Saturday, February 28, 2009

Frak Bipartisanship, Liberals Rule on Stimulus and Budget

In the spirit of bipartisanship, Obama
sought Republican support for his $825 billion
economic recovery package. He included $300
billion in tax breaks to appeal to the diehard
supply-siders. His reward on Jan. 27, after three
meetings with GOP leaders, was the pronouncement
by House Republican Leader John Boehner that GOP
House members would oppose the stimulus. They
complained that House Appropriations Chairman
David Obey (D-Wis.) has larded the bill with
items such as $90 billion in aid to states for
Medicaid, $30 billion to subsidize health
insurance for people who lose their jobs, $20
billion to accelerate new health care information
technology and $1 billion to renovate community
health centers. The GOP disparaged $15.6 billion
to increase college Pell Grants, $6 billion to
extend broadband Internet access to rural areas
and $4 billion to help communities buy and
improve distressed properties. Funding for other
worthy public works, such as mass transit
projects, lost out to the tax cuts...

The GOP instinct is to follow the
reasoning of Rush Limbaugh, who admitted on his
radio show that he hopes Obama fails. Obama is
giving Republicans the chance to be part of the
solution. If Republicans try to obstruct his
program, Obama has clear majorities in the House
and Senate. Dems will have 59 votes in the Senate
when Landslide Al Franken (DFL-Minn.) finally
claims his seat after former Sen. Norm Coleman
exhausts his appeals. Republicans can try a
filibuster, with no votes to spare, but then it
will be clear who is trying to sabotage the
recovery. - from The PROGRESSIVE POPULIST, - A big green cheer for the stimulus bill. - Obama's new budget priorities - elections have consequences.

Political Animal - OBAMA TO LOBBYISTS: BRING IT ON....

Anonymous Liberal - The GOP is the Free Lunch Party
The Republican party, over the last 20 to 30 years has become the party of Free Lunch. When it comes to domestic policy, the modern Republican party has really only one idea: cutting taxes. No matter what problems the country faces, this is their answer. Cut income taxes. Cut the estate tax. Cut the capital gains tax. If the cut disproportionately benefits the rich, all the better.

And how do they sell these cuts to the America people? They claim that they are costless. In fact, we're told that if we cut taxes, it will cause the economy to grow at such a fevered pace that at the end of the day, we'll actually have more revenue to work with. In other words, free lunch. It doesn't matter that no reputable economists (even the conservative ones) actually believe that tax cuts pay for themselves.
Think Progress - Conservative leaders embracing "We Hope Obama Fails" (and that thus the country fails, as "we got ours Jack.")

Think there is nothing in the stimulus package for you?

* A "making work pay" refundable tax credit championed by Obama of up to $400 per individual and $800 for couples in 2009 and 2010. It is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and is phased out for individuals with adjusted incomes over $75,000 and couples with incomes over $150,000.

* A one-time payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. State government retirees not eligible for Social Security would also get the $250 payment.

* Increases the earned income tax credit for low-income workers with three or more children.

* Increases eligibility for the refundable child tax credit to more low-income workers. The bill reduces the income floor to $3,000 in 2009 and 2010 from the current floor of $8,500.

* A new $2,500 tax credit for college education expenses. The credit phases out for individuals earning more than $80,000 and couples with incomes over $160,000.
Open Left - Obama's Budget Progressive? - Not on the military.
At current levels, short of mobilizing the country for total war (which I'm sure many conservatives would like), it is almost impossible to increase military spending further. [Emphasis mine.]

The Obama administration, and congressional Democrats, like Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin (D-MI), currently seem to be focused on reducing defense spending by cutting back on Iraq and expensive weapons systems (especially missile defense). However, if we are going to truly re-organize the federal government away from the Republican National Security State model, we eventually have to target the size of the military and also reduce our overseas base commitments. As such, while I applaud efforts to curtail weapons spending and troop levels in Iraq, we must also push for an overall reduction in military spending that goes beyond such short-term fixes. There is some real support for this in Congress, as demonstrated by the increasing votes for The Progressive Budget and by Representative Barney Frank's continued leadership on the issue
John Nichols - The Nation - Shouldn't MoveOn Oppose Obama on Afghanistan?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why Jim Treacher is not Hermann Goering

I have been inspired by Jim Treacher's list of why Obama is not a murderous chimp.

He really isn't Hermann Goering!!!!

10. Jim Treacher is not moldering in the grave.

9. Hermann Goering did not cause the financial crisis borrowing money to buy a porn video. *

8. Hermann Goering did not propagandize in his pajamas. *

7. Jim Treacher is not known to be a violent morphine addict.

6. Hermann Goering did not publicly call his country's leader a jerk. *

5. A psychiatrist's report claimed Goering to be weak of character, a hysteric and unstable personality, sentimental yet callous, violent when afraid and a person who deployed bravado to hide a basic lack of moral courage while Treacher is not known to have seen a psychiatrist.

4. Hermann Goering didn't believe that the election of country's leader meant the people wouldn't need porta-potties as they cast off their earthly bodies. *

3. Hermann Goering didn't advocate that comparisons of a black president to a murderous chimpanzee shouldn't be construed as racist. *

2. Hermann Goering didn't argue that people calling in to complain about comments critical of candidates was not free speech but was a suppression of free speech. *

1. Jim Treacher has not written official government documents organizing the "final solution" to opponents of his political philosophy.

* These statements about Jim Treacher's arguments and actions can be found with a Google search. The more you know....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pat Van Houte For Pasadena City Council

I have some Pasadena campaign literature:




Hello Neighbors,

2009 is an election year for the City of Pasadena. We will be voting for
mayor and city council. Our District D councilmember, Jack Douglass,
is term limited and cannot run. With the city working on a long-term
plan for the economic redevelopment of north Pasadena, District D
needs a committed, ethical councilmember who will fight for the
well-being of the residents of our district.

I want to be your representative. I have been attending city
council meetings for over 5 years and am familiar with the issues
facing the council and with the people who can resolve citizens’
problems. I have read and spoken to the council about each annual
budget and Capital Improvement Plan and have reported numerous
problems throughout the district to the appropriate departments.

Some of my priorities are:

  • Fix the roads and sidewalks within our neighborhoods

  • Clean up vacant houses and lots

  • Reduce the city’s long-term debt

  • Control costs by handling more engineering in-house

  • Redevelop North Pasadena carefully, being mindful of those already living here

  • Listen to and represent you


MA Behavioral Sciences, University of Houston/Clear Lake

BS Psychology, Michigan State University

Employment Highlights

Texas Workforce Commission, 19 years, unemployment claims investigator

Children’s Protective Services,
3 years, emergency
caseworker, abuse and neglect cases

Harris County, 5 years, election judge

Volunteer Experience

American Red Cross, Disaster Action Team captain

Habitat for Humanity Pasadena, board member and construction crew

Crisis Hotline, telephone crisis counselor

Senate District 6 Democrats, resolutions committee

Early Voting

April 27 to May 5, call for times

City Hall, 1211 E. Southmore

Election Day

Saturday May 9 7am - 7pm

Red Bluff Elementary School, 416 Bearle

Please call me if you have any questions, if you need to register to vote, or if you want a mail-in ballot or a ride to the polls.

(713) 475-1506

Favor de llamarme para una traducción, si tiene preguntas, si necesita registrarse para votar, o si quiere transporte a votar o una aplicación para votar por correo.


Political ad paid for by the Pat Van Houte Campaign Fund.

I am pretty sure I am not being paid to post this on my blog as I wouldn't know what to charge... I can't even get all the lines to stay the right size and I didn't get permission. I have been assisting the campaign in other ways as Pat is my ex-wife and constant friend.

This is getting beyond words

Which is the leading candidate for ignorant, stupid, blinded idealogue of the right this week?

Ace of Spades who tries to downplay that some neocon former liberal was beaten up by genuine Nazi's in Syria?

This Fox News interviewer who gets his facts wrong and blames and condescends toward the union supporter mayor trying to correct him? Beyond words.

Republican politicians ready with the new GOP talking point: blame George Soros for the bad economy, Bush's Tax cuts worked!

George Wills, another of the many so-called-liberals at the Washington Post, gets his new column run without having to issue factual climate change corrections for his last one.

Utah State Senator Chris Buttars who believes homosexuality is the greatest threat facing Americans in these troubled times.

Irrational Right blogger Jim Treacher comparing Obama to Travis the murderous chimp.

There is still more of the week to go but I am out of here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is Obama a token Commander-in-Chief?

You have to wonder what is going on when the Pentagon won't let President Obama know we cut a prisoner's penis among other torture.
Two days ago, Clive Stafford Smith, one of Mohamed’s lawyers, wrote a letter to President Obama in an appeal to make the documents public and to inform him of his client’s case. However, the letter was sent back, with the entire section detailing Mohamed’s torture redacted, as Smith told the UK’s Channel 4 News:
CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH: The world has gone totally mad. We are trying to get the information to the President of the United States so he can assess whether this torture material should be made public. The censors in Washington, the military censors, won’t let their own commander in chief see it. It’s bizarre.
The Guardian notes a possible motive behind the move. “It is understood US defence officials might have censored the evidence to protect the president from criminal liability or political embarrassment.”

Indeed, the documents reportedly contain “details of how Mr Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, ‘is very far down the list of things they did,’” one British intelligence official said.

$30 Million Pelosi Mouse Project?

Just another GOP lie.

NY GOP Secret Patronage Jobs to be Cut - Zombie Banks

I wonder when the Democrats in Texas regain control if we will find all the patronage jobs they have built into the Texas government system as they are finding out in New York State?

Also from the NYT - big banks are probably the walking dead.

Arianna asks why Obama won't drive a stake in these zombie banks.

Does Houston have it's own billionaire bank Ponzi scheme under investigation?

Monday, February 02, 2009

SCLM - LA Times edition

The LA Times gets punked by the CIA into writing a cover story that Obama is keeping Bush techniques for dealing with terrorists - and is too ignorant to know the difference between rendition and extraordinary rendition and then has a hit piece on the VP's wife claiming that just because she has a doctorate she is "slightly pompous" for using the title "Dr.".  WTF???

The "unnamed sources" from the CIA are leaking a variety of stories to create the impression that Obama equals Bush in terms of what standards of decency he will violate. The so-called-liberal-media is playing along. The "Dr. Biden" story is just ignorant gossip from the empty chattering clique.

I expect this same-old same-old from the Washington Post, whose editorial pages is predominately hard right like the Wall Street Journal, but this cross-country CIA coordination puts us back to the Clinton era when they discredited for years a true story of the contras smuggling crack into the United States with CIA help.

They must really be scared of a new Church Committee and the end of torture.

Macy's soon to be junk

Moody's Investors Service said on Monday it may cut its ratings on Macy's Inc into junk territory after the department store operator announced a significantly lower earnings forecast for 2009. Macy's said on Monday it expected to earn 40 cents to 55 cents a share, excluding restructuring costs, for fiscal 2009, below the average analyst view of 79 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. The company will also slash about 7,000 jobs and cut its quarterly dividend in an attempt to preserve cash. For details, see. "Given the company's high debt load, we believe that this earnings level makes it unlikely that the company will be able to maintain credit metrics appropriate for an investment grade company," Moody's said in a statement. The company is also likely to break leverage and interest rate coverage ratios that are needed for its credit rating, the rating agency added. Leverage is a measure of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Macy's had $8.75 billion in long-term debt as of Nov. 1, 2008, according to a regulatory filing. Downgrades into junk territory can significantly increase a company's borrowing costs. (Reporting by Karen Brettell;) Keywords: MACYS RATING/MOODYS (; +1 646 223 6274; Reuters Messaging: ) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.
This debt is a legacy of the previous Wall Street raid on upper middle class America's downtown department stores and the Reaganomics economy since the 70's.

SuperBowl Hangover Texas Progressive Blog Round-Up

It is Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Blog Round-Up.

In her first ever YouTube video, TXsharon shows the emissions boiling into the air when a Barnett Shale gas well undergoes hydraulic fracture.

jobsanger examines the modern Republicans who call themselves conservatives, but have betrayed the beliefs and philosophical standards of past conservatives in Where Are The Real Conservatives?

Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men has something to say about the student loan mess that's making it impossible for many young adults to attend college these days.

The Texas Cloverleaf shows that pictures can tell a thousand words. And the pictures of ships at anchor in Singapore is telling the world we are screwed.

Burnt Orange Report discusses the over 22,000 voters
being purged from the Hidalgo County Voter Rolls.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme explains how the Republican free market principles work in real life using contaminated peanut butter as exhibit A.

Redistricting isn't just a state issue. The City of Houston is under pressure to redraw its City Council lines Off the Kuff takes a look at where this stands.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed at the social progress creeping around the world. America elects a half black, half white President. Iceland appoints an openly lesbian Prime Minister. Whats next? Yes We Can - Iceland Courageous

Easter Lemming Liberal News writes his congressman while considering the Republican death spiral.

WhosPlayin announced 46,000 layoffs this past week - just in the blogging industry.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out John Carter's latest shenanigans in Carter's political ploy, the "Rangel Rule".

Things can get pretty ugly between fans of competing sports franchises and we at McBlogger were not immune as Cap'n Kroc and Harry tear each other apart.

Over at Texas Kaos, Libby Shaw's keeping an eye on Senator Jackass of Texas as he tries to heighten his national profile at the expense of American families. in his latest hit, the buckskin fringed one votes against children having health care. Again.

The Republicans are having an identity crisis, and the election of Michael Steele as RNC chair is not likely to help them solve it. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs observes that Rush Limbaugh is still calling the shots, and they are all cheap.

Neil at Texas Liberal offers some thoughts on city elections in Houston.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston publishes what Rick Perry really said at his campaign kickoff speech in the Capitol.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pajamas Media cuts the whine pack loose

Pajamas Media blows through millions in start-up funding, announces it will no longer pay its stable of conservative whining bloggers. It will continue to explore ways of making money at this tube thingy, with its latest experiment being video uploads of fear, hate and whines. Paying the bloggers was always charity, their thoughts weren't worth two cents.

Too bad about the Bush economy implosion and all but this really couldn't happen to a more deserving group of ignorant, stuck up, quasi-libertarians and pundit wannabees.

James Wolcott savors the Schadenfreude.

Really, rich people are sponsoring idiots for reasons that are unrelated to the health of their business but for ideological reasons. CNN and Glen Beck is a good example. Glen is an idiot who cost them money. He fails upward into a new position for better pay and Headline News ratings improve after his vastly overpaid buffoonery departs. Glen is an example of an amiable buffoon who can make the right wing talking points seem to appeal to the common man. At least, that was my theory. Every few years another young guy like this is promoted because people tire of the same old same old being peddled by the same old radio and TV clowns and a young face might sell the product - recycled conservative ideas.

If you have watched a White House press conference recently you will see a full rebuttal of the lie of the press being a "liberal" media. The eight years of fluff questions answered by generalities are gone, replaced by hard digs at the White House getting factual responses. There has been no comment in the so-called-liberal-media about the change or on most blogs but Media Matters also noticed. I have a friend who was charitable and said the Washington Press Corps wouldn't ask the Bush White House tough questions because they knew they would be answered by ignorance and lies and fluff anyway. Now that intelligent grown-ups have returned they expect detailed intelligent answers.