Friday, October 31, 2008

NRCC Lies, Pete Olson Approved of That Message

Is it any wonder that you don’t hear a peep from Pete Olson about the recent NRCC hit piece against Nick Lampson? The piece is running on several TV channels in the Houston media market and has raised eyebrows of those of us who watch what our congressman does, and what he doesn’t do.

Take a gander at the hit piece in this You Tube embed. Hit the pause button when you see the photo of the military jet taking off. You see in the lower left corner their citation of the house vote of the bill that Nick Lampson supposedly voted against on December 17, 2007.

Interesting huh? Now take a look here at his actual vote on HR 2764.

So shall we say that the NRCC ad is “inaccurate”?

Shall we say that it is an outright lie that is provable by public record? Something that Pete Olson wishes he had for his explanation on why it was that it was not he who voted in that Connecticut special election in 2003?

Kay Bailey Hutchison is the one that pushed that bill through her committee. She was approached by Alastair Rami who recorded his conversation with her, and asked her why some ads were saying that the bill inadequately funded the military.

Here is the conversation courtesy of BurntOrangeReport and You Tube

Now, I didn’t see the connection, exactly, with the inadequate funding claim and how the ad is inaccurate in that as well. I want to speculate that the version I have is brand spanking new. But it was nice to see that Kay Bailey Hutchison was so easy to set up against Olson and the NRCC.

I also thought that it was nice to see that the NRCC thinks that putting a tax on private health insurance is a bad, bad idea. Nice because it is something that John McCain thinks is a very good idea.

Odd, isn’t it? Usually the Republican Party is the party that has all their ducks in a row and stand arm in arm in solid agreement with each other, and it’s the Democrats that often look like buffoons as they disagree with everyone else, especially those in their own party.

Are we seeing yet another example of role reversal here?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fort Bend County Early Vote Is Going Through the Roof: What Does It All Mean?

There’s a report on Fort Bend Now about how county elections administrator John Oldham is projecting a total voter turnout of 140,000 voters by the time early voting ends tomorrow, October 31st. According to the trends, he could just be spot on.

Over the entire vote period, an average of 11,416 voters have come to the polls every day they have been open. At that rate the county will finish early voting with over 136,000 votes. But that doesn’t take into account the low numbers that showed up to vote on Sunday.

Low numbers because a number of early vote locations, eleven, or over half of the polling locations, were closed on Sunday.

So factoring out Sunday’s vote totals, an average of 12,149 voters have showed up at the polls every day that all the polls have been open. At that rate, a total of over 138,000 voters will have shown up at the early vote locations by Halloween night.

That’s an incredible number. That is nearly half of the 299,002 registered voters in Fort Bend County. That is 20,000 votes shy of the total vote in the 2004 presidential election in Fort Bend. That’s 56,000 more early votes than were cast in the 2004 presidential election. 65% more early votes than in 2004.

And no wonder. A look at the total registered voters in 2004 compared to 2008. In that 4-year period the voter rolls have grown by 44,293. Most of these voters registered this year, it seems. The year that the Obama campaign embarked on a huge new voter registration drive. That’s a 17% jump in the number of registered voters in Fort Bend County

But 17% doesn’t account for the entire early voting jump, not when early voting increased from 2004 to 2008 by 65%. The rest of it has got to do with the keen interest Fort Bend County voters have in this race.

The keen interest that led African-Americans to try and beat each other to be first in line at the poll on the first day of early voting.

The keen interest that impelled early voters to spruce up a bit when they went to the polls, as if voting this year was a special occasion and not just a time spent standing in line.

The keen interest that had a line of 100 voters streaming out of one early vote location on Saturday, as the poll opened.

Here is my thought on this. In 2004 Fort Bend County was a 55 to 44 percent Republican to Democratic county. But now the voter rolls have increased by 17% coming on the heels of an Obama new voter registration drive. And now we are seeing a huge interest in this election that brings voters to the polls unbidden. Given all of this, it is possible that this county could have just flipped from red to blue.

I guess we will find out on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

S.T.O.P. Coalition Candidates Forum Tonight

Last February I attended a candidate’s forum sponsored by S.T.O.P., a coalition that opposes extending the Grand Parkway as a toll road south from where it ends at US 59 here in Fort Bend County. It was a crowded stage with multiple candidates for the same office – obviously – because it was a pre-primary forum.

Well, S.T.O.P is reprising its sponsorship of another forum, this tima a pre-general election candidates forum, tonight, October 29th. On the tenth day of early voting. Yes, as I type this, over 90,000 Fort Bend County voters will have cast their ballots at the early voting locations.

So that was a small SNAFU.

A SNAFU because I wonder what the chances would have been that more candidates would have appeared had the forum taken place before early voting started.

Because as it stands, it appears that of all the candidates running for Fort Bend federal, state and local offices, only eight have agreed to appear.

At the top of the ballot, Nick Lampson will square off against his Libertarian opponent John Weider. Dorothy Bottos, the Democrat running for HD 28 will have her words unanswered as John Zerwas is passing on this forum. However, Democratic incumbent Dora Olivo will be on stage with her Republican challenger, Steve Host. It would be interesting to see if there is anything behind Host but his ubiquitous campaign signs.

Andy Meyers, unopposed on the ballot for Precinct 3 County Commissioner, has also agreed to participate. For what reason I cannot possibly fathom. Perhaps it’s because there will be nothing on TV for him to watch since Barack Obama has preempted every television broadcast tonight except for the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

And finally, Democrat Richard Morrison will attend, as will his opponent Greg Ordineaux. Last time they shared the stage, the incumbent, Tom Stavinoha was the chief target. The one to beat. And beaten he became. This time we have Morrison, a vocal opponent of Section C of the Grand Parkway, who will square off against the ex-treasurer of the Fort Bend Toll Road Authority, Greg Ordineaux.

This would be an interesting match up, as Ordineaux, a once fervid supporter of the Grand Parkway extension as a toll road, is now firmly against it . . . too. Or maybe not. We’re not really sure.

Maybe someone can find out for me how this all turned out because I just (as in 30 seconds ago) got a call asking me to come to the headquarters for more Get Out the Vote activity so . . . oh well. Priorities, priorities.

Too much to do, so little time.

S.T.O.P. Coalition Candidates Forum Tonight

Last February I attended a candidate’s forum sponsored by S.T.O.P., a coalition that opposes extending the Grand Parkway as a toll road south from where it ends at US 59 here in Fort Bend County. It was a crowded stage with multiple candidates for the same office – obviously – because it was a pre-primary forum.

Well, S.T.O.P is reprising its sponsorship of another forum, this tima a pre-general election candidates forum, tonight, October 29th. On the tenth day of early voting. Yes, as I type this, over 90,000 Fort Bend County voters will have cast their ballots at the early voting locations.

So that was a small SNAFU.

A SNAFU because I wonder what the chances would have been that more candidates would have appeared had the forum taken place before early voting started.

Because as it stands, it appears that of all the candidates running for Fort Bend federal, state and local offices, only eight have agreed to appear.

At the top of the ballot, Nick Lampson will square off against his Libertarian opponent John Weider. Dorothy Bottos, the Democrat running for HD 28 will have her words unanswered as John Zerwas is passing on this forum. However, Democratic incumbent Dora Olivo will be on stage with her Republican challenger, Steve Host. It would be interesting to see if there is anything behind Host but his ubiquitous campaign signs.

Andy Meyers, unopposed on the ballot for Precinct 3 County Commissioner, has also agreed to participate. For what reason I cannot possibly fathom. Perhaps it’s because there will be nothing on TV for him to watch since Barack Obama has preempted every television broadcast tonight except for the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

And finally, Democrat Richard Morrison will attend, as will his opponent Greg Ordineaux. Last time they shared the stage, the incumbent, Tom Stavinoha was the chief target. The one to beat. And beaten he became. This time we have Morrison, a vocal opponent of Section C of the Grand Parkway, who will square off against the ex-treasurer of the Fort Bend Toll Road Authority, Greg Ordineaux.

This would be an interesting match up, as Ordineaux, a once fervid supporter of the Grand Parkway extension as a toll road, is now firmly against it . . . too. Or maybe not. We’re not really sure.

Maybe someone can find out for me how this all turned out because I just (as in 30 seconds ago) got a call asking me to come to the headquarters for more Get Out the Vote activity so . . . oh well. Priorities, priorities.

Too much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Republican Thugs Throw Brick Through Democratic Headquarters Window

I’ve been pretty quiet about this because I have been stewing about it for a couple of days now (and Pete Olson keeps giving me side splitting guffaws). But now I just want to show you what our noble opposition is capable of.

Pure thuggery.

I got a call from Marsha on Sunday morning informing me that someone had thrown a brick through one of the windows of the Rosenberg Democratic Headquarters. She asked me to bring a camera and take photographs.

Upon arriving I found that not only had that scurrilous act occurred, but that they had rummaged through and stolen $80 in cash. Two weeks prior, they stole cash and a very valuable laptop PC upon which we had our PAC’s membership list as well as voter data.

Not only don’t these people believe in playing fair, they believe that felonious offenses are copasetic as long as they are against Democrats.

The crime was reported to the Rosenberg PD and they took a report and moved off. The crime was then reported to the media and they descended. It can all be seen here (warning you have to sit through an ad).

That TV station's video was taken after we had cleaned up the glass, installed some plywood 4xs8’s to cover the hole, and then hid the plywood by covering them with campaign signs (the Morrison and Siegel signs that you see in their video).

Here are photographs of the crime scene as it appeared when the headquarters was opened on Sunday morning.

Here is the brick.

Outside, you can see the thick glass spread everywhere.

And the iron bar that was used to clear out the glass after the brick was thrown.

And here is the crime scene after the glass was cleared, the empty glass frame covered with plywood, and the plywood optimized with properly sized campaign signs.

The KTRK story focused on signs being stolen, both Democratic and Republican signs. Implying again, that this matter is a push: both parties are guilty.

Republicans, however, have clearly gone beyond the pale and exacted real property damage on a building. Property damage to the tune of $800 in glass replacement.

My humble suggestion to the Republican Party of Fort Bend County is that they should display proper disdain for this hate crime by one or more of their number, and pass the hat around to compensate the Fort Bend Democrats’ loss.

If they are really sorry that this happened, they’ll do it, don’t you think? They’re sorry that this happened, don’t you think?

No, I don’t either.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Advice To Pete Olson: If You Find Yourself in a Hole, Stop Digging.

I would really like to write about something else today, and fully meant to, but it seems that the antics going on in Pete Olson’s congressional campaign continually prevent me from branching out to other deserving issues.

Why? Because this Virginia voter fraud allegation lodged against Pete Olson keeps on yielding fruit that get more bizarre with each passing day.

It seems that the Olson campaign has engaged some DC lawyers to send a letter to Houston area media markets warning them that if they continue airing the now infamous TV ad produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), they are exposing their respective stations “to potential liability should you continue to air it.”

They are telling the TV stations that the ad that they are airing contains false and defamatory statements. From Fort Bend Now:

“‘Since the DCCC advertisement contains false and misleading statements, your station must cease airing this advertisement immediately,’ the letter said. ‘If you insist on airing this advertisement, we request an explanation of the basis of your decision in law or station policy.’”
Now here is the leap of logic that led them to send this letter.

“The letter went on to refute the allegations against Olson, citing an Oct. 16 article in the D.C.-based publication ‘Roll Call’ in which Olson denied taking part in any illegal vote. Olson’s denials cited in excerpts from the article, McGinley claimed, proved the DCCC knew the allegations were false and yet paid to air the commercial anyway.”
That’s right, you read it correctly.

The allegations are false, and the DCCC knows it, because Pete Olson said so.

You know, I am like every other human being on Earth. I have a belly button that proves I was born of a woman.

But that didn’t happen yesterday.

So let me get this right. The DCCC cobbled up this ad knowing the ad’s allegations were false, paid TV stations to air the ad, and as a result the stations may incur liability for doing so because Pete Olson says the ad is, in the parlance of the day, inaccurate.

But wait, it gets better.

It seems that this letter caused local TV station KHOU to temporarily pull the ad while its lawyers studied the ad’s content. Then they decided to put it back on the air, finding no impropriety on their part.

In short, each and every TV station in the Houston media market has decided not to be intimidated by 11th hour Republican bluffs, attempts by Pete Olson to remove information on this matter from the public view.

In essence, Pete Olson has placed himself in the impossible position of being seen as the candidate who is trying to hide the truth from the public. The allegations could be errors of mistaken identity for all I know, but Pete Olson has taken this whole argument to a new level.

In citing the allegations as lies, and then trying to get them taken off the air, Olson has just proven the DCCC and Lampson campaigns’ points: he’s just like Tom DeLay.

The hole that Pete Olson has dug for himself is getting deeper and deeper because no one will tell Pete to stop digging and put that shovel down.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

They’re Stealing Our Signs

Early voting continued strong over this weekend. Up to this Saturday 71,471 voters have cast their votes, with Saturday being the biggest day of the week (naturally). However there were reports of a line of 100 people coming out of the Hightower High School polling place at 12:20 PM today. This, I am told represents “Power Sunday,” when parishioners are exhorted to get themselves to the polls after services are over.

I also heard a report by Mark Campos, a local political consultant, that 2/3rds of early voters in Harris County voted in the Democratic Primary in March. So things are looking up.

And up.

And the Fort Bend Democrats have been making sure that the Obama/Biden flag is flying at all early vote locations. We have our yard signs at all 20 locations and some 4x4 Obama/Biden signs at some of them

But the Republicans in this county are a bunch of dirty, low, sneak thieves at night. Over night, the signs disappear. I am sure that they think Jesus would approve. I am on my third yard sign at my house, and am holding one in reserve.

We called the Rosenberg PD and tried to file a complaint. The man listened quietly and then came up with this little gem: “we have reports that McCain signs are also being stolen.”

Meaning . . . what?

Meaning that if a girl calls the police claiming that she had been raped by a man, the police may respond by saying that there are also reports of men being raped by women?

And that makes it all OK?

This is the nature of living here in politically incestuous Fort Bend County.

The signs were replaced, but once again, over night, they were stolen. We filed another complaint; this time with the County Sheriff’s Department and got a little better reaction from the sheriff’s deputy that responded.

Coming home today from the headquarters where Get Out The Vote activities are in full gear, I passed a cluster of signs along FM 359 next to a great Mexican restaurant called La Cocina. I noticed something out of the ordinary so I turned around and stopped.

Here is the sign cluster. Looks pretty normal, but you have to look closely. Look over to the left next to the Obama/Biden sign.

Yep, that’s called a “lay down.”

It seems that Pete Olson’s drones are out and about laying down Nick Lampson’s signs. It seems that being investigated for voter fraud in Virginia hasn’t tempered the feelings of Olson’s supporters. Olson’s people are showing their true colors by imitating their leader by being ethically challenged also.

The term “Ethical Republicans,”in this county anyway, is an oxymoron.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pete Olson Blames Lampson for Virginia Voter Fraud Investigation

In his latest fit of silliness, Pete Olson has laid the blame for being investigated for fraud in Virginia squarely at the feet of Nick Lampson. From an article in today’s Fort Bend Now:

“Olson called the allegation a ‘smear’ orchestrated by his opponent, incumbent Nick Lampson (D-Stafford), through a Democratic political action committee, the Lone Star Project.”

And later in the article:

“Olson also said that although the allegations came from the Lone Star Project, the Lampson campaign was behind the effort. He claimed to have seen ‘a document from Lampson’s campaign’ showing the allegations originated with Lampson. Olson did not provide a copy of that document to reporters at the press conference.”

And finally, this:

“’I now see him for what he is – a classic politician that cares more about getting re-elected than representing the values of the people he represents.’”

Now here’s my take.

I wish to God it was true. I wish to God that we fair-minded Democrats had as much gall, and as much go-for-the-throat instincts as our Republican counterparts do. The fact is, Olson’s position, ethics-wise, calls on him to accuse Lampson’s campaign for acts that are more closely associated with his own party’s operatives. The fact is, Olson is now accusing Lampson of behaving like a Republican.

I know Nick Lampson, and there is something you get about him: Nick Lampson only behaves like a Republican when he casts his vote with them.

And he does that sometimes.

That is not to say that the Lampson campaign has not glommed on to this ethics windfall that allows them to further compare Pete Olson to former Congressman Tom DeLay. They have. It took them about a week, but they finally started talking about Matt Angle’s Virginia criminal complaint against Pete Olson.

“Did Pete Olson commit a felony? All signs point to yes but the criminal investigation that was opened in Fairfax County this week will decide.

Prosecutors were quick to move on a felony complaint that was filed after
evidence was discovered showing Pete Olson (with the same addresses and signature of candidate Olson) voted and maintained voter registration in Connecticut and Virginia. Voter fraud is a felony in both states.”

And so on.

The DCCC also chimed in with a hit piece that I have seen played during prime time. It’s actually one of their best hit pieces, tying Pete Olson to McCain’s recent comments on voter fraud and then to Tom DeLay:

Then Olson had his press conference.

And then, the Lampson campaign answered with a video response:

On October 3rd, a millennium ago in terms of political campaigns, Burnt Orange Report, citing a non-partisan polling organization Cook Political Report, rated the CD 22 race as a “toss up.”

My guess is that Pete Olson hopes that that is still the case.

My guess is that it isn’t.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Amuriken Idiocrasy

One of my favorite movies, a movie that did nothing at the box office, but cuts very deep with the notion that there exists a slow but steady decline of American culture and intelligence in our society, is the movie Idiocracy.

You just need to rent the video or see it on cable. It will never be shown on public TV air waves.

It is as we say in the trades, not school appropriate.

What is the point of this posting, then? Well it’s because of a curious convergence of events. As you may know, I am in the process of assembling an Election Night celebratory music CD, and Susan has been asking her readers to leave comments giving suggestions what we should include. I think she is concerned that my tastes run to the ancients, and in that she will not be completely wrong. Today someone left a comment at the Fort Bend Democrats website that maybe we should include Green Day’s American Idiot.

Now to my credit, and maybe to Susan’s surprise, I do know of the group Green Day [and know the origin of their group’s name]. But sadly Green Day’s uncensored version of American Idiot is, again, not school appropriate.

After making that decision I opened an email from Dave, and was directed to look at a YouTube video that an Obama supporter made of fanatical McCain adherents. I think I saw another part of this clip earlier this week where the videographer interviewed these people to get them to say some really dim-witted things.

And then I put it together. The American Idiot that Green Day was referring to was embodied in that crowd of McCain Maniacs.

See for yourself.

American Idiot (maybe some of you with small children need to lower your PC speaker volume, or better yet, go to the headphones).

And the here are the racist maniacs hurling their invectives at Obama supporters as they were going in to an Obama rally in Johnstown, Pa.

I think what really stunned me about this is that these people must actually think this is appropriate public behavior. Sure it looked like some of them might be uncomfortable saying these things to a video camera [and some were not at all] I think that they might have been more concerned about the fact that society might frown on their behavior, but clearly they were not ashamed at all.

This is also sort of what you notice in the movie Idiocracy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voter Identification in Texas: Know Your Rights

In 2007 State Rep. Phil King (R - Weatherford) introduced House Bill 626. This bill would have required voters to come to their polling locations not only with their voter registration certificate, but some form of identification that has your photograph on it.

That and another similar bill, HB 218, were voted down.

Texas, unlike Indiana, has no law on the books requiring voters provide a photo ID in order to vote.

But wouldn’t you know, there is a story going around that someone at the Texas Secretary of State help desk is saying that voters must provide a photo ID. They can have a registration certificate, but they need to see that photo ID before they’ll let you vote.

Now this didn’t happen to me when I early voted on Monday. But you can bet that if this lie gets spread often enough and long enough, someone is not going to be allowed to vote this year.

So if you haven’t voted yet, know your rights before you go to the polls. This information on what is required for a voter to identify him/herself was taken right off the Texas SecState’s website:

Voter registration certificate

  • Once you apply, a voter registration certificate (proof of registration) will be mailed to you within 30 days.
  • Check your certificate to be sure all information is correct. (If there is a mistake, make corrections and return it to the voter registrar immediately.)
  • When you go to the polls to vote, present your certificate as proof of registration.
    You may vote without your certificate by signing an affidavit at the polling place and showing some other form of identification (for example, driver's license, birth certificate, copy of electric bill).
  • If you lose your certificate, notify your county Voter Registrar in writing to receive a new one.
  • You will automatically receive a new certificate every two years, if you haven't moved from the address at which you are registered.

Now that fourth bullet is a little odd. I have been in voting lines year after year and I have never seen a poll worker make a voter sign an affidavit when they present their driver’s license instead of a voter registration certificate. I have actually heard one poll worker make snide comments about driver’s licenses, that they are “real forms of identification,” implying that voter registration certificates are not.

So if anything, we have poll workers in Fort Bend County that operate in contravention of the law. What a big surprise.

This idea that a photo ID will prevent voting fraud is complete nonsense. The only reason Republicans came up with it is because they are the most probable practitioners of the process. Take Republican congressional candidate Pete Olson, for example. Here’s a guy who maintained voter registration in two states, and voted in two states during the same year. A level 6 felony in Virginia.

So, do you want to see good examples of voter fraud? Go to a poll and watch a Republican poll worker to get some ideas.

Or tap into the voting records of Republicans in multiple states. Republicans love to vote, and love to vote more often than you do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Violence Against Women –Chelsie Wilson Speaks Out

I have to tell you about a member of the Fort Bend Democrats that I know and respect. Her name is Chelsie Wilson. She is a single mother, mother of a delightful boy that she calls, and as a result we all call DJ, and she had a dirty little secret. She was a battered wife.

Her husband eventually tried to close the deal on her by trying to murder her by assaulting her with a bullet that he directed to her head. Chelsie survived. She lived to tell the tale and her ex is now behind bars, courtesy of Joe Biden’s federal Violence Against Women bill. A bill that John McCain voted against.

Chelsie tells a poignant tale that you can all see here by clicking on the You Tube frame below.

If you are not moved by this video, then maybe you have voted, or will soon vote for John “McNasty” McCain and Sarah “Clueless” Palin.

You people who continue to steal my yard signs. Yes I am on my third Obama/Biden yard sign. I no longer choose to display it at night when McCain’s thieves are outdoors committing petty theft.

I know Chelsie and consider her, as you can all see, a young brilliant, compelling woman who has her entire life ahead of her (or at least, at her own admission, 25 years of it).

I also know the woman who appears in the background in the video from time to time, sorting and folding Obama T-shirts. Her name is Marsha. She made the news when she herself was beaten by a 54 year old man (15 years her junior) at a Nick Lampson rally in 2006. She also survived, but the Fort Bend County Grand Jury could find no fault in the assault. And no wonder, since the former foreman of the grand jury was the one charged with the offense.

Joe Biden’s law, the law of the land, worked for Chelsie. It didn’t work for Marsha.

Apparently, here in Fort Bend County at least, women have to get shot in the head in order for the courts to listen to them.

Peace, Chelsie.

Where to Wear Your Colors: A Generational Dispute

At the Needville Harvest Festival last weekend I took notice of what appears to be a generational dispute over how you wear your gang’s colors.

This is Cliff Vacek. He is seated on the right next to Greg Ordineaux (Ordineaux’s opponent in the upcoming election, Richard Morrison, can be seen between the two – he was sitting at the next table) Vacek was having some food at the harvest festival’s beef tasting event. Cliff Vacek sits on the bench at the 400th district court, and is being opposed by Democrat Milton Flick (not to be found on stage or anywhere for that matter).

And Cliff Vacek has a red handkerchief tied around his neck, like a boy scout. If you look closely you can see his name printed on the handkerchief. This, apparently, is Cliff Vacek’s campaign paraphernalia.

A red handkerchief.

Now maybe I need to point out that the wearing of a red handkerchief, among the younger ones of us that is, is a symbol. A symbol of which criminal gang you belong to. Vacek is as old as dirt so maybe he doesn’t know that, but as a district judge you would think that he might.

Vacek’s red handkerchief proclaims to the world that he is a member of The Bloods.

Except that he doesn’t know how to wear it. He wears it like a boy scout, or maybe a cowboy.

Others at the fair, however, younger others, know exactly how to wear gang colors. Proudly and in full view. Hanging down your leg from the back pocket of your jeans.

They look cool in their Cliff Vacek gang colors, don’t they?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voter Information Free and Easy

The Fort Bend Democrats website has been revved up and is now running like a well-oiled machine. They are now your one-stop place to shop for voter information, and it’s all free because that is what the Fort Bend Democrats do: help the voters go and vote.

They have links to every Democratic candidate’s website that they know about and is relevant to Fort Bend County, Texas state-wide, and Obama/Biden. That’s right here and you scroll down looking at the right-hand sidebar.

They have Fort Bend Early Voting Locations. Fort Bend County has expanded its early voting locations to 20 sites, and has purchased 444 additional Hart Intercivic voter machines. And if you need to find out where these locations are, you click on each location name and you have a screen of days and hours the site is open, and a link to a Google map to the place.

They have information on how to cast a straight Democratic ticket, in case you’ve decided to start doing that, but are unsure how to.

And finally, if you just couldn’t make it to any of the 20 early voting locations, they have a comprehensive list of where you vote in Fort Bend County on Election Day.

See? They've done everything for you, but it’s up to you to get your . . . self down and cast your ballot.

I have, and the view from here is fantastic.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Early Voting: The Rush to the Polls Is On

Well I usually go and early vote on the second day, giving the poll workers enough time to get the cobwebs swept off the voting machines. But today I wanted to get an idea what the turnout was going to be like, even though I can see the turnout report at all early voting locations tomorrow.

I’m a little impatient, you see.

And it looks like early voting in the general election is going to make the March primary numbers pale in comparison.

When I arrived at the sign-in point, I asked the geezer working that job about the turnout.

“How’s business today,” I asked.

“Very good,” he replied. “Too good.”

He read off of his machine that I was the 362nd voter to register on his machine on this day, and there was another one at the other end of the table, so roughly double that, 720, had shown up by 4:30 PM. He said, from past experience that the number could easily double by closing time, 7:00 PM.

Compare that prognostication to total Democratic early voters on the first day of early voting in the March primary: 1710. That’s 1710 voters county-wide. I was at just one of twenty early voting locations today.

So the message is clear, voters will be turning out in record numbers at early voting locations, and well they should. Polling locations on Election Day are going to resemble a zoo more than a Democratic process.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell and The Houston Chronicle Make Bold Sunday Endorsements

I don’t usually do this, but a reader (actually probably someone who “googled” the keywords presidential newspaper endorsements) had this to say about my prediction of an Obama landslide victory in this posting from a couple of days ago:

“And now even Colin Powell, the guy who went before the UN with the "weapons of mass destruction" argument, has endorsed Obama.”

“An impending landslide? For sure. A tsunami, an avalanche, a blow-out. Obama was always going to win this election. But now, as the train is leaving the station, everyone's going to get on board.”

General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is huge. The McCain campaign shrugged it off, naturally, saying that they have the endorsements of over 200 retired generals and admirals. But does anyone know their names? Absolutely everyone knows who Colin Powell is and who he worked for (and whose father he worked for). If you want to put it in military terms, the “USS John McCain” just took an Exocet missile in her ammunition magazine.

But where Colin Powell’s endorsement will have national effect, I want to point out another Sunday endorsement that will have local effect in SE Texas. The Houston Chronicle just announced its endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States.

“After carefully observing the Democratic and Republican nominees in drawn-out primary struggles as well as in the general campaign, including three debates, the Chronicle strongly believes that the ticket of Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden offers the best choice to lead the United States on a new course into the second decade of the 21st century.”

And further down . . .
“Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.”
This endorsement, I need to point out, is the first time the Chronicle endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate since they endorsed LBJ in 1964. A kind of no-brainer at the time, since as Vice President, Lyndon Johnson brought NASA to Houston. But by contrast, Barack Obama has brought nothing to Houston but a couple of rallies (the first attended by yours truly). So this endorsement is huge for southeast Texas.

Now I don’t subscribe to The Houston Chronicle, not because I have some misgivings with their politics, but because I object to the waste of resources that newspapers in general contribute to, especially in the internet age where it’s all online anyway (except for the crossword puzzle). But now I find myself in a dilemma. The Chronicle is sure to take a hit in its subscriber list over this endorsement. McCain’s “base” lives here among us. And they aren’t going to take kindly to this, a Democratic endorsement from a newspaper they have come to think of as one of their own.

Case in point. Here presented verbatim is one of the 310 comments the Chronicle has on its website under the op/ed endorsement piece:


[I wonder whether this ex-reader knows that "au revoir," translated from French, means "until the next time I see you." Probably not.]

So there’s my dilemma. Must I now break with tradition and subscribe to the Chronicle? I hate the waste of newsprint and ink that newspapers make, but on the other hand, I am coming to the end of my LA Times crossword puzzle book.

So maybe it’s time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sarah Palin on SNL: Punked?

So I just finished observing Sarah Palin’s performance on Saturday Night Live. It was clever at first with Alec Baldwin mistaking Sarah Palin for Tina Fey. Very clever and charming. But the ending skit where Palin refused to do the lines, a rap number, harkened to her refusal to answer direct questions in her debate with Joe Biden. And it just blew me away.

Sarah Palin got punked.

The rap number, as performed by her very pregnant replacement, dug deep. Very deep. It left me with a feeling that Sarah Palin is not in this to be the next Vice President. Sarah Palin is in this race to get her name out. This is not an honest attempt to achieve high office before she is due. It is an attempt to optimize the name. Get the name out. McCain is just an afterthought in Sarah Palin’s mind.

What the heck. It hasn’t harmed anyone to get on the news, has it? OK, "Joe the Plumber" may eventually be debunked as a shill for the Republican party, intentional or not. But Sarah Palin, as characterized by Alec Baldwin, is "hot" (but just after mistaking her for Tina Fey).

So this appears to be a trade for being acclaimed “hot” on national airwaves, versus being a credible candidate for VP.

Nice exchange.

17 Days Out: A “Before” Snapshot

So we are 17 days out from the general election. In 2 days early voting will begin in Texas. And the “robo calls” have begun in earnest. You know these calls. The slimy recorded messages that invade your landline in the last weeks before a hotly contested election.

The ones that are factually challenged.

The ones that sway the votes of the fearful and weak-minded whose votes will go to the one that scares them the least. Karl Rove knows all about these people and he is watching them from his place at He is keeping track. Here is Karl Rove’s current electoral vote map.

Rove has Obama winning if the election was held today. Winning with 313 electoral votes.

That, by the way is not the way two other electoral vote watching websites have it. At they have Obama winning 349 electoral votes as of today. Here is their electoral map.

And at, Nate Silver has Obama winning with 349.2 votes. This is the first time I have seen those two sites in agreement. Silver’s numbers have been in the 350’s for the past week or so.

So consider this a snapshot of the election before the onslaught of robo calls and the incredible amount of mudslinging that will become this presidential race. It was too much for John Kerry in 2004. Obama’s campaign is fighting back with calls for investigations of White House (that is, government) complicity in Republican voter turnout suppression.

Let’s just see where we are in two weeks.

To be continued . . .

Friday, October 17, 2008

Newspaper Presidential Endorsements Rising

Perhaps we needed to have an end to the presidential debates. Maybe the editorial boards had already made up their minds, but today we begin to see a flurry of endorsements from major metropolitan newspapers.

For Obama

The Los Angeles Times:

"We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture or capricious pronouncement. We need a leader well-grounded in the intellectual and legal foundations of American freedom. Yet we ask that the same person also possess the spark and passion to inspire the best within us: creativity, generosity and a fierce defense of justice and liberty.”

“The Times without hesitation endorses Barack Obama for president.”

The Washington Post:

“Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.”

“The choice is made easy in part by Mr. McCain's disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president. It is made easy in larger part, though, because of our admiration for Mr. Obama and the impressive qualities he has shown during this long race. Yes, we have reservations and concerns, almost inevitably, given Mr. Obama's relatively brief experience in
national politics. But we also have enormous hopes.”

The Chigago Tribune:

“It's the first time the paper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president. But the editorial board declares Obama the right man ‘to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national

The San Francisco Chronicle:

“Sen. John McCain magnified the aura of crisis, "suspending" his campaign to return to Washington, where his role in negotiations was at best tangential. Sen. Barack Obama was a portrait of calmness and deliberation, reminding Americans that it is possible for a leader to juggle more than one task at a time...”

La Prensa (New York):

“The nation also needs a humane and sensible immigration policy. While Sen. John McCain once appeared as a reasonable interlocutor on immigration reform, hegradually pandered to Republican ultra conservatives by promoting a two-step process emphasizing border enforcement. Sen. Obama clearly outlines a far superior plan that will take a smarter approach to immigration, including bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.”

For McCain

Now the question is, which major metropolitan newspapers are endorsing John McCain? Yes, you guessed it.

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post:

“McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located - and how to manipulate them - but he is not controlled by them.”

“McCain's selection of the charming, but rock-solid, outsider Sarah Palin as his running mate underscores the point.”

Now newspapers don’t have electoral votes. And not being American human beings, newspapers can’t even vote at all. But from what we are seeing here, it looks like a few rocks and pebbles are being kicked loose and are pinging, pattering and bouncing down the hillside. No snapping of branches yet, let alone the nearly infrasonic sound that landslides make at the very beginning.

But it’s the beginning of the beginning, I think.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

John McCain: Abortion Boolean Logic Substitutions

In last night’s presidential debate John McCain several times praised the eloquence of his opponent. It was part of his preparation: praise Obama’s eloquence, then say that he is eloquent in order to hide what he truly thinks.

“Well, you know, I admire so much Senator Obama's eloquence. And you really have to pay attention to words. He said, we will look at offshore drilling. Did you get that? Look at.”

“Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement inAmerica to mean almost anything.”

It must be hard, don’t you think, to be the political opponent of a man who really does know how to turn a phrase, and how to explain things simply and clearly. Two things that McCain has lots of trouble with.

Witness this exchange with Bob Schieffer as he tried to nail McCain down on who would be his choice for US Supreme Court Justice.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let's stop there and go to another question. And this one goes to Senator McCain. Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn't. Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: I would never and have never in all the years I've been there imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court. That's not appropriate to do.

SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?

McCain: [after very long-winded attempts to avoid answering the question] “I will find the best people in the world -- in the United States of America who have a history of strict adherence to the Constitution. And not legislating from the bench.”

SCHIEFFER: But even if it was someone -- even someone who had a history of being for abortion rights, you would consider them?

MCCAIN: I would consider anyone in their qualifications. I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications. But I certainly would not impose any litmus test.

SCHIEFFER: All right.

So there you have it. John McCain doesn’t want abortion rights to be a litmus test that will determine his choice for Supreme Court Justice. He just wants a Justice that is qualified, and that qualification is “a strict adherence to the Constitution.”

But he didn’t forget his base. He just told his base that abortion rights was off the table in deciding who will sit on the Supreme Court bench. So he covered himself:

“I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications.”

Now the downside to these coded messages to his base is that it is a little too circuitous and you have to make substitutions in some sort of Boolean Logic. And there are too many big words in all of that.

My suspicion is that his base may need further explanations.

In short sentences.

Oh, and the photo? The photo is of some of the + 50 people who came to the Rosenberg headquarters to watch the last debate on the big screen TV. You look at that photo and tell me if there is anything missing here? We had grumpy old white men and women, shiny young faces, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Christians and Muslims.

That’s us. The Democrats.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama / McPain Debate Number 3: The Penguin Says It All


How do you spell that?

Meh-meh-meh-eh-eh-eh-meh-heh-heh-heh-heh-eh-eh-eh-eh . . .

Olson Alibi: A Bucket So Full of Holes It Won’t Hold Water

I’ve mentioned this before in a previous posting. The Lone Star Project charged that Republican candidate for Congress in CD 22, Nick Lampson’s seat, none other than Peter G. Olson, has violated Virginia law in having voted in another state, Connecticut specifically, while a registered voter in Virginia.

It’s a felony offense.

Well today FortBendNow, which is watching this thing closely, took statements from the Olson campaign, statements on the lawsuit filed in Virginia. The lawsuit filed by the Lone Star Project.

From FortBendNow:

“In response to the complaint, Olson issued a statement through campaign spokesperson Amy Goldstein early Wednesday afternoon, saying that on the day of the Connecticut election, he was traveling between Washington and Texas. The campaign also provided a U.S. Senate travel voucher for Aug. 12-15, 2003 to document the trip.”

Oh well. Case closed, right? How could Pete Olson have cast a ballot in Newtown, Connecticut, where his parents live, when he was nowhere near Connecticut on the day of the special election?

Holy H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks they sure took care of that problem handily.

And then slam. Olson campaign spokesman Amy Goldstein said:

“… while a Peter G. Olson may have voted in the August, 2003 special election in Newtown, it was not candidate Olson.”

Well, obviously. The Peter G. Olson that cast the Connecticut ballot can’t be the candidate because the candidate was on a plane to Texas that day.

Or so he said. That day.
One reason Matt Angle, who filed the criminal complaint in Virginia, grew to suspect voter fraud was Pete Olson's multiple explanations. Said Angle:
“Rather than giving a straightforward answer, he had two or three different answers.”
At first, Olson spokeswoman Amy Goldstein told reporters that Olson was in Washington that day working all day. Then another story emerged: why would Olson drive to Connecticut and back in one day to vote when his son has just been born 4 months before? Then the story that they finally settled on. Olson was on a plane to Texas that day (the plane departed at 7:30 PM).

With alibis like that, who needs enemies?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Voting Locations in Fort Bend County: A Shell Game

A couple of days ago I mentioned in passing that it looked like the Fort Bend County elections office had unceremoniously changed the polling locations of precinct 2123.

It’s a little worse.

The polling locations of several precincts have been changed without word or warning. Thousands of voters could be left standing in front of a dark building on Election Day.

I view this as highly suspicious as I mentioned previously. This is a classic bait and switch voter suppression tactic.

And I wouldn’t be too concerned, but it looks like the county targeted two very Democratic precincts to do their nasty business. 2123 as previously reported, and also Precinct 1114, a precinct centered on the liberal leaning Teal Run development.
And I do mean liberal.

In 2006, voters in Teal Run, Precinct 1114 cast 760 straight Democratic votes (92% of all straight ticket votes cast in the precinct). In 2006 voters in Teal Run, Precinct 1114 cast 1016 votes for Barbara Ann Radnofsky who ran for US Senate against Kay Bailey Hutchison. That’s 83% of senate votes cast. Barbara Ann mustered just 36% of the vote statewide.

Precinct 2123, tucked in the far eastern corner of Fort Bend County, is even more impressively Democratic, percentage-wise anyway.

In 2006, voters in Precinct 2123 cast 314 straight Democratic votes (95% of all straight ticket votes cast in the precinct). In 2006 voters in Precinct 2123 cast 419 votes for Barbara Ann Radnofsky who ran for US Senate against Kay Bailey Hutchison. That’s 87% of senate votes cast.

But now, after voting in the same location for years, voters in 1114 and 2123 must find their way to new polling locations

Precinct 1114’s old location at Burton Elementary School is changed to Fort Bend County MUD 23, the M.R. Massey Admin B building.

Precinct 2123 old location at Meadowcreek Clubhouse is changed to Quail Valley Elementary School.

The democratic process, it seems, in Fort Bend County anyway, has become some sort of bizarre shell game with the pea being a place to cast your vote.

Quite frankly, the voting process in Iraq, blue thumbs and all, makes this democratic system look more like that of a banana republic’s.

Machiavelli would be pleased.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Perfect Storm

That was the title of a movie made not long ago. It chronicled the fate of a fishing boat that sailed to the Grand Banks one fateful day as the waves and violence generated by three separate storms at sea converged on just that one place on Earth.

The boat sank with all hands.

And now we have another perfect storm forming over the McCain campaign. It could not be better scripted had it come out of the think tank that is the Obama campaign.

John McCain selects a vice presidential candidate that wows a hungry right wing audience willing to drink any Kool-Aid that is distributed at their national convention. Never mind that Governor Palin is woefully under-qualified for the office. Never mind that she was branded last Friday as “unethical” by a bipartisan Alaska legislature committee that was assigned to look into the allegations that are now known as “Troopergate.” Never mind that she flopped answering the simple questions of Katie Couric (a media personality that is not known for her ambushes).

John McCain’s campaign has set out on a mission to defame Barack Obama as an associate of a man who was once a member of the Weather Underground, One who planted bombs in a war against another unpopular war. And in that endeavor, McCain reaped the reward of having followers who treasonously called for the murder of Barack Obama.

An outcome where McCain found himself in the impossible position of defending his political opponent.

And now, most recently we find that key rightist elements of McCain’s own party are calling for a dismissal of McCain’s entire campaign staff, as well as the discovery of actions (or is it inactions?) of the Republican governor of a key “swing state,” Florida by name, who decided that his personal appearance at Florida’s Disney World today was far more important than his appearance at a McCain rally in his own state.

Guys, I couldn’t have scripted this better than as a campaign in a tailspin.

This campaign has gone from the race that will be the Democrats’ to lose, to the race that the Republicans are throwing against the wall, hoping for some of it to stick.

Let me clue them in. Imploded campaigns and raw uncooked spaghetti do not stick to anything.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Day At the Headquarters

After watching my usual Sunday morning news programs, all the while assembling my brand spanking new Swiffer™ floor mop, I decided that before I went in to the headquarters to work for the forces of good, I would try out my Swiffer™. This thing is amazing. You can drive it into tiny nooks and pick up dust. So if you are thinking about buying one of those things, be assured that you will not be disappointed. Swiffers rock.

For a $20 mop, it had better.

Then I went in to the Rosenberg headquarters for the rest of the day.

There’s always a lot to do. We are gearing up for Get Out The Vote and so I thought we needed big charts of Early Voting locations for our phone bank, as well as little ones to post on our glass walls facing out. While doing that I noticed on the Fort Bend County Elections website that they moved another polling location.

Precinct 2123.

We looked it up, and Precinct 2123 has 746 Democratic voters in it. This is among the highest concentrations of Democrats in Fort Bend County.

This is why you need to have political diversity in county government. Otherwise what you get is systemic voter suppression.

So next on the list of things to do: cobble up a short informative note to these voters and print out mail labels for the post cards that we will be sending to 540 mailboxes.

Then Geri and Bev came in carrying a McCain/Palin yard sign and we all wondered what that was all about. It seems someone had snatched Geri’s Obama/Biden yard sign and slipped the McCain sign on the stake in its place. Well, I thought, at least now I have one of those signs to try out an idea of mine. You color in the L in Palin with a dark blue marking pen, instantly giving you what we will all experience if the unthinkable occurs: “McCain Pain”

Volunteers came in, students from a Sugar Land high school, and we set them to attaching labels to our door hangers, and then making yard signs. It is refreshing to see someone younger than 50 years old working with us for positive change.

Buyers of campaign paraphernalia streamed in and out all afternoon. We sold some yard signs to a couple from The Heights in Houston. They said that there was nothing like our place in Houston. Another couple from a more local area came in and bought yard signs and left a hefty donation. This was matched by a donation from a couple that came in to the headquarters the day before, making their donation today via Paypal. Michelle and her husband their toddler child came in and became entranced with our life-size freestanding photo cutout of Barack Obama and rued the fact that she had left her camera at home. I didn’t and snapped a photo of her standing next to Barack holding her daughter. I sent it off to her via email not 2 minutes ago.

It’s different every day and it is never boring working for Barack Obama and all Democrats on the ticket.

And you sometimes get to holler at some rabid, spittle spewing examples of the brand of Republicans we have here in Fort Bend County. Republican voters are getting madder than usual. And wouldn’t you be?

They sense impending calamity.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

When Entrepreneurs Become Profiteers

Ah capitalism. There’s nothing like the smell of capitalism in the morning. On the morning of a hurricane’s landfall, that is. It smells of . . . fetid turds.

Want to know why we are in a financial s**tstorm these days? Greed. Sheer greed. The greed of entrepreneurs. The greed of capitalists. The sheer greed of businessmen who will stop at nothing to get more for them and deprive everyone else of theirs; including breaking all the rules set against them to do this.

That’s why we are in this financial fix.

And greed isn’t just on Wall Street. It’s on Main Street as well. It’s among us.

The proof is in the pudding. When Governor Perry declared southeast Texas a disaster area, that immediately triggered state laws that prevent entrepreneurs from making obscene profits on the misfortunes of others.

But that didn’t stop the people who run the Hotel Nacogdoces in Nacogdoces, Texas from doubling their standard room rates of $49.99 a night to $99.99. Profiteering on the hard luck of Hurricane Ike evacuees.

That didn’t stop the people who run the Super 8 Brookshire Hotel in Katy, Texas from raising their room $99 per night room rate to $125 as Ike evacuees sought safe haven from a monster hurricane that was bearing down on their houses.

That didn’t stop gas stations from hiking their already burdensome prices all around the southeast.

No, it did not.

It seems we have a new plague that has spread across our country. It isn’t a biological plague, but a psychological one. The plague is called greed and while it has always been with us, it has been restricted to a small subpopulation of our society in the past.

In the past, most of us had a sense of fair play and empathy. Those two have been replaced by raw greed and it is more common than it has been in the past. More common because people have become aware of the fact that “greed is good” to abuse a quote from the movie Wall Street. Good because now it goes unpunished.

Greed is now rewarded.

Prove me wrong, I dare you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vote in the PBS Palin Poll

I received an email from one of my California relatives today warning me about a Right Wing plan to stuff the ballot box in a PBS Online Poll. Here is what it says:

Subject: PBS Sarah Palin Poll

PBS has an online poll posted asking if Sarah Palin is qualified. Apparently the right wing knew about this in advance and are flooding the voting with YES votes.

The poll will be reported on PBS and picked up by mainstream media. It can influence undecided voters in swing states.

Please do two things -- takes 20 seconds.

1) Click on link and vote yourself. Here's the link:

2) Then send this to every single Obama-Biden voter you know, and urge them to vote and pass it on.

The last thing we need is PBS saying their viewers think Sarah Palin is qualified.

I just voted and the vote is now a 49% to 49% split (2% not sure).

So in addition to everything else you are going to do today, do that, too, OK?

John Cornyn Wants Change . . . Or Maybe Not

So I guess I was one of a few politics junkies that actually tuned in to the Senatorial debate last night. This race is really flying under the radar, and only pops up occasionally when you see a TV advertisement.

I am still meeting people who don’t know who John Cornyn is, let alone Rick Noriega. When I run into the odd one who knows who Cornyn is, typically they are glad to hear that he has an opponent.

But, these people will vote for a refrigerator if it is running against John Cornyn.

So if the debate last night was meant as a means to attract the attention of the voters, it fell flat on its face. Only we junkies tuned in, you see.

So if that is what the debate was meant to accomplish, and it didn’t, what DID the debate accomplish?

Well for one thing we all got to see John Cornyn speak out of both of his mouths simultaneously.

Only people who have two faces can do that, and John Cornyn definitely has two of them.

Illustration? Let’s take the example of John Cornyn’s laughable television ad. You’ve seen it. It is a video of John Cornyn taking a walk in the country with a herd of cows. Now you can tell that he doesn’t do that very often, he is a city boy through and through. And really, so am I. But I have spent enough time out in the field, on ranches, to know this: when you walk with a herd of cattle you must look down every once in awhile.

Look down to avoid stepping in a cow pie.

But no, John Cornyn kept his gaze firmly fixed on the far horizon in this video. So my guess is that when he was done with videotaping for the day he got one of his staffers to clean his boots.

So here we have a video of John Cornyn not looking down as he walks through a herd of cattle. And we also have the voiceover claiming that he is sick of how things have gotten in Washington and how he wrote a bill to change the way things are done. Yes, that’s right, John Cornyn has picked up the Change mantra of his party leader. The mantra that John McCain lifted from the Democratic campaign.

John Cornyn, agent for change.

That’s what he is saying out of one of his two mouths. Out of the other mouth? Now this is unbelievable. Out of the other mouth, John Cornyn said in the senatorial debate last night that “I am for the status quo.”

Let me repeat that. John Cornyn said “I am for the status quo.”

How, I must ask, can one be an agent for change when they are “for the status quo?” Now that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Another way to express “pro Change” is to say “Anti-status quo”

So is John Cornyn just two-faced or is it that he was for “Change” before he was against it?

Oh, and by the way, contrast Cornyn's "Cows" TV ad with Rick Noriega's. Compared to Rick's ad, one that is full of information and substance, Cornyn's ad looks like something he just stepped in.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Noriega/Cornyn Senatorial Debate On PBS Tonight

The one and only time that Rick Noriega will be in a debate with Big Bad John Cornyn that will be seen throughout Texas is tonight. You will be able to see it on any PBS television station that broadcasts in Texas. It will be a one hour debate beginning at 8 PM. The Libertarian candidate will also be included in this debate for those who still have not gotten over Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The debate comes at an interesting moment in the Noriega campaign, as it was just announced yesterday that Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer had written off Texas, saying that Texas was out of reach. Or at least that is what they were saying at MSNBC. They later corrected themselves. From MSNBC:

“For the record, Schumer said Texas might be difficult. He declared it ‘expensive. That’s the problem.’”
Which is exactly why Schumer and others were simply drooling at Mikal Watts’ self-funded campaign early last year.


Then later, Rick Miller, a Schumer staffer, came back and made it clear that MSNBC got it wrong. All wrong. From The Chron’s political blog

“But late this afternoon, Schumer spokesman Matt Miller said MSNBC had misunderstood what Schumer was saying. Miller said Schumer was saying the committee was not spending any money on television advertising in Texas right now because the state is too big and too expensive. Miller said that did not mean Schumer was giving up on Noriega. ‘We're in no way writing off Texas, and it doesn't mean he (Noriega) won't get some money in the future,’ Miller said.”
Well I’m glad they cleared that one up before the debate. It would be pretty difficult to face an opponent who knows that his own party has written off the race as unwinnable.

Now I guess we are all wondering about how far into “the future” Miller was talking about. Because if "the future" is further than 26 days away, I guess they can keep their money.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Barack Obama Is That One

Remember Richard Nixon? I am not only old enough to remember him (he bore an uncanny resemblance to my childhood dentist), I remember his campaign song and slogan. Yes, for awhile there, we had campaign songs. Not like what we have now. Original music and lyrics.

Nixon’s campaign slogan, and the title of his campaign song, was Nixon is The One.

Being called “The One” is apparently not a bad thing at all. The band Orleans made a mint on a song with “the one” in its title.

But being called “That One” is bad. It’s very bad. African-Americans point out that it is racist. I didn’t know that, but they said that when they heard those words that John McCain uttered last night, their take was that it was a racist remark. Here read it for yourself:

“‘It speaks to the fundamental belief of racism: despite all evidence to the contrary, you are inherently beneath me simply by virtue of the melanin content of your skin,’ Ciji McBride, a 33-year-old sales professional in Los Angeles, said Wednesday.”

“Don Hammonds of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also took offence.”

“‘Regardless of intent, it showed Senator McCain to be culturally ignorant, and completely unaware of the implications of what his off-the-cuff statement meant to people of colour,’ he wrote.”

“‘Whether Senator McCain meant it that way or not, if you are a person of colour, and someone trots out the 'that one' remark, you instantly take it as racist. I know that I did.’”

Being called “The One” is a compliment. Any doubters should ask Tom “Neo” Anderson about that. But being called “That One” is like using the “N” word. It’s a code word for a man with a tan.

So the question is, was this a Fordian “Poland moment?” The same man’s famous nose dribble moment on national TV? Is this Richard Nixon debating Jack Kennedy, showing his shifty eyes to American voters?

Did we just hear McCain say “Macaca?”

Should pundits now refer to the Republican presidential candidate as John McCaca?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gross Observations on the CNN “Uncommitted Crawl”

For tonight’s presidential debate I decided to break with the past and watch it on CNN. That way I can observe the “uncommitted crawl” that they feature. Tonight CNN featured a real time metering of positive or negative feelings that Ohio uncommitted voters had on the statements and answers from our two candidates.

Why not look at this before? I am with my liberal activist colleagues here. Who cares what an uncommitted Ohio voter thinks? What the heck, if you are uncommitted at this point in the game what business do you have voting in this election? The choices cannot be clearer. They are crystal clear. As clear as ever presented to American voters in decades.

But that is precisely what lured me to CNN. I had to have a look. I had to see what these uncommitted voters are going through.

It was instructive.

First, it taught me that men are wildly emotional, and women are very conservative in issuing a swing in sentiment. More often than not men were either wildly supportive of a candidate’s position, or more negatively supportive. With some exceptions, women varied only slightly.

Doesn’t that run up against conventional wisdom?

So much for conventional wisdom.

Second it taught me that when McCain lies, and he knows when he is lying, uncommitted voters know he is lying as well, and either went neutral over his commentary period, or went slightly negative.

Both sexes.

Third, it taught me that when Obama was delivering positive points it gave him high positive marks. When McCain delivered positive points, it gave him mediocre positive marks.

In my gross, and fairly reasonably unbiased (if that is even possible here) rating, Obama’s positives out did McCain’s.

In other words, uncommitted voters responded more positively to Obama’s positives, and responded neutrally or even negatively, when McCain went on the attack in his “lying mode.” That is, whenever John McCain adopted the Republican line of “The Big Lie,” that is, lie often and lie well, uncommitted voters were unresponsive.

They didn’t buy it.

Signaling, I think, a corner turn. Americans have turned the corner on their reception of whoppers. Americans are willing to listen to a narrative rather than a lie.

Maybe, just maybe, Americans, through our impossibly uncommitted numbers, are finally growing up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Keating 5 and John McCain

With the Dow down 800 points at one point today, what do McCain and Palin talk about? Well one thing they didn’t talk about today was the financial crisis in the credit market. Instead of making a strong case for more government regulation of the financial markets and banking, Governor Palin concentrated on former Weather Underground member and Obama acquaintance, Bill Ayers, and on Obama’s former preacher. John McCain also took that tack, but also tried to associate Barack Obama with Chicago-style politics.

It’s just that they can’t talk about the financial crisis. They can’t talk about it because this crisis bears such a huge resemblance to the Savings and Loan Meltdown of the late 80’s that it just won’t do to talk about it.

Because John McCain was neck deep in the politics and the economics that lead up to the federal government’s bailout of 747 savings and loan institutions, including the one owned by Charles Keating - Lincoln Savings and Loan.

What is true is that John McCain supported deregulation of the S$L industry, just as he has supported deregulation of banks. S&Ls were allowed to invest in more risky ventures, and while things were looking up, everyone made money. Just as we had people making money while banks were making bad investments in sub-prime mortgages and everything was copasetic as long as the housing market went up and up.

McCain was caught up in the scandal, and was one of the Keating 5 along with John Glenn, Alan Cranston, Dennis DiConcini, and Don Riegle. At first, McCain, who had received campaign contributions from Keating, exerted pressure on federal S&L investigators at the behest of Keating. When the investigators disclosed that Lincoln was under criminal investigation for a number of charges, McCain flipped and cut off all contact with Keating.

McCain was later admonished by an investigating Senate panel and was told that he exercised “poor judgment.”

These things are coming out again. Partly in response to the verbal attacks on Obama’s character – attacks that one has to complete several leaps of logic to understand where they are coming from. And partly because they are germane to today’s issues.

Issues like how McCain was for deregulation before he was against it.

Issues like how McCain simply cannot learn from his past mistakes.

Issues like how McCain has, in his own colleagues’ opinion, “poor judgment.”

So the last thing McCain will do is talk about what is on the minds of Americans from coast to coast. Instead he and Palin attempted to change the subject once again. A move right out of page 17 of Karl Rove’s playbook.

I don’t think it’s going to work this time, though. This isn’t a trivial issue they are trying to lay diversions around. This is rapidly becoming THE issue.

Ignoring THE issue will only make McCain seem more and more irrelevant.

Because the relevance of John McCain in the financial crisis is not necessarily something McCain wants to talk about. Like the relevance shown in Barack Obama’s latest mini documentary on how relevant John McCain is on the issue.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

General Wes Clark Speaks At the Johnson-Rayburn-Richards Dinner

How I got to go to the annual Johnson-Rayburn-Richards dinner in Houston last night is a rather complicated story. Let’s just say that I know a couple who are lifelong Democrats, and they were invited by Leslie Taylor to sit at her table at the dinner, but my good friend Susan just wanted a night to relax and do some laundry. So I went with her “Bubba.” Because Bubba broke his wrist planting Obama/Biden 4 x 4s all over Fort Bend County, I figured I would have to cut his food up, but Bubba managed just fine.

I did, too. Especially when I learned that not only did Leslie Taylor have a VIP table, enabling us to mingle in the VIP room with an open bar, but also that her table was right down in front. I decided to video General Clark’s speech, well as much of his speech as my 5 gig flash drive would store, anyway, and had a great seat to do just that.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found that I had captured all 30 minutes of General Clark’s speech. And I was dumbfounded when I discovered that there was 1.6 gigabytes of space remaining. So had I known, I could have also videoed Chris Bell as he read Sarah Palin’s letter to General Clark.

Anyhoo . . .

YouTube has a time/size limit so I broke up the speech into 4 parts, each of which has its own theme.

Here is Part 1 – I call it “Eight Years and Four Crises.”

Here is Part 2 – Let’s call this one “New Ideas in 2008.”

Part 3 I like to call “Their Ideas Don’t Work”

And finally, Wes Clark concluded with an exhortation to his audience to be ambassadors of new ideas to those around them, friends, relatives, work mates. People don’t make decisions by watching the news, says General Clark. They make decisions by talking to other people. For this reason Wesley Clark called for his audience to “Go Hug a Republican.”

Now I have to ask this question. Do you think Barack Obama will have a place for General Clark in his administration? That has got to be a big affirmative, hasn’t it?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's Party Time In Fort Bend County

Look at what I found in my mailbox today.

Obama Supporter: A Pariah in His Own Neighborhood

I was at the Fort Bend Democrats’ Rosenberg headquarters yesterday evening. While I was trying to watch Keith Olberman on the big screen TV, Marsha shoved a piece of yellow lined notebook paper under my nose.

I assumed from that, that she wanted me to read it.

So I read it.

It was a statement from a guy who lives in my development. A guy who witnessed two men stealing his two Obama yard signs from his front lawn and driving off with them.

Here, I’ll just let you read the statement. I edited out some of the locations:

“I work from my home and saw two men up in my driveway and steal my Obama signs. 2 of them that were in my front yard. I jumped in my car and caught up with them and demanded my signs back. The two men gave my signs back and I noticed that they had a car full of Barack Obama signs. They must have stolen all of them in the neighborhood. As the guys gave me the signs a lady saw what was happening and cussed me, even after I told her what was going on. She saw my signs and she said “Those signs are worthless anyway. I’m glad they took them.” Then another man walked up to me and cussed me out as well. I could not believe it. I tried to explain to him what happened and he called me a “hippie.” With the encounters with my neighbors, I was unable to get the license plate number of the car, but I recognized the gentleman. 1 works at Quizno’s on [location deleted] and the other at Randall’s in [my development]. It is not easy being a Democrat in [my development].

Well that solved one mystery. The mystery of where my white "Obama '08" sign went off to. I've had it since February, but it was stolen last week. I immediately replaced it with one of those brand new Obama/Biden signs. I noted this morning that it's still there along with my "Had Enough? Vote Democratic for a change . . ." sign. The one that suffered a "lay down" earlier this week.
And yes, that's Hurricane Ike debris. Still not picked up by the trash hauling service that I pay for.

Marsha later told me that the guy went to the Randall’s store and confronted the sign stealing employee in front of the store’s manager. He claimed to be asleep at the time of the theft. Apparently he then went to file a complaint at the county sheriff’s office.

Can you imagine how the sheriff’s office will react to an eye-witness account of petty thievery of Democratic yard signs? Personal knowledge of the thieves’ identities?

Yeah, I agree. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the dragnet.