What Really Hurts Hillary

The right will, at times in concert with the far left, try to throw things at Secretary Clinton like Benghazi, emails and her wardrobe. None of that will stick to her but what can are problems at the Clinton Global Initiative, which her husband (you remember him… the one President since 1980 to get to full employment WHILE running a surplus) runs. Most of the stuff stuff there now is generic rich assholes claiming that their donations bought them some kind of influence with the Secretary all presented without a shred of proof.

What does hurt, because it hits at the core of her campaign messaging, is this

Hillary Clinton may be running for president as a champion for the middle class, but the Clinton Foundation’s interns do not get paid.

“Businesses have taken advantage of unpaid internships to an extent that it is blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment,” Clinton said at UCLA in 2013. “More businesses need to move their so-called interns to employees.”

That doesn’t happen at her own business, the Clinton Foundation that Bill started in 2001.

I’ll grant that a lot of interns are doing it for a spot on a resume and usually have the wherewithal to do what is essentially charity work. However, explaining that is a lot harder than making the attack that Hillary isn’t a hypocrite. So, what’s the best way out of this? Someone (que Bill) needs to own the issue and FIX IT.

Like today.

Posted in Economy, Stupid Democratic Tricks | Comments Off on What Really Hurts Hillary

Tesla, this is why you suck…

Dear Elon… nice work on the model S. I’ve ridden in two and I have to say it’s an outstanding car. I wish I could say the same about your lobbying efforts in Texas, but it’s just not possible. You’ve been outspent 40:1 which is pretty bad, but it’s not really what killed you… the dealers can only do so much damage. No, the real problem is that your folks didn’t sell this right to a Lege which is dominated by teabaggers who are best persuaded from the grassroots up. Instead, you ran it from the lobbying level and the battle was lost before it even began.

Anyway, I’ll look forward to buying a Chevy Volt. I know it’s not as nice, but at least I can buy one in Texas.


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First, realize there is no fucking crossover voter

Texas Monthly has done a fantastic piece on Battleground that’s well worth the read. There was one part that stood well out to me.

Battleground’s volunteers reported up the chain that the voters they contacted responded well to progressive themes like raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid. But Davis’s senior advisers, led by J.D. Angle, were understandably reluctant to cast their candidate as anything resembling a liberal. (Of course, that’s how the Abbott campaign painted her anyway.)

Now, I don’t know Robert Draper (the author) so I can’t comment about his editorializing… but, just for him and everyone else, it ISN’T understandable. Texans DO respond well to progressive priorities. They even respond well to restoring fairness in the tax code to make sure everyone pays their fair share. And what was completely missing was any effective messaging to point out the broad based failures of the Republicans who demonize folks who work for government yet never admit that they’re responsible for the alleged failures. Teachers, anyone?

Every fucking election, at whatever level is about CLASH. People want to see strong opposition even if it’s only on minor issues and those are the ones on which the election will turn. 2014 presented an historic opportunity to clash across the board with a candidate (Governor Abbott) who would be considered a lunatic crank IN ALMOST EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE COUNTRY. It was an opportunity to restore the Democratic brand and really energize voters who traditionally didn’t vote in off years… and we blew it with a candidate who never really bothered to reach out to the folks we needed to fucking vote.

As I said to a female friend the day after the election, one of many who’d told me not to underestimate Texas women when I questioned Wendy’s path to victory, that it takes a special kind of stupid to think all women were pissed about the same things. Of course, you have to actually know some Republican women to understand that choice ain’t high their list of voting issues. Which brings us to the point of this meandering rant, that there is no crossover voter. Of course, there are people who are persuadable, but in the main those folks won’t get you a win.

So, stop trying to reach them and focus on a campaign designed to energize demographic Democrats and voting Democrats behind you. Then let them do the job of persuading the crossovers.

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Judith Miller Lies (well, half truths) Again

The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths – WSJ is the title of Miller’s piece about her work building and supporting the pr campaign to win popular support for the Iraq invasion of 2003. Miller, who is at her creative best when defending her lack of critical thinking skills, has created a really fun look back at her poor work and basically lays the blame on chance, writing ‘we all got something wrong’.

Seriously, she offered as her defense ‘well, other were doing the same thing’ which is pretty unbelievable from a woman of Judith’s advanced years.

Then, in the link to the article at the Daily Beast, there was this :

First among them was Ahmed Chalabi, who said it didn’t matter if the administration was wrong about WMD. “We are heroes in error,” Chalabi said. “As far as we’re concerned, we’ve been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone, and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important.”

Which made me think, he’s right. So, let’s hand over President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the whole lot of them to the International Criminal Court and let them sort it out. The press, or at least the Wall Street Journal, certainly isn’t up to the task.

Posted in Iraq, Retarded War In, Media Madness, Stupid Republican Tricks | Comments Off on Judith Miller Lies (well, half truths) Again

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 on Life’s easy at AFP

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 on In which Sam Brownback learns a lesson…

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 on Eric McCowan… we LOVE you!

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 on Why is Eddie Lampert hellbent on destroying Sears?

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 on Conservatives Dance On Grave Of ISIL Hostage

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