Life’s easy at AFP

Gas Tax Hikes Are Not The Answer is the title of a ridiculous little piece from a halfwit at Americans For Prosperity (to differentiate from Americans for Hardship and Strife), the Koch puppet group that spends most of it’s time whining about how climate change isn’t real and begging people to forget the last 35 years of trickle down economic failure while supporting still more trickle down solutions.

We sent them a brief Q&A to ask them about transportation issues but never got a response…here are some of the questions:

1) Whose cock do you prefer, David or Charles?
2) When you blow Charles does he like anything special? Maybe a little finger in the backdoor action?
3) What is the breakdown of transportation needs in this country between maintenance/improvement and new construction?
4) How much would you estimate is lost annually on highway beautification and non-transportation projects?
5) If there’s a shortfall between the needs in #3 and the budget waste (we’ll cut you some slack on this) in #4, how would you propose making up the difference without increasing the gas tax?
6) When David fucks you, does he grunt or is that only with the male AFP staff?

Obviously 1, 2, 5 and, 6 are hard to answer without input from AFP.

On number 3, the answer is roughly $1.5 trillion in deferred maintenance and about another $2 trillion in infrastructure upgrades over the next ten years.

On number 4, in Texas at least, the money not specifically spent on roads amounts to about $2bn annually, part of which pays for some pretty good stuff that keeps people off the roads. But AFP doesn’t care about any of that nonsense, so we’ll use the full amount and adjust it across the country to about $30bn annually.

Just to make sure you’re keeping up, you have about $3.5 trillion in needs over 10 years and about $300 bn in available funding. So for number 5 you have to make up a gap of about $3.2 trillion and knowing the meat puppets at AFP like I do, I’m sure they’re thinking to make it up through privatization which has failed. Everywhere. Most recently, we have default on the 130 tollway in Austin. That was a project AFP LOOOOOOOVED. So, with that option off the table, what’s next…

Well, we could go with corporate taxes which are at a historical low in terms of federal tax receipts. We could do that and marry it with debt sales that would reduce the impact on federal deficits by matching the liability with the revenue stream. We could also, you know, increase the gas tax which has inflated to about a quarter of what it was worth 20 years ago.

So, there are your options. AFP may be as dishonest as a con man trying to sell you discounted travelers cheques in the grocery store parking lot, but I’ll be happy to tell you the truth. We don’t have enough money to fund the needs… put that in your poll next time, AFP, and then maybe I’ll start thinking of you as something more than the Kochs cockwipe.

Posted in Transportation | Comments Off

In which Sam Brownback learns a lesson…

The KC Star has a fantastic piece up about Sam Brownback, the Governor of Kansas, and the tax plan he hatched with his fellow Republicans after the 2010 election. The basis of it was enormous tax cuts on the wealthy and small business owners, coupled with fee increases that were designed to hit the poor hardest. The whole thing has, predictably, ended in tears and massive deficits as these things usually do.

What makes this piece art is this simple section which fully spells out the massive failure that is Republican Ideological Economics…

Weigel, a politically active moderate Republican, explained his situation in an email: “My high-income nonbusiness owner clients paid state income taxes in 2013 totaling $8,000 to $10,000 while I and 333,000 other Kansans paid none,” he said. “My office assistant and all of our wage earners in the office paid more tax than any of the business owners in our company, and that is just wrong.”

Weigel said he has no plans to hire anyone.

“You don’t hire because of taxes,” he said. “You hire when your business grows.”

Brownback had promised in 2012 that the tax breaks would cause Kansas to “hit the accelerator” on job creation. But job growth has trailed the national average over Brownback’s first four years in office.

That one line from one small business owner sums up neatly why this recession and recovery were so painful. At a time when we should have been stimulating demand through government spending, we were doing the exact opposite. So, you have the public and the private sector pull back at the same time. In that environment, you can cut taxes to zero and it still won’t increase aggregate demand enough to stimulate employment because the tax cuts overwhelmingly go to those who are relatively affluent and more likely to save than spend.

The economic reality of the United States is that the economy rises from the bottom up. Look at areas where the minimum wage has already increased… you’re seeing growth far higher than in lower wage areas. And then there’s Minnesota where Governor Dayton increased taxes on the wealthy, cut them on the poor, spent money on schools and other needs and raised the minimum wage. That’s why MN is the second fastest growing Midwest state.

Maybe the citizens of Kansas want to rethink their decision? While Brownback may share their hatred of President Obama, he clearly doesn’t know how to run a modern economy and it’s to the detriment of the people who elected him. So, voters need to go to the polls in 2016 and think seriously about whether they would rather vote for someone who hates as they do or vote for a better future.

If past performance is any guide, I’m going with hate.

Posted in Economy, Stupid Republican Tricks | Comments Off

Eric McCowan… we LOVE you!

It’s always good to read the thoughts of a fellow citizen regarding someone we just can’t fucking stand. In this, it’s all about Linda Curtis.

Eric, I’d love to buy you a drink sometime!

Posted in Austin | Comments Off

Why is Eddie Lampert hellbent on destroying Sears?

For those of you who don’t know, Eddie Lampert is an investor who took over Sears Holdings in the mid 2000s. Since that point, the asset has continued to decline. He provides an excellent example of the reality that MOST investors suck at running companies. When the CEO didn’t perform he made himself CEO and has proceeded to do even worse, which is little surprise since a billionaire from Greenwich isn’t exactly the kind of guy who should be running a company built by lower and middle class consumers.

For just one example of mismanagement, look at Home Servives. Everyone remembers that Sears has had a home services business (think siding) and you can still find it here. What you won’t see is SOLAR. So, where the hell is Sears on this? Do they not sell the units at all? Of course they do, they’re here. On the main site. And at the bottom of the description, ‘installation available’.

Which came a little too late… I already bought the unit I wanted, on credit, and hired someone local to install. Sears missed the sale, the debt service AND the installation. Not bad for a company that pretty much invented ALL FUCKING THREE.

The bottom line of retail, whether online or in person, is to make sure you:

1) Have what people want to buy
2) Have designed your site/store so that they can find it easily
3) Have a platform that can help the customer easily finance their purchase

Sears fails on all counts. Sears Home Services is, instead, apparently focused on trying to be a rehab contractor which is nice but unnecessary since the market already has plenty of those. Stupid, right? The focus should be Appliances, Siding, Roofing and Solar. That’s it, nothing more.

None of this should be much of a surprise since Lampert bought Sears primarily for it’s real estate assets, not to run it. My question is, why the FUCK not do both? Lampart’s blog states that Sears is transforming which is true… it’s changing from an also ran loser into a deadbeat.

Posted in Business | Comments Off

Conservatives Dance On Grave Of ISIL Hostage

Conservatives Dance On Grave Of ISIL Hostage: 'Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel B**ch'.

The headline doesn’t really say it all… Debbie Schlussel, the kraut-American (a descendant of Germans and Nazis*) who called Kayla Mueller (the American relief worker murdered by ISIS) “a Jew hating, Anti-Israel bitch”, went on to stand bravely with Israel against her fellow American.

Which leads me to wonder who much ole Debbie is getting paid by the Israelis? Is it profitable being Bibi’s bitch?

Posted in International Hijinx | Comments Off

Super Shitty Service Station Spectacular: TigerMart on US 67 in Alvarado

Don’t let the fantastic gas prices, excellent selection of premium cigars, or the nice lady behind the counter, or the clean look of the store fool you! This place has shithole bathrooms like you’ve never seen.

Trash sack over the urinal? Check. No lid on toilet tank of toilet that doesn’t stop running and later overflows the entire service station? Check. Name of the store written on the plunger? Check.

And when I say the store flooded while I was in it, yes, that happened–As I was coming in to get my $3 in change because my car wouldn’t hold all that cheap Exxon gas.




Posted in Texas | Comments Off

I fucking told you so (Todd Staples Edition)

I don’t get to say I told you so often, mostly because people get really irritated when you point out that you were right and they were, you know, wrong.

But this time, I fucking love it. Remember this? Well, take a look at this…


This is West Texas Intermediate oil, per barrel, over the last three months.

Yeah, O&G people… you just got Stapled!

Posted in Stupid Republican Tricks, Texas | Comments Off

And then there’s Maude

Senator Davis recently reveDAvis e nightaled that her stance on open carry was less about her own feelings and more about… wait for it… politics.

But she added, “There is one thing that I would do differently in that campaign, and it relates to the position that I took on open carry. I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn’t really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue.”

To those who ardently defended the Senator and declared to everyone who would listen that this was something other than pandering… fuck you. Seriously, you deserve to be fucked by an elephant dick. And you’re stupid.

To Senator Davis, if you can’t control your campaign and run on your own platform, what the hell were you expecting to do as Governor? AG Abbott may be carnival scum but at he least he believes what he’s saying.

To the Davis team… honestly, thanks for making me look like a chump. You never, at any point, knew what you were doing and I feel like a punk for ever giving you gimps the benefit of the doubt.

photo credit : Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News

Posted in Stupid Democratic Tricks, Texas | Comments Off

Battleground Butthurt: The Intense Butthurt of Battleground Texas

Poor, poor Battleground Texas.

Like a meth addict in denial, they simply cannot admit that their own problems, and not anything external (aside, from perhaps, an uninspiring, poor candidate at the too of the ticket), is the cause of all their problems.

Like a meth addict blaming pancakes and not the pipe for their miserable, rotting, foul-stank teeth, Battleground has found yet another Boogeyman (surprise, surprise):


The Houston Chronicle article referred to is here.

Clearly, Baby Jesus and Santa Clause didn’t hear my pleas when I told them all I wanted for Christmas was the Battleground Butthurt to stop.
Oh, the butthurt is intense. Blistering, in fact. Never mind that this law has been on the books since before the two months Wendy Davis spent in a single-wide with no electricity, or that the largest turn-out primary in Texas history–the 2008 Primaries–happened under essentially the same rules.

Battleground Texas is already setting up the scapegoat for their next round of failure. God, to be the victim of that much butthurt must be intense.

Let’s set aside the fact that re-certification of deputy registrars was a Democratic initiative for a moment, and talk about why it is actually one of our few election laws that actually make sense on its own.

The Legislature meets every two years, save special sessions. Federal court decisions impacting voting rights also occur from time to time. As a result, it is kind of useful to see these people re-certified. It provides some small measure of accountability, and makes sure, among other things, that volunteers know what they are doing is in harmony with the most current statutes.

For Battleground Texas, perhaps time better spent would actually be trying to figure out how to work with all of the varied organizations and campaigns in this state to do something positive other than funneling checks back to Chicago-based consultants quicker and in amounts to rival a Mafioso.

Posted in Texas | Comments Off

Don Zimmerman steps in metaphorical shit and finds it hard to remove from shoe…

The Austin Chronicle has a piece up about Don Zimmerman’s apparent SLAPP suit against the Austin Bulldog for accurately reporting Zimmerman’s lost custody battle.

Apparently, Zimmerman decided election night to end his suit, he claims because of a feeling of goodwill in victory even toward those who have wronged him. Which is, if we were forced to speculate, complete bullshit.

The Bulldog, meanwhile, is pressing ahead with their dismissal and request for damages. From everyone at McBlogger, best of luck to the Bulldog!

On a personal note, I think Zimmerman is sad little shitbox who won’t hold that seat longer than one term. During that term, he will be monstrously unsuccessful and he will accomplish few if any goals. Politicians like Zimmerman who have office shopped for years, tell people what they want to hear but never get around to explaining that they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever achieving those goals.

Reminds me of Brigid Shea’s property tax crusade of stupid.

Posted in Austin, Stupid Republican Tricks | Comments Off