- Illicit hanky-panky's not acceptable in the White House, that's been made clear to all of us. Maybe though, it'll help boost poll stats for the candidates vying for the Governor's office in California.
- Speaking of hanky-panky...........I want a government contract with no oversight.
- Is it considered hanky-panky when two controversial world leaders wind up looking like little girls giggling on the playground in front of the press corps? Oh and while you're viewing......submit a clever caption.
- Hanky panky now sanctioned by Alabama due to the 10 Commandment removal. Uprising of uptight persons expected.
- It's not just me apparently that's concern with the POTUS' iconographic hanky-panky.
- Guaranteed this White House is seeing no hanky-panky.
- It's not hanky-panky if you can't see the level of corruption.
Historical Note: Here's to the memory of MLK and his "I Have A Dream" speech and it's 40th anniversary today. What elloquence, what grace, what patience, what vision...................what a loss.
Speaking of loss......................our troops now have seen more men and women die after Shrub's press dance on the battleship than died during the actual "sanctioned" war period. Now that it's a "police action" or "installation of democracy" phase, is the low loss of life during the 'battle period' declared as a success and the rebuilding as a failure?
work, eat, sleep. wash rinse repeat.
but then, what is there *really* to do in Kansas City?
Fox vs Franken, score: 0:1
Please pursue this case. We really want to see the phrase "Fair and Balanced" challenged in a highly publicized case"
Nothing says "Good Morning" like, Anne Murray singing "Daydream Believer".
that is all.
I thought the GOP was in the business of reducing government. That they believed the government was too intrusive and needed to stay out of the public's business. Pre Ashcroft? Sit tight boys and girls, pull up a chair, relax, it's just your freedoms erroding before your eyes.
Shrub's 2004 campaign has given us an awesome tool and fabulous opportunity. Let's abuse it, shall we? Speaking of the campaign, I need to block off some quality time and play with Photoshop, this stuff is ripe for picking.
First Haliburton got their piece of the pie and now.............Worldcom? Worldcom/MCI gets to build a wireless network in Iraq? They can't even balance books in the US. I can't believe I overlooked this travesty. They're not a cellular company and the work they have done is merely reselling CDMA, not GSM. AWS or Cingular would be a much better choice from an experience perspective. Curious it is. What do you suppose the clincher was for this deal? Maybe this is simply the governmental approach to community service for crimes committed?
Required reading for all executives. Let's try this, next time I have to give a presentation, I pull all of my data together, provide a single page statistical handout and then talk to the numbers. Don't make me spend 8 hours working on a piece of crap presentation with 15 pages of MS Comic Sans font that says nothing and takes fifteen minutes to present. Just a thought.
Background and some history of the 'power grab' at hand.
During the 2001 session of the Texas Legislature, the legislature was unable to pass a Congressional redistricting plan as it is required to do following the decennial Census. A three judge federal panel was forced to draw the plan. Neither Governor Rick Perry or then Attorney General John Cornyn, both Republicans, objected to the plan, which was reviewed and approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 2002 Congressional elections, the first held under the new redistricting plan, resulted in a Congressional delegation from Texas consisting of 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans. However, five of the 17 Democrats prevailed only because they were able to win the support of Republican and independent voters. All statewide Republican candidates carried these five districts. Most experts agree that the current plan has 20 strong or leaning Republican districts and 12 Democratic districts.
Meanwhile, the 2001 redistricting of Texas legislative seats (which was enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislative Redistricting Board, after the legislature again gridlocked in its efforts) resulted in wide Republican majorities in both the Texas House and Texas Senate. Now Tom Delay has made it his priority to force the Republican-controlled Legislature to enact a new redistricting plan to
increase the number of Republican-leaning Congressional districts.
Republicans believe they can manipulate the districts to elect as many as 22 Republicans out of the 32 member Texas Congressional delegation. They achieve this by packing minority voters into as few districts as possible and breaking apart rural districts so that the impact of independent voters will be reduced and suburban Republican voters will dominate.
During the regular session of the Texas Legislature, Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives exercised an unprecedented parliamentary move to prevent the House from passing Tom Delay's redistricting plan. While Democrats are in the minority of the House of Representatives, the state constitution requires that at least 2/3 of the House be present for the House to pass a bill. Because it was clear that the Republicans would entertain no debate
and brook no compromise in their effort to rewrite the rules by which members of Congress are elected, the Democrats were forced to break the quorum to prevent the bill from passing. Because the Republican Speaker of the House and Governor called on state law enforcement officials to physically compel the Democrats to return, the lawmakers removed themselves to a Holiday Inn in Ardmore, Oklahoma -- outside the reach of state troops(1). In there effort to apprehend the Democrats, Tom Delay officially sought the help of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice.
The House Democrats (nicknamed the "Killer D's", based on an earlier episode in Texas history in which a group of Democratic state senators called the "Killer Bees" broke the quorum in the Senate over a similarly political stalemate) succeeded in stopping Delay's redistricting plan during the regular session, returning to Texas after the legislative deadline had expired for the House to pass legislation. However, because the Texas Legislature meets in regular
session only every two years, the state constitution gives the Governor the power to call a 30-day special legislative session at any time between regular sessions. Despite statewide protests from Texas citizens who oppose Tom Delay's redistricting plan, the Governor has called two special sessions(2) already this summer to attempt to force the legislature to enact a new plan.
The first called session expired in a deadlock, as 12 of 31 Texas Senators(3) opposed the plan. Under Senate rules and tradition, a 2/3 vote is required to consider any bill on the floor of the Senate, giving 11 Senators the power to block a vote(4). The Republican Governor and Lieutenant Governor then determined they would do away with the 2/3 rule, and called another special session, forcing 11 Democratic Senators to break the quorum and leave the state.(5) These Senators have spent the past 22 days in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Governor has indicated he will continue calling special sessions until the Republican redistricting plan is enacted, despite the fact that the Republican-controlled Texas Supreme Court recently rejected the Governor's writ of mandamus filing to compel the Senators to return to the Senate. Meanwhile, eleven Democratic state senators are exiled from their state, unable to be with their families, friends, and constituents, for fear of being arrested as part of a partisan power play by Republicans. In the most recent indignity, Republican
Senators voted to fine the absent Democrats up to $5,000 per day, and to revoke parking and other privileges for their staffs as long as the Senators are away.
What's at stake:
At stake, on the surface, is whether Tom Delay will succeed in exploiting Republican control of the Texas Legislature to add to the Republican majority in the United States Congress. But deeper issues are also at stake.
1. If the Republicans succeed in redrawing the Texas Congressional lines to guarantee the election of five to seven more Republicans, it will ensure that Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the entire decade and will likely result in Tom Delay becoming Speaker of the House.(6)
2. The Republican advantage would be gained by removing many African American and Hispanic voters from their current Congressional districts and "packing" them into a few districts that already have Democratic majorities. The voting power of these minority voters would be dramatically diluted by the Republican plan, in contravention of the federal Voting Rights Act. If the Republicans succeed, over 1.4 million African American and Hispanic voters will be harmed. It would be the largest disenfranchisement of minority voters since the Voting Rights Act was passed.
3. Redistricting exists for the purpose of reapportioning voters among political districts to account for population shifts. The purpose of this reapportionment is to ensure a roughly equal number of voters in each district, to preserve the principle of "one man, one vote."(7) For this reason, redistricting has always been conducted immediately following the U.S. Census' decennial population reports. Tom Delay now proposes a new redistricting plan two years after the Census report simply because Republicans gained control over the Texas Legislature in 2002 and now have the power to enact a much more Republican-
friendly plan than the one drawn by the federal courts two years ago. This is an unprecedented approach to redistricting, one that subordinates its original purpose of ensuring the principle of "one man, one vote" to the purpose of perpetual partisan politics. Redistricting, in this model, would never be a settled matter, and districts would constantly be in flux depending on the balance of
political power in the Legislature.
4. The Texas Legislature has traditionally been defined by a spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation. This issue has polarized the legislature in a way that threatens to destroy that tradition. The Republicans have effectively exiled their Democratic counterparts in a power play that makes our state look more like a banana republic than a dignified democracy. The arbitrary decision to discard the 2/3 rule in the Senate sets a precedent that undermines that body's tradition of consensus and cooperation. The deployment of state law enforcement officials to apprehend boycotting legislators erodes the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government, and diminishes legislators' ability to represent their constituents as they see fit. The unilateral Republican effort to penalize Democratic Senators and their staffs
What is needed:
The Democratic Senators currently in Albuquerque have two critical needs. The first is to generate increased public awareness of the situation. By all reason, every day the Senators are out of the state this story should get bigger. Instead, news media have gradually lost interest in the story. The California recall has dominated the attention of the national media, and the Texas media has largely lost interest in the story -- out of sight, out of mind. Without public
attention to this story, the Republicans have all the leverage -- if it does not cost them politically, it costs them nothing(8) to continue calling special sessions until the Texas 11 are forced to come home.
The second critical need is funding. The cost of hotels, meeting rooms, staff support, and public relations efforts is mounting. In addition, the Senators must defend themselves legally against Republican efforts to compel their return, while also filing legal claims against the Republican power play. The Senators are actively raising money for the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Fund to offset these costs and prepare themselves for a stay of indefinite duration
1. A recent Department of Justice investigation chronicled Republican state officials' illegal attempts to use federal resources -- including anti-terrorism resources from the Department of Homeland Security -- to compel the Democratic lawmakers' return. See this for a news report on the Justice Department investigation, or this for a copy of the complete Justice Department report.
2. At a cost to taxpayers of over $1.5 million per session.
3. House Republicans passed a redistricting bill in the special session despite an outpouring of public opposition in hearings across the state. All 12 Democratic state senators opposed the plan, along with Republican state senator (and former Lieutenant Governor) Bill Ratliff.
4. The "2/3 rule" requires the Senate to reach broader consensus on difficult issues than a simple majority vote. It is a combination of official Senate rules and tradition. The rules of the Senate require a 2/3 vote to suspend the "regular order of business" to consider a bill that is not the first bill on the Senate calendar. By tradition, the Senate has always placed a "blocker bill" at the top of the Senate calendar, so that every bill requires a suspension of the regular
order of business to be considered. The process requires compromise and consensus to achieve a 2/3 majority on each bill. One Texas insider has said that the 2/3 rule is "what separates us from animals."
5. In fact, the Governor and Lt. Governor attempted to "surprise" the Senators by calling the second special one day early and "trap" them in the Senate Chamber. The Senators were able to escape the Capitol with literally minutes to spare.
6. Republican party activist Grover Norquist, head of the Washington D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform, was quoted as follows in the August 17 Fort Worth Star Telegram: "Republicans will hold the House for the next decade through 2012 if Texas redistricts…It depresses the hell out of the Democrats and makes it doubly impossible to take the House and probably depresses their fund raising…Anything that helps strengthen the Republican leadership helps DeLay become speaker someday if he wants it."
7. Established in the landmark case Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962)
8. Notwithstanding the millions of dollars it is costing taxpayers.
please watch your local paper. this text, coming soon to a bird cage liner near you.
Photoshop is like the 'Force'...........it can be used for good or for evil. This instance, well..........click and decide for yourself.
It's not just a sappy slogan.
Dallas needs to enhance their recycling program, now! For a city that sees as many 'red' and 'orange' ozone days as we do, you would think the mayor would be jumping up and down on this bandwagon. Strangely though, her office has been very quiet lately, on many things.
If you are looking for a good charity locally to contribute to; Texas Campaign for the Environment.
speaking of local air pollution, this quote from Joe Conason this morning, simply made my day. "DeLay is simply a cowardly thug in a business suit who abuses patriotic rhetoric to stifle debate."
News Bites (not to be confused with love bites)
get needle, fill with insulin, inject liberally.....................it's kid pic time
Want a headache? Read this puppy. What are they telling us and what aren't they telling us and of what they are telling us, how much of it is actually fit for consumption? Sniff the fan blades kids, that ain't chocolate.
add 25lbs of naked 17 month old boy
one garden hose
one plastic slide
Lights out on the East coast? Tax cut! Bomb Iraq!
the curse of too much free time.
After using tax dollars to fund arenas for mediocre teams, making handshake-tax break deals with developers and allowing vast cost overruns to continue unabated in the school systems, what's left? What else could a major metropolitan area need to raise it's significance? How about the highest crime rate in the nation? A crackerjack squad of men in blue.....they can bust the heck out of a ring of rogue gypsum smugglers and will gladly take extra funding from Homeower's Associations for extra protection ($21K in my neighborhood), but when it comes to actually lowering the crime rate and doing their jobs, well.......... Apparently that, is a stretch.
We're blessed with a string of mayors who go from Democrat to Democrap the minute they take office. Somewhere there must be a clause that requires each new mayor to go to bed (metaphorically) with all the primary businesses and developers upon assuming their new role.
Yeah, I'm probably just pissing into the wind here, but I do vote and it's not simply straight party and definitely not for the subsidized raping of unwitting tax payers that are suffering from underfunded and substandard school systems.
Ok, I can't *honestly* state that there's anything within this domain that remotely smacks of fair and balanced. It is though, officially Fair and Balanced Day. In honor of Al Franken and our right to use the English language without threat of a lawsuit, we'll just be balancing our fairness and fairly balancing all day, fairly.
- Speaking of fair, seen the numbers on dropouts in Texas? No child left behind, huh?
- More on children......specifically little boys. The first teacher that informs me my child needs Ritalin, gets a fistwich.
- If you've been 'jonesing' for post-Growing Pains star updates.
more fair and balanced news later.
Dear Fox News,
- Coffee is good, what would make it better?...................bikinis!
- Dear GOP, "heard the one about the goose and the gander and what's good for them?
- Conservativism is a "condition", *snort*. But liberalism is a disease......I guess??
I don't possess the vast quantities of time need to lambast the cronyism taking place in Austin over the redistricting power-play. I of course, support the Democrat's refusal to play ball and hate seeing state finances being squandered in this manner. However, for an almost real-time resource for what's taking place, please check out The Burnt Orange Report. These guys really do a fine job of tracking the performance of our elected officials in state government. For an exceptional condensed version, Molly Ivins sums it all up rather well in last week's column.
Results from the Texas straw poll for the Democratic candidates can be found here.
Fox News is suing Al Franken for using "fair and balanced" in the title of his new book? Fox's use alone is funny enough...... for them to sue as if they "owned it" let alone actually employ it as a concept is hysterical. Maybe he could change it to "Trust Us" and see if CNN will bite.
News Worthy One-liners
- "I love the smell of a firebomb in the morning. "
- "Support your troops just don't pay them".
- "Resistance is Futile, You Will Be Assimilated" by Borg Lieberman
- Remember "Kindergarten Cop"? "Conan"? "The Villain"?
- Orwell wasn't writing a manual.
The Preamble to the Constitution by a young AOLuser.
WE DA PEOPLE OF DA UNIETD STAETS IN ORDAR 2 FORM A MORE PARFECT UNION 3STABLISH JUSTIEC INSUR3 DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY PROVIED FOR TEH COMON D3FENSE PROMOT3 DA GENERAL WALFAER AND S3CUR3 TEH BLESNGS OF LIEBRTY 2 OURSELVES AND OUR POSTARITY DO ORDANE AND 3STABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION FOR DA UNIETD STAETS OF MERICA111!1
LOL -- "leave no child behind"
Hey, Anna L.......next time you pop by, send me an email.
and the icing on the cake........................Oh.My.God, I so have to have one of these.......especially if the box design is done in as much earnest as it seems to be.
So Al Gore's got slow growth testicles. His latest speech is quite heartening and a good read. It's quite a shame he wasn't this outspoken or opinionated during the 2000 election. Speaking of elections, my heart sank rapidly upon reading this article on the 2000 election issues and the potential impact the recent changes are going to have on future elections.
Democracy, it seems, is something we're only interested in foisting violently onto others. The true practice of it at home............leaves much to be desired.
Speaking of budget woes..........................wow!
and from the "What the Hell are They Thinking" file:
I've always defended California against the "fly-over" states' view that it's all "fruit and nuts". Can't bring myself to do that any longer. The wing-nut who funded the recall has dropped out, the Terminator's the lead for the GOP, Larry Flynt's in the ring and Ariana Huffington and Gary Coleman are wild cards? WTF? Here's a state government that thought deregulation was still a good idea as they allowed Enron to rape their residents and then think that simply dumping their governor will solve all their ills? Spectacular display of cognitive reasoning.
What ever happened to accountability? If they really feel Gray Davis screwed up? Make him fix it. Remove his pay and hold his feet to the fire to address the aspects of the financial woes "he caused" and all the other miscellaneous issues that he, supposedly, initiated all by his bad little self. Apparently he makes all decisions by himself and no one else is culpable, right?
Time for Jello Biafra to get back in the fray.
Dear North Korea,
Please hold off on those nukes until we figure out what *we're* going to do with California.
The Other 49 States.
A year ago I ranted some on the Jesus Castillio case where a local comic book dealer was arrested for selling adult comics to adults (around the corner from an all-nude bar, ironically), it appears as though his appeal to the Supreme Court's been knocked down. Figures. No sense in championing freedom of speech and freedom of choice. The only freedom we are guaranteed any more comes with your burger and shake.
Update to July, Wired's got a good article on the trend for land-line dumping in favor of cell phones. My point earlier was that the Baby Bell's need to understand they are not the only beast with shitty service on the block. Following the July comment, we went from full service to POTS. Once Comcast comes into the neighborhood with cable modem, POTS is out and the local phone is immediately rendered unnecessary. Theoretically we should be getting what we pay for, only with a pared down service is that true.
Oh that crazy crazy RIAA.
Having tired recently of digital (CDs and MP3s) and craving music I've not heard in awhile, I've swan dived back into my pile of cassette tapes. Big Audio Dynamite, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail, Stray Cats, INXS, etc and that's just the tip of the iceberg ......guess what? They're all on cassettes formerly known as blank. Yep, you got it the end result of nights and nights of sitting up late, copying music. Now that I think about it, I probably spent more time making tapes from '85 through about '92 than I did working.
Maybe what we need to do as a form of protest to this Spanish Inquisition approach to "piracy" is to flood the offices of the RIAA with boxes and boxes of mix tapes. Everyone's got a closet full of them somewhere. Too good to throw away and too sentimental to tape over.....give them to a good cause and give it all back to the "rightful owner". If the RIAA can re-route the money they recover from their prosecutions to the record companies (after feeding the sharks), maybe they can spend some extra quality time sorting through vast volumes of tapes to ensure that Sony, Virgin, Columbia et al get their rightful property back.
Maybe not......but wouldn't it be cool?
'nuff of that, back to work.
After watching Larry King last night, I've got one thing to say;
Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean! Dean!
it's still only one thing, just repeated a bit.
Cool find for the day: Apparently I'm successfully getting under people's skin or at least one person's top layer of epidermis. Sad really, here's a guy with a voice and a PhD in archeology or something and the only adjective for me he can cough up, is "jerk". Seems as if he's got some sort of axe to grind. Maybe while he's at it he can pound some swords into plowshares too.
-- Bill Maher's got a "blog"....well, he's got space and a couple of lame comments but here's hoping it picks up momentum.
-- 300 arguments on the existence of god.
-- Fun for your retina.
-- How to beat the GOP at it's own game......well that, and an extra $20+ Billion.
-- Tracking the ludicrious and horribly arbitrary approach to security.
Interesting and quite frivolous.
Your name alone strikes fear into others; but maybe, just maybe, there's a little vulnerability and weakness beneath that stoic, fierce exterior of yours.
Take the What Pulp Fiction Character Are You? quiz.
Remember that episode of the "Young Ones" where the landlord drinks the coke on the top of the fridge and becomes an 'axe wielding homicidal maniac'? The same results occur, when the only beverage choice provided at 7am on a Monday morning is decaf coffee.
meme for the day: "Sanka Slap"
when it's a 100+ degrees in Texas occupying vast quantities of indoor time is imparative.
speaking of Texas.......for those of you transplants to Dallas who crave quality pizza...we found a place!
Any of you Texans out there with an opinion on the Democratic primary. A strawpoll's in progress.
TO VOTE, send your name and county along with the name
of the candidate you would prefer or are leaning to
right now to this email address:
Final results will be posted on August 11 at: