain the issues to me. I am pretty sure it was another "business development" race which is happening all over now. The local election was taking place on the other side of the room with two people working and I had three people, counting myself, for the college bond issue. The City Secretary was also around with her Internet connection for questions about voters not on the poll list. The bond election got most of the voters who came out for the councilperson and mayor race. A high turnout for a local race, 140 out of that 251, but most had early voted.

The other person working for the college election had worked for all the early voting and I had called to get her when my clerk couldn't make it. I told her I had asked for one of the Early Voting workers. I still do not know why they also weren't chosen for Election Day.

The city provided us with donuts and lunch which was very nice of them. A small crowd started gathering in the park next to the small city hall in the afternoon with two guitars and a fiddle. The hot dogs and hamburgers looked good on a beautiful day. We inside mostly passed the time reading, working on Soduko, talking history, and discussing kayaking in Galveston Bay.

The local school boards and college districts hold great elections for the people working them. They provide paid training and cater them - Jason's Deli in this case with OK sandwiches, chips, salads, great cookies. They also pay a reasonable amount - $10 to $12 an hour for the 14-hour days. They even catered the paperwork and equipment turn-in. This is in contrast to the county and political parties which pay $6 - $7 an hour for not even all the hours you work, limited paid training, no catering, and are much more stressful and active elections. Maybe we should organize a poll workers union?

There was a long wait to turn in the equipment and paperwork. At least the college district provided sandwiches, drinks, cookies, chips and fruit while we waited. After turn-in I still had to go back to Baytown to return my Alternate Judge whose car was in the shop. I did notice while turning in the equipment that the bond issue passed on the display in the impressive trustee's council chambers. A little expensive for an improvement bond but educational improvements I think are usually worth it.

Sunday I recuperated, 5 AM to 11 PM after three hours sleep is a long day for me now. I think the county should become aware that school and college districts have a lot less trouble getting poll workers now because of the better way they treat them. The county pretty much just covers expenses in working and you might have enough for a couple of drinks afterwards. On the local school races you could get everyone together and throw a small party.

See what else happened in local races in the Houston Chronicle's Harris County election results.



Weekly Texas Progressive Blog Round-Up for May 12, 2008


It's Monday, and that means it's time to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance for the preceding week. Check out the best that the Alliance has to offer, brought to you this week by refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left.


McBlogger has some advice for State Delegates aspiring to a seat on the floor in Denver.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says all the fuss over 'wrongful' healthcare benefits in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and the Texas House is misplaced. Universal healthcare makes that problem disappear!

John Coby at Bay Area Houston reported on Bob Perry's attempted take over of a local City Water Authority in order to develop on our golf course. The developers lose big in Clear Lake.

Off the Kuff continues his series of countywide race previews with a look at the race for Harris County Tax Assessor.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at right wing blowhards on tour, coming to a local amphitheater near you.

Doing My Part for The Left is thrilled that Another Poll Shows Rick Noriega just 4 points behind Box Turtle.

WhosPlayin notes that along with many more Republicans, Michael Burgess (TX-26) voted AGAINST supporting Mothers Day.

Dembones at Eye On Williamson has the latest on Rick Noriega's run for the US Senate with this post, Republican machine grinding for Cornyn.

The sinkhole in Liberty County catches PDiddie's attention -- not literally, thankfully -- and he blogs about it at Brains and Eggs in "Rural Texas finally collapses from GOP 'Leadership' ".

Vince Leibowitz at Capitol Annex ponders the civil liberties thicket that Texas AG Greg Abbott could wander in to if he allows the Texas Lottery Commission to use the electronic strip on Texas driver's licenses to verify the age of gamblers at lottery vending machines.

nytexan at BlueBloggin points out Racism In The Secret Service and asks how can the Secret Service perform their jobs when supervisors write and send racist emails to one another regarding interracial sex, killing Jessie Jackson and his wife and ridiculing African American slang.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News talked to a friend of his that received a GOP Push-Poll against local Democratic judge candidates in GOP running Scared in Harris County. He also wondered if this picture is of a Pasadena neighbor who can't spell.

Lightseeker takes a look at What Rick Perry Promised, What the Republicans Delivered over at Texas Kaos.

Don't forget to check out all the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs, too:

B & B
Bay Area Houston
Blue 19th
Blue Bloggin
Bluedaze
Brains & Eggs
Burnt Orange Report
Capitol Annex
Common Sense
Doing My Part For The Left
Dos Centavos
Easter Lemming Liberal News
Eye on Williamson
Feet To Fire
Grassroots News U Can Use
Half Empty
In The Pink Texas
Marc's Miscellany
McBlogger
MindSpeak
Musings
North Texas Liberal
Off The Kuff
Para Justicia y Libertad
People's Republic of Seabrook
South Texas Chisme
StoutDemBlog
Texas Kaos
Texas Truth Serum
The Agonist
The Caucus Blog
The Jeffersonian
The Red State
The Texas Blue
The Texas Clover Leaf
Three Wise Men
Who's Playin'?
Winding Road in Urban Area


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