22 September 2013
Entourage, as in the HBO show?
Though they spoke frequently by phone, Bill and Hillary were rarely in the same country. By chance, their paths crossed in Bogotá, where they had dinner together -- then, owing to their massive entourages, returned to their respective hotels.
Yes, it was their entourages that kept them apart. Surely.
20 September 2013
Everything that is wrong with the federal government in one clause
But there's one provision tucked into the [continuing resolution to fund the federal government] that may anger constituents back home: Among the various sections of the House-passed CR are 28 words that would pay $174,000 to the widow of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.
"Sec. 134. Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, there is appropriated for payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of Frank R. Lautenberg, late a Senator from New Jersey, $174,000."
In 2011, the 50% mark for American household income was $50,000. Lautenberg is super rich: he's probably worth about $100 million dollars. And yet Congress is giving his widow $174,000. For no good reason.
But there's no waste in the federal government. Riiiiight.
19 September 2013
Least insightful news analysis of the year?
This might be one of the most ridiculous ledes I have read in awhile. Hearst:
State Sen. Donna Campbell's campaign released a poll Tuesday that showed her with a strong lead over her primary challenger Mike Novak, but also indicated she has lost 15 percent of voters from the same pool who elected her last year over seven-term incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth.
In a primary election between Campbell and Novak, 51 percent said they would vote for Campbell and 11 percent chose Novak, while 38 percent are undecided.
Analysis: Campbell won last year's primary runoff against Wentworth with 66 percent of the vote, indicating she has dropped in support, according to her own poll numbers. The large number of undecided voters, 38 percent, leaves Novak, or any challenger, room to work to usurp votes.
I have no doubt that Campbell's opponent will fundraise well. But Wentworth couldn't beat her even with all the advantages of decades of incumbency. What is Novak going to do -- criticize Donna Campbell for not spending enough? Call himself a conservative and blur the difference?
The poll doesn't show "room to work." It shows a race that is pretty close to over. Perhaps the sample is flawed, but one might note that the pollster has a pretty good record in Texas in recent years.
14 September 2013
Reality is sometimes offensive to journalists?
Imagine if a Republican had just lost an election in Kansas after passing right-wing social legislation. Then a Republican politician in California runs for governor by doubling-down on the issue. You would probably label that California Republican out-of-touch. Stupid. An idiot, even. Definitely not a serious candidate for governor.
Of course, that's exactly what just happened. Two Colorado state senators just lost recall elections in very blue districts that Obama carried by over 20 points against Mitt Romney after they passed gun control legislation.* They were the first legislators to ever be recalled in Colorado, and one of them lost by over 12 points in what were "high-profile special elections."
Strangely, Wendy Davis decided to cement her image as an ideologue liberal by telling a reporter that she would "happily" sign gun control legislation that is similar to what Democrats passed in Colorado. A right-wing blogger labeled her "too stupid to be governor."
And yet for some reason the Dallas Morning News and Christy Hoppe think this is newsworthy.
I look forward to the day when Texas journalists get equally offended by the names that left-wing bloggers call Republican politicians. Off the top of my head, I can think of fascist, ***hole, and bat**** crazy yet I don't recall Hoppe writing a single article in indignation when Democratic politicians retweet those bloggers.
* PPP sat on a poll that showed the Democrats in trouble.
03 September 2013
Just want to holler in favor of Outbox for those of you in Austin.
Outbox picks up your snail mail, digitizes it and then lets you do a whole bunch of cool stuff with it. They're only in Austin and San Fran right now, so this is an opportunity to be an early adapter.
Disclaimer: Facebook says the founders and I have mutual friends from all over the country.
02 September 2013
"I'm the Dewhurst of 2014"
It's been a week and a half, but I'm still amused by a Todd Staples email (subject: BREAKING NEWS) that lead with:
Today, Texas Weekly released an "Inside Intelligence" poll reflecting our team taking the lead in the race for Lt. Governor!
Yes, this is the same Insider Intelligence that said Dewhurst was a sure thing from start to finish. 75% of them thought Dewhurst was going to win the runoff, just a few weeks before he went down in a double digit defeat.
Instead of bragging about it, I'd be concerned.
01 September 2013
How much will Dewhurst spend? (2014 edition)
The Dew historically spent up to $20 million each campaign, but he always got paid back afterwards. Since he had technically loaned himself the money, he'd just pay himself back with lobby money and campaign contributions once he won.
But then he actually lost $20 million in his US Senate primary loss to Cruz, because federal law won't allow him to be repaid. That led to some very hilarious scenes late in the campaign last year, where Dewhurst was spending time raising money in order to pay himself back rather than going out and talking to voters. One notable moment was the night before the runoff, where he had a high dollar fundraiser in Dallas with Rick Perry...maybe even some of his max donors were undecided as to who to vote for?
After Dewhurst made that ridiculously awkward attempt to pull rank and intimidate a police officer, any path to victory is more expensive. His positive ads had little effect in the last campaign, and burnishing your image is more expensive than tearing down your opponents.