Texas Governor Offers Unemployed Two Choices: Buy a Job or Just Say Thanks

If you’re unemployed and you live in Texas - and at least 1 million of you out there - listen up. Governor Rick Perry has an important announcement for you:

“Being an unemployed person in Texas is the best state in the nation to not have a job in.”

That’s right, America. That’s the kind of Governor Texas has. A governor who thinks being unemployed in Texas is a good thing. That sure explains a lot. Out of a job? That just means you have more time to explore the wild yonder of the Texas-Mexico border. Can’t afford to feed your kids? Teach them “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and wait for further instruction from your Governor. No way to pay your mortgage? Consider yourself lucky and use that Lone Star flag of yours as a lean-to.

Perry’s reasoning, as he explained on a Dallas TV station recently (video below), is that even though you’re unemployed now, you might have a job soon. He came to that conclusion based on very specific, very scientific fact printed in the Very Specific, Very Scientific Fact textbook that the Texas State Board of Education recently wrote. In it, it states that being jobless in Texas is a good thing, because Rick Perry had some buddies in January “who were unemployed and today they have a job."

But before we all lock arms and start singing “Proud to be an American,” or the yet-to-be-released, post-secession version, “Proud to be a Former American,” please allow me to point out the large, smelly, GOP-pandering elephant in the room: Rick Perry was the one who, in March of 2009, rejected $556 million dollars of federal stimulus money for unemployment claims so we could “keep things going like they're going in Texas.” Reinforcing his favorite anti-Washington meme, Perry added, "We can take care of ourselves. And we do not need any more strings from Washington attached to programs."

That's funny, because Perry sure doesn't have a problem with attaching strings to his own political appointees. If you are unemployed in Texas, you do have another option: buy your job from Rick Perry. Ethics watchdog group Texans for Public Justice uncovered today that Perry’s campaign received over $17 million in contributions from gubernatorial appointees and their spouses. If you can pony up enough cash, Fief Perry will appoint you to a special position at one of the many state agencies.

Because while it’s not okay for the federal government to help everyday working class families get back on their feet, it’s more than okay for Texas's Governor to propel the wealthy into power in order to stay in power himself.

That’s Rick Perry’s Texas, folks. Y’all come back now, ya’ hear?


The Princess and the Poll

According Gallup polling available exclusively to The Daily Beast, Democrats are “losing support among white women” as the upcoming November mid-term elections approach. In her article, Linda Hirshman points out that “it’s the independent women (21 percent!) and the Democratic women (24 percent) who aren’t revved up about the coming midterms.”

Well, color me Christine O’Donnell. Perhaps the reason independent and Democratic women aren’t "revved" up is because they actually have something known as “brains” in between their ears. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist -- or for that matter, a recent college graduate who can’t find a job -- to take a look around and see that while Sarah Palin’s daughter does the cha-cha and enchants the hearts of millions, Sarah Palin’s tea party is busy imprinting the minds of the remainder. And with the most prominent, popular female “leaders” splashed on TV in the neverending news cycle being Palin and O’Donnell, who in their right mind would be revved up by them?

That’s not to say there aren’t smart women left to engage. As a woman who follows progressive politics in a conservative state, I can’t help but feel outnumbered. For each smart, intelligent, politically involved woman I come across on a daily basis -- and there are many -- there are at least two smart, intelligent women who have absolutely no intention of participating in politics, let alone voting. Occasionally I make the mistake of trying to have a conversation with them about why that is. Some choose that path because they're too busy trying to scrape by and don't see how government directly influences their lives. Others see the political process as intimidating and confusing or, worse yet, broken. A recent Women’s Monitor poll done for EMILY’s List, a national group that supports progressive female candidates, found that sixty-nine percent of women voters would be more interested in voting “if they knew their vote would send a message to Washington that it’s time to get things done for everyday people and stop posturing and serving the special interests.”

Whatever their reasoning, it has less to do with disagreeing with an amendment some Congressman stuck in a bill and more to do with the perception that the bill doesn’t matter anyway. Oh, and that American Idol comes on at 7 and they still have to go for jog and pick up sushi to-go. The political apathy that my generation feels -- made worse by “Dear Liza, Dear Liza” refrain of “Then fix it, Obama” -- is easily blamed on the Woodstock-turned-Wall Street generation allowing the system to become corrupt or that it’s easier to tweet about a revolution than it is to lead one. But, really, it’s too late to even point fingers. After all, money never sleeps and now, thanks to our inability to give a shit or wake up before 10 am or make meaningful contributions to something other than bars and IKEA, it picks our elected officials.

I use the term “our” loosely because, obviously, there are all colors and creeds of women out there doing great things and just as many young white men as there are women in my circles who could care less about anything other than Halo and college football. But until the uninvolved “white women” start to feel as passionately about, say, protecting their reproductive rights as the puritans who agree with Christine O’Donnell’s Stepforidan ideals, they’re not going to come out to the polls.

So what will it take?  Well, here’s what keeps me up at night -- maybe it’ll give you nightmares, too: You never really know how much someone's willing to fight for something until it gets taken away from them.  Put that under your pillow and sleep on it.

TONIGHT: Linda Chavez-Thompson party at Fiesta Gardens

Come support my favorite candidate of the 2010 election cycle, Linda Chavez-Thompson, right here in Austin on the shores of Lady Bird Lake this evening.  Doors open at 6 PM and music starts at 7 PM.  It should be a beautiful night to listen to some live music at Fiesta Gardens.  At $25 a ticket, which includes food and drinks, cómo podría la vida ser mala?

The Weems train takes off

Jeff Weems, Democratic nominee for Railroad Commissioner, has earned the endorsements of both the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle late last week.

Weems represents one of the Democrats' best chances for winning a statewide office this year, after the Republican party was so busy being afraid of Latinos, they forgot to vote for their Latino incumbent during the primary and Victor Carrillo lost to a no-name, no-experience dark horse candidate.

But you know what they say.  "What's bad for Republicans is good for the co-op."  To the endorsements!

Houston Chronicle on Weems:
Weems appears particularly well briefed on important environmental and technical issues relating to the hydraulic fracturing method widely used to access the enormous gas reserves in shale formations here in Texas and across several areas of the nation. He shows needed sensitivity to the potential environmental risks, but also a welcome understanding that "fracking," if properly monitored, has a vital role to play in the development of these needed reserves. As commissioner, he says he would insist on that careful monitoring. To reach that goal, he says he would aggressively pursue additional funding from the Legislature, a chore he says commissioners have done an "awful job" with at the Capitol.
Dallas Morning News on Weems:
Seldom do we run into a first-time candidate for any office and wonder why that person hasn’t already been elected to the job. But that’s how impressed this newspaper is with Democrat Jeff Weems, who is seeking election to the Texas Railroad Commission.
The 52-year-old Houston attorney would be ready on Day One to make a significant contribution, which is why we strongly recommend him for the three-member panel.
Not only does Weems have ample experience, but he's got a lot of Elvis too.  At the Democratic State Convention, Weems stopped by the #TDPSC Tweet-Up and gave a barn-burner of a speech in which he really fired up the audience.  He kind of reminds me of the Montana governor who stole the show at the 2008 National Convention in Denver, Brian Schweitzer. 

I typically imagine the Railroad Commissioners as grizzled, bearded prospectors chewing on pipes sitting around in grimy gas stations and repairing train trestles.  Weems has been running eagerly and positively since the primary, doing some great online media outreach and connecting with voters.  I'm looking forward to seeing him infuse that energy and passion into the RRC.

The Texas Tribune Talks Linda

I'm going to confess something here:

Not every day, because I don't like losing, but MOST every day (because I am, after all, a Democrat) I play a daily quiz game on my iPhone called QRANK.  Developed right here in Austin, it covers a wide spectrum of trivia topics, everything from questions like "What is the name of the longest bone in a pygmy goat's leg?" to "What festival takes place in Zilker Park every fall in Austin?"  Your scores get ranked among friends in your social networks, so everyone can see who their dumbest friend is.

Every day, I play QRANK and Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, completely kicks my ass.

Not by two points, or ten points, but by thousands of points.  I don't know if he was conceived on a stack of Encyclopedia Britannicas or what, but he is without a doubt one of the smartest people I know.  And by "know" I mean "occasionally bitch at via email."  Sorry, Evan.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Linda Chavez-Thompson (disclosure: I've raised over $2300 for her since the primary).  While I was unable to make the TribLive event this week when she was interviewed by Evan (Honestly? Those things need to be happy hours and they need to happen around the state, some of us have day jobs and live outside of Austin), I did tune into the TribCast to hear the employees of the Texas Tribune talk about Linda.

Here's what Evan had to say (you can listen here - this starts at about 8:15 into the podcast):
I found her to be extremely articulate, passionate about the issues she’s running on and unafraid of being a Democrat...
She knows who she is and knows who she’s not and, while it’s very difficult for anybody in a situation like that to be competitive in this year, in this state, I found her to be, generally speaking, an impressive candidate...
It was clear to me in five minutes that she had a complete grasp on what it meant to be Lt. Governor and the job that she could do.
Looks like Evan and I agree on something, after all.

Today is an important fundraising deadline, the last major one before Election Day.  If you believe that smart, intelligent people can change things, then this stops being about giving because you're "in it to win it."  Please give to Linda Chavez-Thompson today because you're in it to advance the progress of candidates who are smart enough to run for what people believe in, instead of being political enough to run from what they're afraid of.

Goal Thermometer

What Learned Me Over My Texas Summer Vacation

Crossposted on Daily Kos.

This diary is part of a 24-hour blograiser for our Texas State Board of Education Candidates, Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau.

For most people, Texas is the last place you want to be during a summer vacation. I can see why.

It’s hot here. We have a $21 billion dollar budget shortfall because our career-politician Governor Rick Perry likes living in a $10,000-a-month rental mansion. But there are so many things that you can only learn in Texas.

For starters, I learned what a "Tea Party" candidate is! Apparently, if you have brown hair and blue eyes and you can wink a lot and you don’t spell good, you’re in.

You aren’t a big fan of gay marriage, but you LOVE watching Bristol Palin and men in tight pants on Dancing with the Stars. Ole!

I learned that God plays a mysterious role in our daily lives. He elects Presidents (but only the ones we don’t like), causes massive oil spills (even though we allowed the drilling to happen in the first place) and I learned that if you want to "turn back to God," you have to cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge, hang a right on Independence Avenue and have a televised rally on cable TV with about 1,000 of your closest friends on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

But the most important thing I learned over my summer vacation was something I could never learn in a textbook -- or maybe I will soon. I learned it from my Texas State Board of Education. I learned that Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall never existed, but thanks to Ken Mercer, I learned that Sean Hannity and James Dobson are our true American heroes. Radical right-wing SBOE candidate Marsha Farney warned me to stay away from "American-bashing" Democrats at a Tea Party rally on July 3rd but when that didn’t help her in the polls, she and the rest of the extremist wing of the SBOE tried to warn me about a new threat: Muslims. After successfully convincing folks that our President was a Muslim, and seeing how well that worked to help people fear him, they decided just to go after actual Muslims to drum up more votes from a radical, scared political right.

Well, that’s all I have to share with the class on what I learned over my summer vacation. Oh, wait. I learned one other thing. I learned a new vocabulary term: fear-mongering.

This really doesn't need to happen in Texas anymore. Remember, oftentimes the Texas SBOE decides what gets printed in YOUR state's textbooks. Donate to Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings today to help Texas kids learn good. I mean better.

Goal Thermometer

Taking GOTV to the next level...

Okay, and I thought my Obama plates were over the top.

What kind of gas mileage do you think this car gets?

Taken somewhere outside San Antonio.  H/T Bill White Field Director JD Gins

Things that make you go...hmm.

"Successful" Principles

Rick Perry spoke to conservative bloggers over the weekend at the RedState Gathering.  From a safe distance on Twitter, I gathered his speech was about his "principles of successful governing."  Rick Perry giving a speech on his principles of successful governing is like Sarah Palin giving a speech on her principles of successful abstinence education.  Like the Houston Chronicle said in their endorsement of Bill White this weekend, "Texas can't afford another four years of Rick Perry."

See: Media Training

Democrat Jim Sharp, a candidate you've likely never heard of running for a seat some are going to skip on the ballot, had some "not-so-sharp" things to say about Linda Chavez-Thompson and Bill White this weekend in the Statesman.  This time of year, I think it's traditional for one Democrat to shoot himself in the foot, that way any other Democrats who were thinking of doing the same will smell their own blood in the water and shut the hell up.  Meanwhile, I picked up another donation for Linda over the weekend and if you think someone saying that a "labor boss" shouldn't be allowed to run for Lt. Governor is completely wrong, then I encourage you to donate to Linda here.

Update - Some additional blogs on this subject that particularly intrigued me:
Half Empty:
Texas, Sharp says, is too racist to elect an Hispanic to statewide office. Texas, Sharp says is to anti-feminine to elect a woman to statewide office. And finally, Texas is too anti-union to elect a “union boss” to statewide office.

Maybe so. Maybe he’s right. I don’t really have a whole lot of regard for the world view of the average Texan, I really don’t. But then again, had I maintained my opinion of the world view of your average American in 2008, I never would have supported Barack Obama for the presidential nomination.
Juanita Jean:
“Jim thinks that Bill White shouldn’t be Governor because he hasn’t held statewide office. I know Bill White,” Juanita announces. “He’s been in the White House. He’s qualified to be President of the United States. Tomorrow. Give him 20 minutes of Hebrew lessons and he could perform a bar mitzvah.”

The $200,000 Question

The Washington Post reports that, in these times of economic woes, skipping college might be a good investment. They quoted hedge fund manager James Altucher as saying, "You've been fooled into thinking there's no other way for my kid to get a job . . . or learn critical thinking or make social connections."  I know I certainly felt this way when I was 18, and I feel about the same way now.  The only thing I feel like I lost out on by not going to college was a football team to root for and a first marriage.  Why is tuition so high?  I couldn't begin to tell you. But if you think about the fact that society has placed a premium on a certain quality of life and earning power, then you can bet your B.S. that it's going to cost you.  For a graduate's perspective on the student loan world, check out Missris, who writes, "I moved to Chicago for grad school and had to take out oodles of debt. Am I glad I did it? Yes. Do I feel like I was misled and a bit tricked? Yes."

Ready, Aim, Kill

Killing Afghanistan civilians for sport?  Not our heroes...er...yes, yes, our heroes.  There's a cost to training people how to kill and if you give them enough gadgets and gizmos, human life can become just another red dot on a heat map.  On Killing by Lt. Col. David Grossman is a must-read on this very issue.

What else has you taking a pause this week?


Yes, there were whips, riding helmets and cat crates involved.  The boots I wore were just, as Robert Jones put it, "fortuitous."

Sen. Van de Putte slowly humiliating me.  In front of my grandmother.  Photo credit: @CRCPR21 
Thanks to everyone who made it out and Annie's List for coming up with new, innovative ways to publicly humiliate young women like myself.

I'd also write something drippy and sad about how touching each roaster really was, and how they validated everything I've been doing on my blog since I started it, but I know y'all don't really want to hear that, so I'll end with:

Mark Strama (I know your Google Alert is going off now), if you Google "Mean Rachel," porn isn't the second thing to come up.

It's the 10th.

By Wealthy Men, For Wealthy Men: Rick Perry's Testosterone-Fueled Prize Package

After the recent dust-up over Rick Perry's men-only, $15,000 a head fundraiser, it’s no secret that the Texas governor holds a special place in his heart for wealthy men. For a limited time only (offer expires November 3rd), Governor Perry is giving his best grassroots campaigners a chance to win exclusive prizes offered up by other rich white men -- because nothing says “grassroots” like Forbes Wealthiest Americans giving away free shooting lessons at a gun range.

Called his “Home Headquarters,” all a supporter has to do to enter the contest is publicly identify themselves as a Perry supporter and then strong-arm eleven friends into “Liking” Rick Perry on Facebook. For each eleven friends a supporter signs up, they get an additional entry in the contest.

Sure, you may not have a job, but with prizes like these, you'll forget you ever needed one!  Let's take a look at some of the more meatier prizes:

“Thirty Minute Private Business Pitch with Red McCombs”
This is kind of like “Thirty Seconds in the Closet” but with suits on. For your efforts, you’ll get to pitch one of Forbes’ Wealthiest Americans and feel the harsh sting of rejection! Recently pitched ideas include the Sarah Palin Memorial Massage Parlor, Terror-Babies-R-Us and a Border Wall Mart.

“Lt. Governor David Dewhurst: Roping Lesson”
Held in the backyard of the Governor’s rental mansion, you are given a lasso and get to take your best aim at Lt. Governor Dewhurst, who will be riding up and down on a mechanical bull. Bonus points if you rope Rick Perry too. Also, no mention of whether a horse is included in the prize, but winners should bring their own boots and spurs. I hear Rick Perry likes those.

“Paul Carrozza: Running Clinic”
Austin legend and business owner Paul Carrozza will take the winner through a series of tactical running drills and best practices, including conditioning, strength training and a real-life coyote encounter. This prize is BYOG (bring your own gun) but a security detail is available upon request.

If none of these prizes pique your interest, don’t worry. Rick Perry has the thing for you: Lunch with Karl Rove. You’ll finally get that long-awaited opportunity to walk up to him, throw a glass of water in his face, and walk off.

Bon appetit.  The bill's on Rove.

Rick Perry's Men-Only Fundraiser Dinner

Crossposted on Huffington Post.

Guess who’s not coming to dinner?

In an invitation circulating this week, Governor Rick Perry is inviting some of his closest, wealthiest friends to a “Wild Game” dinner in Houston--just not their wives.

The invitation from Perry’s State Finance Chair James H. Lee boasts an all-male host committee and encourages interested men to “share your views” with the Governor during an all-male dinner hour. “We are limiting the crowd so you will have a chance to talk to Rick,” it reads, and notes that after dinner, “wives/significant others join us for Pat Green.”

Yes, because that’s how Rick Perry thinks things work here in Texas. If you’re a woman, you speak when spoken to, eat when your husband’s done eating, and certainly don’t have enough social standing to even be invited to a fundraiser. He might as well have told men to leave their wives at home so they could make sure they had a gin and tonic ready for them as a nightcap when they got home.

The event kicks off at 5:30 PM and runs until 9 PM, which has this “wife/significant other” wondering...what the hell are the women supposed to do during the dinner? Stand around and discuss petticoat sizing? Work on their needlepoints? A dress code for the men--let’s be honest, it’s “Dubya-casual”--is noted on the invitation, encouraging men to wear blue jeans, boots and a sport coat. But there’s no mention of what the female guests are supposed to wear, so it seems they accept attire ranging from French Maid to Sarah Palin-chic.

As for the “Wild Game” theme, it’s hard to say whether they’re referring to the testosterone-fueled host committee, which consists of at least three of Forbes’ 400 Wealthiest Americans, or the menu, which offers tempting dishes like “Stuffed Pheasant” and “Assorted Wild Game Sausages.”

At $15, 000 a head (no pun intended), that’s a pretty expensive sausage fest. But if Republican men who segregate women from the dining room are your thing then I could see how it’d be a worthwhile investment. Regardless, if there’s one thing the nation should know about Texas, it’s that we know a lot about sausage, and if there’s one thing the nation should know about Rick Perry, it’s that he knows a lot about throwing a good ol’ fashioned sausage fest.

Maybe this is why Governor Perry won't debate...

It seems the wheels are coming off of the campaigns of Republican extremists across the country. Not only did Rick Perry's first TV ad get tangled in a snafu after an Austin business owner protested her store appearing in Perry's commercial, but this guy popped up, quickly going viral and making a moment of opportunity - I mean difficulty! Difficulty! - more opportune for Democrats everywhere.

H/T to my friend Alex who also managed to transcribe the entire thing and put a Phil Davison transcript on his blog. 

Five lessons learned after five years of blogging

This week marks the 5th anniversary of MeanRachel.com, which originally started as my pseudonym while writing this blog under a different title ("Life's Short, Ride Your Best Horse First" - kudos if you've been reading since then).

I've learned a lot over the years that I couldn't have expected to learn when I set out to start a blog one September afternoon.  For those of you who might be about to write "My First Post," some advice:

1.  If you write it, someone will read it.

While I didn't set out to write a political blog, the first post I ever wrote was most certainly political.  It was about Hurricane Katrina.  At the time, I was in a long-term relationship with a Captain in the Army who was deployed, along with 5000 other members of the United States 1st Cavalry Division, to New Orleans.  It was the first time in American history, other than during Reconstruction, when an entire US infantry division had been deployed on American soil.

Since they had no idea how long they would be in New Orleans, living in a warehouse in the Ninth Ward, I decided to call the Inspector General's office in Fort Hood and demanded to speak with the IG.  Pretending to have a husband in the Army, I demanded answers: When would they come home, why are they there, what is their mission?  The resulting conversation, which I wrote down word-for-word, was like something from Catch-22:  They would come home when they came home, the reason they were there was classified and their mission was to complete the mission.

Frustrated and fuming, I looked at my transcript of the conversation written on a notepad and thought "Now what?"  I wanted to be a whistleblower.  I wanted to have control over something that I recognized was entirely out of my league.  I wanted to cause an uproar.  So I typed the entire thing out and posted it as my first blog:  Ringing the Bell.

No one read it, and no one cared.  The 1st Cavalry Division redeployed to Fort Hood twenty-one days later and life went on.  It took two years before my blog was ever mentioned in a mainstream media news story and nearly five for me to break a piece of news before the mainstream news did.  But the point is:  at first, and frankly, everyday, you will have something to say and you'll think no one will read it.  But someone will.  And then another person will.  And eventually, you realize that it doesn't really matter who reads your blog:  it's more important that it's being written.

2.  Over time, your blog will change.

As I said, my blog wasn't political when I first started writing it.  In fact, for the first few months, I only wrote when something interesting was happening: I was going to New York City for the first time, a horse getting injured at work, a poem I found in The New Yorker that spoke to me.  There was no theme and not a lot of direction.   Sure, there were lines I needed to draw but I was still learning how to color.  When my then-boyfriend deployed to Baghdad in 2007, I alternated between railing against George W. Bush and writing about going downtown and drinking, my preferred choice of how to pass a very lonely, very difficult eighteen months.  There was a tipping point for me with regards to the war in Iraq and in 2008, as a way of funneling some of my anger and frustration into something productive, I became more politically active and started writing more about the events I went to and the people I was meeting.  The Mean Rachel blog in 2010 is very different than the Mean Rachel blog in 2005 or 2007 was.  But so is this Rachel.  That's just life.

3.  Your most popular posts are rarely your favorite.

I'm not here to make a living out of my blog, so this goes against any sound business advice (particularly advice I might give you if you wanted advice on a corporate blog, which I also write).  But it took me a long time to realize that the blog posts that bring me the most traffic are rarely the posts that I am the most proud of (like this one).  That's okay: don't stop writing what you want to write.  Eventually, you'll find a way to write both.

4.  If your heart is in the right place, write it.

There's no sense in being controversial for the sake of controversy.  But if you feel that your heart is in the right place, don't ever let anyone tell you not to write something.  You won't get in trouble for writing about something you believe in, even if it might make someone else mad.  And if someone does get mad at you, chances are they weren't someone you'd want to know in the first place.

5.  Your blog's value isn't always measured in dollars and cents or page views and search traffic.

No amount of banner ads, pop-ups, sponsorships or advertising could compare to the riches I've had in experiences since I've started this blog.  Some moments were caught in international headlines.  Others were quieter.  But it seems those experiences would never have happened were it not for my little space on the internet.

And if all that makes you think I sound like a nerdy blogger, then you'd be right.  There's really nothing else I'd rather be.

Are we becoming a nanny state?

I participated in a live viewer panel tonight on Fox 7 News with reporter Foti Kallergis, as Tropical Depression Hermine poured (and continues to pour) tons of rain on our dear city.
The last time I was interviewed by Foti was around the same time of year last September, when another rain storm had caused quite a ruckus at the annual ACL Festival. 
It was a full-circle moment as we talked government intrusion and civil liberties tonight.  What do you think? Are we a becoming a "nanny" state?  Let me know in the comments and enjoy the show.


If you're gonna dish it...

Let's face it, bloggers have it pretty easy.

We're like the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the political world, sitting in our PJ's waiting for news to be broken by highly-paid reporters so we can recap it, drinking cheap wine by the bottle and tearing apart painful YouTube moments of our favorite politicians without ever having to leave our couches.

Of course, that is completely a stereotype but, admittedly, not that far off from my regular Thursday night.

So I'm a bit apprehensive about an upcoming event that is being put on by Annie's List, an organization most of you are probably already familiar with.  In a nutshell, they raise money and provide campaign infrastructure for female, progressive candidates across Texas, and do a damn good job at it. 

Annie's List Deputy Political Director Genevieve Van Cleve, along with Democratic political consultant Harold Cook and State Representative Mark Strama will be roasting me next Thursday, September 16th at Max's Wine Dive in Austin.  The event will be emceed by the lovely and amazing State Senator Leticia Van de Putte and will also have some cameo "mini-roast" appearances by others as well (those are the ones I'm really worried about).

I invite you all to join me in supporting this great cause and, more importantly, helping fund an event that publicly embarrasses me.  Because, if it's true what they say that "what goes around comes around," I'd pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Interested in coming to the event or being a sponsor (you don't have to live in Texas to be a sponsor)?  You can buy tickets and sponsorships online here.

A HUGE thank you to all of you who have shown your support by being on the host committee and sponsoring his event.  It means a ton.  I will name my first children after all of you.

Joe "Double Dip" Driver: Accepted Anywhere

Money stolen from the state of Texas due to Republican incumbent Joe Driver's double-billing for travel expenses$17,431.55.

Amount his opponent, Democrat Jamie Dorris, had raised by the July filings thanks to organizations like Annie's List and Back to Basics$70,000.

The irony in this old Double Dip Driver quote from a Dallas Morning News article written by Emily Ramshaw (now at the Texas Tribune): Priceless.

Mr. Driver said campaign funds are often necessary to keep legislators afloat.

As a freshman representative, he said, he didn't know campaign law allowed him to use his officeholder account for noncampaign expenses, and he feared the costs would be prohibitive.

"I'm not independently wealthy, and I thought to myself, 'I don't know if I can afford this!' " he said.

But he doesn't approve of going overboard. Mr. Driver said he shares the two-bedroom Austin apartment he rents with a colleague to cut costs. And his campaign contributions to other candidates are limited to "helping other House members when they have tough campaigns."
There are some things money can't buy.  For the rest, there's Joe "Double Dip" Driver.

And they say they're not racist.

They say sunlight is the best disinfectant.

So excuse me while I do my best to shine a light on an Austin conservative political blog, Urban Grounds, written by Robbie Cooper.  He offered a recap of President Obama's Iraq speech last night:
Paul Mirengoff gets it exactly right when he says, “Obama tried to give the appearance of graciousness without actually being gracious. Among his many other faults, the man has no class.”

That’s it right there — that’s the thing: President Bush is a man who exudes class and a grace that Obama is completely bereft of.
"Class and grace."  Not the words I'd use, but fair enough.  Let's take a look at the comments on this post.
Image from yesterday at Fort Bliss. 
It just begs for a caption.

So, do you like Gladiator movies?

Actually, the soldiers reaction is indicative of a man who knows he is being condescended to.
A classic Alinsky tactic by B. Hussein, to show his target is beneath him.

Posted by no2liberals | September 1, 2010, 10:44 am

          Dude, that is the look that says, “Get your fucking hand off of my shoulder, mister. I’m not your boy and I’m not your friend. If my CO wasn’t standing here and your SS guys weren’t standing nearby, I’d knock you on your ass.”
          Posted by Robbie Cooper | September 1, 2010, 12:49 pm

That guy probably is thinking that he avoided being touched by dirty filthy muslims in the sandbox only to come home and be touched by our dirty stinky muslim president.

Posted by Jax | September 1, 2010, 11:03 am

Not only that, but what does a muslim use his left hand for?

Posted by no2liberals | September 1, 2010, 11:07 am
Wipe their ass and then share a hookah with it.
Posted by Jax | September 1, 2010, 11:30 am
Class and grace is a two-way street, my friends.