Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kay's clever but clueless bailout attack on Rick...

Michael Quinn Sullivan sez that Kay's vote gave away three times the entire Texas 2 year budget with her bailout vote (link). Excerpt follows...

Let us not forget that this monstrosity was encouraged by then-President George W. Bush and received 75 votes in the Senate – including from Texas’ own Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. Hutchison is a candidate for governor.

(If the gubernatorial campaign issue that motivates you is the giving of taxpayer funds to fat-cat corporations and private entities, keep in mind that with one vote Sen. Hutchison gave away more than three-times the size of the entire Texas biennial budget.)

Kay's team tried to blur the issue so they made some mousepads that they gave out to the press corps... on the mousepads, it's got information about Rick and what they believe to be support for the "bad" bailout Kay voted for. TARP to Kay's team stands for Total Amnesia Rick Perry. Kay's team is trying to spin one of their worst negatives and blur the issue, like they have attempted to blur a lot of issues.

On this, Kay voted for the actual bailout. Remember those cat videos Rick's peeps put out?


Kay voted for TARP and auto bailouts. Rick opposed them.

Rick said in a statement before the bailout that he was against it, as reported by Jason Embry last year (link). Excerpt follows...

Shortly before the Senate voted on the bailout package, Perry issued a statement that appeared to condemn it.

"In a free market economy, government should not be in the business of using taxpayer dollars to bail out corporate America," Perry said.

The whole pre bailout statement can be found here... (link)...

Before the bailout, Rick was clearly on record against the bailout. Kay was busy flipping and flopping on it... saying she wasn't going to do it, then saying she was... she was just a mess...

Kay's peeps are flogging this letter from Rick and his counterpart at the DGA as their proof, which is really a desperate hail mary pass (link). Full text of the letter follows...
As leaders of our respective organizations, we don't always see eye to eye on policy, but we come together today with one clear purpose. We strongly urge Congress to leave partisanship at the door and pass an economic recovery package. We both believe that it’s time to stand together for our country.

There is a time for partisanship and there is a time for getting things done. No one likes the hand they've been dealt, and now is not the time to assign blame. It is time for Washington, D.C. to step up, be responsible and do what's in the best interest of American taxpayers and our economy.

This economic crisis is not just impacting Wall Street; it is also making life harder for everyday Americans. Americans across the country and in every demographic are feeling the pinch. If Congress does not act soon, the situation will grow appreciably worse. It's time for leadership. Congress needs to act now.
Endorsing action is one thing, as everyone believed we had to do something.... but Rick's letter certainly does not endorse bailouts and... again... Rick was very clearly on the record against bailouts. Economic recovery packages passed before the one in October typically involved tax cuts, not bailouts.

Both Rick who was at the time the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association clarified that the letter was not pro bailout (link). Excerpt follows...

But Brian Namey, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, said the letter was "not an endorsement of any particular plan."

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said Perry's statement and the letter were intended to urge Congress to agree on a solution, not to endorse one.

I think that's got to be Kay's strategy at this point... it's not even about moving to the right of Rick, it's about trying to confuse people with these distractions. Journalists in Texas seem very very lazy to not sort through these issues and call her out...

For example...

Kay gets billions in earmarks that directly benefit her husband's bottom line and accelerate the wealth of Kay and Ray. They didn't disclose their conflict of interest with these shady appropriations.

So what they try to do is blur the issue by saying Rick's wealth has been fueled by land deals, even though really Rick's net worth is really not high at all for a successful 59 year old guy whose wife also worked. Rick's land deals were all disclosed, and they were all pretty much within the realm of normality.

The facts on Kay's personal wealth enrichment due to her office should really raise the ire of anyone who cares about honest and open government...

But hey, the headlines sensationalizing the issue of Rick making a modest profit by buying land and selling it years later blur the issues nicely... and the lazy media helps Kay's team blur unequal issues into equally bad headlines and stories that will no doubt be used in campaign attack ads next February.

Grover Norquist to campaign with Rick...

Jason Embry has the scoop (link). Excerpt follows...

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most visible anti-tax crusaders in the country, will be in Austin on Thursday to campaign for Gov. Rick Perry. The two will appear together at a private luncheon with a couple dozen conservative activists. Then, at a press event, Perry will sign a pledge not to support tax increases — something that Norquist, with considerable success, has encouraged politicians all over the country to do.

More on this later, but his appearance will come just after Perry said Tuesday that he wants a constitutional amendment to say it will take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise state taxes.

Norquist (you could call him the Michael Quinn Sullivan of national politics) once said, “We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.” He is also famous for saying he wanted to get government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Nonetheless, this is a Republican primary, and the Perry campaign believes there will be many more conservatives voting than moderates. So despite Norquist’s controversial statements over the year, his blessing could sway voters who see little difference between Hutchison’s and Perry’s records on fiscal policy.

However, it is worth noting that Hutchison has already signed the Norquist pledge.

As someone who has dealt with state campaigns quite a bit, I think there is a state level tax pledge that is different from the federal pledge... from my googling I can't see that she has signed the Texas level pledge... but then again very few politicians at the lege have signed it either... it is kind of a new thing at the state level.

Story gets Rick's web thing wrong, I am told...

Christi Hoppe wrote something that I know with my own eyes to be wrong (link). Excerpt follows...

But just as the Republican was to begin speaking, the campaign's server was overloaded and had to be taken offline, disconnecting about 22,000 viewers. Some users were able to view the speech with no trouble.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner attributed the disruption to a denial-of-service attack, in which servers are deliberately bombarded with requests for data.

I was not disconnected nor were a lot of people I have spoken with who were already logged onto the system. I watched the entire video. So did other bloggers and journalists...

I am not techie enough to know all the terminology, but I did hear from one of Rick's technology vendor friends of mine that the video itself was hosted on an entirely separate server with dedicated space, which is why people were not interrupted. He says Rick's campaign was "obsessed" with having enough bandwidth, so they basically overbought by several times for the day. Their goal was to have enough room for up to hundreds of thousands of watchers... which was never even a remote possibility... and the video portion was never the problem...

It also explains why so many people who were logged on could continue watching the video. The video was fine and dandy, it was Rick's site itself that was taken down. If you were already on the site and not clicking around or refreshing you wouldn't have had any problems.

I think it is pretty amazing that Rick had far more not only at his invite only event in a secretive location than Kay had at her high school gym, but from the looks of it he had many many times more people watch his announcement than watched Kay's entire week long tour.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kay and Democrats attacking Rick in unison...

The Burnt Orange guys and Kay's team continues to attack Rick despite being de-bunked already by this Anthony Kukla guy, the vendor who runs Rick's website...

People like me who were logged on before the attack seemed to have no problems at all. I have spoken with a few people who were on it, and it seems like some of the reporters like Omar Villafranca were on it and saw it... seems like a lot of people were on just fine...

From what I can tell, Rick's peeps filled up Facebook for a full week before this, plastered Twitter for a full week before, loaded up my email box about 30 times with emails and personal videos, and even sent two text messages to my phone... they also took out banner ads all over conservative blogs and websites... they tapped into their Home Headquarter program... they emailed lobby groups... they even approached me about putting an ad on RickvsKay, but I don't do ads here... who knows what other secret home schooler Christian groups blasted this link out...

In other words I wouldn't doubt it if they had huge numbers watching... with potentially many more who couldn't watch it...

I think some of the people who were caught laughing at Rick's team when they were the victim of a serious crime now feel like they have to justify their comments... they had to backtrack and are clinging to quibbles... when the real issue is Rick's site was hacked or whatever the terminology is. I don't know jack crap about technical web stuff, that's why I hire some people I consider to be very good to do my bidding...

Kay refers reporter to their internet security expert, who vouches for Rick...

Oops. Looks like Rick's peeps actually know what they are talking about, and the people who have been crowing about Rick's peeps just making it up are possibly full of crap (link). Excerpt follows...

UPDATE: I talked with Anthony Kukla, the president of Redglue, Inc., the Austin-based service provider for Perry's campaign site and the event. Kukla described it as a denial-of-service attack called a SYN flood. He said it occurred around 11:20 a.m., ten minutes before Perry was to start his announcement.

Kukla explained that such an attack fakes a massive number of users trying to connect to the server, with the goal of tying it up. He said the attack was flagged by the company's firewall system, traffic was shut down and then connections were re-set.

He said the problem was wrapped up within 10 minutes. Kukla said there's no chance that there were simply too many people trying to sign on. He said the server could have handled anything that was thrown at it.

The server wasn't completely tied up by the attack, he said, but a number of people who wanted to get on wouldn't have been able to do so while it was going on.

"Hackers do this all the time -- targeting people, trying to shut sites down," Kukla said. "There's not a 100 percent way of keeping these things from occurring."

Hutchison's campaign referred me to Doug Landoll, who said he has an information security company called Lantego in Austin. He said he's not affiliated with the campaign. When I relayed Kukla's explanation, he said it makes sense.

"It's very difficult to protect yourself from a SYN flood," Landoll said.

Methinks Kay's team stepped in it and tried to refer reporters to an "internet security expert" who they believed was prepared to mock and make fun of Rick's internet guy... only he ended up vouching for Rick's internet guy instead.

Kay's prescription for dropping out...

Radio host Robert Pratt is still on this thing about Kay maybe giving herself an out (link). Excerpt follows...

Host Chad Hasty posed the much asked question about when it is was Hutchison plans to resign from the U.S. Senate. She already told Dallas radio listeners that it would be this Fall, likely October or November.

“Well, I had hoped to resign this Fall, sometime before the end of the year. And that is still my goal,” stated the Senator on KFYO.

Note the use of the past tense word “had”. Now couple it with what was delivered next, a classic way to get out of the race for governor: “But as long as healthcare is out there, I am going to do everything possible to fight this government takeover. It’s just too important to all of us that we stay and fight the government takeover of healthcare,” added Senator Hutchison.

The host Chad Hasty asked if healthcare is on the table through 2010, does that mean she would stay in the Senate throughout the election?

“I didn’t say I would stay until it’s finished. I’m hoping, for sure, that we’ll be able to finish it sometime this Fall. I have not made a decision about staying beyond that,” replied the Senator.

Once again voters are with left with: Which is it Senator? Do you plan to resign? Do you plan to stay to fight Obama-care? When will you take a decision about the issue?

The deadline for Kay to resign and avoid an expensive special election has come and gone. The more Kay puts it off, the more people talk about her maybe not really being in the race for real. Kay's peeps sure seem to attack Rick on an almost hourly basis, so this may be wishful thinking on the part of Robert Pratt. Then again, Kay has dropped out before.

Rick's online announcement gets taken down by hackers...

Mark Miner over at Team Rick put out this statement about Rick's site being hacked...
“Today’s ‘Talkin' Texas’ webcast by Gov. Perry was deliberately interrupted by a denial-of-service attack, preventing countless users from logging in to view the Governor’s remarks. This planned and coordinated attack was political sabotage, and we are working to identify those responsible for this illegal activity. Before the attack was initiated, more than 22,000 users were able to log in and view Gov. Perry’s complete remarks, which will be distributed shortly.”
I saw it just fine, other than the audio being out of sync for a few seconds right at the beginning. Apparently the site was hacked though and people who tried to log on were unable to do so...

The Burnt Orange peeps think Rick is making the whole thing up, and so do Kay's peeps, but I think either it was attacked or it wasn't... someone is going to have egg on their face. My money is on Burnt Orange and Kay's spokesman having egg on their face for stepping in this issue. It is Burnt Orange's job to mess with any and all Republican efforts, and they are just a blog like this is a blog so they are just trying to get readers... but I would have stayed quiet if I were Kay's team...

In fact, it looks like Kay's other spokesman deleted some of his tweets probably realizing he had stepped in it already.

One of Rick's peeps assures me that this was definitely a denial of service attack, and they can pinpoint exactly when it happened.

Rick's Home Headquarter program...

The Dallas Morning News today ran an "exclusive" article about Rick's grassroots program that has been up and running publicly for several months now (link). Excerpt follows...

Perry's use of volunteers takes a page out of the playbooks of successful grass-roots campaigns before him, including last year's historic presidential run by Barack Obama and the groundbreaking ground game used by George W. Bush in his runs for the White House.

Incentives for those efforts included photos, backstage passes, trips to swanky fundraisers and even commemorative coins. None paid straight cash.

Perry's 2006 campaign had a similar approach, as volunteers competed to accumulate points for recruiting voters.

Jonathan Neerman, now the Dallas County Republican Party chairman, was one of those volunteers. He said no cash was involved then.

"If people were getting paid, I didn't know about it," he said. "I want my check."

I have never understood journalists who cover campaigns but don't go and sign up for the candidate emails and all the various programs the campaigns have to offer... in other words how is this "exclusive" when it has been out there for forever... I even signed in for this just like I signed in for all of Kay's stuff... just to see what it is all about... but I digress...

Kay's peeps are all over this, saying it is sleazy tactics and paying people for votes... which is total spin from Kay's peeps.

I signed up back back in June and have received zero money nor will I... because that is not what it is about...

Basically all I see on my end are occasional emails about events in my vicinity and things of that nature. I think what Kay's peeps are getting very wrong here is that this is just incentive pay for Rick's field staff... basically a way give Rick's hundreds or even thousands of field rep staffer peeps a way to log in and identify supporters they have recruited... this is NOT paying people to vote or attend events for Rick from my experience.

In every campaign I have seen or been involved in field staff must hit vote targets in their regions or districts... if they don't hit the target they often don't find work again in the next cycle. I can't count how many political resumes I have seen over the years that brag about how so and so "exceeded my vote goal by 23%" or those kinds of boasts.

If a field staff can't get paid to go out and recruit supporters, and a campaign can't pay or not pay its staffers based on performance, then what is the point of campaigns? What campaign doesn't hire field staff to recruit? I think Rick's peeps just figured out that you can't simply hire field staff and trust that they will perform... you have to give them tangible goals to reach.

Why is Kay running again?

The influential conservative blog The American Thinker blogs about Kay and her quest to become governor (link). Excerpt follows...
Hutchison seems to be more interested in personal aggrandizement than in the future of the state that has been very good to her.

Thanks to her ambition, Republicans will be forced to take sides in the coming bloodbath that can only embolden the opposition party. When the smoke clears, will the state be any better off than it is now? If Senator Hutchison really cared about the next generation, instead of the next election, she would put an end to this reckless campaign and continue her capable service to the country. By doing so, she could prove to be a statesman after all.
Read some of the comments on that blog... she is getting savaged by people who agree that there is nothing redeeming in her run right now. Her run only seems self serving when you really break it down... there was no great outcry for her to get in the race like you saw for Pat Toomey to run against Arlen Specter...

Anyone watching this Talking Texas thing with Rick ?

Rick is doing some sort of thing on the internet today... check out his website if you don't know what I am talking about...

I have a meeting at 11, but I am hoping I can jump on and watch part of it...

Consider this an open comments thread.

Wait, Rick is a superhero?

Some kid in Corpus Christi was confused and thought Rick was some sort of superhero (link). Excerpt follows...

Look, up in the sky! It’s ... Gov. Perry?

Corpus Christi International Airport spokeswoman Angela Rowe brought her son Holden, 3, to a fundraiser held for Perry at Jerry and Glenda Kane’s home Wednesday night.

Holden, who was dressed like Spider-Man and waiting to have his picture taken with Perry, was convinced that the governor was a superhero.

The boy quizzed his mother and the Kanes’ son Jeff about where the governor’s superhero suit was and whether the governor wears a cape.

“He’s wearing his costume,” Jeff Kane said. “It just looks like a suit. His jacket, it’s super bulletproof.”

When Holden got to the front of the line, Perry corrected Kane’s assertion about his costume.

“This is not my Superman costume,” the governor said. “I have a different one at home for when I’m in superhero mode.”

Listen... I like Rick and even wrote a check to him and endorsed earlier this summer... but idolizing our politicians is really getting out of hand.... the Obama worship was bad, but telling your kid the politician is a super hero is only going to set this kid up for disappointment when he grows up and politicians let him down...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is Kay really running?

National Review Online (link). Excerpt follows...

Senator Hutchison said she had hoped that the health-care fight would be wrapped up by the end of the year, and that she “had hoped” she’d be able to resign by the end of the year, and then revisited the question and said that she didn’t say she was going to stay until the end of the health-care fight. Another host, Robert Pratt, points out that today was the last day that Hutchison could have resigned and had the special election to replace her held on November 3, in conjunction with another election already scheduled for that date. Texas’s secretary of state, Hope Andrade, says that holding a separate election will cost Texas taxpayers up to $30 million.

Either way, it’s a win-win for Rick Perry. He didn’t want the special election to happen on November 3 because there’s a Houston city-council election on that day, too, and the additional Democratic turnout would have favored Bill White, the Democratic mayor of Houston who is running for Hutchison’s Senate seat. But he’ll be sure to hit Hutchison for imposing (up to) $30 million in unnecessary costs on Texas taxpayers.

It should be noted that neither of those radio guys is a KBH fan. And Jennifer Baker, Hutchison’s spokesman, says that the senator unequivocally is running for governor and dismisses the speculation as “Perry-generated rumors.” She also says that the $30 million election cost estimate is exaggerated—a worst-case scenario. “Once the senator resigns, it will be in the governor’s hands,” she says. “He will have the opportunity to do the fiscally responsible thing. But we expect him, as usual, to do whatever is in his own best political interests.”

Personally, I think they're making a little more of what Hutchison said than is entirely justified, but she did not sound terribly sure of herself.

On top of that Michael Q. Sullivan had a poll on the Empower Texans site today (link)...

Should U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison resign her seat today?

Yes; it saves taxpayers up to $30 million.
26% (312 votes)
Yes; she needs to focus on running for governor.
5% (62 votes)
No; she can do both and the cost isn't relevant.
7% (88 votes)
No; I'm worried the seat would be won by a Democrat.
12% (143 votes)
No; she should stay in the Senate and not even run for governor.
46% (563 votes)
I'm undecided.
4% (43 votes)
Total votes: 1211
Kay does seem to be giving herself some serious wiggle room to drop out...

Polls

I am hearing a lot of chatter out there about the polls. Everyone wants to back the winner, and nobody is quite sure which polls to trust. Paul Burka thinks Rick is up by 5 (link). Excerpt follows...

“Things are seldom what they seem.
Skim milk masquerades as cream.”

–Gilbert and Sullivan

A reputable GOP consultant who is not engaged with either gubernatorial campaign has concluded after looking at the crosstabs of the Rasmussen poll that the poll’s conclusion that Hutchison is leading by Perry by 2 points is unreliable. I have seen the crosstabs, and they are weird.

I have no idea what to think about most polls, but I have a feeling that most people agree that Rick is up by 5 or 10 points. Day after day of lobby groups and associations endorsing Rick... one after the other... proves that the so called smart money is on Rick at this point... those groups do not endorse candidates unless they think they will win. Nobody wants to be on the outs when it comes to the eventual winner...

On the other hand I have heard that Rick's internal poll had him up by even more than that, and Kay's internal poll also had Rick up by 17. Who knows how accurate those are, but that's the reality everyone is operating off of.

LOL... Burnt Orange compares Kay's health care plan to Obama's health care plan...

Burnt Orange is obviously the key liberal blog in Texas, but they have some funny observations about Kay and her health care plans (link). Excerpt follows...

Health Exchanges

Obama: "We'll do this by creating a new insurance exchange -- a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices." (Source)

Hutchison:
"The health exchange places all the decision-making power into the hands of the consumer. A state-level health exchange would allow consumers to compare plans at a single shopping point." (Source)

  • Portable Health Insurance

Obama: "If you lose your job or you change your job, you'll be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you'll be able to get coverage." (Source)

Hutchison: "A health exchange would streamline coverage for families with both spouses employed by allowing contributions from multiple employers to be pooled...It could eliminate gaps in care because plan benefits are portable from job to job." (Source)

  • Choice Lowers Cost
Obama: "Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage." (Source)

Hutchison: "As consumers are given the opportunity to make informed choices, competition will increase, which results in lower consumer cost and simplified offerings." (Source)

Senator Hutchison is proposing the same health care plan as Democrats, only it is more expensive because it would do nothing to stop insurance companies from denying Americans coverage due to preexisting conditions.

I have hit Kay before for opposing the Obama health care plans, while supporting many of the tenets of his plan...

Kay has also been for bigger government health care many times over her career in the form of expanded Medicaid and CHIP. She has not only expanded government health care but voted for federal mandates to be placed upon Texas.

On health care Burnt Orange got some of the similarities right between Kay and Obama but they didn't go far enough...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tina Benkiser quits to go work for Rick...

I spoke with a couple of the people who were there at the SREC meeting when Tina made her announcement... here is what I heard.

First was that nobody saw her announcement coming. I heard rumors of something like this weeks ago, but then those rumors seemed not to be true with each passing day. I had heard back then she would quit and let someone else step up... and that she was going to "campaign for" one of the candidates... I didn't know which one, Rick or Kay. Turns out it was Rick. From the reports of people in the room, when she uttered the words about resigning and her intentions, the air in the room completely turned into a vacuum for a few moments, going silent, then the room began buzzing.

Second I heard that nobody on Kay's team saw this coming, and that they were completely blindsided at first not knowing how to react. The reaction later on turned to dismissive attitude, and even an attitude of downplaying Tina Benkiser and her considerable influence with leaders around the state. They point to the fact that Republicans only have 76 seats in the Texas House now, down from 88 in 2003. If they hadn't noticed, Republicans lost several dozen seats and the majority nationally, and in Texas Republicans still have a majority at the state level despite the Obama effect, an unprecedented amount of liberal money spent, and some surprising losses in 2006 and 2008. I think you have to look at the policies that have been enacted, and other than Voter I.D. being filibustered by the Democrats we in Texas have been a leader in the national conservative movement. One of Kay's staffers worked at the state party over that same time, so he should know better.

Third I heard that when Tina Benkiser made her announcement some people got up to leave the room and get on the phone. Some people found this to be rather rude, others just viewed it as keeping people in the loop. I would have needed to be there to judge for myself, but I could see what they meant by "rude."

Fourth I heard that Tina's resignation not only gives Rick a new high level person to help gather grassroots support... it also allows the Texas Republican Party a chance to put some new energy in place. I have already heard the leading choices amongst the SREC are all close with Rick and his peeps. I am told they are grateful to Rick for giving Tina Benkiser a chance to leave and give someone else a chance without a messy intraparty challenge... I heard from more than one person that this was a "huge coup for Rick Perry" and "Rick Perry is looking like he is the only one who knows his way around Texas Republican Party politics."

Fifth I heard conflicting things and some frankly kind of stupid misinformation from Kay's side about Tina's new role and the status of the current team members including one of the team players on Rick's side who has been with Rick for more than a decade, but I doubt anyone takes those rumors seriously. I also have a feeling a lot of the details about Tina's role have not been determined yet.

On that issue... I am told that Terry Sullivan is "going nowhere" and Kay never intended to replace him, just bring in help with Keats Norfleet.

Sixth I heard that Tina is bringing some other high level support and money along with her to help out with Rick's campaign. More endorsements perhaps? Rick has been ticking off endorsements almost daily as it is...

Seventh I heard that a big majority of the SREC supports Rick and is working behind the scenes for him in bigger ways than I had realized.

I think the state chairman of the Republican Party of Texas quitting her post to go work for Rick shows just what an uphill challenge Kay has in this race. Mostly it shows the perception out there that Rick just knows what he is doing, Kay does not... it shows that there is a real bandwagon effect happening right now for Rick...

In March though I think the staff assignments may not make as much difference as message and effectiveness in delivering the message from the candidates themselves.

We will see won't we.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shake up at Kay's campaign staff... again?

Been hearing rumors about Kay bringing on additional campaign staff and that she might not be 100% satisfied with her current peeps... now this (link). Excerpt follows from the Palmetto Scoop...

kbhterry

NEW HUTCHISON ADVISOR COULD REPLACE SC POLITICO

South Carolina’s brief respite from “Terrible” Terry Sullivan, a politico known for his downright dirty campaign tactics, may be at an end.

Less than two months after Sullivan went to Texas to run the gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Lone Star State politicos say he might soon be out of a job.

“Word around Austin is that Hutchison is bringing in a new guy Keats Norfleet, to right her ship, because Sullivan is not working out,” said one Texas insider.

David Oefinger of TexasAGNet.com confirmed on his Website that Norfleet had been named Hutchison’s senior campaign advisor.

Sullivan’s sudden removal wouldn’t be too shocking given his awful first 50 days at the new post.

In early August, Hutchison’s campaign was busted by Google for allegedly loading their brand new campaign website with more than 2,200 hidden phrases — including “rick perry gay.” Rick Perry is the current governor of Texas and Hutchison’s primary opponent.

Later that month, Hutchison’s campaign announcement in her hometown of La Marque drew barely two dozen supporters.

Then, on Tuesday, Hutchison’s campaign was exposed video taping a Perry stump speech and trying to pass off an edited version that made it look like the governor said Texas was recession-proof, when he didn’t.

Some believe this week’s fiasco may have been the final straw that will end Sullivan’s brief tenure in Texas. I suppose we will find out in the coming days…

I am hearing different rumors from different sources, but the real deal here is that there does seem to be a lot of turmoil at her campaign. Maybe that is the point... to keep people on their toes and make them work harder to avoid getting canned?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kay told to move to the right...

Funny quote of the day from POLITICO (link).
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison speaks at a campaign event.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison speaks at a campaign event. | AP Close

“Sen. Hutchison, can you please move to your right?” — The photographer talking to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) while taking the Senate class picture Tuesday afternoon. Everyone erupted in laughter and a few were heard saying “Primary!” Ironically, Hutchison actually needed to move a bit more to the left — not right.

The New York Times also sez (link)...

The photographer taking senators’ official photo for this 111th Congress on Tuesday didn’t have to command “smile.” Instead she got her subjects laughing out loud with an unintended political quip.

The photographer had already taken a few shots of the Democrats and Republicans seated at their desks in the Senate chamber, with a simple count of 1-2-3, when she directed, “Senator Hutchison, could you move to your right?”

As Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas, dutifully—and sheepishly—did so, her colleagues cracked up.

The assembled political junkies were well aware that conservative Republicans back in Texas have been pressing the senator to make the same rightward move—politically—now that she has begun campaigning for governor against the Republican incumbent, Gov. Rick Perry.

In their intra-party rivalry, which is shaping up as one of the hottest matches of the 2010 midterm election season, Mrs. Hutchison is the relative moderate, particularly on social issues. That makes her unpopular with some of the socially conservative activists who dominate the Texas Republican Party, but she argues that the party must broaden its appeal or suffer further losses in the state.

Funny moment there for Kay....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Liberal blog posts video of Rick on Saturday saying there is a recession...

A little more context from the liberal blog (link)...

This whole country’s in a recession. You don’t lose the number of jobs that we’ve lost in this country — and Texas has been impacted too. But, there’s no doubt that the impact is substantially less on Texas because of the policies that we’ve put in place. You better believe it — every family, every person who’s lost a job is a reflection of some policy, generally speaking policies that have come out of Washington, DC…

But you ask any people in the country which state would you rather economically be in than any other one, they rather be in Texas. We balanced our budget, we gave 40,000 small businesses a tax cut and we’re working towards having 9 billion dollars in our rainy day fund. In anybody’s estimation, that’s good economic policy that’s been put in place. Are we worried about what Washington’s doing and the impact that it’s having on the state of Texas and the recession that it’s pushing Texas farther into? Absolutely.

I think the real story is :19 is never enough to really get a feel for what a candidate is thinking or feeling. Try 1 or 2 minutes, and then a gaffe is actually a lot worse, because it is in context. This whole thing was not really a gaffe so much as something taken out of context, from what I am hearing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Texas really might already be out of the recession...

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has been going around saying that the recession might already be over. Another Texas survey showed increased confidence (link). Excerpt follows...

Texas employee confidence increased in August after a two-point dip the month before, according to the latest Spherion Employment Report.

The Texas Employee Confidence Index rose nearly two points to 53.7 — a 12-month record high, according to the company.

Other findings included:

• Twenty-eight percent of Texas workers believe the economy is getting weaker, down 19 percentage points from July.

• The number of people who don’t think they will lose their jobs was up 4 percent to 80 percent from July.

• Sixty percent of workers believe it is unlikely they will look for a new job in the next 12 months, up from 56 percent in July.

• Sixty percent of Texas workers are confident in the future of their current employer, down 10 percentage points from the previous month.

“Although the Texas unemployment rate registered below the U.S. jobless rate, workers continue to harbor mixed emotions,” Kim Lockhart, regional vice president for Spherion in Texas, said.

“A prime example of this uncertainty is illustrated by the fact that more workers reported confidence in their own job security, but did not have the same sentiment toward the future of their current employers.”

There is also a Brookings Institute study showing that some Texas cities are indeed out of the recession already (link). If the economy goes really really sour, Rick will have to rely on social issues to carry the day. If things still are perceived to be better in Texas than in the rest of the country then Rick wins easily with or without social conservative voters.

Good expose on why Kay has not yet resigned... she is using the DC perks for now...

Kay is using her Washington, DC perks in a big way in her Texas campaign (link). Excerpt follows...

Hutchison making Washington step on path to Austin

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, is harnessing the powers of incumbency in Congress to wage a two-front campaign in the nation's capital and in Texas to unseat Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Republican.
I think in a lot of ways she is playing right into Rick's hands by staying in Washington, but she also is gaining a lot of perks from the job that will be hard for her to leave behind... being able to deliver earmarks to each city, each university, each region, and things of this nature, make her DC incumbency a very potent political weapon...


Texas and recession... no 19 second video can capture this situation....

There have been a lot of new numbers coming out about the economy lately. Brookings sez that at least a couple of cities in Texas are already not in recession (link). Recession heat maps show comparatively cool climate in Texas (link). The Texas unemployment rate is nearly 2 points below the national average, and 4 percent lower than the chief rival California. Still, unemployment in Texas is up to 8%. A lot of people are worried, and all of this Obama health care stuff is making a lot of people nervous. Yes Texas is the best state economy in the country, but that is not enough when the entire country is in terrible shape and people are convinced the entire country is in a second great depression. To use an insensitive common paraphrase, being the best off right now is like winning the special olympics...

Kay's campaign, liberal blogs, and a few Texas reporters have posted a video of Rick boasting about the Texas economy (link). In the video Rick appears to get a little carried away with just how well Texas is doing... saying Texas is "recession proof" and then recalling a conversation he had with someone where the words "what recession?" came up... and then the video cuts out abruptly. It has been watched more than 14 thousand times because it has been linked on all the major liberal blogs and POLITICO.

The video is the only video posted on an anonymous YouTube page... it has all the hallmarks of a campaign hit video from Kay's campaign.

Paul Burka asks if the video is a dirty trick (link). Excerpt follows...

The video does end abruptly, but I didn’t think anything about it, as many videos, particularly those on YouTube (as this one is), are edited to present the most interesting material.

It is my hope that another video exists that will clear this up. I said some pretty harsh things about Perry, and if there is a tape that indeed shows him expressing appropriate concern about the recession following his joke, then I will rephrase my comments accordingly. As I said in the original post, I was surprised, because Perry is a very skillful and disciplined campaigner, and this was not a typical performance. I hope that the truth comes out.

Paul, it is NOT a dirty trick, but any purported journalist who hosts this stuff and gives it credibility and seeding for viral dissemination is the willing participant in a blatant manipulation from a campaign. Journalists who do this are either played like a fiddle, or appear just a little too eager to buy into anything anti Rick. Look, I get lots of emails from both sides... not as many as I used to get when Kay's campaign had some different staffers, but still... I don't always rush to blog every little thing right away.

Is journalism about getting out the truth? Or getting viewers, readers and ratings? Entertainment, or public trust? Injecting opinions to exert influence, or covering the facts straight and letting people make up their own minds? If your objective is to inform the public accurately, I don't think hastily posting an edited hit video without context or comment from the other side is really within what they teach in journalism classes.

Senator Dan Patrick was at the event, and he sent an email to Burka that Burka posted...

To readers:

Senator Dan Patrick submitted this comment to the blog, which I am posting at his request.

* * * *

I read your latest blog on the Perry video. I am requesting you post this as a response. FYI I have not talked with the Governor’s team about my post. It’s 3 am–this is my response.

Perry video was edited to change the meaning of his comments. I was there.

Last week the Governor came to the DPS office on 290 in Houston to announce his new border plan. I attended the announcement along with several other legislators. This event was not open to the general public. As I entered the building, like everyone else, I had to supply my I.D. to the two DPS officers inside the lobby. A television crew had just entered before me and showed their I.D. as well.

While I was checking in with security, a young man, acting a bit odd, was checking in at the same time. He said he was was with the press. Court Koenning, my former chief of staff, was with me. All of us took note of his odd behavior. He did not have any media identification and was not allowed inside the security area. He quickly left. We surmised that he may be working for the opposition and was there to monitor the Governor’s speech.

Last Thursday I was at the Hobby Hilton for the Governor’s speech. And once again, while checking in to find my table assignment for the lunch, the same person, who I had seen lying about being a member of the media at the other event, was checking in for this event. Since this was simply a check in table, and not security, he was allowed inside. Unlike the DPS event this event was open to the public. There would have been no reason not to allow him inside.

Everyone else in the crowd of 500 were open and friendly. They knew others at the lunch. This was a Chamber event. This young man appeared not to know anyone and did not talk to anyone. He was alone just as he was at the other event.

I was distracted by someone and in a moment he disappeared in the crowd of 500 entering the ballroom. A moment later the Governor arrived and I was busy from that point on. I think it is a strong possibility that this young man is the person who provided the video.

As to the video, it was edited in a way to take the Governor’s remarks out of context, I have spent my life in radio and television. I know all of the tricks. I was sitting a few feet from the Governor and listening intently to his speech. I can attest that the Governor was very clear that we have people in Texas who have lost their jobs and who are hurting. He was in no way was disrespectful or lacking in compassion to people in Texas who have lost their jobs. The edited video is totally misleading. It is clear it was a dirty trick perpetrated by someone who is not supporting the Governor.

I doubt if anyone was taping the entire speech. The only people who would be doing that would be his opposition. In the future it may be necessary for the Governor’s team to tape all of his speeches so there is a record of his remarks.

As an elected official, and a member of the media, I don’t mind anyone taping a speech and playing only a part of it back at some point. As long as it not doctored, or edited in a manner that changes the actual meaning of the remarks, I have not problem with a short cut. It is standard procedure. However, it is unacceptable to edit an audio, or video tape, in such a way as to change the actual content, meaning, or tone. Professional journalists would never do this. However, a political operative would surely do it. It appears that is what happened in this case.

Senator Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick is right. No professional journalist who cared about his or her reputation would have produced this kind of video, and very few would have posted it without checking a few things first. 19 seconds of video should mean a BIG RED FLAG. A two minute clip or a 19 second clip with a supplementary 2 minute clip to prove it was in context... different story...

Lessons to be learned here...
1. Rick's peeps should record every public or private event possible of their guy. They just need to have someone filming at all times, so they can be ready to give the context if there is another moment like this... Kay's peeps should probably be recording her every public move as well since Rick's peeps have demonstrated a propensity to tape her and make videos as well...

2. If journalists wish to maintain any credibility and integrity, they should question their sources on both sides a little bit more, and then DISCLOSE where they learned about a video. Did they just stumble upon it doing a google search, or did one of the campaigns frantically send the link? Really I think Jason Embry gets the credit for rushing this video onto his blog without asking for the entire video first to see if the short blip is taken out of context or edited or what. It is for bloggers and campaign staffs to distort and spin, it is for journalists to get to the truth... carefully. If Paul Burka and Jason Embry want to be bloggers, great, but if they want to be journalists too they should hold themselves to a higher standard. You can't be a journalist, then post possibly misleading things on your blog (we still don't really know), then lash out at people and say, "hey, this is just a blog, not the New York Times."

To reiterate, vet the videos a bit first, then disclose where they came from second. Then post the videos frequently! Videos are great. Keep posting them please.

3. The video in question has no campaign disclaimer, so if it did come from Kay's campaign, it may be a fairly legit campaign ethics violation. Usually Phillip Martin and Matt Glazer of the Burnt Orange Report are all over that kind of stuff...

4. Video trackers are not dirty politics at all, and these hit videos can be really fun and viral, and they are often very revealing, but there is a difference between an internet sensation pushed first by bloggers and a video that derived credibility from first appearing on a newspaper website and then spreading to blogs. I think journalists have a real obligation to run these videos through the ringer before not only posting them but writing pages of hyperbole based on them... trust but verify guys.

I think this episode does illustrate the changing rules of campaigns and journalism. I think it is up to the campaigns to adapt to the changing rules, but it is sort of up to the journalists to set some basic ground rules and play referee...

Kay and her purse boys...

This is not a pretty thing for Kay (link). Excerpt follows from Wayne Slater...

I smiled at her. She looked at us grim-faced. There was not a hint of pleasure in her demeanor. It was almost as if she didn't want to know me at all. And I swear she had dead eyes. Black, small, not a sign of joy or life in them. They sent a cold chill through my body. As the elevator proceeded downward, the senator turned to her J. Crew aides. They were 'the purse boys.' That was the nickname staffers gave them because their job seemed to consist of carrying Sen. Hutchison's purse around Capitol Hill. They also were known to drive her from her house to work - a distance of approximately two blocks. They were basically taxpayer-subsidized butlers.

This was an unusual day, since normally only one purse boy was with Sen. Hutchison at a time. (The other must have been a trainee). As one of the boys quietly held her large purse, she started to fish through it. Then she issued a list of instructions.

"Now I want you to take my purse back to the office," she said.
"Yes, senator," the purse boy responded.
"Take the nail polish out and put it in the refrigerator."
"Yes, senator."
"Take the rest of the makeup out and put that in the refrigerator too."
"Yes, senator."
"Then put the purse by my desk." She said this as though it were her routine speech.

The purse boy nodded dutifully, and the trainee looked like he wanted a pen to jot all this down. Elizabeth and I gazed at each other uncomfortably. I felt a little like entering your parents' bedroom and finding your mother putting on deodorant. It was something you knew happened, but you didn't really want to think about. Then the elevator doors opened. We moved to the side to let KBH pass. She did so regally, without a word to either of us, the purse boys following close behind. In those few minutes, my enthusiasm for KBH sunk to a previously unfathomable low.

This story meshes with some of the other stories that float around about Kay and her interactions with staff. Maybe unfair, but Kay has a rep for being a bad and mean boss... probably not a big deal though since most politicians are thought of as prima donna queens.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The perils of being a potential presidential hopeful...

Rick took his name off the Values Voters straw poll this weekend (link). Excerpt follows...
Perry's name initially appeared on a list of 10 straw poll contenders but the Family Research Council - one of the organizers, along with American Values, Focus on the Family and a handful of others - says he asked to have his name removed.
Huckabee ended up winning, with Romney coming in a distant second place, then Palin and a bunch of others way down the list.

On the one hand it helps to have a high national profile for raising money and getting support, on the other hand having a high national profile makes you more of a target for negativity thrown your way.

I think Rick genuinely does not want to be president or even try to run for president, but if he had come in 3rd or 4th place in this straw poll he might have been able to leverage some of that attention toward campaign dollars and free media... on the other hand if he had come in 9th or 10th place it might have been an embarrassment... and if he had somehow won the entire poll it would have become a huge distraction and probably created a rivalry between him and some of the other candidates like Palin... but let's be honest, it's not very likely that Rick would have won the whole thing. More likely he would have been somewhere in the middle splitting votes with Pawlenty and Mike Pence and all of those guys.

I do think this should tell people that Rick is serious about running for governor and not president... did anyone watch his speech? I saw some twitter traffic from liberals mostly watching online and snickering at all the conservatives...

Kay skips earmark vote, gets called out for it, then blames Rick...

This is really stunning, and I didn't see it reported anywhere, nor was it in my inbox... This post is based on my own research entirely, no tips from readers (get on the ball peeps)...

Rick's peeps took note of Kay's missed votes in a really clever way last week on the www.WashingtonKay.com website (link), using a "MISSING SENATOR" poster to drive home the point. Excerpt follows...
On Tuesday, the 16+ year Washington veteran skipped out on a vote that would have allowed the elimination of $1.7 BILLION in wasteful federal pork barrel spending.
Rick's peeps also found some crazy earmarks for projects in other states that Kay skipped the vote for (link)... she then later voted with the Democrats for the overall bill (link). Rick's peeps then posted them on the RickPerry.org website...

Among the 588 earmarks included in this bill:

* $1,000,000 for the Regional East-West trail and bikeway in Albuquerque, New Mexico

* $500,000 for enhancements to the Sue Ann Big Crow and Oglala trail and bike paths on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota

* $500,000 for construction of a beach park promenade in Pascagoula, Mississippi (pop. 23,609)

Later in the week Kay broke ranks from the GOP and voted for the entire bill with the earmarks in there...

In response, Kay's spokesman Jennifer Baker said...

Criticizes Hutchison For Voting To Ban Toll Roads And Funding Traffic Congestion Relief

Austin – Once again, Rick Perry is putting political gamesmanship above the needs of Texas by criticizing Kay Bailey Hutchison for successfully fighting for the best interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Today, Hutchison voted to ban toll roads and the double taxation of Texans on federally funded roads. This vote also increases the amount of federal tax dollars that come back to Texas for transportation needs, including much needed money to relieve traffic congestion.

“Once again, Rick Perry would rather score cheap political points than do what is in the best interest of Texans,” said Hutchison communications director Jennifer Baker. “If Rick Perry spent more time sitting in traffic on Texas highways, he might support Senator Hutchison in her fight to secure federal dollars to relieve traffic congestion.”

Oddly enough, Rick Perry continues to criticize Hutchison for failing to support an amendment that would have stripped critical transportation dollars out of the bill and sent the money to the FAA instead (click here to see to the vote the Perry campaign cites). Does Rick Perry really believe that FAA funding is more important than Texas’ transportation needs or is he being an opportunistic politician?
I don't know Baker, but I do know she is either really incompetent, or intentionally misleading about which vote Rick's peeps are hitting Kay on. It is one or the other... incompetent, or she is just stunningly competent at bald face lying. Rick's peeps on the other hand did not hit Kay back nearly hard enough on this, and as far as I can tell they did not fire back for Kay's spokesman linking to the wrong vote. Kay skipped the vote to strip the earmarks from the bill, then voted with the Democrats for the bill.

Let me repeat that for the lazy peeps out there whose eyes glaze over with this stuff.

Kay skipped the vote to strip earmarks from the bill early in the week... then later in the week voted with Harry Reid and against our other senator John Cornyn and the bulk of other Republicans on the final version of the bill. This bill gives all kinds of wasteful earmarks to other states. Rick's peeps called Kay out for the fact that she voted against our solid senator John Cornyn on the final bill which delivers so much waste to other states, and Kay's spokesman had the audacity to try to spin it back on Rick and then link to the roll call vote of Kay skipping the vote.

This is a major point of differentiation between Rick and Kay on an issue that reporters seem too lazy to examine for themselves. This is UI redux, but nobody touched this issue last week.

By calling out Rick, Kay's spokesman is also calling out John Cornyn, who voted correctly. She is calling out the entire conservative movement. She is calling out everyone who wants to clean up the Republican Party and reclaim our party's identity as a small government party against waste and pork barrel spending. She voted with the Democrats in the midst of a fight for Republican votes. This is a huge deal, and yet another reason why I endorsed Rick this summer after being about 50/50 a year ago on these two. Kay is a big spending RINO, and the fact that she feels comfortable voting with the Democrats in favor of bigger government in the middle of the Republican primary shows just how out of touch she is. The fact that no journalists called her out for it shows how none of them vote Republican anyway, so they just don't see this sort of stuff as a huge deal.

This was a campaign web ad waiting to happen, if Rick's peeps were more on top of things last week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another really bad web video from Kay's team...

The person that makes these "Tricky Ricky" videos has to be one of the very worst video makers in the admittedly short history of political web videos.


For example...


In politics people hate hate hate personal attacks that are not based on issues... these videos have Kay's disclaimer on them... they are official campaign videos... and far too many of them are personally very negative. What is the point of even attacking Rick for this mama bear comment. It is a little peculiar of a comment but it is really the kind of quirky thing people like about Texas politicians. If anything it is endearing, and the video showing him making funny faces is just a below the belt attack based on nothing but personal hatred against Rick. Really in many ways this video sums up Kay's entire campaign rationale... she doesn't like Rick, so you shouldn't either.

Kay right now is running a very negative campaign under the radar and getting away with it by playing the victim card... boo hoo Rick is a bully, poor me, and all of that. I am sounding the BS alert on that one. She is running a mean spirited personal campaign and because the issues are just not on her side she is resorting to distortions and lies and this kind of garbage. She misses the vote on ACORN, gets called out for it, so she sez, "oh yeah, well you took a picture with ACORN 5 years ago." The facts about that picture show that nobody opposed the bill coming out of the legislature. It was not a controversial bill, it did not give any money to ACORN, and nobody knew what ACORN was 5 years ago... but Kay doesn't care about any of that.

Compare those terrible videos to one of Rick's "negative" videos which is well done and full of facts...

Videos on the internet are usually seen by only a few hundred people, but they do influence bloggers and journalists and other influential people. They are also seen by far more people than traditional press releases and research hits...

The Pelosi Kay connection...

A little birdie informed me that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Austin this weekend to raise money. Who is her patron and sponsor?

Ben Barnes (link). Kay put out a press release and criticized Pelosi...
The state’s senior senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, issued a statement through her gubernatorial campaign today about Pelosi’s Austin stop:
Nancy Pelosi is coming to the wrong place if she’s trying to drum up support for Obama’s government takeover of health care. The Texas grassroots movement in opposition to government run health care is unlike anything I’ve seen. The message is clear ‘don’t mess with Texans’ health care’. I urge Speaker Pelosi to listen to the people and stop pushing legislation through Congress that would have a disastrous effect on the quality of our health care and on the economy.
Such audacity. Stealing Rick's lines about not messing with Texas on health care... and I wonder how Kay's good friend Ben Barnes will feel about this?

Yes Ben Barnes...

The same Ben Barnes that is so close to Kay (link). Excerpt follows...
Barnes has been a big backer of Kay Bailey throughout her career. Even going so far as to clear the field of credible Democrats for Governor in 2010 so all she has to do is win the primary against sitting Governor Rick Perry.
This also dredges back up those memories of Kay tipping Democrat Bill White off about her resignation plans earlier this year. No wonder conservatives don't trust her.

The Ben Barnes Kay connection is one that should not be overlooked by reporters who care at all about exposing hypocrisy and doublespeak.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kay against border cameras... is that smart?

Kay is against Rick's border camera program, saying it is too expensive and not yielding enough arrests (link).

No doubt, it costs 2 millions of dollars, but I think judging it on the number of arrests is not really the best way to measure success. The point of the cameras is to deter people from attempting illegal crossings, so the smugglers are going to be funneled away from the areas with cameras into other areas with more manpower...

I think being against border cameras may come back to haunt Kay even if she thinks she can make the case that they are too expensive and not effective enough.

MISSING SENATOR...

Red State has a funny flyer up about Kay being missing from her job (link). Excerpt follows...

At some point a campaign can hit so hard, so fast, and so frequently that people begin to feel sorry for the beaten up opponent.

I’m afraid that may happen in the Texas GOP Gubernatorial Primary. But Kay Bailey Hutchison is just the gift that keeps on giving to the Perry team. Still, I’m getting a bit squeamish with so many punches thrown.

On the other hand, every punch has been legitimate. Every issue has been accurate. And Kay’s campaign would be doing the same thing, but they cannot get their act together. I’m actually a bit dumbfounded by the inability of the Hutchison campaign team to show a pulse. It’s like she hired Creigh Deeds’ campaign staff.


Alamo City Pundit also rips Kay for dereliction of duty (link). Excerpt follows...
Classic. Ms. “It’s-My-Turn” Hutchison? Just resign now and let us put somebody in that seat that will actually do the job and represent Texas. And forget the primary — you’re toast, sweetie.
Kay missing votes is a legitimate gripe and one of my biggest pet peeves.

Kay zigging and zagging on the Texas economy...

The Texas economy is pretty good. Almost nobody denies that. Kay denies it sometimes, saying that Texas is terrible and this and that... but other times admits Texas is doing pretty well other times and says Rick can't take credit for it. Burka has some thoughts (link). Excerpt follows...

In taking on Perry on the issue of the state’s fiscal health, I think Hutchison is running into a brick wall. How do you make the case when the numbers are on Perry’s side? Who thought this was a winning argument? It doesn’t matter that the policies that have Texas in a relatively good fiscal position did not start with Rick Perry. They go back fifty years, to the era of the conservative Democrats, whose mantra was a “good ‘bidness’ climate.” The good business climate meant low taxes, minimal services, and favorable regulation for business. Nothing has changed. State budget writers have always been cautious about spending money, allocating well over 90% of the available revenue to education, health care, and law enforcement. It starts with the Legislative Budget Board, whose budget is always “bare bones.” But Perry has involved himself in keeping budgets lean as well, by having executive agencies reduce their spending requests.


Kay needs to figure out whether she thinks the economy sucks or that it is good but Rick can't take credit. She can't have it both ways.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hysterical Raisins with another good photoshop...

I have posted their photoshops before, but here is another one (link)...


I have asked it before and I will ask it again... why are liberals so much better at photoshopping on blogs than conservatives...

Rick touches some guy's hair...

Rick is known for his big lush hair... I guess some people think it is "goodhair" but I have seen it right up close before and it's over rated...

Apparently though Rick likes to admire the hair of others...

KXAN has a funny clip of Rick petting a guy's big Texas hair...



You have to wonder what he told the guy...