Rick Perry vs World
08 January 2015
Jason Villalba's progressively thin skin
Dallas state rep Jason Villalba told an audience that Speaker Joe Straus would deliver a "progressive" agenda. That's pretty strange, since that's what liberals have been attempting to rebrand themselves for at least 15 years now. But yet, given a chance to correct a misstatement, Villalba reiterated, "I don't know why progressive is a bad word."
Apparently Jason Villalba wants to make sure Democrats know that Joe Straus is not going to abandon them, as he knew his remarks would get picked up by the press.
As long as Democrats remain 100% unified in their habitual pro-Straus bloc, then the Speaker is likely safe -- unless Republicans decide to stop letting Democrats pick Straus as speaker. Hence why I tweeted:
Less than 5 minutes after I tweeted that:
Jason Villalba blocked me. For a politician, Villalba has some very thin skin.
06 January 2015
El Payaso FFF (prefiere TMF) tiene algunas propagandas
Ferdinand Frank Fischer, also known by his alias "Trey Martinez Fischer" has some interesting ads up.
His English ad is awwwwkkkkwarrdd, but his Spanish ad is quite good. It reminds me of Van de Putte, whose ads were better in Spanish than English. Que torpe.
Every single bit of that ad where "TMF" talks looks fake. It's incredibly overacted by someone who felt really uncomfortable. The head bobbing, the voice oscillations in odd places, all of it. It's strange. They manage to get Bernal in as many shots as possible, even as he doesn't speak to the camera.
So his Spanish actually looks dubbed in to me as the lips don't match the audio on the Youtube video. But that's hard to notice. It's a good ad, and in his brief spoken bits, he's got a better accent than I thought he had (especially when dubbed in?). But even if they dubbed it in, his face actually looks like it might believe what his voice is saying. That's the opposite of the English video, where the words are totally discombobulated from the body movements. It's a pretty solid ad.
I am amused that he takes a shot at Republicans in both videos -- Dan Patrick by name in the English one, and just "Republicans" in the Spanish ad. Nunca deja ser inflamatorio, lo que sea no importa.
04 January 2015
Jeb Bush is definitely running for president
Jeb Bush is definitely running for president:
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, moving closer to a possible presidential run, has resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including with his own education foundation, his office said late Wednesday night.
Bush's New Year's Eve disclosure, coming in an e-mail from an aide to The Washington Post, culminated a string of moves he has made in recent days to shed business interests that have enriched him since leaving office in 2007. The aide said the resignations had been made "effective today."
You don't give up millions of dollars and bury it with a NYE dump unless you're running for president. Especially if you're Jeb Bush, and you candidly spent the last 8 years or so talking about accumulating wealth.
Also, George P running for Land Commish instead of a higher office makes sense. If Jeb had been thinking that there was a good chance he'd run in 2016, he'd want to make sure there was absolutely zero chance of his son losing. [Wouldn't you make sure to fix the typo in your announcement though?]
I am completely against Jeb Bush for president. Our Republic deserves and requires better than Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton/Bush, particularly after Obama's disregard for the Constitution. It's not the sign of a healthy democracy.
Jeb's 2016 positioning is fascinating: it sometimes seems like he wants to run as Mitt Romney, Jr. However, he's running the flip campaign of Mitt. Romney had a pretty bad record as governor, but he tried to run in 08 as the movement conservative guy. Lots of intense wooing of conservative leaders. He got ahead of the curve really early with National Review.
By contrast, Jeb was a more conservative governor than either George W. Bush and Rick Perry, considering that he was in charge of Florida and not Texas. Graded on that curve, it's not even particularly close. However, while W found a way to unite all the different wings of the party, Jeb seems to be trying to irk as many conservative activists as possible.
So now we have four Texans running for president: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry. We'll see how many of them make it to Iowa caucuses.
16 December 2014
Jeb Bush announces exploratory committee with a typo
Today, Jeb Bush announced on Facebook that he was setting up an exploratory committee to run for president.
Over the past few weeks, his advisors (or perhaps the candidate himself) were telling reporters on background that they are going to run a savvy, digital-heavy campaign. Per the Washington Post:
Their thinking is that Bush, who was last on a ballot in 2002, would need to be aggressive and digitally savvy, challenging any impressions that he is an establishment moderate with sclerotic campaign skills.
Nothing says "digitally savvy" like having a typo in the third paragraph of your presidential announcement.
Yup. A whole lotof football.
That typo was up there for about 30 minutes. To their credit, they edited it within 5 minutes of me tweeting about it.
I'm no pedant; it's just a typo. But if you're running for president as a "digitally savvy" executive who is more competent than Obama, then you avoid typos in the 3rd paragraph of your announcement.
01 December 2014
Jose Menendez brings the stupid
A measure introduced in the Texas Legislature would affect the transactions you make with retailers, demanding that a business owner check a photo i.d. before accepting a debit or a credit card, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Some stores already do this," State Rep Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio), the sponsor of the proposal, told Newsradio 1200 WOAI. "I think it would great, I don't think it would take that much longer, and I appreciate it when a store asks me for an i.d."
It is impressive how pro-regulation legislators manage to come up with inane regulations that would waste time while helping no one. Clearly Menendez knows absolutely nothing about credit card fraud, but he has no problem filing a bill to regulate it.
Unlike Menendez, I actually do know something about credit card fraud, having worked professionally at preventing it. Menendez's bill would do nothing to make anyone's finances or financial information more secure. (Hint: the consumer is not liable if someone steals a card and commits fraud.) And of course, it wouldn't help businesses with a POS terminal -- they already have the option to do it, and they already have a financial incentive to cut down on fraud.
The most pernicious credit card fraud these days is being done using skimmers or hacking the POS terminal. Since those would be exempted from Menendez's bill, if every state adopted Menendez's idea, we'd have even more places for fraudster to put skimmers. So fraud would likely go up.
Ideas have consequences.
30 November 2014
The Center of Ps thinks government creates prosperity
The liberal policy org Center for Many Ps has a Chron editorial arguing that Texas should never have a spending cap:
But only recently has the spending cap become an ideological football, with some hard-line conservatives trying to set an artificially low limit that starves school districts and stifles innovation
Got that? Limiting the growth in government spending stifles innovation. Yes, the major left-wing think tank in Texas believes that innovation comes from government. That makes perfect sense if you believe that prosperity is created by the government.
So of course you'd be against a spending cap. You just need to spend more. It's the California Model.
29 November 2014
Could Wendy Davis win back SD10?
Could Wendy Davis win back SD10? Nope.
Wendy Davis lost her home district by 7.5% to Greg Abbott a few weeks ago. According to my analysis of the Tarrant County precinct report, Davis earned 83451 votes compared to Greg Abbott's 96927 votes in SD10. That is a 53.74% to 46.26% defeat in the head-to-head vote.
A few points:
1. Wendy Davis now has the profile of a national liberal Democrat in SD10. In 2012, Wendy Davis won re-election against Mark Shelton. Even while Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz both picked up 53% in SD10, Davis obscured her liberal voting record enough to get 51.1% of the vote. Put differently, Wendy ran nearly 6 points ahead of Obama's 45.4% vote share in 2012.
Wendy now runs even with Obama in SD10. Romney beat Obama by about 8 points in the district. In 2014, Abbott beat Wendy Davis by about the same 8 points.
Obama and Battleground Texas intended use Wendy Davis to turn Texas blue. Instead Wendy Davis turned SD10 red.
2. Konni Burton outperformed Greg Abbott in SD10, winning with 54.2% of the head-to-head vote. Tell me which Austin lobbyist would've predicted that. She got a nasty hit piece put on her by the Texas Medical Association and got negative coverage from the Star-Telegram, but still ran half a point in front of Greg Abbott.
Looking precinct by precinct, Burton and Abbott performed quite similarly. Burton outperformed Abbott because she did slightly better in the highest turnout Republican precincts.
3. When you hire bad political consultants, it is very hard to win. Mark Shelton and Wendy Davis both hired political consultants (Bryan Eppstein and Jeremy Bird, respectively) who didn't know what they were doing. In the process of losing those races, both Eppstein and Bird showed themselves to be pretty bad at math.
Candidates who can't even hire good political consultants should not hold office.
28 November 2014
Only in government (or maybe higher education) could this level of inefficiency exist
About a decade ago, someone paid for a permit with a counterfeit bill, leading [City of Houston] staff to launch a process that would devour 140 hours a month for the next decade: Recording each applicant's driver's license, along with the serial number on every single $100 and $50 bill.
Several counterfeit bills lost the city a few hundred dollars, Bounds noted; having employees invest 16,800 hours over 10 years hoping to prevent that loss cost taxpayers about $540,000 in salary and benefits.
Only in government would this 1) be implemented, and 2) kept around for years. Lack of competitive pressure in bureaucracy inevitably leads to waste.
10 November 2014
David Dewhurst did not lose in 2012 because of turnout
What is David Dewhurst doing next? He gave an hourlong interview to the Houston Chronicle, and in typical Dewhurstian phrasing, he told them he is planning a "large public policy venture" and perhaps planning a return to electoral politics.
Given that he's talking to the Chron, perhaps he really is considering a Houston mayoral run. Re-launching with the Chron would be a strange route to take if his goal was to run for statewide office again. On the other hand, why did he talk about how much he loves the Cowboys? Not too many Cowboy fans who vote in Houston mayoral races.
In the meantime, he apparently dropped some spin in:
The only thing that surprised him? Low voter turnout, an issue that is "threatening Texas's democratic future," Dewhurst said.
It also very probably ended Dewhurst's political career, of course. The May runoff and a 2012 runoff in the lieutenant governor's race against Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate both featured extremely low turnout of mostly tea partiers opposed to Dewhurst's establishment conservatism.
Dewhurst's losses "also very probably" had nothing to do with turnout. How quickly some forget that the Dew hasn't broken 45% in any ballot test primary poll for years.
Here's the relevant Republican turnout data:
2014 primary turnout: 1,330,000
2014 runoff turnout: 750,000
2012 primary turnout: 1,400,000
2012 runoff turnout: 1,110,000
2010 primary turnout: 1,480,000
1998 primary: 550,000 (600k in guv race)
98 runoff: 230,000
1. 2012 primary turnout was very high. Gubernatorial primaries tend to drive turnout more than senatorial races, and yet Rick v Kay (a race nearly 8 years in the making!) only had marginally more voters. Now 2012 was a presidential year, but the primary was held so late so that the GOP nomination was long-decided. If anything, turnout was probably more depressed than normal by the fact that the primary was held the day after Memorial Day.
2. 2012 runoff turnout was extraordinarily high. 80% of primary voters showed back up to vote in the runoff. Compare that to just about half in the 2014 and 98 races. Contemporary accounts of the race recorded pundits opining that turnout would be under a million.
3. Dewhurst did not lose the runoff because of turnout. He lost because people who lazily voted for Dewhurst in the primary realized that they made a mistake and switched. Dewhurst's nasty campaign ads and milquetoast legislative record came back to haunt him.
Notice how Dewhurst and Cruz essentially switched the number of votes. Cruz even got more votes in the supposed "low turnout" runoff than Dewhurst did in the primary.
The "Dewhurst lost because of turnout" canard is even dumber than the "Dewhurst would've won if the election hadn't been pushed back" counterfactual.
26 October 2014
Van de Putte's alternate reality
Van de Putte sure can spin a reporter from the Washington Post:
"Quite frankly, statewide races in the past have been very complacent about consistently having a program in those Latino communities," said state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democrats' nominee for lieutenant governor. "We haven't had a race in two decades that has put resources into Latino communities. I am so proud of the strides we have made, but I wish there was so much more."
How quickly Ms. Van de Putte discards the tens of millions that Tony Sanchez put into Latino turnout. Tony Sanchez spent $76 million (over $100 million in 2014 dollars) in 2002. For months, you couldn't go through the east side of Houston without hearing a sound truck blaring messages in Spanish and English. Bill White didn't spend nearly as much, but I recall some Spanish ads that got some heavy airplay from very early in the campaign.
Also, wasn't the whole point of Battleground Texas to consistently have a program to sell liberalism in Latino communities? [Aside from being an enrichment program for Obama's campaign staffers.] Perhaps Texas Latinos just don't like the shoddy liberal product that Texas Democrats keep trying to sell them.
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