08.31.06

A Vote For Kinky Is A Vote For Perry

Posted in Election 2006 at 10:12 pm by wcnews

That’s what I take from this analysis from Dean Rindy over at the Burnt Orange Report. It’s a good analysis of where the governor’s race stands at this point.

Our conclusion: It’s Perry’s race to win; Strayhorn is in deep, deep trouble; Kinky mainly hurts Chris Bell; though Bell still has an outside chance of getting within striking range of Perry.

He mentions several times that Chris Bell is the only one with room to grow and that his name ID is very low. Expect both of those to change. But with Kinky stealing mainly from Bell, and Bell being the only candidate that can beat Perry, therefore voting for Kinky is the same as voting for Perry, especially if you’re a Democrat. If you’re a Democrat thinking of voting for Kinky read this:

Perry and Strayhorn in a fiery death spiral is a pleasant prospect. It is also the scenario most beneficial to Bell. While the bombs fall, he can reassemble the Democratic coalition, attract some disillusioned Independents, and sneak up on the outside. At some point, however, he has to separate himself from Kinky. Bell cannot allow Kinky to siphon off 10 or 15% of the anti-Perry vote. (Kinky’s a fun guy, but he doesn’t deserve Democratic votes. If you google the Kinky One for a few minutes, you’ll come across a picture of him and Bush, arm in arm–big buddies. He was an overnight guest at the White House and a supporter of the Invasion of Iraq.)

That’s why the hell not!

See this for more of the Truth About Kinky.

The 65% Rule, Another Perry Failure

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006, The Lege at 2:50 pm by wcnews

Here’s the article from the DMN today, Classroom spending rule isn’t what some feared.

One year ago, Gov. Rick Perry ordered Texas school districts to start spending at least 65 percent of their money in the classroom an unprecedented action that angered and alarmed superintendents across the state.

But when the mandate took effect with the start of school this month, it was viewed by many school officials as a “paperwork” tiger thanks to the softening of its provisions by state and federal officials.

“It is affecting our financial reports to the state, but in terms of how we actually spend money, it’s had no impact,” said Ray Freeman, superintendent of the 700-pupil Itasca school district south of Fort Worth.

“Politically, it may sound like a neat thing. In reality, most districts are already spending everything they can on instruction. I’ve not talked to a single superintendent who believes this will improve instruction. Most see it as a nuisance.”

And the “wing-nuts” aren’t happy about the way this turned out.

Peggy Venable, Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, said the rule was weakened by a decision by state education officials to include salaries of counselors, librarians and nurses as classroom expenses under the rules. She said a recent move by federal officials to count the salaries of librarians also watered down the requirement.

“The definition has been so bastardized where everything but the kitchen sink is counted as classroom expenses that the rule is all but useless,” she said. “My guess is that most school districts will be at 65 percent with the changes they’ve made.”

Ms. Venable blamed the changes on pressure by school administrators and education groups. “They don’t want this kind of accountability in our schools,” she said.

The title of the article in her case should have been, Classroom spending rule isn’t what some hoped.  Don’t forget where this came from and what it was all about, Where did the 65% Rule come from? This is about creating a rift between teacher’s and administrators and further defunding public schools in order to bring about public school vouchers. This isn’t over either, unless we get a new governor, Chris Bell, and some new state legislators, Karen Felthauser and Jim Stauber.

Keith Olbermann & The Danger Of American Fascism

Posted in Around The Nation, Commentary at 9:56 am by wcnews

Last night Keith Olbermann had quite an editorial last night. You can view it here. And You can read the transcript here. (You can also click the link on this page to see what DNC Chairman Howard Dean said about this). A quick excerpt from Keith’s editorial:

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count — not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience — about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago — we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their “omniscience” as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

If you like what Keith said click this link here to let him and MSNBC know how much you liked it.

Just in case you’re not sure what fascism is, I recommend reading this article by one of the best historians of our age Thom Hartmann, Reclaiming The Issues: Islamic Or Republican Fascism? It’s a great short history of what fascism is, and what “American fascism” is, as described by Vice President Henry Wallace in 1944 NYT editorial, The Danger of American Fascism.

AusChron Compares John Carter To Clayton Williams

Posted in Election 2006 at 8:25 am by wcnews

Here’s the article, Congressional District 31: What’s Up With John Carter? And here’s the “money” quote:

Democrat Mary Beth Harrell would seem to face an uphill battle to unseat Republican John Carter in the conservative Congressional District 31, which stretches from Williamson Co. north to Erath Co., but one has to wonder if Carter could pull a Clayton Williams simply by continuing to talk.

It’s also gotten so bad for Rep. Carter that he won’t even answer the phone anymore.

In fact, Carter hasn’t been quite clear on whether he’d be willing to debate at all. Earlier this summer, he told the Austin American-Statesman, “People earn the right to debate me. … I will determine how and not them.” He went on to say that the criteria for earning this right is “credibility.” Harrell responded in a press release, “The bottom line is, the voters are calling for a candidates’ forum with Carter and me so they can judge our credibility. That’s the voter’s job, not Carter’s.”

We’d love to ask Carter whether being the official nominee of one of the nation’s two dominant political parties constitutes credibility or whether it might come from being a military wife and mother for most of her life (Harrell’s son is serving in Iraq), but we can’t contact him. The two phone numbers on his campaign Web site aren’t working; we called his congressional office, which gave us a different number that was never answered, not even by a machine; a promise from his congressional office that the campaign would call us had not been kept as of press time. Perhaps we lack “credibility.”

Hopefully this race can be one that helps show the redistricting myth to be just that, a myth.

Where good candidates run – with financial support from their party and the resulting media coverage – elections are cliffhangers. Where they do not, or they receive little funding or coverage, the results are foregone conclusions, no matter how evenly balanced a district may be.

By running a good candidate, Mary Beth Harrell, against John Carter is having to actually campaign, something he hasn’t done in a while, and he definitely looks rusty. We are now seeing the real John Carter. He’s not very bright, doesn’t have Tom DeLay around anymore to fight his battles, is running a bad campaign, and is afraid to debate his opponent because of what he might say. And not only will his handlers not let him debate they won’t even answer the phone anymore.

In case you’ve forgotten what Mr. Williams said way back when here it is:

“Well, bad weather is like rape: if it’s inevitable, you might as well relax and enjoy it.”

Wasn’t a very good thing to say was it? Kind of like saying racial bias doesn’t exist in Texas anymore.

08.30.06

Did Rep. Krusee File A Bill So His Crony Could Become Executive Director of TxDOT?

Posted in Election 2006, Road Issues, Williamson County at 9:24 am by wcnews

Rep. Mike Krusee filed HB 650 during the last regular session removing a requirement that TxDot’s Executive Director be a professional engineer. Here’s what the bill analysis said:

Section 201.301 (a) of the Texas Transportation Code requires that candidates for the position of Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation be “registered professional engineers, experienced and skilled in transportation planning, development, construction, and maintenance.” However, the requirement that the Texas Transportation Commission elect a registered professional engineer limits the pool of applicants, causing candidates who would otherwise be eligible, to be disqualified. HB 650 deletes that requirement.

Was that person he had in mind John Langmore?

Having NO education in Transportation doesn’t stop Langmore. Hey, Mike Krusee has NO college degree, and that doesn’t stop him. Langmore is a Co-Chair of Envision Central Texas Transportation and Land Use Committee, which is now focused on planning the details of the primer for the TTC, the $1.5 Billion dollar SH 130. Mike Heiligenstein joins Langmore as a board member of ECT.

As Sal Costello’s post said John Langmore worked for the House Transportation Committee, when the now infamous, HB 3588 was passed into law. Mr. Langmore was the Policy Directory of the committee.

Attorney John Henley Langmore (DOB 11/30/1962) was the Policy Director for the Texas House Transportation Committee during the 78th Legislative Session in 2003. Langmore played a principal role in formulating and drafting State Rep. Mike Krusse’s HB 3588, one of the most comprehensive transportation bills ever passed in the state of Texas, it completely altered the accountability of transportation projects. New powers were given as unelected bureaucratic mini-TxDOTs were created to toll already funded freeways. This “Frankenstein” law also allowed the TTC to take private land for foreign profits.

Makes HB 650 look like it was drafted with someone in mind.

Gov. Perry Pushing To Sell State Park Land

Posted in Around The State at 8:14 am by wcnews

That the governor wants to sell the land is not a secret. But he’s been trying to say it’s out of his hands and that it’s up to the Land Commissioner. The Land Commissioner now says otherwise. Here’s the article, Perry pushed for land auction:

Beyond that, whether to go forward with any deal was up to Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, said representatives for both the governor’s and Patterson’s offices. “He [Patterson] makes those decisions,” Walt said. She made similar assertions in a Aug. 22 article in the Star-Telegram.

But in a June 9 e-mail to a political supporter, Patterson said “the final decision on the property will be made by the governor.” In the same e-mail, Patterson wrote, “I hope to have the governor’s decision by summer’s end, and we could paper the deal very quickly after that.”

In another e-mail, a staffer in Patterson’s office writes: “Expect a call from . . . an attorney in the governor’s office, who is trying to put together the terms and conditions under which this property could be offered at a bid sale.”

That the governor’s office is knee-deep should not surprise anyone either.  The main thing that should make all voters mad is that he wants to sell off this land so his oil and gas, and developer campaign contributors can make money off of our state owned land. Like so many other Republican’s,  be they local, state, or federal, it’s just sad to see them using the voter’s trust to enrich themselves and their friends.

Hutchison Is Still Hedging On Debate With Radnofsky

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006 at 7:57 am by wcnews

Just like Mary Beth Harrell’s opponent, it looks like Barbara Ann Radnofsky’s opponent has debate issues as well. Here’s what KBH said:

Hutchison has said she would debate this fall. But as the front-runner and incumbent seeking a third six-year term, she has the flexibility to pick the time and place.

No, that’s incorrect. You have no flexibility. Your six-year term is up, it’s time to present yourself to the people, along with your opponents, so they can see who it worthy of the next six-year term.

08.29.06

Republican Tax Cuts Let Deadbeat Dads Off The Hook

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 1:51 pm by wcnews

Sometimes blog posts just write themselves. This refers to the passage of the “so called” Deficit Reduction Act of 2006.

John Carter on the Deficit Reduction Act, which he voted for November, 2005:

The Deficit Reduction Act reforms key government programs and achieves savings. Those unwilling to exercise self-control with your money have accused our efforts as “taking food from the mouths of children” and “destroying our nation’s future”. In reality, this bill doesn’t even cut spending but rather reduces the current rate. Spending will continue to grow, just not at the rampant pace of the bureaucratic status quo.

Here’s what he said after if came back from the Senate and he voted for it again in February, 2006:

“The Deficit Reduction Act is important to reducing wasteful spending and encouraging a more efficient government, while continuing to support the needs of Americans,” Congressman Carter said. “I am proud to have supported a bill that takes important steps to reduce the federal deficit and keeps government safety net programs sustainable.”

Here’s what Harvery Kronberg said in his News 8 commentary, Congressional priorities questioned over child support budget cuts, about the effects of the Deficit Reduction Act on child support collection in Texas:

In all my years of covering politics, I have never heard a single Republican or Democrat fault the effort to keep kids off welfare by forcing their parents to pay for raising them. But the new message from Congress is you can play, we don’t care if you pay.

If you see our local congressmen on the campaign trail this fall you might ask them which is more important, life support for Terry Schiavo or life support for thousands of innocent Texas children.

Here’s the final vote from the US House. There were 13 Republicans that crossed over but that wasn’t enough to stop it. Pay attention to this, not one, NOT ONE DEMOCRATIC MEMBER VOTED FOR THIS BILL.

Here’s another interesting point about this bill. John Cornyn was so incensed by this attempt to take this money from children that he gave a speech on the Senate floor asking to spare the children, he even asked for “unanimous consent that a chart also (be) prepared”. All that tough talk about charts wasn’t enough though. In the final tally Sen. Cornyn couldn’t do what was right and neither could his Texas cohort Kay Bailey Hutchison. They both voted to cut this money.

With the news today of a New Census Report: Uninsured Up, Real Income Down For Men and Women, Poverty Unchanged, and this press release from the CPPP, Poverty Continues To Plaque Texas, it’s clear that the Republican plan for Texas and the US is finally coming to fruition: They got theirs, now you get yours.

As I’ve said many times before how do you expect people who think government is the problem to use government to fix problems?  This program is a good government program that works and they’re killing it too. I’ll give John Carter the last word from his editorial titled, The Deficit Reduction Act: A New Day in Responsible Government, and no that title wasn’t meant to be funny:

This past month, 25 years ago, marked the beginning of the Reagan Era. His dedication to conservative principles, namely a belief in government restraint, was a harbinger of political change in a time of big government. As Reagan aptly said in his first inaugural address, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Recently, these values were echoed in the halls of Congress as fiscal conservatives worked to create greater accountability in the federal budget process.

Because He’s A Joke, That’s Why!

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006 at 9:08 am by wcnews

That’s what I say to anyone who’s a Democrat or a Kuff says:

To everyone who has a “K – The Governor” sticker on their car next to a Kerry/Edwards or KPFT sticker: You’re not supporting some kind of freethinking progressive who shares your values. You’re supporting Larry the Cable Guy. I’d say the joke’s on you, but unfortunately the rest of us are collaterally damaged by it.

He’s referring to the article from the HChron last week, Which side of his mouth is Kinky talking out of? I know it’s cool and trendy to say you’re going to vote for this guy but it should be obvious why the hell not, he’s a joke.

The jokes were funny, like the article said, the first couple of times but for Democrats to vote for this guy, who has no chance of winning, is almost guaranteeing Rick Perry will be reelected. With ‘ol What’s Her Name now sinking and her, hopefully former, Democratic supporters coming back to Chris Bell, it’s time for the “Kinky Democrats” to come back too.

08.28.06

Poll Analysis?

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006 at 2:59 pm by wcnews

As today’s Zogby poll of the governor’s race shows, ‘Ol What’s Her Name is fading fast. Expect to start seeing her face on television commercials after Labor Day. She’ll be spending that tax attorney money like it’s going out of style. She’s sitting on such a huge pile of cash, she’ll be able to buy a lot of air time. Her face and voice will be on so many TV screens and radios that by November 7th most Texans will be voting for someone else just so they won’t have to see or listen to her anymore.

As for Gov. Perry, can he go any lower? I thought 35% was his rock bottom but maybe not. The question now becomes who does ‘Ol What’s Her Name attack? And who does Gov. Perry attack? With numbers that low he can’t be bragging anymore about how proud of Texas he is, so he’s got to go negative, but on whom? This election it’s so hard to tell who’s taking votes from whom. One thing is for sure, it looks like the whole “Grandma” on the ballot issue turned ‘Ol What’s Her Name into a bigger joke than Kinky. Can all that money bring her back to respectability?

She and Perry have been sitting on their war chests for awhile, and now that they’ve hoarded it for so long, what are they going to do with it? They’re both so low in the polls that it doesn’t make sense for them to attack each other. And as Congressman Carter now knows , you start attacking those other two and you give them credibility.

Many people made fun of Chris Bell’s “Think Big” ad or didn’t like it but it did get people talking about him. No matter that they may have not have liked the ad, once they saw it they now knew who Chris Bell was. I think it helped his name recognition quite a bit, which is what he needed most. When people start writing off ‘Ol What’s Her Name, we will be looking to see which candidate gets those votes. At one time I thought if it looked like Bell might win then ‘Ol What’s Her Name might be pressured by her former party to get out. But now I don’t think her supporters would vote for Perry. And if she quits the race, it doesn’t help Perry much. This is just speculation, but fun nonetheless. Wow! The next two months are going to be fun in the governor’s race.

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