Monday, August 30, 2010

Bill White's moronic government take over of insurance rates...

Let's play a game.

Care to guess which states have the highest homeowners insurance premiums?

I'll give you a hint. They have long coastlines, and high profile hurricanes have hit them a lot in recent years.

If you guessed Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, you would be correct. You win self respect as I don't have any real prizes to give out...

Hurricanes are expensive for governments, expensive for insurance companies, and expensive for regular peeps. Vast majorities of peeps in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana live where hurricanes hit just about every year or so... as well as tropical storms, tornadoes, and other damaging wind weather...

Other states with expensive premiums are mostly just states with expensive homes... Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, D.C., and New York... Oklahoma and Mississippi where they have a lot of tornadoes and hurricanes as well...

Want to examine the numbers? Look here (link).

Now guess where homeowners insurance rates are lowest... this one is tougher, but it is where there aren't a lot of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other disasters. Land is plentiful and cheap... there isn't a lot of density so risk of fire spreading house to house is also less...

I said it was tough. The answer is Idaho, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Utah... homes in those states typically don't face hurricanes... weather is pretty predictable... the density is low and the risk of theft is accordingly low... yes they get a lot of snow in a couple of those states but the homes are built for winter with steep roofs and heavily insulated pipes... and storms just don't destroy a lot of houses or even roofs in those states, and land is fairly cheap so premiums are relatively cheap...

See how that works? Insurance is all about risk... if you choose to live where there is more risk of having to get a new roof every few years because of hail or gale force winds then your risk is higher... and your insurance rates should reflect that risk. If you choose to live where the biggest concern is maybe getting a couple feet of snow once or twice over the winter time then your risk is obviously lower... so rates can be lower also...

Profits for insurance companies are important because insurance companies need to be able to bank for when the big one hits and they have to pay out catastrophic type claims to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of premium holders...

Bill White though has decided to propose a truly moronic plan which will do nothing but give government more control over the private sector (link). Excerpt follows...

Insurance experts said White's plan wouldn't do much to lower homeowners' premiums.

Scott Harrington, a professor of insurance and risk management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, studied prior approval for years, and he's skeptical that it would make much of a difference. His analysis considered effects of prior approval regulation on prices, loss ratios, availability and volatility.

"Can you save money over time by having prior approval? The answer is no," Harrington said. "What's safe to say is, over time there's little evidence that it makes any difference."

Even if companies are forced to cut rates in the short term, they will make up the money eventually, he said.

Plus, he said, insurance companies might be less likely to cut rates in a state with a system of prior approval because it could be difficult to raise them later, if need be.

To distort the insurance market by requiring government to effectively set rates from here on out is to make insurance rates subject to the whims of pandering politicians... to make rates rigid and capped is to subsidize risk to the point that more people build and buy homes in flood plains and hurricane alley without regard to the actual cost of living there...

What Bill White's plan would likely do is essentially cause all insurance companies to eventually charge all customers right at the high end of the government mandated limit... risk would be spread out across people away from the coast and more homes would be built and bought right on the coast which would mean more unnecessary home destruction and property loss in the future... and bigger losses for the state... bigger losses for insurance companies... and lots of companies would just choose to leave the state as they did several years ago when people like Steve Mostyn were suing their asses off during the trial lawyer trumped up "mold crisis"...

Bill White's plan is moronic for many reasons. It is moronic politically despite what his internal polls are probably telling him because he is basically proposing that big government should regulate a vast portion of the private sector... and it reminds people of Obama Care and other government expansions and take overs that are making everyone so angry right now. It makes him seem more and more like a typical liberal rather than a pro business moderate...

It is moronic on the policy as well... it is moronic because it won't lower rates and in fact may cause higher rates for many... and it will cause a market distortion that will create even more risk in the future...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why is Bill White picking on the Spaniards?

Bill White is again pandering ineffectively on a dead issue (link). Excerpt follows...

Bill White is keeping up the barrage where KBH left off on Rick Perry and the Trans-Texas Corridor -- complete with the issue of doing business with "foreigners."

It didn't get KBH anywhere, but the issue must poll well for White's people.

The nativist talk bothered me about Hutchison's campaign and it bothers me now

Bill White. Devoid of ideas. Running the Kay playbook which is just a proven loser... this race is so much more uninteresting than the primary between Rick and Kay.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Funny business in Houston... voter machines burned... fraudulent voter registrations found...

Are the people who burned down the governors mansion during the Democratic Party state convention two years ago now targeting voting machines? That is my wild conspiracy theory (link). Excerpt follows...

All of Harris County's voting machines destroyed in 3-alarm north Houston fire

Houston Fire Department spokesman Patrick Trahan said arson investigators were at the scene of the fire, but no cause has been determined.

The three-alarm blaze started about 4:15 a.m. at the football field-size warehouse the county uses to store its election equipment. Firefighters extinguished the flames about four hours later.

No injuries were reported.

The county’s voting machines, including eSlate equipment, were stored at the nearly 27,000-square foot facility, county officials said.

Early voting begins Oct. 18. Election Day is Nov. 2.

Some funny business... especially coming right after the news of massive liberal voter registration fraud in Houston (link). Total conspiracy theory stuff, but it does seem like paper ballots are more susceptible to funny business and late night delayed counting issues than voter machines are...

Since this is Bill White's home turf, it makes you wonder... again though it is just conspiracy stuff but you never know... it just smells fishy...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rick... "bad ass"... funny spoof of the Back to Basics coward ad....

@RickPerryFacts tweeted this picture with the tag line "Newspapers that still want to exist in a few years will be running this correction ad soon."

If you haven't ever read RickPerryFacts on Twitter, you should (link). It is funny, whether you like him or hate him. Some examples....
When life gives Rick Perry lemons, he makes porterhouse steaks. Rare. #rickperryfacts
Monday August 09, 12:37:32 2010 via API

Rick Perry once won the Olympics. Every single one of them.
Sunday August 08, 12:37:36 2010 via API

If Rick Perry were to punch you in the face, you'd have to fight
off the strong urge to thank him. #rickperryfacts
12:37 PM Aug 7th via API

Rick Perry is the life of parties he has never attended.
2:37 PM Aug 6th via API

You are what you eat. That is why Rick Perry's diet consists
entirely of bricks, steel, and the tears of small children. #rickperryfacts
11:04 AM Aug 5th via API

Rick Perry coined the phrase "Pardon my French" after picking
up a French man and using him like a bat to club people. #rickperryfacts
11:05 AM Aug 4th via API

Rick Perry can predict the shuffle on his iPod. #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Aug 3rd via API

Rick Perry doesn't sleep. He waits. RT @billwhitefortx Caught
a nap for the first time in ages. Very fine. #rickperryfacts
1:10 PM Aug 2nd via web

Rick Perry became a vegetarian for a while not because he
loves animals, but because he hates plants. #rickperryfacts
11:03 AM Aug 2nd via API

Rick Perry's blood type is WD-40 #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Aug 1st via API

Rick Perry impaled over 40 horses to make what he calls "an
authentic" Merry-Go-Round. #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Jul 31st via API

Rick Perry always asks for the same Christmas gift: A box of
Smurfs and a sledgehammer. #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Jul 30th via API

All of Rick Perry's genes are dominant. #rickperryfacts
11:04 AM Jul 29th via API

On his birthday, Rick Perry randomly selects one lucky child to
be thrown into the sun. #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Jul 28th via API

Rick Perry has the heart of a child. He keeps it in a small box.
11:02 AM Jul 27th via API

When Rick Perry gets pulled over, he lets the cop off with a
warning. #rickperryfacts #getondowntheroad
11:02 AM Jul 26th via API

The popular videogame "Doom" is based loosely around the
time Satan borrowed two bucks from Rick Perry and forgot to pay him back.
11:02 AM Jul 25th via API

Rick Perry's dog Lucy is trained to pick up her own poop
because Rick Perry will not take shit from anyone. #rickperryfacts
11:02 AM Jul 24th via API
Funny... and frankly so much more effective and entertaining than the highly liberal partisan @BillWhiteFacts although occasionally they come up with some funny lines (link)...
Get excited guys and gals! Bill White will be co-starring in the Justin Bieber film - as Bieber's grumpy grandpa.
1:49 PM Aug 13th via Twitter for iPhone
They have a lot of not funny really pointless lines though...
Bill White IS the real slim shady. (He is one of the best rappers you will ever meet.)
8:18 AM Aug 12th via Twitter for iPhone

Also: lunch w/ anyone but Karl Rove; 3 confetti eggs(+1 real egg) to throw at Mark Miner; a run w/ your gun how-to; and a Perry land deal.
11:23 AM Aug 3rd via Twitter for iPhone

Enter Bill White's Raffle of the Century to win: an all-expense
paid trip to Hutto; a waffle maker; or memo writing tips!
10:14 AM Aug 3rd via Twitter for iPhone
Maybe those are funny if you are into inside jokes... I don't really get them though...

Rick and hunters...

The machismo express rolls on for Rick, smashing the idiotic Back to Basics "coward" ad like a ragdoll on a train track (link). Excerpt follows...

Perry in the article tells the tale of taking his daughter, Sydney, hunting at Covenant Ranch 13 years ago while he was there "talking with some policy folks." San Antonio businessman James Leininger, a major donor to Perry's campaign, owns Covenant ranch and at that time his two major policies were tort reform and private school vouchers.

"After a couple of hours of policy talk and a quick lunch, I figured I'd head back out to that blind to see if my muy grande would show again," Perry wrote.

Perry's daughter, who just recently turned 24, was in the blind with him and he was explaining to her deer behavior.

"Much to my surprise, my muy grande from that morning ambled out into the sendero again, this time more interested in dinner than love, which saved me having to explain THAT behavior."

Suddenly the deer ran toward the blind. Perry says he was ready.

"Our guide gave the thumbs-up and seconds later the crack of the rifle and the impact of the little 55-grain bullet was followed by the thud of a trophy buck hitting the ground."

The article also contains a photograph of Perry receiving his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The only way a Democrat could win this year in Texas is if the Democrat showed on on these kinds of magazine covers and the Republican was a Muslim...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Liberal Dallas Morning News rag praises Bill White for calling for higher taxes...

The Dallas Morning News is losing readers at an alarming rate, but no mind... they praised Bill White for calling for higher taxes... but at least they acknowledge in a weird round about way their praise for Bill White doesn't help him and actually helps Rick (link). Excerpt follows...
Irony: Our editorial was kind to White and rough on Perry, but the governor's people probably came away more than satisfied. The accompanying graphic excerpted their positions, and Perry was first alphabetically. He's got to be loving the fact that the page showcased this quote from him: "I do not favor a plan that would include raising local taxes."
This is why winning favor of the newspapers is such an old and ineffective strategy... who cares what the newspaper wonks think? They are wrong about almost everything when it comes to politics and policy... winning a newspaper editorial board endorsement not only doesn't win votes it may make voters suspicious these days and actually lose votes for a candidate...

Monday, August 23, 2010

More reaction to Rasmussen...

I wrote a blog about the latest numbers earlier today (link), but I wanted to look at some of the other reaction around the internet...

Paul Burka (link). Excerpt follows...
What is significant is that White has spent buckets of money since the last poll and he hasn’t moved any numbers.


I see nothing in here that is bad for Perry or good for White. Nothing has changed except the White campaign’s bank balance–for the worse. The political climate weighs heavily in Perry’s favor and is reflected in Perry’s high approval rating.


The most significant number is Perry’s 59-33 margin among unaffiliated voters. If you’re a Democratic candidate and independent voters are breaking almost 2 to 1 against you, you’re unelectable.
Politics Daily sez Bill White's campaign has stalled (link). Excerpt follows...

Democrat Bill White Stalled Behind GOP's Rick Perry in Texas Governor Race


Seventy-six percent see Perry as very or somewhat conservative, while 29 percenty see White as moderate and 42 percent as somewhat or very liberal. (The "very liberal" number is 13 percent).
"Stalled" is an appropriate response to Bill White's campaign...

Latest Rasmussen... Rick still up big... 49-41...

Despite Bill White spending millions of dollars on television commercials... despite 3 or 4 million dollars perhaps in negative ads against Rick from Steve Mostyn's strange little Back to Basics project...

Despite all of that, Rick is up 49-41, virtually identical to one month ago (link). Excerpt follows...

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds Perry earning 49% support, while Democrat Bill White, a former mayor of Houston, receives 41% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

The race remains Solid GOP in the Rasmussen Reports’ Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Last month, Perry held a nearly identical 50% to 41% advantage over White. In match-ups since February, Perry’s support has ranged from 47% to 51%. White has earned 38% to 44% of the vote in that same period.

White faces a tough race in a state that trends conservative Republican, especially given the national electoral mood.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Texas voters consider Perry a conservative. Forty-two percent (42%) view White as a liberal, while another 29% describe him as a moderate.

Despite the perceived differences in ideology, 51% of voters in the state describe Perry’s political views as mainstream, and 52% say the same of White's views. Thirty-three percent (33%) brand Perry's views as extreme, and 29% think White's are extreme.

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Texas was conducted on August 22, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Other data from this survey will be released later this week at

Perry is favored by 72% of Republicans, while 84% of Democrats support White. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, the Republican leads by a 59% to 33% margin.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters in the state approve of the job Perry is doing as governor. Forty-five percent (45%) disapprove. These numbers, too, have held steady for months.

Twenty percent (20%) of voters in Texas have a Very Favorable opinion of Perry, while 20% view him Very Unfavorably.
White is regarded Very Favorably by 19% and Very Unfavorably by 18%.

Both candidates are well-known in the state, but at this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of Texas voters approve of how President Obama is doing his job. Sixty-five percent (65%) disapprove. This is a much higher level of disapproval than is found nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Look at those independent voter numbers... Rick leads 59-33 among independent voters... that has to hurt Bill White like a punch right to his kidneys... his whole strategy depends on winning those voters.

I would be very discouraged if I were Bill White... he just can't get any traction. He is "working so hard" scurrying around trying to visit all the counties in Texas... he has a huge staff... he is out spending Rick on the air... it is like Rick is just absorbing all of the body blows one after another without really punching back except via the web...

When Rick cranks up his television ads in another month or 6 weeks... I think you'll see his numbers go back up... likely by a few points or more... and Bill White may lose ground because in some ways he is still a blank canvass for a lot of voters. A few negative ads against him, and he could easily fall below 40%.

How much depends on how on top of their game the Rick campaign ad peeps are. David Weeks is known for being great at making very simple, to the point, wham bam thank you ma'am kinds of commercials... not super frilly or creative or artistic, but deadly effective.

What to attack Bill White on though? There are so many angles for Rick's peeps to exploit... choosing correctly may be hard. Do you go the corruption route? Or just strictly hit him on policies? Maybe a little of both? Which issues to choose? The military voter disenfranchisement thing has to be up there, and his refusal to rule out higher taxes... oh to be a fly on the wall in those meetings...


Bill White has a 50% favorability, and a 41% unfavorability (link).
With no television or radio ads, Rick's peeps have helped drive Bill White's negatives upward...

Rick has a 61% favorability, and a 37% unfavorability (link).
The trend line is positive for Rick since the primary...

Having such a high unfavorability rating already is absolutely devastating for Bill White's team. His efforts and expenditures have not moved the dial at all, and he has essentially no path to victory. Their latest stunt of calling Rick a "coward" in newspapers is just going to backfire. Watch. It is juvenile and unbecoming of a gubernatorial campaign.

Hey R.G. Ratcliffe... Mean Rachel is not a Republican...

R.G. goofs yet again (link). Excerpt follows...

This first came to my attention this morning through Mean Rachel's blog. She's a Republican with Democratic connections.

According to her, the Back to Basics PAC will be running the ad in Texas newspapers on Tuesday.

Here is how Mean Rachel describes herself (link)...

Mean Rachel

About Me

Native Austinite and Democratic activist, Rachel Farris writes, a popular progressive blog that covers everything from congressional races, to human interest stories, to places with rockin' piano bars. She also covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention with The Texas Observer team and was a speaker at the 2009 Texas Young Democrats Convention Women's Caucus. Her work has been anthologized in several books, including Women Write the War.

Just look at her blog. It is all liberal, all the time. She has an Act Blue donation form for far to the left labor activist Linda Chavez Thompson... she only links to other liberal blogs... Calling her a Republican must be some kind of inside joke, or just yet another factual lapse.

Is there a reporter out there more consistently wrong on these kinds of seemingly minor details than R.G. Ratcliffe?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Big John Cornyn a "genius" at social media... Kay average...

A new study that talks about social media and sez that Republicans are now beating Democrats... although I would caution looking and pure numbers alone...

Big John Cornyn ranks as a "genius" tied for 4th place in the senate and Kay is ranked as "average" ranked at 40th place in the senate...

More on the study (link). Excerpt follows...
On average, Republicans boast a digital IG that is 5.5 points higher than their Democratic counterparts. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) top the rankings, followed by Al Franken (D-Minn.) and John Conryn (R-Texas). The lowest scores went to Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
They didn't look at governors...

Rick's grassroots tactics...

Nice insightful article by liberal Dave Mann (link). Excerpt follows...

there is one Texas candidate who has studied the recent trends and built a grassroots campaign that’s devastatingly effective.

His name is Rick Perry.

If Perry wins another term as governor, the genesis of his re-election may date to 2005. That was the year Dave Carney, Perry’s longtime strategist, brought four of the nation’s top political scientists to Austin to study exactly which campaign tactics were the most effective. Among the group were Yale University professors Donald Green and Alan Gerber, who literally wrote the book on how to mobilize voters.


These tests “revealed that impersonal modes of contact, such as direct mail and automated calls, while seemingly inexpensive, were worthless,” Gimpel later wrote on the website of The National Review. “Carney and other Perry advisors reasoned that many conventional campaign tactics were being used out of force of habit—because that’s the way campaigns have always been done—but not because they worked.”

Bill White is using a lot of the old tactics... and his message is old and used up and sucks...

Now, with Perry seemingly well-positioned to win another four-year term, it’s easy to forget that a year and a half ago the governor faced perhaps the most perilous path to re-election of any incumbent in the country. First he had to navigate a three-way Republican primary in which he had to best U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison—who had more than $18.6 million in campaign money and the support of the Bush family, and who led Perry in early polling by 20 points—while holding off popular Tea Party activist Debra Medina on his right flank. He prevailed without having to waste time and resources on a runoff. Now he’s trying to defeat Bill White, the popular former mayor of Houston and the Democrats’ best-funded and most competitive statewide candidate in nearly a decade.

If Perry does win re-election, his reversal of fortune likely will be credited to his anti-Washington, anti-Obama message. And it’s true that candidates don’t prevail without an effective message. But Perry’s success will be due just as much to the kind of grassroots campaign he’s running.

Consider his trouncing of Hutchison. Before the primary, the conventional wisdom among the pundits was that the senator needed to expand the GOP primary electorate to include more moderate Republicans. A larger turnout would favor Hutchison, the experts said, while Perry would be best served by limiting turnout to just hardcore conservatives. But on primary day, the opposite proved true. The Republican turnout was enormous—more than double the number of voters from 2006—and Perry crushed Hutchison by 20 points.

How did Perry confound the critics and dominate a high-turnout primary? The governor had a winning message, and his strong ad campaign certainly didn’t hurt. But the credit largely went to a massive field operation that turned out more Perry voters than anyone knew existed. The governor received 759,296 votes in the primary—60,000 more than John McCain garnered in the 2008 presidential primary and more than the entire GOP electorate in 2006.

Message almost always wins out over tactics, but having both helps a lot...

A couple of nice anti Bill White videos...

Bill White trying to exploit Hurricane Rita again...

First he profiteers... then he tries to exploit the Hurricane for a political advertisement (link). Excerpt follows...

Got anything going this weekend?

Then how 'bout driving up to Austin on Sunday and playing hurricane victim?

The Bill White campaign "is in need of HURRICANE EVACUEES for a short scene."

Here's what you wear: older, ragged clothing, preferably in colors of blue, gray, black or dull olive green. You can bring knapsacks, backpacks and "any old, battered luggage," as long as it's not brand new or colorful.

According to the casting call, from a group called Red Western Films, "You can just Show Up with as many people as you can bring."

You won't get paid, "but great karma for helping a democratic cause!"

We know about this karmic opportunity because of the Perry folks, not the White campaign. They see it as yet another example of how the former Houston mayor is making hay from a hurricane.

"It's outrageous that he's attempting to use the victims of Hurricane Rita as props in a political ad," said Perry spokesman Mark Miner, "and ironic, since he profiteered from the hurricane."

Weird... it is one thing to use actual footage from Bill White actually doing things... actual news footage... actual b roll from helping evacuees from Katrina... but to hire actors and all of that... that is just creepy...

NBC also not buying that Bill White is a serious threat to Rick...

I wonder when Steve Mostyn will stop flushing his money down the drain (link). Excerpt follows...

First Read's Top 10 Governors' Races

*** First Read’s Top 10 governor takeovers: If it’s Friday, it’s time for another Top 10 list. Today, we look at what we consider the Top 10 states where a party will win/lose control of a governor’s mansion. The number in parentheses is our last ranking (from June).
1. Wyoming (1): Matt Mead won the crowded GOP primary on Tuesday, and he’s the overwhelming favorite to replace outgoing Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D).
2. Kansas (2): Hello, Gov. Sam Brownback (R).
3. Tennessee (3): It’s Bill Haslam (R) vs. Mike McWherter (D) to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bredesen, and the moderate Haslam has the edge.
4. Iowa (7): When Gov. Chet Culver (D) is admitting to mistakes, as he did earlier this week, you know he’s in deep trouble. The GOP nominee is ex-Gov. Terry Branstad (R).
5. Michigan (6): Another GOP moderate, Rick “One Tough Nerd” Snyder (R), won the GOP nomination, and he’s leading in the polls by double digits against Virg Bernero (D).
6. Hawaii (5): Democrats have a crowded field for the Sept. 18 primary – led by ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie -- but they’re the favorites here.
7. Oklahoma (4): One thing we know will happen: The Sooner State is going to elect its first female governor -- either Mary Fallin (R) or Jari Askins. Fallin is the favorite in this red state.
8. Pennsylvania (8): Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) is the clear front-runner to succeed term-limited Gov. Ed Rendell (D).
9. Connecticut (9): Democrats got their stronger candidate, ex-Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy (D), who faces off against former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley (R).
10. Minnesota (10): Ex-Sen. Mark Dayton (D), who narrowly won this month’s Dem primary, probably has the edge against Tom Emmer (R), but the race to replace retiring Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) could be closer than people think.

*** First Read’s Gubernatorial ratings:
Toss Ups (11): CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NM, OH, WI, RI, VT
Lean Democrat (5): CT, HI, ME, MD, OR
Lean Republican (5): IA, MI, OK, PA, TX
Probable Democrat (1): CO
Probable Republican (6): AL, AZ, ID, SC, NV, TN
Solid Democrat (3): AR, NH, NY
Solid Republican (6): AK, KS, NE, SD, UT, WY

NBC's political peeps aren't buying the Bill White hype.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Liberal mainstream media blogger urges Texas to secede...

Liberal mainstream media bloggers should be careful what they wish for (link). Excerpt follows...

Texas, once its own country, should have stayed that way. To a visitor, it feels like another country--with very much its own culture, as if one needs a passport to cross its borders. Even if you're just changing planes in massive DFW airport, you know you're in Texas from the talk, dress, and swagger. Everything is big in Texas, an unhappy hybrid of Southern and Western culture. Yet they are a happy (if bellicose) breed amongst themselves, so much so that Republican Gov. Rick Perry actually talked about "dissolving" or leaving the Union. Wouldn't that be great? After the vale of tears Texas took the nation through, with the gift of George W. Bush, the Texas state of mind is best kept within its borders far from the nation's capital. At the least: no more gifts, please. Nor has Florida lived down the disservice of the 2000 elections deadlock.

Jonathan Swift, the master of satire, is no longer with us--so let me make a modest proposal: that the states that seceded--let them be gone! That means South Carolina, Texas, and even Florida as a bonus, along with the Deep South states that send recalcitrant Republican representatives to Washington with no intention of doing the nation's business. They are there to block, taunt, and undermine a president, a man from Illinois making social progress. This time, let's let them go without a fight.

Is this supposed to be humorous?

Without Texas, America would have been in this slump much earlier... and it would be much deeper...

Schools aren't rehiring laid off teachers... Doggett's anti Texas amendment even more misguided...

Democrats claimed that Lloyd Doggett's targeting of only Texas for penalty was actually good... because it would create or save all these thousands of jobs...

Only schools aren't hiring back laid off teachers (link). Excerpt follows...

As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

A 2009 job fair for teachers. The stimulus bill was intended to rehire 160,000 workers.

With the economic outlook weakening, they argue that big deficits are looming for the next academic year and that they need to preserve the funds to prevent future layoffs. Los Angeles, for example, is projecting a $280 million budget shortfall next year that could threaten more jobs.

“You’ve got this herculean task to deal with next year’s deficit,” said Lydia L. Ramos, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest after New York City.

“So if there’s a way that you can lessen the blow for next year,” she said, “we feel like it would be responsible to try to do that.”

The district laid off 682 teachers and counselors and about 2,000 support workers this spring and was not sure it would be able to hire any of them back with the stimulus money. The district says it could be forced to cut 4,500 more people next year.

Get your talking points straight guys... or at least get your peeps on board with your programs...

Meanwhile, only in an alternate reality could this be a real headline on this issue (link)...

U.S. House candidate Flores opposes spending bill that would prevent layoffs

Michael W. Shapiro, Waco Tribune-Herald
Unreal. Just unreal. Flores is on the right side of this issue and Chet Edwards has supported a bill that puts a target on Texas and only Texas... but the pro Democrat media spins it to make it sound like the Republican Bill Flores opposes jobs.

Peeps wonder how Chet Edwards keeps winning... this is why right here.

Peeps wonder why mainstream media institutions are failing and going bankrupt... this is why right here.

This bill does nothing to save jobs. It robs from Texas to bail out California... and Democrats should be taken to task for this in television and radio ads... nothing quite annoys Texans like those who tear down Texas.

Rick's quietly endorsed candidates winning...

Rick has somewhat quietly been endorsing candidates in other states, and they seem to keep winning (link). Excerpt follows...
April 16, 2010

Texas Governor Rick Perry Endorses Huelskamp
DODGE CITY – This morning, the Congressional campaign of Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) announced that they have received the endorsement of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Governor Perry has emerged as a leading conservative voice in the Republican Party, and Senator Huelskamp said he was honored to receive Perry’s endorsement.

In a letter to the citizens of Kansas, Governor Perry said: “There is only one candidate in this race that will keep the state of Kansas and our nation moving forward in the right direction, and that’s Tim Huelskamp…I do not make this endorsement lightly and only offer my support when I am certain of a candidate’s strong conviction…Tim is without a doubt one of those candidates and I am proud to offer my endorsement of his campaign.”

Tim Huelskamp responded that he was very pleased and honored to receive Governor Perry’s endorsement: “I am very grateful and honored to have Governor Perry’s support,” said Huelskamp. “The conservative movement needs strong principled leaders like Governor Perry and I to continue fighting for the values that made America great.”

Does this mean anything about a 2012 run? Probably not given how adamant Rick has been at denying a run for higher office beyond Texas, but it may mean that Rick is just truly emerging as one of the top handful of conservative leaders in America, which gives him great power when the legislature is in session dealing with arcane issues... by becoming a national figure Rick now has a bully pulpit beyond what he had before (link). Rick can now turn to the Wall Street Journal or other national sources and nationalize issues that might have once been dominated by a few liberal members of the Texas press corps... they must hate that... which explains why their coverage is more slanted than it has ever been in my lifetime in Texas politics... which goes back a ways...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On transportation, Bill White for higher taxes, higher debt, and seizures of private property...

What a hypocrite! Attacking Rick for the dead Trans Texas Corridor... while supporting basically what made everyone so upset about the TTC in the first place...

Bill White at his finest (link). Excerpt follows...

— Democratic candidate for governor Bill White says he won't rule out higher debt, tax increases or more seizures of private property as solutions to bring new road projects and relieve congestion on the state's aging infrastructure.

In an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, White acknowledged the need to increase the state's transportation capacity and criticized Gov. Rick Perry's policies and proposals, but struggled to offer specifics on raising the money necessary to meet demand.

Meanwhile Bill White's trial lawyer buddy Steve Mostyn runs ads on the TTC... what kind of a dumb campaign is Bill White running here?

Bill White ran...`

I was expecting Flock of Seagulls...

Bill White's spurning of Obama didn't win him any Republican votes, but it did dampen the enthusiasm of his supporters...

Even the Burnt Orange Report which has writers on the Bill White payroll isn't too happy... Karl Thomas Musselman at least is not completely thrilled with Bill White (link). Excerpt follows...

Yes, Bill White could have been handled far better. Yes, White's approach flew in the face of his primary campaign theme that he's above "politics as usual". Yes, Perry had a field day with it and White gave him a rare win in the summer news cycle. But in the grand scheme of the campaign, it will be of minor importance to the final outcome on November 2nd because the Democratic base in Texas cares more about winning. They recognize that it can't elect better Democrats until it elects any Democrats.

That's why Democrats frustrated with Bill White should forgive him. But it's also why progressive Democrats frustrated with Bill White should remember, because there will come a day where such behavior and policy critiques will be unacceptable- a day when we are politically powerful enough to choose better Democrats and influence candidate behavior.

So forgive, but remember, as we work to elect Bill White in November.

He sounds about as thrilled to get out and vote for Bill White as Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller...

Bill White really has no path to a win here even with the media in his pocket and Bill White's third party groups out spending Rick and his allies by a long shot...

Bill White continues having problems with African Americans...

Bill White is still alienating those who should be his strongest supporters (link). Excerpt follows...

An e-mail that popped into various in-baskets around the state this morning claims that the African American community is perturbed with Bill White for not meeting with President Barack Obama when he was in Austin and Dallas this week and for not voicing support for Obama in 2012.

"I found this interesting," the messager writes, "since Bill White was at a Tea Party event where we know they have traded their white sheets for short sets and business suits."

The message purports to be from a Margaret Wilkins. Michael Moore, White's campaign manager, called to say he has concluded the message is a fake.

"Margaret Wilkins" also complained that when White was mayor of Houston he ignored minority contractors, hasn't invested any money in Houston's African American community and plans to merge Texas Southern University with another system to "cut cost" and "streamline state government."

Moore said the message is similar to a fake e-mail sent out during the previous election cycle and that the White campaign has no plans to respond officially. The purported sender did not respond to an e-mail from the Chronicle.

Is this a hoax? Nope... it is a real person (link). Excerpt follows...

Wilkins still has questions for White

Margaret Wilkins, the woman who sent an e-mail last week questioning Bill White's commitment to African Americans, is a former Houston resident who still spends time in the city but lives primarily in Dallas. In a phone call this afternoon, she told me she is a former member of Houston Black Amnerican Democrats.

She was particularly upset that White didn't meet with the president when he was in Texas last week. "That was a slap in the face," she said.

She still has questions for White: "Does he support our president now, and will he support him in 2012? Does he support the merging of Texas Southern University? How many blacks will he be supporting and appointing?"

Wilkins said she's a former state employee, now semi-retired, and that she volunteers with the elderly.

She was a big Ann Richards supporter, she said. "Ann Richards was for us. We knew Ann Richards. We never had to ask whether she was going to be for us."

Taken with all the other evidence of Bill White's slide with his own base he is in some trouble. Non presidential years are all about turn out, and Republicans are far more excited to vote than Democrats this year...

Playing the race card (link) won't help Bill White.


The DGA has a silly bracket thing about the most fringe candidate (link). Excerpt follows...

I really don't see this as more than a liberal catharsis... this won't convince anyone... being labeled by the liberal fringe as fringe really doesn't mean anything... fringe just means you are getting under the skin of the real liberal fringe...

More trouble from BIll White's base... on the environment

More trouble in paradise on the environment (link). Excerpt follows from a prominent liberal blog that Bill White's campaign is apparently spamming with campaign updates...
I hope Rick Perry loses and I doubt it would make anyone's life any better were Bill White to win. The race isn't on my radar. But Global Warming is. So I opened White's spam. He cites Fox as a validater of the fact that he's nearly as reactionary and out-of-touch as Rick Perry on the whole topic of climate change and energy.
When I woke up today the first thing I saw-- even before White's e-mail-- was Fareed Zacharia interviewing Jeffrey Sachs, the man theNY Times has called "the most important economist in the World," first about how to solve the economic mess Bush left us with and then how to get a grip on climate change. The climate change interview included a global warming scientist and an oil industry shill from Cato spouting the same excuses for inaction you hear from everyone on Big Oil's payroll, from Rick Perry to... Bill White.
The Statesman has an article about Bill White's 2.6 million dollar ties to BJ Services while he was mayor of Houston (link). Excerpt follows...

As Democrat Bill White runs for governor, he has touted his environmental record as Houston mayor, which included pushing for more monitoring and regulation of toxic air emissions, buying hybrid vehicles for the city's fleet, encouraging homeowners to install solar panels and promoting recycling.

But lately, in the face of attacks from Republican opponent Gov. Rick Perry, he has found himself defending ties to BJ Services , a natural gas company. The company uses a common technique for pulling up gas known as hydraulic fracturing, and its environmental consequences are the subject of a federal inquiry that has raised questions about what BJ Services and other companies have pumped underground.

White served on the board of BJ Services, a Houston -based energy services company that specializes in drilling for natural gas, from 2003 until its acquisition in April by oil and gas company Baker Hughes, and has earned more than $2.6 million in total compensation, according to a story by the Houston Chronicle in March. Most of that money came from payments for his service on the board. White still owns more than 10,000 shares of BJ Services stock, according to personal financial disclosures made earlier this year.

Rick's peeps are quick to point out that Bill White's story is changing (link). Excerpt follows...

Liberal trial lawyer Bill White is still refusing to accept responsibility for the actions of a company that paid him $2.6 million for serving on its Board of Directors.

BJ Services has admitted to Congress that it lied to the EPA in 2003 when it promised to stop injecting diesel fuel into wells in underground sources of drinking water, yet in a new report from the Austin American-Statesman, Bill White’s spokeswoman claimed that he knew nothing about this and said, “The diesel issues did not rise to the board level at BJ Services.” (SOURCE: “Fracking questions: White's ties to well company highlighted,” Austin American-Statesman, 8/16/10, full article below and online at

“Liberal Bill White is again attempting to deceive Texans by falsely claiming he did not know about BJ Services’ use of diesel fuel while fracturing,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “It is unbelievable for Bill White to say ‘the diesel issues did not rise to the board level at BJ Services’ when the Chairman of the Board received letters of inquiry from Congress.”

Below are actions related to BJ Services’ “diesel issues” that Bill White claims “did not rise to the board level at BJ Services.”

Jan. 22, 2003 – Bill White appointed to BJ Services Board of Directors [1]

Dec. 12, 2003 – BJ Services signs Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the EPA that said, “The companies agree to eliminate diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing fluids injected into CBM (coalbed methane) production wells in USDWs (underground sources of drinking water) within 30 days of signing this agreement.” [2]

June 2004 – BJ Services assistant general counsel and chief compliance officer Mark Airola writes to the EPA, “We have removed diesel fuel from all fracturing fluids used in coalbed methane wells.” [3]

Oct. 2006 – BJ Services sends EPA reaffirmation of its adherence to the 2003 MOA. Harold Brannon, the company's manager for "fracturing product line technology," writes, "The agreement is indeed in effect from BJ's perspective and in fact has spread beyond its original scope." He adds: "It may be of interest to note that there have been several new fracturing services entries into these markets and many are rumored to be ignoring the agreement." [3]

2007 – BJ Services sends EPA reaffirmation of its adherence to the 2003 MOA. [3]

Nov. 26, 2007 – Congressman Henry Waxman writes BJ Services Board Chairman, President, and CEO J.W. Stewart a letter requesting “data on the types and volumes of chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing fluids between 2005 and 2007.” [4]

Jan. 24, 2008 – BJ Services admits to Congress “it continued to use diesel and BTEX chemicals in the company’s fracturing fluids in coalbed methane wells after signing the MOA,” and “acknowledged these events ‘were in violation of the MOA.’” [4]

2008 – BJ Services sends EPA reaffirmation of its adherence to the 2003 MOA. [3]

Aug. 31, 2009 – BJ Services announces $5.5 billion merger with Baker Hughes. [5]

Jan. 2010 – BJ Services sends EPA reaffirmation of its adherence to the 2003 MOA. [3]

Feb. 18, 2010 – Congressman Henry Waxman announces he is launching a new investigation and writes BJ Services Board Chairman, President, and CEO J.W. Stewart a letter requesting details about the number of wells BJ Services fractured and the chemicals the company used when fracturing, both broken down by state. [6]

March 5, 2010 – BJ Services tells Congress it does not "track whether the wells they fracture are located in underground sources of drinking water" and it “does not track or maintain such data because it is the responsibility of the well operator to drill in compliance with the applicable statutes and regulations concerning subsurface aquifers.” [7]

March 31, 2010 – BJ Services stockholders vote to approve $5.5 billion merger with Baker Hughes. [8]

“Fracking questions: White's ties to well company highlighted”
Austin American-Statesman, Aug. 16, 2010
By Asher Price

As Democrat Bill White runs for governor, he has touted his environmental record as Houston mayor, which included pushing for more monitoring and regulation of toxic air emissions, buying hybrid vehicles for the city's fleet, encouraging homeowners to install solar panels and promoting recycling.

But lately, in the face of attacks from Republican opponent Gov. Rick Perry, he has found himself defending ties to BJ Services, a natural gas company. The company uses a common technique for pulling up gas known as hydraulic fracturing, and its environmental consequences are the subject of a federal inquiry that has raised questions about what BJ Services and other companies have pumped underground.

White served on the board of BJ Services, a Houston -based energy services company that specializes in drilling for natural gas, from 2003 until its acquisition in April by oil and gas company Baker Hughes, and has earned more than $2.6 million in total compensation, according to a story by the Houston Chronicle in March. Most of that money came from payments for his service on the board. White still owns more than 10,000 shares of BJ Services stock, according to personal financial disclosures made earlier this year.

BJ Services is one of a dozen or so companies under scrutiny by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for the fracturing process, also known as fracking, in which a combination of saltwater and other chemicals is injected into rock to get at natural gas underground. Over the past decade, fracking has grown common in Fort Worth, which sits on the Barnett Shale, a deep reserve of natural gas, and BJ Services says it has fracked more than 2,000 wells in the region.

In at least two news releases since July, Perry's camp has drawn attention to the connection between White and BJ Services. A July 12 release, for example, accused the company of pumping "dangerous chemicals into the groundwater."

That has put Perry crosswise with the natural gas industry.

"Inaccurate statements made in the heat of a campaign ill-serve this important objective and the equally important goal of promoting broad public understanding of the extraordinary commitment and care our community takes every day to ensure we do our work in a safe and responsible manner," America's Natural Gas Alliance, an industry group, wrote in a July 19 letter to Perry.

Some Fort Worth residents have complained that fracking contaminates their water with benzene and other carcinogens, and the state environmental agency has stepped up monitoring of natural gas drilling in the area.

Activists have called for a moratorium on gas drilling around Fort Worth, which is regulated by the state. White, whose campaign has received $50,000 this year from BJ Services President James W. Stewart, according to records with the Texas Ethics Commission, says he opposes a moratorium.

The White campaign has said the former mayor's ties to the oil and gas industry make him well-situated to serve as governor.

"Texans want a governor who understands the technology of the energy industry," said Katy Bacon, a campaign spokeswoman.

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has been nosing around fracking for months.

"Hydraulic fracturing could help us unlock vast domestic natural gas reserves once thought unattainable, strengthening America's energy independence and reducing carbon emissions," Henry Waxman, chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, said earlier this year when his committee sent letters to eight oil and gas companies about the process. "As we use this technology in more parts of the country on a much larger scale, we must ensure that we are not creating new environmental and public health problems."

In the previous session of Congress, Waxman had requested and received information from the largest hydraulic fracturing companies — Halliburton, BJ Services, and Schlumberger — on the chemicals used in their fracturing fluids.

BJ Services, along with Halliburton, used diesel fuel in their fracturing fluids from 2005 to 2007 , potentially violating a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cease using diesel, according to Waxman's office. BJ Services reported using 2,500 gallons of diesel-based fluids in several fracturing jobs. Halliburton and BJ Services also indicated that they used other chemicals — including benzene, toluene , ethylbenzene and xylene — that Waxman's office said could pose environmental risks.

Bacon said the diesel issues did not rise to the board level at BJ Services. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

The House committee asked BJ Services and a handful of other committees to provide data on whether it has performed hydraulic fracturing in or near underground sources of drinking water as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In a March letter signed by Washington lawyer Mark Paoletta, who specializes in congressional investigations, BJ Services responded that it "does not track or maintain such data because it is the responsibility of the well operator to drill in compliance with the applicable statutes and regulations concerning subsurface aquifers."

The letter also said that "personnel and equipment typically travel to a well site, perform the fracturing activities, and depart. Once the fracture has taken place, the extraction process and the disposal of flowback and produced water is entirely controlled by the well operator."


[1] “William H. White Appointed to the Board of Directors for BJ Services Company,” Investor Relations, 1/22/03,

[2] “Elimination of Diesel Fuel in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Injected into Underground Sources of Drinking Water During Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Wells,” EPA, 12/12/03,

[3] “Oilfield Company Failed to Report Fracking Violations to EPA – Documents,” New York Times, 3/23/10,

[4] “Examining the Potential Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing,” U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, 2/18/10,

[5] “Oil Patch may get more consolidation,” Houston Chronicle, 9/1/09,

[6] Letter to J.W. Stewart, House Energy and Commerce Committee, 2/18/10,

[7] “Update on the Committee’s Investigation into Hydraulic Fracturing,” U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, 7/19/10,

[8] “Baker Hughes-BJ merger clears antitrust hurdle,” Houston Chronicle, 4/1/10,

Bill White is playing a strange game of playing both sides for fools that doesn't seem to be working...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kay rebuilding her image...

Kay was a porker of the month and runner up porker of the year... but now she has apparently changed her ways (link). Excerpt follows...

— Today’s “Taxpayer Hero” is yesterday’s “Porker of the Month.”

Recognition for Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has varied from second place in a “Porker of the Year” contest to “The Steak Through the Heart of Taxpayers Award” — all within a year from nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.

The Republican’s latest honor — a real one this time — is Taxpayer Hero from the Council of CAGW, the group’s lobbying arm.

“Someone can do something one month that is not particularly helpful to taxpayers, and, this being Washington, the next day or the next month, they might do something helpful,” said Tom Schatz, president of both CAGW and its lobbying affiliate.


But CCAGW, the lobbying arm, gave her an 81 percent in its 2009 congressional ratings this week, making her a Taxpayer Hero.

Her lifetime rating is 69 percent overall.

“We’re glad that she’s doing better,” Schatz said. “And we hope that the senator continues to support all the efforts we’re making to cut wasteful spending.”

Hutchison’s spokeswoman reacted to the string of dubious honors from CAGW and the latest genuine salute from its lobbying arm.

“Sen. Hutchison has been a tireless advocate for the state — especially taxpayers, families, small businesses and the men and women in uniform who are stationed in Texas,” Hutchison spokeswoman Lisette Mondello said. “She has long been a recognized conservative voice in the United States Senate.”

Cue the earmark queen web ad... which really should still be up and available...

Rick and Bill White social media profile...

This article is so inane and full of cliches (link). Excerpt follows...

Matt Glazer, editor of the liberal blog Burnt Orange Report, said he can tell more about how well candidates are doing by the number of their followers on social network sites than by looking at a poll. But it's still difficult to know how social media might affect voter turnout, he said.

Glazer said social media tools serve the purpose of evangelizing people who are already supporters of the campaign.

"It can turn casual supporters into informed supporters, and an informed supporter is evangelized: They go to events, they get more involved," Glazer said.

First off isn't Glazer being paid by Bill White? Shouldn't that have been mentioned.

Second the number of followers might be somewhat true but Facebook can get out of whack... Bill White has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on Facebook advertisements to get his fan base up... Rick hasn't grown his with ads that I know of...

Twitter on the other hand makes it harder to buy your supporters... so Rick's lead there is substantial and more meaningful...

I think looking at numbers of followers is stupid for the most part unless you are talking about millions versus thousands... but if you look at some of the California candidates for example such as Tom Campbell... he had hundreds of thousands of twitter followers and his opponents had small numbers but he got trounced by Fiorina... this has played out a lot. It is not just numbers, it is the relentless use of the tools... it is fighting those flame battles and winning... it is influencing important people who then go out and spread the word...